December  2001 Releases by Sharon Archer

Here's a list of what's coming out in the US this month in Science Fiction and Fantasy. If we missed something or you have a title coming out in the future, email us at

Avon/Eos is releasing in hardcover this month the sixth volume of Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s Unicorn Girl fantasy series, Acorna's Search.  Also out in hardcover is a collaboration between TV scriptwriter Marc Zicree and best-selling SF & F author Barbara Hambly, Magic Time a post apocalyptic tale set in a New York City (perhaps not the best timing for a fictional disaster set there) where technology fails but magic works.   In December from Severna Park is a paperback reprint of The Annunciate, described as a tale of first contact and human evolution, and a paperback edition of Martha Well's Wheel of the Infinite originally released in April 2000.

Hardcover releases from Baen in November will include the 3rd installment of reprints of Vorkosigan tales,  Miles, Mystery and Mayhem, a compilation of three earlier Lois McMaster Bujold works, Cetaganda ('96) featuring Miles when he was a mere lieutenant, Ethan of Athos ('86) and the 1986 story of how Sgt Taura and Miles met,  "Labyrinth". Avid fans will have to wait until Spring 2002 for a new adventure, but for the uninitiated this would be a nice introduction to the series.  This month the publisher will be releasing two Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill novels, new in hardcover is Spirits White as Lightning and, in a paperback edition Beyond World's End the fifth book in the Bedlam's Bard series. Additionally out in paperback will be a reprint of Robert A. Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky a generations ship tale from the 1950s which I fondly remember reading in my youth .

Bantam is bringing out a cross-genre novel from the highly successful Dean Koontz, One Door Away from Heaven which we gather mixes an action thriller with alien invasion paranoia. 

 In December Daw will release in hardcover The Valdemar Companion edited by John Helfers and Denise Little a complete, authorized reader's guide of Mercedes Lackey's bestselling Valdemar fantasy series.  Paperback releases will include Of Darkness, Light and Fire, an omnibus edition of three Tanya Huff novels, Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light and The Fire's Stone and, a collection of new original tales of technology Silicon Dreams edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Larry Segriff.

Del Rey December releases include in hardcover the fourth installment in James Clemens' d'warves, el'ves and og'res filled fantasy series, Wit'ch Gate, follow up to last year's Wit'ch War and in paperback the culminating volume of Babylon 5 : The Passing of the Technomages trilogy, Invoking Darkness by Jeanne Cavelos which promises big changes for its central character, Galen. Del Rey will also be bringing back into print October Country, Ray Bradbury's first short story collection, 19 mostly horror tales written in the thirties and forties. 

Out from Roc in December will be a hardcover anthology of original short stores Redshift: Extreme Visions of Speculative Fiction edited by Al Sarrantonio which aspires to the quality and impact of  Harlan Ellison's innovative Dangerous Visions collections from the late 1960's.  Contributors demonstrate the range of the contemporary SF scene and include Catherine Asaro, Stephen Baxter, Greg Benford , Joe Halderman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Moorcock, Larry Niven, Joyce Carol Oates, Dan Simmons, Harry Turtledove and Gene Wolfe.

Another collection, from St.Martin's Press Griffin Trade, Worldmakers  edited by Gardner Dozois explores how mankind will remake the new worlds moved into as man expands out into the universe.  Contributors include current and classic SF storytellers from Poul Anderson to Roger Zelazny .  

Another diverse offering is planned by Tor in December including in hardcover Spherical Harmonic the latest installment in Catherine Asaro’s popular Skolian Empire series, it blends Hard SF and Romance and undertakes to tie together several strands of the ongoing Saga. Our reviewer thought highly of an earlier entry in the series in a review of Radiant Seas (SFRevu 3.01 Jan’99) lauding Asaro's great storytelling skills, commending the combination of Hard SF, Action and Romance and eagerly looked forward to future volumes in the Saga.  Other hardcover releases will be The Other Nineteenth Century a collection of long out of print historical fantasies by Avram Davidson, respected author of short fantasy fiction; Shadows Bite by Stephen Dedman a story featuring demons, vampires and magic set in Los Angeles; The Dark Wing by 1st time novelist Walter Hunt; and the second volume in Robert J. King's Arthurian saga, Lancelot Du Lethe which continues the epic begun in Mad Merlin

Also in hardcover from Tor will be Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald L Kingsbury a Hard SF novel set in the 761st century on the capital world of the Milky Way, a modern interpretation of the concept of psychohistory Asimov established in his Foundation trilogy back in the 1940’s.  Kingsbury’s novel was expanded from his short story “Historical Crisis” first published in Azimov SF magazine. Gates To Witch World the first of two planned omnibuses containing Andre Norton's popular Witch World novels is also being released this month. This volume will bring together the first three novels of the series, Witch World, Web of the Witch World and Year of the UnicornThe Getaway Special a follow-up to Jerry Oltion's vastly entertaining Abandon in Place (2000 see our review) details the exploits of Allen Meisner, a member of INSANE ((International Network of Scientists Against Nuclear Extermination) who has created a hyperdrive with parts available at Radio Shack and the effects of his on interstellar exploration.  SFRevu editor/reviewer Ernest Lilley loved the first installment (SFRevu  Nov'00) see what he has to say this month about this newest tale (review).

The publisher will be releasing two works from Neil L. Smith for those interested in a different take on society and politics. Orb will bring out in Trade edition his 1980 libertarian SF novel The Probability Broach in concert with Tor's hardcover release of  its new sequel The American Zone which gives us a look at an America that might have been if history had taken a slightly different track, although with no government, police or taxes this certainly is an America far removed from our own.  See Ernest Lilley's review in this month's issue. 

Finally from Tor will also be in hardcover Dragon Society by Lawrence Watt-Evans continuing young Arlian's story of The Dragon Society, the dragonhearts and the evil Lord Dragon begun in Dragon Weather (Oct'99) and, in Trade,  True Names and the Opening of the Cyberspace Frontier edited by James Frenkel bringing back into print Vernor Vinge's 1981 visionary novella oft cited as inventing the concept of cyberspace, and including a series of tales and essays written by numerous cyberspace experts during the last two decades.  See this month's review by editor/reviewer Ernest Lilly and last issue for coverage on Vinge's other recent works. Other Trade editions being released are  White of Snow, Tanith Lee's contribution to the Fairy Tale series of novels edited by Terri Windling, a rather dark retelling of Snow White and Point of Dreams a mystery fantasy set in an alternate Renaissance world which combines magic and murder in a sequel to Point of Hopes ('95).

Warner Aspect will be bringing out in Trade Nalo Hopkinson 's first short fiction collection Skin Folk, stories strongly influenced by Caribbean folklore.  The acclaimed author born in Jamaica, spent her young years in Guyana and Trinidad before settling in Canada where she currently lives and brings both a rich heritage and a beautiful command of the language to bear . 

Described as the ultimate guide for players and Gamemasters who wish to build custom starships for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game, Wizards of the Coast is publishing in Trade edition Starships of the Galaxy by Owen  Stephens.  The publisher also is releasing in paperback an installment in The  Age of Mortals series, Conundrum, a Dragonlance novel by Jeff Cook which tells the tale of the ship MNS Indestructible and of Conundrum, the heroic gnome from Weis and Hickman's War of Souls trilogy.  The publisher will also be releasing a Forgotten Realms novel, the second volume in the Return of the Archwizards series, The Siege by Troy Denning and, a Magic: The Gathering novel Jedit, Legends Cycle Book II by Clayton Emery which fills in the backstory of one of the game's most popular characters. 

sa 12.16.01