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alphabetical by author



Edwin A. Abbot
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Flatland (illus, introduction by Banesh Hoffman)
Flatland is one of the very few novels about math and philosophy that can appeal to almost any layperson. Published in 1880, this short fantasy takes us to a completely flat world of two physical dimensions where all the inhabitants are geometric shapes, and who think the planar world of length and width that they know is all there is. But one inhabitant discovers the existence of a third physical dimension, enabling him to finally grasp the concept of a fourth dimension. Watching our Flatland narrator, we begin to get an idea of the limitations of our own assumptions about reality, and we start to learn how to think about the confusing problem of higher dimensions. The book is also quite a funny satire on society and class distinctions of Victorian England. - BO

Douglas Adams

The Ultimate Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
All of Douglas Adams' classic Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy stories in one books. A classic must-read when it comes to witty science fiction.- SP

Joan Aiken
Read her { interview | poem | story } in Strange Horizons.

A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories
A re-print of Aiken's classic stories from 1968. Geared towards grades 4-6, the stories in Necklace are infused with magical themes, like flying carpets and talking animals. Aiken's folklorish story-telling style and the new black & white illustrations of Kevin Hawkes make this the best edition yet. - BO
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 1)
Black Hearts in Battersea (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 2)
Nightbirds on Nantucket (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 3)
The Cuckoo Tree (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 4)
The Stolen Lake (The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, 5)
A fantastical piece of "alternate history". Taking place in late 18th/early 19th century Britain and America where young Bonnie's parents leave Willoughby Chase for a sea voyage, and Bonnie and her cousing Sylvia's cruel governess, Miss Slighcarp. The once happy home is now disassembled and the girls are sent off to a prison-like boarding school. With the help of some new friends, they escape, but to what end? Will they ever be able to save Willoughby Chase from the clutches of the greedy Miss Slighcarp? The first book definitely has a fairy-tale feeling to it, making it most traditionally a children's story, but the series can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Brian Aldiss
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Helliconia Spring (Helliconia Series, 1)
Helliconia Summer (Helliconia Series, 2)
Helliconia Winter (Helliconia Series, 3)
The planet Helliconia orbits binary suns, so they have a Great Year that lasts for 3 Earth millenia. Cultures are born in the spring, flourish and prosper in summer, and wither and die at the onset of the generations-long winter. As Helliconia emerges from its latest centuries-long winter, the tribes of the equatorial continents are able once more to dispute ownership of the planet with the ferocious phagors. - BO

Lloyd Alexander

The Book of Three (Chronicles of Prydain, 1)
The Black Cauldron (Chronicles of Prydain, 2)
The Castle of Llyr (Chronicles of Prydain, 3)
Taran Wanderer (Chronicles of Prydain, 4)
The High King (Chronicles of Prydain, 5)
These wonderful stories tell the tale of Taran, a foundling boy, raised by a wizard, who has the job of assistant pig-keeper and dreams of honor and glory. Set against the backdrop of Prydain, a land in which the forces of good struggle against the wickedness of both men and evil creatures, this series lets the reader grow up along with Taran as he learns who he is, learns to love, and finally learns something of how complex the ideas of honor and glory really are. - MM
Westmark is the story of Theo, a printer's apprentice who sees his master unjustly killed and has to flee for his life. The country is dysfunctional, with the king in a permanent state of grieving for his dead daughter, and the control of the country is in the hands of a murdering minister. Theo allies himself with various groups who are working against oppression, each in their own way. A rousing adventure that holds up to reading after reading. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Charles Anders
Read his { story } in Strange Horizons.

The Lazy Crossdresser

Poul Anderson

The Time Patrol
An anthology of all the short stories about the Time Patrol, the future organization that insures the continuity of human history. - SP

Piers Anthony
Read a { related article (12/17/01) | related article (5/27/02) } in Strange Horizons.

For Love of Evil
And Eternity
These last two novels in Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series focus on Satan and God, who like the other Incarnations of timeless principles (Death, Time, War, etc.) are human in origin. Their offices are eternal, but the particular occupants of the position are not. Therefore, on the cusp of World War III, the current Christian God is booted out for incompetent narcissism and replaced with a woman. - BO
Cluster provides the reader an excellent opportunity to explore challenges to traditional views of sexuality and experience alternatives. Flint, a human from one of Earth's outermost colonies, is more gifted than others, in that his "aura" is stronger which enables him to transfer onto alien hosts and experience a new world of opportunities. - BO

Catherine Asaro
Read an { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Primary Inversion
Catch The Lightning
The Last Hawk
The Radiant Seas
The Veiled Web
Ascendant Sun
The Phoenix Code
The Quantum Rose
Catherine Asaro's first novel sets the stage for her ongoing Skolian Empire saga. An ingenious combination of hard science fiction, epic space opera, and star-crossed romance, Primary Inversion is the story of Sauscony Valdoria, telepath, fighter pilot, and heir to the Skolian throne. Skolia is locked in a seemingly endless conflict with the empire of the Traders, flawed empaths who pick up only on emotions generated by pain, and whose brains convert the sensations into their own pleasure. A chance encounter on neutral territory with the son of the Trader Emperor leads Soz to a shocking revelation, and a love affair which, if discovered, could lead to an all-out war between the two empires. Asaro's professional knowledge of theoretical physics allows her to create surprisingly plausible explanations for such improbably SF staples as faster-than-light travel and psi abilities, and her main characters are exceptionally well-developed, likable, and believable people. - AH

Isaac Asimov

Foundation (The Foundation Series, 1)
Foundation and Empire (The Foundation Series, 2)
Second Foundation (The Foundation Series, 3)
Foundation's Edge (The Foundation Series, 4)
The Foundation Series is one of the first, and still one of the best, in the 'Galactic Empire' genre. This first book is a collection of magazine serials and has a somewhat disjointed feel; however, this is a small price to pay for your introduction into this epic tale of an intergalatic society following one man's unique vision.
In the second book of The Foundation Series, the great social Plan is threatened by a single mutant man. Wonderful characters and a more cohesive plot-line make this a much more enjoyable read than the first. - HS
The Caves of Steel (The Robot Series, 1)
The first of Asimov's robot novels introduces Plainclothesman Elijah Baley & R. Daneel Olivaw as they try to solve a murder mystery amongst the teeming hoards of an overpopulated Earth.
The Naked Sun (The Robot Series, 2)
In the second of the robot novels, Baley & Olivaw travel to the planet Solaria to solve another murder with interstellar implications. - DH
I, Robot (The Robot Series, 3)

Steve Aylett

Opposing groups of occult assassins compete to exterminate God. In a multidimensional war, young gun Alix travels through sidespace to confront evil-though he risks destroying the universe. When he becomes the victim of a complex conspiracy between his closest allies and the enemy, his resolve is tested. This alchemical conspiracy adventure tackles fundamental questions about the nature of good and evil and the relationship between humans and god.
Read a review in Strange Horizons

Kage Baker

Black Projects, White Knights: The Company Dossiers
A collection of short stories about The Company. - SP
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Graveyard Game
Dr. Zeus, a time-travel corporation, created cyborgs to selectively preserve artifacts from the past for the edification of the 24th century, when the Company exists. But as the centuries go by for the agents, they hear strange rumors of a "silence" in the year 2355. Ominously, cyborgs who try to investigate disappear forever, hidden away or shut down by Dr. Zeus.
In the Garden of Iden (A Novel of the Company, 1)
In 16th-century Spain, everybody expects the Spanish Inquisition, as they have a well-known tendency to cart people off to their dungeons on trumped-up charges. What 5-year-old Mendoza, on the brink of being tortured as a Jew, is totally unprepared for is to be rescued by the Company--the ultimate bureaucracy of the 24th century--and made immortal. In return, all she has to do is travel through time on a series of assignments for the Company and collect endangered botanical specimens.
Sky Coyote (A Novel of the Company, 2)
Mendoza in Hollywood (A Novel of the Company)

Iain M. Banks

Look to Windward
Set in Banks's far-future interstellar civilization known as the Culture, this highly literate novel from this celebrated British SF author (Inversions) centers on an act of revenge.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

John Barnes

The Duke of Uranium
Good-looking, athletic Jak Jinnaka, 18, has survived compulsory education with the help of his pretty girlfriend, Sesh, and a generous allowance from Uncle Sib. After Sesh is kidnapped, Uncle Sib explains a few things. Sesh is really the princess of the powerful distant planet Greenworld. Sib is a senior agent of a political cabal, or zybot, planning to rescue and then, possibly, exploit her. Promising Jak will meet no harm, Sib invites him to be an emissary to Sesh's captors. On the long trip to the Duchy of Uranium, Jak befriends a few members of a trading starship's crew, survives his shuttle being shot out of the sky, befriends the duchy's imprisoned heir, and discovers additional details of Sib's career that make joining Sib's particular political group something he should consider very, very carefully.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Steven Barnes
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

An experiment to transplant positive personality characteristics into thousands of inner-city children goes horribly wrong. - JH
Iron Shadows
Lion's Blood: A Novel of Slavery and Freedom in an Alternate America

Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn (illus. by Mel Grant)
Beagle's masterpiece is the story of the last unicorn in the world, who sets out in search of her missing kindred. This is not a fluffy unicorns-and-hearts-and-flowers story; it's rich and wise and moving and sad and very funny (though it's not comedic fantasy a la Pratchett). Its characters are occasionally somewhat aware that they're in a story; none of the conventions of High Fantasy are taken entirely seriously, but none are completely ridiculed. New-minted folksongs, a bumbling magician, a middle-aged Maid Marian wannabe, anachronisms, a heroic prince, an evil king, and magic both real and illusory blend in a heady melange; it's spellbinding from start to finish. By the way, the book is very different from the animated movie based on it. - JH

James BeauSeigneur
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The Christ Clone Trilogy
Newspaper editor Decker wangles his way onto a scientific expedition that examines the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. When body cells stuck to the shroud are found to be "alive," they are cloned, and the resulting baby, Christopher, changes the course of history. - BO

Elaine Bergstrom
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Shattered Glass
One of a new breed of vampires who do not need to hunt blood unless they want to, Stephen Austra makes his living restoring the stained glass in cathedrals, but his existence and his relationship with his lover are threatened by a series of vicious murders. - BO

Steve Berman

Trysts : A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories
Cut and paste a voodoo doll made of magazine clippings; watch as a Ouija board spells out your deepest secret; mourn the loss of your boyfriend while awaiting his ghost; listen to the ancient whisperings of a threadbare flapper dress; gamble for more than money on a Southern riverboat; renounce your citizenship to walk through a restricted area, rife with magic. Experience passion and loss, all within the pages of this triskaidecollection; thirteen stories where the supernatural is as likely to doom as to save those that are drawn to its power. - SB
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Kate Bernheimer

The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold
The Complete Tales of Ketzia Gold is a lavishly poetic novel that recounts through folklore and fairy stories the visionary obsessions of a passionate young woman. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Beth Bernobich
Read her { story (Part 1) } in Strange Horizons.

Beyond the Last Star (ed. by Sherwood Smith)
The Premise of Beyond the Last Star is just that--our universe is gone, something else has replaced it. The "what" is left to the imagination of the editor and the twenty-five authors. Most of the stories involve non-human protagonists in some finely crafted stories, and some of them even contain fairly outstanding writing, to boot. Includes story by Beth Bernobich. - BO

Michael Blumlein
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The Brains of Rats
In these twelve stories we enter the darkest corridors of America's hospitals. Meet a scientist who discovers how to predetermine and alter the sex of a pregnant woman's fetus, and proceeds to contemplate his own gender...and a surgeon whose primary practice is removing organs and limbs from unwilling patients to redistribute them to unfortunate victims in impoverished countries. Filled with dark surprises, these splendid tales invite us to glimpse the world of high-tech medicine from a disturbing new angle.

Bruce Boston

After Magic
Fantasy novella, set in Victorian England, about a medium and a magician. - BO
Dark Tales & Light
Ten dark and darkly humorous stories, sf and fantasy, all previously uncollected, reprinted from the pages of Science Fiction Age, Realms of Fantasy, Talebones, and other leading genre publications. Includes honorable mentions from Year's Best Science Fiction and Year's Best Fantasy and Horror - BO
Quanta: Award-Winning Poems
Boston's Quanta is a collection of his award-winning poetry. Again, with emphasis: this entire collection is composed of award-winning poems. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Stained Glass Rain
This self-styled ``novel of the sixties'' traces the fortunes of a quartet of bohemians as they take fledgling steps into the new psychedelic counterculture. David Jacobi, in his early 20s, fancies himself the new Kerouac but lacks the requisite imagination. Even in his alternate incarnation as an apolitical LSD dealer he is merely a dilettante. His friend Michael Shawtry is an ascetic poet who rejects his family's wealth to follow a mixed-up philosophy created by his own isolation. The third member is Christine Leslie, 10 years older than the others, also a poet from a wealthy family. Jacobi has been intrigued by her since discovering they both used the same metaphor, "stained glass rain," in their poetry, and soon after meeting, the two become lovers. Rounding out the group is Mulligan, who travels from Berkeley to spend a few weeks in New York with his pal Jacobi and to play Cassady to his Kerouac. - BO

Ben Bova
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In the time of Jupiter, the world has changed. Earth society is dominated by a selection of religious theocracies spread across the globe. The most prevalent group is the New Morality, a Christian fundamentalist movement, that shares power with similar Muslim and Buddhist movements. Citizens are conscripted to surrender a few years of their lives in Service to the New Morality, and scientists are viewed with deep suspicion -- especially those whose sciences may challenge or contradict Scripture. Evolution becomes a dirty word.
Enter our reluctant hero, Grant Archer, who is conscripted to serve on Gold Station orbiting Jupiter to spy on the station. Religion and science conflict, for Archer is a Believer and a scientist, studying the nature of black holes. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Ben Bova picked his villains well for this fast-paced, popcorn-and-Milk- Duds matinee: Topping the playbill is our sister planet, Venus itself, which Bova matter-of-factly describes as "the most hellish place in the solar system." Sci-fi authors (Bova included) have all but colonized Mars by now, but few have boldly gone to the aluminum-melting, sulfuric-acid-soaked surface of the Morning Star. Venus proves a mighty, unthinking antagonist indeed--frustrating the efforts of sickly but likable rich kid Van Humphries to land there and recover the remains of his older brother Alex, who died two years earlier on another ill-fated mission. - BO

Ray Bradbury
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Fahrenheit 451
In Bradbury's classic, the future is a scary place. Rather than putting out fires, the primary task of firemen is to start them -- in order to burn books. In this place, trivial information is good, but knowledge and facts are detrimental to such a "happY" society, so books become contraband. When fireman Guy Montag becomes aware of the nature of his dysfunctional life, with his wife engrossed in her "TV family" and his lack of satisfaction with life, he finds his much needed escape in the world of books and must fight with those he once served. - BO
The Halloween Tree
In this story, a group of eight boys are whisked away by a spirit on Halloween night not only to discover where their favorite holiday came from, but also to explore the concept of death by trying to save the life of a favorite member of their group. - HS

Marion Zimmer Bradley
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The Mists of Avalon
The Forest House
Lady of Avalon
Priestess of Avalon (with Diana L. Paxson)
This famous retelling of the Arthurian legend takes the point of view of the women in the tale, and proceeds to turn many parts of the story upside down. Forget what you thought you knew about Morgan le Fay; you'll see her in a whole new light in this novel. Set against the backdrop of the Roman withdrawal from the British Isles and the conquest of Christianity over the Celts' pagan religion, Bradley returns the legend to its tragic roots while simultaneously providing a new perspective on the religious conflicts, politics, and power struggles that underlie the familiar story. Follow-up books include The Forest House, Lady of Avalon, and Priestess of Avalon. - CP
Thendara House
The cross-currents of two cultures, one male-dominated, one egalitarian, combined with the human problems of two who switched allegiances, brings into focus all the deepest questions of love and marriage, justice and injustice. Thendara House is a novel of speculation which has become a classic masterwork on the role of women on any world, past, present, or future.

Kenneth Brady
Read his { story ) in Strange Horizons.

One Evening a Year (ed. by Daniel Conan Young)
Twenty-two tantalizing holiday tales from those Wordos in Eugene, Oregon.

Gary A Braunbeck
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

This Flesh Unknown
What happens when we dream of our spouse as he or she once was? Does a door in the universe open, letting these secret fantasies become all too real? Paul and Vanessa Howe are about to find out what happens when their erotic passions and fantasies go too far and take on a unique life of their own.

David Brin

Sundiver (The 1st Uplift Trilogy, 1)
Startide Rising (The 1st Uplift Trilogy, 2)
The Uplift War (The 1st Uplift Trilogy, 3)
Brightness Reef (The 2nd Uplift Trilogy, 1)
Infinity's Shore (The 2nd Uplift Trilogy, 2)
Heaven's Reach (The 2nd Uplift Trilogy, 3)
Brin's space opera turns on the concept of Uplift: the giving of rational intelligence and language to non-sapient species through genetic engineering. In the richly imagined Uplift universe, humans have uplifted chimpanzees and dolphins. Together, the three races have sought the stars, only to find them populated by an immense, ancient, and deadly galactic civilization governed by a system of racial patronage based on uplift. The series really takes off in the second book, the award-winning Startide Rising, the second book in this loosely connected series. Streaker, the first spaceship piloted by a dolphin crew, has discovered a secret that could shake galactic civilization to its foundations. Pursued by hostile galactics, the crew of Streaker struggles to evade capture and return to Earth with their prize. Startide's complex characters, intricate plot, detailed world building and profound exploration of the nature of intelligence and language make it one of the great works of modern SF. The rest of the series extends, but does not quite match, Startide's brilliance. - CC

Dale Brown

Dale Brown's Dreamland: Razor's Edge

Stephen Brust

Jhereg (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 1)
Taltos (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 2)
Dragon (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 3)
Yendi (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 4)
Teckla (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 5)
Phoenix (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 6)
Athyra (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 7)
Orca (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 8)
Issola (The Vlad Taltos Novels, 9)
Steven Brust's long running fantasy series is rich and internally consistent. If you enjoyed the Myth Series by Robert Aspirin, then you'll enjoy its darker counterpart, The Vlad Taltos Novels. Meet Vlad Taltos, criminal. He's an easterner in a Dragaerans Empire, and busy carving himself a place in the world. These stories abound with wit, without being silly, and grip you with their excitement. Be careful, or you'll find yourself devouring these books without pause. - PS
Read the review of Issola in Strange Horizons.
The Phoenix Guards (Khaavren Romances, 1)
Five Hundred Years After (Khaavren Romances, 2)
The Paths of the Dead (The Viscount of Adrilankha, 1; Khaavren Romances, 3)
Set in the same world as Brust's Taltos novels, these three books are vastly different in style from Brust's other series, but they are at least as entertaining. Written in homage to the style of Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. these swash-buckling novels are set in the court of the Dragearan empire long before Vlad's time. Indeed, Brust's conceit is that these are historical romances written by a contemporary of Vlad, the historian Paarfi of Roundwood, whose dry authorial interventions add much enjoyment to the books. They tell the story of Khaavren of Castlerock and his three friends-Aerich, Pel, and Tazendra, who join the Palace Guard of the Phoenix Emperor, hoping to win renown and make their fortune. This premise may sound familiar to those who know The Three Musketeers. and it should. But Phoenix Guards is no mere rip-off of Dumas; it's an imaginative and loving reworking, or, if you will, translation, of Dumas' spirit into another world. Dazzling swordfights, drunken brawls, devious stratagems, all interlaced with tirelessly witty repartee: these novels have all that the fan of the swash-buckler would desire, and they will please any who take pleasure in the turning of an elegant phrase. - CC
To Reign in Hell
This volume is quite different from Brust's other writings, but just as engaging. Here, he synthesizes legends associated with the various names of God and the Devil in the Judaeo-Christian monotheistic tradition, and builds them into a fast-paced story of friendship and betrayal in the time before the world was made. Along the way, he provides some very perceptive comments on power, responsibility, and other ethical questions. - RMH

Lois McMaster Bujold

A Civil Campaign: A Comedy of Biology and Manners

Octavia E. Butler
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A collection of stories and novellas that cover a diverse arena of subjects. From what she calls her "pregnant male title story" to a sympathetic tale of incest to a bleak futuristic world of violence and nonverbal communication, Butler's imagination is strong--and so is her awareness of how to work real issues subtly into the text of her fiction. - BO
Clay's Ark
Asa Elias Doyle and her companions encounter an alien life form so destructive that they exile themselves to the desert to avoid contaminating others, but their compulsion to infect others is overwhelming and, in a desperate plea for help, kidnap a doctor and his two daughters. - BO
How could anybody be a slave? The question is answered in Octavia Butler's gripping tale of the story of a twentieth century woman who is brought back in time by her slave-owning ancestor to save his life, even though she knows that by doing so her free-born black grandmother will become his slave. - BO
Mind of My Mind
A young ghetto telepath launches a psychic struggle against the four-thousand-year-old immortal who has been her father, lover, master, and creator to free her fellow telepaths. - BO
Parable of the Sower
In this first of two books set in California in the early 21st century, corruption and social upheaval make life a dangerous challenge and walled communities a must. One girl, Lauren Oleanna, finds her own truths in the midst of this madness and begins an adventurous journey. A real pageturner. - HS
Parable of the Talents
The second of the Parable series further follows Lauren's fight for her dream of the perfect community, "Earthseed". Brilliant occasional commentary by Lauren's daughter gives this book an outside perspective on the society Butler envisions. - HS
A telepathic race is ruled by the strong mind of the Patternmaster, but his ruthless son craves the ultimate power of the position. Can he take the final step and murder the final obstacle in his way: his younger brother? - BO
Wild Seed
Doro is an entity who changes bodies like clothes, killing his hosts by reflex--or design. He fears no one--until he meets Anyanwu. Anyanwu has also died many times. She can absorb bullets and make medicine with a kiss, give birth to tribes, nurture and heal, and savage anyone who threatens those she loves. She fears no one--until she meets Doro. From African jungles to the colonies of America, Doro and Anyanwu weave together a pattern of destiny that not even immortals can imagine. - BO
Dawn (The Xenogenesis Series, 1)
Adulthood Rites (The Xenogenesis Series, 2)
Imago (The Xenogenesis Series, 3)
In a world devastated by nuclear war with humanity on the edge of extinction, aliens finally make contact. They rescue those humans they can, keeping most survivors in suspended animation while the aliens begin the slow process of rehabilitating the planet. When Lilith Iyapo is "awakened," she finds that she has been chosen to revive her fellow humans in small groups by first preparing them to meet the utterly terrifying aliens, then training them to survive on the wilderness that the planet has become. But the aliens cannot help humanity without altering it forever. Bonded to the aliens in ways no human has ever known, Lilith tries to fight them even as her own species comes to fear and loathe her. A stunning story of invasion and alien contact by one of science fiction's finest writers. - BO

Brian Caldwell
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

We All Fall Down
When you no longer need question the nature of the universe, does it follow you no longer need question the nature of your soul? The Christian Bible is true, the prophets were right, and Armageddon is now. Using this dramatic backdrop, Brian Caldwell explores the nature of hatred and forgiveness, divinity and damnation. Building to a shattering, inevitable climax, We All Fall Down employs biting realism in the story of one man's confrontation with the end of the world, God, and, most harrowingly, himself. - BO

Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game (The Ender Quartet, 1)
Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quartet, 2)
Xenocide (The Ender Quartet, 3)
Children of the Mind (The Ender Quartet, 4)
At the beginning of Ender's Game, we are introduced to Alexander "Ender" Wiggin, a boy of five or so who is chosen by the planetary authorities to be taken from his home and brought to Battle School, where he will learn zero-gravity fighting tactics and military leadership in service to humanity's attempt to survive in the face of attacks by an alien race known as the buggers.
Although he begins with a typical science fiction premise, Card infuses each book with confounding moral and ethical dilemmas, such as what happens when a war is fought by "remote control," the rights of non-sentient alien species, and the fine line between mental illness and spiritual gifts. There are no tidy answers in these books, either.
Ender's Game is by far the fastest-moving and most plot-driven of the four; some readers will find Xenocide and Children of the Mind somewhat bogged down in theoretical discussions. But Ender's Game stands alone, and Speaker For The Dead has a chilling, suspenseful momentum all its own. Card is at his best when writing about children, and extraordinary children figure prominently in all four books. If you like science fiction that makes you think hard about things, these books are a must read. - CP
The Memory of Earth (The Homecoming Saga, 1)
The Call of Earth (The Homecoming Saga, 2)
The Ships of Earth (The Homecoming Saga, 3)
Earthfall (The Homecoming Saga, 4)
Earthborn (The Homecoming Saga, 5)
These five books tell the multi-generational saga of a small group of people who are chosen to leave their deliberately technologically limited world and travel through space back to Earth, which had been abandoned centuries ago after (presumably) a nuclear holocaust, in order to fix the computer that is charged with limiting their world's technology to ensure that no such holocaust happens again.
These books are deeply concerned with religion, faith, and family, and they display Card's trademark sensitivity in dealing with relationships within families. In addition, readers familiar with The Book Of Mormon will recognize the plot and characters as a retelling of key parts of that story. These books are in no way Mormon propaganda, though, and I certainly enjoyed them on their own merits, knowing nothing of the connection when I read them. - CP

Lewis Carroll
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass
The Mad Hatter, the Ugly Duchess, the Mock Turtle, the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat-characters each more eccentric than the last, and that could only have come from Lewis Carroll, the master of sublime nonsense. In these two brilliant burlesques he created two of the most famous and fantastic novels of all time that not only stirred our imagination but revolutionized literature. - BO

Johnathan Carroll

The Marriage of Sticks
Jonathan Carroll is a writer other writers envy. He's been described as a "cult favorite" whose works go out of print too quickly in the USA, despite his popularity in Europe and the admiration of reviewers. It may be because Carroll uses fantastic elements, but doesn't write genre fantasy; his books are often haunting, even frightening, but they're not horror novels. He puzzles you, surprises you, and always makes you think about how what he's saying might apply to your life. In The Marriage of Sticks, Miranda Romanac is a thirty-something dealer in rarities who loves her work and lifestyle, but feels unfulfilled.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Jeanne Cavelos
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Casting Shadows (The Passing of the Techno-Mages, 1)
Summoning Light (The Passing of the Techno-Mages, 2)
Invoking Darkness (The Passing of the Techno-Mages, 3)
The spectacular space epic of Babylon 5 continues, as the techno-mages face the growing threat of the Shadows. - BO

Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Suzy McKee Charnas
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The Vampire Tapestry
Dr. Edward Lewis Weyland is an anthropologist, a professor and student of man. His interest in this field is, however, more than academic, for he is a vampire, not a spirit creature but a perfectly evolved predator: strong, swift, cunning, and aloof. However, when Weyland stalks a woman who proves a more adept hunter than himself, he winds up critically wounded and humbled, and obliged to make a journey toward the greatest threat he's faced yet: empathy for the very creatures he must feed on to survive. - BO

C.J. Cherryh
Read a { related article (3/18/02) | related article (7/08/02) | related article (9/2/02)} in Strange Horizons.

Cuckoos Egg
The "alien" human. Haras, Thorn, a young man growing up in a world of people not his own, striving to become one of them, but remaining an outcast, feared and hated by those he seeks to know. Learning of his differences, his true origin, and his destiny, with his mentor, murderer, and only friend, Dunn, all while wrestling with the pain and emotion that comes with teenage years. - BO
The Faded Sun
They were the mri -- tall, secretive, bound by honor and the rigid dictates of their society. For aeons this golden-skinned, golden-eyed race had provided the universe mercenary soldiers of almost unimaginable ability. But now the mri have faced an enemy unlike any other -- an enemy whose only way of war is widespread destruction. These "humans" are mass fighters, creatures of the herb, and the mri have been slaughtered like animals. Now, in the aftermath of war, the mri face extinction. It will be up to three individuals to save whatever remains of this devastated race: a warrior -- one of the last survivors of his kind; a priestess of this honorable people; and a lone human--a man sworn to aid the enemy of his own kind. Can they retrace the galaxy-wide path of this nomadic race back through millennia to reclaim the ancient world which first gave them life? - BO
Forty Thousand in Gehenna
Genetic manipulation, murder, intrigue and politics are just part of the story of a young scientist in these substantial books. - BO
Rider at the Gate
Rider at the Gate is the first in a two-book series chronicling the existence of human colonists stranded on a planet whose only native life forms are linked by telepathy, sending sensory images to one another enhanced by powerful emotions. One of these species, the "nighthorse," befriends the humans, and together they form a bond of mutual protection--the nighthorses guard their riders against the planet's mind-clouding predators, while the humans provide them with food and shelter. Once matched, the two experience a companionship more profound than either has ever known before. - BO
The Paladin
Swordmaster Shoka bids farewell to court intrigue after the death of the old Emperor. Taizu, who is determined to become a swordwoman, seeks out Shoka and begs his help to exact revenge upon the evil tyrant Lord Ghita. Soon, Shoka and Taizu become the stuff of legends.
Serpent's Reach
Within the Constellation of the Serpent, out of bounds to all spacefarers, humans live among the insect-like aliens--and one of them, a woman named Paen, is bent on a revenge that will tear apart the truce between human and alien. - BO

George Tomkyns Chesney

The Battle of Dorking, and When William Came (with Saki)
This volume contains two imaginary tales of a German invasion of England. The first, The Battle of Dorking, was written in 1871 by Sir George Tomkyns Chesny, and sparked great controversy when it was initially serialized anonymously in Blackwood's Magazine. It inflamed the English anxieties over the emergence of Germany as a great military power, and raised doubts about the preparedness of Britain for a possible war. In the story, German invaders conquer England because they are better trained, better equipped, and have a vast conscript army. In turn, the story is both a thinly-veiled call to action by Chesny, as well as a well-crafted work of fiction.
The second story in the volume, When William Came by Saki, is a bitter tale which imagines England under the rule of a German royalty now ensconced in Buckingham Palace.

Richard Chizmar

The Best of Cemetary Dance, Volume 1 (ed.)
The Best of Cemetary Dance, Volume 2 (ed.)
A collection of horror stories from a man who was made a fan of horror by a reading of Stephen King's The Monkey in high school. The stories are collected from a quarterly magazine that was described as "dark suspense" and "dark-fiction" called Cemetary Dance. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

John Christopher

The White Mountains (The Tripods Trilogy, 1)
The City of Gold and Lead (The Tripods Trilogy, 2)
The Pool of Fire (The Tripods Trilogy, 3)
This adventure series follows Will Parker, a boy living in a world enslaved by the Tripods, giant aliens. It is a rousing tale of humanity's fight for freedom, and all the better for being occasionally rather grim. Will is a very average boy as well, which is a nice change from all the remarkably bright/talented children who often inhabit sf/f novels. But I do have a major complaint with the series -- the girls are practically nonexistent. The one girl that Will meets has very little in the way of personality; she ends up encased in glass, a perfect little sleeping beauty for him to rescue. And in the white mountains, where the rebels plot to overthrow the aliens, there is not a single female -- or even the mention of one. This is very strictly a boys' tale, in a boys' world. Despite that, the series is worth reading. - MM

Arthur C. Clarke

2001: A Space Odyssey
Another classic tale of mankind, space, and the ways that exploration changes our world and ourselves. - SP
Childhood's End
A classic tale of the last days of mankind, in Clarke's typically lucid style. - DH

Hal Clement

Heavy Planet
Read a review in Strange Horizons.

David Clement-Davies

Fire Bringer
Fire Bringer takes us to the world of red deer, set in the early days of Scotland, when Edinburgh was just being established. It's an epic tale, complete with heroes, scoundrels, friendship and love, and generally a pleasant and fast-moving read. - MM
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

John Clute


David Coe
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Children of Amarid (LonTobyn Chronicles, 1)
The Outlanders (LonTobyn Chronicles, 2)
Eagle-Sage (LonTobyn Chronicles, 3)
A thousand years ago, Amarid and Theron founded a magical order whose new members become mages by acquiring bird familiars (necessary for the magic to work), staffs, and ceryll crystals, which focus and project the magic. Now, someone impersonating a mage is spreading death and destruction across Tobyn-Ser, so confidence in the real Children of Amarid collapses. - BO

Storm Constantine

Sea Dragon Heir (The Chronicles of Magravandias, 1)
The Crown of Silence (The Chronicles of Magravandias, 2)
The Way of Light (The Chronicles of Magravandias, 3)
The ancient land of Caradore has been conquered by the Magravandian empire and its royal house of Palindrake bound by a potent oath to the invader. The Sea Dragon, Caradore's source of mystic power, has been driven from the world by the triumphant Fire Drake--or so everyone believes, until twins are born to the Palindrakes. Valraven and Pharinet, brother and sister, discover the Sea Dragon has only been hidden--and is dangerous not only to the conquerors but also to Caradore and the world. - BO
Read the review of The Crown of Silence.

Glen Cook

The Garrett Files
Imagine a major metropolis like New York or San Francisco, where diversity means different species, not different races. A modern fantasy detective, Garret, strives to survive in a world where Troll workmen brush shoulders with fairy school children and dwarven bankers, a city where magic is commonplace. The atmosphere is jaunty, as we take a humorous look over the shoulder of a hardboiled detective who has more to worry about than guns. - PS

Susan Cooper

The Dark is Rising
This highly acclaimed children's fantasy series draws on Celtic and Welsh legends and a few Arthurian elements into a rollicking adventure tale -- though not a simple one. In Cooper's world, the enemy is not always obvious, and being good is not always easy. Furthermore, the writing, though aimed at a young audience, does not talk down to them. Well-suited for children beginning to discover the complexities of the world (perhaps ages 10+) and for anyone who loves a well-told tale about quests, friendships, and good triumphing over evil. - RMH
Susan Cooper is best known for her Newbury-award-winning series, The Dark is Rising, and rightly so. But many overlook this gem of a book, and I'd really encourage you to seek it out. Seaward is the story of Calliope and Westerly, two children who leave their world (separately) and meet as they both quest for different things. Both Cally and West have lost their parents, and they both have secrets of their own that will both help and hinder them as they travel through a strange land towards a distant sea. This is a lovely book, and reminds me in some ways of LeGuin's Very Far Away from Anywhere Else. - MM

Michael Crichton

Sphere is Crichton at his best. He tells an engrossing tale, full of mystery, while managing to maintain a plausible illusion of scientific accuracy. Even those of us normally disappointed by the smallest inconsistencies will enjoy this work, which is extremely well crafted, and flows nicely to its incredible conclusion. - PS

John Crowley

Little, Big
This novel about various members of the Drinkwater family, who have certain unusual connections to the fairy world, sprawls across the period from the late 19th century through the early 21st. It's quirky and magical, Victorian and modern, rich and strange. It has the dreamy qualities of a fairy tale, but with a depth of imagination and characterization that no fairy tale can approach. And I've always been a sucker for books involving houses with odd angles and unusual numbers of sides. If you liked the story in the movie FairyTale, you'll probably like this book; there's no direct connection between the two, but they both draw on the true story of a British girl who claimed to have photographed fairies. - JH

Ellen Datlow

The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 14th Edition (ed. with Terry Windling)
A compendium of the best fantasy and horror stories of 2000.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 15th Edition (ed. with Terry Windling)
A compendium of the best fantasy and horror stories of 2001.

Pamela Dean
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Tam Lin (The Fairy Tale Series)
This retelling of the Scottish legend of Tam Lin, a man captured by the Queen of Fairies and doomed to be sacrificed at the end of seven years, sets the story on the campus of a small liberal arts college in the early 1970s. It is a must read for anyone who went to college at such a school and loved it deeply. Dean captures the essence of the small, private, rural liberal arts college in a story with just a touch of the world of faerie. Our heroine Janet and her friends trade barbs and quotations from literature, eat horrible food in dining halls, and deal with obnoxious roommates and chemistry homework, and all the while the Faerie Queen and her minions live among them, occasionally breaking their cover in moments of true wonder and terror. - CP
The Secret Country
The Hidden Land
The Whim of the Dragon
What would happen if your fantasy world of daydreams and nightmares came true, and you suddenly found yourself surrounded by creatures of your imagination? Just one problem: even though the world is magical, there are some rules so you are still your normal self, and not the powerful magic-user or weapons expertyou had imagined even though everyone in this world expects you to know how. - BO

Samuel Delany
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The key concept driving this novel is Babel-17, which at the novel's outset appears to be an indecipherable code being used by the Invaders, enemies of humanity. In order to break this code, the military recruits Rydra Wong, a young poet and polyglot with unusual mental abilities. - DH
A mysterious disaster has stricken the midwestern American city of Bellona, and its aftereffects are disturbing: a city block burns down and is intact a week later; clouds cover the sky for weeks, then part to reveal two moons; a week passes for one person when only a day passes for another. The catastrophe is confined to Bellona, and most of the inhabitants have fled. But others are drawn to the devastated city, among them the Kid, a white/American Indian man who can't remember his own name. The Kid is emblematic of those who live in the new Bellona, who are the young, the poor, the mad, the violent, the outcast--the marginalized. - BO

Charles de Lint

Set in contemporary Ottawa, this early de Lint novel is one of the landmarks of North American urban fantasy. It weaves together European and Native American myth through the lives of the residents of Tamson House, a sprawling Victorian structure with decidedly supernatural aspects. The residents of Tamson House discover its powers and their own as they are drawn into conflict with an ancient spiritual evil that turns out to be linked in surprising ways to the modern corporate world. Although the characters and the plotting are occasionally a bit thin, the vividness of imagination and style make this novel well worth reading. - CC

Bradley Denton

The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians (illus. by Doug Potter, intro by Howard Waldrop)
A Conflagration Artist (illus. by Doug Potter, intro by Steven Gould)
Each volume is a selection of the best of Denton's short fiction-some fantasy, some science fiction, all excellent-plus two original stories written just for these books. - BO

Philip K. Dick
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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
If you've seen Blade Runner, try to not to think about it too much; this novel has far more depth of both character and plot than the movie, not to mention actual electric sheep. Set in a post-apocalyptic, environmentally ravaged society, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is one of Dick's most powerful & consistent works. - DH
The Man in the High Castle
In Dick's alternative history, Germany and Japan have won the Second World War and divided America between them. On the West Coast, Americans are strait-jacketed by rigid Japanese protocols, while in the East, the insanity of the Third Reich holds sway. Meanwhile, in the mid-west a maverick author called Abendsen has written a book which dares to imagine Germany loosing the war. Dick's novel provides a well thought out alternative world, and finishes with a strange take on the nature of Abendsen's, and perhaps everyone's, fiction. - MS
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
By the second chapter of this novel there's a major shift in reality. Hmm, must be a Philip K. Dick novel. What would it be like if you woke up and no one remembered who you were...? - DH

Gordon R. Dickson

In Iron Years
Contains the novella, "Things Which Are Caesar's". - SP

Paul di Filippo
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Fractal Paisleys
The 10 stories in Fractal Paisleys blend alternate history, hard SF, modern fantasy, noir-detective fiction, satire, and pop culture to varying degrees, creating what the author calls "trailer park science fiction," in which regular folks (middle-, working-, and nonworking-class) encounter great and terrible powers and technologies of human, alien, futuristic, and fantastic origin. - BO
Lost Pages
Di Filippo lets his imagination run wild, creating worlds in which Franz Kafka stalks the streets of nighttime Manhattan as a costumed avenger known as the Jackdaw, or in which Anne Frank, having been sent to live with relatives in America, becomes part of MGM's galaxy of stars. - BO
A Mouthful of Tongues
It's 2015 and armed National Guard patrols stalk the urban jungles of a North America dominated by a security-obsessed, corporate-governmental complex in this apparently sincere effort to prove that the phrase "erotic SF" is not an oxymoron. - BO
Thirteen tales, 1989-95, including two previously unpublished, from the author of The Steampunk Trilogy. The stories share an impressive, carefully constructed common setting of some 70 years hence. Gene ``splices'' or human/animal hybrids are routinely produced to act as servants or to do difficult, unpleasant, or entertaining jobs. Body modifications to any specification are available. ``Tropes,'' or designer drugs, provide any desired effect from social pleasure to enhanced learning capabilities. North America is run by Canada.
Strange Trades
This splendid collection of 11 SF and fantasy stories, most of novelette length and loosely predicated on the theme of work, showcases some excellent writing from the underrated Di Filippo. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Steampunk Trilogy
Queen Victoria as a trollop-in-training whose newt-human clone serves as stand-in during Victoria's trysts? Walt Whitman as lusty seducer of an only partly reticent Emily Dickinson who loses the "Keys to the Inner Chambers of her Heart" to him? This fine and funny madness is "steampunk," a branch of cyberpunk fiction that locates itself in historical venues rather than in the future. - BO
Mirrorshades (by Bruce Sterling)
With their hard-edged, street-wise prose, they created frighteningly probable futures of high-tech societies and low-life hustlers. Fans and critics call their world cyberpunk. Here is the definitive "cyberpunk" short fiction collection. Includes story by Paul di Filippo.

Thomas M. Disch
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The stories in 334 revolve loosely around a government housing project at 334 East 11th Street in New York City in the 2020s. The project's inhabitants are universally poor, often jobless, sometimes squalid. Some are happy, others angry, depressed, or just numb. The stories study their hopes and disappointments, and all are deeply introspective. BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Camp Concentration
The unlikely hero of this piece is Louis Sacchetti, an overweight poet who's serving a five-year prison term for being a "conchie," or conscientious objector, to the ongoing war being fought by the United States. Three months into his sentence, Sacchetti is mysteriously taken from prison and brought to Camp Archimedes, an underground compound run by General Humphrey Haast. This is the so-called "camp concentration" of the book's title, a strange oubliette where inmates are given a drug that will raise their intelligence to astounding levels, though it will also kill them in a matter of months. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Cory Doctorow

Down & Out in the Magic Kingdom
Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World. Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches. Now, though, it seems the "ad hocs" are under attack. A new group has taken over the Hall of the Presidents and is replacing its venerable audioanimatronics with new, immersive direct-to-brain interfaces that give guests the illusion of being Washington, Lincoln, and all the others. For Jules, this is an attack on the artistic purity of Disney World itself. Worse: it appears this new group has had Jules killed. This upsets him. (It's only his fourth death and revival, after all.) Now it's war: war for the soul of the Magic Kingdom, a war of ever-shifting reputations, technical wizardry, and entirely unpredictable outcomes.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Stephen Donaldson

Mirror of Her Dreams
A Man Rides Through
Quiet social worker Terisa Morgan is startled in her apartment one night when a young man suddenly appears in one of her mirrors and through it into her living room. He asks her to return through the mirror with him to save the Kingdom of Mordant from destruction. In Mordant, mirrors do not show reflections of what is before them. Rather, they show images of other places or even other worlds. Those with the talent can step into the images or bring objects out of them into Mordant's world. This is the magic that has brought the young Imager Geraden to Terisa's apartment. Intrigued, Terisa steps through the mirror to find herself a pawn in the struggle to rule a kingdom faced with invasion and plagued by magical attacks from a hidden enemy. Unable to discern friends from foes, Terisa becomes entangled in a web of intrigue from which she can only escape by overcoming her sense of her own insignificance and discovering her own strength of mind. A certain amount of existential angst accompanies Terisa's struggle, but it is handled much more lightly and effectively than in Donaldson's rightly renowned Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. In Mordant, Donaldson has created a kingdom whose inhabitants have the love of life, beauty, and honor that one expects in high fantasy, but they lack the ponderous solemnity that often afflicts high fantasy heroes. In these magnificent books, the reader can recognize fairy-tale archetypes in the characters, but they are always fully and exuberantly human. - CC

L. Warren Douglas

The Sacred Pool
Raised as a boy for her own protection and to preserve her father's lands, the child known as Pierrette or Piers becomes the focus of a grand quest for knowledge. Pierrette's uniqueness results in a journey of discovery and self-awareness at a time when Christianity wars with older religions for prominence in Roman-occupied Europe. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Gardner Dozois

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Nineteenth Annual Collection (ed.)
This annual anthology remains the best one-stop shop for short fiction, and it's a must for fans of literary SF. The notion of intelligence links several stories. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Diane Duane

So You Want to Be a Wizard? (The Wizardry Series, 1)
Deep Wizardry (The Wizardry Series, 2)
High Wizardry (The Wizardry Series, 3)
A Wizard Abroad (The Wizardry Series, 4)
I simply love these books. In the first book, we're introduced to Nita and Kit, two kids who are being bullied and beaten up, and find help in a library book. (I read this as a kid, and I faithfully checked my library shelves for copies of the magic book described here. No luck yet. Still checking.) The second book takes things further, as Nita is asked to make some very difficult choices. And the third book, featuring Nita's kid sister, Dairine, takes things about as far as you can take them. The fourth book brings us back to home, and to a battle in Ireland where pretty close to all hell breaks loose. Duane is a truly marvelous storyteller; these are the sort of books that you read over and over until the pages fall out. - MM

Tananarive Due
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The Between
The Living Blood
My Soul to Keep

Denise Dumars
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Nine short stories of strangeness. - BO

Andy Duncan
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Beluthahatchie and Other Stories
Duncan's collection of stories include such topics as an ethics-obsessed secret brotherhood of hangmen and a peripatetic electric-chair operator in "The Executioner's Guild", a certain notorious Paris theater brought to life with strange romance and artistic envy in "Grand Guignol", and "The Premature Burials" finds a gothic erotic charge in being buried alive. - BO

Greg Egan

Schild's Ladder
Humanity has transcended both death and Earth, and discovered its home world is nearly unique as a cradle of life. As it spreads throughout the galaxy, humanity enjoys an almost utopian existence--until a scientist accidentally creates an impenetrable, steadily expanding vacuum that devours star systems and threatens the entire universe with destruction.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Harlan Ellison
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I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
Ellison's classic short story collection - a must read in short fiction.

Carol Emshwiller
Read her { interview | related article } in Strange Horizons.

Carmen Dog
In a world where women turn into animals and back again, there can't help but be laughter. Pooch, a dog-girl, dreams of nothing more than playing the title role in the opera Carmen. In her journeys, she comes across many interesting characters, including a snake-woman and a vicious socialite who is gradually turning into a wolverine (how apt), and all while the world around them is being turned upside down. Emshwiller's playful writing was funny; perhaps mostly in the way that it poked fun at gender roles and modern-day society. - BO
Deviating from her usual style of fantasy fiction, Emshwiller heads due west with a gripping story of a family's life in California at the beginning of the century, rife with love and torment. A rich and old-fashioned family story. - BO
Leaping Man Hill
Another strong, satisfying western from former fantasy-writer Emshwiller, and a sequel to Ledoyt: a headstrong young heroine succeeds in finding her niche in the ranch country of post-WWI California. - BO
Joy in Our Cause
Verging on the Pertinent
The Start of the End of it All
Three volumes of short stories by Carol Emshwiller all in her classic style of inventive fabulisms and feminist satires, many with a science-fictional spin to them. - BO

Sylvia Louise Engdahl

This Star Shall Abide
Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
The Doors of the Universe
It's difficult to discuss these books without giving away spoilers; they have more than a few surprising twists and turns. They start with a young man, Noren, who lives in a village and believes that a terrible injustice is being done -- that the people of his world were being deceived and exploted by the mysterious Scholars, who limit the use of machinery and the knowledge given to the people. He risks his life in a search for the truth behind the secrets of the Scholars, and what he finds in his quest is startling. What I loved about these books (and Engdahl's others) is that she pulls no punches -- her characters must struggle with genuinely difficult questions, though they are often quite young, and at times have to make exceedingly painful choices. - MM

Garth Ennis
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Preacher Series
The main character, Jesse, the "preacher" of the title, finds that he shares his body with a being named Genesis, the child of a liaison between an angel and a demon. Upon the birth of Genesis, God leaves his post in Heaven and hides on Earth. Jesse and Genesis decide to hunt down God and make him answer for the evils of Creation. (The devil has been destroyed earlier by the Saint of Killers, a gunslinger who has become the Angel of Death). Along the way, they beat up angels and human apocalyptic conspirators. Jesse himself is no saint, but he embodies the cowboy virtues. - BO

Kelley Eskridge

Ren Segura, Jackal to her friends, is the Hope of Ko Island, the world's only corporate nation state. Born at the right time, she is part of an elite group that will inherit powerful positions representing their nations in EarthGov. She has been groomed for the moment of her ascension her entire life--it is her birthright and her destiny. But a deadly secret makes her an inconvenient liability to her corporate masters and, in Solitaire, destinies are not always in the cards. Caught between corporate loyalty and self-doubt, Jackal finds herself cast away to an experimental, virtual solitary confinement program that will change her forever. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Walter Farley
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The Black Stallion
First published in 1941, Walter Farley's best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black's first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old. - BO

Nancy Farmer

The Eye, The Ear, and the Arm
Set in 2194, it's the story of the three children of the General who rules Zimbabwe. They've been neglected by their busy parents and overprotected by their stern father, who never lets them leave their heavily guarded compound, where robots serve their every need. The children, led by the oldest, Tendai, badly need an adventure -- and they want to get their Scout Explorer badge. So by slightly devious means, they manage to set out into the nearby city -- and are promptly kidnapped, just as their father feared. The story from that point on is a delightful mix of chase and adventure, as the children manage to rescue themselves, only to promptly fall into a worse trap, over and over again. Their parents are right behind, aided by three detectives, known as The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, who are thoroughly charming in their own right. - MM
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Matthew Farrell

Thunder Rift
In the late 21st century, an event happened known as "Thunder." On the night of the birth of main character Taria Spears, a massive electromagnetic pulse explodes into the space near Jupiter, creating a giant wormhole. This EMP disrupts sensitive electronics on Earth, sending it into a massive global depression. Thirty years later, the adult Taria is an anthropologist, having just barely survived the horrors of growing up. Now the Earth is renewed, and the true nature of the "Thunder Rift" is discovered, as a gateway. A gateway to serve as a bridge for humans to travel elsewhere in the galaxy...or a gateway left carelessly open to pave the way for an invading alien fleet. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Charles G. Finney

The Circus of Dr. Lao
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Magician Out of Manchuria (with Richard Salvucci)
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Lynn Flewelling
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Luck in the Shadows (The Nightrunner Series, 1)
Stalking Darkness (The Nightrunner Series, 2)
Traitor's Moon (The Nightrunner Series, 3)
THe Nightrunner Series stars Seregil and Alec, two of the most memorable rogues in current-day heroic fantasy. These swashbuckling misfits lead complicated lives, flitting between a decadent existence as gentlemen of leisure, on the one hand, and skilled professional thieves on the other. But even that is only a cover for their true calling, as spies in service to the wizard Nysander and the Skalan monarchy, undermining plots against Queen and country.

Michael Flynn

The Wreck of the River of Stars
Late in the 21st century, The River of Stars, an aging tramp freighter whose magnetic sails once plied the entire solar system, is reduced to trading in the Middle System past Jupiter.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Jeffrey Ford

The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories
In World Fantasy Award-winner Ford's enchanting first story collection, proof abounds that a fresh perspective or inventive approach can give the most familiar themes fresh life and startling clarity. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

John M. Ford
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Casting Fortune
Short story collection containing stories by John M. Ford. - BO
Dragon Waiting: Masque of History
The novel is set in an alternate history Europe, where either Constantine never converted to Christianity or Julian established the equality of all faiths, and the Byzantine Empire never declined, but in fact by the middle of the XVth century controls most of Eastern Europe and is trying to get as much of the West as possible. And magic works, and vampires exist also. I don't usually like alternate history, the real historical characters usually look unlikely next to the alternate bits, but this novel handled it perfectly, and the real historical characters of the XVth century (Richard III of England, his mother, and brothers, the Earl Rivers, Louis XI of France, the Medici, the Duke of Urbino) are a joy to read about if you have met them before. - BO
Growing Up Weightless
It's not that Matt Ronay, the protagonist of this novel, is weightless; it's just that he lives on the Moon, and he has the ability to flow gracefully through the low gravity. There's a figurative weightless to the story as well, that of Ronay's life and decisions he faces growing up as an adolescent in lunar society. Ronay, a brilliant youth, takes a trip to distant city, acts in theater and dreams of flight to far-off worlds. His father, a leader in lunar politics, doesn't always understand, though he may have had some of the same yearnings as his son. This imaginative novel won the 1994 Philip K. Dick Award. - BO
The Last Hot Time
The Last Hot Time is character-centered. It tells the story of Danny Holman, who comes from the Iowa farm-country to the city, where magic and science mingle. The reader isn't sure what drives Danny, and he's not sure either. He finds himself brought into the entourage of a Mr. Patrise, who owns a club, and who has mysterious sources of wealth and power. How much of his business is illegal, how much of his business is magical, no one knows for sure. Trained as a paramedic, Danny enters Patrise's service as a doctor, and receives his alias (few in Patrise's service go by their given names) -- Doc Hallownight. One might say that the book is about the transformation of Danny Holman into Doc Hallow. One might also say that the book is a love-story for the city of Chicago. But neither would be quite accurate. Since the reader knows no more than Danny does, and he begins the story not knowing his city, his employer, or himself, it's only retrospectively that the reader will begin to understand the plot of The Last Hot Time. - CC
Read a review of this book in Strange Horizons.
From the End of the Twentieth Century (with Neil Gaiman, ed. by Paul J. Giguere)
Short story collection containing stories by John M. Ford. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Gurps Time Travel: Adventures Across Time and Dimension (with Steve Jackson, Dan Frazier)
Role-play guide - BO

Gregory Frost
Read an { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Fitcher's Brides
A retold Bluebeard tale, 1843 is the "last year of the world," according to Elias Fitcher, a charismatic preacher in the Finger Lakes district of New York State. He's established a utopian community on an estate outside the town of Jekyll's Glen, where the faithful wait, work, and pray for the world to end.
The Pure Cold Light
Tain (The Tain Bo Cuailnge series, 1)
Remscela(The Tain Bo Cuailnge series, 2)

Kim Fryer
Read her { story } in Strange Horizons.

Sword & Sorceress XVII (ed. by Marion Zimmer Bradley)
Contains story "Price of the Sword" by Kim Fryer

Neil Gaiman

American Gods
All whimsy aside, American Gods should by rights attract attention across a vast spectrum of readers: during the past dozen or so years, Gaiman has enjoyed a career of stunning diversity, and this book feels almost self-consciously summational, a novelistic milestone set with pardonable pride and no little fanfare along the literary freeway of one of our most promising young fantasists. - BH
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house--a house so huge that other people live in it, too... round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers and the mustachioed old man under the roof Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes bored--so bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door that--sometimes blocked with a wall of bricks--opens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe. Now, if you're thinking fondly of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you're on the wrong track. Neil Gaiman's Coraline is far darker, far stranger, playing on our deepest fears. And, like Roald Dahl's work, it is delicious. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish (illus. by Dave McKean)
What would be good enough to trade for two goldfish? What about your dad? (Seems like someone's getting a raw deal) Too bad Mom isn't too happy about that. Now the children go on a long (comically hilarious) journey from house to house trying to find their wayward father or face their mother's wrath. - BO
Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett)
One of the funniest books ever written in any genre, Good Omens is Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's tongue-in-cheek take on Armageddon. Satan's servants have misplaced the Antichrist, but that won't stop the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse (War, Famine, Pollution and Death -- Pestilence retired in 1924 muttering about penicillin) from raising Hell. Fortunately for mankind, the main representatives of Heaven and Hell on earth, the angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley, have decided they like things the way they are, and made a secret pact to preserve the status quo. Unfortunately, neither of them is exactly what you'd call competent. - AH
Neverwhere's protagonist, Richard Mayhew, learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished. He ceases to exist in the ordinary world of London Above, and joins a quest through the dark and dangerous London Below, a shadow city of lost and forgotten people, places, and times. His companions are Door, who is trying to find out who hired the assassins who murdered her family and why; the Marquis of Carabas, a trickster who trades services for very big favors; and Hunter, a mysterious lady who guards bodies and hunts only the biggest game. London Below is a wonderfully realized shadow world, and the story plunges through it like an express passing local stations, with plenty of action and a satisfying conclusion. - BO
Preludes and Nocturnes (Sandman, 1) (with Michael Dringenberg, ed. by Sam Keith)
The Doll's House (Sandman, 2) (illus. by Malcolm, III Jones, ed. by K. C. Carlson)
Dream Country (Sandman, 3) (with Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Malcolm Jones III, illus. by Colleen Doran)
Season of Mists (Sandman, 4) (with Kelley Jones, Vince Locke)
A Game of You (Sandman, 5) (with Dave McKean, ed. by Bob Kahan, intro by Samuel R. Delany)
Fables and Reflections (Sandman, 6) (illus. by Dave McKean)
Brief Lives (Sandman, 7) (with Jill Thompson)
Worlds' End (Sandman, 8) (illus. by Dave McKean)
The Kindly Ones (Sandman, 9)
The Wake (Sandman, 10) (with Charles Vess, Dave McKean, illus. by Michael Zulli, Jon J. Muth)
Many people describe the Sandman books as Gaiman's greatest work. Over the course of the series, Gaiman brings together a wealth of his interests, from Jewish mysticism to Shakespeare. The sheer scope makes it one of the most ambitious group of books ever written. Indeed, like the best of fantasy, the author creates an entire new world for us to explore and enjoy. - BO
Smoke and Mirrors : Short Fictions and Illusions
An anthology of classic Neil Gaiman stories: quirky, sometimes very funny, often dark and disturbing, many hard to find elsewhere. - BO
Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. - BO
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch: A Romance (ed. by Karen Berger, illus. by Dave McKean)
In his grandfather's seaside arcade, a young boy encounters a mysterious Punch & Judy man with a dark past and a woman who makes her living playing a mermaid. As their stories unfold, the boy must confront family secrets, strange puppets and a nightmarish world of violence and betrayal. - BO

Shaenon K. Garrity

The first print collection of Shaenon K. Garrity's daily webcomic about mad scientists and gerbils and things. A handsome edition of a rather crudely-drawn strip.

Roberta Gellis

Thrice Bound
A must-have for any mythology fan. Gellis' books take traditional gods & goddesses and make them mortal, with special powers and abilities that make them seem like gods. Thrice Bound tells the story of Hekate and her escape from her father's cruelty. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Kurt R.A. Giambastiani

The Year the Cloud Fell
Here's a frozen moment from a different world. Cheyenne warriors, mounted on bipedal dinosaurs, race at speeds no horse can match to prevent the women and children of their camp from being massacred in a surprise attack by U.S. Army forces. They had left the camp undefended to journey to a parley with representatives of President George Armstrong Custer to discuss the return of his son, whom they hold hostage. Will they arrive in time? What will happen to relations between the Cheyenne and the United States as a result of this sneak attack? What will happen to relations between George Custer, Jr., and his captors, whom the younger Custer has gradually learned to respect? This is a turning point in the plot of Kurt R.A. Giambastiani's The Year the Cloud Fell: An Alternate History. - CC
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

William Gibson

Case was the hottest computer cowboy cruising the information superhighway--jacking his consciousness into cyberspace, soaring through tactile lattices of data and logic, rustling encoded secrets for anyone with the money to buy his skills. Then he double-crossed the wrong people, who caught up with him in a big way--and burned the talent out of his brain, micron by micron. Banished from cyberspace, trapped in the meat of his physical body, Case courted death in the high-tech underworld. Until a shadowy conspiracy offered him a second chance--and a cure--for a price.
Pattern Recognition
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Virtual Light
Gibson follows up the cyberpunk of the 80s with something new and inventive for the 90s - an SF adventure novel set in a wonderfully thought-out, near-future world. People living on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, bikes made of paper, and rent-a-cops driving tanks. Great eyeball kicks and memorable characters. - MJ
Rez, the lead guitarist of a world famous pop group, announces his plan to marry a software agent -- a virtual reality idol-singer, or in Japanese, idoru. In doing so he panics his management and sets in motion a chain of events involving the Russian Mafia, a 'net-runner', Rez's Seattle-based fan club and a group of cyber-anarchists hiding out in a virtual walled city.
Set in a post-earthquake Tokyo that is at once both futuristic and familiar, Idoru moves between two parallel stories with the page-turning immediacy of a thriller. On the way, the book maps out a brand name-fixated world, where every transaction throws data onto a computer somewhere, to be retrieved by someone. - MS

Molly Gloss

Wild Life
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

William S. Goldman

The Princess Bride
A superb tale of True Love and high adventure -- and cough drops. Goldman claims throughout the book that this is an abridgement of a much longer and more boring work written by Florinese political satirist S. Morgenstern; that claim is patently untrue, but Goldman's side comments make the novel both deeper and funnier than the otherwise excellent film adaptation (for which Goldman wrote the script). This book contains some of the most tense moments in swashbuckler history, as well as some of the saddest and some of the funniest. Pirates, giants, poison, fire swamps, a six-fingered man, and the Zoo of Death -- what more could anyone want? For best results, read this to yourself first, and then read it aloud to others. - JH

Hiromi Goto

The Kappa Child
The tale of four Japanese Canadian sisters struggling to escape the bonds of a family and landscape as inhospitable as the sweltering prairie heat. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Richard Grant

Rumors of Spring
An extended ecological fable set in the far future, when the world's last forest begins unaccountably to grow beyond its borders. At which point the First Biotic Crusade, or some approximation thereof, sets off from the Hoar's Bed Inn to investigate. A novel full of wonderfully absurd and likeable characters, with names I haven't seen the like of since Mervyn Peake: Trover Goodfellow, Vesica, Lady Widdershins, Groby, Commissioner Narthex, Lord Tattersall, Thrull... All this plus sungliders, heatguns, Quercus Robinia, pookas, and perhaps a forest god. Funny, charming, and magical. - JH

Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Neo Addix
Alex Gibson is an evidence chaser on the run in London. One of his eyes is a Zeiss eyecam containing enough data to blow open a messy murder trial. Unfortunately for him, two other people want this evidence. The only person who can help Alex is Johnnie T, the leader of the neoAddix.
Ashraf Bey is not who he seems--a rich Ottoman aristocrat to whom the Iskandryia of a rather different 21st century is more or less his oyster--nor is he simply what he thinks he is--a minor street criminal shipped off to North Africa when he fell foul of his employers. Accused yet again of murders he did not commit, he finds out on the run that he is better than he thinks he is--smarter and more capable and also someone whom people trust and love.
The sequel to Pashazade, Ashraf Bey is a fugitive from the US justice system (definitely); son of the Emir of Tunis (possibly); and chief of detectives in the El Iskandryian police force (apparently). Small wonder that he's a little confused... Raf's ex-fiance Zara still doesn't want to see him, so she says. His nine-year-old niece is busy doing things with computers that are strictly illegal. And when the city suddenly starts to fall apart and Zara's father is accused of mass-murder, Raf begins to learn the true cost of loyalty. - SP

Eileen Gunn
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

Everybody Has Somebody in Heaven (by Avram Davidson)
Collection of short stories by Davidson; contains biographical essay "Water from a Deep Well" by Eileen Gunn.

Joe Haldeman

The Forever War
My first real science fiction book, and it blew me away. Great action, great description of the not-too-sexy methods of space flight, even more impressive in that the book was written in the early 70s. Haldeman can do science, but he can also do characters, and he makes it all look easy. - MJ

Barbara Hambly
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Dragonsbane (Waynest Saga, 1)
Dragonshadow (Waynest Saga, 2)
Knight of the Demon Queen (Waynest Saga, 3)
Dragonstar (Waynest Saga, 4)
Barbara Hambly's trademark strong woman heroine in this tale is Jenny Waynest, a middling-fair village witch frustrated by her small powers. She teams up with her lover and the father of her children, John Aversin, when he is called away from their remote northern village to slay a dragon. Hambly takes what ought to be the typical setup for an extremely typical fantasy plot, and turns it inside out and on its head.
Dragonsbane stands alone, but it is followed by three sequels, Dragonshadow (which is at least as much about psychological suspense and horror as it is about dragons), Knight of the Demon Queen, and Dragonstar. - CP, edited by SP
The Time of the Dark (The Darwath Trilogy, 1)
The Walls of Air (The Darwath Trilogy, 2)
The Armies of Daylight (The Darwath Trilogy, 3)
These books follow two characters from Earth as we know it who are accidentally transported to a parallel universe, in which a roughly medieval civilization is struggling to survive in the face of a sudden wave of attacks by hideous alien creatures known as the Dark. These are intricate and deeply thought-through books; Hambly's world is rich and colorful, and well-informed by her years of graduate study in medieval history. Hambly's other genre work is in horror fiction, and this influence shows in the gripping suspense and horrific descriptions of the Dark, their world, and what happens when they rise.
The Mother Of Winter
Icefalcon's Quest
Based in the same world with the same characters as the Darwath Trilogy. - CP
Sisters of the Raven
Read a { review } in Strange Horizons.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 1)
The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 2)
Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 3)
The Lunatic Cafe (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 4)
Bloody Bones (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 5)
The Killing Dance (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 6)
Burnt Offerings (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 7)
Blue Moon (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 8)
Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 9)
Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, 10)
Enter the world of Anita Blake. It is very similar to the world we live in today, except that vampires are now legal citizens and lycanthropy is a disease as common as AIDS. Anita Blake works as an animator, raising zombies from the dead. But on the side she also works as a vampire executioner, and with the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team (RPIT) of the police solving the increasing number of preternatural and otherwise odd crimes. But she finds it can be hard to do her job when she has conflicting feelings for the sexy master vampire Jean-Claude, who will do anything to make Anita his. Encounters with vampires, lycanthropes, and other supposedly fantasy creatures in a surprisingly "real" and perfectly logical way makes this series popular for all ages. You'll fall in love with Jean-Claude and the spitfire Anita, as well as many other loveable (and not so loveable) creatures. - BO
A Kiss of Shadows (Meredith Gentry, 1)
A Caress of Twilight (Meredith Gentry, 2)
This book is not for the weak of heart or the inhibited. Set in a world where the supernatural is real and you can earn a doctorate in it, as well as practice case law, the frequent sexual scenes are very graphic, sometimes sadomasochistic, and incorporate some scenarios only possible in a fantasy novel. Half-blood Princess Meredith Gentry is in hiding from her mother, the Queen of the Unseelie Court, who wants her back. The "sidhe" (as the old word goes) are not your standard fantasy elves. These are elves from the original violent, disturbing, majestic Middle Age stories. President Jefferson let them into the country, and they've been here ever since. Law forbids them on pain of expulsion from being worshipped, and now they are much like the British royal family - an object of media interest and dark desire. The Unseelie Court has just one rule: anyone is welcome - no one is turned away. But their games are very, very rough. - MK

Anne Harris

Accidental Creatures
Anne Harris's second novel welcomes readers to the Detroit of the future--a city of extreme poverty and extravagant wealth, were every life is overshadowed by the megalithic biotech corporation GeneSys.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Harry Harrison

50 in 50
Some of Harrison's best short stories in fifty years of writing. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

M. John Harrison
Read an { interview } with him in Strange Horizons.

The Ice Monkey and Other Stories
Set for the most part in present day England, Harrison's stories begin like normal 'literary' fiction and then twist unnervingly away from reality. In 'The New Rays' a desperate, terminally ill woman embarks on a radical course of treatment. In 'Egnaro,' an accountant becomes drawn into the obsession of one of his clients: "a secret known to everyone but yourself." In 'Settling the World', God is discovered on the dark side of the moon and transported back to Earth, to recreate paradise. In the title story, the dismal tower blocks of inner city Sheffield are haunted by the power of voodoo. Harrison has a talent for warping the familiar into the fantastic, and after I finished these stories everything around me looked a little bit different. - MS
Beneath the unbearable light of the Kefahuchi Tract - a huge, fulminating ocean of radiant energy deep in the galaxy - three objects lie on the barren surface of an asteroid: an abandoned spacecraft, a pair of what look like bone dice, and a human skeleton. What are they, and what do they mean?
Tiptree 2002 Award Winner! - SP

Rachel Hartman

Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming
Belondweg Blossoming follows the lives of Amy and her neighbor Bran Ducanahan the summer they turn ten. Amy has begun reading the national epic, Belondweg, about a semi-mythical queen of the same name who united Goredd and saved her people from invaders. Amy only wishes her own life were half as exciting. But how is life supposed to live up to literature when your mother is a semi-domesticated barbarian, all the knights you know are banished, and the only dragon you have ever met is a geeky grad student? Join Amy as she dances the Two-foot, wears a really ugly bridesmaid's dress, becomes friends (in spite of everything!) with Bran, imitates the patron saint of ducks, flees from rampaging sheep, learns that love doesn't always conquer all, chugs buttermilk, and begins to understand that even Belondweg didn't have to save the world all by herself.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

David G. Hartwell

The Hard SF Renaissance (ed. with Kathryn Cramer
The Hard SF Renaissance asserts that hard SF has truly become the heart of the genre and supports its assertion by assembling nearly a thousand pages of short stories, novelettes, and novellas originally published between the late 1980s and early 2000s. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Lian Hearn

Across the Nightengale Floor: Tales of the Otori, Book 1
The tale begins with young Takeo, a member of a subversive and persecuted religious group, who returns home to find his village in flames. He is saved, not by coincidence, by the swords of Lord Otori Shigeru and thrust into a world of warlords, feuding clans, and political scheming. As Lord Otori's ward, he discovers he is a member by birth of the shadowy "Tribe," a mysterious group of assassins with supernatural abilities. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Robert A. Heinlein
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

The Door into Summer
One of Robert A. Heinlein's lesser-known works, The Door into Summer tells the charming story of an inventor, his cat, the double-dealing business partner and scheming fiancee who stole his greatest creation and got him cryonically frozen for twenty years, and the time machine that gave him a second chance at happiness. The title refers to the cat's conviction that if you just open all the doors in the house on a stormy winter day, one of them will lead into warm weather -- and as the novel's heart-warming ending shows, he just might be on the right track. - AH
Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land, winner of the 1962 Hugo Award, is the story of Valentine Michael Smith, born during, and the only survivor of, the first manned mission to Mars. Michael is raised by Martians, and he arrives on Earth as a true innocent: he has never seen a woman and has no knowledge of Earth's cultures or religions. But he brings turmoil with him, as he is the legal heir to an enormous financial empire, not to mention de facto owner of the planet Mars. With the irascible popular author Jubal Harshaw to protect him, Michael explores human morality and the meanings of love. He founds his own church, preaching free love and disseminating the psychic talents taught him by the Martians. Ultimately, he confronts the fate reserved for all messiahs. - BO
Engineered from the finest genes, and trained to be a secret courier in a future world, Friday operates over a near-future Earth, where chaos reigns. Working at Boss's whimsical behest she travels from far north to deep south, finding quick, expeditious solutions as one calamity after another threatens to explode in her face... - BO

Mark Helprin

Winter's Tale
Another modern fantasy spanning the entire twentieth century, with a bit of spillover into surrounding centuries on either end. This one follows the story of Peter Lake, raised by the Baymen in the wilds of New Jersey, and his flying white horse -- and perhaps more importantly, the story of the slow transformation of New York City over the course of the century. Like others among my favorite books, this one features a wealth of wonderful character names (Pearly Soames, Humpstone John, Reverend Mootfowl, Virginia Gamely), and clearly shows the author's love of words. And the side story in the first thirty pages of the chapter titled "In the Drifts" (in which Hardesty Marrata leaves San Francisco and meets Jesse Honey) may be the funniest thing I've ever read.
Somehow, Little, Big, Winter's Tale, and Rumors of Spring seem to me to go together, forming a sort of trilogy or mini-subgenre. Different authors, different styles, but interesting parallels and echoes and similarities -- especially between Little, Big and Winter's Tale. - JH

Zenna Henderson

Henderson wrote a lovely long series of stories of The People, human-looking aliens with certain special abilities who are scattered across Earth in a crash-landing. (Alexander Key's Escape to Witch Mountain was extremely closely modeled after the People stories.) The stories, many from the point of view of teachers (Henderson was herself a teacher), are wise and compelling and compassionate. Her treatment of religion can now and then be a little hard to take for non-religious people, but you don't have to be religious to appreciate the People's sense of the numinous.
These stories were published individually in magazines; most of them were later republished in two now out-of-print books (Pilgrimage (which was made into a bad 1972 TV movie, The People, starring William Shatner) and The People: No Different Flesh). A few years back, NESFA collected all of the People stories into one hardbound volume, and added one story never before published. A good overview of Henderson's work -- though it's worth noting that she wrote plenty of good non-People stories as well, collected in two other out-of-print books. - JH

Howard V. Hendrix

Lightpaths (The Lightpaths Trilogy, 1)
Standing Wave (The Lightpaths Trilogy, 2)
Better Angels (The Lightpaths Trilogy, 3)
In a self-contained city high above the Earth, four thousand permanent residents come to the startling conclusion that their orbiting complex is far from the utopia they had believed it to be. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Empty Cities of the Full Moon
In 2033, a pandemic with its origins in biotechnology annihilates most of Earth's population and destroys the underpinnings of human culture. In its wake, the rise of shamanistic magic divides humans into three races: True Humans, shapeshifting Werefolk, and genetically engineered Merfolk. Three decades later, descendants of the three groups come together to discover the shocking truths behind the great change and to try to form a new future for their suffering world. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Frank Herbert
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This Hugo and Nebula Award winner tells the sweeping tale of a desert planet called Arrakis, the focus of an intricate power struggle in a byzantine interstellar empire. Arrakis is the sole source of Melange, the "spice of spices." Melange is necessary for interstellar travel and grants psychic powers and longevity, so whoever controls it wields great influence. Dune is one of the most famous science fiction novels ever written, and deservedly so. The setting is elaborate and ornate, the plot labyrinthine, the adventures exciting. - BO

Ernest Hogan
Read an { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Cortez on Jupiter (written with Katherine S. Hogan)
High Aztec
Infected with a virus capable of infecting any human mind with religion, renegade cartoonist Zapata runs through Tenochtitlan--the erstwhile Mexico City-- pursued by the government, the Mafia, street gangs, cults, and garbage collectors.
Smoking Mirror Blues

James P. Hogan
Read an { article (01/13/03) } about him in Strange Horizons.

The Anguished Dawn
Martian Knightlife
Thrice Upon A Time
It's amazing enough when Murdoch Ross's brilliant grandfather invents a machine that can send messages to itself in the past or the future. But when signals begin to arrive without being sent, Murdoch realizes that every action he takes changes the future that would have been...and that the world he lives in has already been altered! Then a new message arrives from the future: The world is doomed!

M.C.A. Hogarth
Read her { story (11/26/01) | story (5/27/02) } in Strange Horizons.

Alysha's Fall
What is the definition of strength? At what point is there nothing more to learn than the limits of endurance? When is darkness no longer contrast to light but a suffocation, and how close to that line can a person walk before she risks her soul? Ten years after she graduated from the Fleet Academe at Terracentrus, Alysha Forrest was captain of the battlecruiser UAV Stardancer with more honor to her name than any other officer her age. But before that dawn there was a night, and it is in the darkness that souls are made...or broken. - BO

Nalo Hopkinson
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Brown Girl in the Ring
This is Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel, which came to attention when it won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. It tells the story of Ti-Jeanne, a young woman in a near-future Toronto that's been all but abandoned by the Canadian government. Anyone who can has retreated from the chaos of the city to the relative safety of the suburbs, and those left in "the burn" must fend for themselves. Ti-Jeanne is a new mother who's trying to come to grips with her as- yet-unnamed baby and also trying to end her relationship with her drug-addict boyfriend Tony. But a passion still burns between the young lovers, and when Tony runs afoul of Rudy, the local ganglord, Ti-Jeanne convinces her grandmother Gros-Jeanne to help out. Gros-Jeanne is a Voudoun priestess, and it's clear that Ti-Jeanne has inherited some of her gifts. Although Ti-Jeanne wants nothing to do with the spirit world, she soon finds herself caught up in a battle to the death with Rudy and the mother she thought she lost long ago. - BO
Midnight Robber
Midnight Robber is the most disturbing example of Hopkinson's use of the duality of parent-child interactions. The novel opens with the protagonist, Tan-Tan, living a cushy life as the daughter of the Mayor of Cockpit County on the planet Toussaint. Her only problem is the neglect she suffers from her biological parents, who brought her into the world as another pawn in their heated, passionate marriage. Tan-Tan develops a fascination with a Carnival figure, the Midnight Robber; during Carnival, the Robber stops people in the streets and tells them a fantastic tale in exchange for coins. The Midnight Robber is known for being good with words, good at coming up with outrageous, fascinating stories on a moment's notice; this kind of freedom of speech, of demanding attention, of being confident enough to know oneself worthy of such attention, is the perfect complement to quiet, almost invisible Tan-Tan. - HS
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Tanya Huff
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

The Better Part of Valor
When Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr makes the mistake of speaking her mind to a superior officer, she finds herself tagged for a special mission for the interplanetary Confederation to act as protector to a scientific exploratory team assigned to investigate an enormous derelict spaceship. Along with her crew and her charges, Kerr soon finds herself in the midst of danger and faced with a mystery that takes all her courage and ingenuity to solve. A sequel to Valor's Choice.
Of Darkness, Light, and Fire
A two-book collection of some of Ms. Huff's earlier works: Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light and The Fire's Stone. - SP
Valor's Choice
In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation--at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war.

Barry Hughart

Bridge of Birds
The Story of the Stone
Barry Hughart is highly entertaining with these two novels of "A China that Never Was". Enter a humorous Chinese empire, full of tongue-in-cheek, where superstition is represented in reality, and the Divine Beings communicate with mortals, but only in incomprehensible ways. Join Li Kao, a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Judge Bao Zheng, and his "Watson", Number 10 Ox, as they solve mysteries, depose tyrants, and help further the agenda of the Celestial beings. - PS

Alexander C. Irvine
Read his { story } in Strange Horizons.

A Scattering of Jades
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Marie Jakober

The Black Chalice
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Grant R. Jeffrey
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

Flee the Darkness (with Angela Hunt)
In a race against time, Daniel Prentice and his colleagues rush to meet a gargantuan challenge: developing computer software that could save the world from chaos when the year 2000 arrives. But as the deadline looms closer, another source of chaos--and eveil--arises from ancient roots, threatening global enslavement and terror if Daniel's plan succeeds. As Daniel struggles to fulfill his commitment, he feels his life being inexplicably torn by forces he cannot fully comprehend: his opportunity to gain worldwide power and wealth, his attraction to a beautiful woman at the center of intrigue, and the image of his humble mother, praying earnestly on her knees. Suddenly the world is spinning out of his control, people he knows are being caught up in the vortex, and nothing is what it seems. - BO

Diana Wynne Jones
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The Homeward Bounders
When They threw Jamie out to the Boundaries, he was at first too shocked and amazed to make much sense of it. He'd been told he could go Home if he found himself in the right world, but life seemed to be a succession of strange countries -some pleasant, most dangerous-where survival was all that mattered. - BO

Tim Jones
Read his { story } in Strange Horizons.

Extreme Weather Events
Extreme Weather Events is the debut book of stories by Tim Jones. The stories in Extreme Weather Events take place in a past just a little different from the one recorded in the history books ('The Pole'), in the corporate present ('Black Box', 'The New Land'), in cyberspace ('The Temple in the Matrix'), and in the future ('The Kiwi Contingent', 'Maria and the Tree'). They find a home somewhere in the uncharted region bounded by science fiction, horror, and magic realism.

Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth
For about ten years, from childhood through early college, I read this book about once a year; every time through, I understood more of the jokes in it. Calling it an allegory would make it sound far too serious; saying it contains dozens of wonderful puns would make it sound too much like a bad fantasy novel; calling it a children's book might make it sound like adults can't enjoy it. It's true that it's an allegorical children's book full of puns, but it's also much more than that. It's the story of a jaded modern boy's journey through the Lands Beyond, in search of twin princesses named Rhyme and Reason, and it's a close contender for best children's book ever, on a par with Alice. - JH

Guy Gavriel Kay
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The Summer Tree (Fionavar Tapestry, 1)
Five university students--Kimberly, Dave, Jennifer, Kevin, and Paul--meet a wizard who takes them to the heart of all worlds, Fionavar, where they discover who they were truly meant to be.
Of all the fantasy novels I've read, this is the only one which does not suffer by the inevitable comparison with The Lord of the Rings. Guy Gavriel Kay writes as beautifully as Tolkien, and his novel combines the same epic scale that made The Lord of the Rings a classic with a much more interesting human story -- Kay's characters (especially his villains) are better developed and more believable than Tolkien's. Tigana also features a much more mature treatment of love and hatred, violence and sexuality, than The Lord of the Rings (possibly because the latter was written in part for Tolkien's children). If you're going to read just one fantasy novel in your life, this is the one I'd recommend. - AH

James Patrick Kelley

Strange But Not A Stranger
A collection of thought-provoking short stories by the author. - SP
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Ward Kelley
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Divine Murder
A seraphic foray into the very depths of human nature and the soul, Divine Murder elicits disbelief suspended by the vivid resonance experienced by the reader. Though the novel is a far cry from a simplistic moralistic exposé, you'll meet up with demonic devils and perfect angels. Ardent infidelity and steadfast loyalty will bring philosophical epiphanies and there's ample underlying treachery and an appropriate dose of graphic violence. After all, the task at hand is the murder of God, a deed so diabolical it floods the mind with metaphysical questions. - BO

John Kessel
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Corrupting Dr. Nice
In John Kessel's world, time travel has given humanity a great gift: the ability to exploit an almost infinite number of alternate pasts. And exploit it they have. Sightseeing tours to the crucifixion and front row seats at Caesar's assassination are just the beginning. But nice-guy Dr. Owen Vannice just wants to bring a dinosaur named Wilma forward for study. Then he meets August and Genevieve, a father-and-daughter con artist team, and together they land in the middle of a past revolt.

Alexander Key

The Forgotten Door
Many of us are familiar with Key's other work -- the Witch Mountain books, which were made into television movies at one point. But this is my favorite of his, the story of a strange boy, Jon, who has lost his memory and does not know where he comes from, or why he can talk to animals and read people's minds. He is befriended by a family, and soon they share the danger as the greedy and unprincipled try to take advantage of the young boy and his unusual powers. Jon is one of the sweetest characters I've ever encountered in fiction, and his unusual way of looking at the world made a great impression on me at a young age. - MM

Nancy Kilpatrick

In the Shadow of the Gargoyle (ed. with Thomas S. Roche)
For centuries, they have watched over us. Leering from the arches and peaks of ancient cathedrals. Spreading their wings across hallowed doorways. Even decorating our homes in stony, silent elegance. Are they angels or demons? Sacred or profane? In the Shadow of the Gargoyle features fifteen original stories and two classic tales of the legendary gargoyle. The contributors range from bestselling masters to the hottest newcomers--award-winners, artists, musicians, and, yes, gargoyle collectors. Each of them experts at drawing blood from a stone. - BO
Graven Images (ed. with Thomas S. Roche)
In this thrilling new anthology from the editors of In the Shadow of the Gargoyle (cited by Locus as one of the year's best anthologies), today's top fantasy and horror talents take a close look at our distant idols. Ancient gods who faded into history, all that remains are the mortal-made likenesses of their images-sacred relics, holy statues, and hallowed trinkets bearing the images of those fabled gods who ruled over of all creation... Now, at last, the old gods have returned-in these all-new tales of the sacred and profane, the beautiful and grotesque, the loving and vengeful.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Stephen King

Drawing of the Three
In this book, the second of a series that's projected to take multiple volumes to complete, King hits his stride as his relentless Gunslinger character bridges our world with his own world, inhabiting humans as needed to get his job done. Great pacing and much tighter and focused than the two books in the series that followed. - MJ

Ellen Klages
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The Science Explorer (with Pat Murphy, Linda Shore)
The Science Explorer Out and About (with Pat Murphy, Linda Shore)
Bending the Landscape: Horror (by Nicola Griffith, Stephen Pagel)
Contains the story "Triangle" by Ellen Klages.
Bending the Landscape: Science Fiction (by Nicola Griffith, Stephen Pagel)
Contains the story "Time Gypsy" by Ellen Klages.

Naomi Kritzer
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Fires of the Faithful
A young violinist leads a peasant rebellion against the priests and mages who rule her country.
Year's Best Fantasy (ed. by David Hartwell, Kathryn Cramer)
This anthology of the best fantasy of 2000 includes Naomi Kritzer's "The Golem" (as well as many other excellent stories).

Ellen Kushner
Read her { interview | poem | story } in Strange Horizons.

The Fall of the Kings (with Delia Sherman)
Generations ago the last king fell, taking with him the final truths about a race of wizards who ruled at his side. But the blood of the kings runs deep in the land and its people, waiting for the coming together of two unusual men, Theron Campion, a young nobleman of royal lineage, is heir to an ancient house and a modern scandal. Tormented by his twin duties to his family and his own bright spirit, he seeks solace in the University. There he meets Basil St. Cloud, a brilliant and charismatic teacher ruled by a passion for knowledge–and a passion for the ancient kings. Of course, everyone now knows that the wizards were charlatans and the kings their dupes and puppets. Only Basil is not convinced–nor is he convinced that the city has seen its last king... - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Mercedes Lackey

Brightly Burning
Sixteen-year-old Laven Chitward's world is turned upside down when his mother is selected as a textile guild representative in the small rural community where he was raised. Moving to the capital city of Haven rips him away from his friends and boyhood pleasures, and nothing in Haven seems to fill that void. Unable to fit into the nouveau riche society, and unwilling to follow his parents into the textile guild, he finds himself adrift and depressed. His father enrolls him in a special school that will allow him to choose a trade that interests him, rather than be apprenticed against his will. There he finds himself terrorized and tortured by the boys in the sixth form until, with an awful roar, the gift of fire awakens deep within him and extracts revenge for his sadistic treatment. With the help of a unique herald, an empathetic healer and a special companion, Laven soon learns to keep his gift under control and eventually, to direct his awful firestorm as far as he can see.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Tim F. LaHaye
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The Left Behind Series (with Jerry B. Jenkins)
The Rapture of Saints has happened, where the Christians have been taken to Heaven and the unbelievers are left behind to endure the Antichrist's Tribulation. Follow the campaign of Ray Steele as he and the Tribulation Force, an underground of left-behind penitents, battle the Antichrist. - BO

Jay Lake
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Bones of the World (ed. by Bruce Holland Rogers)
Far future SF set at the end of Earth's life, including award-winning story "The Courtesy of Guests."
Polyphony, v. 1 (ed. with Deborah Layne)
Slipstream SF and literature collection.

Geoffrey Landis

Impact Parameter
Landis's first collection, which covers sixteen years worth of short fiction. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Mars Landing
In 2028 a joint NASA-private venture hopes to be third to land on and first to return safely from Mars.

David Langford

The Space Eater

Ellen Larson

The Measure of the Universe
It is 2099, and Earth has been coping fairly well with the discovery of an intelligent species on Aldebaran. That species, the Negami, has set up a small outpost in the U.S and requested that larger research teams be allowed to visit. The UN, reluctant and suspicious, decides to honor the seemingly least important request, for a lone linguist to study ancient temples and inscriptions in Greece. A canny UN consultant convinces Aisha--a sharp-tongued, blind, female expert on ancient writing under whom he studied--to partner the amiable male Negami, Titek.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Stan Lee

Essential Avengers
The saga hits the ground running with the Avengers seeking to capture superhero Captain Marvel (not the Shazam! character, published by DC, but another character) -- the good Captain being unaware that he poses a public danger thanks to having been recently subjected to a dose of radiation. This segues into a story in which the alien Kree attempt to literally devolve humanity. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Ursula K. Le Guin
Read a { related article (1/15/01) | related article (12/17/01) } in Strange Horizons.

The Dispossessed : An Ambiguous Utopia
Shevek, a brilliant physicist, defects from the anarchist colony of Anarres, back to Urras, the birthplace of his ancestors, where he is expected to deliver a theory of space travel. Shevek, however, has plans of his own. LeGuin creates two very different, equally believable worlds, and sets up a situation where an individual man can become a catalyst for change in both. - MS
The Farthest Shore
Darkness threatens to overtake Earthsea. As the world and its wizards are losing their magic, Ged -- powerful Archmage, wizard, and dragonlord -- embarks on a sailing journey with highborn young prince, Arren. They travel far beyond the realm of death to discover the cause of these evil disturbances and to restore magic to a land desperately thirsty for it.
The Lathe of Heaven
George Orr has dreams that come true--dreams that change reality. He dreams that the aunt who is sexually harassing him is killed in a car crash, and wakes to find that she died in a wreck six weeks ago, in another part of the country. But a far darker dream drives George into the care of a psychotherapist--a dream researcher who doesn't share George's ambivalence about altering reality. - BO
The Left Hand of Darkness
Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender--or both--this is a broad gulf indeed. - BO
The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
Deeply concerned with gender, these eight stories, although ostensibly about aliens, are all about ourselves: love, sex, life and alienation are all handled with illuminating grace. Le Guin's overarching theme, the journey, informs her characters as they struggle to come to terms with themselves or their worlds.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Norton Book of Science Fiction: North American Science Fiction, 1960-1990 (ed.)
A collection of sixty-seven contemporary American science fiction writers includes contributions by Poul Anderson, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, and Philip K. Dick.

C.S. Lewis
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The Chronicles of Narnia
Four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope. - BO

Shariann Lewitt

Rebel Sutra
Maya is a world controlled by a self-perpetuating aristocracy, the Changed, who maintain their superiority by tinkering with the genes of their children. This long tradition of genetic manipulation and the brain patterning that goes with it allows the Changed to interface with the Exchange, a computer-based community of blended intelligences. Those who are merely human are denied such opportunities and are consigned to the squalor of the city of Babelion. When Arsen, a young man of Babelion, meets Della, a young Changed woman--both of whom, naturally, are strong, smart, and single-mindedly rebellious--the stage is set for a galloping SF adventure. Arsen, unfortunately, gets killed (in a series of events designed to showcase the natural evil of the Changed), though not before Della becomes pregnant. Their son is Anselm, who is destined to change the world.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Jacqueline Lichtenberg
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Those of My Blood

Hal Lindsey
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Blood Moon
Hal Lindsey's first novel spans the centuries--from Genesis to the 21st century--bringing to life biblical and historical characters and creating fictional heroes and villains you will never forget. - BO

Kelly Link

Stranger Things Happen
In this collection you'll find a science fiction story, "Most of My Friends Are Two-Thirds Water," in which blond aliens who look like Sandy Duncan invade New York City. There are also ghost stories: "Louise's Ghost," "The Specialist's Hat," and "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose." "Travels With the Snow Queen" is a retold fairy tale that would make even the queen of rewritten fairy tales, Angela Carter, giddy with laughter and pleasure. "Flying Lessons" is a contemporary fantasy, set in Scotland, where the old Greek gods and goddesses have taken refuge. And "Vanishing Act" is a tale of magical realism in which a young girl learns how to make herself disappear.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Simon Logan

Read the review in Strange Horizons.

H.P. Lovecraft
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Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
A must-have for all sci-fi/horror fans, these tales are somehow related to the ancient monstrous god Cthulhu who is the inspiration for many characters today. - BO

Karin Lowachee
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A promising first novel, winner of the 2001 Warner Aspect First Novel Contest. Warchild tells the story of Jos, a young boy raised on a ship that is destroyed by pirates and learning to cope in a war-torn world. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Richard A. Lupoff

Claremont Tales
A collection of stories intended to span Lupoff's career, with pieces ranging from one of his earliest published stories in 1952 ("Mr. Green and the Monster") to a couple published as recently as 2000 and one that sees its first printing in this collection ("The Monster and Mr. Green" -- a sequel, obviously).
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Scott Mackay

The Meek
The future of humanity depends on the asteroid Ceres, where children can grow up in Earth-normal gravity. But when an engineering crew lands on Ceres, they realize that they are not alone-and not welcome.
Read the review.

Ken MacLeod

Cosmonaut Keep, (Engines of Light,1)
Dark Light, (Engines of Light,2)
Engine City, (Engines of Light,3)
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Nick Mamatas
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Northern Gothic: A Novella
Northern Gothic is the story of supernaturally crossed worlds -- Manhattan's Chelsea district of the present and New York during the Civil War draft riots. William, a young Irish immigrant trying to avoid the war, and Ahmadi, a gay man from the South trying to make it in the Big Apple, find their paths -- and destinies -- intertwined as William is sucked into the racist violence of the riots and Ahmadi is pulled inexorably into the past.
Kwangju Diary: Beyond Death, Beyond The Darkness Of The Age (with Jae-Eui Lee, Kap Su Seol)

George R.R. Martin
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A Game of Thrones, (The Song of Ice and Fire, 1)
A Clash of Kings, (The Song of Ice and Fire, 2)
A Storm of Swords, (The Song of Ice and Fire, 3)
Martin's Seven Kingdoms resemble England during the Wars of the Roses, with the Stark and Lannister families standing in for the Yorks and Lancasters. The story of these two families and their struggle to control the Iron Throne dominates the foreground; in the background is a huge, ancient wall marking the northern border, beyond which barbarians, ice vampires, and direwolves menace the south as years-long winter advances. Abroad, a dragon princess lives among horse nomads and dreams of fiery reconquest. - BO

L.A. Marzulli
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Two years ago, Art “Mac” Mackenzie was a respected newspaper journalist with a wonderful family and a bright future. Now he lives alone, fighting the temptation to drink and trying to survive as a freelance writer. His faith in God, humanity, and virtually everything else is gone. All that’s left is a pile of bills and the ache of his son’s death. Then comes the opening of the multi-million-dollar new wing of the Westwood Center, the assignment to cover it...and, on the sixth-floor psychiatric ward, a distraught patient’s fantastic tale of alien abduction and impregnation. So begins a media story with international implications—and more trouble than Mac has ever imagined. Skeptical but hot for a story, Mac follows a lead to Israel, where he comes across the remains of a nephilim: an ancient biblical giant, sired by demons and born of human women. It’s just the tip of a terrifying supernatural iceberg—for the nephilim are back. And forces beyond Mac’s comprehension will do anything to prevent him from revealing their secret. - BO

Richard Matheson

I Am Legend
This book is an excellent bit of near-future science fiction, written in the 50's, but still very much alive when read today. It is a tale of one man's struggle to survive in a world that is now alien to him, as well as to the reader. The story is well-written, and was the subject of a 1971 movie with Charleton Heston named "Omega Man". Skip the movie, and revel in the book's richness, as it reexamines an ancient concept through modern eyes. - PS

Julian May

The Many-Colored Land (The Saga of Pliocene Exile, 1)
The Golden Torc (The Saga of Pliocene Exile, 2)
The Nonborn King and The Adversary (The Saga of Pliocene Exile, 3)
The Surveillance (The Intervention Series, 1)
The Metaconcert (The Intervention Series, 2)
Jack the Bodiless (The Galactic Milieu, 1)
Diamond Mask (The Galactic Milieu, 2)
Magnificat (The Galactic Milieu, 3)
May's three linked series narrate an epic on a truly immense canvas, encompassing millions of years and two galaxies. The first series, The Saga of Pliocene Exile, tells of a group of psychological misfits. Unable to fit in to the serene and humane galactic culture of which humanity has become a part, they pass through a one-way time gate to the Pliocene epoch in search of simpler and less regulated lives. The second two-book series, The Intervention, tells of the years leading up to humanity's entry into this galactic culture through their development of metapsychic powers, and the third series, The Galactic Milieu Trilogy, tells of the turbulent first century of humanity's adaptation to the Galactic Milieu. All three series investigate humans' struggle to live with metapsychic powers, which open up nearly limitless possibilities for psychic adepts but which require them also to face their immense capacities for good and evil. That may sound trite, but the scope and depth of the series makes it possible for the books to explore basic moral categories without falling into caricature or superficiality. - CC

Anne McCaffrey
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The Ship Who Sang
Helva had been born human, but only her brain had been saved and implanted into the titanium body of an intergalactic scout ship. But first she had to choose a human partner, to soar with her through the daring adventures and exhilarating escapades in space.

Maureen McHugh Read an { interview } in Strange Horizons.

China Mountain Zhang
A great near-future novel with a plot that travels the lengths of the Earth and into Mars, with a classic main character trapped in his own intrapersonal conflicts. Well-written and smartly realized. - MJ
Mission Child
Janna's world was colonized long ago by Earth and then left on its own for centuries. When "offworlders" return, their superior technology upsets the balance of a developing civilization. Mission Child follows the journeys of Janna after she and her young partner escape marauders who attack their hometown.
A tale of 22nd century slavery in a middle-eastern-based culture, and the one servant woman's struggle to thrive. - SP

Vonda N. McIntyre


Patricia A. McKillip

The Changeling Sea
McKillip is best-known for her tremendous saga, The RiddleMaster of Hed, but you shouldn't neglect this book. In it, a young fisherwoman, Peri, weaves hexes against the sea which has stolen her father and left her mother bemused in dreams. Straightforward enough, but before long we meet Prince Kir, who yearns for the sea, a sea-dragon, bound by a chain of gold, and Lyo, a magician. And that's just the beginning. - MM
The Throme of the Erril of Sherill
"The Erril of Sherill wrote a Throme. It was a deep Throme, and a dark, haunting, lovely Throme, a wild, special, sweet Throme made of the treasure of words in his deep heart. He wrote it long ago, in another world, a vaguely singing, boundariless land that did not exist within the kingdom of Magnus Thrall, King of Everywhere. The King had Cnites to come and go for him, and churttels to plant and harvest for him, but no Cnite had ever looked up into the winking morning sky and seen Sherill..." And so it begins. - MM
Ombria in Shadow
In Ombria in Shadow McKillip interweaves the finer aspects of the fairy tale and the Gothic to evoke a sense of catharsis. Fairy tale pacing and characters are balanced carefully against the darker aspects of the Gothic setting to produce wonder, fear, and -- in the end -- renewed hope that the world not only can, but will, be a better place tomorrow. McKillip's rich mix of deft characterization, adept world building, and artistic prose forms a magnificent tapestry. - RG
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Robin McKinley
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The Blue Sword
Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate? - BO

Mark McLaughlin

Your Handy Office Guide to Corporate Monsters
Join horror naturalist Mark McLaughlin on a surfin' safari into the untamed wilds of corporate that the Walking Tree of Burundi? - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Carla Speed McNeil

Finder: Sin-Eater
Finder: Sin-Eater 2
Jaeger Ayers is a Finder, a super-scout born -- or maybe made -- for a survivor`s life. He`s an explorer whose past is a mystery to him, a loner who finds himself returning to Emma and her children, the only people in his life who feel like family.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

C.J. Merle

Of Honor and Treason
Four hundred years in the future, mankind has spread to the stars and new empires rule. The most powerful of these are the Klimar Empire, a human Imperial oligarchy, and the Norda Homelands, which is inhabited by a race of humanoid aliens who prefer to be left alone. The threat of war looms between the stars. A mad Emperor dreams of conquests, and the Norda scientist-rulers have decided to destroy the encroaching humans. Two beings, together, can stop the coming carnage. The Norda warrior-messiah can hold the Homelands at bay by defecting to the Human Lands. The richest man in three empires can thwart the Emperor's ambitious dreams--if he can keep his vast estates from the madman's control. This is the beginning of a series of books about two beings, one human, one not. They need each other to survive and succeed, but trust does not come easy.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Of Duty and Death
In Of Duty and Death, an assassin is sent out from the Norda Homelands to kill Zsar't'lac and blame it on the humans, provoking the war that Zsar't'lac is trying to stop. While the alien assassin is laying his trap, Eivaunee Dorlan is forced by the Emperor to destroy a city the Emperor has declared to be in rebellion, even though all the citizens wanted was justice and protection from their overlord's son, a violent and undisciplined lordling.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

China Mieville
Read his { interview | related article } in Strange Horizons.

King Rat
Saul Garamond returns from a journey in late evening and sneaks into his bedroom to avoid a confrontation with his estranged father. He awakes to the intrusion of police and the news that his father has been murdered and he is the number-one suspect. Forgotten in a jail cell, he is freed by a peculiar, stinking, and impossibly strong stranger--only to find rescue may be worse than imprisonment. The plot moves through subterranean and rooftop London quick as a techno beat, as Saul discovers his curious heritage and finds himself marked for death in an age-old secret war among frightful inhuman powers.
Perdido Street Station
The eccentric scientist Isaac Dan der Grimnebulin is hired to restore the power of flight to a cruelly de-winged birdman. Isaac's secret lover is Lin, an artist of the khepri, a humano-insectoid race; theirs is a forbidden relationship. Lin is hired (rather against her will) by a mysterious crime boss to capture his horrifying likeness in the unique khepri art form. Isaac's quest for flying things to study leads to verification of his controversial unified theory of the strange sciences of his world. It also brings him an odd, unknown grub stolen from a secret government experiment so perilous it is sold to a ruthless drug lord--the same crime boss who hired Lin. The grub emerges from its cocoon, becomes an extraordinarily dangerous monster, and escapes Isaac's lab to ravage New Crobuzon, even as his discovery becomes known to a hidden, powerful, and sinister intelligence. Lin disappears and Isaac finds himself pursued by the monster, the drug lord, the government and armies of New Crobuzon, and other, more bizarre factions, not all confined to his world.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Scar
In this stand-alone novel set in the same monster-haunted universe as last year's much-praised Perdido Street Station, British author Mieville, one of the most talented new writers in the field, takes us on a gripping hunt to capture a magical sea-creature so large that it could snack on Moby Dick, and that's just for starters. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Frank Miller

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Besides Watchman by Alan Moore, this was the other book that revitalized the comic-bookindustry and put the words "graphic novel" on the cultural map. Where Watchman was about the superhero as troubled human, this is about the human as mythic. Batman has come out of retirement after so long that many people only remember him as an urban myth, and like all good stories, his must have an ending one way or the other. Bruce Wayne, as his parents named him, was born from love; Batman, as he named himself, was born in violence and despair when his parents were killed in front of him. The world taught him the lesson that it only made sense when you forced it to, and he decided to become a law to himself. The story of Batman, like Robin Hood, is about the triumph of the human will and the forces that drive our lives. Frank Miller's portrayal makes for not only a great story, but a fascinating look at that theme. - MK

Alan Moore

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (with Kevin O'Neill)
In the waning days of the Victorian era, a cast of five agents is instructed to save England. Each agent had been a respected member of society, but for various reasons (divorce, drug addiction) they have all dropped out of public favor. Whom they work for is uncertain; the group's leader, Miss Murray, believes that it is the famed detective Sherlock Holmes, back from the dead.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
This was one of the two books in the mid-eighties that took the comics industry, gave it a swift kick, and let both it and the general public know that comics weren't just for kids anymore. This isn't a funny book; this is a several-hundred-page novel told with words.
Here, America won Vietnam with the aid of the superhuman, but cold war paranoia has only increased. An Act of Congress forced the costumed vigilantes of yesteryear into hiding, retirement, or government service, but now someone is killing them off, and the remainder have to solve the mystery before it's too late. Moore looks at the effects of violence and secrecy on a national and personal level, using the superhero as social commentary. (One superhuman, instrumental in Cold War policy, is named "Dr. Manhattan" because his powers came from a physics experiment.) The pictures are gorgeous, people are shown very realistically, and the humor is as dark as it is cutting. The climax is a moral dilemma where I honestly don't know how I'd have responded. - MK

Ward Moore

Bring the Jubilee
The United States never recovered from The War for Southern Independence. While the neighboring Confederacy enjoyed the prosperity of the victor, the U.S. struggled through poverty, violence, and a nationwide depression. The Industrial Revolution never occurred here, and so, well into the 1950s, the nation remained one of horse-drawn wagons, gaslight, highwaymen, and secret armies. This was home for Hodgins McCormick Backmaker, whose sole desire was the pursuit of knowledge. This, he felt, would spirit him away from the squalor and violence. Disastrously, Hodgins became embroiled in the clandestine schemes of the outlaw Grand Army, from which he fled in search of a haven. But he was to discover that no place could fully protect him from the world and its dangerous realities...

James Morrow
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

The Eternal Footman
Ever since God died, Nora Burkhart has been having a rough life. After the death of her parents and her husband's fatal heart attack she learns that her son has been stricken with a seemingly incurable disease called abulia. All the while, the skull of God grins down on her mercilessly high above Earth. She can't seem to get away from all the death that surrounds her. Death and mortality are the driving forces in this book. After God's death, His corpse floats in the ocean, deteriorating until it finally explodes, and Morrow puts the people of Earth on cleanup detail for God's body, the Corpus Dei.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Lyda Morehouse

Archangel Protocol
First the LINK-an interactive, implanted computer-transformed society. Then came the angels-cybernetic manifestations that claimed to be working God's will... But former cop Deidre McMannus has had her LINK implant removed-for a crime she didn't commit. And she has never believed in the angels. All that will change when a man named Michael appears at her door.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Pat Murphy

Adventures in Time and Space with Max Merriwell
Susan Galina is lost--and that's just the beginning of this thoroughly enjoyable journey. On the cruise ship Odyssey, Susan and her friend Pat meet writer Max Merriwell and are drawn into a series of mysteries fueled by the alarming possibility that Max's pseudonyms are somehow taking on lives of their own. The lines of reality become more blurred every day, forcing Susan to face some private monsters while Pat constructs an elegant quantum physics explanation of the growing chaos. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Donna Jo Napoli

A children's book that doesn't pull any punches, Napoli retells the classic Rapunzel story with a sense of the horror behind the betrayal. Zel begins the book a happy girl living in the mountains with her mother, whom she adores. The mother, threatened by her daughter's growing interest in a certain young man, is driven to lock her away so she can keep her little girl forever. Truly horrific, with first person accounts given by the mother, adults and children alike will quiver at the injustices put forth in this book and cheer at the dramatic, but happy, ending. - HS

Larry Niven

Saturn's Race (with Steven Barnes)
Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy turns out to be an old man impersonating his own grandson. Girl discovers diabolical plot to sterilize the Third World. Boy erases girl's memory. Intrigue upon intrigue unfolds, involving an army of ninjas, talking sharks with arms, the peculiarities of telegraphy, and a virtual Rex Stout detective who lives in an old Macintosh.
The Legacy of Heorot (with Jerry Pournelle, Steven Barnes)
Beowulf's Children (with Jerry Pournelle, Steven Barnes)
The sequel to The Legacy of Heorot. - SP

Garth Nix

Sabriel (Abhorsen Trilogy, 1)
Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead.But now her father, the Mage Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face to face with her own hidden destiny
Lirael (Abhorsen Trilogy, 2)
Who is Lirael? Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Abandoned by her mother, ignorant of her father's identity, Lirael resembles no one else in her large extended family living in the Clayr's Glacier. She doesn't even have the Sight -- the ability to See into the present and possible futures -- that is the very birthright of the Clayr. Nonetheless, it is Lirael in whose hands the fate of the Old Kingdom lies. She must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil -- one that opposes the Royal Family, blocks the Sight of the Clay; and threatens to break the very boundary between Life and Death itself. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, to help her, Lirael must find the courage to seek her own hidden destiny.
Abhorsen (Abhorsen Trilogy, 3)
Only Lirael, newly come into her inheritance as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, has any chance of stopping the Destroyer. She and her companions -- Sam, the Disreputable Dog, and Mogget -- have to take that chance. For the Destroyer is the enemy of all Life, and it must be stopped, though Lirael does not know how. To make matters worse, Sam's best friend, Nick, is helping the Destroyer, as are the necromancer Hedge and the Greater Dead Chlorr, and there has been no word from the Abhorsen Sabriel or King Touchstone. Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Andre Norton
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The Stars Are Ours!
The Stars Are Ours! showcases Andre Norton's trademarks: a young misfit protagonist; a breathless round of fights, escapes, and last-minute rescues; intriguing descriptions of strange landscapes; friendly and unfriendly aliens and alien animals; and an assurance that no matter how different you feel, you will eventually find friends and a community to value you for what you already are. - BO

Tim O'Laughlin

Phoenix Fire
On the Mendocino coast of California, strangers are brought together in a common search for past-life memories. Each finds connections to the others, and soul-mates are reunited, but danger looms on the horizon. They have been united against The One Without a Soul in lifetime after lifetime across the ages. Suddenly, Project HOPE, the small environmental group devoted to saving old-growth forests is pitted against Amalgamated Insurance and its C.E.O. Raymond Baker - this lifetime's version of their ancient foe. During past-life regressions, ancient spirits send the message that the scales are balanced. Either side can win, but if they face their fears and hold love close, Baker can be bested...and if he is, a cosmic shift in perspective brings the hope of a new, female Messiah!
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Jake Page

In 1884 only one thing stood in the way of United States expansion: the Apaches. The U.S. Army believed it could easily defeat this ragtag band of savages who viewed one another more as rivals than allies. But one of those "savages" was a military genius: Juh, "He Who Sees Ahead." It was Juh's vision that persuaded the various tribal leaders to set aside their differences and work together, thus turning the disconnected bands of warring Apaches into the most cohesive fighting force the West had ever seen--and crushing the invading army. Thus was born Apacheria--the Apache Nation--and a world where Juh and his son, Little Spring, matched wits and weapons with a cast ranging from Teddy Roosevelt and Carrie Nation to Al Capone and J. Edgar Hoover. A world where it was best to stand with the Apaches, and never against them . . .

Richard Parks

The Ogre's Wife: Fairy Tales For Grownups
Collection of short stories. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Daniel Pearlman

The Best-Known Man in the World & Other Misfits
In The Best-Known Man in the World Pearlman examines the life of William Eliot Goldsmith, who aspires to establish his place as a world renowned famous poet by obsessively recording every detail of his life for posterity.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Victor Pelevin

The Life of Insects
Pelevin sets his story in a sleazy Crimean resort town, where his characters eat, drink, make merry, make love... and turn into insects. This is no soft-focus allegory: the author is superbly specific about his entomological creations.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Ursula Pflug
Read her { story } in Strange Horizons.

Divine Realms (ed. by Susan MacGregor)
Includes a story by Ursula Pflug.
Tesseracts 8 (ed. by John Clute, Candas Jane Dorsey)
Contains story "Gone with the Sea" by Ursula Pflug

Meredith Ann Pierce
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

The Darkangel
The servant girl Aeriel must choose between destroying her vampire master for his evil deeds or saving him for the sake of his beauty and the spark of goodness she has seen in him. - BO

Jerry Pournelle

The Mote in God's Eye (with Larry Niven)
In the year 3016, the Second Empire of Man spans hundreds of star systems, thanks to the faster-than-light Alderson Drive. No other intelligent beings have ever been encountered, not until a light sail probe enters a human system carrying a dead alien. The probe is traced to the Mote, an isolated star in a thick dust cloud, and an expedition is dispatched. In the Mote the humans find an ancient civilization--at least one million years old--that has always been bottled up in their cloistered solar system for lack of a star drive. The Moties are welcoming and kind, yet rather evasive about certain aspects of their society. It seems the Moties have a dark problem, one they've been unable to solve in over a million years.

Phillip Pullman
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials Trilogy, 1)
The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials Trilogy, 2)
The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Trilogy, 3)
The books follow the adventures of Lyra and Will, two children who become caught up in a second rebellion against God (or at least, the supreme angel who has been claiming to be God) and his oppressive church on Earth. This time, the rebellion is led by humans, with angels following our lead. - BO

Mike Resnick

The Branch
The Messiah of the Old Testament was no Prince of Peace. He was expected to come with sword and fire and raze the old kingdoms to the ground. There were four signs by which he would be known. Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled only one of the signs. That was more than a dozen other would-be Messiahs could boast. Until 2047 A.D., when a grifter named Jeremiah the B fulfills them all and puts the world in more jeopardy than it’s been in since the comet hit 65 million years ago!
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
Santiago: A Myth of the Far Future
Bounty hunter Sebastian Nightingale Cain, freelance reporter Virtue Mackenzie, and art thief Swagman follow the legendary Santiago along an elusive trail through the realms of space to find him and claim the largest reward in history for his capture.
The Return of Santiago
They say his father was a comet and his mother a cosmic wind, that he juggled planets as if they were feathers and wrestled with black holes just to work up an appetite. They say he never slept, that his eyes burned brighter than a nova, that his shout could level mountains. That he killed a thousand men, and saved a hundred worlds. They called him Santiago. Bandit, assassin, rebel, thief, he strode across the galactic rim, blazing a legend as rich and wild as the Inner Frontier itself. Then, at the height of his glory, he vanished, leaving behind a trail as elusive as starlight in the empty realms of space. Now, a century later, the name of Santiago is once again whispered along the Galactic Rim.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Alaister Reynolds

Chasm City
When security specialist Tanner Mirabel loses a client, killed by an assassin named Argent Reivich, he sets off on a manhunt to bring Reivich to justice. His search leads him to the domed community of Chasm City, located on the planet Yellowstone. There he confronts the city's strange, mutated inhabitants victims of a nanotechnological virus and ultimately comes up against his own worst fears and inner demons.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Anne Rice

Interview with the Vampire
The Vampire Lestat
The Witching Hour
Just when you thought it was safe for a bloodsucker to go out in the dark in New Orleans, along comes Merrick Mayfair, a sultry, hard-drinking octoroon beauty whose voodoo can turn the toughest vampire into a marionette dancing to her merry, scary tune. In Merrick, Anne Rice brings back three of her most wildly popular characters--the vampires Lestat and Louis and the dead vampire child Claudia--and introduces them to the world of her Mayfair Witches book series.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

John Maddox Roberts

King of the Wood

Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Mars (The Mars Trilogy, 1)
Green Mars (The Mars Trilogy, 2)
Blue Mars (The Mars Trilogy, 3)
Robinson's Mars Trilogy is an impressive accomplishment, an intricate exploration of the colonization & terraforming of Mars in the late 21st century. The series features great, even extreme detail about both the technology used to support human life and transform Mars as well as the Martian landscape itself; there are some spectacular scenes as the environment begins to change. By shifting the point of view to different characters, Robinson creates a multifaceted vision of the development and growth of the Mars colony. - DH
The Years of Rice and Salt
Read a review in Strange Horizons.

Spider Robinson

The Callahan Chronicles
This is a must-have for anyone who understands the value of empathy, compassion, and really rotten puns. All of Spider Robinson's Callahan's Place stories are here collected in a single volume, along with Robinson's previously unpublished (outside of cyberspace) toast to the alt.callahans newsgroup. If you're already familiar with the wholly remarkable bar where shared joy is increased, shared pain is lessened, and absolutely anything can happen (and probably will, sooner or later), you'll want to pick this up as soon as possible. And if you've never read a Callahan's story before, then I envy you, because you can start, while I've already finished. - AH

Justina Robson
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Mappa Mundi
In the near future, when medical nanotechnology has made it possible to map a model of the living human brain, radical psychologist Natalie Armstrong sees her work suddenly become crucial to a cutting-edge military project for creating comprehensive mind-control. On the other side of the Atlantic, Jude Westhorpe, FBI specialist, is tracking a cold war defector long involved in everything from gene sequencing to mind-mapping. But his investigation has begun to affect matters of national security -- throwing Jude and Natalie together as partners in trouble.
Natural History
In the far future, humanity has engineered itself into new forms capable of spaceflight, the terraforming of planets, and the exploration of the deepest oceans. Evolution has reached a new zenith, and it seems there is no environment we cannot conquer. But when intersteller voager meets apiece of alien technology in a head on collision, the results go to show that the synthesis of the human race and its own technology is not the first or the most advanced of its kind in the galaxy.
Silver Screen
Ray Croft may or may not have been a genius. On his death he left behind a court case that could destroy everything he had worked for, and a rival who's about to live out Roy's dream, but turning himself into a machine. He also left a special mystery which only one person alive can solve.

Warren Rochelle

The Wild Boy
Humans have domesticated animals for thousands of years; in this novel, a spacefaring race descends on Earth to domesticate humankind. The Lindauzi came to Earth at the turn of the millennium with a mission to breed humans to become their emotional symbionts. Technically superior, within a generation the Lindauzi dominate the Earth, running a breeding program designed to produce humans capable of full emotional symbiosis. This is the story of Ilox, a human raised by the Lindauzi, his banishment and adoption by a tribe of wild humans, and his eventual reunion with his Lindauzi bond-mate, Phlarx. While alien invasion is a common plot in science fiction, this fresh voice breathes new life into such a story, focusing on the theme of what it means to be human.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Bruce Holland Rogers
Read his { story } in Strange Horizons.

Bedtime Stories to Darken Your Dreams (ed.)
Anthology of short stories.
Flaming Arrows
Short story collection.
Wind Over Heaven
From dark fairy tales to creepy science fiction to a theological mystery set in the Old West, the mind of Bruce Holland Rogers takes you to territories of the bizarre: Wall Street, Suburbia, and Mexico. In the Nebula Award-nominated story "These Shoes Strangers Have Died Of," a World War II veteran confronts the perpetrators and victims of genocide, and the would-be perpetrators, through his art. The title story, "Wind Over Heaven," exposes the weird underside of the upscale restaurant business. And the 1998 Bram Stoker Award-winner "The Dead Boy at Your Window" (which also won a Pushcart Prize for literary fiction) takes readers on a journey to the land of the dead like no other.

Joel Rosenburg

The Sleeping Dragon (Guardians of the Flame, 1)
The Sword and the Chain (Guardians of the Flame, 2)
The Silver Crown (Guardians of the Flame, 3)
The Heir Apparent (Guardians of the Flame, 4)
The Warrior Lives (Guardians of the Flame, 5)
The Road to Ehvenor (Guardians of the Flame, 6)
A must for the RPG/fantasy fan! Mr. Rosenburg paints a group of players and their characters as they travel through a rich world, and learn that everything is not ideal in living out the fantasy adventuring life. Mr. Rosenburg also explores the effects of modern knowledge on a fantasy world. This series sparked a large amount of imitation, but I've seen few that stand up to this standard. - PS

Jane Routley
Read her { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Mage Heart
Fire Angels
The narrator is a young woman taught magery in a patriarchal culture which (of course) doesn't permit women to be mages. Routley's fantasy-Renaissance-and-magery plot questions our expectations of romance and fantasy stereotypes, and her portrayals of Dorian and the people around her---friend and foe alike---have more depth than many established writers'. The center of the story is Dorian's inner struggle to reconcile her experiences and her training, and the unified resolution of the action and Dorian's conflicts is satisfying.

Michael Rowe

Queer Fear
Okay so if you're gay and into horror or dark fantasy you will feel compelled to buy this book and read it.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling's imaginative Harry Potter series has captured the hearts and minds of young and old alike. In the nonmagic human world--the world of "Muggles" -- 10 year old Harry Potter is a nobody, treated like dirt by the aunt and uncle who begrudgingly inherited him when his parents were killed by the evil Voldemort. But in the world of wizards, small, skinny Harry is famous as a survivor of the wizard who tried to kill him. He is left only with a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, curiously refined sensibilities, and a host of mysterious powers to remind him that he's quite, yes, altogether different from his aunt, uncle, and spoiled, piglike cousin Dudley. - BO
Read the review of Goblet of Fire in Strange Horizons.

Fred Saberhagen
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

A Coldness in the Blood
Matthew Maule has seen many horrific things in his five hundred years as one of the most powerful vampires in the world. But even his formidable talents cannot predict the unthinkable acts about to occur within his own home. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.
The Dracula Tape
Count Dracula tells his own version of his fateful journey to England in 1891, presenting a surprising revision to the well-known tale. - BO

Lawrence Sanders

The Tomorrow File
In a nightmarish future where sex is planned but violence is random, a man and a woman are hunted as criminals for committing the unthinkable act of falling in love.

Pamela Sargent
Read a { related article (6/17/02) | related article (7/01/02) } in Strange Horizons.

Venus of Dreams
Venus of Dreams is the Venusian analogue of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars: a realistic and entertaining story of what it might be like to make a new planet habitable for humans, including the science, the politics, and the individual human drama. Iris Angharads is from the Plains Nomarchy in what used to be the United States. As a child, she dreams of working on the Venus Project instead of taking over the communal farm run by her mother. She and her significant others struggle with issues of ambition, family commitments, and what is worth sacrificing in order to attain your dream. - BO
Women of Wonder (ed.)
From C. L. Moore's 1944 pulp-magazine novella about cyborgs to Joan D. Vinge's 1978 tale of a spacewoman's triumph, eighteen well-known and obscure stories by and about women are accompanied by new introductions and bibliographies.

Robert Sawyer

Ponter Boddit, a physicist in a world in which Neanderthals are the dominant primates, is performing a quantum computing experiment in a Canadian mine, where cosmic rays won't disturb the test's delicate parameters. Suddenly, he is transferred into a heavy water tank in the same mine, but in the universe in which humans predominate. Human scientists are alarmed, then amazed by the spluttering Neanderthal in modern clothing with a curious AI implant in his wrist. Ponter's scientific partner, Adikor, is equally shocked, but what's more, he now faces an inquiry into his best friend's disappearance and suspected murder. Ponter is a most winning creation--thoughtful, brave, and charming as, facing the loss of everything he loves, he befriends a wounded female scientist in the strange human world. The smaller-scale, peaceful, environmentally savvy world of Ponter's people is equally well realized, though Sawyer loses a little steam trying to pin humanity's woes on organized religion. - BO
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Melissa Scott

Point of Dreams (with Lisa A. Barnett)
In the alternate Renaissance world of Point of Dreams, the dead return with the ghost-tide to haunt the living, and when a ghost fails to appear, it may mean the person was murdered. Though a dead judge's ghost is missing, the regents of the city of Astreiant forbid Pointsman Nicolas Rathe to investigate. And that's not the detective's only problem. His suddenly homeless partner is moving in with him. The city is in a frenzy over a popular play, "The Drowned Island," and the dangerous spell book it has popularized. His assigned case, an actor's murder, appears unsolvable--the actor drowned in a theater in which there is no water. And another body has just been found in the theater.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Robert Sheckley
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The Wonderful World of Robert Sheckley
An outstanding collection of his best stories from the 50s, including 'Seventh Victim', 'The Prize of Peril', and one of my favorites, 'Skulking Permit'. Sharp, satirical, sometimes plain goofy, always thought-provoking. Highly recommended, if you can find it. - DH
Immortality, Inc.
This novel was the basis for the movie Freejack.
Soma Blues
Ace science fiction author Robert Sheckley also writes mysteries--most recently a wry and atmospheric series about Hob Draconian and the Alternative Detective Agency. This latest book in the series takes Hob through some evocative landscapes--Paris, London, Ibiza--in search of stolen art and a dangerous new drug. As usual, Sheckley is able to produce an array of chuckles and chills with the apparent effortlessness of a magician releasing pigeons from his empty hands.

Arthur Fenn is an ordinary young professor with an esoteric specialty, Comparative Mythology. He is in financial trouble and suddenly finds himself in possession of a magical spell that allows him access to the realm of the gods. He may be a professor, but he's got no common sense--so when he goes there, he makes the mistake of inviting a con-man god and his companions back to Earth. What develops is a fantastic mess full of rich opportunities for humor, satire, and surprise.

Mark Siegel

Echo and Narcissus
In Echo and Narcissus, Mark Siegel's debut dark fantasy, a singer and her songwriter companion plunge into the seamier side of the New Orleans music world, but the real test comes later in L.A., where they must contend with the supernatural.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Robert Silverberg
Read his { interview } in Strange Horizons.

The Man in the Maze
In this novel, Silverberg combine the themes of Big Alien Artifact and Big Moral Dilemma to create a taut, entertaining story of men trying to make their way through physical and ethical mazes. As is sometimes the case with his novels of the late 60s and early 70s, the climax and denoument are a bit abrupt, but that's probably because Silverberg does a fine job of drawing the reader into his world, leaving one wanting more. - DH

Curt Siodmak
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Donovan's Brain
This is the first book to feature a brain being kept alive outside its body. It starts off as a sci-fi novel, in which a scientist experiments on keeping brains alive after death, but then it turns into a bit of a horror novel, much the way the first "Alien" movie did, starting with when he gets the brain of a millionaire who died in a plane crash nearby... Well, I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I'll just end it there. - BO

Cordwainer Smith

The Rediscovery of Man : The Complete Short Fiction of Cordwainer Smith
Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, better known as Cordwainer Smith, was one of the great prose stylists of sf. This NESFA hardcover collects all of the short stories in his vast Instrumentality of Mankind future history, tracing Smith's vivid imaginings from the largely Chinese-ruled First and Second Ages of Space, through the discovery of the longevity drug Stroon on Old North Australia, through the creation of the sentient-mutated-animal underpeople and their long struggle for rights, to the post-utopia Rediscovery of Man. Linebarger spoke Chinese fluently (he was raised in China, and Sun Yat-Sen was his godfather), and the sounds of his stories are heavily influenced by Chinese words and styles. He was a diplomat and a professor, and his stories have a richly developed political background, though none are strictly about politics. His work is unique, and not as well-known these days as it should be. - JH

Wen Spencer

Alien Taste
Living with wolves as a child gave tracker Ukiah Oregon a heightened sense of smell and taste. Or so he thought-until he crossed paths with a criminal gang known as the Pack. Now, Ukiah is about to discover just how much he has in common with the Pack: a bond of blood, brotherhood...and destiny.

Nancy Springer

I Am Mordred
In I Am Mordred, Nancy Springer brings the central father-son conflict of the Arthurian saga vividly alive. Teen fantasy fans will be familiar with the background events: the young King Arthur, unaware, bedded his half sister Morgause and conceived the child Mordred, who according to the wizard Merlin, was fated to destroy his father and the kingdom. Goaded by Merlin, Arthur attempted to have the baby killed, but was foiled by the intervention of the good sorceress Nyneve and the evil sorceress Morgan le Fay. Years later Mordred arrives at Camelot and becomes a knight of the Round Table. Springer focuses on Mordred at age 15, as he struggles against his destined fate of killing the king and father he both loves and hates. In an adventure story festooned with the golden bells of enchantment, Mordred undertakes a quest in the Forest Perilous to save Arthur's life and his own soul, but ultimately fails.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

Brian Stableford
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Inherit the Earth
In the twenty-second century, biomedical nanotechnology has given everyone in the world long life and robust health. It is the New Utopia, and all live in the expectation that true immortality will soon be realized. Damon Hart, son of the scientist responsible for much of the wonders of the new world, would rather forget his famous father and get on with his own life. But a shadowy terrorist group forces Damon to confront his heritage, launching a cat-and-mouse game that pits Damon against the terrorists, Interpol, and the powerful corporations that control the biotechnology of the future...a game Damon is ill-equipped to survive.

Ian Stewart

Flatterland: Like Flatland, Only More So
With Flatterland, Ian Stewart, an amiable professor of mathematics at the University of Warwick, updates the science of Flatland, adding literally countless dimensions to Abbott's scheme of things. Along his fictional path, Stewart touches on Feynman diagrams, superstring theory, time travel, quantum mechanics, and black holes, among many other topics. And, in Abbott's spirit, Stewart pokes fun at our own assumptions, including our quest for a Theory of Everything.

Sean Stewart
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

Nobody's Son
An award-winning novel tells the story of a peasant who is rewarded by the king for breaking an age-old curse on the kingdom, only to find that living happily ever after is not so simple. - BO

Brad Strickland
Read a { interview } in Strange Horizons.

Dragon's Plunder
Kidnapped by pirates who seek to use his magical ability to call up the winds, Jamie embarks on a voyage to a mysterious island, protected by fierce winds and reputed to be the home of a dragon.
To Stand Beneath the Sun

Whitley Strieber
Read a { related article } in Strange Horizons.

The Hunger
Eternal youth is a wonderful thing for the few who have it, but for Miriam Blaylock, it is a curse -- an existence marred by death and sorrow. Because for the everlasting Miriam, everyone she loves withers and dies. Now, haunted by signs of her adoring husband's imminent demise, Miriam sets out in serach of a new partner, one who can quench her thirst for love and withstand the test of time. She finds it in the beautiful Sarah Roberts, a brilliant young scientist who may hold the secret to immortality. But one thing stands between the intoxicating Miriam Blaylock and the object of her desire: Dr. Tom Haver...and he's about to realize that love and death to hand in hand. - BO

Cecilia Tan
Read her { interview | story } in Strange Horizons.

Black Feathers: Erotic Dreams
A debut collection featuring 23 tales devoted to erotic fantasy.
Telepaths Don't Need Safewords by Cecilia Tan
This little pamphlet collection of short stories focuses on BDSM, fantasy, and erotica with just a splash of horror for good measure.

Sheree R. Thomas

Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora
Dark matter: the nonluminous matter, not yet detected, that nonetheless has detectable gravitational effects on the universe.
Dark matter: the Afro-American presence and influences unseen or unacknowledged by Euro-American culture.
Dark Matter: the first anthology to illuminate the presence and influence of black writers in speculative fiction, with 25 stories, three novel excerpts, and five essays.

James Thurber

Many Moons
James Thurber's classic children's fairytale is the simple but charming story of a young princess who desires one of the few things her royal father's wealth and power apparently cannot get for her: the moon. All the wise men of the court try to get it for her, and then explain (hilariously) why the task is impossible--how big and far away the moon is, and what exotic substances it's made of (including, of course, the proverbial green cheese). Only the king's fool has the sense to ask the princess what she thinks the moon is like....Thurber's beautiful writing is complemented in the hardcover edition by Louis Slobodkin's Caldecott Medal-winning watercolors. There's also a paperback edition illustrated by Marc Simont (who did the illustrations for Thurber's longer fairytale The Thirteen Clocks), but I'd recommend the hardcover version, as I think that Slobodkin's whimsical style best fits the mood of the story. - AH

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, 1)
The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, 2)
The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, 3)
The Silmarillion
These books perhaps need no introduction, but what shelf of speculative fiction would be complete without them? The Lord of the Rings, deservedly the best-selling work of fiction of the twentieth century, invented the genre of epic fantasy, and it remains one of the greatest works in the genre. Once you've read The Lord of the Rings you'll see where so many epic fantasy series have gotten their inspiration. Readers might do well to begin with The Hobbit, a classic children's fantasy that introduces readers to hobbits through the story of Bilbo Baggins, who joins thirteen dwarves and a wizard on a quest to recover the dwarves' treasure, stolen long ago by the great dragon, Smaug. The Lord of the Rings tells the story of another generation of hobbits, Bilbo's heir Frodo and his friends, who must likewise undertake a perilous quest, but one of much greater danger and consequence than Bilbo's. - CC
The Lord of the Rings Store at Amazon
The literary sensation of the 20th century will soon become the motion-picture event of the 21st century with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in the long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's acclaimed trilogy. And has built a store entirely devoted to this event, with books, toys, CDs, and more fantastic fantasy products for which your customers would slay a dragon.

Harry Turtledove

The Guns of the South: A Novel of the Civil War
January 1864--General Robert E. Lee faces defeat. The Army of Northern Virginia is ragged and ill-equpped. Gettysburg has broken the back of the Confederacy and decimated its manpower. Then, Andries Rhoodie, a strange man with an unplaceable accent, approaches Lee with an extraordinary offer. Rhoodie demonstrates an amazing rifle: Its rate of fire is incredible, its lethal efficiency breathtaking--and Rhoodie guarantees unlimited quantitites to the Confederates. The name of the weapon is the AK-47...
Worlds That Weren't (with Walter Jon Williams, S. M. Stirling, & Mary Gentle)
Alternate history short stories and novellas.
Read the review in Strange Horizons.

A. E. Van Vogt

The World of Null-A
It is the year 2650 and Earth has become a world of non-Aristotelianism, or Null-A. This is the story of Gilbert Gosseyn, who lives in that future world where the Games Machine, made up of twenty-five thousand electronic brains, sets the course of people's lives. Gosseyn isn't even sure of his own identity, but realizes he has some remarkable abilities and sets out to use them to discover who has made him a pawn in an interstellar plot.
Read a review in Strange Horizons.

Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep
A Deepness in the Sky
Faster-than-light travel remains impossible near Earth, deep in the galaxy's Slow Zone--but physical laws relax in the surrounding Beyond. Outside that again is the Transcend, full of unguessable, godlike "Powers." When human meddling wakes an old Power, the Blight, this spreads like a wildfire mind virus that turns whole civilizations into its unthinking tools. And the half-mythical Countermeasure, if it exists, is lost with two human children on primitive Tines World.
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Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Cat's Cradle
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Mother Night
Set in Nazi Germany during World War II, this short novel explores allegiance, morality, and honesty, and what their worth and meaning are in extreme circumstances. This book will spark serious doubts in many people as to the way they live their lives, and what they hold dear in life and in themselves. The story is told in Vonnegut's usual gripping style, with past and present events told as needed to make the story flow. - PS

Ray Vukcevich
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Meet Me In the Moon Room
This is a short fiction collection from Small Beer Press. You can read samples and many flattering things about the book on the publisher's web site.
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Howard Waldrop
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Going Home Again
A collection of Waldrop's short stories.
Dream Factories and Radio Pictures
What if the post-apocalyptic world was inherited by the android avatars of a famous duck, mouse, and dog? What if every '50s Bugarama monster-movie nightmare came true at once? What if Cloudbuster pioneers had transformed the arid American Southwest into a subtropical paradise?
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Jo Walton
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The King's Peace
Battle-hardened, older and wiser, the warrior Sulien ap Gwien has become lord of her own bit of land and wants nothing more than a quiet life. Ill fortune and an evil sorcerer who'd not been dealt with years earlier, however, return her to the saddle and a civil war that could break King Urdo's peace and leave the kingdom a shattered ruin. Brother turns against brother or in this case, sister against sister. Sulien survives her poisoning only to wonder why her sister hates her the answer makes her wish she'd remained poisoned. In the end, the cost of battle is felt by every person in the land. No one will ever be the same, especially Sulien ap Gwien.
The King's Name
War is a tough subject to do well, but in this gritty, moving second and final book in the saga of Tir Tanagiri, British author Walton makes the strife of civil war not only believable but understandable. Battle-hardened, older and wiser after her adventures in The King's Peace, the warrior Sulien ap Gwien has become lord of her own bit of land and wants nothing more than a quiet life. Ill fortune and an evil sorcerer who'd not been dealt with years earlier, however, return her to the saddle and a civil war that could break King Urdo's peace and leave the kingdom a shattered ruin. Brother turns against brother or in this case, sister against sister. The novel opens: "The first I knew about the civil war was when my sister Aurien poisoned me." Sulien survives her poisoning only to wonder why her sister hates her the answer makes her wish she'd remained poisoned.
The Prize in the Game
Out of the Celtic twilight, that gold mine of romance lore for contemporary fantasists, comes Walton's retelling of the wooing of Emer, set in the same world as her first two novels, The King's Peace and The King's Name. This story, an expansion of a passage in The King's Peace, follows a group of noble-born youngsters on the cusp of adult warriorhood, their relationships as intertwined as a Celtic knot, in a brawling, bloodthirsty culture where gods stoop to speak with men. Just as one form shifts to another in Celtic art, Walton constantly shifts the point of view as she traces the early careers of beautiful Elenn and Emer, her younger charioteer sister, princesses of Connat being fostered in Oriel for a year; sardonic Conal; the wild dream-ridden Darag; and gentle Ferdia of Lagin, who loves Darag to his own destruction. When a horrible accident causes the death of a warhorse and in revenge the Beastmother goddess Rhiannon curses Oriel, political alliances shatter and reform among these distrustful kingdoms. It seems that Celts, male and female alike, would rather fight than eat. Walton sure-handedly evokes a primitive realm where the Otherworld seamlessly impinges upon reality, bringing sounds, smells, sorrow, hatred and burning love to life as powerfully as the thrust of a barbed spear. She also captures the terrible beauty of a warrior race in an outworn time, struggling, in Yeats's phrase, to come clear of the eternal nets of wrong and right.
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Ian Watson

The Great Escape
This collection of 19 stories by Hugo- and Nebula-finalist Watson showcases the author's knack for contemporary dark fantasy, often blended with an SF chaser. - BO
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Peter Watts

Peter Watts's first novel explores the last mysterious place on earth--the floor of a deep sea rift. Channer Vent is a zone of freezing darkness that belongs to shellfish the size of boulders and crimson worms three meters long. It's the temporary home of the maintenance crew of a geothermal energy plant--a crew made up of the damaged and dysfunctional flotsam of an overpopulated near-future earth. The crew's reluctant leader, basket case Lenie Clarke, can barely survive in the upper world, but she quickly falls under the rift's spell, just as Watts's magical descriptions of it enchant the reader: "Steam never gets a chance to form at three hundred atmospheres, but thermal distortion turns the water into a column of writhing liquid prisms, hotter than molten glass."
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Irvine Welsh

Okay, so it's not spec fic, but it could be. There's world-building (the drug culture in Scotland), there's an unfamiliar language (much of the novel is written in dialect), and there are characters who act in a way pretty much alien to the rest of the world (Spud, Sick Boy, Rentz, Mother, etc.). A more rewarding experience than the movie, and I really enjoyed the movie. The book, of course, is even better. - MJ

Leslie What

The Sweet and Sour Tongue
Short story collection

Kate Wilhelm

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
One of the most celebrated novels on the subject of cloning. Wilhelm tackles the greater problem of asserting one's own individuality in a society where differences are both feared and desperately needed. A classic must-read. - HS

Tad Williams
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Child of an Ancient City
During the reign of the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, a caravan of soldiers sets forth from Baghdad on a dangerous mission to the lands of the north. Bandits fall upon them in the night, scattering their horses and stranding the party in the desolate mountains. But the worst is yet to come. For these hills are stalked by an ancient and powerful vampyr. One by one, the men are slain by the monster. Then, surprisingly, the vampyr challenges the survivors to a contest: Whomever tells the saddest story shall go free. Only this way can any of them hope to escape alive. But the vampyr has a story of his own to tell...
Tailchaser's Song
The story of Fritti Tailchaser, a courageous tom cat in a world of whiskery heroes and villains, of feline gods and strange, furless creatures called M'an.
The Dragonbone Chair (The Memory, Shadow, and Thorn Series, 1)
Stone of Farewell (The Memory, Shadow, and Thorn Series, 2)
To Green Angel Tower, Part 1 (The Memory, Shadow, and Thorn Series, 3)
To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (The Memory, Shadow, and Thorn Series, 4)
An epic fantasy trilogy with all the magic, wonder, and magnificence of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. A young magician's apprentice's dreams of adventure come true when his world is torn apart by war and dark sorcery.
City of Golden Shadow (The Otherland Series, 1)
River of Blue Fire (The Otherland Series, 2)
Mountain of Black Glass (The Otherland Series, 3)
Sea of Silver Light (The Otherland Series, 4)
A far-reaching cyberpunk saga with Renie Sulaweyo, a teacher in the South Africa of tomorrow, realizing something is wrong on the network. Some of the younger kids, including her brother Stephen, have logged into the net, but they can't get back out. The clues point to a mysterious golden city called Otherland, but everyone who tries to find out what's going on ends up dead.
Tad's online serial. The first 5 chapters are free, then you have to pay a fee to read the rest. But the page is worth checking out, especially for the "Interact" section with many, many reader forums on all kinds of subjects.
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Jack Williamson

The Humanoids
On the plant Wing IV, a brilliant scientist creates humanoids--sleek black androids programmed to serve humanity. But they follow their program with ruthless efficiency, and the planet's inhabitants soon succumb to the humanoid's velvet-gloved tyranny. Only a group of rebels on a distant world can stem the humanoid tide--if it's not already too late.

Connie Willis

A sociologist who studies fads and a chaos theorist are brought together by a strange misdelivered package.
Doomsday Book
A history student in 2048 is transported to an English village in the 14th century. The student arrives mistakenly on the eve of the onset of the Black Plague. Her dealings with a family of "contemps" in 1348 and with her historian cohorts lead to complications as the book unfolds into a surprisingly dark, deep conclusion.
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Willis combines a hard-sf approach to time travel, an expert historian's love of "what-if" chronologies, and the hilarious turn-of-the-century aesthetic of authors such as Jerome K. Jerome and P.G. Wodehouse. Mixing romantic intrigue, specualtion on all manner of historical details, and a disaster that threatens the existence of the world, this is one of the finest works of comic sf ever written.
A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures by and About Women (ed. with Sheila Williams)
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Robert Charles Wilson

The Perseids and Other Stories
A collection of Wilson's stories.
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Laurel Winter
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Growing Wings
When 11-year-old Linnet discovers she is growing wings, her bewilderment is confounded by her mother's obvious distress. As it turns out, her mother also grew wings on the cusp of adolescence, only to have them cut off by her mother. Linnet's life seems to speed up rapidly after her shocking discovery; she soon finds herself alone on her estranged grandmother's doorstep, and shortly thereafter, at a type of secret residence for winged people like herself. As she tries to adapt to a life she never expected, Linnet struggles with desires common to anyone who has ever wanted desperately to fit in, while simultaneously seeking to embrace uniqueness.

Gene Wolfe
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Shadow & Claw (The Book of the New Sun, 1)
Sword & Citadel (The Book of the New Sun, 2)
The Urth of the New Sun (The Book of the New Sun, 3)
This is the first-person narrative of Severian, a lowly apprentice torturer blessed and cursed with a photographic memory, whose travels lead him through the marvels of far-future Urth, and who eventually becomes his land's sole ruler or Autarch. - BO

Jack Womack

Let's Put the Future Behind Us
Ex-bureaucrat-turned-successful Moscow businessman Max Borodin confronts the trials and tribulations of post-Soviet Russia as he copes with a nagging wife, exhausting mistress, troublesome brother, and the Russian mafia.
A troubled couple sets out from a dismal future to retrieve Elvis Presley from an oddly different 1954. They need the King to be a savior to what's left of humanity, but he's a murderous freak with no desire to be anyone's god.

John C. Wright

The Golden Age
In the far future, humans have become as gods: immortal, almost omnipotent, able to create new suns and resculpt body and mind. A trusting son of this future, Phaethon of Radamanthus House, discovers the rulers of the solar system have erased entire centuries from his mind. When he attempts to regain his lost memories, the whole society of the Golden Oecumene opposes him. Like his mythical namesake, Phaethon has flown too high and been cast down. He has committed the one act forbidden in his utopian universe. Now he must find out what it is--and who he is. - BO
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John Wyndham

The Day of the Triffids
The triffids are large carnivorous plants, bred for their oil. In spite of their potentially lethal sting and ability to walk, they are initially treated as a novelty. However, the triffids are far more cunning than anyone had first realized... Written in the early 1950s, Wyndham's apocalyptic novel reflects the fears of the cold war period and paints a believable picture of the certainties and comforts of modern life slowly falling apart. - MS

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
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Hotel Transylvania
These are the first two volumes in Yarbro's series of vampire novels. In Hotel Transylvania, Le Comte de Saint-Germain, the newest member of Louis XV's court, catches the eye of Madelaine de Montalia, but the young lady has attracted others as well, not all of whom mean her well. The Palace is the home of nobleman Francesco Ragoczy da San Germano, who collects the finest art and also dabbles in the black arts. - BO
Night Blooming
Here known as Hiernom Rakoczy, the vampire Saint-Germain he travels in A.D. 796 to Tours and later Aachen to advise the Frankish king, Karl-lo-Magne (Charlemagne), who's closely allied with Pope Leo III. Meanwhile, saintly albino Gynethe Mehaut struggles within a church that can't decide whether her stigmatic wounds denote holiness or blasphemy. The white woman and the dark count, still recovering from an ill-fated encounter, eventually cross paths in Rome, where their passions ignite. - BO
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Brian Youmans

Best of the Rest 3: The Best Unknown Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2001 (ed.)
A collection of the best of the small press from 2001. Includes stories by Ray Vukcevich, James Van Pelt, John Shirley, Mark McLaughlin, and Strange Horizons contributor Lori Ann White, among other up-and-coming and already established writers. - BO

Ann Tonsor Zeddies

Steel Helix
Piers Rameau, a brilliant geneticist, was offered the chance to help design mankind’s replacement—Original Man, a smarter, stronger, swifter race based on manipulated human DNA. But Rameau refused, and chose to follow his own path. Now Kuno Gunnarsson, creator of Original Man and Rameau's would-be employer, is dead—but his superior creation lives on. And one faction of Original Man is determined to wrest control of the galaxy from the inferior race. A brutal attack destroys both Rameau's home planet and the satellite that has become his world. One tragic casualty is Dakini, a fragile, genetically altered dancer who had become Rameau’s reason to live. The sole survivor, he finds himself a prisoner of Gunnarsson Prime, a clone of the original creator, on board the Jumpship Langstaff. Against his will, Rameau is enlisted as the ship's wartime medical officer. As a doctor, he swore an oath to do no harm. As a man, he swears blood vengeance on the inhuman killers who destroyed everything he ever loved.
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Roger Zelazny
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Warriors of Blood and Dream (ed.)
A collection of short stories about martial artists put to tests of skill.

Roger Zerbrowski

Swift Thoughts (with Gregory Benford)
Science fiction's most philosophical talent here offers 24 stories, some of them landmarks in the field. - BO
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Sarah Zettel

Fool's War

Bookstore blurbs written by: Nathan Barker, Chris Cobb, Alex Harman, R Michael Harman, Jed Hartman, David Horwich, Michael Jasper, Mack Knopf, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Beth Oing, Sarah Palmero, Catherine Pellegrino, Paul Schumacher, Heather Shaw, Mithran Somasundrum