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February brought us new titles from Jonathan Carroll, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Alan Dean Foster, Sean Williams & Shane Dix, Katherine Kurtz, Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett, Caro Soles, Sean Russell -- and a whole lot more!

Books are listed alphabetically by author. Only books received are noted. Where available, links to SF Site reviews and book excerpts are provided.

New Arrivals: 1 - 28 February 2001
Part I
The Dark Remains: Book Three of The Last Rune
Mark Anthony
Bantam Spectra (trade, 512 pages, $14.95 US/$22.95 Can)
Publication date: 27 February 2001

Sequel to Beyond the Pale and The Keep of Fire. "Travis Wilder and Grace Beckett have returned to modern Earth on a mission of mercy: to get medical help for the severely wounded Beltan, a knight from the otherworld of Eldh. But as Beltan lies unconscious in a Denver hospital, sinister forces of dark magic cross the boundary from Eldh in a murderous search for Travis and Grace. Meanwhile, in Eldh itself, a young baroness, her witch companion, and their mortal and immortal friends journey to a dying city, there to confront a nameless evil that has begun to annihilate the very gods. Travis and Grace must return to Eldh, for only there can they hope to defeat a demonic enemy that can shatter time, devour space, and turn existence into nothingness."
Creiton's Sword
Steven Glen Baird
Writer's Showcase, (trade, 455 pages, $21.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: October 2000

"Bryant joined the guard of Bren seeking a refuge from an abusive father and his own guilt about his brother's death. He wanted only to lose himself among the rough and experienced soldiers who upheld the law, and for a time he found a home there. But when the church bells rang out the news of war, Bryant found himself crossing the plains to meet an enemy he did not know. His first taste of battle took his only friend; his second taste took him far from home. For when you save the life of a great lord, you can't help but catch his eye. And when Bryant found himself taken in by Duke Creiton's legendary bodyguards, he know he would never return to Bren as quite the same person."
The Diplomatic Touch
David Bischoff
Foggy Windows Books (trade, 160 pages, $12.95 US/$18.95 Can)
Publication date: 14 February 2001

Erotic SF with a sense of humour. "Thomas and Sarah Diadem [are] diplomatic emissaries of the Galactic NeoConglomeration of Human Planets. Their assignment: bring the planet of Nocturne III into the Neo-Con. What they don't know is the level of bizarre sexual behaviour that runs rampant in this part of the galaxy, the beaver-like creatures who inhabit the planet, the obscure form of French they speak, or the evil Minister Persimmons -- the Mistress of Leather who has her own nefarious agenda. Even for this veteran couple, the mission is going to be next to impossible. To bring it to a satisfying climax, Thomas and Sarah are going to have to apply a diplomatic touch."
This Flesh Unknown
Gary Braunbeck
Foggy Windows Books (trade, 160 pages, $12.95 US/$18.95 Can)
Publication date: 14 February 2001

"A dark fantasy novel with a keen erotic edge... A tale of what happens when fantasy goes too far, when wanting takes on a life of its own, and when a couple has to find their way back from tragedy and to the life they've left behind."
Rafal Olbinski
The Wooden Sea
Jonathan Carroll
Tor (hardcover, 304 pages, $23.95 US/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: 15 February 2001

Latest novel from the World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Land of Laughs, The Marriage of Sticks, From the Teeth of Angels, Outside the Dog Museum and several other great novels. "Crane's View is a small, comfortable town nestled along the river, a place where nothing out of the ordinary would happen -- and doesn't, to the casual observer. But when a three-legged dog named Old Vertue wanders into Police Chief McCabe's office and dies, he knows that something odd is beginning, and that his life will be forever altered. As with all Carroll's novels, The Wooden Sea is filled with memorable characters who are so familiar that you can't help but be drawn into their world, a world that is always just a little off from the norm. Fans of his work will be delighted by the small details and recurring themes throughout the story, while newcomers will have the chance to discover all these little eccentricities for the first time."
Carol Krieger
Just Call Me Stanley
Alec Chumley
Writer's Showcase, (trade, 201 pages, $12.95 US/$20.95 Can)
Publication date: December 2000

The outline of this book reminds me a little of Karel Capek's classic The War With the Newts. This novel "follows the education of a small, multi-coloured, English speaking hippo-like creature which is befriended by an American family with twin children, who live on an island in the Canadian Pacific Northwest. Concealing it from the authorities, they try to find out what it is, where it came from, why it is coloured and how it can talk, with the help first of a vet and subsequently a zoologist. Meanwhile, with help from the children, the creature's education has proceeded apace. After it becomes computer literate with a special mouse and learns to play chess, the full extent of its incredible intelligence becomes apparent..."
Fred Gambino
The Astrologer: Heart of Stone
Denny DeMartino
Ace Science Fiction (mass market original, 300 pages, $6.50 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: February 2001

This book is the first in a new SF/Crime series from Ace. "In the year 2130, the discovery of zero-point gravity changed everything. Now, the afterlife is no longer a mystery. Interplanetary travel is possible -- and increasingly popular. And forensic astrologers like Philipa Cyprion are solving crimes by way of the stars..."
The Wayfarer Redemption - Book One: Battleaxe
Sara Douglass
Tor (hardcover, 448 pages, $24.95 US/$35.95 Can)
Publication date: 2nd edition, February 2001

This book (previously published in 1995 in Australia by HarperCollins) marks the North American début of one of Australia's most successful fantasy authors. "Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people's history is untrue. Her land lies in the grip of a millennia-old prophecy as pronounced by the Forbidden Ones. Gorgrael, the ice lord, with his demonic frozen army and the ancient Forbidden, threaten to once more bring Faraday's people under their tyrannical rule. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday rides with Axis -- hated half-brother of Borneheld -- and secretly falls in love, although it would be death to admit it... Faraday and Axis fight oppressive forces and will not desist until everyone knows the truth of the Star Gate."
H.E. Fassl
Twilight Tales presents... Tales from the Red Lion
edited by Andrea Dubnick
11th Hour Productions (chapbook, 96 pages, $ US/$ Can)
Publication date: March 2000

Twilight Tales began (and, as I understand, continues) as a Reading Series. The readings take place at Chicago's Red Lion Pub, across from the Biograph Theatre. This anthology offers several "visions of fantasy an possibilities... glimpses into some hilarious futures -- or are those merely other nows? -- of William Shakespear under the stars to Robert Johnson's blues on Mars... of angels you won't see at any pin-dance... or a feline detective... or several breeds of werewolf... and more than a few ghosts... Make no mistake! The Red Lion Pub is a haunted place. There are shades here all around us, but they mean no harm to the living. So raise a glass for their eternal rest, settle into a comfortable chair with this book, and enjoy a little of the magic of the Red Lion Pub wherever you are right now."
Kingdoms of Light
Alan Dean Foster
Warner Aspect (hardcover, 375 pages, $24.95 US/$34.95 Can)
Publication date: 20 February 2001

A new quest fantasy from the bestselling author of the Journeys of the Catechist trilogy. "The ghastly monsters of the Totumakk Horde and the diabolic Khaxan Mundurucu have crushed the pastoral, once pristine kingdom of the Gowdlands. The Mundurucu, a clan of sadistic goblin-warlocks who combine their powers to wield unimaginable necromancies, have blasted the Gowdlands' most brilliant wizard into cinders and cursed the entire land with a vicious hex that no mortal can break. But the wizard's death unleashes his final enchantment. His ashes hold a spell that transforms the mage's loyal pets -- 3 cats, a dog, a songbird and an immense boa -- into the world's last champions. Possessing human form, animal instincts, and uncanny magical talents, these 6 heroes must escape Mundurucu assassins, go into a rainbow and bring back the pure White Light -- which is the only thing that can shatter the goblin hex."
Keith Parkinson
A Triumph of Souls: Journeys of the Catechist, Book 3
Alan Dean Foster
Warner Aspect (mass market reprint, 390 pages, $6.99 US/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: February 2001

Conclusion to Journeys of the Catechist. Ehomba and his companions are nearing the end of their impossible quest, which has already taken them through many strange and wonderful lands. But remember how Ehomba was warned that his quest would end in disaster and he, himself, would be killed? Well then surely you must be wondering if he's starting to sit up and take note. Will Ehomba and his exotic companions "be able to defend themselves against Hymneth's powerful and evil magic? Will they be able to collect the princess and bring her safely home with their lives intact?"
review Review of Book 2: Into the Thinking Kingdoms by Todd Richmond.

review Review of Book 1: Carnivores of Light and Darkness by Todd Richmond.

The Amazing Voyage of Azzam
Kelly Godel
Xlibris (221 pages, hardcover $25 US; trade $16 US)
Publication date: December 2000

If you think airport lineups or highway traffic are a hassle, just imagine how modern travel compares to that of 1200 years ago. Or if your imagination needs a kick-start, here's a straightforward adventure tale for you. "It is the 9th century, and Azzam the sailor longs for a reputation to equal that of another Arabian adventurer -- enjoying fame and fortune for his 7 spectacular sea voyages. After he crosses paths with an evil magician, the mariner is drawn into a hunt for a mysterious and ancient treasure that takes him from the lush islands of India and the subterranean passageways of Constantinople to the boiling deserts of Africa, battling giants, freakish tribesmen, and fiery demons along the way."
Operation Sierra-75: Vor, The Maelstrom
Thomas S. Gressman
Aspect Science Fiction (mass market original, 288 pages, $6.50 US/$8.99 Can)
Publication date: January 2001

This is #6 in the Vor series from Warner Aspect, inspired by the SF adventure game of the same name from FASA. The setting involves an Earth ripped from its place in the universe and thrown into the Maelstrom, which is "a grotesque parody of reality... with thousands of other planets, millions of species, billions of warring creatures... all swirling toward ultimate destruction." In this last volume in the series, a company of Union Marines is sent to an unexplored world to rescue survivors from a crash landing. "But when space and time begin to warp, weapons and equipment vanish, and strange, murderous creatures haunt the Marines' every move, a simple rescue mission becomes a desperate death match."
Tim Barrall
Past the Size of Dreaming
Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Ace Fantasy (hardcover, 342 pages, $21.95 US/$30.99 Can)
Publication date: March 2001

In this sequel to A Red Heart of Memories, Hoffman continues the story of Matilda (Matt) Black and Edmund Reynolds, "a young man with magic powers of his own, and the benevolently haunted house that was a refuge for Edmund and his friends when they were children. But, the house begins to speak to Matilda, telling her that she and Edmund must seek out his long-scattered friends and they must all come together gain. A darkness is rising, a dangerous powerful entity. The only chance of stopping it lies in the hearts of the lost children of the house."
review Review by Jeri Wright of A Red Heart of Memories.
Mark Sofilas
The Tower on the Rift: Volume 2 of The View From the Mirror
Ian Irvine
Orbit (mass market reprint, 665 pages, £6.99 UK/$9.99 Can)
Publication date: 2000

First published in Australia in 1998 by Penguin, this is the first UK publication of the sequel to A Shadow on the Glass. The series of magic and adventure continues with Dark is the Moon and The Way Between the Worlds. "Once there were 3 worlds, each with their own people. Then, fleeing out of the void, on the edge of extinction, came the Charon. And the balance changed forever. As war rages across the land, Tensor, the desperate leader of the Aachim people, flees into the wilderness, taking with him the ancient Mirror of Aachan and the chronicler Llian. Only Karan can save the chronicler, but her path is fraught with danger. Tensor wants her dead, the other powers are hunting her for her sensitive talents, and Rulke the Charon broods over them all from his Nightland prison..."
Troy Howell
The Legend of Luke
Brian Jacques
Ace Fantasy (mass market reprint, 340 pages, $6.99 US)
Publication date: February 2001

No one writes talking animals quite like Brian Jacques. Previously in hardcover from Philomel Books (January 2000), this is 13th in the Redwall series, and 3rd in the chronology of the Redwall universe. "Redwall's most valiant champion, Martin the Warrior, embarks on a perilous journey to the northland shore to trace his heroic legacy: the legendary exploits of his father, Luke..."
Rick Therrio
Twilight Tales presents... Cthulhu and the Coeds
edited by Tina L. Jens
11th Hour Productions (chapbook, 188 pages, $ US/$ Can)
Publication date: September 2000

As you can tell from the horrifying cover art (and the chilling, evocative title), this collection of stories is not for the faint at heart. "The Old Gods are going to have to get some new tricks, if they're going to make it in the new century! And this gang of writers puts Cthulhu and his pals through their paces, with gods as pets, mobsters, trickers, carnivores and whiny, snivelling nerds... If the Mythos mob is going to make it in the new millennium, they're going to have to learn to laugh at themselves... or we'll do it for them!" Contributors include Esther M. Friesner, Jo Fletcher, Stephen Dedman, Tim Curran, Mark McLaughlin, John Weagly, Charles Stross, and others.
Paula Jasinski
Twilight Tales presents... Daughter of Dangerous Dames
edited by Tina L. Jens
11th Hour Productions (chapbook, 196 pages, $ US/$ Can)
Publication date: May 2000

This is a follow-up to Twilight Tales' Dangerous Dames chapbook of 1998. "They're back again -- the Bad Babes of fiction, with 39 tales of the monstrous, mystical, magical Woman." Contributors include Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Sandra Kasturi, Jo Fletcher, Tina L. Jens, Lois Tilton, Nancy Kilpatrick, Yvonne Navarro, Jody Lynn Nye, Elaine Bergrstrom and many others.
Twilight Tales presents... Sort-of Scary Stories: Tales of Make-Believe for Children
edited by Tina L. Jens
11th Hour Productions (chapbook, 68 pages, $ US/$ Can)
Publication date: October 2000

This was Twilight Tales' Hallowe'en collection for the kids -- and for the kid in you. "From cloud monsters and kid detectives, to not-so-pretty princesses and sort-of-evil witches, this collection of sweet and slightly spooky stories for children 6-12 is sure to tug at the heartstrings of all those young at heart." This chapbook includes tales from Kimberly O'Lone, Lois Tilton, Amy Trendler, Andrea Dubnick, Robert Weinberg, Tina L. Jens and Bruce Holland Rogers.
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