NEAR FUTURES: The Tor Online Newsletter


NEAR FUTURES: The Tor Online Newsletter
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 18:03:23 -0400
From: Ann Okerson <>
Subject: Near Futures #1 (June 1993)


NEAR FUTURES: The Tor Online Newsletter

Issue One: June 1993

Published irregularly for general distribution
via GEnie, Compuserve, and the Internet
by Patrick Nielsen Hayden (CIS: 72701,1344;
and Beth Meacham (CIS: 76424,2521).

E-mail subscriptions are free;
requests, please, to

All contents copyright (c) 1993 by Tor Books.

A note from Barb Delaplace, one of the managers of the SF area on
Compuserve, prompts the debut of this Newsletter. For a couple of years
we've posted informal, irregular lists of Tor's forthcoming SF and fantasy
books in the Tor Books topic in GEnie's SF Round Table (category 21, topic
2). Barb wondered whether we might not want to do something similar on
Compuserve. We do, and in fact Barb's note reminds us that we've had
similar inquiries from readers of the Usenet SF newsgroups. Why not, we
said to ourselves, do a single release for all these online neighborhoods?

Well, there are some pretty good reasons why not, we said right back to
ourselves. (We talk to ourselves frequently, thus enhancing our image as
slightly unstable geniuses--always an asset to SF editors in a corporate
world.) It's quite a commitment of time, for one thing; faced with a
choice between Doing The Next Newsletter and Getting The Books Published,
the latter is going to win every time. Which is why, you'll notice, this
electronic feuilleton is clearly labelled "published irregularly." This
means in what we, at Tor, call our Copious Spare Time, usually to the
accompaniment of torrents of wild laughter. Bwa ha ha ha, and so forth.

However, when we do manage to publish it, which we hope will be every
three or four months, you can expect to find in it pretty much what this
issue features: brief thumbnail descriptions of the next few months' books
from Tor and Orb, and any other announcements that we think might be of
interest to the SF community online. We are, in fact, a for-profit
business, and a rapidly growing one, and we're aware that some people
frown on the use of online channels for crass advertising and promotion of
this sort. We figure all we can do about that is try to make our crass
advertising and promotion as entertaining and worthwhile as possible. Feel
free to let us know what you think.

In fact, feel free to let us know anything whatsoever. We don't plan a
lettercolumn, but we may well run letters on an ad-hoc basis and we do try
to answer all inquiries eventually. All of our business e-mail addresses
are on the colophon above; the only special request we make is that, if
you want a direct e-mail subscription to NEAR FUTURES, please try to send
your request to, since that's where the mailing list will

Is that all? Is this mike off now? Good grief, I thought those people
were _never_ going to let us stop talking. Look, let's play the New
Releases tape, and we can slip out for a drink...

June 1993 Tor trade releases (hardcover and otherwise)

BY THE SWORD by Greg Costikyan
ISBN 0-312-85489-7: $18.95, hardcover
As seen on Prodigy! The first novel (to our knowledge) ever offered as a
serial by a national information service, BY THE SWORD was avidly followed
by thousands of Prodigy users. Greg Costikyan is the award-winning author
of many popular SF and fantasy RPGs, computer and otherwise, and a
skillful teller of engaging adventure tales that don't take themselves
_too_ seriously. "Heroic fantasy with a twinkle in its eye and a spring
in its step...Expertly tuned and pitched," said Kirkus. "Lively and
irreverent," adds Publishers Weekly. And in answer to the question we
never stop hearing: you bet there are going to be sequels to Costikyan's

DRAGON RIGGER by Jeffrey A. Carver
ISBN 0-312-85061-1: $22.95, hardcover
"Would make a grand movie if it were not that the special effects budget
would surely be brutal...If there is a motto for this novel, it is
_solidarnosc,_ solidarity, the power to be gained by sticking with one's
friends, even by sacrificing for the good of others...Immense verve,
energy, momentum, and power." (--Analog) The sequel to THE DRAGON IN THE
STARS, from the author of THE INFINITY LINK. Don't be misled by the
titles, by the way: these are SF novels through and through.

WHITE QUEEN by Gwyneth Jones
ISBN 0-312-85492-7: $19.95, hardcover
First US publication of this novel of alien contact which shared the
Tiptree Award last year with Eleanor Arnason's A WOMAN OF THE IRON PEOPLE.
"Thoroughly original, genuinely weird, and stuffed to bursting with
deep-dyed genre virtue. And with its lounging, verminous, hypercivilized
space visitors, it boasts a truly unforgettable treatment of the theme of
the alien." (--Bruce Sterling) People have been talking about it like
that. Jones is an elegant, inventive writer whose previous novel from Tor
was DIVINE ENDURANCE. "Her successes are glorious," wrote the Washington

REQUIEM: New and Collected Works by Robert A. Heinlein,
and Tributes To the Grand Master
Edited by Yoji Kondo
ISBN 0-312-85523-0: $12.95, trade paperback
"86,000 words of Robert Heinlein, never in book form before. This is a
real treasure for all of Robert Heinlein's children." (--Greg Bear)
Includes, among the new material, the never-before-reprinted novella
"Destination Moon."

June 1993 Orb trade paperback

ISBN 0-312-85303-3: $14.95
A three-in-one omnibus edition of Judith Tarr's first trilogy, the work
that established her as a major presence in modern fantasy with her
precise, compelling sense of medieval history and magic alike. Includes
characters are well-rounded and believable, her plotting is strong, and
her language is a delight to read in its lean simplicity that still
maintains a rich resonance." (--Charles de Lint)

June 1993 Tor SF and fantasy mass-market releases

COLD AS ICE by Charles Sheffield
ISBN 0-812-51163-8: $4.99
"Charles Sheffield is one of our premier writers of hard science fiction.
Occasionally he spreads his wings so wide he might be compared to cosmic
dreamers such as Stapledon. More often, he fits comfortably on the shelf
with Clarke and Asimov and Heinlein. That is, he writes classic stuff,
solid and entertaining, and blessed with a sense of very real possibility.
His latest novel, COLD AS ICE, feels more possible than some, [with]
Sheffield's deft weaving of opposing political forces, human tensions and
titanic wills. Sheffield has done such a marvelous job." (--Analog) A
major novel of solar-system exploration and discovery and arguably Charles
Sheffield's finest novel yet.

SPIRITWALK by Charles de Lint
ISBN 0-812-51620-6: $4.99
De Lint returns to the spirit world of MOONHEART in this splendid work of
urban fantasy, bringing myth, music and magic into our modern world. "De
Lint infuses his powerful story of sacrifice, revenge and the
responsibility of power with an ancient sense of human unity with the
natural world." (--Publishers Weekly)

STARPILOT'S GRAVE by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald
ISBN 0-812-51705-9: $4.50
Book Two of MAGEWORLDS, sequel to the bestselling THE PRICE OF THE STARS!
Beka Rosselin-Metadi has unfinished business to take care of, and its name
is Ebenra D'Caer: the man who arranged her mother's murder. But on the
way, Beka discovers something worse: the Barrier between the human galaxy
and the Mageworlds is down. The Mageworlds are on the verge of a sneak
attack. And only Beka, piloting a crippled starship, can get the word
home to Galactic Central...

KALIMANTAN by Lucius Shepard
ISBN 0-812-53004-7: $3.99
Includes the acclaimed novella "Kalimantan", plus "Solitario's Eyes" and
"The Arcevoalo." The Washington Post says that Lucius Shepard is "That
rarest of writers, a true artist...Each fantastic scene is as powerfully
seductive as a dream."

LOST DORSAI by Gordon R. Dickson
ISBN 0-812-50404-6: $4.99
A new edition of this Dorsai companion volume, containing the Hugo-
winning novelette "Lost Dorsai" and a brand new Dorsai Concordance.

THE PRICE OF THE STARS by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald
ISBN 0-812-517-4-0: $4.50
GRYPHON'S EYRIE by Andre Norton and A.C. Crispin
ISBN 0-812-53169-8: $4.99
ISBN 0-812-54106-5: $3.95

July 1993 Tor trade releases (hardcover and otherwise)

ONCE AROUND THE BLOCH: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Robert Bloch
ISBN 0-312-85373-4: $22.95, hardcover
"I knew I would love this book as soon as I saw the title." (--Janet
Leigh) "Reading this book is the next best thing to hearing Bob Bloch
talk, and Bob Bloch is one of the most entertaining speakers I know."
(--Ramsey Campbell) "Unauthorized autobiography indeed! The footnotes
alone are worth their weight in gold, and the rest is a joy."
(--Christopher Lee) Do you need more description than that? Uncle Bob
tells it all. Buy it. You'll like it.

SPLIT HEIRS by Lawrence Watt-Evans & Esther M. Friesner
ISBN 0-312-85320-3: $18.95, hardcover
The king and queen of funny fantasy, together again for the first time!
(They made us say that.) "If Robert Benchley and Dorothy Parker had
teamed up to write epic fantasy, something like SPLIT HEIRS might have
resulted. Although I fear the field will never be the same, I'm still
snickering." (--John DeChancie) There are these triplets, you see...This
book also has the funniest dust jacket copy ever written.

HIGH STEEL by Jack C. Haldeman II & Jack Dann
ISBN 0-312-93163-8: $18.95, hardcover
You know who built the skyscrapers that crown New York: Mohawk Indians, a
people with almost no inborn fear of heights. Herein, the highest steel
of all: orbital construction, with labor conscripted from Earth's
reservations. But John Stranger is too determined a man to remain a
conscript forever... "A vatic account of the corruption of power and a
hymn to the spirit of freedom." (--Poul Anderson) "High Steel is an
occasion and triumph." (--Barry N. Malzberg) "One hell of a read."
(--Harry Crews, author of BODY)

VANISHING POINT by Michaela Roessner
ISBN 0-312-85213-4: $21.95, hardcover
The second novel from the author of WALKABOUT WOMAN--set in and around the
Winchester Mystery House, after the unexplained Disappearance of 90% of
the human race. Great science, great survivalist detail, great fight
scenes, great food values, and fabulous characterization. Lucius Shepard
says "VANISHING POINT is conceptually brilliant, an entirely new take on
the post-apocalyptic novel, full of fabulous invention and surprises; and
yet it is also an absorbing novel of character, and an examination of the
uses and measures of grief."

ISBN 0-312-85285-1: $21.95, hardcover
The aliens decide that They'll Take Manhattan...but forget about the Bronx
and Staten Island too. "To that group which includes Clarke, Asimov, Bear
and Clement, should be added the name of John E. Stith." (--Dan Simmons)
And Kevin O'Donnell, Jr. says "Has everything good sf demands: real human
beings, true aliens, awesome technology and a conflict of staggering

ISBN 0-312-85374-2: $22.95, hardcover
New, from that hotbed of SF and Fantasy deep in the heart of Texas, the
first novel from Los Blues Guys member Martha Wells. Pointed,
swashbuckling fantasy quite _un_like the work of Ellen Kushner and Steven
Brust--but if you like them, you're unlikely to be disappointed with THE
ELEMENT OF FIRE. "A fascinating read" says Anne McCaffrey. "A richly
detailed world of court intrigue, family tensions, and magical marvels,"
remarks Steven Gould.

July 1993 Orb trade paperback

ISBN 0-312-85298-3: $8.95
The box is heavy, locked, and very old. The only clue to its contents is
the name written in gold upon its lid: PANDORA. "The shrewd eye for
upper-middle-class tribal rituals, the tantalizingly convoluted mystery,
the quirky secondary characters, and-above all-the voice of Holly herself,
knowing but seldom cool, make this book a delight to read." (--Nancy
Kress) It's Gene Wolfe. It's another offbeat masterpiece. And the
is doing it again with the titles. Finally in paperback, in a permanent
edition under the Orb imprint.

July 1993 Tor SF and fantasy mass market releases

THE GYPSY by Steven Brust & Megan Lindholm
ISBN 0-812-52498-5: $4.99
Cigany is the gypsy, stalking the city in a cloud of magic. Stepovich is
the seasoned cop, who keeps finding dead bodies in the gypsy's wake. And
the Fair Lady is Queen of the Underworld, drawing them both into her
murderous web. "This combination fantasy and police procedural (Wambaugh
on acid) is several cuts above the troll-and-unicorn dreck that floods the
genre." (--starred review, Booklist) "Fantasy, yes, but it breathes a
spirit congenial to the SF reader too...every science fiction reader who
dreams of long light years passing, far worlds, strange peoples, wild
adventure. Brust and Lindholm have given SF its gypsy god." (--Analog)
A remarkable collaboration by two of the strongest voices in fantasy

DREAMSHIPS by Melissa Scott
ISBN 0-812-51302-9: $4.99
"One of science fiction's most talented newcomers", said the Baltimore Sun
of Melissa Scott. Sprawling, intense SF adventure in the manner of NOVA
and THE STARS MY DESTINATION, and a nominee for this year's Lambda
Literary Award. "Bless Ms. Scott...DREAMSHIPS is that rarity, real
science fiction without either magic or super-mental powers." (--Donald M.

THE SQUARE DEAL [Car Wars #1] by David Drake
ISBN 0-812-53030-6: $4.99
A novel in the world of CAR WARS, the bestselling game from Steve Jackson,
and the first of a series--look for the second, by Mick Farren, coming

ISBN 0-812-52310-5: $3.99
Back after several years out of print, in its first edition from Tor, Poul
Anderson's 1971 novel of a castaway in time, from the 20th century, who
falls in love with a Minoan bull dancer.

THE SPACE SWIMMERS by Gordon R. Dickson
ISBN 0-812-53583-9: $2.95

August 1993 Tor trade releases (hardcover and otherwise)

HARVEST OF STARS by Poul Anderson
ISBN 0-312-85277-0: $22.95, hardcover
"An extraordinarily powerful novel...a masterpiece." (--Larry Niven) "A
vivid, fast-paced novel on a grand scale. Anderson's mix of action,
colorful characters and fascinating concepts make HARVEST OF STARS a great
read." (--Larry Bond) "The best of his many novels...Visionary and
beautifully written, elegiac and transcendent, HARVEST OF STARS is the
brightest star in Poul Anderson's constellation." (--Keith Ferrell, editor
of OMNI) "It manages to accomplish the near-impossible: in an original
and interesting way, to reconcile the vintage Andersonian future of
exciting human adventure in space with the radically different prospect of
a future dominated by exponentially powerful artificial minds." (--Hans
Moravec, Robotics Institute, Carnegie-Mellon)
The major new novel from one of this century's masters of SF. If THE
BOAT OF A MILLION YEARS was Anderson's "comeback" novel heralding his
return to epic SF on a grand scale, this is the book in which he pulls it
all together. In HARVEST OF STARS we have Anderson the futurist, showing
us a multiplex, multicultural society of believable complexity; Anderson
the optimist, granting us glimpses of human potential far beyond the usual
pinched speculations of the present day; Anderson the tragedian, with his
acute sense of the brevity of life against the vast night of the universe;
and even (in a sense) Anderson the powerful fantasist--in one of the
novel's most astonishing riffs, a self-genetically-engineered Lunar
culture that is to all intents and purposes an intrusion of Elf Hill onto
the canvas of high hard SF.

LETTERS TO JENNY by Piers Anthony
ISBN 0-312-85413-7: $17.95, hardcover
This is a true story: Jenny is a young girl, an intense fan of Piers
Anthony and his Xanth series, who was comatose following a serious
accident. Desperate, her parents wrote to Anthony, asking if he would
write her a letter they could read her, figuring that word from her
favorite writer, if anything, might eventually bring her around. Piers did
so, and Jenny responded. Anthony continues to write to Jenny every week,
and has rallied his fans to help, as well. Now, in this volume, a
selection is presented from the first year's worth of those letters--
surprisingly touching, and offering insights into how Piers Anthony works
and how he relates to his fans. We'd go so far as to call this book

IN THE CUBE by David Alexander Smith
ISBN 0-312-85448-X: $18.95, hardcover
David Alexander Smith is the coordinator of the "Future Boston" writing
co-op, a group of writers including Alexander Jablokov, Steven Popkes,
Sarah Smith, and several others who, over the past several years, have
written and published a sequence of stories set in the same cooperatively-
developed next two centuries of Boston's history. IN THE CUBE ("Smith's
best book to date," says James Patrick Kelly) is the first full-length
novel of Future Boston, a thoughtful, insightful tale of human/alien
encounter that happens to move at the speed of an express train. And
there's more Future Boston in the pipeline: this winter, Tor will publish
the long-awaited FUTURE BOSTON anthology, in time for Arisia and Boskone.

RING OF SWORDS by Eleanor Arnason
ISBN 0-312-85518-4: $21.95, hardcover
Eleanor Arnason's last novel, A WOMAN OF THE IRON PEOPLE, tied with
Gwyneth Jones' WHITE QUEEN for the Tiptree Award and won the Mythopoeic
Fantasy Award. About it, Ursula K. Le Guin remarked "This fascinating
novel asks some big, serious questions, and it gives no easy answers--but
some very wise and funny ones. Enjoy!" Now Arnason returns with a new
tale of alien biology and interspecies diplomacy that shores up her
growing reputation as one of the heirs to the kind of thoughtful,
insightful SF pioneered by Le Guin herself.

ISBN 0-312-85549-4: $19.95, hardcover
Short stories of the human in the alien, and the alien in the human, from
THE KID. "Rebecca Ore has such a gift that her aliens--some of whom are
as alien as anything in SF--evoke my sympathy. I can't recommend her work
highly enough." (--Tom Easton, Analog) "One of our finest new SF voices!"
(--George Alec Effinger)

August 1993 Orb trade paperback

ISBN 0-312-85406-4: $9.95
"Murphy splendidly captures the atmosphere and spirit of the dig, and adds
a well-realized backdrop...Impressive archeological fantasy in a dramatic
Yucatan setting." (--Kirkus) "THE FALLING WOMAN is a powerful
psychological fantasy." (--Booklist) "An extraordinary novel!" (--Locus)
The Nebula Award-winning novel, back in print again, and this time to
stay. If you haven't read this story of a woman who can literally see the
past all around her, you should. Samuel R. Delany called it "a lovely and
literate exploration of the dark moment where myth and science meet."

August 1993 Tor SF and fantasy mass market releases

FLYING IN PLACE by Susan Palwick
ISBN 0-812-51334-7: $4.99
"A powerful and harrowing story about child abuse, denial, and the
withering of the soul...Dramatizes its horrific theme with unflinching
clarity and great dramatic power; it is a book compact enough to be read
in one long sitting and compels the reader to do just that." (--New York
Newsday) "One of the best and most moving novels by a new author I have
read in years." (--Alison Lurie) "Packs a huge emotional wallop...FLYING
IN PLACE is a brave and honest work, an impressive and important debut."
(--San Francisco Examiner) "The strongest and wisest novel I have ever
read about the problem of child abuse. A _novel_, not a polemic or a
tract, the book is impossible to read without being moved to fury and
tears." (--Jane Yolen) "A harrowing journey into the heart of an abused
child. The final confrontation scene literally set my pulse racing."
(--Bruce Coville) "A deeply moving book. Palwick's withering
understatements of pain are laced with a regret for the lost magic of
childhood--even a ruined childhood." (--Geoff Ryman) Winner of the
Crawford Award for best first fantasy novel, a selection of the Literary
Guild, this powerful, much-discussed debut is finally available in

ISBN 0-812-51967-1: $5.99
The mass market publication of Modesitt's "prequel" to THE MAGIC OF
RECLUCE, telling the tale of the founding of the island kingdom, and of
the heroic life of its founder, the powerful weather magician Creslin. "A
splendid fantasy that grips from the first sentence...For once this is a
book that really does cry out to be turned into a trilogy." (--Interzone

ALIEN PLOT by Piers Anthony
ISBN 0-812-53072-1: $4.99
A short story collection from the popular fantasy author. Most of the
material here is either previously unpublished or appeared in obscure
specialty magazines; the title story is entirely new. School Library
Journal said "[ALIEN PLOT] is a strong collection with wide appeal."

ISBN 0-812-52459-4: $3.99
A fresh, engaging fantasy from a writer better known for gothic darkness:
a surprising and different kind of book from Tanith Lee, and a welcome
one. "This is Lee at her best." (--Asimov's)

CONAN THE SAVAGE by Leonard Carpenter
ISBN 0-812-51412-2: $4.50
First mass-market publication of this new adventure of the barbarian

ALIGHT IN THE VOID by Poul Anderson
ISBN 0-812-53436-0: $4.50
A REBEL IN TIME by Harry Harrison
ISBN 0-812-53967-2: $3.95
THE MAGIC OF RECLUCE by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
ISBN 0-812-50518-2: $4.99
SPACE WINNERS by Gordon R. Dickson
ISBN 0-812-53558-8: $2.95


COMING NEXT ISSUE: Imprints Explained (Tor? Orb?
Forge?). Fall Books Revealed. Your Questions Answered.
And a starship in a pear tree.


Original posting date: 
Sunday, July 30, 1995
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