New and Notable Books
Poul Anderson, Mother of Kings (Tor 9/01) Scandinavian history and legend come alive in this historical fantasy of the 10th century, based on sagas and extensively researched, telling the epic story of witch-queen Gunnhild, and the determination that eventually made her Queen of England and Norway.
Clive Barker, Coldheart Canyon (HarperCollins 10/01) The dark side of Hollywood comes to light in this ghost story, the tale of a fading star hiding his plastic surgery scars in a secluded canyon haunted by the ghosts of others who fell afoul of the shallow glamour and decadent lifestyle of Hollywood.
Ben Bova, The Precipice (Tor 10/01) Bova's exploration of mankind's expansion into the Solar System continues with this tale of a bankrupt and environmentally damaged Earth, and those who look to the asteroid belt for new resources and wealth. The first novel in ''The Asteroid Wars'' series.
Ray Bradbury, From the Dust Returned (Morrow 10/01) Bradbury's latest novel combines stories (dating back to 1946's ''Homecoming'') with substantial new material to create a strange tale of the history and homecoming celebrations of a charmingly weird and magical family whose members include such beings as shapeshifters, vampires, and demons.
Jack Cady, The Hauntings of Hood Canal (St. Martin's 10/01) Cady's masterly ability to evoke time and place gives depth and a folksy humor to this eerie tale of a small community on Hood Canal, a covered-up murder, and the evil it awakes.
Michael R. Collings, Storyteller: The Official Orson Scott Card Bibliography and Guide (Overlook Connection Press 4/01) The complete works, genre and otherwise, of Orson Scott Card are listed here, with summaries and comments on the fiction and selected non-fiction, and listings of related works about Card – who himself provides a new essay on fantasy and criticism.
Jack Dann, Counting Coup (Forge 10/01) Contemporary fantasy meets the road novel in this off-beat tale of an aging handyman and a drunken Indian shaman who take off on an epic cross-country binge. It appeared earlier in Australia as Bad Medicine.
Charles de Lint, The Onion Girl (Tor 10/01) Artist Jilly Coppercorn, a recurring character in de Lint's contemporary fantasies set in the city of Newford, is revealed as a woman of many layers in this skillfully woven novel.
Paul Di Filippo, Strange Trades (Golden Gryphon 10/01) The task of making a living provides a theme for this idiosyncratic collection of eleven stories in Di Filippo's delightfully distinctive voice.
Candas Jane Dorsey, A Paradigm of Earth (Tor 10/01) A grieving woman living in a chaotic household takes in one of the childlike, telepathic, blue-skinned aliens come to study Earth in this complex exploration of communication, compassion, and our own inability to understand ourselves.
Sara Douglass, Enchanter (Tor 10/01) The second volume of Douglass' sweeping fantasy series, ''The Wayfarer Redemption'', originally published to acclaim in Australia as the ''Axis'' trilogy.
Stephen King & Peter Straub, Black House (Random House 9/01) This much-anticipated sequel to The Talisman is a largely independent, character-driven novel with a murder mystery at its core – yet presents a crisis that could destroy multiple worlds, and ties into King's ''Dark Tower'' series. A dark masterpiece by two masters at the height of their mature talents.
William F. Nolan, Dark Universe (Stealth 9/01) This collection provides 41 stories chosen by Nolan himself as his best short fiction from 50 years of writing horror, suspense, mysteries, and SF. Stories are arranged in the order written, with individual notes by the author.
William H. Patterson, Jr. & Andrew Thornton, The Martian Named Smith: Critical Perspectives on Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (Nitrosyncretic Press 7/01) An in-depth critical analysis of Heinlein's ground-breaking novel, with special attention paid to the complexities and multi-layered references resulting from Heinlein's eclectic interests.
Judith Tarr, Pride of Kings (Roc 9/01) Tarr finds a fine balance between history and fantasy in this account of Richard the Lionhearted, who is willfully blind to the supernatural Powers that are part of his domain, riding off on Crusade and leaving Prince John to deal with an unexpected otherworldly ally, unearthly threats – and a startling version of Robin Hood.
Harry Turtledove & Martin H. Greenberg, eds., The Best Alternate History Stories of the 20th Century (Del Rey 10/01) Purists may argue some of these stories don't precisely fit the definition of alternate history, but this anthology deftly combines classic and lesser-known stories to illustrate the wide scope available when SF writers look at the ''what ifs'' of history.
Peter Watts, Maelstrom (Tor 10/01) In this standalone sequel to Starfish, the west coast of North America has been devastated by a huge tidal wave, set off by an explosion meant to stop a deadly disease – but survivor Lenie Clarke walks out of the ocean carrying that disease, and bent on revenge.
Connie Willis & Sheila Williams, eds., A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures By and About Women (Warner Aspect 10/01) Ten powerful stories by some of SF's best female authors – including Nancy Kress, Octavia E. Butler, and Ursula K. Le Guin – demonstrate the liberating freedom SF allows for the exploration of women's issues.