EW reviews four new sci-fi/fantasy titles -- We take a closer look at releases by Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper, Alastair Reynolds, Orson Scott Card, and Charles Stross


EW reviews four new sci-fi/fantasy titles

BUILDING HARLEQUIN’S MOON Larry Niven and Brenda Cooper (Tor, $25.95) A miscalculation detours the starship John Glenn. To complete their mission, ship scientists must build a planet, harvest its resources, and oversee ”Moon Born” slaves bred to work there. Earth is Overrun. . . By nanotechnology. Future Teen Angst Slave heroine Rachel must find a place to suck face where the ship’s hovering cameras can’t see. Upshot The ethical and scientific pitfalls of interstellar migration are described in such detail that the authors could easily be mistaken for Moon Born. A-

CENTURY RAIN Alastair Reynolds(Ace, $24.95) Humans, having fled Earth and colonized the solar system, discover a wormhole leading to a facsimile of 1959 Paris that could help win the war against the technologically evolved Slashers. Earth is Overrun. . . By nanotechnology. Future Teen Angst Archaeologist Verity Auger fights an army of killer kids known as ”war babies.” Upshot Reynolds’ 503-page tome crosses a 1950s pulp detective novel with a 24th-century Martian space war, but neither one is out of this world. C

MAGIC STREET Orson Scott Card (Del Rey, $24.95) Los Angeles’ Baldwin Hills neighborhood hides a doorway into a fairyland populated by Puck, Titania, and Oberon, who is attempting to conquer the real world. Earth Is Nearly Overrun. . . By a dragonslug. Future Teen Angst After learning that Oberon is using his sleeping mind as a tool for wreaking havoc, boy hero Mack Street must find a way to make his dreams not come true. Upshot Card pens some magical moments, but not enough to turn Street into a midsummer night’s bedtime reading. D

ACCELERANDO Charles Stross (Ace, $24.95) Three generations of the Macx family evolve into nerdy post-humans by embracing technological paradigms that threaten to ruin the economy and render governments obsolete. Earth Is Overrun. . . By computer intelligence. Future Teen Angst Amber Macx rebels against Mom by selling herself into space slavery and then colonizing her own asteroid. Upshot Accelerando is to cyberpunk what Napster was to the music industry: volatile, visionary, a bit flawed, and a lot of fun. A-

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