Bones of the Earth
March  2002 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

Ace is releasing in hardcover this month a new hard SF novel from author Robert A. Metzger, Picoverse set in a near future where scientists have discovered a way to replicate universes one million-millionth the size of our own by ripping apart the fabric of space-time. Out in Trade Paperback will be the newest urban fantasy from Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Past the Size of Dreaming  a sequel to A Red Heart of Memories continuing the story of modern day witches and magic.

 Additionally there will be a number of new and reissued works released in mass market paperback editions in March including Castaways of the Flying Dutchman the first in a new YA series by Brian Jacques author of the Redwall series; a new fantasy by Patricia Briggs, Dragon Bones; the concluding novel of John G. Henry's SF Military series, Stark's Crusade; the third book in the Monarchies of God fantasy series by Paul Kearney, The Iron Wars a tale of war, religion and magic;  and for fans of The Rock, The Scorpion King a novelization by Max Allan Collins of the upcoming movie of the same name which casts one of the villains from The Return of the Mummy movie, the assassin Mathayus as the hero, "an ancient enemy of evil who refuses to surrender...or die".                                                                                                                                               Bones of the EarthThe featured Avon/Eos hardcover release for March 2002 is  Michael Swanwick's Bones of the Earth  a new time-travel adventure story based on the Hugo award winning  short story "Scherzo with Tyrannosaur".  SFRevu's Ernest Lilley highly recommends this novel in his review, saying of the author "Swanwick is that rare individual that can meld humanity and technology together in stories that are intriguing, surprising, wonderful and terrible...all at once."
Also out from the publisher will be a mass market paperback edition of last year's The Mask and the Sorceress by Dennis Jones.

At Baen Books the author of month appears to be Eric Flint, writing or editing in two hardcover releases and in another set of paperback editions! In hardcover will be Forward the Mage by Eric Flint and Richard Roach and The Shadow of the Lion an 800 page mix of politics, intrigue, love and magic by Flint along with Mercedes Lackey and Dave Freer, while in paperback will be a reprint of The Philosophical Stranger (May'01) which garnered several complements and comparison's to early Terry Pratchett. Publisher's Weekly considered it an " oddly satisfying humorous fantasy usually achieves the zany and frequently the bizarre" skewering role-playing games, Dante, the Greek playwrights and Norse sagas.  Finally Flint edits Keith Laumer's Odyssey which includes an introduction by David Weber. One last paperback from Baen will be a reprint of an early James P.Hogan novel. Code of the Lifemaker.  

March's releases from Daw will include in paperback The Better Part of Valor the sequel to Quarters series author Tanya Huff's first Military SF novel, Valor's Choice. See what else Ernest has to say in his review about this second outing featuring tech marine Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr "a totally cool, kick butt, Ripley-Harrington sort of gal".  Also in paperback is an anthology of original stories inspired by classic sea adventures, Oceans of Space from the creators of the Oceans of Magic collection, editors Brian Thomsen and Martin H. Greenberg. Daw will also publish a paperback edition of  last March's original release of the fourth of Mercedes Lackey's reimagined fairy tales, The Serpent's Shadow based on "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" set in an alternative Victorian London.

Del Rey has several hardcover releases scheduled for March including Demons a near future apocalyptic tale  from TV and film screenwriter (The Crow) John Shirley and  the newest of nearly two dozen novels set in Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth universe, Diuturnity's Dawn: Book Three of the Founding of the Commonwealth.  A paperback edition of Foster's 8th Pip and Flinx novel  Reunion (June '01) returns to the adventures of Flint of the Commonwealth and his poisonous minidrag  after a 5 year hiatus having Flinx travel from earth to AAnn space trying to unlock the secrets of his past..   It appears that David Gemmell's new Rigante Saga novel Stormrider originally scheduled for this month has been pushed out to April however fans of the series can catch the third book, Ravenheart (Jul'01) in paperback release this month.  

Behind the Mask of Spider-Man In anticipation of upcoming release of the feature film Spiderman and the 40th anniversary of  Spiderman's first appearance in Marvel Comics' Amazing Fantasy #15 Del Rey will publish two tie-ins, in Trade Paperback Behind the Mask of Spider-Man by Mark Cotta Vaz a behind the scenes look at Spidey's journey from the comic book page to the big screen and in mass market paperback,  Spider-Man by Peter David. 

 Other paperback editions out from this publisher will be Anita Blake Vampire Hunter author Laurell K. Hamilton's A Kiss of Shadows (Oct' 00) the first in a new series  featuring a faerie princess hiding in LA working for a detective agency.  Publisher's Weekly opinions that "As wild as the novelís premise is, memorable characters and wicked wit make it all delicious, ribald fun".  Also Colonization:Aftershocks (Jan '01) by Harry Turtledove the concluding volume of his Colonization trilogy set in the same universe as his Worldwar series.  SFRevu 3.05 May'99 found the first volume in the trilogy Colonization: Second Contact to be an interesting blend of Alternate History and SF that should appeal to readers of both.  Readers of this last book report many loose ends were left leading to speculation that the series may need to be expanded to include a fourth book.   

HarperCollins is releasing a collection of eight short works by Ursula K. Le Guin, The Birthday of the World.  Six of the pieces are set in the Ekumen universe of  the author's classic The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) The only story not previously published is a new novella "Paradises Lost" which follows the experiences of Earth people on a generational spaceship that takes centuries to get to its destination..  In Le Guin's own words "Many of the stories are about love, lust, sex, marriage, gender, and other such troublesome but interesting problems human beings have to cope with, no matter what planet they live on or what sex they'll be next Tuesday." 

Pocket Books will release several works set in the myriad universes of Star Trek. Paperbacks  include Starfleet Year One by Michael Jan Friedman chronicling the maiden voyage of  a new class of starship, the Daedalus, flagship of the new Federation fleet and A Hard Rain a reprint of Dean Wesley Smith's Next Gen 1980 book featuring Captain Picard in his holodeck persona of Dixon Hill a 1940's San Francisco detective needing to crack a case to save the Enterprise from destruction.  Pocket will also be releasing in eBook format  Starfleet Corps of Engineers #13: No Surrender by Jeff Mariotte which sends the the da Vinci and Commander Gomez's team of S.C.E.s to straighten out a mess at a deep-space prison facility. 

Missing from last month's mention of  Roc releases was the US debut, in Trade edition, of  popular British author (Deathstalker series) Simon Green's Drinking Midnight Wine. Our reviewer, declared it  "A highly satisfying comic fantasy." in his review of the UK edition (SFRevu Dec'01).  In March Roc has scheduled several mass market paperback releases including the sixth title in the Mechwarrior series: Imminent Crisis by Randall Bills, and two novels that sound intriguing, The Dragon Delasangre Alan F. Troop's debut fantasy postulates Dragons shape changing into human form and explores the  balance between the worlds of humans and Dragons that the central character must maintain and, The Spirit of Thunder the sequel to Kurt R. Giambastiani's Alternate History debut The Year the Cloud Fell, set in an alternate 19th century American West with President George Custer's only son George, Jr. siding with the Cheyenne people against his father's army.  

From master storyteller Steven King's fertile mind comes his first short piece collection in nine years, Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales published this month by Scribner.  The volume contains several award winners including an O. Henry Prize winner, four stories published by The New Yorker, "The Little Sisters of Eluria," a novella that first appeared in the fantasy collection Legends, set in King's Dark Tower universe and, for the first time in print "Riding the Bullet," King's original e-book, which attracted over half a million online readers.  An introductory essay on the lost art of short fiction is included along with brief background notes for each story .

Tor's March line up includes several new works from old favorites.  We were pleased, as expected, with the concluding volume in Australian author Juliet Marillier's beautifully written Sevenwaters Trilogy, Child of the Prophecy (review).  Other hardcover releases include new challenges for the Puzzle Network in Dark as Day by Charles Sheffield a sequel to his Nebula Award winning Cold as Ice (1992).  Publisher's Weekly says of this newest novel "Fans of tangled plots, detailed settings and taut adventure will have a great time"; Leaping to the Stars by David Gerrold the 3rd and final installment in the award winning Dingillian series (Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon), described as a blend of space adventure and serious political philosophy featuring the exploits of young Charles Dingillian and his brothers as they seek to emigrate to a colony deep in  space by stowing away on a starship; and Rules of Ascension by David B. Cole the initial volume in the 4 book Winds of the Forelands fantasy series.  Forensic investigation gets another workout this month in Paul Levinson's  The Consciousness Plague, the latest Phil D'Amato case following  1999's The Silk Code. This latest work is about the havoc created by the loss of memory through the use of a new antibiotic which inadvertently kills a bacteria-like organism that may be responsible for human consciousness.  The author gave a lively reading  to an appreciative audience of SF fans at a recent SFABC meeting in NJ run by local area SF maven Phil D'Parto.

March's schedule also includes in hardcover A Dragon's Ascension book three in A Tale of the Band of Four series by Ed Greenwood creator of Forgotten Realms, the Dungeons & Dragons based fantasy series and, a mass market paperback edition of Book 2, The Vacant Throne (Apr '01).  Another new hardcover / paperback reprint pairing out this month from Tor will be British author Brian Stableford's fifth Emortality novel Dark Ararat a story driven by two mysteries which Publisher's Weeky calls a heavily speculative tale that puts the "science" in science fiction, and its predecessor in this future history series The Cassandra Complex (Mar'01) which features a  forensic scientist (apparently in the future this makes the list of  the top ten hot occupations) unraveling a puzzle in a mid 21st century story of bioengineering terrorism.  

Trade Paperback's of note will include a return to print of Child of Fortune a highly thought of entertaining coming of age tale by Norman Spinrad originally published in 1985 as the culmination of the Second Starfaring Age epic; Return to the Whorl (Feb '01), the concluding volume in the marvelous Gene Wolfe's Book of the Short Sun series that Booklist describes as a "striking mix of philosophy, humor and horror that is uniquely Wolfe's stock-in-trade.";  a re-issue in Trade of the 1996 paperback Celtic fantasy, Lion of Ireland by Morgan Llywelyn and, for fans of the series Farscape: The Illustrated Companion  by Simpson, Paul and David Hughes. 

Additional mass market paperback editions out this month that SFRevu reviewed in hardcover will be Falling Stars (2001) - SFRevu Feb'01 the final book in Michael Flynn's Star Series and Kushiel's Dart Jacqueline Carey's brilliant historical fantasy debut the sequel for which, Kushiel's Chosen will be published by Tor next month. 

Finally, from Tor's YA SF & F line of trade paperback editions Starscape will be Jane Yolen's Briar Rose (Sep'92) a powerful retelling of the story of "Sleeping Beauty" as a Holocaust memoir, an American Library Association "100 Best Books for Teens".   The second release this month will be a tale of  monsters, invasion, and daring-do, The Cockatrice Boys a VOYA "Outstanding Book of the Year" from British author Joan Aiken. 

Viz Communications will bring out in Trade Paperback for fans of the Japanese anime series which has spawned numerous episodes, CDs, DVDs, action figures and other spinoffs, Gundam Wing: Episode Zero by Katsuyuki Sumisawa, illustrated by Akira Kanbe.  

Warner Aspect will be bringing out in hardcover the US 1st edition of British author Peter F. Hamilton's 25th century alien contact novel Fallen Dragon which Publisher's Weekly  said was "a sort of Starship Troopers as if written by Charles Dickens, ranks as one of Hamilton's best".  The publisher will also be releasing for the first time in the US, The Confederation Handbook a paperback edition subtitled The Essential Companion Guide to the Night's Dawn Trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God.  This volume is described as a Galactic Almanac exploring the 600 year history, geology, politics, technology, weaponry and lifeforms of the 21,500 Confederation planets. Whew.  Is that all? Also in Trade Paperback will be Vincalis the Agitator a prequel to Holly Lisle's Secret Texts fantasy trilogy.

Wizards of the Coast will again feature a release by the popular co-creators of the Dragonlance saga Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman this month with the paperback edition of the NY Times bestselling hardcover Dragons of a Lost Star (Apr '01), The War of Souls, Vol II a sequel to the popular Dragons of a Fallen Sun.  This paperback version contains a preview chapter from the upcoming conclusion to the trilogy, Dragons of a Vanished Moon.  Also out from this publisher in paperback will be a new collection of short stories exploring the Magic: The Gathering universe in the appropriately titled, The Secrets of Magic Anthology edited by Jess LeBow; The Steel Throne by Edward Bolme a prelude to the upcoming Legend of the Five Rings series The Four Winds Saga introducing new characters and settings based on events in the Legend of the Five Rings: The Spirit Wars card set and, The Wizardwar by Elaine Cunningham,  the concluding volume in the Forgotten Realms Counselors & Kings trilogy.

Fans of gaming of another sort will soon have something to look forward to.  Several publishers have recently announced the establishment of publishing partnerships with major video game manufacturers.  

Ballantine Book's Del Rey imprint has acquired exclusive, worldwide rights to publish paperback, hardcover, audio and electronic books based on Xbox (TM) games titles developed by Microsoft Game Studios (see Del Rey Internet Newsletter for more information or to subscribe:

And Publisher's Weekly reports that Vertical, the new Japanese translation house that hopes to be able to translate some of the success of imports like anime and Pokemon to publishing is exploring a partnership with Sega's video game division.  

© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu