Harm by Brian W. Aldiss
For Fans of… 1984; A Bug’s Life.
Bottom Line: Aldiss’ dystopian chops – his 1969 story “Super-Toys Last All Summer Long” – inspired Steven Spielberg’s A.I. – falter in this unsubtle vision of a paranoid West that persecutes Muslim minorities and anthropods alike.
Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg
For Fans of… George R.R. Martin; Anne Bishop.
Bottom Line: Moments of colorful intensity highlight the workmanlike coming-of-age adventure.
Brasyl by Ian McDonald
For Fans of… Philip K. Dick’s paranoid philosophizing; City of God‘s urban squalor.
Bottom Line: Packing his pages with local color and big-picture speculation, McDonald conjures three equally vivid worlds.
In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan
For Fans of… Dick’s Man in the High Castle; Quantum Leap.
Bottom Line: Goonan weaves experimental jazz, particle physics, and biochemistry into a compelling adventure through alternate universes. But her interdisciplinary mystery unravels as theory gives way to sentimentality and antiwar hokum.