This page lists selected new nonfiction books -- pertaining directly to science fiction, fantasy, and horror, as well as books of associational interest -- seen published this month, mostly via bookstores sightings (or received for review).
Key: * = first edition, + = first US edition. Date with publisher info is official publication month; date in parentheses at paragraph end is date seen or received.
For Australian books, try Dymocks, Slow Glass Books, or the publisher.
19 - 30 September
* Davidson, Keay Carl Sagan: A Life (Wiley 0-471-25286-7, $30, 20+540pp, hc, September 1999) First of two biographies of the astronomer and science-popularizer; the other, by William Poundstone, is due shortly. (Mon 27 Sep 1999)
* Feynman, Richard P. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (Perseus Books 0-7382-0108-1, $24, 16+270pp, hc, July 1999) Collection of short works by the famous physicist, on such subjects as the relation of science and religion, and Feynman's report on the Challenger disaster. With a Foreword by Freeman Dyson. (Fri 24 Sep 1999)
* Purdy, Jedediah For Common Things (Knopf 0-375-40708-1, $20, 23+226pp, hc, September 1999) Subtitle: ''Irony, Trust, and Commitment in America Today''. Purdy, a 24-year-old home-schooled Harvard graduate from West Virginia, thinks the ironic attitude of recent decades has led to a corrosive cynicism undermining social and moral values. He and his book have been subject of much media attention in recent weeks. (Tue 21 Sep 1999)
* Simon, Anne The Real Science Behind the X-Files (Simon & Schuster 0-684-85617-4, $25, 318pp, hc, October 1999) Another book, after one last year by Jeanne Cavelos, about the scientific basis of the popular TV series. (Tue 28 Sep 1999)
1 - 18 September
* Buckrich, Judith Raphael George Turner: A Life (Australia: Melbourne University Press 052284840-0, A$44.95, 9+214pp, hc, 1999) Biography of the Australian SF writer. (Thu 2 Sep 1999)
* Crowley, Robert, ed What If? The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been (Putnam 0-399-14576-1, $27.95, 14+395pp, hc, September 1999) Anthology of essays by historians (Stephen E. Ambrose, David McCullough, etc.) exploring alternate histories. No index. The Amazon page reprints a short review from Entertainment Weekly, as well as reviews from Kirkus and Booklist. (Sat 11 Sep 1999)
* Damasio, Antonio The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotions in the Making of Consciousness (Harcourt Brace 0-15-100369-6, $28.00, 385pp, hc, September 1999) The author of Descartes' Error tackles the origin of consciousness. (Mon 13 Sep 1999)
+ Ferguson, Niall, ed Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals (Basic Books 0-465-02322-3, $30.00, 10+548pp, hc, August 1999) First US edition (UK: Picador 1997). Another anthology of alternate history nonfiction, though this one appeared a year or two ago in the UK. (The Amazon pages for this book appear to be inaccurate; the US hardcover is listed for Sept. 2000.) No explicit discussion of SF is apparent, though there are dismissive references to books by Kingsley Amis and Robert Harris in the introduction. (Sat 11 Sep 1999)
* Petroski, Henry The Book on the Bookshelf (Knopf 0-375-40649-2, $26.00, 10+290pp, hc, September 1999) An author known for books about the history of technology (including The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things) here considers the technology of books and bookshelves. (Sat 11 Sep 1999)
* Rushkoff, Douglas Coercion: Why We Listen to What "They" Say (Riverhead Books 1-57322-115-5, $24.95, 321pp, hc, August 1999) The media critic considers the coercive arms race between corporations and consumers. (Sat 11 Sep 1999)
* Shattuck, Roger Candor & Perversion: Literature, Education, and the Arts (Norton 0-393-04807-1, $29.95, 415pp, hc, September 1999) Collection of essays, opening with ''Nineteen Theses on Literature'' -- among them, ''Everything has been said. Therefore it has to be said all over again--only better'' and ''There is no literary 'canon'. Tastes and curricula keep changing. It is our love of literature that remains constant.'' (Fri 10 Sep 1999)
* Singh, Simon The Code Book (Doubleday 0-385-49531-5, $24.95, 13+402pp, hc, October 1999) ''The evolution of secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots to quantum cryptography'' by the author of Fermat's Enigma; this book is currently #3 on Amazon.uk's Hot 100. (Thu 16 Sep 1999)
* Zubrin, Robert Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam 0-87477-975-8, $24.95, 14+305pp, hc, August 1999, cover by Carter Emmert) Author of the influential The Case for Mars now offers ideas for reaching the stars. (Fri 10 Sep 1999)
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