************************************************************** 
 *                                                            *
 *         R E A D I N G    F O R    P L E A S U R E          *
 *                                                            *
 *                        Issue #20                           *
 *               December 1991 / January 1992                 *
 *                                                            *
 *                                                            *
 *                 Editor: Cindy Bartorillo                   *
 *                                                            *
 *  Reviews by:  Cindy & Drew Bartorillo, Dan Ellis, Howard   *
 *    Frye, Carl Ingram, Darryl Kenning, Janet Peters,        *
 *    Robert Pittman, Peter Quint, Carol Sheffert, Annie      *
 *    Wilkes                                                  *
 *                                                            *
 **************************************************************

CONTACT US AT:  Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702; or on CompuServe leave a message to 74766,1206;
or on GEnie leave mail to C.BARTORILLO; or call our BBS, the BAUDLINE
II at 301-694-7108, 1200-9600 HST.

NOTICE:  Reading For Pleasure is not copyrighted. You may copy
freely, but please give us credit if you extract portions to use
somewhere else. This electronic edition is free, but print editions
cost $2 each for printing and postage.

                      **************************

~                       DISTRIBUTION DIRECTORY

Here are a few bulletin boards where you should be able to pick up the
latest issue of READING FOR PLEASURE. See masthead for where to send
additions and corrections to this list.

Academia            Pomono, NJ       Ken Tompkins      609-652-4914
Accolade! BBS       Round Rock,TX    Jack Moore        512-388-1445
Ad Lib              Monroeville,PA   John Williams     412-327-9209
Alexandria Link     Alexandria,VA    Patrick Pluto     703-799-5650
The Annex           Dayton,OH        John Cooper       513-274-0821
The BBS News        Dayton,OH        Michael Hess      513-835-3106
Beginnings BBS      Levittown,NY     Mike Coticchio    516-796-7296
Boot Strap OnLine   Yuma, AZ         Daryl Stogner     602-343-0878
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City People BBS     New York,NY      Barry Weiser      212-255-6656
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Dorsai Diplomatic Mission  NYC       Jack Brooks       212-431-1944
Floating Pancreas   Miami, FL        Majestic Cockster 305-551-0311
Futzer Avenue       Issaquah,WA      Stan Symms        206-391-2339
GEnieUsers          GEnie            Library #8
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HotTips BBS         Glendale, CA     Mike Callaghan    818-248-3088
Humanware BBS       New York         Jim Freund        212-980-3128
IBMNew              CompuServe       Library #0
INDY-PC BBS         Indianapolis     Mark Dutton       317-257-5882
Inn on the Park     Scottsdale,AZ    Jim Jusko         602-957-0631
Invention Factory   New York,NY      Mike Sussell      212-431-1273
Ivory Tower         Manchester,CT    Karl Hakmiller    203-649-5611
J.E.T.S. RBBS-PC    Philadelphia,PA                    215-955-7503
KCSS BBS            Seattle,WA       Bob Neddo         206-296-5277
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Magpie HQ           New York,NY      Steve Manes       212-420-0527
MCS BBS             Centerville,OH   Darryl Kenning    513-434-8355
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MSU Library BBS     St. Paul,MN      Dana Noonan       612-722-9257
Online! BBS         Roanoke,VA       Craig Slomczewski 703-774-0842
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Round Table BBS     Chicago,IL       Kevin Keyser      312-777-9480
Sabaline                             Don Saba          619-692-1961
Science Fiction RT  GEnie            Library #3
SF & Fantasy        CIS Hom-9        Library #5
SMOF-BBS            Austin,TX        Earl Cooley       512-467-7317
SoftServ            Long Beach,CA    J. Neil Schulman  213-957-1176
SunShine PCBoard    PembrokePines,FL Michele Hamilton  305-432-2223
Sunwise             Sun City W.,AZ   Keith Slater      602-584-7395
Technoids Anon.     Chandler,AZ      David Cantere     602-899-4876
The Underground BBS Fort Wayne,IN    Don McClain       219-456-6151
The Windows BBS                      John Champion     804-766-0553
Writers Happy Hr    Seattle,WA       Walter Scott      206-364-2139
Xevious             Framingham,MA    Nels Anderson     508-875-3618
Your Place          Fairfax,VA       Ken Goosens       703-978-6360

RFP Home Board (all issues available all the time):
Baudline II         Frederick,MD     the Bartorillo's  301-694-7108
(RFPs downloadable on first call; 9600 HST)

NOTE: Back issues on CompuServe may have been moved to a different
library.

                      **************************

                          Table of Contents

Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   115
Publishers Weekly All-Time First Fiction Bestsellers  . . . .   161
The Phenomenon of SCARLETT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   198
Mainstream Fiction Reviews  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   242
Murder By The Book (Mystery Reviews)  . . . . . . . . . . . .   917
Loosen Your Grip On Reality (SF & Fantasy Reviews)  . . . . .  1785
Frightful Fiction (Horror Reviews)  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2851
Nonfiction Reviews  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3463


                      **************************

~                             EDITORIAL

Here we are, back again with another huge issue full of reading
material of all kinds. We try to include the best recent, and not so
recent, books, and we give preferential treatment to books that you
wouldn't be likely to hear about otherwise. In the pages/screens of
RFP you'll find reviews, publisher's blurbs, and cover copy, of some
of the most interesting material we've found over the past two months.

Maybe a word about RFP's financial situation would be in order here.
As mentioned before, RFP is a labor of love by readers and for
readers. We keep our ear to the ground, haunt our local bookstores,
and pour through the latest literary journals looking for hidden
treasure. And, of course, we read. But all of this we would be doing
anyway, and we try to keep the overhead administrative work to a
minimum. In return, we give the electronic edition away freely, and
charge $2 per issue for the print edition to help cover printing and
mailing. We lose a few bucks on each issue, but not enough to really
complain about.

Thus, RFP is a not-for-profit concern. Or is the term nonprofit? Or
how about profitless? Whatever you call it, more money goes out than
comes in, and everyone here has donated their time and effort. All of
this is a long-winded way of explaining why we appreciate a little
financial consideration from RFP readers. If you'd like a mailed
answer to a question, please include a stamped self-addressed
envelope. And please don't ask for copies of RFP "on spec" or
whatever. The money you send is what we give the post office for the
mailing--if you don't send any money, the post office won't deliver
anything.

One more thing: We occasionally have technical difficulties with
electronic mail. Like our software downloads it then trashes it
without showing it to us first. Or sometimes the electronic service
that holds our mail gets rid of it before we get it. Whatever. For
that reason, I like to announce periodically that we are completely
caught up on our correspondence here at RFP. If you've been waiting
for a response to something, and you're still waiting, we probably
didn't get your letter. Please try again.

All of us here at RFP hope you and yours have a very happy and safe
holidays. Don't forget that books make excellent gifts. And happy
reading...

                      **************************

~        PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ALL-TIME FIRST FICTION BESTSELLERS
                        (1945 to the Present)

The following list represents the top-selling first fictional books,
according to hardcover sales only.

1. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (1970; Macmillan;
   1,400,000)
2. Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor (1985; Viking; 1,386,000)
3. The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe (1987; Farrar, Straus &
   Giroux; 745,321)
4. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow (1987; Farrar, Straus & Giroux;
   712,490)
5. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (1977; Harper & Row; 675,513)
6. Contact by Carl Sagan (1985; Simon & Schuster; 475,000)
7. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy (1985; Naval Institute
   Press; 438,159)
8. Love Story by Erich Segal (1970; Harper & Row; 432,532)
9. The Miracle of the Bells by Russell Janney (1946; Prentice-Hall;
   400,000)
10. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (1966; Bernard Geis;
    360,000)
11. Prime Time by Joan Collins (1988; Simon & Schuster; 327,000)
12. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1983; Harcourt Brace
    Jovanovich; 305,749)
13. Watership Down by Richard Adams (1974; Macmillan; 305,000)
14. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (1989; Putnam; 277,365)
15. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (1956; Messner; 250,000)
16. From Here to Eternity by James Jones (1951; Scribners; 240,000)
17. The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel (1980; Crown; 230,000)
18. Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes (1972; Revell; 225,000)
19. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman (1965; Prentice-Hall;
    223,000)
20. Jaws by Peter Benchley (1974; Doubleday; 222,000)

                      **************************

~                    THE PHENOMENON OF "SCARLETT"

SCARLETT, Alexandra Ripley's sequel to Margaret Mitchell's GONE WITH
THE WIND, is a monster hit. Its publisher, Warner Books, estimates
that 500,000 copies were sold in the U.S. in just the first week. The
new #1 fiction bestseller has even revived interest in the original:
GONE WITH THE WIND is back on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list
(#12 as I write this) for the first time in over 50 years.

Now we hear that CBS and a consortium of American and European
investors has paid nearly $10 million for the film rights. Before
this, the highest price paid for screen rights was about $2.5 million,
which went to THY NEIGHBOR'S WIFE by Gay Talese, which was, by the
way, never filmed. The SCARLETT deal covers American television rights
and TV and film rights abroad (also videocassette and video disk
rights). Author Ripley will also receive a percentage of the profits
of the 8-hour-minimum CBS miniseries, though she is NOT writing the
screenplay. The miniseries may be released as a feature film abroad.

SCARLETT will also be appearing (abridged) in your local bookstores in
audio cassette form, just in time for Christmas. Simon & Schuster paid
$150,000 for the audio rights.

Warner Books will probably be releasing SCARLETT in a paperback
edition in 1992, and don't be surprised if they also put out another
TV tie-in edition in 1993 when the CBS miniseries is scheduled.

Those involved will certainly be trying to turn the casting of the
SCARLETT miniseries into a media circus comparable to that which
preceded the making of GONE WITH THE WIND. We have heard that they are
looking for an unknown actress to play Scarlett and an established
actor to play Rhett Butler.

                      **************************

"Editors are now as obsolete as the hand-crank telephone. Almost all
the people with experience in editing have had to go freelance.
They've been replaced by people with the title of editor whose real
skills and experience were gained in sales, marketing or promotion.
Books have become products, like cereal or perfume or deodorant."
               ---Alexandra Ripley (author of SCARLETT)

                      **************************

~MAINSTREAM FICTION:

^                           GLASS MOUNTAIN
                           by Cynthia Voigt
    (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-15-135825-7)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

When it's springtime in New York, the upper class comes out to play.
There's the exceedingly wealthy Theo, juggling his parents, social
engagements, and a vast array of beautiful women. And Gregor, Theo's
manservant, unusually intelligent and well-read (he reacts to crisis
and depression by reading through Dickens, from PICKWICK PAPERS to THE
MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD), whose carefully chosen words form the
backbone of this delightful comedy of manners. And let's not forget
the women of GLASS MOUNTAIN: Sarah, Theo's sister, whose heart leads
her astray; Prune, the wealthy woman chosen to be Theo's wife; and the
very rich mystery woman being ever-so-carefully wooed by Gregor.

GLASS MOUNTAIN is a literate, sophisticated comedy, a modern version
of a Noel Coward play. The sparkling dialogue, the intricate love
lives of the characters, the suspense--it all adds up to a delightful
read that, even at 288 pages, is over far too soon. Will Theo actually
marry Prune? Will Gregor win the mystery woman? When will the mystery
woman discover that Gregor is not the wealthy man of leisure he seems
to be? Will Sarah ever be happy? GLASS MOUNTAIN is irresistible, a
rare and sophisticated comedy from Cynthia Voigt, who has previously
been known for her young-adult fiction.

                      **************************

^         RAY BRADBURY ON STAGE: A Chrestomathy of His Plays
                           by Ray Bradbury
         (Primus, November 1991, $12.95, ISBN 1-55611-305-6)
                        review by Howard Frye

Ray Bradbury, one of America's most treasured authors, has written
novels and short stories, as well as dramas for television, radio,
theater, and film. Eleven of his best-known plays, out of print for
more than a decade, are brought together in RAY BRADBURY ON STAGE.
Originally published in three separate volumes: THE ANTHEM SPRINTERS
AND OTHER ANTICS is from the time he was living in Ireland and writing
the screenplay for MOBY DICK, while THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT AND
OTHER PLAYS--as well as PILLAR OF FIRE AND OTHER PLAYS--are more
recent, and the plays tend toward his more futuristic fiction. Three
of the plays were produced on USA Network's RAY BRADBURY THEATRE.

The plays include: Pillar of Fire, Kaleidoscope, The Fog Horn, The
Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, The Veldt, To the Chicago Abyss, The Anthem
Sprinters, The Great Collision of Monday Last, The First Night of
Lent, A Clear View of an Irish Mist, The Queen's Own Evaders. RAY
BRADBURY ON STAGE is an important, and enjoyable, addition to your
Bradbury shelf.

                      **************************

^                           PLUM'S PEACHES
               by P.G. Wodehouse, edited by D.R. Bensen
     (International Polygonics, 1991, $21.95, ISBN 1-55882-100-7)
                    commentary from the publisher

Think of Wodehouse and you think of Jeeves and Bertie Wooster, of Lord
Emsworth, of Psmith, of Ukridge, of Mr. Mulliner, true enough. But,
when you come down to it, what motivates these worthies (and
unworthies)? Running after them, running from them, wooing them,
placating them, rescuing them, being rescued by them--whenever a
Wodehouse male goes into high gear, it's almost always something to do
with a woman, and probably one too good for him at that.

Pelhem Grenville (Plum) Wodehouse's work displays both a high respect
and keen relish for women--from demure damsels to frenzied flappers,
his female characters are usually saner than his men (which isn't
saying much). Here is an orchard of Wodehouse peaches (and a lemon or
two): fourteen short stories featuring the outrageous Bobbie Wickham,
the three ex-wives of millionaire Vincent Jopp, the extortionate Vera
Prebble, the near-lethal Celia Tennant, the abundantly ripe Maudie
Wilberforce, Cleapatra herself reincarnate in Cora McGuffy
Spottsworth, and a basketful more.

For those for whom romance is not enough, the stories provide useful
instruction on how to avoid dealing with fiery dragons, the
consequences of multiple concurrent engagements, weight-loss and
beauty tips, how to brain a fiance, the perils of ambience, a
sure-fire method for establishing a film career and detailed
instructions on imitating a hen laying an egg (a personal fowl). Who
could ask for more--if indeed as much?

                      **************************

^                              MAMISTA
                           by Len Deighton
                        (HarperCollins, 1991)
                       review by Robert Pittman

MAMISTA is the acronym for Movimiento de Accion Marxista, a
revolutionary group, competing with two other Marxist groups against
the established dictatorship for the control of Spanish Guiana in
South America. It is a four-way den of thieves fighting with each
other, and around them, a muddled and befuddled mass of population
trying to subsist and function in this society of conflict. Also
present is the U.S. Government and a special interest group from
England, both trying to advance their own agendas through
opportunities provided in the turmoil and confusion of the moment.

Len Deighton, like many other writers of stories that concentrate on
spying and espionage, has found the drug trade to be the theme which
provides the thrills and chills that more recently arose from actions
situated around East/West cold war subjects. The new setting is still
populated with the usual cast of characters. There is a despotic and
brutal government ruling over the citizens of Spanish Guiana. There is
a clever, crude, amoral revolutionary leader. There is a beautiful,
young woman, idealistic and dedicated to the revolutionary cause.
There is an embittered young man with a privileged background from the
U.S. who has joined the rebels as a statement of protest. There is an
Australian adventurer and our old friends from the CIA and the White
House.

The plot concentrates on one of the rebel groups as it seeks to
restore its supplies and to find aid and other support that will
sustain its fight for dominance and control. A particularly graphic
episode in the adventure is a journey through the Guianaian jungle in
which the rebels are hampered and beset by almost every imaginable
adverse circumstance that Mother Nature has to offer. The entire story
vividly demonstrates the brutality and ineptness that goes hand in
hand with revolution and the ultimate futility of empty causes.

This is not one of Len Deighton's best books, but it is worth reading
and does have a fine, surprise ending.

                      **************************

^                           TO LOVE AGAIN
                          by Evelyn Kennedy
               (Naiad, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-941483-85-1)
                              cover copy

Author Evelyn Kennedy returns to us...in a new story with all the
passion and eroticism of her all-time bestseller, CHERISHED LOVE.

Karen Wainwright, married and the mother of two teenagers, reenters
the nursing profession by taking a job at a women's clinic.

Her first day on the job is unusual, to say the least. Caught in a
cross-fire created by anti-abortion forces, she is arrested, along
with clinic director Dr. Joanna Jordon, and taken to jail.

To the horror of friends and family, Karen's arrest is recorded by
television cameras. Quit immediately, orders husband Phillip. But
Karen refuses.

And so begins her relationship with Joanna...

Joanna is undergoing her own conflicts with long-term partner Vicki,
who has lost patience with Joanna's pro-choice activism and its
perilous presence in their lives.

Friendship between Karen and Joanna becomes passionate attraction. But
both women have carefully constructed worlds to lose: Joanna her
long-term relationship with Vicki, and Karen her home and children.

Will Karen and Joanna find the courage TO LOVE AGAIN? If your local
bookstore doesn't have TO LOVE AGAIN, you can order it directly from
the publisher by sending the list price, plus 15% for shipping and
handling to: The Naiad Press Inc., PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL
32302. Or get your credit card and call 1-800-533-1973.

                      **************************

^                        THE NEMESIS MISSION
                             by Dean Ing
           (Tor, November 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85105-7)
                    commentary from the publisher

Unorthodox archeologist Harry Rex Brown (a Mormon with an "Indiana
Jones" complex), posing as an anthropologist while illegally
collecting samples of Mayan artifacts, is chased by guerillas and
buzzed by a strange plane, certainly not a craft belonging to the
Mexican Air Force. So begins Dean Ing's new high-tension novel, THE
NEMESIS MISSION, which stars an intriguing cast of characters,
including the plane itself--an ultra-light, solar-powered,
cutting-edge two-person spyplane that can stay aloft for weeks, fly or
glide at any altitude, and conduct continuous surveillance undetected.

The Nemesis mission is to avert the plan of Colombian druglord Simon
Torres (who has moved his operation to Mexico) to smuggle one billion
dollars in cash and a planeful of hostages from Las Vegas to Mexico.
Unfortunately, the Nemesis crashes in the Mexican jungle and the
pilots, Wes Hardin and Colleen Morrison, find themselves caught
between a CIA rescue team and the murderous guerillas. Ing also
introduces us to bewildered vacationers (who thought they were
visiting Mexico to look at condos), FBI agents disguised in
double-knit and drag, and mystical Mayans, still honoring their
cultural past.

RFP NOTE: This one looks like a terrific fast-paced read.

                      **************************

~BOOKS ON TAPE:

^                    LILA: An Inquiry Into Morals
               by Robert M. Pirsig, read by Will Patton
                        340 minute abridgment
       (Bantam Audio, November 1991, $22.50, ISBN 0-553-47021-3
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

     "It's not the nice guys who bring about real social change.
     Nice guys look nice because they're conforming. It's the bad
     guys, who only look nice a hundred years later that are the
     real dynamic force in social evolution."

LILA is Robert M. Pirsig's first book since the classic ZEN AND THE
ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE (1974), and is an extension of the
earlier book. LILA tells the story of the philosopher/narrator
Phaedrus' experiences with a troubled woman named Lila, but this is
only a backdrop for his philosophical wanderings. In the course of
LILA Phaedrus lays the groundwork for an entire philosophic
superstructure that he calls the Metaphysics of Quality, wherein
everything is divided into four groups: inorganic, biological, social,
and intellectual. Along the way he considers Victorian society,
mysticism, anthropology, William James, insanity, religious
experience, and above all, Native American culture.

LILA is not a breezy read, nor is it an easy listening experience;
this is a tape that requires your attention at all times. The ideas,
though, are provocative, invigorating, and exciting--LILA is well
worth the effort. The reader Will Patton (from the movie NO WAY OUT,
and others) has one of my favorite voices, bringing an intensity and
enthusiasm to LILA that enhances comprehension. This is an enjoyable
and challenging book and tape.

                      --------------------------

^                    THE BIG GARAGE ON CLEAR SHOT
                    written and read by Tom Bodett
                          music by Johnny B.
                        120 minute unabridged
      (Bantam Audio, November 1991, $15.99, ISBN 0-553-47014-0)
                        review by Janet Peters

Tom Bodett's fictional Alaskan town is called The End of the Road, and
The Big Garage is a gathering place for the cast of characters that
reside there. This collection of stories considers such subjects as
junkyards, fighting, secret fishing holes, romance, and even Ruby
McClay's Video Round-up. The author's calm, dry delivery suits the
material, and the piano music of Johnny B. sets the tone perfectly.
THE BIG GARAGE ON CLEAR SHOT would be particularly of interest to fans
of television's NORTHERN EXPOSURE. It has the same dry wit, and the
same warm, human quality.

                      --------------------------

^                        THE BURDEN OF PROOF
                by Scott Turow, read by Grover Gardner
                        (Books On Tape, Inc.)
                       review by Robert Pittman

This is a novel of suspense that delves into suicide and deception and
the resulting emotional battering and puzzling complexities that
descend into the life of Sandy Stern, a skilled, polished, controlled
and respected member of the bar.

Stern returns home from a short business trip, opens his garage door
and finds his wife slumped behind the steering wheel of her car, dead
from breathing carbon monoxide. He calls the emergency service,
contacts his two daughters and his son and then begins to cope with
the shock, grief and guilt that accompanies this suicidal death.

In this setting the author begins the creation of his principal
character on two levels. The first is Stern as a substantial father
figure and prominent lawyer who is authoritative, responsible and
knowledgeable. The second is Stern as a man whose comfortable,
predictable life has fallen asunder, leaving him confused,
apprehensive and tentative almost to the point of inaction in his
relationships and the conduct of his daily affairs. He outwardly
projects the first personality but inwardly lives as the second.

Skillfully using occasional flashbacks as the story unfolds, Scott
Turow builds well-developed backgrounds for the principal characters.
We learn that Sandy Stern was a young immigrant from Argentina who has
won his current prominence in law circles through hard work,
dedication and exceptional ability. His wife, Clara, is the offspring
of a family long established in the community and socially preeminent.
She is well educated, understands her societal and family
responsibilities and is confident of her ability to respond to them.

At the family gathering in preparation for Clara's funeral, two men
from the office of the district attorney visit the home in an attempt
to serve a subpoena on Stern's brother-in-law, Dixon Hartnell. Stern
has somewhat reluctantly served as Dixon's lawyer for many years and
while loyal to his client, is less than enamored with his business
ethics and his personal standards of conduct. Dixon owns a large and
successful commodity brokerage firm and is frequently in conflict with
tax authorities and with the regulatory agencies that deal with this
area of business.

Two mysteries run simultaneously throughout this novel. One centers on
Clara's suicide and the other on the investigation of Dixon's
business. At the outset, they are very separate subjects, but as the
story moves forward, they become intertwined in curious and surprising
ways. As Stern begins looking into the activities of his wife just
prior to her death he finds some unusual and unexpected things. She
has unpaid and unidentified medical charges of which he was not aware
and he finds that her large personal holdings have been reduced by a
withdrawal of over $850,000 in the form of a cashier's check:
recipient unknown! These discoveries trigger Stern's pilgrimage into
the details of her recent past and thus into a morass of activities
and relationships that brutally upset his previously held notions and
totally unbalance and restrict his usual ability to rationally examine
a problem.

As he deals with the pain and the puzzle of his wife's demise, he is
also attempting to cope with the investigation of Dixon's business.
Dixon is a self-serving individual, full of deceit and one who
sustains an uncooperative, almost hostile relationship with Stern.
Stern's allegiance to Dixon is rooted in professional standards and
familial ties, but he has always had difficulty and some aversion to
dealing with the man. Dixon is a master of evasion in responding to
Stern's attempts to understand the nature of the justice department
investigation. He lies, hides information and professes to know of no
reason for an investigation of his business. Thus, to Stern falls the
task of laboriously extracting the ugly details of Dixon's business
affairs.

Throughout the story uncertainty plagues Stern. He realizes that the
fear of knowing is hampering his ability to ask the right questions
and take decisive actions. He fumbles so often in his opportunities to
solve his problems that the listener feels a sharp urge to reach in
and help him. In the end, though, Stern pulls himself together,
resolves the multiple mysteries and learns several good lessons about
himself and his family.

This is a good story made even better by the excellent reading of
Grover Gardner. Mr. Gardner is an experienced reader--one of my
catalogs credits him with 69 different titles! He is easy to
understand and is skilled at projecting a variety of distinctive
characters with just slight changes of tone and accent.

THE BURDEN OF PROOF is recorded on 12 one and one-half hour cassettes
and is well worth eighteen hours of listening time.

                      --------------------------

^                            THE DECEIVER
          by Frederick Forsyth, performed by Charles Keating
                        240-minute abridgment
       (Bantam Audio, October 1991, $19.99, ISBN 0-553-07319-2)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

For years Sam McCready has served with distinction in Britain's Secret
Intelligence Service (SIS). Now, a top-level decision has been made to
eliminate some of the SIS's old-style operatives and McCready has been
targeted for "early retirement." As is the SIS's policy, an appeal of
the decision is allowed and one of McCready's most determined foes,
(and long-time friend) Timothy Edwards, presents McCready's top four
cases as evidence that he should not be forced into retirement.
One-by-one we hear these four cases as they are presented to the
appeal board. These are classic cases, dazzling evidence of McCready's
value--or are they damning proof that he, in fact, should be put
aside?

I was more than a little leery of listening to a cassette version of
what is obviously a top-notch spy thriller. Normally these type
stories have labyrinthine plots and dozens and dozens of characters. I
found, though, that THE DECEIVER was very easy to listen to and very
easy to follow. The four McCready cases that are presented in the book
are very, very interesting, and I think the first one, about a Russian
defector, who McCready believes might actually be double agent, is the
best of the lot and extremely well done. My second favorite was about
a supposedly "washed up" operative who McCready chooses to take
possession of a Russian defense department document.

Charles Keating (recently seen in AWAKENINGS) does a masterful
job with all the different voices and accents, which made THE
DECEIVER more of a performance than a reading. This is a good
tape set for long trips or commuter travel. I personally used the
tapes to improve one week's commuting to and from work.

                      **************************

~CHRISTMAS CHEER:

^                       MISS READ'S CHRISTMAS
                             by Miss Read
     (Academy Chicago, October 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-89733-352-7)
                        review by Janet Peters

Dora Jessie Saint has been writing timeless tales of English country
village life under the name Miss Read for over 35 years. Her stories
are full of old-fashioned values, tiny cottages, spinster ladies,
high-spirited children, homemade happiness, and lots of good food.
MISS READ'S CHRISTMAS brings together in one attractively-bound volume
two of her yuletide stories, "Village Christmas" and "The Christmas
Mouse". In the first, spinster sisters Margaret and Mary have a very
special holiday with their annoying new neighbors, and in the second
elderly Mrs. Berry receives two visitations on Christmas Eve night,
neither one bearing the slightest resemblance to anything thought of
by Charles Dickens. Both are delightful, and deserve a place alongside
our other Christmas classics like A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS and A
CHRISTMAS CAROL. MISS READ'S CHRISTMAS is recommended holiday reading
for the whole family.

If your local bookstore can't get MISS READ'S CHRISTMAS for you, you
can contact the publisher at: Academy Chicago, 213 West Institute
Place, Chicago, IL 60610.

                      **************************

^                THE ANNOTATED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
      edited, with an Introduction and notes, by Martin Gardner
       (Summit Books, October 1991, $20.00, ISBN 0-671-70839-2)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

I have never seen, or even heard of, so many versions of A VISIT FROM
ST. NICHOLAS, and can't imagine how Martin Gardner managed to hunt
down all of them. In any case, they're a lot of fun, and with
Gardner's interesting commentary, beautiful illustrations, all nicely
bound by Summit Books, THE ANNOTATED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS makes a
wonderful gift for the whole family.

Martin Gardner begins by giving the history of the poem, it's author
Clement C. Moore, Santa Claus himself, as well as the history of
Christmas. Chapter 2 contains the complete text of Moore's famous
poem, and Chapters 3 through 10 collect all the parodies, sequels, and
other related material. The book ends with a chapter on Rudolf the
Red-Nosed Reindeer and a lovely G.K. Chesterton piece, "A Shop of
Ghosts". Among the texts you'll find poems about the Night After
Christmas:

     'Twas the night after Christmas, and boy, what a house!
     I felt like the devil, and so did the spouse.

There are parodies that involve someone other than Santa, such as "A
Visit From St. Nicholson" by Bob Rivers, Dennis Amero, and Brian
Silva, which includes a longish monologue that is just perfect for all
Jack Nicholson impersonators. Computers show up in quite a few of the
poems, like "A Visit From Saint Woz" by Marty Knight, and even a piece
called "The Worm Before Christmas by Clement C. Morris--

     I unplugged the net, and was turning around,
     When the worm-ridden system went down with a bound.

There are parodies by Frank Jacobs from MAD magazine, parodies written
for special groups, and parodies in dialect, such as "Cajun Night
Before Christmas by J.B. Kling, Jr.

     Den out on de by-you
     Dey got such a clatter
     Make soun' like old Boudreau
     Done fall off his ladder.

This year, why get stuck with the same old poem when there are so many
variants to choose from? Just imagine the looks you'll get when your
family and friends hear your rendition of "The Booze Before Christmas"

     My houseguests had long since been poured in their beds,
     To wake in the morning with hungover heads.

                      **************************

^                    THE FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS
                          by J.R.R. Tolkien
         (Houghton Mifflin, 1976, $10.95, ISBN 0-395-59698-X)
                              cover copy

Every Christmas J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of THE HOBBIT and the
enchanted world of Middle-earth, sent his children a letter from
Father Christmas--handwritten, illustrated, even with a North Pole
stamp. This collection is filled with wonderful tales about life at
the North Pole, enchanted by Tolkien's delightful watercolors and
fantastical drawings.

RFP NOTE: A colorful, magical Christmas book by one of the greatest
imaginative writers of all time.

                      **************************

~              CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS WITH BANTAM AUDIO
                    commentary from the publisher


^             A TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS STORIES AND POEMS
               60-minute performance by Jane Alexander
              (Bantam Audio, $9.99, ISBN 0-553-45145-6)

In a unique listening experience the entire family can enjoy, actress
Jane Alexander reads traditional Christmas tales and poems handed down
from generation to generation to guarantee the perfect holiday. From
O. Henry's poignant tale of love "The Gift of the Magi", to Hans
Christian Anderson's "The Fir Tree" as well as stirring renditions of
our best-loved carols, this treasury is brimming with Christmas cheer.
This audio tape brings all the warmth and wonder of the season into
your home and will be cherished by parents and children alike.

                      **************************

^                     A CELEBRATION OF HANUKKAH
                 40-minute performance by Hal Linden
              (Bantam Audio, $9.99, ISBN 0-553-45147-2)

Every year families gather to commemorate the brave heroes of Hanukkah
and the miracle of the light. Here at last is an audio collection that
brings all the heritage and tradition of one of Judaism's most joyous
holidays into your home. A CELEBRATION OF HANUKKAH, performed by Hal
Linden, is a powerful retelling of the stories of Judah Macabee's
courage and Judith's wisdom. Hal Linden also tells listeners the
meanings and folktales behind such Hanukkah symbols as the menorah,
the dreidel, and Hanukkah gelt. And finally, the whole family will
want to join Linden in singing such beloved Hebrew and Yiddish songs
of the season as "Rock of Ages" and "Dreidel", specially arranged and
produced for this collection. This heartwarming audio celebration will
be enjoyed by all ages throughout the eight days of the Festival of
Lights and for years to come.

                      **************************

^                A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens
          60-minute abridgment performed by Sir John Gielgud
              (Bantam Audio, $9.99, ISBN 0-553-45146-4)

Sir John Gielgud's dramatic reading of an abridgment of this holiday
classic brings Dickens's memorable characters to life. The tale of
stingy Ebenezer Scrooge, humble Bob Cratchit, and beloved Tiny Tim has
taken a special place in the heart of everyone's holiday tradition.
This timeless delight of the most famous celebration of Christmas and
family love shows us the nature of true charity, the power of
tenderness, and the wisdom of innocence in a coldhearted world that
will be enjoyed over and over again by listeners of all ages.

Charles Dickens's classic tale, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, performed by Sir
John Gielgud. For added shared family pleasure, this audio is packaged
with a free copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

                      **************************

~FOR YOUNGER READERS:

^               QUILL'S ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT BEYOND
       by John Waddington-Feather, illustrated by Doreen Edmond
                            ages 8 and up
             (John Muir, 1991, $5.95, ISBN 1-56261-015-5)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

       "You would have thought they'd have seen what was
     happening long before it took place and taken steps to do
     something about it," Quill said.
       "They were--and still are--too greedy. They'd rather live
     in squalor than make their country beautiful again, as long
     as their pockets are full. Their land is a shambles now--a
     wasteland. That's how it got its name. I've never been
     there, but I'm told the whole place is derelict--acres and
     acres of slum houses and poisoned land."
       "And now they've come to the Great Beyond," said Quill
     sadly.

It's spring and Quill Hedgehog is ready for an adventure. He decides
to ignore Kraken's warnings and take a trip into the Great Beyond, a
strange and mysterious land over the mountains that border Domusland.
On the way he meets Horatio Fitzworthy, a cat with deep secrets and a
similar taste for adventure. Quill discovers that Horatio is
originally from the Great Beyond, and was the lord of Fitzworthy
Castle until his unscrupulous lawyer Mungo Brown took over and
declared himself President. Mungo then began making financially
advantageous deals with the Wastelanders, rats from beyond who had
polluted their own territory until it was barely habitable, and who
needed new land to plunder. Soon the Great Beyond was dotted with
factories belching horrid smoke into the air, and the Wastelanders
were destroying wilderness to make room for slum housing. Horatio has
decided to take back his Castle, free the citizens of the Great
Beyond, and expel the hated Wastelanders (and Mungo Brown too), or die
in the attempt. And Quill decides to help Horatio. Their adventures
are both comical and thrilling, and QUILL'S ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT
BEYOND is a great read for all ages.

QUILL'S ADVENTURES IN THE GREAT BEYOND is Book One in a series of
"green fiction", featuring Quill Hedgehog--a dedicated
environmentalist--and his animalfolk friends. They were first
published in England by author, the Reverend John Waddington-Feather,
an Anglican priest with three daughters for whom the tales were
created. The books were nominated for the Library Association's
Carnegie Medal in 1988 by England's Youth Libraries Group. John Muir
Publications also has Book Two: QUILL'S ADVENTURES IN WASTELAND
($5.95, ISBN 1-56261-016-3) and Book Three: QUILL'S ADVENTURES IN
GROZZIELAND ($5.95, ISBN 1-56261-017-1).

You can get QUILL'S ADVENTURES from your local bookstore, or by
sending the list price, plus shipping and handling ($2.75 for the
first book and $.50 for each book thereafter) to: John Muir
Publications, PO Box 613, Santa Fe, NM 87504. They ship UPS, so be
sure to give them a street address, not a PO box.

There is also a Quill Hedgehog Club. Members receive a membership
certificate, a Hedgehog Club badge, and Quill's Club Newsletter, a
quarterly publication of the latest news from Hedgehog Corner. Members
will be among the very first to learn about Quill's newest adventures
and his battles to preserve the environment. Send name, address, and
$10 to: Quill Hedgehog, Hedgehog Corner, Fair View, Old Coppice, Lyth
Bank, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England SY3 0BW.

                      **************************

^                  WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN
        by James Whitcomb Riley, illustrations by Glenna Lang
                             ages 3 to 8
          (Godine, October 1991, $15.95, ISBN 0-87923-912-3)
                    commentary from the publisher

WHEN THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN is James Whitcomb Riley's exuberant
ode to Fall on the farm, published by David R. Godine for the 75th
anniversary of his death. Written in bouncy Hoosier dialect, the
Indiana poet's classic poem is fun to read aloud, and fun to listen
to. Glenna Lang's gouache watercolor illustrations follow a little
girl through fields of pumpkins and other fruits of the harvest,
orchards, and barnyards filled with gentle animals. At the poem's end,
one of the pumpkins becomes a jack-o-lantern, and the girl's thoughts
turn happily to the fall holidays to come. The book's rich, smooth
colors and simple shapes express the feel of autumn in a way that will
appeal to children.

                      **************************

^                      ANIMAL FABLES FROM AESOP
            adapted and illustrated by Barbara McClintock
                            ages 6 and up
     (David R. Godine, November 1991, $17.95, ISBN 0-87923-913-1)
                        review by Janet Peters

THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW selected Barbara McClintock's last
book, HEARTACHES OF A FRENCH CAT (Godine, 1989), as one of the ten
best illustrated books of the year. Now she has created a wonderful
set of 54 19th century-style illustrations for a collection of Aesop's
fables. McClintock's Wolf, Fox, Crow, Mice, Cat, etc., retain their
animal features while wearing Victorian clothing and all-too-human
facial expressions and body language. The detail of fur, clothing, and
scenery is matched only by the delicacy of the coloring. This is a
perfect opportunity to share classic Aesop fables, beautifully
illustrated, with a new generation. A lovely book.

                      **************************

* You may have noticed in an earlier RFP that the Everyman Library, a
long-time favorite with readers interested in affordable, good-quality
classics, was recently revived. The new incarnation was launched with
a champagne party in Spencer House (on St. James Place, London).
Attending the party were Mick Jagger and his wife Jerry Hall, who have
ordered a complete set to match their collection of the original
Everymans.

* ENCOUNTERS WITH AUTHORS is a collection of 20 interviews with and
articles about writers like: Evan Hunter, Tennessee Williams, Larry
McMurtry, Chaim Potok, B.F. Skinner, Richard Eberhart, Eugenia Price,
John Mortimer, Harry Crews, Alain Robbe-Grillet, etc. These authors
write fantasy, poetry, mystery, journalism, drama, literary,
experimental and commercial fiction, and in ENCOUNTERS WITH AUTHORS
they talk about the art and business of writing. To get a copy, send
$3 to: Twin Rivers Press, PO Box 119, Ellenton, FL 34222.

* Anyone interested in publishing should know about PRINTER'S DEVIL:
GRAPHIC ARTS FOR THE SMALL PRESS. It's a fascinating tri-annual
publication of information, instruction, and inspiration for anyone
who publishes (or would like to) on a smallish scale. As they put it:
"The purposes of this journal are to provide the small press with
accurate and timely information on all phases of the graphic arts and
to promote ART and CRAFT in contemporary printing." A single copy is
$2.10, and a year's worth (USA, First Class) is $6.75. Write to: THE
PRINTER'S DEVIL, Mother of Ashes Press, PO Box 66, Harrison, Idaho
83833-0066.

* Sidney Sheldon's current bestseller, THE DOOMSDAY CONSPIRACY
(Morrow), has been bought by Joel Silver and Warner Bros. for
theatrical development. Arnold Kopelson (producer of PLATOON) has
bought the rights to Sheldon's next novel, which hasn't even been
written yet.


                      #:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#
                      #   MURDER BY THE BOOK  #
                      #:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#:#

                      editor:  Cindy Bartorillo

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Murder By The Book is a division of Reading For Pleasure, published
bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used freely by
all. Catalogs, news releases, review copies, or donated reviews should
be sent to:  Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702.
---------------------------------------------------------------------


^                             LAND KILLS
                        by Nat & Yanna Brandt
            (Foul Play, 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-88150-209-X)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Veteran newsman Mitch Stevens is teaching college journalism when old
friend Ham Johnson asks him to take over editing his smalltown daily
newspaper for a couple of summer months. Ham is scheduled for cancer
surgery and needs someone he can trust to take over his Southborough,
Vermont, paper while he's recuperating. Mitch figures he'll also bring
one of his journalism students as an intern to help out, and while
he's in Vermont he'll look around for a piece of land that he and his
actress wife Val could build a house on. It's while he's checking out
a beautiful and extensive property that he literally falls over a
decomposing corpse in the woods. The body turns out to be real estate
saleswoman Vera Tolvey, apparently accidentally shot by a hunter the
previous November. Locals say that hunting is almost a religion around
those parts, and everyone knows better than to wander around during
hunting season without wearing an orange vest. It isn't long before
there is another mysterious death, and even another, not to mention a
few fires, and Mitch just KNOWS that something ominous is going on in
sleepy Southborough. Could it have something to do with the new ski
resort that local businessmen seem so excited about?

LAND KILLS is a first-rate mystery: the characters are well-developed,
the Vermont town is vividly drawn, the newsroom scenes are exciting,
and the land development/newsroom plot is compelling and nicely paced.
Foul Play Press says that LAND KILLS is the first novel in a projected
series, so with any luck we can look forward to many more adventures
with journalist sleuth Mitch Stevens. Highly recommended.

The Authors: Nat Brandt is a former newspaper editor and reporter,
professor of journalism, and editor of AMERICAN HERITAGE and
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. He is the author of several books on American
history, the most recent of which are THE TOWN THAT STARTED THE CIVIL
WAR and THE CONGRESSMAN WHO GOT AWAY WITH MURDER. Yanna Brandt has
been directing, writing, and producing in theatre, films, and TV for
thirty years. Recipient of 9 Emmies and numerous other media awards,
she has produced many programs in the arts for TV, including the
annual favorite holiday presentation of THE NUTCRACKER with
Baryshnikov.

                      **************************

^         THE YEAR'S BEST MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE STORIES 1991
                       edited by Edward D. Hoch
              (Walker, 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-8027-3200-3)
                        review by Howard Frye

Once again Edward Hoch has gathered together a uniformly excellent
selection of mystery short stories. For the first time this selection
includes all five of the Edgar Award nominees: "Elvis Lives" by Lynne
Barrett, the Edgar-winner, in which the pleasures and perils of being
Elvis are examined; "Answers to Soldier" by Lawrence Block, my
favorite story of the book, about a hitman who deals with the
particular pressures of his job in his own peculiar way; "Prisoners"
by Ed Gorman, an excellent sketch of a dysfunctional family that
Gorman turns upside down with a few sentences at the end; "A Poison
That Leaves No Trace" by Sue Grafton, in which Kinsey Millhone gets
involved in a family dispute; and "Challenge the Widow-Maker" by Clark
Howard, a clever story of pearls and surfing and just desserts.

"Hello! My Name Is Irving Wasserman" by Stanley Cohen is a delight.
It's very funny and is a virtual textbook on disposing of a dead body.
Another favorite of mine is editor Hoch's own story, "The Detective's
Wife", about a wife who likes to help her husband solve murders. Also
included are: "Andrew, My Son" by Joyce Harrington, a tale of mental
illness that gets more horrifying as the story progresses; "Stakeout"
by Bill Pronzini, in which Nameless pulls stakeout duty; "An Unwanted
Woman" by Ruth Rendell has Inspector Wexford untangling the
psychological snarl of a woman, her daughter, and a third "unwanted"
woman; "The Conjuring Trick" by Julian Symons, a BODY HEAT kind of
story, and the poor guy gets hoodwinked again; "A Midsummer Daydream"
by Donald E. Westlake as Dortmunder accused of a theft he, for once,
didn't commit; and "Three-Time Loser" by Carolyn Wheat, about a lawyer
who is manipulated by her seemingly innocent client.

The volume closes with recommended reading lists of novels,
collections, anthologies, nonfiction, and other short stories, a list
of major mystery awards, and a necrology of all mystery-related
authors who died in 1990. THE YEAR'S BEST MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE STORIES
1991 is exactly what the title says. Recommended.

                      **************************

^                         THE LAST DETECTIVE
                           by Peter Lovesey
 (Doubleday Perfect Crime, October 1991, $18.50, ISBN 0-385-42114-1)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

       "In the Bristol City Mortuary a body lay on a steel
     trolley. In profile the swell of the stomach suggested
     nothing less than a mountainous landscape. Or to an
     imaginative eye it might have been evocative of a dinosaur
     lurking in a primeval swamp, except that a brown trilby hat
     of the sort seen in 1940s films rested on the hump. The body
     was clothed in a double-breasted suit much creased at the
     points of stress, gray in color, with a broad check
     design--well known in the Avon & Somerset Police as the
     working attire of Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond.
     His silver-fringed bald head was propped on a rubber sheet
     he had found folded on a shelf. He was breathing evenly."

This is how we meet Peter Diamond, the cranky "last detective" who
must discover the particulars about a body just found in Chew Valley
Lake--a naked woman with long red hair. Diamond's usual second in
command has recently been replaced by John Wigfull, who just may be
there to keep an eye on him following a scandal over a confession that
Diamond got from a suspect which later proved to be false. Like his
brown trilby hat, Diamond is a man out of his proper time period.
Convinced that true detection is accomplished by hard labor and mental
exercise, he is surrounded by computers, psychologists, and
departmental politics. As you might suspect, Diamond's attitudes and
abrasive behavior isolate him from his colleagues and put his career
in jeopardy.

"The lady in the lake" (not the only reference in THE LAST DETECTIVE
to Raymond Chandler) proves to be a difficult case. Not only is she
difficult to identify but there is no murder weapon and no apparent
cause of death. Diamond scorns the use of modern technology in police
work and instead of a computer check on the dead woman he decides to
display an artist's portrait of the victim on television. All he gets
for his pains, however, are a dozen calls from TV viewers convinced
the dead woman is a soap opera character named Candice Milner. Later,
when the computer check is finally run, extensive paperwork only leads
the police right back to Candice Milner.

Never one to tell a conventional story, Peter Lovesey creates a
fascinating character in Peter Diamond, a character that allows him to
explore the nature of a human anachronism: what it's like to be one
and what it's like to be around one. Lovesey also employs shifting
viewpoints to good effect in showing the many layers of meaning that a
death has upon the people who knew her--the effects of the death as
well as those of the resulting official investigation. THE LAST
DETECTIVE is a mystery of unusual depth for the discriminating reader.

                      **************************

^                     WALLFLOWER: A Janek Novel
                           by William Bayer
           (Villard, July 1991, $20.00, ISBN 0-679-40047-8)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

Manhattan cop Frank Janek has become bored and disillusioned with
detective work after solving the case of a lifetime, the infamous
"Switch" killings. Ordered to take a vacation by his captain, Janek
goes to Venice to sort things out and get his life back on track. In
Venice, he meets Monika, the woman of his dreams, and for the first
time in many years, he is content. Then one day he receives a call:
his goddaughter Jess has been brutally mutilated and murdered in
Central Park. Instantly, Janek is back in action. The details that
emerge reveal a string of murders of seemingly random victims, whose
only connection appears to be the killer's same horrible modus
operandi--gluing the victim's genitals--and the same "signature", a
dead flower left at the scene of each crime. Out to revenge his
goddaughter's death, Janek uncovers her seedy past--bizarre sex
rituals, strange obsessions, and illicit relationships. He meets her
strange and steely best friend, a martial-arts expert; her
ex-boyfriend, a would-be pornographer; and her brilliant but
manipulative psychologist.

William Bayer's previous book about detective Frank Janek, SWITCH, was
turned into a made-for-TV movie a few years back, starring Richard
Crenna. For my money, it was one of the best TV mystery movies of
recent years. With WALLFLOWER, Williamn Bayer continues with the Frank
Janek character and succeeds in producing a thoroughly enjoyable
story. As with SWITCH, you know part-way through the story who commits
the murders, with the remainder of the story being spent resolving how
the murderer is brought to justice. Some of the murder details in
WALLFLOWER are a big gruesome, but the book is truly enjoyable and I
can recommend it to all mystery fans. If Bayer intends to continue
with the Janek character, I'll be one of the first ones in line to get
any new story.

                      **************************

^               IN THE GAME: A Virginia Kelly Mystery
                            by Nikki Baker
            (Naiad Press, 1991, $8.95, ISBN 1-56280-004-3)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

Ginny Kelly has known Bev since business school, and now both are
upwardly-mobile black women living and working in Chicago, both with
live-in lovers. But now Bev's lover Kelsey has been found shot to
death in an alley outside one of Chicago's classiest lesbian bars. Was
it another example of gay-bashing, or was the motive more personal?
Worried that the police will suspect her friend, Ginny starts asking
questions, but the answers just lead to more questions. It seems that
Kelsey was about to be arrested for embezzlement, but then why was she
apparently broke? When it is discovered that Kelsey had another lover
back in Boston, Ginny flies to Massachusetts, unable to drop her
investigation even though Bev no longer seems to be suspected.

IN THE GAME is an entertaining first novel from Nikki Baker, a new
talent to watch. The second Virginia Kelly mystery, THE LAVENDER HOUSE
MURDER, is scheduled to be published by Naiad Press in 1992, and Ms.
Baker is currently at work on a third, called LONG GOODBYES. I look
forward to finding out more about Ginny and her friends in Chicago.

If your local bookstore can't get IN THE GAME for you just send the
list price, plus 15% for postage, to: The Naiad Press, Inc., PO Box
10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. If you've got your credit card handy,
you can order by calling 1-800-533-1973. Or, if you'd like to fax your
order, call 1-904-539-9731.

                      **************************

^           EXCEPT FOR THE BONES: An Alan Bernhardt Novel
                           by Collin Wilcox
           (Tor, November 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-93162-X)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Diane Cutler is an 18-year-old with problems. After her parents
divorced she was forced to leave California and move to New York with
her mother and her mother's new husband, billionaire Preston Daniels.
Diane loves her father very much, yet her socially-ambitious mother
insists upon referring to Daniels as her "father", even though Daniels
likes Diane as little as she likes him. As so often happens to an
unattractive teenager with more money than love, Diane turns to pills
and indiscriminate sex.

One fateful night finds Preston at his Cape Cod summer home with his
latest girlfriend and Diane in Cape Cod on an angry toot. Calmed by a
few pills, Diane picks up her biker friend and decides it would be fun
to spy on Daniels, but when they arrive at the house and hide outside
they discover Daniels removing what appears to be a dead body. They
follow him to a local landfill, then retire to a motel. The next day
her biker friend turns up dead, and now Diane is running scared. She
runs all the way to San Francisco, where an old friend asks private
investigator Alan Bernhardt to talk to Diane and find out what is
frightening her.

The most interesting level of this mystery is watching what happens to
Preston Daniels' life from the moment he kills his weekend girlfriend.
A blackmail attempt warns him that he was seen, so he has his private
pilot, a brutal man with a history of violence, "take care" of the
problem. Now Daniels has a worse problem: the pilot, who is no where
near as stupid or timid as the blackmailer was. Each attempt to plug a
leak only serves to make his problem worse. Detective Alan Bernhardt,
more realistic than interesting, takes a definite backseat to the
major players. What sticks in my memory about this story is the tragic
dance of money, ambition, and influence of the Cutler/Daniels family.

                      **************************

^             THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION OF NGAIO MARSH
                     edited by Douglas G. Greene
     (International Polygonics, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 1-55882-086-8)
                        review by Howard Frye

Dame Ngaio (pronounced NYE-oh) Marsh (1895-1982) was the creator of
some of the wittiest and most sophisticated English mysteries,
adjectives which also fit her most popular detective, Roderick Alleyn.
Now all of her collected short fiction appears in one volume for the
first time, including three featuring Roderick Alleyn. Also appearing
here are two essays, one of which explains the creation of Alleyn,
four non-Alleyn short stories, a courtroom drama in the form of a
teleplay, and a newly discovered story that is probably Marsh's very
first published fiction. Editor Greene adds a brief biographical
Introduction, tying up a fascinating package for all fans of Ngaio
Marsh and Roderick Alleyn.

You can get THE COLLECTED SHORT FICTION OF NGAIO MARSH at your local
bookstore or directly from the publisher by sending the list price,
plus $1 shipping and handling, to: International Polygonics Ltd.,
Madison Square, PO Box 1563, New York, NY 10159-1563.

                      **************************

^               ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S HOME SWEET HOMICIDE
           Stories from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
                      edited by Cathleen Jordan
              (Walker, 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-8027-5798-7)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Here is another great mystery volume from Walker, this one an
anthology of stories concerning home and family that have appeared in
ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE (a continuing source of great
mystery fiction). I particularly liked "The Moonstone Earrings" by
Herbert Resnicow. Intelligent but plain Patsy is called in to solve
the mystery of the stolen earrings by wealthy and pretty Angela. Patsy
isn't Sergeant Cuff (see THE MOONSTONE by Wilkie Collins, 1868) but
she's smart, spunky, and much more likeable. Loren D. Estleman's
"Greektown" was another first-rate story, about Constantine Xanthes
who is afraid his half-brother Joseph is the Five O'Clock Strangler.
He hires Amos Walker to discover the truth, and Amos finds a few
surprises along the way. The most touching story is "A Candle for the
Bag Lady" by Lawrence Block. Matthew Scudder inherits $1200 from a bag
lady who wasn't as down-and-out as she appeared. In this story the
home and family is New York City and its population, and, as in most
families, there are unseen ties that bind as well as a few dark
secrets in the attic.

"The Owl in the Oak" by Joseph Hansen involves a mother-son
relationship that isn't what it seems to be from the outside, and John
Lutz's "What You Don't Know Can Hurt You" concerns Danny (of Danny's
Donuts) and his alcoholic uncle. If Nudger doesn't find out what's
going on at the clinic where Danny's uncle in staying, it could be him
that gets hurt. It's brothers and sisters who can't get along in
Marcia Muller's "Deadly Fantasies", where a young heiress suspects her
brother or sister of trying to poison her; or is just a delusion? And
in "A Young Man Called Smith" by Patricia Moyes, Margie and her sister
Sue must cope with two young men named Smith, one of whom is certainly
an impostor--but which?

Most of the stories, like most real-life crime I imagine, involves
husbands and wives. "Domestic Intrigue" by Donald E. Westlake is
certainly the cleverest tale, about Mona trying to juggle a rich but
jealous husband, a poor but sensitive lover, and a blackmailer. Then
there's Martin Quimby--from Ralph McInerny's "In the Bag"--who gets
the chance to steal a criminal's money and thereby escape his stale
marriage. But the money, the criminal, and his wife, have plans of
their own. "I, Witness" by Nancy Pickard is an odd story. Steve Krebs
witnesses a possible drowning, then goes home to his unappreciative
wife. He just can't get the drowning out of his mind. "The Unlikely
Demise of Cousin Claude" is another example of Charlotte MacLeod's
talent for upbeat stories about people with goofy names. This one
involves a visit with Aunt Agapantha and the death of Claude, who got
his necktie caught in the cream separator. But who wears a tie while
separating cream? Lastly, John F. Suter's "The Stone Man" concerns a
stonemason who kills his unfaithful wife; the story soon disappears
under the weight of confusing details and improbable plot twists.

HOME SWEET HOMICIDE is a fine anthology of mystery shorts, and a
subtle reminder that home is sometimes a refuge from the cares of the
world, and sometimes the scene of the crime.

                      **************************

^                   MAIGRET AND THE HOTEL MAJESTIC
          by Georges Simenon, translated by Caroline Hillier
               (Harvest/HBJ, $5.95, ISBN 0-15-655133-0)
                        review by Howard Frye

This is a good-quality paperback reprint (with an easy-to-manipulate,
flexible binding) of a 1942 mystery by the great Belgian mystery
writer, Georges Simenon. Simenon's more than 200 novels are divided
between his mysteries featuring French policeman Jules Maigret and
unclassifiable novels of psychological suspense. His books are spare,
with no unnecessary characters or plot elements, which gives them a
simplicity that is rare today (exceptions: Bill Pronzini and Joseph
Hansen). Another distinguishing feature of Maigret mysteries is the
lack of speculation. The reader follows Maigret as he investigates
each crime, but he's not an effusive talker, keeping more to himself
than he reveals to suspects or even to colleagues.

In this outing, Maigret is called to the Hotel Majestic when a dead
woman is found stuffed into an unused employee locker in the basement.
She was a guest in the hotel, the wife of a rich American, staying
with her husband, son, maid, and governess. The late Mrs. Clark was
found by the breakfast cook, Prosper Donge, and when a connection is
discovered between Prosper and Mrs. Clark, he becomes the most likely
suspect. He doesn't stay the most likely suspect, though, at least not
with the reader, because Bonneau, apparently the French equivalent of
the District Attorney and a man Maigret doesn't like, insists on
taking over most of the case and is convinced that Prosper is guilty.
Any mystery reader worth a red herring knows that this is an
infallible sign that Maigret must discover the REAL murderer and
ultimately show up the pretentious Bonneau, which Maigret does in his
usual quiet and intense way. MAIGRET AND THE HOTEL MAJESTIC is prime
Simenon and a very good read.

                      **************************

^                         SOLOMON'S VINEYARD
                         by Jonathan Latimer
        (International Polygonics, $4.95, ISBN 0-930330-91-9)
                    commentary from the publisher

     "A classic you've probably never heard of."
        ---William L. DeAndrea, from his introduction

Originally published in England in 1941, SOLOMON'S VINEYARD has never
before been available to the general public in its author's own
country. (A highly expurgated version entitled THE FIFTH GRAVE was
offered in the U.S. in 1950, but until now the complete text has only
appeared in a privately printed limited edition.) The probable reason
is apparent in the novel's first sentence. SOLOMON'S VINEYARD was too
realistic for a pre-war America which routinely censored films and on
occasion banned books. Even today, in a time when more explicit
material regularly appears in films and on television, SOLOMON'S
VINEYARD retains tremendous power and vitality. We at IPL are pleased
and proud to bring home one of the great private eye novels of all
time.

(RFP realizes that many of our readers will be in an absolute frenzy
to know what that first sentence is, so here it is: "From the way her
buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in
bed." For the rest of the story, you'll just have to get the book.)

You can get SOLOMON'S VINEYARD at your local bookstore or directly
from the publisher by sending the list price, plus $1 shipping and
handling, to: International Polygonics Ltd., Madison Square, PO Box
1563, New York, NY 10159-1563.

                      **************************

^                      TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS
                           by Damon Runyon
     (International Polygonics, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 1-55882-106-6)
                    commentary from the publisher

This heretofore-lost book by one of America's most distinctive
stylists and best-loved writers was published posthumously nearly
fifty years ago. Until now it has never been reprinted.

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS was compiled by Runyon himself shortly before
his death in 1946 and collects the best of his courtroom reporting
including a vital account of the Halls-Mills case, where a minister
and his choir-singer mistress were murdered in an orchard; the
sensational trial of financier J.P. Morgan; the scandalous
May-December divorce of Peaches and Daddy Browning; a blow-by-blow
account of the notorious Snyder-Gray affair; and an insider's view of
Al Capone, with whom Runyon was said to have dined the night before
the trial.

                      **************************

~           IPL COLLECTS JOHN DICKSON CARR'S SHORT FICTION
           edited and with commentary by Douglas G. Greene
                     reviews by Cindy Bartorillo

John Dickson Carr (1906-1977) was one of the writers who made the
Golden Age of Mystery golden, and was the hands-down master of the
Impossible Crime, sometimes known as Locked Room Mysteries.
International Polygonics has been reprinting JDC's mysteries for some
time, and now they have collected his short fiction in three terrific
volumes.


^                         FELL AND FOUL PLAY
                     ($19.95, ISBN 1-55882-071-X)

Dr. Gideon Fell was probably Carr's most popular sleuth, a character
based on one of his favorite writers, G.K. Chesterton. The earliest
Dr. Fell short story, "The Wrong Problem" (1936), was written at the
request of Dorothy L. Sayers, and is included here. You'll also find:

"Who Killed Matthew Corbin?", a previously unpublished 3-part radio
    script starring Dr. Fell.
"The Proverbial Murder", an espionage story starring Dr. Fell and one
    of Carr's best short fictions.
"The Black Minute", another Dr. Fell radio play, that uses a trick
    derived from Harry Houdini's book A MAGICIAN AMONG THE SPIRITS.
"The Locked Room" (1940), another Dr. Fell short story.
"The Devil in the Summer-House", a radio play originally written as a
    Dr. Fell mystery, shortened by JDC for production (which involved
    in the removal of Dr. Fell) and so printed. It is here published
    for the first time in its original version with Dr. Fell.
"The Incautious Burglar", a Dr. Fell story with plot elements that
    were later reused in a Sir Henry Merrivale novel.
"The Dead Sleep Lightly", a radio script and one of Dr. Fell's
    greatest cases.
"Invisible Hands", the last short story starring Dr. Fell.

Also collected in FELL AND FOUL PLAY are several stories of historical
mystery and romance. There is "The Dim Queen", which was written when
Carr was 19 years old and is reprinted for the first time. Also
included:

"The Other Hangman", which Carr said had "one of my best plots, which
    I should have been sensible enough to reserve for a novel".
"Persons or Things Unknown", a Christmas ghost story.
"The Gentleman From Paris", often considered one of JDC's best short
    stories, and it was the basis for the Joseph Cotten movie, THE MAN
    WITH A CLOAK (1951).
"The Black Cabinet", a mystery with the solution in the last line.

FELL AND FOUL PLAY finishes with a Locked Room novella, "The Third
Bullet". Originally published in an obscure British paperback in 1937,
a heavily-abridged version appeared in ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE
in 1948, and the abridged version has been used ever since. FELL AND
FOUL PLAY includes the very first printing of the original full-length
version since 1937.

~DR. GIDEON FELL BOOKS:

Hag's Nook (1933) $5.95
The Mad Hatter Mystery (1933)
The Blind Barber (1934)
The Eight of Swords (1934)
Death Watch (1935)
The Three Coffins (1935) (British title: The Hollow Man) $4.95
The Arabian Nights Murder (1936)
To Wake the Dead (1937)
The Crooked Hinge (1938)
The Problem of the Green Capsule (1939) (British title: The Black
  Spectacles) $5.95
The Problem of the Wire Cage (1939)
The Man Who Could Not Shudder (1940)
The Case of the Constant Suicides (1941)
Death Turns the Tables (1941) (British title: The Seat of the
  Scornful) $4.95
Till Death Do Us Part (1944) $5.95
He Who Whispers (1946) $5.95
Dr. Fell, Detective (1947; short stories)
The Sleeping Sphinx (1947) $4.95
Below Suspicion (1949) $4.95
The Third Bullet and Other Stories (1954; short stories; Dr. Fell
  appears in 3)
The Dead Man's Knock (1958)
In Spite of Thunder (1960)
The Men Who Explained Miracles (1963; short stories; Dr. Fell appears
  in 2)
The House At Satan's Elbow (1965) $4.95
Panic In Box C (1966)
Dark of the Moon (1967)

NOTE: The prices are for IPL editions. Send the list price(s), plus
shipping and handling ($1 for first book, .50 for each thereafter) to:
International Polygonics Ltd., Madison Square, PO Box 1563, New York,
NY 10159-1563.


^                    MERRIVALE, MARCH AND MURDER
                     ($22.95, ISBN 1-55882-101-5)

Merrivale was Carr's most comical detective, who appeared in only two
short cases, both of which are reprinted here. "The House in Goblin
Wood" was written in 1946 for ELLERY QUEEN'S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and
"All in a Maze" is a 1956 novelette originally published serially in
England under the name "Ministry of Miracles". You'll find a list of
Merrivale novels and IPL editions in RFP #19.

Colonel March is another of Carr's detective characters, this one
based on his good friend Major C.J.C. Street, who wrote detective
novels under the names John Rhode and Miles Burton. Colonel March
headed the most peculiar division of Scotland Yard, the Department of
Queer Complaints. This is the first time that all nine of the Colonel
March and the Department of Queer Complaints stories have been
collected in one volume. Trivia Note: In 1953, Boris Karloff starred
in a TV series called COLONEL MARCH OF SCOTLAND YARD, based on JDC's
character.

Other short fictions included in MERRIVALE, MARCH AND MURDER are:

"Blind Man's Hood", a 1937 Christmas story that includes a possible
    solution to a real-life murder, the Peasonhall case of 1902.
"New Murders for Old", another Christmas story.
"The Diamond Pentacle", a locked-room mystery reprinted here for the
    first time since 1939.
"Lair of the Devil-Fish", a radio script.
"Scotland Yard's Christmas", which was written as an exercise in
    getting a character to disappear from a phone booth.

Also reprinted here is "Strictly Diplomatic" and "The Clue of the Red
Wig".


^               THE DOOR TO DOOM And Other Detections
                     ($10.95, ISBN 1-55882-102-3)

THE DOOR TO DOOM contains the best of Carr's previously uncollected
work, but begins with a 17-page biography of Carr written by Douglas
Greene (who is currently at work on a full-length biography).
Originally published in 1980, THE DOOR TO DOOM did not then contain
JDC's famous essay, "The Grandest Game in the World", which appears
now for the very first time in its entirety.

Five stories of crime and detection are collected in THE DOOR TO DOOM,
four of which feature Henri Bencolin, the head of the Paris Police and
the star of JDC's first novel, IT WALKS BY NIGHT (1930). Bencolin also
appeared in four other novels: CASTLE SKULL (1931), THE LOST GALLOWS
(1931), THE CORPSE IN THE WAXWORKS (1932; British title: THE WAXWORKS
MURDER), and THE FOUR FALSE WEAPONS (1937).

There are also six radio plays, including one Dr. Gideon Fell script,
one ("Cabin B-13") that was the basis for the movie DANGEROUS
CROSSING, and one ("Will You Make a Bet with Death?") that was
reworked into a novel (THE 9 WRONG ANSWERS). THE DOOR TO DOOM also has
three of Carr's stories of the supernatural--one of his favorite
subjects--as well as two Sherlockian parodies, which were written to
be performed at the annual meetings of the Mystery Writers of America.
In both cases, Clayton Rawson played the part of Holmes, Lawrence G.
Blochman was Watson, and JDC was the visitor. THE DOOR TO DOOM ends
with two essays, "The Grandest Game in the World" and "Stand and
Deliver!", the last thing JDC wrote other than book reviews.

No fan of John Dickson Carr can afford to be without all three of
these fascinating collections. And I can't overemphasize the worth of
Douglas Greene's introductions and running commentaries in all three
of these volumes. His facts, figures, comments, and bits of history
add to any reader's enjoyment; the volumes would be greatly diminished
without them. See the note after the Dr. Fell book list for ordering
instructions.

                      **************************

^           MURDER ON THE CLIFF: Starring Charlotte Graham
                         by Stefanie Matteson
         (Diamond, November 1991, $3.99, ISBN 1-55773-596-4)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

Charlotte Graham, film star since the late 1930s and now an occasional
amateur detective, is back! (See MURDER AT THE SPA and MURDER AT
TEATIME in RFP #16.) This time she's staying with friends in Newport,
Rhode Island, to take part in the Black Ships Festival, which
commemorates the arrival of Commodore Perry in Japan. The Black Ships
Festival is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the suicide of
the geisha Okichi, the real event that was the inspiration for the
story of Madame Butterfly. Okichi committed suicide after being
deserted by her lover Townsend Harris, first American consul to Japan,
who left her and returned to America, building a house in Newport.
Charlotte Graham is part of the festivities because she played the
role of Okichi in the most famous movie made of the historical event.

The highlight of the celebration will be the appearance of
Okichi-mago, a beautiful girl who is not only a geisha but it also the
descendant of the original Okichi and Townsend Harris. Before she can
grace the Festival, however, she is found at the base of a cliff,
apparently having committed suicide in exactly the same manner as the
original Okichi. Although Charlotte doesn't suspect murder until
mid-book, Okichi-mago didn't commit suicide, of course. But who could
have done it? Was it her Japanese sponsor, the wealthy Tanaka, angry
at her love affair with the American sumo wrestler Shawn? Or is there
some more obscure motive? Once again, Stefanie Matteson weaves an
entertaining mystery against a fascinating and educational background,
leaving the reader hoping for more Charlotte Graham mysteries soon.

                      **************************

^        MURDER IN ORDINARY TIME: A Sister Mary Helen Mystery
                     by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie
        (Delacorte, October 1991, $18.00, ISBN 0-385-30226-6)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Channel 5's Noon News is the set for murder in this fourth Sister Mary
Helen mystery. Investigative reporter Christina Kelly finds a plate of
cookies on her chair before air time. She eats one cookie and dies,
and the police lab later discovers that the one cookie she ate was the
only cookie poisoned. It also happened to be the only raisin cookie in
a plate of chocolate chip cookies. Sister Mary Helen was about to be
interviewed by Christina when she died, and is thereby drawn into the
case, despite the objections of the police as represented by her old
friend Kate Murphy (who is pregnant and gives birth during the course
of the story) and her partner Dennis Gallagher.

Unfortunately for the reader, the characters are more interesting than
the mystery. There are two big clues about the murder, and neither of
them are successfully handled. The first is a huge screaming clue that
no self-respecting mystery fan could miss and it occurs on page 23.
Sister Mary Helen, however, doesn't figure it out until page 180. The
second major clue is a sound clue (the murderer's voice on a tape) and
the reader is reduced to a frustrated onlooker as both Sister Mary
Helen and Kate Murphy find something familiar about the voice, but
can't quite put their finger on what it is. Actually, there is more
consideration given to Kate's pregnancy than to the mystery, a side
plot that is handled with charm, making MURDER IN ORDINARY TIME a
pleasant read for mystery fans who are expecting a baby. The previous
Sister Mary Helen mysteries are: A NOVENA FOR MURDER, ADVENT OF DYING,
and THE MISSING MADONNA.

                      **************************

^                          QUOTH THE RAVEN
                            by Jane Haddam
     (Bantam Crime Line, October 1991, $4.99, ISBN 0-553-29255-2)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

This is the fourth in the "Holiday Mystery" series starring former FBI
agent Gregor Demarkian of Cavanaugh Street in Philadelphia. The three
previous novels by Orania Papazoglou writing under the name Jane
Haddam were: NOT A CREATURE WAS STIRRING, PRECIOUS BLOOD, and ACT OF
DARKNESS. (ACT OF DARKNESS was reviewed in RFP #19.) As the story
opens, Gregor's friend Father Tibor Kasparian has come to Belleville,
Pennsylvania, to teach a course in an interdisciplinary program called
The American Idea at Independence College. Tibor enjoys teaching his
class, he enjoys feeding the resident tame raven named Lenore, but he
doesn't enjoy academic politics and he positively loathes the new
faculty celebrity, Dr. Donegal Steele.

Dr. Steele was lured to Independence College by the administration
with instant tenure, a huge salary, and some suspect he was promised
the now vacant Chairmanship of The American Idea Program. Everyone had
thought it would go to Dr. Ken Crockett, a longtime member of the
faculty and a native of Belleville, or possibly to Dr. Alice Elkinson,
newer but even more academically qualified. Also, Program secretary
Maryanne Veer won't be happy to see Dr. Steele installed in the
chairman's office either. Despite the fact that she's been virtually
running the Program since its inception, Dr. Steele is sure to fire
her at once. He prefers his women young (Miss Veer is sixtyish), great
looking, and squeezable.

You see, Dr. Steele has only been at Independence College for two
weeks and he's already managed to earn a reputation for sexual
harassment. Absolutely EVERYONE hates Dr. Steele. So the reader is
instantly suspicious when Dr. Steele is missing as the narrative
begins. He was last seen going off to "pop beers". Has someone finally
gotten fed up, or is he just sleeping off a hangover? When Gregor
shows up at the college to give a lecture on FBI techniques on
Halloween Dr. Steele still hasn't shown up, and Gregor meets the
entire cast of suspects. In addition to the faculty already mentioned,
there is the bizarre Dr. Katherine Branch, a rabid feminist who also
seems to believe she is a witch. Then there's the best-looking girl in
the school, Chessey Flint, whose reputation has been trashed by Dr.
Steele. Her boyfriend Jack Carroll can't be counted out either. Before
the reader, or Gregor, can think much more about Dr. Steele, Maryanne
Veer is poisoned with lye in front of a crowd of people in the school
cafeteria. No one can figure out how, or why, someone would try to
kill Miss Veer.

Gregor Demarkian only has a matter of hours to discover the truth,
which he will use to turn his expected lecture into a classic "I'm
sure you all wonder why I've asked you here" speech worthy of Ellery
Queen. Although I thought the method of attack here was unnaturally,
and unwarrantably, gruesome, the mystery was exciting to follow. The
best part is that the reader is allowed to figure out part (but only
part) of the mystery early. The remainder of the book is read in
feverish frustration as Gregor strains to catch up. QUOTH THE RAVEN is
another good mystery from Orania Papazoglou.

                      **************************

^            MURDER IS GERMANE: A Brigid Donovan Mystery
                            by Karen Saum
            (Naiad Press, 1991, $8.95, ISBN 0-941483-98-3)
                              cover copy

Panama, the land of Brigid's birth. Where she adored with her child's
eyes the blonde and beautiful Georgie Hendryks, who "drove a
lime-green convertible and rode a white stallion."

Brigid has returned, to look into the disappearance of an INS agent
because of his murky association with Monte Cassino, a Maine community
of nuns.

Brigid locates Georgie--whose more than warm welcome makes all of
Brigid's childhood dreams come true. But Brigid's visit also sets into
motion an inexplicable series of violent deaths and attempts on
Brigid's own life.

Brigid must unravel the intricacies of the past, and the skein of
tangled passions hidden within it, to discover the pattern behind the
murders. Her very life depends on it...

MURDER IS GERMANE is both an enthralling mystery and a vivid adventure
story--set in a lovely, enigmatic land of violence and passion. If
your local bookstore doesn't have MURDER IS GERMANE, you can order it
directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus 15% extra
for shipping and handling, to: The Naiad Press Inc., PO Box 10543,
Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or get your credit card and call
1-800-533-1973.

                      **************************

^           A PRIVATE DISGRACE: Lizzie Borden By Daylight
                         by Victoria Lincoln
     (International Polygonics, 1967, $7.95, ISBN 0-930330-35-8)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

I've already admitted to my fondness for the Lizzie Borden story. In
RFP #8 was a list of Borden books and RFP #19 had a review of a recent
addition, LIZZIE BORDEN: THE LEGEND, THE TRUTH, THE FINAL CHAPTER by
Arnold R. Brown. Of all the Borden books on my True Crime shelf,
however, my favorite has always been A PRIVATE DISGRACE by Victoria
Lincoln. Not only is the book more charmingly written than most, it is
written by someone who actually KNEW Lizzie Borden! Of course Victoria
Lincoln was a young child when Lizzie was near the end of her life,
but she stills brings a personal, insider point of view to one of the
most perplexing cases in criminal history. It is particularly
difficult for a modern reader to understand Fall River, Massachusetts
of 1892, but in A PRIVATE DISGRACE we hear directly from someone who
can bridge the gap for us, explain the 19th-century, insular New
England town to the 20th-century urban reader. If you can only have
one Borden book, this is the one to get. (You can order A PRIVATE
DISGRACE directly from the publisher by sending the list price, plus
$1 for postage and handling, to: International Polygonics Ltd.,
Madison Square, PO Box 1563, New York, NY 10159-1563.)

       "In school, I began to make friends of my own age, and
     observed with interest that one was supposed to shudder and
     giggle when Miss Borden's name was mentioned. I asked Mother
     why.
       "'Well, dear, she was very unkind to her father and
     mother.'"
          ---from A PRIVATE DISGRACE by Victoria Lincoln

                      **************************

* We hear that CD Publications (PO Box 858, Edgewood, MD 21040) is
coming out with a short story collection by Ed Gorman this coming
spring. It will be called PRISONERS AND OTHER STORIES and will include
"Turn Away", Shamus Award-winner and Anthony nominee; as well as the
Edgar nominee, "Prisoners". With a full-color dust jacket and printed
on acid free paper, PRISONERS AND OTHER STORIES will cost $20.95, plus
$1.05 shipping and handling. CD Publications is taking reservations
now.

* Jean Hager's NIGHT WALKER (Worldwide Library, December 1991, $3.50):
Some people thought Graham Thornton deserved to die. Thornton's Indian
employees are convinced the murder of the arrogant owner of the new
resort lodge in Buckskin, OK, is the vengeful act of a night walker, a
Cherokee witch. Chief Mitch Bushyhead, however, has a long list of
human suspects to worry about--disgruntled employees, a vindictive
ex-wife, a hateful sister, the lover Thornton was blackmailing. Then a
second murder leaves Bushyhead to a web of secrets, lies and hidden
depravations...and a killer's desperate final act that hits perilously
close to home.

* THE BULRUSH MURDERS: A Botanical Mystery by Rebecca Rothenberg
(Carroll & Graf, November 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-88184-749-6):
Microbiologist Claire Sharples flees the academic rat-race of MIT for
a research position in California's San Joaquin Valley and is
immediately embroiled in the murder of a young Mexican farm worker.
Soon she is using her training to unravel a tangle of sabotage, greed,
and revenge. But Jane Austen takes on Mickey Spillane when Claire
falls for a taciturn co-worker and is called upon to solve the
mysteries of the heart as well.

* William Bernhardt's PRIMARY JUSTICE (Ballantine, January 1992,
$5.99, ISBN 0-345-37479-7): Ben Kincaid wants to be a lawyer because
he wants to do the right thing. But once he leaves the D.A.'s office
for a hot-shot spot in Tulsa's most prestigious law firm, Ben
discovers being moral and being a lawyer can be mutually exclusive.

                      **************************

~                      Catalogs worth getting:

                       The Mysterious Bookshop
                       129 West 56th Street
                       New York, NY 10019
                       212/765-0900

                       Mysteries By Mail
                       PO Box 679
                       Boonville, CA 95415-0679

                      **************************

~                      MORE CHRISTMAS MYSTERIES

Here is a small addendum to the Christmas Mysteries list in RFP #7:

     Cohen, Charles   Silver Linings
     Drummond, John Keith   'Tis the Season to be Dying
     Eccles, Marjorie   Death of a Good Woman
     Haddam, Jane   Not a Creature Was Stirring
     Jordon, Jennifer   Murder Under the Mistletoe
     Long, Manning   Vicious Circle
     McGown, Jill   Murder at the Old Vicarage
     MacLeod, Charlotte, ed.   Christmas Stalkings (anthology)
     O'Marie, Sister Carol Anne   Advent of Dying
     Page, Katherine Hall   The Body in the Bouillon (St. Martin's,
       Dec 1991)
     Parker, Robert   Stardust
     Pulver, Mary Monica   Original Sin
     Roberts, Gillian   Philly Stakes
     Smith, Joan   Don't Leave Me This Way
     Wingfield, R.D.   Frost At Christmas


                 <-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->
                 <                                 >
                 <   LOOSEN YOUR GRIP ON REALITY   >
                 <                                 >
                 <-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->:<-*->

                    << Editor:  Darryl Kenning >>

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Loosen Your Grip On Reality is a division of Reading For Pleasure,
published bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used
freely by all. Contributions of information, reviews, etc. should be
sent to:

Darryl Kenning                          CompuServe:  76337,740
6331 Marshall Rd.            or         GEnie:       D.Kenning
Centerville, Ohio 45459                 HeavenSoft BBS 513-836-4288
                                        The Annex BBS  513-274-0821
---------------------------------------------------------------------
THE KENNING QUOTIENT (KQ) is a rating applied to books read by the
editor of this section, a number ranging from 0 (which means the book
is an unredeemable stinker) to 5 (meaning the book is absolutely top
drawer).
---------------------------------------------------------------------


~                           RANDOM ACCESS

This year it is almost impossible not to write an editorial or feature
piece about STAR TREK--it being the 25th anniversary and having seen
the death of Gene Roddenberry. BTW, one of the best of the things I've
seen was published in the September 27, 1991 issue of ENTERTAINMENT, a
magazine I've never read except for that issue with it's 1966 picture
of Nimoy and Shatner on the cover.

As an original trekkie who watched the series when it was first aired
and has been collecting episodes as far back as beta, I feel I have a
personal vested interest in the whole phenomena--although I guess I
really can't claim any more insights into the whole thing than anyone
else. It is absolutely fascinating how a minor show in a rather
mediocre year for TV has turned into something that pervades society
from top to bottom. Even if you've never seen any episode of any of
the Star Trek series, or movies, or books,and yes that does seem hard
to believe, you still know what BEAM ME UP SCOTTY means! Imagine
enough of us pressuring the US Government to change the name of the
first space shuttle to the ENTERPRISE. Not to mention that 25 years
later after a steady stream (in the last 10 or 15 years) of movies,
books, and a new series, that another movie with the original cast
members is due out and is being eagerly awaited by millions.
"Fascinating, Doctor."

A lot of folks have called the series "cowboys in space", and if you
remember that TV cowboy series were very popular in those days,
however, there is an element of truth in the comment. But there were
some really GOOD cowboy series done that didn't elicit this kind of
response. Personally I always thought it was the stories--stories that
for the most part (some, of course, were absolute bummers) illustrated
the human condition, and for better or worse showed us in all our best
and worst parts. While many of them are hopelessly dated now it is
still amazing to me that many are still indicative of the problems and
dilemmas that we face today. Even the crew, radical in those days,
reflected the glimmer of hope we had for the future while still
retaining the American "cowboy" psyche. And then there is the pride
that I feel as a SF aficionado who feels gratified that the world
finally sees at least a little of what I find so rewarding in Science
Fiction.

It does make you wonder what archaeologists in the 25th century will
make of all the plastic models and the scholarly writings about a
little series that ran only a few short seasons and was clearly not
even a near miss in its projections of the real future. Hmmm.

Thanks to all of you, the TV staff and crew members, the authors, the
actors, the producer, and even the TV executives who took a chance in
the first place and probably did us all a favor by killing it off in
its prime.

Benjamin Svetkey said it best for me in his article:

                        ICH BIN EIN TREKKIE

                                                 dkk

                      **************************

~                          THE HUGO AWARDS

          Best Novel: THE VOR GAME by Lois McMaster Bujold
          Best Novella: "The Hemingway Hoax" by Joe Haldeman
          Best Novelette: "The Manamouki" by Mike Resnick
          Best Short Story: "Bears Discover Fire" by Terry Bisson
          Best Nonfiction Book: HOW TO WRITE SCIENCE FICTION AND
            FANTASY by Orson Scott Card
          Best Pro Editor: Gardner Dozois
          Best Pro Artist: Michael Whelan
          Best Dramatic Presentation: EDWARD SCISSORHANDS
          Best Semiprozine: Locus
          Best Fanzine: Lan's Lantern
          Best Fan Writer: David Langford
          Best Fan Artist: Teddy Harvia
          John W. Campbell Award: Julia Ecklar

                      **************************

^                       THE LORD OF THE RINGS
              by J.R.R. Tolkien, illustrated by Alan Lee
    (Houghton Mifflin, November 1991, $60.00, ISBN 0-395-59511-8)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

       In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the
     Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring
     to rule all the others. But the One Ring was taken from him,
     and remained lost until after many ages it fell by chance
     into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo, and was then bequeathed
     to his young nephew Frodo. THE LORD OF THE RINGS tells of
     the quest undertaken by Frodo together with the fellowship
     of the ring: Gandalf the wizard, Merry, Pippin, and Sam the
     hobbits, Gimli the dwarf, Legolas the elf, Boromir man of
     Gondor, and a tall mysterious stranger called Strider.

       Their quest was perilous: to journey across Middle-earth,
     deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring
     by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, and to
celebrate this centenary Houghton Mifflin has produced this omnibus
volume of Tolkien's most famous trilogy, certainly the most exquisitly
beautiful edition of the works ever published. Fifty paintings were
especially commissioned from the noted English artist Alan Lee for
this very first illustrated edition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The book
comes shrink-wrapped and is heavy, sturdily bound, with an Index and a
red ribbon to mark your place. The jacket is foil-laminated, the pages
are cool and creamy to the touch--but it's still the artwork that
stands out. This is a book for readers who not only enjoy Tolkien's
master epic but who love the physicality of books as well. (There is
also a boxed edition, signed by the artist, for $200.00.)

The first volume of the trilogy, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, was first
published in 1954, followed by THE TWO TOWERS and THE RETURN OF THE
RING; and this masterwork of one of the world's most distinguished
philologists still stands as a supreme work of the imagination. THE
LORD OF THE RINGS has also been loved and read all over the world,
having sold more than 15 million copies and been translated into 26
languages.

In addition to this landmark edition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS,
Houghton Mifflin is also releasing three other Tolkien-related items
for the centenary:

THE ATLAS OF MIDDLE-EARTH, Revised Edition, by Karen Wynn Fonstad.
Newly revised--one-third of the maps are new--this paperback edition
includes all the information gleaned by Christopher Tolkien's research
in THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH, including the forthcoming 1992 volume,
SAURON DEFEATED. THE ATLAS OF MIDDLE-EARTH will be available in
January 1992, $15.95, ISBN 0-395-53516-6)

THE FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS, Third Edition, by J.R.R. Tolkien. These
charming letters were written for the author's four children in the
1920s and 1930s, when he was a struggling young professor during the
Depression. Restored to print, this delightful book is illustrated in
full color by Tolkien himself. (Available now, and reviewed elsewhere
in this issue of RFP, $10.95, ISBN 0-395-59698-X)

THE TOLKIEN FAMILY ALBUM, by John and Priscilla Tolkien. The text, by
two of J.R.R. Tolkien's children, weaves together family reminiscences
with personal, informal family photographs, most of them never before
published. Publication will be on the anniversary of Tolkien's birth,
January 3, 1992. ($29.95, ISBN 0-395-59938-5)

The publisher can be contacted by writing to: Houghton Mifflin Co.,
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003.

                      **************************

^                    THE WORLD AT THE END OF TIME
                           by Frederik Pohl
                       (Ballantine Books, 1991)
                       review by Robert Pittman

Frederik Pohl has the capacity to craft stories of science and space
that reach far beyond the boundaries and horizons of most
imaginations. In the five books of the Heechee saga, he introduced his
readers to new concepts and new values of civilizations and "invented"
new ways to look at time and space. In THE WORLD AT THE END OF TIME he
holds true to course and requires his readers to take another long,
forward step with their imaginations. The story introduces the oldest
and most powerful being in the universe and spans a time frame of more
than ten-to-the-fortieth power years! He also sets up a situation in
which a few remnants of humanity are still living at the end of this
long time span even though the universe is exhausted and contains only
the cinders of the stars and planets of which it was once composed.

Wan-To is the super being and super intelligence in the story. It was
naturally and accidentally created early in the life of the universe
and exists as a master manipulator of energy. It lives within a star,
can move from star to star and has several abilities to communicate
and extend its actions throughout the universe. Wan-To has character
and personality with traits such as curiosity, mischievousness,
avarice, treachery and even loneliness. Loneliness, in fact, leads to
Wan-To's one big mistake in its long life. It has the ability to
recreate itself and does so several times. At first its offspring are
playmates and stimulating intellectual companions, but as duplicate
beings, they also have Wan-To's negative values such as avarice and
treachery. In time these characteristics surface and the playmates
become competitors and then enemies.

Its own procreation sets Wan-To on a lifetime effort to destroy its
offspring and to defend itself from their duplicate efforts toward the
same goal. In the process, stars are exhausted and galaxies are
collapsed as their energies are consumed in the long conflict between
super beings.

From the perspective of Wan-To and its fellow super beings, humankind
is simply a construct of matter, insignificant and utterly beneath
their notice.

The fortunes of humanity are affected by the antics of the super
beings, and the author cleverly and entertainingly carries a human
story in parallel with the story of Wan-To. It starts with a young
boy, Viktor Sorricaine, who is in frozen sleep along with a thousand
other passengers on a 150 year journey to an earth colony planet
called Newmanhome. Viktor has been in a freezer unit with his mother
and father for about 112 years into the voyage when the captain of the
starship decides that it is necessary to wake Viktor's father. He is
the only qualified astronomer aboard and the captain is concerned
about erratic activity occurring in a star situated along the path
that the ship must travel. Following observations, he describes the
unusual activity as "an anomalously flaring K-5 star." Beyond that, he
does not understand nor does he ever learn what is really happening.
The reader, however, by following the Wan-To segment of the story,
knows that the flaring anomaly is the result of Wan-To and its
offspring attempting to destroy each other (remember, the super beings
live in stars).

After a few weeks of roaming the ship, Viktor is returned to a frozen
sleep and wakes again 30 years later, still a twelve year old boy,
when the ship arrives at Newmanhome. The colonists establish
themselves on the planet and Viktor grows to adulthood as the new home
for humanity is developed. During this period, Viktor's father and a
few other members of the scientific community are puzzled and
disturbed by unexpected and inexplicable events on some of the planets
and stars within their range of observation. These events get little
attention and almost no scientific study as most of the population and
its resources are focused on the development of Newmanhome.

At the same time, Wan-To and its offspring continue their conflict
with widespread destructive results. Stars are consumed and energies
are drawn off entire galaxies in order to sustain the battle between
the super beings. Ultimately the results are felt by the colony in
Newmanhome. One of the super beings draws energy from the sun around
which Newmanhome revolves and the colony is rapidly pushed into an ice
age. As the planet becomes colder and less able to support life, the
author develops several interesting sub-themes on social and cultural
changes arising from the threat of extinction. As food supplies become
scarce and sources of heat become critical, one solution for survival
is to return much of the population to a frozen sleep (Pohl calls the
frozen ones "corpsicles"). Viktor Sorricaine again becomes a corpsicle
and thus survives the next great impact of Wan-To's battle tactics on
Newmanhome.

In a defensive measure against its challengers, Wan-To tears out a
vast section of the galaxy in which Newmanhome resides, and with
energies drawn from the Newmanhome sun, starts it speeding through the
universe. The acceleration is rapid and the speed achieved almost
stops time relative to the rest of the universe. Eons and eons pass
and as the universe burns out and becomes a void, the partial galaxy
continues to exist as a relatively young and viable star system.

In this time Newmanhome has become a cold, lifeless planet but a few
of its people have adapted and evolved to allow them a comfortable but
confined life aboard space habitats. In order to enhance their gene
pool, they occasionally withdraw and revive male corpsicles as sperm
contributors (Pohl has these revived ancients making sperm
contributions at astonishing rates!). Viktor is chosen as a
contributor and comes awake in a world that bears little relation to
his past. People have become kinder and more tolerant and have made
stunning progress in the biological sciences. There is little interest
in astronomical science and people simply accept the proposition that
planets are not suitable for human occupancy and that they must make
their homes in space habitats. Viktor stimulates curiosity about
astronomy and space and begins a project to restore and repopulate
Newmanhome.

Over this incredible time span, Wan-To has succeeded in eliminating
its offspring and is again the only one of its type in existence. It
is a lonely and miserable existence in a universe where most of the
energy is dissipated and Wan-To is resident in a cold star, unable to
thrive with most of its abilities and sense in a state of suspension.
In effect, trapped in a dying star in a dying universe.

Pohl ends the story with Viktor Sorricaine on the road to success in
rehabilitating the planet Newmanhome and in recreating a new colony
from the surviving corpsicles. At the same time the quasi-dormant
Wan-To "senses" the presence of fresh and vibrant stars in the remnant
of the galaxy that was sent speeding through space so many eons ago.
The proposition is there - will humankind and Wan-To cross paths
again? Only Frederik Pohl can tell us and I hope he creates the sequel
to do so.

Even without absolute resolution, the ending is not a disappointment.
The story is well written, fun and exciting to read. The characters,
while not always likable or admirable, are well drawn for their roles
in the adventure. Viktor Sorricaine, for example, is not a bright,
dynamic, heroic figure. He is about average, somewhat dull and
stubborn to a fault in his personal relationships. Wan-To's powerful
intelligence is often diminished by his petulance and arrogance. These
and other character faults condemn Wan-To to a lonely existence and
Viktor to the frustrations of an unusually long life.

Overall it is a great adventure story with several "sparkling new"
concepts for the science fiction fan.

                      **************************

~                       THE DARK TOWER ON TAPE

Donald M. Grant, Publisher, has unabridged recordings read by Stephen
King himself.

THE GUNSLINGER (AT-1) $29.95
THE DRAWING OF THE THREE (AT-2) $34.95
THE WASTE LANDS $34.95

Add $2 shipping for the first item and $1 for each additional item.
Add an additional $3 per item for addresses outside the U.S. Send the
total to: Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc., PO Box 187, Hampton Falls,
NH 03844.

                      **************************

^                            FUTURESPEAK
           A Fan's Guide to the Language of Science Fiction
                           by Roberta Rogow
     (Paragon House, September 1991, $24.95, ISBN 1-55778-347-0)
                        review by Carl Ingram

Here is the perfect gift for the SF fan on your holiday gift list.
FUTURESPEAK is a dictionary of over 1,000 terms that pop up in and
around Science Fiction literature and is absolutely amazing in its
comprehensiveness. The types of words and expressions in FUTURESPEAK
include:

Fan Lingo: Con-Com Mommy, pro-ed, filk, nuke, grazing
Magazines Terms: letterzine, closedzine, hurt/comfort story
Scientific Words: genetic engineering, barbecue maneuver, parsec
Gaming Terms: constitution, proficiency, cronk, chaotic
Writers: Jules Vern, Rober Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, H.P. Lovecraft
Filmmaking: matte painting, hook, continuity, hyphenate
Art: creepy crawlies, control sheet, matting, planetscape
Publishing Terms: samizdat, mass-market paperback, cross-genre
Comics Terms: colorist, flaking, graphic album, ashcan edition
Terms from SF Lit: generation ship, open Universe, Pern, subtext

Each entry defines the term and explains its usage, and, where
possible, gives the origin. Author Rogow tries to pinpoint how the
term evolved, who if anyone started it and why it is a part of the
language of Science Fiction. For example, she defines "Grok" as "a
total understanding of one person by another, without the necessity of
verbalization," then notes that the term was "coined by Robert
Heinlein in STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, first published in 1961; taken
into the language by the Counterculture, for whom the book became a
kind of icon."

FUTURESPEAK bears a Foreword by C.J. Cherryh, and four useful and
entertaining appendices:

Useful Addresses (SF publications, organizations, conventions)
Filk Song (Filk Distributors, Filker's Bill of Rights, and several
  filk songs)
Rotsler's Rules for Masquerades
Award Rules (for Hugo and Nebula)

Entertaining and educational, FUTURESPEAK is an excellent addition to
any SF bookshelf, and would make a particularly fine gift for the
younger reader just getting into SF. (The publisher may be contacted
by writing to: Paragon House, 90 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.)

                      **************************

^                           THE ELVENBANE
           An Epic High Fantasy of the Halfblood Chronicles
                  by Andre Norton & Mercedes Lackey
           (Tor, November 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-312-85106-5)
                    commentary from the publisher

Andre Norton has been acclaimed as the "grande dame of science
fiction" by LIFE magazine. Mercedes Lackey has been heralded as one of
the most "brilliant and popular"--as well as bestselling--young
fantasy writers. When these two masters (mistresses?) of high fantasy
meld their talents in THE ELVENBANE, the result is, as PUBLISHERS
WEEKLY says, "one of the season's liveliest and most appealing fantasy
epics."

THE ELVENBANE tells the story of the powerful, proud Elvenlords,
secure in their rule over weak humans and halfbreeds, rulers who on
the one hand build beautiful, near-perfect cities...and at the same
time keep legions of slaves for work and entertainment, and prey on
Elven or human concubines for pleasure. The only cloud in this
otherwise-perfect world of Elven supremacy is "The Prophecy", which
portends that magic and fortunes will remake the world.

The prophecy is passed on to the halfbreed Shana, who grows up to be a
wizard powerful enough to lead the humans and dragons against the
cruel elves who rule the land and enslave others. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
calls THE ELVENBANE a "fine coming-of-age adventure". BOOKLIST regards
the book as "dynamic fantasy". And Anne McCaffrey pays tribute to both
authors: "A damned fine tale, a splendid blend of the talents of two
excellent storytellers."

                      **************************

^                              MIRABILE
                            by Janet Kagan
               (Tor, 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-85220-7)
                    commentary from the publisher

There's a problem on the planet Mirabile with dragon's teeth. The
humans from Earth sent to colonize the planet on a generations-long
voyage through space lost some essential information in transit. Now,
in the early decades of human settlement, the Earth plants and animals
genetically programmed to proliferate the old species (so that, for
instance, a cow might give birth to a deer sometimes, that will breed
true, except that sometimes the deer will give birth to a moose...)
are occasionally producing mutants. Thus the carnivorous Kangaroo Rex
is born, and the Loch Moose monster, and the voracious Frankenswine,
dragon's teeth that threaten the ecology of Mirabile and perhaps the
very survival of the colonists.

Mirabile is a frontier planet with a generous mixture of ethnic and
regional cultures from Earth, and the people are tough, hard-working
and generally cooperative, fighting for a new life far from home. And
the toughest of all has to be the ecological troubleshooter Mama
Jason, a legend in her own time. It's up to her and her teams to
protect the environment during this wild growth period, with only
partial scientific knowledge and no genetic roadmap. She has to judge
the dragon's teeth: are they a useful contribution to the environment
or must they die--if you can get them before they get you.

                      **************************

^                          THE TIME PATROL
                           by Poul Anderson
           (Tor, October 1991, $21.95, ISBN 0-312-85231-2)
                     commentary by the publisher

For 35 years Poul Anderson has written about the "Time Patrol", the
far future agency charged with responsibility for the stable
continuity of human history. Now, in THE TIME PATROL, Tor publishes a
new novel of Anderson's "Unattached Agent" Manse Everard and the
Patrol, STAR OF THE SEA, along with all the previous stories in the
"Time Patrol" series.

In the new novel, Everard is sent to Northern Europe in A.D. 70 to
investigate dangerous anomalies in the fabric of known history. At
this time, according to the historian Tacitus, the Roman Empire is
engaged in continuing brush-warfare with Germanic tribes along its
border. Simultaneously, a charismatic warrior cult, led by a brilliant
young woman, is beginning to surface, threatening the power of the
Germanic tribes as well as the Romans. Once again, Everard must save
human history from paradox and chaos, no matter what suffering this
forces him to "preserve".

STAR OF THE SEA is the core of Tor's new book which finally collects
in one volume all the "Time Patrol" stories Anderson has written in
the last 35 years, including "Gibraltar Falls", "The Sorrows of Odin
the Goth", and the novel THE YEAR OF THE RANSOM, the little-known
prequel to THE SHIELD OF TIME (Tor, 1990).

                      **************************

^                      PLAYGROUNDS OF THE MIND
                       (The sequel to N-SPACE)
                            by Larry Niven
           (Tor, November 1991, $22.95, ISBN 0-312-85219-3)
                    commentary from the publisher

In N-SPACE (Tor, 1990), Niven provided his readers with a panoply of
excerpts from solo fiction, nonfiction, and his collaborative novels,
representing the first half of his career. PLAYGROUNDS OF THE MIND
picks up where N-SPACE left off, with award-winning stories, memoirs,
nonfiction essays in scientific extrapolation, and uncollected
fiction. Included are such classics as: "Becalmed in Hell", "What Good
Is a Glass Dagger?", and the Hugo-winning "The Borderland of Sol". The
reader will also relish comments on and extracts from novels like THE
RINGWORLD ENGINEERS and THE MAGIC GOES AWAY, articles like "Mars, with
Craters", and "The Theory and Practice of Teleportation",
autobiographical essays, and never-before-collected works of hard SF
in which Niven writes about his alien-filled Known Space.

                      **************************

^                           RED ORC'S RAGE
                        by Philip Jose Farmer
           (Tor, October 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-85036-0)
                    commentary from the publisher

In the 1960s and '70s, Philip Jose Farmer wrote 5 volumes of the
"World of Tiers" series, classics of contemporary fantasy which take
place in artificial pocket universes created by the arrogant and
decadent super-race, The Lords. For the Earthman, Kickaha, the
greatest and most deadly foe is the Lord, Red Orc.

The "World of Tiers" books, based loosely on the poetry of William
Blake, have been in print for the last 25 years. In 1978, Dr. A. James
Giannini, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Ohio State University,
decided to use a unique method of psychiatric therapy to treat
troubled adolescents. His method was based on the "World of Tiers"
series. His patients, all volunteers, read the series and chose which
character or characters to identify with and to try, in a sense, to
become, based on Farmer's settings and ideas. In a daring literary
maneuver, Farmer then took the idea of Dr. Giannini's therapy and
turned it into a fictionalized version of a young man in a treatment
center undergoing such revolutionary therapy.

That young man is Jim Grimson, whose Tiersian fantasies, as he
inhabits the fantastic mind of Red Orc, include attacking and maiming
his father, making love to 20 of his sisters, saving his mother from
prison and a killer while riding a white horse--all occurring while he
was 17 years old in October of 1979 and couldn't possibly understand
that he had created a seemingly ten-billion-year-old universe.

In this art-imitates-life-imitates-art novel, nearly half the action
chronicles Jim's exciting and disturbing adventures in other worlds.
The result is a powerful blend of psychology and fantasy from Philip
Jose Farmer, who critic Leslie Fiedler called "the single best SF
writer alive."

                      **************************

^                               AVALON
                           by Mary J. Jones
            (Naiad Press, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-941483-96-7)
                              cover copy

AVALON...where strong, courageous women prepare to defend the world
that is theirs.

Fleeing from Camelot and Arthur's anger, two desperate riders reach
the sea to meet the waiting boats. In their care is a baby girl--whose
destiny is to rule the fabled isle of Avalon as Lady of the Lake.

Named Argante--brilliant one--she will grow to womanhood with her
soul-friend, Elin. As one of the Daughters of the Goddess, her duty is
to watch over the Celtic Realms of Ireland, Britain, and Gaul.

Against her stands a fearsome foe, dark sister of the Goddess Mother,
Annis the Hag, Queen of the Wastelands.

The stain of evil has swept over the mainlands as Annis, her dreadful
Grey Host at her command, brings bloody war and pestilence to the once
fruitful kingdoms.

Now, only Argante and the Daughters of Avalon stand between Annis and
her complete dominion over the Celtic Realms...

AVALON...a sumptuous tale, a richly detailed, vivid tapestry of a time
when women reigned supreme. If your local bookstore doesn't have
AVALON, you can order it directly from the publisher by sending the
list price, plus 15% extra for shipping and handling, to: The Naiad
Press Inc., PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or use your credit
card by calling 1-800-533-1973.

                      **************************

^                              STRANDED
                           by Camarin Grae
            (Naiad Press, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-941483-99-1)
                              cover copy

A superb new tale from a marvelous storyteller...Camarin Grae,
bestselling author of THE SECRET IN THE BIRD and EDGEWISE, reveals
what it's like to be truly STRANDED...

Amy is more than a little startled to meet Jenna. Because Jenna has
taken up residence in Amy's mind. And because Jenna is from the planet
Allo.

Jenna, amazed and appalled by Earth's culture, must win the trust of
Amy and her friend Agatha. Only through them can she locate
love-partner Billy and friend, Cass, from whom she has become
separated in transit to Earth.

Then, for the sake of Earth, they must find and neutralize
Zephkar--for Zephkar is the reason the three have been sent from Allo.

Zephkar is already hard at work. Using his invincible powers, he has
taken over the mind and body of James Lane, and has founded New
Direction, a fundamentalist religion. And he is forming a political
party to rule America as a theocracy.

How can Jenna and her lesbian allies hope to defeat the all-powerful
Zephkar? And as for Jenna and Billy--how can they manage to love each
other while inhabiting these strange human bodies?

Find the answers to all these questions in the most wonderfully
entertaining story of the year. If your local bookstore doesn't have
STRANDED, you can order it directly from the publisher by sending the
list price, plus 15% extra for shipping and handling, to: The Naiad
Press Inc., PO Box 10543, Tallahassee, FL 32302. Or use your credit
card by calling 1-800-533-1973.

                      **************************

~THE PAPERBACK BOOKSHELF:

^                          CITIES IN SPACE
                  edited by J. Pournelle and J. Carr
           (Ace, September 1991, $4.50, ISBN 0-441-10591-2)
                       review by Darryl Kenning

This is volume III of THE ENDLESS FRONTIER. It is a collection of
short stories, articles, and poems from folks like Robert A. Heinlein,
Norman Spinrad, Doug Beason, John Gillespie Magee Jr. and Jerry
Pournelle to name just some of them. Like the others in the series
this is unashamedly a book extolling the virtues of space flight and
exploration and moving forward to the next frontier of human
exploration. The pieces in the book are all outstanding--every one!

Some are classics and THE LONG WATCH by Heinlein still sends a shiver
down my back--just like it did almost 30 years ago when I first read
it. This one is a must read if you are interested in space, poems, or
just like outstanding writing.

                                KQ = 5

                      --------------------------

^                           LUNAR DESCENT
                           by Allen Steele
           (Ace, October  1991, $4.99, ISBN 0-441-50485-X)
                       review by Darryl Kenning

Allen Steele has written 3 excellent books about the Moon and the
people who will be the first real inhabitants, the hard space workers.
(ORBITAL DECAY, CLARKE COUNTY, SPACE) In may ways his stories remind
me of early Robert Heinlein stories: they are about real people in
working environments, who face everyday problems and not-so-everyday
problems.

LUNAR DESCENT is a detective story and a story about how things really
work in life projected to the near future. It's a story about how
they/you/us deal with the gritty aspects of life. I for one am looking
forward to seeing much more of Steele's writing--it's exciting, it's
realistic, and it is about people.

                                KQ = 4

                      --------------------------

^                          MUTINEER"S MOON
                            by David Weber
        (Baen Books, October 1991, $4.50, ISBN 0-671-72085-6)
                       review by Darryl Kenning

David Weber has got a winner here--and I'm not exactly sure why. The
plot is old: An Air Force officer on a routine training flight over
the moon wakes up a self-aware Imperial Battleship, that gets him,
gives him extraordinary powers....well you see what I mean. I hate to
admit this but I think I bought it because of the cover art--I was on
a trip and was desperate for SF to read.

And yet, I found I couldn't put down the book. Weber has made this
rather overused plot line come alive and it works on a couple of
levels that are intriguing to say the least. I don't want to spill any
more of the plot--I'll bet you can guess most of it already, but it
really doesn't matter. This is a book for curling up with on a Friday
night when the TV has naught but its usual fare. It will keep you
interested and then you will be looking for more of Weber's stuff--and
that's probably me you see peering over your shoulder in the
bookstore.

                                KQ = 5
 
                      **************************

~                           THE SCORECARD

             Title                  Author          KQ

          Mutineer's Moon         David Weber        5
          A Reasonable World      Damon Knight       4
          The January Platoon     Kevin Randle       3
          The Mutant Prime        Karen Haber        3
          A Trace of Memory       Keith Laumer       4
          Immortality Inc.        Robert Sheckley    3
          Drifter                 William C. Dietz   3
          Queen of Angels         Greg Bear          2
          The Jupiter War         Bill Fawcet (ed)   2
          Lunar Descent           Allen Steele       4
          Cities in Space         J. Pournelle (ed)  5

                      **************************

~                   NOVEMBER 1991 TITLES FROM TOR
                    commentary from the publisher

^A REASONABLE WORLD by Damon Knight ($3.99, ISBN 0-812-50978-1)
  Ten years have passed since the researchers on the ocean-going
habitat, Sea Venture, accidentally released McNulty's Symbiont into an
unprepared world. The alien life form has infected and altered
thousands of adults, and is reproduced whenever a child is conceived
with a symbiont present. The symbionts are beginning to make
themselves heard: they will not permit violence, murder or warfare.
Those who attempt such behavior die instantly. A new dawn awaits
humanity on Earth, if only those who fear awakening can be made to
understand.


^THERE WON'T BE WAR edited by Harry Harrison & Bruce McAllister
($3.99, ISBN 0-812-51941-8)
  This international anthology sparks the imagination with an
exploration of the peaceful development of space. This hopeful volume
contains brand-new original fiction from: Nicholas Emmett, Gregory
Frost, Joe Haldeman, Ratislav Durman, Frederik Pohl, James Morrow,
Robert Sheckley, Jack McDevitt, Jack C. Haldeman II, Charles Stross,
Marc Laidlaw, Nancy A. Collins, Timothy Zahn, George Zebrowski, Isaac
Asimov.


^EXPLORATIONS by Poul Anderson ($3.99, ISBN 0-812-51536-6)
  An outstanding collection of science fiction stories by one of the
most respected names in the field, EXPLORATIONS contains classic Poul
Anderson stories, all involving interstellar voyages of discovery.
Anderson has won many Hugo Awards for his short fiction, and his 1991
release, THE BOAT OF A MILLION YEARS, was named a New York Times
Notable Book of the Year.


^CONAN THE ROGUE by John Maddox Roberts ($7.99, ISBN 0-812-51411-4)
  Everyone in Sicas wants the priceless object Conan of Cimmeria has
gone there to find. Beautiful women who offer smiles and kisses--and
maybe a knife in the back. A priest who may be closer to his goddess
than he thinks. Noble lords, the bosses of criminal gangs, and a fop
whose perfumed kerchief may hide poison.
  Everyone wants it, everyone is willing to murder to get it, and
everyone has a different tale of exactly what IT is. But they are all
wrong about one thing. None know the horror this object will unleash
on Sicas. Only one man has any chance of saving them all from a fate
worse than death. Only Conan of Cimmeria--and even his chances are
small.


^THE DRAGON KNIGHT by Gordon R. Dickson ($5.99, ISBN 0-812-50943-9)
  In 1957, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning science fiction author Gordon
R. Dickson tried his hand at whimsical fantasy with a novelette titled
"St. Dragon and the George", a rollicking tale of a man transported to
a fantastic realm where humans are monsters, and dragons are heroes.
  Twenty years later, Dickson expanded the story into a novel. THE
DRAGON AND THE GEORGE soon became one of Dickson's most beloved works.
THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION called it "marvelous...an
excellent fantasy adventure that resembles real life as only the best
fantasy can." It won the Hugo and British Fantasy Awards and
ultimately sold more than three quarters of a million copies.
Dickson's loyal fans waited eagerly for a sequel.
  Now, a decade later, Dickson returns to this enchanting world in THE
DRAGON KNIGHT. KIRKUS REVIEWS wrote: "For fans, it's been worth the
wait...THE DRAGON KNIGHT moves forward in a steady, amusing way, and
brings great charm to medieval England and magic lore."
  JIm Eckert, a college professor, awakens one day in the body of a
dragon in a world where magic is real. Through a series of
misadventures, he saved his beloved Angela from an evil wizard,
regained his human form, and became a medieval Baron. Now Sir James
has suddenly become a dragon again, and can't change back. He has to
learn to control his magical powers in order to rescue Edward, the
Crown Prince of England, who has just been kidnapped by the King of
France.
  Boris Vallejo, the artist who created the memorable cover painting
for THE DRAGON AND THE GEORGE a decade ago, has produced a delightful
new painting for THE DRAGON KNIGHT.
  Gordon R. Dickson is one of science fiction's most respected
authors. In a career spanning nearly four decades, he has earned most
of the field's highest honors, including two Nebula Awards and four
Hugo Awards. His most recent works include WOLF AND IRON, THE FINAL
ENCYCLOPEDIA, and THE WAY OF THE PILGRIM. Mr. Dickson has made his
home for many years in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.


~                      OTHER TOR BOOKS OF NOTE:


^SWORDSPOINT: A MELODRAMA OF MANNERS by Ellen Kushner
($3.99, ISBN 0-812-51771-7)
  In SWORDSPOINT, Kushner has created an elegant, mannered, and
decadent city that spans the distance from the slums of Riverside to
the mansions of the Hill. Here, rich people don't fight their own
battles. The most talented and sought-after of swordsmen are paid to
fight their duels--and the most sought-after of these freelancers is
Richard St. Vier.


^A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT by Mark Twain
($2.50, ISBN 0-812-50436-4)
  It was one HECK of a punch.
  Knocked me clear from New England to Olde England, from Connecticut
to Camelot. Suddenly, there I WAS--with King Arthur, Launcelot, Morgan
le Fay, and that faker, Merlin. I was trapped in the sixth century,
surrounded by jousts and chivalry and idiots in armor bashing other
idiots in armor!
  But I'm resourceful; I look for opportunities. And King Arthur's
court needed a few improvements. Like soap. Toothpaste. Baseball.
Electricity, factories, newspapers, telephones, trains,
bicycles...free elections. In short, these folks needed a double dose
of gool ole American know-how.
  They needed a Boss. They needed--
  Me.

                      **************************

~                           NEWS 'N' NOTES

Here is a list of booksellers around the world that specialize in SF,
handy to have if you do much traveling or seek specialty stuff for
your collection.

Always Superior Books               Copper Dragon Books
3645 Providence Rd                  Mark Anderson
Marietta  GA  30062                 2430 Agnes Way
404-977-2378                        Palo Alto  CA  94303
                                    415-424-1984
 
Andromeda Bookshop                  Bakka Books
84 Suffolk ST.                      282 Queen Street West
Birmingham  England, U.K.  B1 1TA   Toronto  Ontario, Canada  M5V2A1
                                    415-596-8161

B. Barrett Books                    T.D. Bell
P.O. Box 6202                       Leahy Lane
Hayward  CA  94540                  Ballston Spa  NY  12020

Black Hill Books                    Black & White Books
The Wain House                      111 Hicks St.
Black Hill, Clunton                 #11F
Craven Arms  Shropshire, UK SY7 0JD Brooklyn  NY  11201
05884-551                           718-855-2598
 
Books                               Borders Bookstore
Box 3711                            Castleton Corners Mall
Bartlesville  OK  74006-3711        Indianapolis  IN
 
Ray Bowman                          Stephen Buhner: Bookseller
P.O. Box 167                        8563 Flagstaff Rd.
Carmel  IN  46032                   Boulder  CO  80302
 
Bump in the Night Books             California Book Auction Gal.
133-135 Elfreths Alley              965 Mission St.
Philadelphia  PA  19106             Suite 730
                                    San Francisco  CA  94103
                                    415-243-0650
 
Nicholas Certo                      Change of Hobbit
POB 322-L                           1433 Second St.
Circleville  NY  10919              Santa Monica  CA  90401
914-361-1190                        213-473-2873

Cheap Street                        Cold Tonnage Books
Route 2 Box 293                     Andy Richards
New Castle  VA  24127               136 New Road
703-864-6288                        Bedfont, Feltham, Middlesex,
                                    UK TW148HT

Comic Kingdom II                    L. W. Currey, Inc.
29905 Harper AVe.                   P.O. Box 187
St. Clair Shores  MI  48082         Elizabethtown  NY  12932
313-777-2323                        518-873-6477

D.C. Books                          Dangerous Visions
David Chack                         13563 Ventura Blvd.
30 Clifford Dr.                     Sherman Oaks  CA  91423-3825
West Hartford  CT  06107            818-986-6963

Dark Carnival Bookstore             Dark Castle Books
2978 Aeline                         1861 Adobe St
Berkeley  CA                        Concord  CA  94520
415-845-7757

DMK Books                           Dragon's Lair Bookstore
22946 Brenford St.                  110 W. Fifth St.
Woodland Hills  CA  91364           Dayton  OH  45402
                                    513-222-1479

Chris Drumm Books                   Duga's Books
POB 445                             610 Aldama Ct.
Polk City  IA  50226                Ocoee  FL  32761
                                    407-656-3235

Dust Jacket                         Chris Eckhoff
Dept. LSF                           98 Pierrepont St.
9835 Robin Rd                       Brooklyn  NY  11201
Niles  IL  60649

Elsewhere Books                     Toby English
260 Judah St.                       Lamb Arcade
San Francisco  CA  94122            Wallingford Oxfordshire,
415-661-2535                        UK OX10 0BS

Esoterica Book Gallery              Excalibur
734 Waverly Rd.                     1 Hillside Gardens
Bryn Mawr  PA  19010                Bangor  Northern Ireland  BT192SJ
215-527-1260

The Exiles Bookshop                 F & SF Book Co.
Jim Welsh                           POB 415
P.O. Box 12071                      Staten Island  NY  10302-0005
Silver Spring  MD  209908
301-365-7016
 
John Faley                          Fantast (Medway) Ltd.
322 W. 55 St.                       P.O. Box 23
#2C                                 Upwell, Wisbech
New York  NY  10019                 Cambs.  U.K.  PE14 9BU

Fantasy Connection                  Fantasy, Etc.
P.O. Box 676                        808 Larkin St.
Carmichael  CA  95609               San Francisco  CA  94109
916-393-8269                        415-441-7617

Fine Books Co.                      Dwayne Fund
David Aronovitz                     2657 SW Willow Pkwy
781 E. Snell                        Gresham  OR  97080
Rochester  MI  48306                503-661-2729
313-651-8799
 
Future Fantasy                      Robert Gavora, Bookseller
3701 El Camino Real                 P.O. Box 928
Palo Alto  CA  94306                Ashland  OR  97520
408-855-9771                        503-482-8891

Gorgon Books                        Gryphon Publications
102 Joanne Drive                    POB 209
Holbrook  NY  11741                 Brooklyn  NY  11228
516-472-3504

Robert Henderson, Bookseller        David Holloway, Bookseller
2091-B 10th Ave.                    6760 SouthWest 76th Terrace
Honolulu  HI  96816                 South Miami  FL  33143
 
Graham Holroyd                      Inter-Data Systems
19 Borrowdale Drive                 3280 Sunrise Hwy
Rochester  NY  14626                Suite 265A
716-225-4879                        Wantagh  NY  11793

It Came From Mt. Shasta             David D. Jackson
Dennis L. White, Bookseller         450 S. Normandie
POB 1120                            #102
Mt. Shasta  CA  96067               Los Angeles  CA  90020
916-926-2174
 
Kadath Press                        20th Century Books
2 Roman Grove                       Philip E. Kaveny, Bookseller
Roundhay  Leeds, U.K.  LS8 2DT      108 King St.
                                    Madison  WI  53703

Gerry Kleier                        John W. Knott Jr., Bookseller
2134 McGee                          8453 Early Bud Way
Apt. B                              Laurel  MD  20723
Berkeley  CA  94703                 301-725-7537
415-843-7571
 
Lehner & Co.                        Barry Levin SF & F Literature
1616 Begen Ave.                     726 Santa Monica Blvd
Mountain View  CA  94040            Suite 201
415-960-3067                        Santa Monica  CA  90401
                                    213-458-6111
 
Richard G. Lewis                    SF/Fantasy Books
21 Brewster Road                    Robert A. Madle
London  England, U.K.  E10 6RG      4406 Bestor Drive
                                    Rockville  MD  20853
                                    301-460-4712
 
Marx Books                          David A. McClintock
4412 18th St.                       POB 1949
Lubbock  TX  79416                  Warren  OH  44482
                                    216-372-4425

MJA Books                           Nebula
8470 Dover Dr.                      1522, Sherbrooke W.
Granite Bay  CA  95661              #11
                                    Montreal  PQ, Canada  H3G 1L3

New Worlds Bookservice              Novel Futures
Box 10163                           402 N. Robinson St.
N. Charleston  SC  29441-0163       Richmond  VA  23220
                                    804-353-0573

Kai Nygaard                         Ocean View Books
19421 Eighth Place                  1590 Latham St.
Escondido  CA  92029                Mountain View  CA  94040
619-746-9039                        415-965-3721

Jan L. O'Nale, Bookseller           Jim Orbaugh, Bookseller
Rt. 2 Box 293                       1059 Shadowridge Dr. #5
New Castle  VA  24127               Vista  CA  92083
703-864-6288

Other Change of Hobbit              Other Worlds Bookstore
2433 Channing Way                   1281 North Main St.
Berkeley  CA  94704                 Providence  RI  02904
415-848-0413                        401-331-9140

Overseas Book Service               Pandora's Books
232 Hudson St.                      J. Grant Thiessen
Suite 2D                            Box 54
Hoboken  NJ  07030                  Neche  ND  58265
201-792-4565                        204-324-8548
 
Nick Papaseraphim                   Polyanthos Park Avenue Books
30-56 44th St.                      P.O. Box 343
Astoria  NY  11103                  Huntington  NY  11743
 
Record Breaker Science Fiction Shop Richerson's Books
David Chack                         Carrie Richerson
Ames Plaza                          POB 181
Meriden  CT                         Blanco  TX  78606
203-237-0133                        512-833-5350
 
Graeme Roberts                      Rockaway
57 Queens Rd.                       Box 1508-L
Leytonstone                         Woodbridge  VA  22193
London  England, U.K.  E11 1BA
081-539-7095
 
Science Fiction +                   Science Fiction Shop
POB 10696                           163 Bleecker St.
Rochestr  NY  14610                 New York  NY  10012
716-654-5655

Seattle Book Center                 Serendipity Books
2231 wnd AVe.                       1201 University Ave.
Seattle  WA  98121                  Berkeley  CA  94702
                                    415-841-7455

Wr. Slater Books                    Christopher Stephens
4809 Stockdale Hwy                  7 Terrace Drive
#203                                Hastings-on-Hudson  NY  10706
Bakersfield  CA  93309              914-478-2522

Michael Tallan                      Michael Thompson, Bookseller
3477 Yuba Ave.                      445 West Pender St.
San Jose  CA  95117                 Vancouver  BC, Canada  V6B 1V2
 
Thunder Books                       John P. Toutonghi
144 Cox Crescent                    1824-24th E.
Thunder Bay  Ont., Canada  P7A 7K8  Seattle  WA  98112
 
Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore           Waverley Books
2864 Chicago Ave. S.                946 9th St.
Minneapolis  MN  55407              #E
                                    Santa Monica  CA  90403

Weinberg Books                      James M. Wills
15145 Oxford Dr.                    3605 Canby Dr.
Oak Forest  IL  60452               Philadelphia  PA  19154
                                    215-281-1056

Wrigley-Cross Books                 Herb Yellin
8001A S.E. Powell                   19073 Los Alimos St.
Portland  OR  97206                 Northridge  CA  91326
503-775-4943

Mark V. Ziesing
POB 76
Shingletown  CA  96088
916-474-1580


                       *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
                       *                     *
                       *  FRIGHTFUL FICTION  *
                       *                     *
                       *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

                        Editor:  Annie Wilkes

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Frightful Fiction is a division of Reading For Pleasure, published
bimonthly. This material is NOT COPYRIGHTED and may be used freely by
all. Catalogs, news releases, review copies, or donated reviews should
be sent to:  Reading For Pleasure, 103 Baughman's Lane, Suite 303,
Frederick, MD 21702.
---------------------------------------------------------------------


^             NEEDFUL THINGS: The Last Castle Rock Story
                           by Stephen King
          (Viking, October 1991, $24.95, ISBN 0-670-83953-1)
                        review by Annie Wilkes

     "...in America, you could have anything you wanted, just as
     long as you could pay for it. If you couldn't pay, or
     REFUSED to pay, you would remain needful forever."

"You've been here before." So starts Stephen King's latest novel, the
story that takes you to Castle Rock for one last, apocalyptic visit.
You HAVE been there before, haven't you? Castle Rock has been the
setting of some of King's most memorable tales: THE DEAD ZONE, CUJO,
THE TOMMYKNOCKERS, THE DARK HALF, "The Body" (from DIFFERENT SEASONS,
filmed as STAND BY ME), "The Sun Dog" (from FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT), "Mrs.
Todd's Shortcut", "Uncle Otto's Truck", and "Nona". As King wrote in
the introduction to "The Sun Dog":

     "...a state of entrancement with a fictional setting may not
     be the best thing in the world for a writer. It was for
     Faulkner and J.R.R. Tolkien, but sometimes a couple of
     exceptions just prove the rule, and besides, I don't play in
     that league. So at some point I decided...that the time had
     come to close the book on Castle Rock, Maine, where so many
     of my favorite characters have lived and died."

And King closes that book with a bang, to be sure. Not quite as
emotional as many of his other stories have been, NEEDFUL THINGS is
more psychological, more philosophical. It all begins when a new store
comes to Castle Rock, a mysterious place called Needful Things, run by
the enigmatic Leland Gaunt, who manages to be both hypnotically
charming and viscerally repulsive by turns. What does the store sell?
Who is Gaunt and where does he come from? What does the name of the
store mean? Most of Castle Rock will find answers to at least two of
the questions, to their everlasting sorrow.

What does Gaunt sell? The one thing you want most in the whole world.
What does he charge? Only a few dollars, whatever you can easily
afford, plus a small harmless prank to be played on another resident
of The Rock. As Gaunt said one time to a man named Hugh Priest,

     "Do you know something, Hugh? The world is full of needy
     people who don't understand that everything, EVERYTHING, is
     for sale...if you're willing to pay the price."

The story is about greed and jealousy, paranoia and guilt. As the
customers of Needful Things will discover, when you buy something,
you're also selling something, and the trade may not be as good as it
seems.

     "...everyone loves a bargain. Everyone loves something for
     nothing... even if it costs everything."

NEEDFUL THINGS is about consumerism gone awry, about people who try to
fill their needs with mere things, not understanding that they become
things themselves in the process. Sheriff Pangborn must try to save
what he can of the people of Castle Rock. But can he even save
himself? What will Needful Things have for him to buy? NEEDFUL THINGS
is an exciting finish to what has been the most fearsomely
entertaining town in fiction. Don't miss it.

                      **************************

~                       NEEDFUL THINGS ON TAPE

Donald M. Grant, Publisher, has unabridged recordings of NEEDFUL
THINGS read by Stephen King himself. Each Part is 9 hours long on 6
cassettes.

     Part I: Grand Opening Celebration (NT-1) $29.95
     Part II: Sale of the Century (NT-2) $29.95
     Part III: Everything Must Go (NT-3) $29.95
     Parts I, II, and III (NT-4) $89.85

Shipping is $2 for the first tape, $1 for each additional tape. Add an
additional $3 per item for addresses outside the U.S. Send the total
to: Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc., PO Box 187, Hampton Falls, NH
03844.

                      **************************

^                            LOT LIZARDS
                            by Ray Garton
         (Mark V. Ziesing, 1991, $22.00, ISBN 0-929480-59-7)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

Big-rig driver Bill Ketter's wife took their children and left six
months ago, complaining that he didn't spend enough time at home. She
had left a few times before, but this time it was for good. On a cold
winter night, during a moment of lonliness, Ketter invites one of the
local truck stop hookers, a "lot lizard" as they are called, to spend
the night with him in his sleeper. When she leaves in the morning, she
not only takes his money, credit cards and tape deck, but also his
humanity, drained through two puncture wounds in his neck. From then
on, the only food that Ketter can eat or drink without throwing up is
blood. Fresh blood is so much better, but he can't bring himself to
kill other humans. Blood from local blood banks has to do but he is
slowly dying from the lack of fresh blood. Ketter is determined to
find the lair of the vampire lot lizards and their queen, searching
from truck stop to truck stop for the big-rigs that carry their evil
coffins. Finally, during a raging winter's storm, he comes
face-to-face with the evil and the queen mother of the lot lizards
herself.

Ever since reading and reviewing LIVE GIRLS (RFP # 5), I have been a
BIG fan of Ray Garton. After a few novels and short stories, with LOT
LIZARDS Garton returns to the vampire theme, and the book is superb.
It was very difficult to put LOT LIZARDS down and I managed to finish
it in two sittings. I have a weakness for vampire stories and Ray
Garton is truly a master in this area. Those of you who have read LIVE
GIRLS will recognize an underlying theme, the results of a vampire
drinking tainted blood. Think of this as you read LOT LIZARDS. It has
a lot to do with the outcome of the story. If you like vampire
stories, then LOT LIZARDS is an absolute must. I'll guarantee you'll
like it and make you think twice the next time you happen to be at a
truck stop on a cold and lonely night.

You can order LOT LIZARDS directly from the publisher by sending $22
($50 for a signed, slipcased edition), plus shipping and handling
(Parcel Post: $3 for the regular edition, $4 for the signed. UPS:
$3.50 for the regular edition, $4.50 for the signed.) to: Mark V.
Ziesing, PO Box 76, Shingletown, CA 96088. Phone: 916/474-1580.

                      **************************

^                             MASQUES IV
             All-New Works of Horror and the Supernatural
                      edited by J.N. Williamson
         (Maclay & Assoc., 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-940776-26-X)
                        review by Howard Frye

MASQUES IV is another excellent anthology in the MASQUES series,
gathering some of the very best short frightful fiction from both old
masters and unknowns. Hundreds or thousands of years from now when
archaeologists dig up a copy of MASQUES IV they're going to find out a
lot about what it was like in early-1990s America. For instance,
there's our love-hate relationship with children. "Children" by
Kristine Kathryn Rusch tells of child-shaped monsters who prey on male
members of the McIntyre family. Bruce Boston's "Animal Husbandry" has
a husband and wife with differing ideas about breeding. And then
there's the whole subject of child abuse: "The Coming of Night, The
Passing of Day" by Ed Gorman and "Please Don't Hurt Me" by F. Paul
Wilson inadvertently form a two-part tale of family violence and child
abuse, and its legacy for the future. Cameron Nolan's "The Children
Never Lie" also deals with child abuse, but from a different angle,
and along the way she makes some good points about the current state
of the field of psychology.

Memories of childhood form the basis of both "Savages" by Darrell
Schweitzer and "Love, Hate, and the Beautiful Junkyard Sea" by Mort
Castle, the first concerning a Peter Pan-type character who never
grows up and the second about the magic of childhood--how it's found,
and how it gets lost again. Relationships between the sexes don't fair
too well either. James Kisner tells a sharp-edged tale about life,
sex, and boredom in "Splatter Me an Angel"; John Coyne covers related
ground in "Obscene Phone Calls". Noise pollution serves as the
background for Kathryn Ptacek's "Sounds". There are really quite a few
stories in MASQUES IV that are humorous in whole or in part, one of
the best being editor Williamson's "Collaborationists", about the
wives of writers.

Graham Masterton tells one of the most effective supernatural stories
in his "The Heart of Helen Day", in which a weary traveler escapes a
rainstorm by checking into a rundown motel. "Pratfall" by John Maclay
puts a clown in the middle of the Gulf War--no, I mean a REAL clown,
in white-face and baggy pants--creating a scene that would have been
great on CNN. There are even a couple of poems here, my favorite being
"Whispers of the Unrepentant" by t. Winter-Damon: "I have a freezer
full of secrets and some most suspicious beef..." I also liked
"Milestone's Face" by Gary Brandner, dealing with an egotistical news
anchorman who plays a cruel trick on the wrong bag lady. And if you'd
told me that sucking someone's eyeballs right out of their head could
be sensual, I wouldn't have believed you, until I read Rick Hautala's
"Sources of the Nile".

Which story was worth the price of the whole book? No question about
it: "My Private Memoirs of the Hoffer Stigmata Pandemic" by Dan
Simmons. It's funny, it's sad, and you'll be thinking about it for a
long, long time. Trust me. In his introduction to the story Williamson
says that Simmons "creates a new language with which to examine
ourselves with greater, cleaner conscientiousness", which might sound
like just so much twaddle, until you read the story. That's EXACTLY
what Simmons does. And if this is your first Simmons story, boy, have
you got some great reading ahead of you. (Hint: Start with the
award-winning SONG OF KALI, move on to the award-winning HYPERION and
FALL OF HYPERION, then to the award-winning CARRION COMFORT, winding
up at his recent SUMMER OF NIGHT.)

MASQUES IV is a sensational anthology of frightening, disturbing,
funny, sad, puzzling, and thought-provoking short fiction. Absolutely
top-drawer. By the way, there is also a limited edition version (750
copies), signed by the contributors, for $49. If there are any left.
At that price, I'd hurry if I were you. In any case, you can get in
touch with the publisher by writing to: Maclay & Associates, PO Box
16253, Baltimore, MD 21210 (301/235-7985).

                      **************************

^                          NIGHT VISIONS 9
                    Introduction by F. Paul Wilson
           (Dark Harvest, 1991, $21.95, ISBN 0-913165-63-8)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

NIGHT VISIONS is the annual anthology from Dark Harvest that features
approximately 30,000 words of original material from three different
writers. This year Thomas Tessier contribues a novella, James Kisner
has written 5 short stories, and Rick Hautala contributes seven
interrelated pieces that he calls "Untciguhunk".

In Tessier's novella, "The Dreams of Dr. Ladybank", a psychiatrist
discovers that he can control other people's behavior with his mind,
but unfortunately it only works with two individuals, and both of them
are lunatics. In the end, Dr. Ladybank is done in by his own ego, and
everyone comes to a bad end--rather graphically too. A good read.

James Kisner's five stories constitute an excellent introduction to
this writer who isn't as well known as he should be. "Jack's Demon"
solves the mystery of Jack the Ripper once and for all, with a whole
new angle on the case. In "The Last Time I Saw Grandma", Jeremy's
beloved grandmother is dying. After a visit from a tall dark stranger,
Grandma has bite marks on her neck. Now she'll be there for Jeremy
forever. In "Moose Oysters", Kurt Kelley hopes to prop up his waning
masculinity with a meal of moose oysters from a moose he plans to kill
in the forest. The forest wildlife has a few surprises, though, for
Kurt. Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD theme gets a new wrinkle in
"Born Again", as Reverend Rockwell Healy tries to hellfire and
brimstone his congregation into a better afterlife. Elmer preys on the
homeless, specifically anyone who greets him with "Fugya", at least he
does until he meets Annie.

Rick Hautala's "Untciguhunk" consists of four tales about a murderous
entity that emerges from the earth every five years to prey upon all
living things. These four stories are connected by three folk tales
explaining the mythology behind the characters, all of them forming a
sequel of sorts to Hautala's previous novel, LITTLE BROTHERS. I
haven't read LITTLE BROTHERS yet, but I'd really like to now. This was
my favorite section of NIGHT VISIONS--the story was imaginative and
left me wanting to hear more about the Old One and Little Brother.

You can get NIGHT VISIONS 9 directly from the publisher by sending the
list price, plus $2 postage (for the first book, $1 for every
additional book), to: Dark Harvest, PO Box 941, Arlington Heights, IL
60006. There is also a deluxe, slip-cased limited edition of 475
copies, signed by all four authors and the artist, for $55, if they
have any left.

                      **************************

^                         WAKING NIGHTMARES
                          by Ramsey Campbell
           (Tor, November 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-312-85250-9)
                        review by Peter Quint

I've been a Ramsey Campbell fan for a long time, and always stay on
the lookout for his appearances in magazines. WAKING NIGHTMARES
gathers up some of his finest short stories from magazines and
anthologies like: PRIME EVIL, POST MORTEM, BOOK OF THE DEAD, NIGHT
VISIONS 3, THE ARCHITECTURE OF FEAR, WEIRD TALES, TWILIGHT ZONE,
MASQUES II, MIDNIGHT, WHISPERS, DARK FANTASIES, INTERZONE, and THE
MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.

Campbell is particularly good at remembering and communicating the
fears of childhood. "Bedtime Story" has a child frightened and
tormented by an insensitive grandmother, while "Eye of Childhood"
concerns a monster of a teacher. The children in these stories finally
manage to strike back, and do so most appropriately in "The Old
School", where a teacher is trapped in a haunted school. It is only
when a child is terrorized by a writer--in "Meeting the Author"--that
he never really recovers.

Another common theme for Campbell stories, and one of my favorites, is
getting lost in one way or another. "In the Trees" was one of the
scarier stories for me, about getting lost in the woods; and the
protagonist gets lost around the docks in "Playing the Game". A man
gets lost in time in "Second Sight", as does the reader of M.R. James
books in "The Guide". A writer gets lost in words in "Beyond Words".
And a number of lead characters get lost in a shifting reality, a very
frightening concept.

"Watch the Birdie" is an unusual story in which the narrator, Ramsey
Campbell himself, allows us to see how words can make things appear
and disappear. And, lest you be under the delusion that Ramsey
Campbell only writes cerebral, heavy-on-atmosphere, low-on-action
stories, there is the nasty "It Helps If You Sing" and a tale
reminiscent of E.C. comics called "Jack in the Box".

Nineteen stories are collected in WAKING NIGHTMARES, representing some
of Ramsey Campbell's finest fiction. If you haven't taken the Campbell
plunge, this is the time to do it--Recommended.

                      **************************

^        THE THRILL OF FEAR: 250 Years of Scary Entertainment
                          by Walter Kendrick
   (Grove Weidenfeld, October 31 1991, $21.95, ISBN 0-8021-1162-9)
                    commentary from the publisher

Why do we enjoy scaring ourselves? Why do some of the largest
industries in the world--including books, films, television,
advertising, toys and games for all ages, even children's breakfast
foods--depend so crucially on ghouls, ghosts, and zombies climbing all
too nimbly out of dark and moldy resting places?

Walter Kendrick provides an answer with this authoritative history of
250 years of horror as entertainment, of those momentary prickles of
the scalp and sudden intakes of breath that provide mysterious
pleasure--from THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO and DRACULA to D.C. Comics,
PSYCHO, and Stephen King. Kendrick's perceptive, humorous, and lively
history of the unquiet dead is also the story of a process that has
almost totally removed the aftereffects of death from most Western
experience, leaving them to cavort in the imagination. The more we
have tried to sanitize death, to push it away from our consciousness,
the more it has returned in our entertainments, with the undying
(until now?) energy of Freddy Krueger.

RFP NOTE: I thought I recognized the author's name--he also wrote THE
NOVEL MACHINE: THE THEORY AND FICTION OF ANTHONY TROLLOPE, a
fascinating book for anyone interested in Victorian fiction in general
or Trollope in particular. THE THRILL OF FEAR is a very interesting
book from a literary scholar who is appreciative of the genre without
being a pushover for anything that goes bump in the night. Walter
Kendrick, a multifaceted professor of English at Fordham University,
also has written THE SECRET MUSEUM: PORNOGRAPHY IN MODERN CULTURE.

                      **************************

^                THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES: XIX
                     edited by Karl Edward Wagner
            (DAW, October 1991, $4.99, ISBN 0-88677-488-8)
                        review by Peter Quint

Once again Karl Edward Wagner provides horror fans with a wide variety
of choice fiction. He's been doing it for the last twelve years, so
it's no wonder he's gotten very good at it. My favorites this time
include "Identity Crisis" by Patrick McLeod, a wonderfully disturbing
tale of a person's identity shifting like quicksand. Similar and
equally good is Nicholas Royle's "Negatives", in which a man named
Linden inhabits a nightmare world of meaningless work and a reality
that just won't hold still. The longish "Full Throttle" by Philip
Nutman irresistibly leads the reader along, watching several youths on
their way to an unavoidable destiny. And for comic relief there is
"The Man Who Collected Barker" by Kim Newman, a terrific satire on the
limited edition horror market (and, by the way, has anyone actually
SEEN Clive Barker lately?). My favorite, though, the story that gave
me real physical shivers is "Lord of the Creepies" by Sean Brodrick.
An unemployed actor named Dave mans a dial-the-dead 900 line, but he
only PRETENDS to be dead. Dave gets a call that he wasn't prepared
for. A short story that packs a real chill.

Several more of the entries are in a humorous vein, like "Books of
Blurbs, Vol. I" by Mike Newland, a phony book review that is a
razor-sharp satire of reviewing pretensions. And while we're on the
subject of reviewers, Ramsey Campbell's "The Worst Fog of the Year"
has a movie reviewer becoming trapped inside a grade-Z horror epic, a
scary prospect for any critic. "Elfin Pipes of Northworld" by David
Drake is a fantasy parody that seems misplaced in a horror anthology.
Also fairly humorous is "Trophies" by Richard McMahan, if you like
your humor decidedly black, that is. Have you ever wondered what all
those stickers are on the sides of big trucks?

There are a few classical supernatural tales in this years BEST HORROR
as well. "Walking After Midnight" by C.S. Fuqua is an atmospheric
ghost story, and if you like yuletide spirits try "The Soldier" by
Roger Johnson. THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR also includes stories by: Andrew
J. Wilson, Conrad Hill, J.L. Comeau, Nina Kiriki Hoffman (guaranteed
to raise the hackles on anti-abortionists), Steve Vernon, D.F. Lewis,
Joey Froelich, Robert Hood, Charles Ardai, Kim Antieau, James B.
Hemesath, David Niall, Wayne Allen Sallee, and Ed Gorman. I'd say the
anthology holds a nice B average all the way through.

                      **************************

^                           FINAL SHADOWS
                      edited by Charles L. Grant
       (Doubleday, September 1991, $12.00, ISBN 0-385-24646-3)
                        review by Annie Wilkes

Charles L. Grant has been editing the critically-acclaimed anthology
series SHADOWS for the last ten years. Now, with FINAL SHADOWS Grant
ends the series with an extra-large volume of original dark fantasy.
Inside the covers you'll find an entire photograph album of
contemporary nightmares: there are haunted houses, menacing strangers,
free-ranging paranoia, child abuse, the death of parents, success that
fails to satisfy, and the creeping loss of personal identity. What you
WON'T find in FINAL SHADOWS is excessive gore or gratuitous violence,
a nice change from many recent anthologies.

My favorite stories: "Magpie" by Stephen Gallagher, a well-told
childhood tale of brains conquering brawn. Lynn S. Hightower's "The
Magic House", an edge-of-the-seat survival story. "When They Gave Us
Memory" by Dennis Etchison, in which we find that as our past earns
our present, so too does our present earn our past--take neither for
granted. I also particularly liked: "A Father's Dream" by Chet
Williamson which deals with a father's guilt. Brian Hodge's "Past
Tense", about mental instability and mannequins. "Fry Day" by Melanie
Tem wherein a woman deals with personal tragedy and its effect upon
her. Norman Partridge's "Wrong Side of the Road", a story about the
pieces of yourself given to your friends--can you ever get them back?

Several writers deal with the particular problems of artists. Kim
Antieau's "Medusa's Child" is about a woman who gets her life force
from tapping the creativity of artists. A painter makes a pact with
dark forces in "The Dark Places in Between" by Karen Haber. When is an
older master an "influence" and when is the new artist simply a
copycat? David Sutton examines this issue in "Photo-Call". "Mulberry's
Crystal" by Brian Mooney & Stephen Jones is also note-worthy, being a
very fine Lovecraft pastiche; sort of H.P. without quite so many
adjectives.

FINAL SHADOWS also includes stories by: Wendy Webb, Julie R. Good,
Lori Negridge Allen, Brian Lumley, Bill Pronzini, Peter Tremayne,
Nancy Holder, Samantha Lee, Michael Bishop, Colin Greenland, Jessica
Palmer, Guy N. Smith, Graham Masterton, Bernard Taylor, Tanith Lee,
Mike Chinn, Craig Shaw Gardner, Jack Cady, Juleen Brantingham,
Nicholas Royle, Sharon Webb, Mark Morris, Ashley McConnell, David S.
Garnett, and David Morrell. Another fine anthology, and unfortunately
the last, in Charles L. Grant's wonderful SHADOWS series.

                      **************************

~                  PETER QUINT READS THE MAGAZINES


^WEIRD TALES: Special Thomas Ligotti Issue
Winter 1991/92 #303
edited by Darrell Schweitzer

Thomas Ligotti is a name you may not be familiar with. He's been
haunting the small presses for some time and finally emerged into the
world of major publishing with SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER (Carroll &
Graf). He writes short stories, and they are usually unusual, bizarre,
unclassifiable tales, which might explain why mainstream publishers
haven't been rushing to publish him. But his reputation among critics
has been excellent, and more readers (like me) are beginning to
discover how good Ligotti's stories are. This issue of WEIRD TALES has
three--"Nethescurial", "The Cocoons", and "Miss Plarr", as well as an
interview with the writer, all of which serve as a terrific
introduction to a storyteller you should know.

Elsewhere in WEIRD TALES #303, you'll find a couple of Christmas
stories: "He Knows If You've Been Bad or Good" by R.G. Evans and
"Visitors" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (a writer to watch, trust me), and a
seasonal, atmospheric story from Tanith Lee called "The Winter
Ghosts". There is also fiction from Holly Thomas ("Homecoming"), Keith
Taylor ("Revenant"), and William F. Wu ("Scent of Sandalwood"). There
is verse by Darrell Schweitzer, Keith Allen Daniels, Robert Frazier,
Stanley McNail, and Robert E. Howard, and an absolutely huge story by
editor Darrell Schweitzer, "To Become a Sorcerer", that I'm sure is
very nice, but isn't my kind of story and my attention wandered.

WEIRD TALES is $4.95 for a single copy and $16 for a year's
subscription (4 quarterly issues). Send your money to: Weird Tales, PO
Box 13418, Philadelphia, PA 19101-3418.


^MIDNIGHT ZOO
Vol. #1, Issue #5, 1991
edited by Jon L. Herron

Here's another gigantic issue of articles, fiction, poetry, art, and
news covering the entire spectrum of horror, SF, and fantasy. I've
been looking around and I still haven't found any other genre magazine
that gives you so much material for your magazine dollar, and most of
it is darn good too. There are loads of book reviews, a few movie
reviews, an article about ALIEN NATION and STAR TREK on TV, an
interview with Judith Tarr, pages of artwork from featured artists
William Carr and Nikolai Lokteff, an article by Kevin J. Anderson
about THE TRINITY PARADOX, and lord knows what all else. (I've usually
just about finished one issue by the time the next one arrives.)

I don't have the time or the space to tell you about all the fiction,
but I can scratch the surface a bit. If you like your prose grisly,
"Dead Men Tell No Tales" by Rick McMahan is a good one; "Trick of
Treat" by Tracy Vaughn Moore is the best Halloween story I've read
this fall; "The Last Vampire" by David Addleman is without doubt the
shortest vampire story I've ever read, and I really like Addleman's
"Family Ties" about a nasty grandmother. It's tough to pick one story
I liked better than any other, but it might be "The Lesser Evil" by
Richard F. McGonegal, a high-tech High Noon kind of story with a
twist. Good characters, lots of action, and a few surprises--you can't
ask for much more than that.

You can get a sample copy of MIDNIGHT ZOO for $6 (this includes
postage; the cover price is $4.95), and a 7-issue subscription (6
bimonthly issues plus the special December edition) will run you
$29.95, a bargain any way you look at it. Send your check to: Midnight
Zoo, 544 Ygnacio Valley Road, #A273, PO Box 8040, Walnut Creek, CA
94596. (Late breaking news: Midnight Zoo has a 1992 calendar for sale
for $9.95. It's 11" x 17" spiral bound and includes stories under
1,000 words, poems, illustrations, as well as important genre dates
and other useful information. Send your money to: Calendar, 544
Ygnacio Valley Road, #A273, PO Box 8040, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.)

                      **************************

~                     FROM TOR IN NOVEMBER 1991
                    commentary from the publisher

^         THE DARK DESCENT VOL. 2: THE MEDUSA IN THE SHIELD
                     edited by David G. Hartwell
                     ($4.99, ISBN 0-812-50966-8)

Horror fiction has existed since man's earliest days, when spooky
tales were told around a fire. These stories deal with humanity's most
powerful emotions: fear, love and hope. Contributors to THE MEDUSA IN
THE SHIELD include Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, Thomas M. Disch,
Dennis Etchison, William Faulkner, Henry James, Stephen King, D.H.
Lawrence, Richard Matheson, Flannery O'Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, and
Joanna Russ.

                      **************************

~NEW FROM DARK HARVEST

^                                SIBS
                          by F. Paul Wilson
           typography and cover illustration by Phil Parks
                     commentary by the publisher

After vowing never to return, Kara Wade is back in New York City.
She's come to claim the body of her twin sister Kelly, and to find out
how she died. There's no secret as to the cause of Kelly's death--a
nearly-nude twelve-story plunge from a room in the Plaza Hotel--but
Kara is determined to learn what led to that plunge.

Kelly was a bright, ambitious, dedicated nurse. Why was she in the
hotel room that night? Who was with her? Was her brutal death a
terrible accident, a desperate act of suicide, a clever murder, or
something else, something far more sinister?

And why was Kelly dressed like a whore when she died?

Enlisting the help of an old lover, now a NYPD detective, Kara delves
into her sister's private life. Startling and bizarre facts begin to
surface. Instead of answers, Kara finds more questions: Who was the
stranger Kelly became during the months prior to her death? What was
behind the perverse, decadent lifestyle she came to embrace so
passionately?

Kelly's psychiatrist hints at a terrible secret in Kelly's past. But
Kara shares that past with her twin. Is the sinister influence that
drove Kelly into her bizarre double life about to overtake Kara as
well?

Limited Edition (Deluxe slip-cased edition of 400 numbered copies,
  signed by both author and artist)....$45.00
Trade Edition.....$21.95
Special Edition (26 copies lettered A thru Z in a hand-made solid
  mahogany slip-case)....$125.00

Send list price, plus $2 postage, to: Dark Harvest, PO Box 941,
Arlington Heights, IL 60006

                      **************************

* If you have a Collector's taste in horror, SF, and/or fantasy, you
will definitely want a catalog from BLACK ORCHID BOOKS (PO Box 3236,
Greenwood, MA 01880; 617/665-5837). The stock is mostly first editions
and limited editions, which of course gets pretty expensive, but there
are many books available for $50 and under. I'm not much of a
Collector, and can't speak for the prices, but on a literary level,
BLACK ORCHID BOOKS offers some terrific reading.

* According to Hunter Goatley, in the last issue of LIGHTS OUT! The
Robert R. McCammon Newsletter, McCammon's next book is called GONE
SOUTH, about a down-on-his-luck Vietnam vet who accidentally kills a
person. Not knowing what to do, he goes on the run and is tracked by
two unlikely bounty hunters: a bad Elvis impersonator and a man who
grew up in a carnival freak show. GONE SOUTH is tentatively scheduled
to be published by Pocket Books in August 1992.

* Speaking of Robert R. McCammon, look for an audio tape abridgement
of BOY'S LIFE, to be read by McCammon himself, in May 1992. The
release of the audio tape will coincide with the appearance of the
paperback edition of BOY'S LIFE.

                      **************************

JUST A THOUGHT: I've just been reading ILIAD, and I've come to realize
that splatterpunk isn't as modern as I had previously assumed. The
ILIAD comes from around the sixth century B.C., so you can't say that
Homer was influenced by Jason or Freddy Krueger. It's a war story,
about a war fought mostly with spears, and is full of detailed
descriptions of the damage the weapons inflict upon human bodies.
Yesterday's reading contained references to an eyeball stuck to the
spear-point, and today I learned what happens to a dead body that gets
run over by a chariot. And come to think of it, BEOWULF (a tenth
century monster-story poem written in Old English) is awfully gruesome
too. As I recall, once the monster gets done with the fellows in the
mead hall, there's quite a pile of assorted, unconnected body parts.
So next time someone bemoans the terrible decadence of modern horror,
just give them a copy of BEOWULF or the ILIAD. Gross-outs have a long
and distinguished, if messy, history.

                      **************************
                         ______________________
                        /                      /
                       /  NONFICTION REVIEWS  /
                      /______________________/


^                THE NEW AMERICAN SPLENDOR ANTHOLOGY
                           by Harvey Pekar
     (Four Walls Eight Windows, 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-941423-64-6)
                        review by Howard Frye

     "When I was younger I thought about women constantly...I was
     always running around looking for a good time...Now I've
     matured, my priorities have changed. I'm aware of what's
     really important: CRUSHING MY ENEMIES."
                 ---Harvey Pekar

AMERICAN SPLENDOR is difficult to describe, it's sort of a comic and
sort of isn't. I should say it LOOKS like a comic, with sequentially
arranged illustrated frames of scenes and dialogue, but it's not quite
like any comic book I've ever seen before. AMERICAN SPLENDOR is Harvey
Pekar, it's his life served up in chunks for the amusement, education,
inspiration, disdain, amazement, or whatever, of the reader. Harvey
Pekar is a file clerk in a veteran's hospital in Cleveland, which
isn't a job that shelters him from much. He has doctor problems, wife
problems, and you should see what happened when he appeared on the
David Letterman Show.

THE NEW AMERICAN SPLENDOR ANTHOLOGY is a collection of the newest
stories by the cranky-yet-paranoid Harvey Pekar. Each story is
illustrated by a different artist, a roster which includes names like
R. Crumb, Drew Friedman, Alan Moore, Jim Woodring, and many others.
The AMERICAN SPLENDOR series won an American Book Award in 1987 and is
currently being adapted for a movie to be released in 1992.

     "I love Harvey's stuff, and it makes my day when a new issue
     of AMERICAN SPLENDOR comes out. I think he's a real
     treasure."
                  ---Matt Groening

                      **************************

^           THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IS THE BEST OF YOUR LIFE
                            by David Brown
     (Barricade Books, November 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-942637-35-6)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

Subtitled "David Brown's Guide to Growing Gray (Disgracefully)", this
is the perfect book for any aging reader who needs a little attitude
adjustment. David Brown maintains that fading out into dismal
decrepitude is ridiculous--on the contrary, he firmly recommends dying
on the job, whatever that job might be. (And it very likely isn't the
career you began in.)

Some of his advice is rather particularly for men, and some is even a
wee bit controversial:

     "Keep some love in your life, whether girl-watching or the
     hard stuff, you will stay young all of your life if you have
     a woman--preferably two of them, in case one falls out."

As a matter of fact, he heartily advises multiple relationships,
although he points out that they needn't all be sexual. Still, this
may not sit well with some wives. But then Brown also holds that
marriages shouldn't be allowed to stagnate, so it all may work out in
the end. "Live riotously" is his theme, and THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is a
very wise, funny, and inspirational book. Great fun.

David Brown was half of the movie-producing team of Zanuck and Brown,
who brought to the screen JAWS, COCOON, and THE STING. He hasn't
retired (of course), he is now producing on his own, and is still
married to COSMOPOLITAN Editor-in-Chief Helen Gurley Brown.

                      **************************

^                     HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE?
      Discovering the Difference Between Science & Superstition
                            by Hy Ruchlis
         (Prometheus Books, 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87975-657-8)
                    commentary from the publisher

Superstition still requires that many buildings have no floor numbered
13. More than 25 percent of Americans say they believe in astrology.
Knocking on wood is an almost universal habit. Are these harmless
notions--or dangerous delusions? Unfortunately, "fairy-tale thinking"
is still the greatest enemy of progress, and education often bypasses
the teaching of cognitive skills young readers can use to think
independently.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE? will provide young readers with an
understanding of the basic nature of science, not just as a body of
knowledge, but as a way of thinking. Hy Ruchlis addresses the main
theme by contrasting the Cinderella fable with the way scientists
establish facts; he describes the scientific method and how it has
been applied to increase human knowledge. In subsequent chapters,
Ruchlis demonstrates the unobservable nature of superstition,
illustrates the dangers of magical thinking using the example of the
Salem witch trials, explores the contradictions of such elaborate
superstitions as astrology, and shows how astonishing events can be
analyzed and explained using rational methods.

                      **************************

^                THE PROTECT OUR PLANET CALENDAR 1992
 researched, written and illustrated by The Middle School Students of
            The Philadelphia School, an Independent School
              (Running Press, $8.95, ISBN 1-56138-028-8)
                        review by Janet Peters

THE PROTECT OUR PLANET CALENDAR 1992, "A 12-Month Calendar of
Environmental Facts and Positive Actions" is a natural extension of
our new-found respect for our environment. Celebrating Earth Day is
good, but caring for the planet 365 days a year is better. Each month
of this calendar comes with facts and quotations about our
environment, and each day has a fact, historical reference, or
recommended action to take care of our only home. On March 24, the
EXXON VALDEZ had an accident, June 4 tells us that Israel uses 35% of
its treated wastewater for irrigation, and August 23 tells you where
to write for the most current information about global warming. THE
PROTECT OUR PLANET CALENDAR 1992 has plenty of space for plotting your
visits to the local recycling center and other appointments, as well
as an entire year's worth of environmental education. Printed on
recycled paper, of course.

You can get THE PROTECT OUR PLANET CALENDAR 1992 from your local
bookstore, or by sending the list price, plus $2.50 postage and
handling, to: Running Press, 125 South 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA
19103.

                      **************************

^                          AFTER THE STROKE
          Coping with America's Third Leading Cause of Death
                           by Evelyn Shirk
                   (Prometheus Books, October 1991)
                 Hardcover: $19.95 ISBN 0-87975-693-4
                 Paperback: $14.95 ISBN 0-87975-694-2
                    commentary from the publisher

In just a few seconds--without warning--a stroke can shatter the life
of its adult victim and radically affect the unsuspecting family. Each
year 150,000 Americans die and many thousands are disabled as a result
of stroke and related illnesses. Confused, frightened, and completely
unprepared family members suddenly find themselves in the role of
caregiver. What exactly happened? What to do? What to expect? Where to
turn for help? How to cope? The questions come fast and furious but
answers are hard to find. AFTER THE STROKE is the compelling account
of Evelyn Shirk's courageous struggle to face these questions and to
find her own answers as she accepted the challenge of caring for her
husband, a victim of multiple strokes.

Evelyn discusses the "why" and the "how" of a stroke: what happens to
the body and the mind, why it happens, and what to expect. She
describes the unforeseen pressures on victims and their families;
evaluates hospital and nursing home care for those who must endure a
prolonged illness; details the unprecedented financial burden that
medical costs place on the middle class; and offers helpful
suggestions to those who face the anguish, guilt, frustration, and
loneliness of caring for a stroke victim.

                      **************************

^               PICTURE THIS: Perception & Composition
                            by Molly Bang
     (Bulfinch Press, September 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-8212-1855-7)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

PICTURE THIS is an inspiring introduction to art for young and old, an
all-too-brief excursion through the two-dimensional world of shapes,
colors, and space. The trip begins with the author declaring that this
red triangle represents Little Red Riding Hood, which I thought was
kind of bizarre. I mean, I was willing to go along with her idea
intellectually (red triangle = Little Red Riding Hood), but it didn't
affect me emotionally. Next we were going through the decisions of how
to portray her mother, and then how to construct a forest using only
simple shapes. The forest became tall thin rectangles of varying
sizes, and the minute the red triangle was placed amongst them, I saw
it as a picture of Little Red Riding Hood in the forest! It wasn't
that I intellectually "understood" it to be a representation of LRRH
in the forest; I really saw it that way. Instantly, I was hooked on
Molly Bang's every word and illustration, and I stayed up late
finishing the book.

The principles of design, as explained by Molly Bang, say that
diagonals are dynamic, horizontals are static, pointy objects are
threatening. Whether you create some artworks of your own, as Molly
Bang strongly suggests, or merely carry your newfound insights to the
art museum, PICTURE THIS is an experience not to be missed. Highly
recommended.

                      **************************

^                THE BEST HOME BUSINESSES FOR THE 90s
                       by Paul & Sarah Edwards
        (Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1991, $10.95, ISBN 0-87477-633-3)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

THE BEST HOME BUSINESSES FOR THE 90s profiles 70 occupations that you
can run from home. Each business is described with a brief essay, and
then the important information is divided into sections:

  * Knowledge and Skills You Need to Have
  * Start-Up Costs (itemized and given both a Low and a High figure)
  * Advantages (what's so great about this particular business)
  * Disadvantages (what isn't so great)
  * Pricing (what you'll charge for your product or service)
  * Potential Earnings (possibilities for growth)
  * Best Ways to Get Business
  * Related Businesses (areas for possible expansion)
  * First Steps (how to get started)
  * Where to Turn for Information and Help

The great thing about THE BEST HOME BUSINESSES FOR THE 90s is the way
the information is arranged for ease of access. Not only can you pull
out whatever particular piece of information you need in a hurry, but
by condensing the information into small pieces and dividing those
into categories they've made it so you can grasp the character of a
business right away. Especially helpful is the "Disadvantages"
section, which can alert you to potential problems before you fall in
love with the idea of the job. The authors also have two other new
books just out from Tarcher: GETTING BUSINESS TO COME TO YOU (written
with Laura Clampitt Douglas) and MAKING IT ON YOUR OWN. The Edwards'
WORKING FROM HOME (1986, also from Tarcher) is a standard of the
field.

If your local bookstore can't get these books for you, you can write
to the publisher at: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 5858 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Or you can get your credit card and
order what you want by calling 1-800-288-2131.

                      **************************

^                          CULT MOVIE STARS
                            by Danny Peary
        (Fireside, November 1991, $17.00, ISBN 0-671-69394-8)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Here's the perfect Christmas gift for movie fans, an encyclopedia of
actors and actresses, well-known and obscure, with a brief overview of
their career and their appeal for fans, as well as a list of movies
they've appeared in, divided into various recommendation categories.

     "In choosing the actors and actresses...I have been more
     selective, picking only those who have had strong emotional
     impact on at least a fair-sized number of movie fans...they
     each have sparked an unusual, fiery passion..."

Who appears in CULT MOVIE STARS? About 750 people including: James
Dean, Greta Garbo, Linnea Quigley, Humphrey Bogart, Randolph Scott,
Dorothy Stratten, Vincent Price, Peter O'Toole, Traci Lords, Troy
Donahue, Jack Nicholson, Peter Cushing, Lon Chaney, Veronica Lake,
Jeff Goldblum, Mae West, Ann Margaret, etc. From Abbott and Costello
to George Zucco, CULT MOVIE STARS is over 600 pages of fascinating
information and photographs. Peary's comments about the stars covered
are obviously well-considered, and he is as good at distinguishing the
particular sexual appeal of men as he is of women. CULT MOVIE STARS
also makes a terrific companion volume to Peary's previous CULT
MOVIES, CULT MOVIES 2, and CULT MOVIES 3, all of which I can heartily
recommend.

                      **************************

^                   SECRETS OF THE AMAZING KRESKIN
The World's Foremost Mentalist Reveals How You Can Expand Your Powers
                              by Kreskin
    (Prometheus Books, September 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-87975-676-4)
                        review by Howard Frye

Kreskin is an unusual sort. He performs "magic", yet is not exactly a
magician; he "reads minds" yet doesn't believe in clairvoyance.
SECRETS OF THE AMAZING KRESKIN explains these paradoxes, as well as
teaching the reader a series of talents and tricks to enhance their
own powers (and/or the appearance of such powers). Most of the
techniques are ordinary tricks or talents taught in many other
volumes, such as relaxation, focus, concentration, and the like. Quite
a few demonstrations of unusual abilities involve nothing more than
knowing more about physics or human biology than your audience does.
The difference in Kreskin's book is that he pulls all these diverse
facts, tricks, and talents together and gives the reader a practical
outlet for them. There are no fuzzy concepts like "Concentration can
improve performance" here; Kreskin lays out exactly WHAT you should
concentrate on to accomplish WHAT exact deed or effect. Like the man
himself, SECRETS OF THE AMAZING KRESKIN is a very interesting book.

                      **************************

^                           KITCHEN WISDOM
                  Harrowsmith's Sourcebook for Cooks
                           by Pamela Cross
           (Camden House, 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-921820-37-2)
                        review by Janet Peters

     "...this is a book for everyone who passes through the
     kitchen door, whether reluctantly or compulsively. It is for
     everyone, regardless of level of skill, who likes to cook or
     who wants to like to cook. It is for those who would like to
     explore new avenues in food preparation and for those who
     want food to be fun. It describes the food and the tools and
     some simple but fundamental preparations and cooking
     techniques that can make that goal a reality."

The first section of KITCHEN WISDOM, "Pantry", introduces the reader
to common food items that a kitchen is stocked with, tips on buying
them, storing them, and what kinds of dishes you can create with them.
The second section, "How-To", explains basic cooking terms like
simmer, stir-fry, blanch, clarify, al dente, dredge, parboil, etc.,
and then walks you through a couple dozen fundamental creations such
as a cake, vegetable stock, mayonnaise, pancakes, and pizza dough.
Next comes "Tools & Equipment", which discusses various forms of
technology that you might meet in a kitchen, from the stove and the
refrigerator, to pasta makers and coffee grinders. A last section
provides tables and charts for cooking pasta, beans, grains,
vegetables, using herbs and spices, making recipe substitutions, food
storage, and a bakeware glossary.

On one level KITCHEN WISDOM is an excellent textbook for beginning
cooks (or those whose food savvy has gaps). On another level it is a
goldmine of delicious recipes for basic kinds of food that real people
eat. I'm talking about cinnamon buns, biscuits, chili, chocolate chip
oatmeal cookies, gingerbread, etc. And when you're ready to try
something a bit more exotic, there are recipes like Groundnut Stew or
Chinese Dumplings. The photographs accompanying the recipes are
mouth-watering, dangerous to someone with an empty stomach. If you'd
like to be able to feed yourself and others with confidence and
enjoyment, KITCHEN WISDOM is a great book to have.

If your local bookstore can get KITCHEN WISDOM for you, you can write
to the publisher at: Camden House Publishing, 7 Queen Victoria Road,
Camden East, Ontario, K0K 1J0 CANADA.

                      **************************

^                       WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
              The HARPER'S MAGAZINE Book of Annotations
                       edited by Colin Harrison
          (Delta, November 1991, $10.00, ISBN 0-385-30400-5)
                        review by Howard Frye

Of all of HARPER'S MAGAZINE's innovations in the presentation of
information (such as the "Forum", the "Index", the "Readings"),
perhaps none is as entertainingly educational as the "Annotation"s.
Each double page spread in this collection reproduces some item of
modern culture and provides marginalia explaining various portions
thereof. For instance, pages 36 & 37 contain a photograph of a wine
label, along with 6 paragraphs of information about various parts of
that label. Other annotated relics include: a surrogate parenting
agreement, a week's schedule of prime time on PBS, two pages of a
registration booklet carried by Hiroshima survivors, a gun
registration form, a lab report from an AIDS test, a funeral contract,
a baseball bat, Roy Cohn's patient record, the form to open a numbered
account in a Swiss bank, a South African "pass" that must be carried
by Africans, a census form...etc.

You'll be surprised, and thoroughly entertained, to find out what you
don't know about wine, or television, or funerals, or baseball bats.
Which is an important life lesson, I think. It's not what you don't
know about the chemical composition of stars that will do you in, it's
what you don't know about human-created systems. WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
is funny, fascinating, and sometimes even important. Good reading.

                      **************************

^     CHURCH SCHOOLS & PUBLIC MONEY: The Politics of Parochiaid
                  by Edd Doerr & Albert J. Menendez
       (Prometheus, November 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-87975-708-6)
                    commentary from the publisher

"Parochiaid"--any form of direct or indirect aid to parochial and
other nonpublic elementary and secondary schools--has given rise to
the most enduring, bitter, and important controversy in the history of
American education and church-state relations.

Edd Doerr and Albert J. Menendez, examining and critiquing the
attitudes and activities of federal, state, and local government
regarding parochiaid, offer a searing indictment of the resurgent
drive to support sectarian schools with tax dollars. Concentrating on
the last five decades, during which the parochiaid lobbies have gained
in influence, the authors reveal that lawmakers in 42 states have
increased tax support of church schools to more than $1 billion per
year--despite the fact that voters have rejected such aid in 17 of 18
statewide referenda held since 1966. CHURCH SCHOOLS & PUBLIC MONEY
includes a state-by-state survey of the most generous giveaways;
revealing statistics on nonpublic school enrollments; and an
examination of the biases taught by sectarian schools, particularly
those operated by Protestant fundamentalists.

The authors skillfully summarize the case against parochiaid and
uncover the faulty reasoning of its advocates. According to Doerr and
Menendez, the sectarian special interests and their political allies
threaten democratic public education and the constitutional separation
of church and state.

                      **************************

^                       THE CELEBRITY ALMANAC
                            by Ed Lucaire
      (Prentice Hall, November 1991, $10.00, ISBN 0-13-122367-4)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Did you know that Mia Farrow has 8 children, three of whom are named
Satchel, Lark Song, and Summer Song? Did you know that Julia Child is
6'2" tall? Did you know that Henny and Sadie Youngman have been
married since 1928? Do you know the identities of The Hollywood Ten,
those who refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities
Committee? Do you know which celebrities have had what plastic
surgery? You'll know all these things once you've gotten yourself a
copy of THE CELEBRITY ALMANAC, a vastly entertaining collection of
quotes, lists, and tables of interesting information about the rich
and famous.

If you had THE CELEBRITY ALMANAC, you'd know about Melanie Griffith's
tattoo, and where on her body it hides. You'd know that Al Pacino is a
high school dropout and that Roseanne Barre has spent time in jail.
You'd know who the highest-paid athletes are and you'd know that Ed
McMahon fears heights. There are lists of celebrities' real names,
birthdates, schools attended, physical handicaps, ethnic origins,
relatives, religions, political affiliations, incomes, etc. There is a
list of male celebrities who wear toupees. There are lists of award
winners and hall of fame inductees. THE CELEBRITY ALMANAC is almost
300 pages of information that you probably didn't even know that you
were interested in, but it's all as addictive as peanuts. It's useful
for settling arguments, creating trivia quizzes, and anytime browsing.

                      **************************

^               AT LEAST OUR BOMBS ARE GETTING SMARTER
                    A Cartoon Preview of the 1990s
                               by Toles
     (Prometheus Books, October 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-87975-709-4)
                        review by Peter Quint

What can you say about a collection of editorial cartoons? That
they're funny? Toles' work is certainly very funny, although sometimes
the humor is more of the laugh-or-cry type. I mean how long can you
think about the Savings & Loan mess, or the national deficit, or the
environment, the gulf war, urban violence, the space program, etc.,
without getting pretty emotional one way or the other? Toles' cartoons
put the laugh track back in Washington, D.C., where it belongs. He has
won the Pulitzer Prize and his work appears regularly in more than 175
newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. If you pay any
attention at all to what's happening in the world today, you NEED this
book. Trust me.

                      **************************

^                         BROTHERS & SISTERS
            Getting Back Together With Your Adult Siblings
                        by Barbara L. Johnson
     (Prometheus Books, October 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-87975-682-9)
                    commentary from the publisher

Time and circumstance often separate adult siblings from the family
closeness they once knew. Based on a decade of research and more than
200 personal interviews, this book is filled with abundant case
histories that reflect the heartening, sometimes heartbreaking, tugs
and ties that brothers and sisters experience after they have grown
up.

BROTHERS & SISTERS also includes guides and self-tests for measuring
the quality of past and present sibling relationships; a list of
reasons why adult siblings drift apart; and a list of common
denominators found in poor sibling relationships, comparing them to
characteristics of good relationships. Also included are suggestions
for making renewed contacts and a list of reconciliation pitfalls,
plus a chapter on effective communication, four practical "problem and
solution" charts, and a check-list to evaluate reconciliation
progress. Johnson provides recommendations for successful ongoing
relationships, ideas for coaxing response from indifferent siblings, a
sibling code of ethics, and a mini-dictionary with unique ideas for
putting these tips to work. Summaries at the end of each chapter allow
for quick review.

                      **************************

^       1991-1992 INSIDER'S GUIDE TO BOOK EDITORS, PUBLISHERS,
                         AND LITERARY AGENTS
                            by Jeff Herman
              (Prima, 1991, $19.95, ISBN 1-55958-116-6)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

This is an annual guide that is indispensable to writers and would-be
writers. It is, as the author says, a guide to "the identities and
specialties of the book-publishing industry's doorkeepers--the
hundreds of editors and agents who decide what will and will not get
published." It has chapters that will show you how to make submissions
to editors and agents; how to write a strong query letter or book
proposal; how to make sure your unsolicited manuscript gets read; and
how to improve your odds of getting published.

The core of the INSIDER'S GUIDE is its Directory of Publishers and
Editors and the Directory of Literary Agents, but there are also
chapters about: category fiction, ghostwriting, collaborating,
University presses, small publishers vs. large ones, the poetry
business, rejection, vanity publishing, and reading fees. Appendixes
provide a list of Literary Agent Trade Associations, information about
Writers' Clubs and Workshops, as well as a sample Author-Agency
Agreement, a Collaboration Agreement, and a Model Nonfiction Book
Proposal. A Glossary explains important publishing terms, and there is
a list of Suggested Readings for further information. The INSIDER'S
GUIDE is absolutely essential for beginning writers, and the names and
addresses are useful for anyone who needs to contact editors,
publishers, or literary agents.

                      **************************

^                    CARING FOR OLDER DOGS & CATS
                  Extending Your Pet's Healthy Life
               by Robert Anderson, DVM & Barbara Wrede
       (Williamson Pub. Co., 1990, $10.95, ISBN 0-913589-46-2)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

Older pets, like older people, have special needs, many of which can
be met with just a little extra care and understanding. Like raising
the height of food and water for arthritic pets who have trouble
stooping. Or providing a place where the animal can be warm and quiet.
Or changing your pet's diet to something more digestible. It's easy to
respond to your pet's changing needs when you know what to look for.

CARING FOR OLDER DOGS & CATS will explain just what kind of changes to
expect in your aging pet, and how you can work with your veterinarian
to maintain the animal's health. The authors discuss what you can do
around the house to make it more comfortable, and safer, for your
elderly companions, while other chapters consider the changing
nutritional needs of older pets and the particular problems of
pollution and poisons. One chapter even devotes space to "Unorthodox
Therapies" like homeopathy, acupuncture, and herbal medicines. And
"Knowing When It's the End" will assist the caring owner to make the
most difficult decision of all. Finally, a last chapter helps pet
owners to choose a new pet and to apply what they have learned about
old age to a pet's entire life. CARING FOR OLDER DOGS & CATS is
essential reading for responsible pet owners.

If your local bookstore can't help you get CARING FOR OLDER DOGS &
CATS, you can order it directly from the publisher by sending $10.95,
plus $2 shipping, to: Williamson Publishing Co., Box 185, Charlotte,
VT 05445. Or get your credit card handy and call 1-800-234-8791.

                      **************************

^                   A HARVARD EDUCATION IN A BOOK
                    Was $80,000 -- Now Only $7.95!
                by the Editors of The Harvard Lampoon
      (Perigee Books, September 1991, $7.95, ISBN 0-399-51665-4)
                    commentary from the publisher

From the outrageous editors of THE HARVARD LAMPOON comes a bitingly
funny spoof of the Ivy League mystique in A HARVARD EDUCATION IN A
BOOK. Traditionally reserved for an "ultra-exclusive, tiny elite group
of wealthy intellectuals", a Harvard education is now available to
anyone with a sense of humor and $7.95!

A HARVARD EDUCATION IN A BOOK tells you everything you need to know to
pass yourself off as a Harvard graduate:

* Discover the grand old traditions of Harvard University, such as
"butter-tossing in the Freshman Union", the Primal Scream, followed by
the Primal Ass-Kicking, and one of the oldest, the tradition of
"significance" -- the way every action and event on campus inevitably
ends up having major global repercussions, like the dismantling of the
Berlin Wall, based on a sophomore's Government paper.

* Learn basic survival study skills: the "all-nighter" -- "You're
staying up all night? You've got lots of time. It'd be a shame to
waste all that time studying. There's a Dick van Dyke retrospective
on, you know..."

* Take a fool-proof magazine-style quiz to help you choose your field
of study with confidence from among such challenging subjects as
English (lots o' books), Foreign Languages and Cultures (Ooh-la-la!
Vocabulaire!), Psychology (drooling dogs) and Religion (for EXORCIST
fans).

* Reap the benefits of Harvard credentials with advice on networking,
bluffing real alumni, and telling absolutely believable stories about
your college days in Cambridge.

Once you've completed the greatest educational experience of your
lifetime--ta dah!--A HARVARD EDUCATION IN A BOOK even provides you
with your own official Harvard diploma, suitable for framing!
Congratulations!

THE HARVARD LAMPOON, founded in 1876, is the nation's oldest humor
magazine. Famous LAMPOON alumni include John Updike, Robert Benchley,
George Plimpton, William Randolph Hearst, and the Aga Khan. Recent
grads have gone on to write for "Saturday Night Live", "Late Night
with David Letterman", "The Simpsons", "Married With Children", "In
Living Color", and NATIONAL LAMPOON.

                      **************************

^                   BAD OR, THE DUMBING OF AMERICA
                           by Paul Fussell
       (Summit Books, October 1991, $19.00, ISBN 0-671-67652-0)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Paul Fussell begins by distinguishing between bad and BAD. Bad is
simply not good, but BAD...

     "It is something phony, clumsy, witless, untalented, vacant,
     or boring that many Americans can be persuaded is genuine,
     graceful, bright, or fascinating...For a thing to be really
     BAD, it must exhibit elements of the pretentious, the
     overwrought, or the fraudulent."

BAD OR, THE DUMBING OF AMERICA is about the prevalence of BAD in
America, which he maintains is a distinguishing characteristic of the
American people. Each chapter covers another category of BAD, making
this volume one of the crankiest, crabbiest, and most entertaining
books I've read in many months. Not since H.L. Mencken (mentioned
several times by Fussell) have we had a cultural critic of such wit
and razor-sharp tongue. Consider his pointed definition of
"collectibles":

     "...objects mass-marketed by the cynical for sale to dupes
     imagining that they are laying up 'exclusive' art objects
     which will increase in value and thus become valuable
     heirlooms to be passed on to grateful offspring."

I enjoyed having someone else making a case for a favorite hobbyhorse
of mine: that the very worst shows on television are the news
programs. Other shows may be dumb, but it's difficult to beat a news
program for deceit and harmfulness. There were also a few points that
I disagreed with, such as when he when he was making the point that
movie remakes are almost always BAD, he particularly made an exception
for INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, preferring the 1978 Philip Kaufman
remake to the 1956 Don Siegel original (I've always greatly preferred
the original). Agree with him, disagree with him, Paul Fussell's point
is clear: we need to reassert our critical sense of what is of quality
and what isn't. Here are a few of Fussell's targets:

* Advertising, the sine qua non of BAD

* Architecture, "so ludicrously and expensively pretentious as to
  become ridiculous when occupied by second-rate human beings like us"

* Beliefs, particularly as trumpeted by New Age practitioners

* Education, scrupulously designed to discourage the unAmerican life
  of study and contemplation

* Food, from processed cheese to honey-roasted peanuts to
  dyed-and-polished apples

* Language, the true soul of America's love affair with euphemism and
  pretentiousness

* Restaurants, especially those with padded mock leather menus touting
  dishes in metaphors and adjectives reminiscent of BAD lyric poetry

BAD: OR, THE DUMBING OF AMERICA is provocative, ill-tempered,
challenging, and perfect for those times when you feel you're
surrounded by idiots. It's not an illusion--you really are.

                      **************************

^                        THE WALLS AROUND US
           The Thinking Person's Guide to How a House Works
                            by David Owen
         (Villard, October 1991, $21.00, ISBN 0-394-57824-4)
                        review by Howard Frye

     "When I was a boy, my favorite places to play were
     construction sites. Then I became an adult and grew wistful
     whenever I thought of those golden afternoons. My youth is
     gone forever, I would moan as I trudged through the grown-up
     world, paying bills and registering to vote. Then, around
     the time I turned thirty, I made an astonishing discovery:
     if you set your mind to it, being a grown-up can be even
     better than being a kid, because you have more money and a
     car. Grown-ups don't have to steal tiny bits of plywood from
     a building site. They can drive to the lumberyard and buy
     entire sheets."

     "I love buying expensive power tools and using them to wreck
     various parts of my house."

These two excerpts should give you a feel for the tone of THE WALLS
AROUND US. What they don't even hint at is the enormous store of
information provided in this book. For instance, the first chapter is
devoted to paint: the history of paint and painting houses, as well as
pages of information about modern house paints, for inside and out.
There is also a fascinating bit about paint for nuclear power plants
that will give you a topic of conversation for years. As a matter of
fact, THE WALLS AROUND US will give you an entire lifetime of
information to amaze and impress your friends with whenever homeowners
gather to exchange miseries. There are chapters that will tell you all
about lumber, electricity, walls, roofing, bathrooms, kitchens,
plumbing, and how to build the basic skeleton of a house. David Owen
not only gives you the facts, but the background behind the facts, and
lots of great anecdotes to make you laugh and scare you to death. He
tells you stuff like:

* How to get rid of lead-based paint
* How to tell the difference between types and grades of wood
* How to detect and get rid of termites and carpenter ants
* How to repair cracks in a wall
* How to do your own electrical wiring and when not to
* How to fix a leaky roof
* How to distinguish good-quality building materials from cheap goods
* How to tell if your toilet is leaking or merely sweating
* How to decorate your home in an ecologically sound manner

Owen shows the reader how to plan a building project and how to see it
through, without ever implying that things have ever gone that
smoothly for him. For that's the real force behind THE WALLS AROUND
US--David Owen isn't one of those snotty guys on PBS who deigns to
speak very slowly and explain the obvious to us nincompoops--Owen is
one of us! He dorks stuff up just like we do, only he researches what
he did wrong and figures out what he should have done, then tells us
about it. THE WALLS AROUND US is great reading for every homeowner.

     "THE WALLS AROUND US is so funny and informative and
     inspiring that, after reading it, I was tempted to locate a
     broken part on my house and actually attempt to fix it,
     although fortunately I located a beer instead."
                 ---Dave Barry

                      **************************

^        BENET'S READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN LITERATURE
   edited by George Perkins, Barbara Perkins, and Phillip Leininger
          (HarperCollins, 1991, $45.00, ISBN 0-06-270027-8)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

We have had BENET'S READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA (Third Edition, 1987) here
at RFP Central since its publication, and over the last four years it
has become our most-used literary reference work, standing out from
the fifty-plus other volumes on our reference shelves. We have found
that given any particular author, work of literature, term, or
subject, BENET'S is more likely to have an entry than the other
encyclopedias. And given any particular piece of information desired,
BENET'S is most like to be able to provide it. In the field of
literary research, BENET'S READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA is a classic.

And now HarperCollins has produced another BENET'S, a tad larger than
the first, devoted to American literature (that's American, North and
South, not just the U.S.). The new BENET'S provides the same level of
comprehensive and authoritative coverage as the general encyclopedia,
with entries for: novelists, poets, playwrights, short-story writers,
essayists, critics, literary works, literary groups and movements,
newspapers, magazines, journals, places referred to in literature,
cultural phenomena that have affected literature, historical periods,
literary genres, genealogies of famous literary families, writers who
have influenced American thought, and famous historical figures. In
addition, like the general encyclopedia, the new BENET'S gives
attention to topics of special interest (comics, science fiction,
feminism, slave fiction, detective fiction, etc.) and a variety of
cultures (Native American Prose and Poetry, Afro-American Literature,
Asian American Literature, etc.).

BENET'S READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN LITERATURE is sure to become
another classic reference work from HarperCollins, a standard to be
used by readers, students, and literary researchers for years to come.
A monumental accomplishment that will delight any serious reader.

                      **************************

^   THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN COMICS: From 1897 to the Present
                        edited by Ron Goulart
          (Facts on File, 1990, $19.95, ISBN 0-8160-2582-7)
                         review by Dan Ellis

     "There are only three major vehicles to keep us informed as
     to what's going on in Washington; the electronic media, the
     print media, and DOONESBURY--not necessarily in that order."
                       ---President Gerald Ford

With more than 600 entries covering comic strips, comic books,
characters, artists and writers, and syndicates, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
AMERICAN COMICS is a comprehensive reference book for the collector,
fan, or anyone interested in the literary and cultural phenomenon of
the American comic. You can read the stories behind Batman, Superman,
MAD Magazine, Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury, Little Orphan Annie,
Bloom County, the X-Men, Archie, Terry and the Pirates, Li'l Abner,
Dick Tracy, and many many more. You can also find out about the
creative people behind your favorite comics, people who are so often
overshadowed by their more outspoken creations. People like Will
Eisner, M.C. and William M. Gaines, Alex Toth, Basil Wolverton, Steve
Ditko, Chester Gould, Bob Kane, Joe Orlando, Stan Lee...the list goes
on and on.

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN COMICS is a terrific reference book, both
entertaining and authoritative, and makes a great companion volume to
Ron Goulart's previous books: THE GREAT COMIC BOOK ARTISTS and THE
GREAT HISTORY OF COMICS.

                      **************************

^              VARIETY: FILM * VIDEO * THEATRE * MUSIC
                       1990--The Year In Review
                 edited by Marilyn J. Matelski, Ph.D.
           (Focal Press, 1991, $21.95, ISBN 0-240-80074-5)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

This volume encapsulates the entire entertainment year of 1990 as
covered in the industry's #1 periodical: VARIETY. Divided into
chapters that cover Film, International, Homevideo, Music-Records, and
Theatre, you'll find reprints of the top stories as well as engrossing
statistical tables. I particularly liked the All-time Film Rental
Champs table, covering thousands of films, and the additional list of
the films broken down by decade. For instance, the top film rental
from the 1930s is easy--GONE WITH THE WIND--but can you guess what #2
is? Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS runs a close second to
GWTW. Another table listed the most expensive films of each era, and I
found that 1963's CLEOPATRA actually cost more to make than 1984's
DUNE. Hard to believe.

All the major industry awards are listed here, and you'll find several
articles that attempt to explain why the prices of videotapes will be
going up in the near future. In the back is an Index of reviews that
appeared in VARIETY in 1990, a Necrology, and a Glossary of VARIETY's
sometimes baffling insider jargon. This is a fascinating reference
book for anyone who loves film, theatre, and music.

If your local bookstore can't help you get this Review, you can
contact the publisher by writing to: Focal Press, 80 Montvale Avenue,
Stoneham, MA 02180.

                      **************************

^                THE CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO THE MIND
     How We Think, How We Learn & What It Means To Be Intelligent
                          by Roger C. Schank
          (Summit, October 1991, $20.00, ISBN 0-671-67855-8)
                        review by Howard Frye

THE CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO THE MIND is sure to be the most unusual
textbook you have ever seen on the way the human mind works. This is
largely because Roger Schank doesn't talk as much about the mind as he
does about food. Food? Yes, food. As a food-lover of international
scope, Schank regales the reader with fascinating eating experiences
all over the globe, stopping between mouthfuls to consider the ways in
which the operation of the brain plays a part in his experiences, and
in the reading of his experiences. If this sounds confusingly
recursive, it is, at least at first. He tells stories and then
discusses the ways in which storytelling helps humans reinforce their
memories, he samples new foods and reflects on the problem of
"inference explosion".

As a matter of fact, Schank's ramblings about food are almost
entertaining enough to make you forget about the real subject of THE
CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO THE MIND. (Like the time he put sugar in his
tea in Tokyo, and the entire restaurant was howling with laughter over
his bizarre behavior.) On the other hand, I have found that the
peculiar style of the book is contagious--several times today I have
caught myself thinking about what I was thinking about, or wondering
about something I did without thinking. For an entertaining and
educational stroll through the corridors of your own mind, you can't
do much better than THE CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO THE MIND.

                      **************************

^                         MORE FUTURE STUFF
        Over 250 Inventions That Will Change Your Life By 2001
                by Malcolm Abrams & Harriet Bernstein
             (Penguin, 1991, $10.95, ISBN 0-14-014523-0)
                        review by Janet Peters

Each listed innovation is given Odds (on its showing up), an ETA, and
an idea of a Price. Some products are given Odds of 100%, meaning that
they exist now. Such products include Vivid Effects TV, a rather
unbelievable computer simulation that you can interact with
physically. Other almost-products are: Self-Watering Plants, the
Stolen Vehicle Location Service, and Chateau Bow Wow. Some of the
products are fascinating, like A La Carte Hotels that provide a decent
room and practically nothing else, even sheets cost extra; the point
being that you only pay for what you need. Other products are very
encouraging, like Braille Handrails. Still other products are rather
alarming: Would you want to try a Microwave Fryer? All of the
innovations make amusing reading, particularly for you Sharper Image
types who need something a little stronger. The only element lacking
from MORE FUTURE STUFF are some badly-needed illustrations; the few
(very few) simple line drawings just aren't sufficient. Luckily, you
don't need a picture to imagine the benefits of a Self-Parking Car.
(And if it would also wash itself and come when called, I'd buy one
tomorrow.)

                      **************************

^                RODALE'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL FORMULAS
      Easy-to-Make, Easy-to-Use Recipes for Hundreds of Everyday
                         Activities and Tasks
                    edited by Paula Dreifus Bakule
         (Rodale, September 1991, $23.95, ISBN 0-87857-979-6)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Whether you are interested in products that are ecologically gentler,
cheaper, or just want to assume a greater responsibility for your own
life, homemade materials have many advantages over store-bought.
RODALE'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL FORMULAS is a large collection of hundreds
of recipes and directions for making a wide variety of useful things.
There are chapters devoted to car care (Windshield Scratch Remover,
Rust Inhibitor, etc.), food (Homemade Pizza, Christmas Cider, etc.),
gardening (Basic Compost, Soilless Mix for Rooting Cuttings, Slug
Traps, etc.), beauty (Cucumber Toner, Banana-Cream Mask, Basic Body
Lotion, etc.), health (Chapped Lips Salve, Sore Throat Soother, etc.),
home repair and remodeling (Hand-Mixed Concrete, All-Purpose Oil-Based
Wood Stain, etc.), housekeeping (Upholstery Cleaner, Heavy-Duty
Laundry Presoak, Olive-Almond Soap, etc.), crafts (Hand-Crafted
Candles, Baker's Clay, Flower-Drying Mixes, etc.), pet care (a variety
of food, health, and grooming products for cats, dogs, and more exotic
pets), and outdoor life (Beef Jerky, Pemmican, Blister Remedy,
Athlete's Food Remedy, etc.).

Throughout RODALE'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL FORMULAS are shaded sidebars
entitled "Good Idea!" that contain practical advice and helpful hints.
In the back of the book there is a list of Supply Sources. (Not buying
readymade products doesn't allow you to create materials out of thin
air.) Making your own products is ecologically responsible,
economical, personally rewarding, safer, healthier, and frequently a
lot of fun; and RODALE'S BOOK OF PRACTICAL FORMULAS is a comprehensive
guide to self-sufficiency for the whole family. Recommended.

                      **************************

^                     ARCHIE: HIS FIRST 50 YEARS
                         by Charles Phillips
        (Abbeville, October 1991, $29.95, ISBN 1-55859-206-7)
                         review by Dan Ellis

     "According to Archie's creator, it was a deliberate attempt
     to produce a popular comic book character who was the
     antithesis of Superman... [John Goldwater] first got the
     idea for a 'normal' teenager from ANDY HARDY, a very popular
     radio show..."

Almost as many people know Archie Andrews, America's favorite
teenager, as know Superman or Batman. As a cultural icon, Archie has,
since his creation in 1941, stood for the idealized super-normal
adolescence that none of us actually had, but so many of us wanted,
dreamed about, even remember. Bob Montana drew Archie in the beginning
and continued to do so until his death in 1975, and he referred to
high school as the three best years of his life.

     "He gave the strip the emotional strength of his own
     nostalgia to create an idealized picture of teenage life
     that we all recognize, but none of us quite lived."

In ARCHIE: HIS FIRST 50 YEARS, Charles Phillips gives us a brief but
thorough history of comics, allowing him to place ARCHIE in proper
context. Various chapters comment on the appeal of ARCHIE, the
evolution of ARCHIE, the success of ARCHIE merchandising, and an
inside glimpse of the steps involved in the creation of an ARCHIE
comic. In addition, twelve of the best multi-page ARCHIE stories are
reproduced in full, along with dozens of classic covers and extracted
panels. You'll get to meet Archie Andrews and the other Riverdale
residents: Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead (real name: Forsythe
P. Jones), Reggie Mantle, Mr. Weatherbee, Miss Grundy, Pop Tate, etc.
ARCHIE: HIS FIRST 50 YEARS is an enjoyable trip through Archie's past
and our own.

                      **************************

~                     NEW FROM AUDIO LITERATURE

THE DHARMA BUMS by Jack Kerouac, read by Allen Ginsberg. Two
cassettes, 3 hours (abridged); $15.95; ISBN 0-944993-29-X. Audio
Literature launches its Twentieth Century Voices series with Jack
Kerouac's powerful autobiographical novel about a pair of offbeat
wanderers searching for the meaning of life. Poet Allen Ginsberg, one
of Kerouac's closest friends, movingly evokes the exuberant style and
vision of the man who was an inspiration to the literary and popular
culture of the 50s and 60s.

                      **************************

^                             ZOOBABIES
                          by Michael O'Neill
         (Villard, October 1991, $17.00, ISBN 0-679-40698-0)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

ZOOBABIES is a charming collection of studio portrait photographs of
baby animals, many of them endangered species, taken by celebrity
photographer Michael O'Neill. Each portrait comes with the animal's
name, species, sex, birthdate, habitat, and a brief description.
There's Muni the European Roe Deer who is still unsure of her balance
(she took her very first steps during the photo session), Coda the
Timber Wolf who is appropriately caught in mid-stride, Dakin the very
laid-back Koala, Besar the Sumatran Tiger who already has an
impressive snarl. An endearing collection for animal lovers of all
ages.

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at ZOOBABIES:

GOBLIN (10-month-old Siamang gibbon): This tiny little creature had a
problem letting go of the thing most dear to him--a furry monkey doll.
Throughout the whole photo shoot this precious little monkey clung
lovingly to his toy.

BOB (5-year-old Sumatran orangutan): This little tyke was so
hyperactive that O'Neill had to shoot him from behind the bars of his
cage. During his photo session, Bob ripped down the canvas backdrop,
pulled the camera out of O'Neill's hands, spat grape pits at the crew,
and sprayed O'Neill's assistant from across the cage. Ironically,
Bob's final portrait makes him look like an angel--he is shrugging his
shoulders despite the havoc he has caused.

JATI (Indian elephant, birthdate unknown): Highly intelligent, Jati
was the most curious of all the zoobabies--he had to check out the
studio and see what he was getting himself into before getting his
picture taken. Like a well-trained detective, Jati probed the set with
his long trunk to make sure it was safe. Despite his large size, Jati
slowly and carefully tip-toed his way, inch by inch, onto the canvas
in front of the camera.

SLEEPING BEAUTY (8-month-old pot-bellied pig): Orphaned by her natural
mom, Sleeping Beauty grew attached to her human surrogate mom (to say
the least). Every time O'Neill tried to take her picture, she would
squeal so loudly that O'Neill had to wear earplugs. Her plump little
body kept finding its way onto "momma's" lap. Although Sleeping Beauty
would have preferred a family portrait, O'Neill managed to sneak a
shot of her when she was finally ready to stand on her own.

                      **************************

^                   THE GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME
                        by Matthew J. Costello
              (Wiley, 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-471-52975-3)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

From the ancient game of Senet to video games; from the physical
(Miniature Golf) to the cerebral (Chess, Scrabble); from the oldest
simulations (like Monopoly) to the very latest (role-playing games,
interactive murders to solve, and the National Survival Game). THE
GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME is a tiptoe through the historical garden
of challenges, recreation, and competition. Not only does the reader
get the lowdown on all the great games--like the REAL story behind
Monopoly, how weird Bobby Fischer is, and how Arneson and Gygax
created Dungeons & Dragons--but also actual GAMES. The illustrated
gameboard and printouts of the rules are given for over 30 games.
There is Nim, The Checkered Game of Life, a Monopoly Trivia Quiz,
Dudeney's War Puzzle Game, The Cave of Madness (a solitaire
role-playing adventure), Battle (a wargame), a few Pictionary puzzles,
Flimflam--Fact or Bluff?, and loads of others.

THE GREATEST GAMES OF ALL TIME is fun to read and some of the games
included are very entertaining to play--a first rate gift for any
game-player on your holiday list.

                      **************************

^                     LOVE, MILDEW, & PAPER CUTS
         And Thousands of Other Things to be Miserable About
                          by Susan Klingman
           (Running Press, 1991, $6.95, ISBN 1-56138-034-2)
                        review by Howard Frye

What makes you miserable? Deforestation? Kids carrying guns to school?
Ted Koppel's hair? Elvis impersonators? Knowing you have amounted to
all you are ever going to? Or maybe the real downer for you is simply
the passage of time and the mile markers along the way. Like:

* the year you don't find Halloween haunted houses scary anymore
* the moment you realize your child may never live at home again
* knowing this is the last time you will ever see someone
* when the first friend of your age dies

You'll find all of these depressing ideas in Susan Klingman's
delightfully gloomy LOVE, MILDEW, & PAPER CUTS, a compendium of
everything that's ever rained on your parade. From national icons of
despair ("the picture of John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting the casket of
his father") through the political ("being called, 'one of those
left-wing, radical, hippie types' by a right-wing, radical, fascist
type") and the surreal ("the fact that Mickey Mouse has a pet dog") to
the ridiculous ("hole punchers that make cockeyed holes"). Every page
of LOVE, MILDEW, & PAPER CUTS is a guaranteed conversation starter.

If your local bookstore doesn't have LOVE, MILDEW, & PAPER CUTS, you
can order it directly from the publisher by sending the list price,
plus $2.50 postage and handling, to: Running Press, 125 South 22nd
St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.

                      **************************

^   ENVIRONMENTAL VACATIONS: Volunteer Projects to Save the Planet
                          by Stephanie Ocko
          (John Muir Pub., 1990, $15.95, ISBN 0-945465-78-5)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

     "At first glance, volunteer science vacations appear to have
     been designed for the gullible: for a hefty sum, you will be
     able to spend your vacation working your fingers to the bone
     for someone else. You will also get to bunk with strangers,
     possibly cook your own food, and use a latrine. The
     temperature might be 105 degrees Fahrenheit all day
     everyday, and the guy in charge is no cruise director.
     Forget your designer swimsuit; you'll need industrial-
     strength shorts."

Admittedly, these "vacations" aren't for everybody. They're often
physically demanding, they're not glamorous, and they're not cheap,
but they DO give you possibly the best chance you'll ever get to make
a real contribution to the future of this planet and the life forms on
it. The specific opportunities at any particular time vary, but
typical Environmental Vacations might be

     "digging for artifacts of the ancient Anasazi in the
     American Southwest, tracking hamsters in Siberia, listening
     for volcanoes in Yellowstone, counting monkeys in Liberia,
     bird-watching in China, helping to build a city of the
     future in the Arizona desert, and diving to a wreck off
     Belize."

The basic idea behind Environmental Vacations is helping scientists
with their fieldwork. Whenever a scientist finds himself in need of
assistance, he contacts one or more organizations that specialize in
bringing together willing workers and work opportunities. When you
contact the organization, you are given a list of projects that need
workers--you pay the organization and they make the arrangements. Your
money is used to pay for your living expenses while working, part goes
toward the research project itself, and part goes to the middleman
organization.

Why would people pay good money for this? Basically for the education,
for the challenge, and for the satisfaction of participating in a
worthwhile project. About a third of the science project volunteers
will go on to sign up for yet another such vacation, some people have
made Environmental Vacations a regular part of their lives. Author
Stephanie Ocko is a veteran of five such vacations herself and she
fills her guide with firsthand accounts of volunteers on projects
ranging from archaeology to immunization to animal behavior. She
discusses the problems that might arise in the field and gives
practical tips on food, water, visas, seasickness, clothing, legal
problems, and creatures to avoid both on land and in the water.
ENVIRONMENTAL VACATIONS also includes a directory of over 60
organizations that accept paying volunteers and an index.

(The second edition of ENVIRONMENTAL VACATIONS is due out in February
1992: 248 pages, $16.95.)

                      **************************

^            FAST FACTS ORGANIZER: A Deluxe Daily Planner
             (Running Press, $14.98, ISBN 0-89471-994-7)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

The FAST FACTS ORGANIZER is another of those all-in-one organizers
that keep all your important information in one place and that goes
with you everywhere. More feature-packed than most, the FAST FACTS
ORGANIZER includes:

  * Fold-out 2-year calendar
  * Compartments for coins, credit cards, calculator, & licenses
  * Credit card register
  * Entertainment planner
  * Tear-off note pad
  * Goal planner
  * Restaurant directory
  * Weights and measures tables
  * Hotel directory
  * Gift register
  * Insurance register
  * Personal note pages
  * Snap-out ruler/place marker & ballpoint pen

At Your Office:
  * Area code map
  * Spacious 2-year appointment calendar
  * 3-year reference calendar
  * Daily schedule sheets
  * Business suppliers phone directory
  * Project planner
  * Income & expense ledgers
  * Business receipt envelope

At Home:
  * Emergency directory
  * Calorie & nutrient guide
  * Weight & fitness journal
  * Recipe directory
  * Menu planner
  * Fast-food nutrition guide
  * Clean-up checklist
  * Grocery list
  * Baby-sitter instructions
  * Medication register
  * Packing checklist
  * Personal yellow pages
  * Home receipt and warranty envelopes

The features might remind you of the very expensive personal
organizers, but the cover is definitely not leather and the price is
low enough to make you think it's a misprint. At $14.98, the FAST
FACTS ORGANIZER is not only a terrific tool for keeping your own life
from unraveling, it's a Best Buy for Christmas gifts too, particularly
for students (who have more to keep track of than most). Refills are
available from the publisher.

If your local bookstore doesn't have the FAST FACTS ORGANIZER, you can
send the list price ($14.98), plus $2.50 for postage and handling to
the publishers at: Running Press, 125 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia,
PA 19103 (215/567-5080).

                      **************************

^           ACTORS, ARTISTS, AUTHORS & ATTEMPTED ASSASSINS
               The Almanac of Famous & Infamous People
                           by Susan Stetler
           (Visible Ink, 1991, $13.95, ISBN 0-8103-9409-X)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

   1) Who were the Chicago Seven?
   2) Who were the members of the rock group Black Sabbath?
   3) Who was Cecil Day-Lewis?

Every time you find yourself asking, "Who's that?", this is the book
you should reach for. Almost 600 pages with listings of 13,000 people
will answer just about any Who? question you can come up with. Each
listing gives full name, pseudonyms, a brief description, a list of
major accomplishments, birth and death dates and locations. The people
are divided into major groups:

          Stage & Screen
          Madams, Models, Myths & Blood Lines
          Artists
          Saints, Sinners & Suffragettes
          Music Makers
          Potentates, Politicians & Militants
          Scribes

What if you have a name and absolutely NO idea who it is? No problem,
just look the name up in the Index where everyone is listed
alphabetically. ACTORS, ARTISTS, AUTHORS & ATTEMPTED ASSASSINS is an
excellent reference book for the whole family, and it makes a
superlative book for bedside or coffee table browsing.

Answers:
1) Rennie Davis, David Dellinger, John Radford Froines, Tom Hayden,
   Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Lee Weiner. They were political
   activists who disrupted the 1968 Democratic National Convention
   with antiwar demonstrations. (page 370)
2) Terry Geezer Butler, Ronnie Dio, Jan Gillan, Anthony Iommi, Ozzie
   Osbourne, William Ward. (page 258)
3) Poet laureate of England (1968) who also wrote detective stories
   under the name Nicholas Blake. (page 454)

                      **************************

^           GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN & THE TRANSHUMAN CONDITION
                             by Ed Regis
       (Addison-Wesley, August 1991, $8.95, ISBN 0-201-56751-2)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

     "Five Gs positive at launch, followed by three Gs negative
     when the chute snaps out--Eyeballs IN!, Eyeballs OUT!--all
     of this in about sixty seconds."
       ---describing the plans for Evel Knievel's rocket launch
            over the Snake River

Meet Bob Truax. He has degrees in aeronautical and mechanical
engineering as well as a master's in nuclear engineering. He believes
that NASA designed the space shuttle all wrong, and that there's no
reason why individuals shouldn't be blasting themselves into space in
their own personal spaceships. He's even built a personal spaceship,
and you shouldn't laugh because the U.S. Navy bought it from him for
$750,000. Bob Truax also believes that old age can be cured.

Meet Hans Moravec. He believes that within fifty years people will be
able to download themselves into a computer, freeing themselves of the
limitations of biological existence. He has also come up with four
different ways in which this downloading might be accomplished.

Meet Eric Drexler. He invented the field of nanotechnology and
believes that some day tiny DNA-sized robots that he calls
"assemblers" will be able to manipulate individual molecules, maybe
even atoms. This would enable us to take human cells that have
deteriorated due to age or disease and FIX them, put them back the way
they were before the problems occurred. The assemblers would also be
able to manipulate any other kind of matter, allowing us to make
anything that's physically possible.

You can meet Truax, Moravec, Drexler, and many other like-minded
individuals in Ed Regis' GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN & THE TRANSHUMAN
CONDITION. You'll find out where the frontiersmen of the late 20th
century are and what they're thinking about. You'll get the latest
ideas on the big issues: Immortality, Artificial Life, Space Colonies,
Delaying the Heat-Death of the Universe, etc. You'll read about ideas
like squeezing the sun and towing black holes around the universe. One
forward thinker has already taken it for granted that he will be
downloaded into a computer and will be able to beam himself around the
universe as a cosmic tourist. His big worry now is What if his tour
takes so long that some stars and galaxies don't stick around long
enough for him to get there? (I'm worried about paying the bills next
month, and he's worried about outliving galaxies.) GREAT MAMBO CHICKEN
& THE TRANSHUMAN CONDITION is fascinating, it's fun, and there is more
food for thought per page than any book I've seen in a while.
Recommended for readers who like to think about six impossible things
before breakfast.

(You're probably wondering what Great Mambo Chicken is all about.
That's what you get when you breed chickens in 2-1/2 gravities. For
the Transhuman Condition you're just going to have to read the book.)

                      **************************

^                  LUNCHEON AT THE CAFE RIDICULOUS
                            by Alice Kahn
          (Poseidon Press, 1991, $8.95, ISBN 0-671-74193-4)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

   "The New Age is getting older but shows no signs of wising up."

This collection of short essays, most of which originally appeared in
the The San Francisco CHRONICLE, is usually funny, occasionally
hilarious, once in a while even touching, but always entertaining. You
can read about Kahn's early years in the balcony of the Lawndale
Theater, how she almost wrote a screenplay for Spielberg, what she
thinks about Chain Saw Editors, her very brief career as a model,
phone sex, the cultural promiscuity of baby boomers, unisex bathrooms,
and a women's consciousness-lowering session in a yuppie bar. She
discusses life passages for which there is no Hallmark card, and frets
that "Being an adult...is the most behaviorally boring thing on
earth." Kahn talks about the time her mother pretended to be a
transvestite named Ramona to get a good seat at a San Francisco drag
club, and reports on the phenomenon of channeling which she says is
"the rage among bored-again New Agers". Alice Kahn amuses with charm
and wit, illuminates our shared culture while lampooning our excesses.

                      **************************

^                 THE WHOLESALE-BY-MAIL CATALOG 1992
                         by The Print Project
         (HarperPerennial, 1991, $15.00, ISBN 0-06-273061-4)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

I love this book for two main reasons:

     1) I do most of my shopping by mail, and
     2) I don't like to spend any more than I have to.

First off, mail-order shopping is easy, it gives me a greater
selection of goods that I would otherwise have, and it forces me to
shop wisely. All the catalogs that have items that I need or want get
fanned out on the table, and I sit in front of them with my checkbook.
Instead of buying whatever product happens to be near me at the time,
I can choose which of my wants or needs gets filled first. Sometimes I
just pile the catalogs on the coffee table in the order of importance:
the item I need most on top, all the way down to that electric hedge
clipper that would be nice but that I could live without. Then, as the
money comes in (IF it comes in), I order the merchandise.

THE WHOLESALE-BY-MAIL CATALOG 1992 is a big help if you're going to
take up mail order. All the vendors are listed by type of merchandise,
and in addition to a paragraph of description you get header
information that includes: address, phone number, how much the catalog
or brochure costs, what the savings are like, acceptable methods of
payment, what basic kind of product(s) they sell, whether they have a
storefront, whether they ship to Canada, whether they ship to APO and
FPO addresses, whether they accept phone orders, whether they give an
additional discount to readers of THE WHOLESALE-BY-MAIL CATALOG, and a
"$" code that gives a subjective rating of worth to the bargain
hunter. Armed with all that information, you can quickly find the
vendors who are most likely to have what you want at the best possible
price. Considering that many places give extra discounts for readers
of THE WHOLESALE-BY-MAIL CATALOG, it shouldn't take more than one or
two purchases to more than refund your $15.

                      **************************

~                     NEW FROM STOREY PUBLISHING

THE STENCILLING WORKBOOK by Judy Tuttle
A wealth of information and inspiration for stencillers
Hardcover: $24.95 ISBN 0-88266-682-7
Paperback: $14.95 ISBN 0-88266-681-9

COUNTRY FRESH GIFTS
Wonderful gifts you can grow and cook
Paperback: $12.95 ISBN 0-88266-660-6

NEW COMPACT HOUSE DESIGNS edited Don Metz
Prize-winning plans for efficient homes
Hardcover: $27.95 ISBN 0-88266-667-3
Paperback: $16.95 ISBN 0-88266-666-5

ROOT CELLARING by Mike and Nancy Bubel
No-fuss food preservation--safe, healthy and economical
Hardcover: $21.95 ISBN 0-88266-740-8
Paperback: $12.95 ISBN 0-88266-703-3

THE HEDGE BOOK by Jeffrey Whitehead
The complete guide to natural fencing
Hardcover: $21.95 ISBN 0-88266-742-4
Paperback: $12.95 ISBN 0-88266-695-9

HOME INSULATION by Harry Yost
The energy-saving solution that pays for itself
Hardcover: $21.95 ISBN 0-88266-741-6
Paperback: $11.95 ISBN 0-88266-694-0

If your local bookstore doesn't carry the Storey Publishing titles you
want, you can order directly from the publisher by sending the list
price, plus $2.75 shipper per order, to: Storey Communications, Inc.,
PO Box 445, Pownal, VT 05261 or get your credit card and call
1-800-827-8673.

                      **************************

^             THE M STREET RADIO DIRECTORY: 1991 Edition
                       edited by Robert Unmacht
           (Focal Press, 1991, $29.95, ISBN 0-240-80137-7)
                        review by Howard Frye

THE M STREET RADIO DIRECTORY is an annual summary of the M Street
Corporation's database of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. The
stations are listed by state (and by city within state), by call
letters, by frequency, and by "market". The information given for the
stations includes: city, call letters, power, AM antenna
configuration, FM antenna height, format, frequency, owner, address,
phone number, applications and permits, and any available ratings
estimations.

For professionals employed in radio, public relations, or advertising,
the applications are obvious. But I've found the DIRECTORY useful at
home next to my radio as well. By scanning the format codes for radio
stations in my general area, I could see at a glance why I have
trouble finding classical music on either dial; my area is largely
"CW" (Country) and "EZ" (Easy Listening). But by taking note of the
few classical music stations, I have managed to tune in several
sources of music I was previously unaware of.

If you have trouble getting THE M STREET RADIO DIRECTORY, you can
reach the publishers by writing to: Focal Press, 80 Montvale Ave.,
Stoneham, MA 02180. The M Street Corporation's database is much bigger
than what is shown in this DIRECTORY. Customized reports of stations,
ownership, market information or mailing labels are available through
their Alexandria, Virginia, office. You can reach them by writing to:
M Street Corporation, PO Box 3568, Alexandria, VA 22302, or by calling
703/684-3622 (FAX: 703/684-0320).

                      **************************

~FOR THE LOVE OF CATS:

^          IN THE COMPANY OF CATS: A Tribute to the Feline
        (Andrews and McMeel, 1991, $15.00, ISBN 0-8362-7986-7)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

                              To Willie
                 Who lives in a world I cannot enter
             And knows many things beyond my perception,
                     Whose demands are paramount,
           And who alone interrupts my work as pleases him,
                    For he speaks always with love
                 In pianissimo purrs and muted meows
                ---Raymond Bushell (THE INRO HANDBOOK)

Neither maudlin nor syrupy, catching the character of cats in brief
brushstrokes of words and images, IN THE COMPANY OF CATS does justice
to its subject. With small snatches of fiction, poetry, quotes,
photographs and paintings, the animal who is now estimated to be the
most popular pet in the world is illuminated from differing
perspectives. The words are drawn from such notables as: George Eliot,
P.G. Wodehouse, Cleveland Amory, Sir Walter Scott, Kingsley Amis,
Robertson Davies, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau,
and many others. Lovingly assembled, beautifully reproduced, and
sumptuously bound, IN THE COMPANY OF CATS makes a wonderful gift for
the cat lovers in your life.

                      --------------------------

^                            CAT'S PICNIC
      Greens, Games, and Guaranteed Fun for Your Favorite Feline
                           by C.E. Crimmins
      (Running Press, November 1991, $12.95, ISBN 1-56138-050-4)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

CAT'S PICNIC comes with seed packets for Catnip and Cat Salad (wheat
and oats), and the whole book is structured around growing treats for
your pampered pet. Part One starts you off with everything you need to
know to get your crops started, including why your cat will like them.
Part Two is called "What to Do Until the Picnic Begins", and covers a
wide variety of cat toys, games, snacks, and other activities that you
can share with kitty. Sprinkled throughout are cat facts, care hints,
and quotes about cats, entertainment to inform and delight anyone who
shares their space with a cat. Part Three concerns harvesting your
crops, with a host of presentation ideas to suit any feline
temperament. CAT'S PICNIC makes an excellent gift for the new cat
owner, and the Cat Salad is a novel idea even for veteran cat people.

You can get CAT'S PICNIC from your local bookstore, or by sending the
list price, plus $2.50 postage and handling, to: Running Press, 125
South 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19103.

                      --------------------------

^                       THE COMPLETE CAT BOOK
                        by Richard H. Gebhardt
    (Howell Book House, October 1991, $24.95, ISBN 0-87605-841-1)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

THE COMPLETE CAT BOOK is without a doubt the most comprehensive book
about cats and cat ownership I have ever seen. This oversized book
includes a Preface by Betty White, a brief history of cat evolution
and the cat-people connection, an introduction to cat anatomy, a
description of over 40 breeds (with a history, official Standard, and
personality for each one), the care and maintenance of a pet cat, all
about cat reproduction, an introduction to cat showing and judging,
and a glossary of cat-related terms. On top of all that THE COMPLETE
CAT BOOK contains more than 120 color and black-and-white photographs,
as well as addresses of cat registries and feline health and welfare
organizations.

The pictures are wonderful, and I particularly enjoyed the chapters on
the history of the cat. The sections devoted to each of the breeds are
invaluable for selecting your next pet, and the chapters on catshows
are fascinating, even if you only go as a spectator. Author Richard H.
Gebhardt is an internationally known judge and breeder of pedigreed
cats. He was the first American to judge in Continental Europe and the
first international judge of all breeds. From 1968 to 1980 he served
as president of one of the oldest and the largest cat registry in the
world, Cat Fanciers' Association. THE COMPLETE CAT BOOK is a fine
addition to any cat-person's bookshelf and makes a great gift.

You can contact the publisher by writing to: Howell Book House, 866
Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022 (212/702-3800).

                      --------------------------

^             GREAT CATS: Majestic Creatures of the Wild
   by Consulting Editors Dr. John Seidensticker & Dr. Susan Lumpkin
      (Rodale Press, September 1991, $40.00, ISBN 0-87857-965-6)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

GREAT CATS is a breathtaking oversized book of photographs, drawings,
and text about one of this planet's most fascinating animals. From the
housecat to the lion, GREAT CATS explains and illustrates what cats
are, how they got that way, how they function (and why), and how they
interact with other animals--like people. The photographs alone are
worth the price of the book. They capture all species of cats in all
their many moods, from cheetah cubs playing in the grass to an ocelot
stalking its prey. But don't let the photographs keep you from the
text too long, because it is fascinating material including the latest
discoveries about the origins of cats, a history of the relationship
between cats and people, as well as comprehensive information about
all 37 species of living cats.

Nearly 40 internationally renowned experts from all over the world
share their observations about how cats live, breed, socialize, and
interact with their environment. GREAT CATS is entertaining,
educational, and breathtakingly beautiful. For cat people and nature
lovers, GREAT CATS is irresistible. (You can contact the publisher by
writing to: Rodale Press, Inc., 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, PA
18098-0099 (215/967-5171).

                      **************************

~HARDWARE & SOFTWARE:

^                      UNDERSTANDING PC TOOLS 7
                            by Peter Dyson
              (Sybex, 1991, $26.95, ISBN 0-89588-850-5)
                        review by Carl Ingram

If you've been using PC Tools for awhile, you know that the menus are
great as long as you know where you're going, and the on-line help is
not all that helpful. Of course, they provide you with documentation,
but it's divided into multiple books and I can never find the one I
want when I want it. Now that I have UNDERSTANDING PC TOOLS 7, there
are no more problems. This is the manual I should have had from the
beginning. Everything I could ever want to know about PC Tools, all
gathered together for me in one book, with one index in which I can
look up any subject from Creating Macros to Passwords for Phone
Directory Files.

Here is the layout of UNDERSTANDING PC TOOLS 7:

Installing and Running PC Tools 7
  1. An Overview of PC Tools
  2. Installing PC Tools
  3. Using PC Tools

File and Program Management Tools
  4. Using PC Shell
  5. Using the Program Manager

Disk Recovery and Data Protection Tools
  6. An Introduction to Disk and Directory Structure
  7. Preventing Data Loss with the Recovery Tools
  8. Managing Files, Directories, and Hardware with the System Tools
  9. Protecting Files with the Security Tools
 10. Backing Up Your System
 11. Operating a Remote Computer with Commute
 12. Using the Windows-Only Tools

Desktop Tools
 13. Working with Notepads, Outlines, the Clipboard, and the Macro
     Editor
 14. Figuring with the Four Calculators
 15. Increasing Your Efficiency with the Appointment Scheduler
 16. Using the Database
 17. Telecommunications Made Easy
 18. Using DeskConnect and the Desktop Utilities

Reference Tools
 19. Troubleshooting
 20. The PC Tools Complete Command Reference

In the first week I had UNDERSTANDING PC TOOLS 7 on my desk, I used it
to recover from a disastrous session with the Color Configuration (I
can't believe how difficult it is to change PC Tools' colors. There IS
such a thing as too many options.), help me add a few programs to my
Program List, and install CP Backup. In winging my way around the
volume, I discovered that on every left-hand page, just under the page
number, is what chapter you are in. Couple that with the index that is
printed inside the front and back covers, and you can find any general
subject in seconds. UNDERSTANDING PC TOOLS 7 is an excellent reference
book for anyone who wants to get the most from PC Tools, a very
powerful but complicated collection of programs.

                      --------------------------

^                        PC TOOLS 7.0 AT WORK
                          by Jonathan Kamin
      (Addison-Wesley, August 1991, $22.95, ISBN 0-201-56766-0)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

Despite the fact that I have been using PC Tools for over a year, and
have had version 7.0 for several months, I found some valuable new
information within 3 minutes of picking up this terrific book. This is
a testament to the logical organization and readable typography of PC
TOOLS 7.0 AT WORK. The Table of Contents will direct you to an
interesting subject and, once there, the information practically leaps
off the page. Colored headers, illustrations, emphasized text, and
outlines help you get to the facts you want and skip over the rest.
General outlines of each chapter are given at the beginning and at the
end, making quick reviews a breeze. And, as RFP noted in a previous
review of an Addison-Wesley computer book, the large, emphasized page
numbers at the outer corners make flipping to a particular page as
easy as it should always be, but seldom is.

Here's a breakdown of PC TOOLS 7.0 AT WORK by chapter:

  For the New User: Getting Familiar with Your Computer System
  Introducing PC Tools
  Installing PC Tools 7.0
  Exploring Your System
  Introducing PC Shell
  Computer Housekeeping
  Preventive Maintenance
  Data Security
  Backing Up and Restoring Hard Disks
  Disaster Recovery
  Advanced Shell Functions
  Launching Applications
  Introducing the Desktop Manager
  Creating and Editing Text: The Notepads
  Organizing Your Thoughts: The Outliner
  Remote Control: The Macro Editor
  Organizing Your Time: The Appointment Scheduler
  Organizing Information: Databases
  Instant Communications: The Autodialer
  Talking to Your Applications: The Clipboard
  Instant Numbers: The Calculators
  The ASCII Table
  Connectivity
  PC Tools and Windows
  Appendixes:
    The DOS Configuration Files
    Fine-Tuning Your Installation
    A Short Course in Hexadecimal Thinking

As you can see, a lot of ground is covered, but then PC Tools is a
very large set of programs. While the documentation that comes with PC
Tools is better than most, it is still basically linear, forcing you
to read entire chapters to discover a few facts. Now that I have PC
TOOLS 7.0 AT WORK, I'm already trying out a few applications that I
had previously put off until I had more time, like the Appointment
Scheduler and the Notepads. Now that I can extract the information I
need more quickly, I can explore new facets of PC Tools in just a few
spare moments. (What was the new information I picked up right away?
That PC Tools can change the date and time of a file, something I do
all the time and have been loading an outside program to accomplish.
Until now.)

                      --------------------------

^                VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS (3rd Edition)
                 by Ted Nace with Daniel Will-Harris
          (Peachpit Press, 1991, $27.95, ISBN 0-938151-20-7)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS, winner of the 1990 Reader's Choice Award from
PUBLISH magazine, explains how to use Ventura Publisher more
effectively, offering a wealth of shortcuts, special techniques,
undocumented features, work-arounds for bugs, and tips on speed,
safety, and printing. The book also addresses the overall desktop
environment, providing extensive information on computer
configurations, peripheral hardware, the operating system, graphics
software, clip art, fonts, and third-party resources. All versions of
Ventura Publisher from 2.0 to the Windows and DOS/GEM Gold series are
covered with differences between the versions pointed out when
applicable.

VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS is divided into the following areas:
     > Which Ventura Is Right for You?
     > How Ventura Works
     > Configuring Your System
     > Printers/Monitors/Scanners
     > Managing Files
     > Preparing, Loading, and Editing Text
     > Working With Style Sheets
     > Formatting Text
     > Tables and Equations
     > Pagination
     > Document Layout Strategies
     > Using Graphics/Graphic Tools/Clip Art
     > Encapsulated PostScript
     > Screen Snapshots
     > Using and Adding New Fonts, Font Tools
     > Speed/Safety/Printing Tips
     > Memory Limitations and Solutions
     > Utilities
     > Printing Labels/Envelopes
     > Voodoo Tricks
     > Using Ventura Without a Mouse
     > Resources
     > Graphics Program Compatibility

It's obvious from this list that VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS is a very, very
extensive reference publication for Ventura Publisher. According to
the publisher, VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS is the only book to receive the
official endorsement of Xerox Corporation, vendors of the Ventura
Publisher program. I wish that I had known about this book over two
years ago, when I first started using Ventura Publisher. It would have
made learning the program and becoming productive with it much easier.

Of particular interest is the way that the book is presented. The
method of giving tips--followed by a thorough explanation--is
especially helpful. Of note also is the spattering of common, everyday
questions and concise, helpful answers that appear throughout the
book. For a reference book, it is also very easy to read. I found
myself just sitting back and enjoying reading through page after page
in my spare time. VENTURA TIPS & TRICKS now has a permanent place on
my computer reference bookshelf and I can highly recommend it to all
Ventura Publisher users.

Peachpit Press has an entire line of useful computer books (such as
THE EASY VENTURA BOOK, reviewed in RFP #19, and VENTURA BY EXAMPLE,
WINDOWS EDITION). You can contact them by writing to: Peachpit Press,
Inc., 2414 Sixth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710; or by calling
415/548-4393 or 800/283-9444.

                      --------------------------

^                  PC/COMPUTING GUIDE TO EXCEL 3.0
                           by Dale Lewallen
            (Ziff-Davis, 1991, $24.95, ISBN 1-56276-019-X)
                    commentary from the publisher

PC/COMPUTING GUIDE TO EXCEL 3.0 is your step-by-step tour of
Microsoft's powerful and versatile Excel 3.0 spreadsheet program
running under Windows. PC/COMPUTING technical editor Dale Lewallen
teaches by example, and presents dozens of clear, well-illustrated
exercises that will show you how to apply Excel to real-world
situations.

Whether you're new to graphical spreadsheets or looking for a way to
enhance your skills, you'll find the help you need in PC/COMPUTING
GUIDE TO EXCEL 3.0, including how to...

* Build a simple spreadsheet from the ground up, with clear,
  step-by-step instructions
* Format worksheets and change formats with ease
* Turn your spreadsheet data into professional-quality 3-D charts and
  graphs
* Increase your productivity with mathematical analyses and
  sophisticated programming techniques
* Exchange data between Excel and other programs

Use this book as a learning guide to master Excel's wide range of
features, and keep it on your bookshelf as a convenient reference to
Excel's many capabilities.

                      --------------------------

^               THE WAITE GROUP'S TURBO PASCAL HOW-TO
            The Definitive Object-Oriented Problem Solver
                             by Gary Syck
        (Waite Group Press, 1991, $24.95, ISBN 1-878739-04-2)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

THE WAITE GROUP'S TURBO PASCAL HOW-TO is for Turbo Pascal programmers
who already know Turbo Pascal and want ways to give their programs a
more professional look. THE WAITE GROUP'S TURBO PASCAL HOW-TO presents
hundreds of typical programming problems with their creative solutions
in a standard easy-to-use reference format.

Some sample problems presented in the book are:

How do I...
  Test whether ANSI.SYS is in use?
  Stuff keys into the keyboard buffer?
  Make sound effects?
  Make formatted data-entry fields?
  Make a file-management program?
  Solve simultaneous equations with matrices?
  Sort strings into dictionary order?
  Display the BIOS data area?
  Draw 3-D objects?

Each problem contains a question, a description of why the problem
comes up, a program solution including code, comments, cross
references, enhancements, and cautions. Problems and solutions are
divided into the following categories:

  > Interacting with the User
  > File and Devices
  > Mathematical Operations
  > String Manipulation
  > System Programming with Turbo Pascal
  > Object-Oriented Programming
  > Graphics
  > Turbo Pascal Routines from Computer Science
  > Utility Programs and Units
  > Using Turbo Vision and Turbo Pascal for MS Windows

I found THE WAITE GROUP'S TURBO PASCAL HOW-TO to be full of useful
tips that have and will help me tremendously in my Turbo Pascal
programming. The problems listed above are just a small sampling of
the wealth of information available in the book. As is indicated in
this list, a wide range of problems are solved. And these are common,
everyday problems, not ones that no one will ever encounter, as is the
case with most Turbo Pascal reference books. My copy of the book is
full of markers, indicating areas of my previous programming that can
be upgraded with this new-found information. Beware, though, that more
than a basic knowledge of Turbo Pascal programming is necessary to
make full use of the book. There is no basic "how to do Turbo Pascal"
section. It is assumed that you know what you are doing going in. One
thing I wish was in the book is an index of all the "How do I..."
topics. Going through, page-by-page, picking out the "how do's" is not
putting the book to its most efficient use. All-in-all though, the
book is a must-have for any Turbo Pascal programmer's reference
library and one purchase you surely won't regret.

A companion disk for THE WAITE GROUP'S TURBO PASCAL HOW-TO is
available, from the publisher, for $19.95. The disk includes all of
the Turbo Pascal program listings contained in the book, organized by
chapter, and pre-tested and debugged. Given the vast amount of useful
program code in the book, purchase of the companion disk should be
seriously considered.

                      --------------------------

^                 POWER GRAPHICS USING TURBO PASCAL
            by Keith Weiskamp, Loren Heiny & Namir Shammas
              (Wiley, 1989, $22.95, ISBN 0-471-61841-1)
                      review by Drew Bartorillo

POWER GRAPHICS USING TURBO PASCAL takes you inside Turbo Pascal's
powerful graphics features and gives you a variety of useful programs
that will help you utilize these versatile graphics tools for a wide
range of applications. In POWER GRAPHICS you will find in-depth
instruction on building graphics tools, techniques for designing
graphics-based user interfaces, fundamentals of two- and
three-dimensional graphics programming, creating real-life animation
and presentation graphics, and interactive applications, including
painting and CAD programs. POWER GRAPHICS explains all the
capabilities of the Borland Graphics Interface (BGI), including
drawing commands, fonts, and text.

POWER GRAPHICS is broken down into the following chapters:

     >> The BGI Quick Tour
     >> The BGI Drawing Functions
     >> The BGI Fonts and Text
     >> Presentation Graphics
     >> Graphics Techniques in Two Dimensions
     >> Animation
     >> Creating Mouse Tools
     >> Working With Icons
     >> Pop-up Windows in Graphics
     >> Interactive Drawing Tools
     >> A Paint Program
     >> A CAD Program
     >> Three-Dimensional Graphics

POWER GRAPHICS is by far the most detailed graphics-oriented book I
have in my Turbo Pascal reference library. Of special interest are the
mouse tools and a complete CAD program. One drawback to the book is
that it is current as of Turbo Pascal 5.0 and does not include any of
the object-oriented or Turbo Vision programming tools available with
today's Turbo Pascal 6. If you don't want to spend the time, and make
all the errors, entering the extensive source code in the book, there
is a set of disks available for $15, plus $5 shipping and handling,
that contain all the source code presented in the book.

                      --------------------------

^                 THE CARTOON GUIDE TO THE COMPUTER
                           by Larry Gonick
          (HarperPerennial, 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-06-273097-5)
                        review by Carl Ingram

The title of this book might have you expecting a computer-related
joke book, but THE CARTOON GUIDE TO THE COMPUTER is actually a heavily
(and charmingly) illustrated textbook that is witty, entertaining, and
educational. From the very beginnings of language, numbers, and
information theory, Larry Gonick tells of the origin and rise of the
computer. Once the computer is no longer a stranger from the outside,
Gonick tears off the cover and allows the reader/student to
progressively zoom in on the computer an discover the mysteries that
lie within. Binary numbers, logic gates, electronic versus
electro-mechanical memory devices, all the way through assembly
language and higher-level programming languages. An Index allows the
reader/student to access any particular subject or term.

Don't be fooled by the cute drawings and the goofy title: THE CARTOON
GUIDE TO THE COMPUTER is seriously educational. It could be the best
chance you have of understanding some of the more exotic aspects of
the digital beasts we share our lives with. Larry Gonick is also the
author of THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE, THE CARTOON GUIDE TO
PHYSICS (with Art Huffman), and THE CARTOON GUIDE TO THE GENETICS
(with Mark Wheelis).

                      --------------------------

^                    THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY
                        edited by Eric Raymond
       (MIT Press, September 1991, $10.95, ISBN 0-262-68069-6)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

     BOGON FLUX /boh'gon fluhks/ n. A measure of a supposed field
     of BOGOSITY emitted by a speaker, measured by a BOGOMETER;
     as a speaker starts to wander into increasing bogosity a
     listener might say "Warning, warning, bogon flux is rising".
     See QUANTUM BOGODYNAMICS.

At last, the complicated jargon of computer enthusiasts and fanatics
authoritatively and comprehensively codified for one and all. It's
impossible to pick up THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY and get any more
meaningful work done for at least an hour. Finding the entry on BOGON
FLUX leads to QUANTUM BOGODYNAMICS, which leads to PSYTON, and soon
you're lost in a sea of language that is by turns clever, funny,
silly, always entertaining, and often wise. Who could resist reading
about MANDELBUGs, BONDAGE-AND-DISCIPLINE LANGUAGEs, GUILTWARE, PLOKTA,
or MOUSE DROPPINGS? Do you know how many items are in a SAGAN? Do you
have the PINK-SHIRT BOOK? Did you take part in the infamous ARC WARS?
THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY provides over 400 pages of useful terms,
laws, abbreviations, and graphics, all carefully and amusingly
explained.

At the rear of the book you'll find two helpful Appendixes. The first
collects examples of Hacker Folklore, including several AI Koans.
Here's one:

       In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to
     him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
       "What are you doing?", asked Minsky.
       "I am training a randomly wired neural net to play
     Tic-Tac-Toe" Sussman replied.
       "Why is the net wired randomly?", asked Minsky.
       "I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to
     play", Sussman said.
       Minsky then shut his eyes.
       "Why do you close your eyes?", Sussman asked his teacher.
       "So that the room will be empty."
       At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

The second Appendix provides a Portrait of J. Random Hacker, with
descriptions of his General Appearance, Dress, Reading Habits, etc.
Lastly is a truly awesome Bibliography. It's short, but the book
recommendations are excellent. Don't miss THE NEW HACKER'S DICTIONARY.
If your local bookstore can't help, try writing to the publisher at:
The MIT Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
02142.

                      --------------------------

^    PC MAGAZINE: BASIC TECHNIQUES AND UTILITIES (with disk)
                          by Ethan Winer
          (Ziff-Davis, 1991, $29.95, ISBN 1-56276-008-4)
                    review by Drew Bartorillo

BASIC TECHNIQUES AND UTILITIES is a book about power programming using
Microsoft compiled BASIC. It is intended for people who already
understand the fundamentals of BASIC programming, but want to squeeze
as much performance as possible from the BASIC compiler. BASIC
TECHNIQUES shows you how to go beyond creating programs that merely
work--it explains how the compiler operates and how it interacts with
the BASIC runtime library. It teaches you how to write programs that
are as small and fast as possible. Although the book emphasizes
Microsoft QuickBASIC and the BASIC Professional Development System
(PDS), much of the information in the book applies to other BASIC
compilers such as Power Basic from Spectra Publishing (formerly Turbo
Basic from Borland International).

BASIC TECHNIQUES is organized into the following chapters:

     + An introduction to Compiled BASIC
     + Variables and Constant Data
     + Programming Methods
     + Debugging Strategies
     + Compiling and Linking
     + File and Device Handling
     + Database and Network Programming
     + Sorting and Searching
     + Program Optimization
     + Key Memory Areas in the PC
     + Accessing DOS and BIOS Services
     + Assembly Language Programming

A disk accompanies BASIC TECHNIQUES that contains all of the programs
and example code for the listings throughout the book. This includes
all the BASIC and assembly language source code. Also included on the
disk are a variety of useful utility programs like: DOSWATCH, a TSR
program that provides a "window" into DOS as it works; FINDTEXT, a
handy utility that searches a group of files for a specified text
string; MAP, a system utility that shows all of the programs that are
currently loaded in memory; and SCRNCAP, a text-mode TSR screen
capture utility that lets you capture text screen images from any
application.

                      **************************

~                 BOOKS FROM JEREMY P. TARCHER, INC.

ALWAYS AT EASE
Overcoming Shyness and Anxiety in Every Situation
by Christopher J. McCullough, Ph.D.
(August 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-87477-542-6)

WEIGHT AND STRENGTH TRAINING FOR KIDS AND TEENAGERS
A Responsible Guide for Parents, Teachers, Coaches, and Young Athletes
by Ken Sprague and his son Chris Sprague
(August 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-643-0)

THE 20-MINUTE BREAK
Reduce Stress, Maximize Performance, and Improve Health & Emotional
Well-Being Using the New Science of Ultradian Rhythms
by Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D with David Nimmons
(September 1991, $17.95, ISBN 0-87477-585-X)

TO BE A MAN: In Search of the Deep Masculine
edited by Keith Thompson
(September 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-637-6)

THE PATH OF THE EVERYDAY HERO
Drawing on the Power of Myth to Meet Life's Most Important Challenges
by Lorna Catford, Ph.D. and Michael Ray, Ph.D.
Foreword by M. Scott Peck
(September 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-630-9)

THE 3-POUND UNIVERSE
Revolutionary Discoveries About the Brain From the Chemistry of the
Mind to the New Frontiers of the Soul
by Judith Hooper & Dick Teresi
Foreword by Isaac Asimov
(October 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-87477-650-3

KNIGHTS WITHOUT ARMOR
A Practical Guide for Men in Quest of Masculine Soul
by Aaron Kipnis, Ph.D.
Foreword by Robert A. Johnson
(October 1991, $19.95, ISBN 0-87477-658-9)

WHEN YOU'VE BECOME A WIDOW
A Compassionate Guide to Rebuilding Your Life
by Genevieve Davis Ginsburg, M.S.
(October 1991, $10.95, ISBN 0-87477-599-X)

WHEN GOD BECOMES A DRUG
Breaking the Chains of Religious Addiction & Abuse
by Father Leo Booth
Foreword by John Bradshaw
(October 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-87477-657-0)

DRAWING FOR OLDER CHILDREN AND TEENS
A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
by Mona Brookes
(October 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-661-9)
(Hardcover: $22.95, ISBN 0-87477-660-0)

THE HEALTHY COMPANY
Eight Strategies to Develop People, Productivity, and Profits
by Robert H. Rosen, Ph.D. with Lisa Berger
(October 1991, $22.95, ISBN 0-87477-655-4)

THE ONE-MINUTE (OR SO) HEALER
500 Quick and Simple Ways to Heal Yourself Naturally
by Dana Ullman, M.P.H.
(November 1991, $8.95, ISBN 0-87477-667-8)

DAYDREAMING
Using Waking Fantasy and Imagery for Self-Knowledge and Creativity
by Eric Klinger, Ph.D.
(December 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-666-X)

MORE THAN FRIENDS, LESS THAN LOVERS
Managing Sexual Attraction in Working Relationships
by David R. Eyler, Ph.D. and Andrea P. Baridon
(October 1991, $18.95, ISBN 0-87477-651-1)

EVERYBODY'S GUIDE TO NATURAL ESP
Unlocking the Extrasensory Power of Your Mind
by Ingo Swann
(November 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-87477-668-6)

MIRRORS OF THE SELF
Archetypal Images That Shape Your Life
edited by Christine Downing
(November 1991, $12.95, ISBN 0-87477-664-3)

AN EASIER CHILDBIRTH
A Mother's Workbook for Health and Emotional Well-Being During
Pregnancy and Delivery
by Gayle Peterson, Ph.D.
(November 1991, $11.95, ISBN 0-87477-665-1)

THE SECRET LIFE OF FOOD
A Feast of Food and Drink History, Folklore, and Fact
by Martin Elkort
(November 1991, $9.95, ISBN 0-87477-662-7)

                       Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.
                    5858 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 200
                        Los Angeles, CA 90036

                      **************************

^        WONDER-WORKERS! How They Perform the Impossible
                          by Joe Nickell
                          for ages 9-14
   (Prometheus Books, October 1991, $11.95, ISBN 0-87975-688-8)
                    review by Cindy Bartorillo

Nickell investigates the apparently impossible accomplishments of ten
famous wonder-workers: Ivan Chabert (who was impervious to heat),
Robert-Houdin (one of the greatest magicians of all time), Daniel Home
(who could float through the air), Lulu Hurst (whose body was a
powerful magnet), Evangeline Adams (who could foretell the future),
Harry Houdini (who could, among many other talents, walk through
walls), Joaquin Argamasilla (whose x-ray eyes could see through
metal), Joseph Dunninger (who could read minds), Edgar Cayce (who
could diagnose illnesses while asleep), and Peter Hurkos (a psychic
detective).

WONDER-WORKERS! is both an entertaining book about famous people and a
textbook on scientific investigation. For each claim of supernatural
powers, Nickell discusses the possible explanations, many of which are
very educational in themselves. For instance, the reader learns a good
deal about the properties of heat while hearing the story of Ivan
Chabert. Without spoiling the attraction of magic as entertainment,
the author shows children how to bring a healthy skepticism to any
claims of special talents or powers. At the end is a note to teachers
advising ways to use the book in a classroom setting, including
suggestions for assignments.

WONDER-WORKERS! is an excellent example of how entertainment and
education can be combined in one package. A delightful and instructive
book for any age group. (You can contact the publisher by writing to:
Prometheus Books, 700 East Amherst Street, Buffalo, NY 14215)

                      **************************

^                 THE ANXIETY & PHOBIA WORKBOOK
                    by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.
        (New Harbinger, 1990, $13.95, ISBN 0-934986-85-1)
                    review by Cindy Bartorillo

     "In writing this workbook, my intention has been to 1)
     describe specific skills that you need to overcome problems
     with panic, anxiety, and phobias and 2) provide step-by-step
     procedures and exercises for mastering these skills."

In our high-stress, fast-paced society, we are subjected to an
enormous amount of psychological pressure, which in large part
explains the epidemic of anxiety disorders in recent years. Anxiety
disorders are the #1 mental health problem among American women and
second only to alcohol and drug abuse among men. It is estimated that
10% of the population have suffered from panic attacks, phobias, or
other anxiety disorders in the past year.

     "It has been my hope to define in a single volume the full
     range of strategies necessary to overcome problems with
     anxiety. The more of these strategies you can incorporate
     into your own recovery program, the more efficient and rapid
     your progress will be."

As THE ANXIETY & PHOBIA WORKBOOK stresses, each person's anxiety is
different and you need to discover for yourself the best way to ease
your discomfort. The book covers relaxation techniques, exercise,
coping strategies for panic attacks, nutrition, desensitization,
overcoming negative self-talk, visualization, self-esteem, expressing
feelings, medication, assertiveness, etc. And in every case the
information is specific, the recommendations are concrete. Dr. Bourne
takes the reader through each step of each therapy technique, advising
a holistic approach by utilizing as many strategies as seem
appropriate. THE ANXIETY & PHOBIA WORKBOOK is very helpful, whether
used by itself or in conjunction with a professional therapist.

You can contact the publisher by writing to: New Harbinger
Publications, Inc., 5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609.

                      **************************

^          SAVING GRACES: Sojourns of a Backyard Biologist
                          by Roger B. Swain
      (Little, Brown, October 1991, $17.95, ISBN 0-316-82471-2)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

SAVING GRACES is a collection of short pieces of spare, elegant prose
by Roger Swain, science editor of HORTICULTURE magazine. He talks
about wolves, hermit crabs, pockets, recycling, turtles, honeybees,
the sense of smell, water, bats, onion braiding... Each essay is a
small gem of careful thought about the world we live in. He can find
vivid memories of childhood and the seed of his life's meaning in a
horse chestnut, "a pearl of oiled and polished mahogany". Swain
acknowledges the irresistible impulse to interfere with our
environment:

     "But who of us is so free of self-interest as to have never
     looked at a blueberry bush and thought muffins, nor played
     in a stream and tried to harness it with a small dam?"

but he notes the dangers:

     "Water purity is terribly fragile. Like minnows in a lake,
     contaminants spread quickly in the water, making it all but
     impossible to retrieve them once they are released."

Without sermonizing, Swain celebrates the natural world we live in,
and reflects on ways in which we can interact harmoniously with it.

     "If we are even half-serious about having wildlife close at
     hand, we should be making room for bats."

SAVING GRACES is a gentle book that begs to be read outdoors with your
back against a tree. Roger B. Swain is also the author of EARTHLY
PLEASURES: Tales from a Biologist's Garden, FIELD DAYS: Journal of an
Itinerant Biologist, and THE PRACTICAL GARDENER: A Guide to Breaking
New Ground.

                      **************************

^                          WHEN IN ROME...
    A Business Guide to Cultures & Customs in 12 European Nations
                             by John Mole
          (AMACOM, October 1991, $16.95, ISBN 0-8144-7769-0)
                    commentary from the publisher

     NEVER take off your jacket in front of German business
     associates. Shirtsleeves are considered sloppy and
     unbusiness-like.

     NEVER send a FAX to a Spanish company, thinking the matter
     will be taken care of. Everything must be confirmed
     orally--and preferably face to face.

     NEVER expect an Italian colleague to take work home at night
     or on weekends. Work is work and fun is fun.

     NEVER assume that a Greek woman is merely support staff. In
     Greece, women have made significant inroads into business
     and are well-represented at all levels.

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." That's fine advice if you KNOW
what the Romans do...or the Parisians...or the Berliners.
Unfortunately, many Americans business people haven't a clue how
things are done in other countries. What an American may have meant as
a humorous remark could be perceived as confusing, weak, or even
insulting to a European. Not a great entrance into the lucrative
European market.

According to author John Mole, "Americans and Europeans have very
similar business and personal goals. But it is a mistake to assume
that they have the same ways of ACHIEVING them." In his new book, WHEN
IN ROME..., Mole looks at each of the twelve countries of the European
Community. He points out important structural, political, and
managerial conventions--as well as the more subtle, but equally
important, social traditions that define a country.

For instance, Mole explains that if you're invited to dinner at 7:00
and you're in Germany, come on the dot. In England, come at about
7:15. In Italy, 8:00 is about right, and in Greece--show up any time
during the evening. What about humor? In the Netherlands, Mole says,
humor is fine, but NOT if the subject is religion. In France, wit is
highly valued but the standard JOKE is gauche. In England, if you
don't joke around, you're not being part of the crowd. In Spain a joke
at your own expense is incomprehensible, and in Germany, don't joke on
the job at all.

Based on Mole's personal experiences as well as interviews with 200
managers from the EC nations, WHEN IN ROME... contains insider's
information on business organization and structure, political
frameworks, general management style, and national attitudes toward
humor, attire, meeting styles, communication, and leadership. In
addition, Mole provides separate chapters on Americans in Europe and
Japanese in Europe--what they expect and how they are perceived. As a
wrap-up, WHEN IN ROME... presents "The Mole Map", a grid formed by
rating countries by their Organization structure on one axis and
Leadership style on the other. This graph provides readers with a
visual comparison of the different cultures.

You can contact the publisher by writing to: AMACOM, A Division of
American Management Association, 135 West 50 Street, New York, NY
10020.

                      **************************

^                  SNITCH: A Handbook for Informers
                            by Jack Luger
       (Loompanics Unlimited, 1991, $16.95, ISBN 1-55950-076-X)
                      review by Cindy Bartorillo

     "If you're a typical American, someone has probably already
     informed or snitched on you. Don't be surprised if it's
     happened more than once. This book is about both sides of
     the coin: how to snitch for fun and profit, and how to
     protect yourself from snitches."

Has anyone ever informed on you? Where did the information in your
credit rating come from? (Do you know what's in your credit rating?)
Have you ever gotten a security clearance? Have you ever joined a
politically-active group? Have you ever broken the law? Do you have
business rivals? Many activities can increase your chances of being
the victim of a snitch.

Jack Luger's SNITCH discusses all facets of the phenomenon, covering
questions like: What kind of people become informers? What motivates
them? Who employs them? What can the brand-new informer expect, and
what is expected of them? How are informers paid? What are the dangers
of being a professional snitch? And, from the other side of the fence,
What can you do to protect yourself from informers?

     "If the snitch is your worst enemy, guess who is your
     second-worst? Probably, you are."

The point Luger is making is that your big mouth can get you into more
trouble than anything or anyone else. If you've done something you'd
rather not have written up in the newspaper, DON'T TELL ANYONE. Luger
goes on to give other hints for personal protection, with specific
recommendations for particular situations.

After each chapter is a list of "Sources", which makes a nice list of
books for further reading if you are so inclined. SNITCH is another
unusual and fascinating book from the people at Loompanics, producers
of one of the world's great book catalogs. Other Jack Luger books
available from Loompanics are: THE BIG BOOK OF SECRET HIDING PLACES;
CODE MAKING AND CODE BREAKING; COUNTERFEIT I.D. MADE EASY; ASK ME NO
QUESTIONS, I'LL TELL YOU NO LIES; HOW TO USE MAIL DROPS FOR PRIVACY
AND PROFIT, and IMPROVISED WEAPONS IN AMERICAN PRISONS. You can order
SNITCH from Loompanics by sending the list price, plus $3 shipping and
handling (for 1-3 books; for 4 or more send $6) to: Loompanics
Unlimited, PO Box 1197, Port Townsend, WA 98368. With an order you
also get a copy of their huge catalog (a $5 item) for free.

                      **************************

^                               MONET.
         (Phidal Art Series, 1990, $9.95, ISBN 2-89393-049-2)
                        review by Howard Frye

Claude Oscar Monet, born in 1840, became one of the greatest artists
of all time, despite many personal challenges and traumas. It was one
of his paintings--IMPRESSION, SUNRISE--that gave a name to a popular
technique; from that moment on, painters using such a painting
technique would be known as Impressionists.

IMPRESSION, SUNRISE, a biographical essay, and 43 other Monet
paintings, are reproduced in this volume of Phidal's Art Series. With
the artworks reproduced in glorious color on heavy slick paper, this
oversized hardcover is amazingly only $9.95. Also included is short
descriptive text about each painting, like having a museum guide take
you through Monet's masterpieces.

The series also include volumes on: Van Gogh (ISBN 2-89393-050-6),
Degas (ISBN 2-89393-047-6), Renoir (ISBN 2-89393-040-9), Cezanne (ISBN
2-89393-042-5), and Gauguin (ISBN 2-89393-041-7), all for the same
price. At such reasonable prices, the Phidal Art Series would make
excellent gifts for young people, giving them an introduction to the
world of fine art that can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment. If your
local bookstore can't help you, write to the distributor of the Phidal
Art Series at: Firefly Books Ltd., 250 Sparks Avenue, Willowdale,
Ontario M2H 2S4, CANADA.

                      **************************

^           WOMEN OF THE 14TH MOON: Writings on Menopause
           edited by Dena Taylor & Amber Coverdale Sumrall
        (The Crossing Press, 1991, $14.95, ISBN 0-89594-477-4)
                       review by Carol Sheffert

Menopause is a major event in the life of over half the population and
yet nobody seems to want to talk about it. Nearly the only media
attention it gets is the occasional snide joke about hot flashes or
mid-life insanity on TV sitcoms. Yet many women live in fear and dread
of this natural episode in their biological evolution. Wouldn't it be
great if they could talk to dozens of other women about
menopause--sharing information, experiences, strength, and
inspiration?

This is the service performed by WOMEN OF THE 14TH MOON, a collection
of almost 100 articles, essays and poems about menopause written by
women for women. You'll hear about the suffering and the joy, the
successes and failures--the experience of menopause isn't quite the
same for any two women. With the wisdom of those who have blazed a
trail ahead, every woman has a much better chance of making their
menopause a personally transforming experience that will enrich the
second, and best, half of their lives.

WOMEN OF THE 14TH MOON is insightful reading for women and the men who
live with them. Highly recommended. You can contact the publisher by
writing to: The Crossing Press, PO Box 1048, Freedom, CA 95019.

                      **************************

^     FURTHER TEACHINGS OF LAO-TZU: UNDERSTANDING THE MYSTERIES
                     translated by Thomas Cleary
        (Shambhala, October 1991, $19.00, ISBN 0-87773-609-X)
                        review by Howard Frye

The TAO TE CHING, attributed to Lao-tzu, is a Chinese classic of
Taoism that has been popular in the West for many years, but the
WEN-TZU (also known as UNDERSTANDING THE MYSTERIES), another of the
great sourcebooks of Taoist thought, has never before been translated
into English (or any Western language for that matter).

Longer than the TAO TE CHING but just as simple, clear, and profound,
the WEN-TZU is supposed to have been compiled by a disciple of
Lao-tzu, the contents being mostly words attributed to Lao-tzu
himself. But as translator Thomas Cleary says,

     "The assignment of authorship in ancient Taoism is generally
     symbolic rather than historical. Names may refer not only to
     supposed individual persons, but also to schools and
     traditions associated with those individuals or their
     circles."

Thomas Cleary holds a Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations
from Harvard University. The translator of over thirty important
Chinese and Japanese texts, including THE ART OF WAR, he is among the
most renowned translators of Asian classics of our time.

FURTHER TEACHINGS OF LAO-TZU is highly recommended to everyone who has
loved the TAO TE CHING. (Hint: The two books together would make a
sensational holiday gift.) The publisher can be contacted by writing
to: Shambhala Publications, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts
Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

                      **************************

^   HOW I MADE A HUNDRED MOVIES IN HOLLYWOOD AND NEVER LOST A DIME
                   by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome
              (Delta, 1990, $12.00, ISBN 0-385-30489-7)
                        review by Janet Peters

Roger Corman is one of the world's most successful film directors and
producers and is responsible for bringing us movies like: THE LITTLE
SHOP OF HORRORS, THE WILD ANGELS, THE RAVEN, THE TRIP, and, a
particular favorite of mine, X-THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES. How has he
done it? At least part of the answer is that his movies make money
because they're made cheaply. Other filmmakers talk in millions,
Corman says that many of his films have been made for under $100,000.
He made the original LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, for instance, for
$35,000. Corman is also famous in the industry for giving new talent
their first professional experience. People like Martin Scorsese,
Francis Ford Coppola, Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, John Sayles, Gale
Anne Hurd, Joe Dante, etc.

In HOW I MADE A HUNDRED MOVIES, Corman tells his story, how he got
started, the inside scoop on all of his most famous films, and the
book includes hundreds of anecdotes about the well-known and
interesting people he has worked with. As an unusual extra attraction,
many of those people talk back, giving their particular experience of
Roger Corman in short articles sprinkled throughout the book.

Roger Corman is as engaging and entertaining in print as he is on
film--HOW I MADE A HUNDRED MOVIES IN HOLLYWOOD AND NEVER LOST A DIME
is a really good read for movie fans, Corman fans, and anyone else who
is curious about the business of making movies.

                      **************************

* Are you ready for body-building tots? Late next year Doubleday will
be publishing ARNOLD'S FITNESS FOR KIDS: A GUIDE FOR EXERCISE, HEALTH
AND NUTRITION by Charles Gaines with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Three
versions will be released, targeted at different age groups: 2-7,
8-11, and 12-14.

* If you're interested in the MIA issue, you may want to check out
M.I.A. OR MYTHMAKING IN AMERICA by H. Bruce Franklin, Rutgers
University professor of English and American Studies. We have heard
that the book contends that there are no more MIAs in Southeast Asia;
that the POW/MIA myth was created by the government and aided by
Hollywood movies. If you want to know more, take a look at the 21-page
excerpt from Franklin's book in the December issue of ATLANTIC, or
wait until January when the book hits the bookstores.

* COMIC RELEASE is a biweekly newspaper devoted to alternative comics,
like an expanded version of the comics section of your daily paper,
only entirely different. All you have to do is send them $6 and you'll
get the next 12 issues, or you can just shoot the moon and send $10
for an entire year of bizarre, underground-type comics. They tell me
that unsolicited submissions of manuscripts and artwork are welcome.
Send your contributions or cash to: Comic Release, PO Box 20661,
Seattle, WA 98102.

* If you're feeling flush this Christmas, you might want to consider
the Sony Electronic Book Player, the portable unit that displays texts
that have been encoded on 3" CD-ROMs. It was supposed to go on sale
November 1 1991. The $550 unit comes with book disks for the 26-volume
COMPTON'S CONCISE ENCYCLOPEDIA, the WELLNESS ENCYCLOPEDIA, and the
WORLD TRAVEL TRANSLATOR. Twenty other book disks are available, priced
from $29 to $69. Don't look for the Book Player in bookstores, it's
being sold through electronic retailers only (at least for now).

* Anyone interested in visualization, particularly in the book
VISUALIZATION FOR CHANGE (reviewed in RFP #19) by Patrick Fanning,
should know that Fanning has three visualization audio tapes now,
available from New Harbinger. The titles are: Visualization for
Healing Injuries, Visualization for Curing Infectious Disease, and
Visualization for Shyness. They are $11.95 each. You can reach New
Harbinger Publications by writing to: 5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland,
CA 94609.

* For books about deafness, Sign Language textbooks, and books for
hearing-impaired children, write for a brochure from Gallaudet
University Press, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695.

* Despite the fact that TIME magazine failed with their audio version
last year, more magazines seem to be getting on the audio bandwagon.
BUZZ magazine produced a cassette called THE BEST OF BUZZ which
collects material from the first 3 issues. Look for an audiotape
version of PEOPLE magazine (from Dove Books on Tape) early in 1992.

                      **************************

   See you in Reading For Pleasure #21, coming February 1, 1992