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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.

Seen in October

* [Anonymous] Princess Mononoke (Miramax/Hyperion 0-7868-6609-8, $39.95, hc, September 1999) Translated from the Japanese, 1997, subtitled ''The Art and Making of Japan's Most Popular Film of All Time''. Lavish art book about the animated film by director Hayao Miyazaki, opening later this month in the US. (Fri 8 Oct 1999)

* Croswell, Ken Magnificent Universe (Simon & Schuster 0-684-84594-6, $60, 210pp, hc, October 1999) One of three coffee-table books of spectacular astronomical photographs listed this week. With text by Croswell, author of The Alchemy of the Heavens (1995), this one is a good sample of traditional and recent photos of planets, nebulae, and galaxies. (Fri 15 Oct 1999)

* Johnson, George Strange Beauty (Knopf 0-679-43764-9, $30, 434pp, hc, October 1999) Biography by the author of Fire in the Mind (1996): ''Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics''. (Tue 12 Oct 1999)

* Kaminer, Wendy Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials (Pantheon 0-679-44243-x, $24, 278pp, hc, October 1999) ''The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety''; cultural commentator Kaminer wonders why modern society is enraptured by the irrational, from angels and alien abductions to the mystical promises of cyber-culture, and why criticism of irrationality evokes such vitriolic responses as the reader review on Amazon.comů (Mon 11 Oct 1999)

* Lancaster, Kurt Warlocks and Warpdrive (McFarland & Company 0-7864-0634-8, $32.50, 186pp, hc, December 1999) ''Contemporary Fantasy Entertainments with Interactive and Virtual Environments''. Ten essays examining fantasy entertainment forms, including Magic: The Gathering, Star Trek, and Star Wars, that use virtual environments. The author is a lecturer at MIT. Book includes bibliography and index. (Mon 25 Oct 1999)

* Matlin, David The Invisible Universe (Bulfinch 0-8212-2628-2, $50, 132pp, hc, 1999) This one is arranged like a star atlas, by constellation, with photos depicting the 'deep sky' objects found in each. With a foreword by Timothy Ferris. (Fri 15 Oct 1999)

* Pinker, Steven Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (Basic Books 0-465-07269-0, $26, 11+348pp, hc, 1999) By the author of The Language Instinct (1994) and How the Mind Works (1997), this book is a follow-up to the former, exploring how the phenomenon of regular and irregular verbs illuminates topics from computer simulation of languages with neural networks to the latest techniques of identifying genes. (Tue 19 Oct 1999)

* Poundstone, William Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos (Henry Holt 0-8050-5766-8, $30, 17+473pp, hc, October 1999) Second of two virtually simultaneous biographies of the astronomer, science-popularizer, and novelist (Contact). (Fri 15 Oct 1999)

* Quinn, Daniel Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure (Harmony Books 0-609-60490-2, $21.95, 202pp, hc, October 1999) Latest book by author of Ishmael, suggesting answers to the problems of modern civilization. (Fri 8 Oct 1999)

* Shermer, Michael How We Believe (Freeman 0-7167-3561-x, $24.95, 17+302pp, hc, October 1999) Subtitle: ''The Search for God in an Age of Science''. Shermer, author of Why People Believe Weird Things, asks why people believe in God and what they mean by such belief, considering issues of the origin of myths and the search for meaning at the turn of the millennium. ''Notable in stressing the great power of narration as the vehicle of complex thought'', says Edward O. Wilson. (Fri 8 Oct 1999)

* Sobel, Dava Galileo's Daughter (Walker 0-8027-1343-2, $27, 420pp, hc, 1999) Biography of Galileo with special attention to his illegitimate daughter Sister Maria Celeste and the letters she wrote to him. By the author of Longitude (1995). (Tue 19 Oct 1999)

* Stoll, Clifford High Tech Heretic (Doubleday 0-385-48975-7, $24.95, 15+221pp, hc, November 1999) Latest book by the cyber-curmudgeon, this one is subtitled: ''Why computers don't belong in the classroom and other reflections by a computer contrarian''. (Tue 19 Oct 1999)

* Trefil, James Other Worlds (National Geographic 0-7922-7491-1, $35, 255pp, hc, September 1999) Third of the coffee-table astronomical books listed this week, this one devotes the most space to planets of our solar system, yet has perhaps the best selection of colorful recent photographs of nebulae and galaxies. And it's the cheapest of the three, too. (Fri 15 Oct 1999)

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