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From the December 2000 Locus

David Barbour & Richard Raleigh, Shadows Bend (Ace 10/00) H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard join forces to stop the ancient god Cthulhu in this amusing dark fantasy set in the American Southwest in the 1930s.

Gregory Benford, Worlds Vast and Various (Eos 10/00) Cutting-edge science and mind-bending ideas abound as Benford explores alien intelligences and other classic themes of hard SF in the twelve stories in this collection.

Avram Davidson, Everybody Has Somebody in Heaven: Essential Jewish Tales of the Spirit (Pitspopany Press 10/00) This collection brings together SF stories and lesser-known mainstream works with Jewish themes by one of SF's most distinctive voices. Tributes by Peter S. Beagle, Richard A. Lupoff, Lisa Goldstein, Carol Carr, and Barry N. Malzberg, plus a biography by Eileen Gunn, show the importance of Judaism in Davidson's life and works.

Andy Duncan, Beluthahatchie and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon 10/00) One of SF's most impressive new writers is showcased in this collection of 11 diverse stories, two previously unpublished, told in Duncan's distinctive Southern Gothic voice, and enlivened by odd historical facts and humor.

Cathy Fenner & Arnie Fenner, Spectrum 7: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Underwood 10/00) Magnificently reproduced images fill this seventh annual overview, displaying the many styles and wide range of fantastic art, from books covers to comics, figurines, and advertising.

David Herter, Ceres Storm (Tor 11/00) A hot new debut novel of intrigue in a far future solar system transformed by nanotech storms, where a young man who may be a clone of a feared interstellar conqueror from the past seeks his destiny.

Nalo Hopkinson, ed., Whispers from the Cotton Tree Root: Caribbean Fabulist Fiction (Invisible Cities Press 10/00) For those fascinated by Hopkinson's distinctive, Caribbean-flavored fantasy, this anthology gathers 20 fantastic stories that spring from the same roots, by authors of various Caribbean backgrounds.

Stephen Jones, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume 11 (Carroll & Graf 11/00) The all-horror year's best anthology returns, covering the horror scene for 1999 with 21 stories, plus in-depth commentary on the field, from books to media, and a necrology by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman.

Robert Jordan, Winter's Heart (Tor 11/00) The juggernaut ''Wheel of Time'' fantasy series rolls on in this entertaining ninth volume, which takes a seasonal break from all the warfare to tie up a few loose ends in the characters' lives.

Susan R. Matthews, Colony Fleet (Eos 10/00) Social concerns and action mix in this SF ''melodrama of manners'' (Russell Letson's term) about a young engineer, unfairly demoted to the lowest tech ranks, who realizes the fleet of generation ships on which she lives is endangered by centuries of social stratification.

Jerry Oltion, Abandon in Place (Tor 11/00) An unusual SF tale of ghostly space launches, quantum physics, and beliefs made real. Based on the Nebula Award-winning novella, this is the first novel from a noted author of short fiction.

Terry Pratchett, The Truth (HarperCollins 11/00) The Discworld discovers newspapers of both the serious investigative and the tabloid varieties in this latest humorous fantasy, 25th in the ever-popular series.

Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials, Book III: The Amber Spyglass (Knopf 10/00) Pullman brings his epic YA fantasy trilogy to a triumphant close, with a war against heaven inspired by classical sources including John Milton's Paradise Lost and the works of William Blake.

Theodore Sturgeon, A Saucer of Loneliness (North Atlantic Books 10/00) The seventh volume in ''The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon'' collects 12 stories from the early '50s, with extensive notes by editor Paul Williams, and a priceless (if brief) foreword by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. on Sturgeon's connection with Kilgore Trout. Like the rest of the series, a must for serious collectors.

Theodore Sturgeon, Selected Stories (Vintage 10/00) For those not prepared to wade through his complete works, twelve of Sturgeon's greatest hits are gathered in this collection, an outstanding introduction to one of SF's finest authors.

Paula Volsky, The Grand Ellipse (Bantam Spectra 10/00) Volsky's wonderfully skewed quasi-Victorian fantasy world is the setting for this exotic and exciting great race in the style of Around the World in 80 Days, with plenty of devious competitors after a secret new magic, and one independent young woman seeking an escape from her tyrannical father.

G. Peter Winnington, Vast Alchemies: The Life and Work of Mervyn Peake (Dufour/Peter Owen 8/00) This in-depth biography explores how Peake author of the ''Gormenghast'' trilogy, but also a poet, playwright, and artist transformed the rich experiences of his life into his unique imaginative works.

Laurel Winter, Growing Wings (Houghton Mifflin 8/00) Physical abnormalities and the stigma of being ''different'' are explored in this powerful young-adult SF novel about a girl who suddenly starts growing wings. An impressive first novel.

© 2000 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.