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From the October 1999 Locus

Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio (Del Rey 9/99) An ancient virus embedded in the human genome gets loose as a devastating disease and possible evolutionary agent in ''one of the most intelligent and original thrillers of recent years....'' (Gary K. Wolfe, Locus).

James P. Blaylock, The Rainy Season (Ace 8/99) Don't let them tell you it never rains in California and when it does, the ghosts come out, in this richly complex dark fantasy about love and loss, set in 1884, 1958, and the present.

Jim Burns, Transluminal: The Paintings of Jim Burns (SFBC 8/99) This large trade paperback is filled Burns's stunning cover art, supplemented by the artist's comments on the books, editors, and authors he works with; several such fortunate authors add appreciations.

Orson Scott Card, Ender's Shadow (Tor 9/99) The fifth book in the ''Ender'' series goes back to the beginning to follow the events of the multiple-award-winning Ender's Game from the viewpoint of Ender's military schoolmate Bean recapturing much of that first book's entertaining spirit of adventure.

Isobelle Carmody, Obernewtyn (Tor 9/99) A powerful post-holocaust science fantasy, particularly of interest for the YA audience. A young condemned Misfit, sent to the infamous institution Obernewtyn, must sharpen her forbidden telepathic powers to unearth its secrets.

Jonathan Carroll, The Marriage of Sticks (Tor 9/99) Carroll's brilliantly unsettling prose gives all his work an uncanny feel, but genre fans will rejoice as he returns to fantasy for this haunting contemporary taleof a young woman facing the ghosts of her past and future.

Storm Constantine, Scenting Hallowed Blood (Meisha Merlin 8/99) Constantine's elegantly unique gothic style has avid fans, but too few in the US for major publishers; savvy smaller press Meisha Merlin steps in to bring her followers this second installment in the dark fantasy trilogy of the ''Grigori''.

Tony Daniel, The Robot's Twilight Companion (Golden Gryphon 9/99) The first collection from one of the most distinctive new voices in SF.

Bill Johnson, Dakota Dreamin' (Cascade Mountain 8/99) A strong sense of place infuses this collection of 11 stories, including the 1998 Hugo-winning ''We Will Drink a Fish Together''.

Stephen King, Hearts in Atlantis (Scribner 9/99) King looks at the '60s and their effect on the lives of a group of friends in this novel/collection of five interrelated stories. Full of heart, a touch of darkness, and a hint of the supernatural.

China Miéville, King Rat (Tor 9/99) A very modern retelling of ''The Pied Piper of Hamelin'', this dark fantasy mixes the hottest trends in music with elements of folktale in present-day London, where an amplified piper has deadly plans for rats and those humans he considers vermin.

John Pelan, ed., The Last Continent: New Tales of Zothique (ShadowLands Press 8/99) A powerhouse roster of authors, including Gene Wolfe, Lucy Taylor, and Don Webb, provide new stories in their own styles, set in the fantastic world created by Clark Ashton Smith.

Kim Stanley Robinson, The Martians (Bantam Spectra 9/99) Robinson augments his seminal ''Mars'' trilogy with this collection of pieces providing background information, some alternative versions of events, and deleted segments from the original series.

Tad Williams, Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass (DAW 9/99) The action moves to Homer's Troy in this third volume of Williams's powerful near-future thriller of conspiracies and murder conducted in both a real futuristic world and a maze of virtual-reality fantasy worlds.

Brian Youmans, ed. Best of the Rest 2 (Suddenly Press 8/99) Youmans sifts through the small press, online publishers, and other elusive sources to provide this alternative selection of the best small-press stories of 1998.

George Zebrowski, Cave of Stars (HarperPrism 9/99) The sequel to Macrolife explores the far-future possibilities of post-Earth humanity as a mobile space colony brings dangerous new ideas to a conservative, planet-based theocracy.

Roger Zelazny & Jane Lindskold, Lord Demon (Avon Eos 8/99) Ancient China gets the Zelazny treatment (with Lindskold's help) in this fantasy of an Earth-dwelling demon lord who makes magical worlds in bottles and in tracking down a murder uncovers a plot to reignite a war between gods and demons.

© 1999 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.