- Edward S. Aarons, Don't Cry, Beloved. Cold War espionage thriller. Phil Royce is the security chief for a classified military project in the New Mexico desert. A boring job, sure, but it led to his meeting Sarah. But their affair was "an invitation to death and dishonor.' Aaron, best known for the long-running Sam Durell, also penned over thirty standalone thrillers and mysteries, many of them paperback originals.
- "John Benteen" (Ben Haas), Sundance: The Bronco Trail. The sixth book in the adult western series about a "Man of Violence." "The Tucson Ring, a group of greedy business men,. were getting fat on keeping the Indian Wars alive in Arizona Territory. One of their plans was to keep Geronimo on the loose by supplying him with whiskey and ammo. General Crook had a plan to stop them, and Jim Sundance was part of his plan. He said to Jim,'I want you to go to Arizona. I want you to find out who's selling whiskey and guns to Geronimo. I want you to bring Geromino in for good.' The fate of the whole Apache nation hung on the answer Sundance was to give General Crook." Gee, I wonder what the answer was.
- Michael Bishop, editor, Nebula Awards 24. SF anthology. The Nebula Awards are sponsored by The Science Fiction Writers of America for the best science fiction (and fantasy) published in a given year. This edition covers 1988. Here are winners from Connie Willis, George Alec Effinger, and James Morrow, as well as stories from several runners-up, poetry from the Rhysling Award winners of the year, appreciations for 1988's Grand Master Ray Bradbury, along with an original poem by Bradbury, and a number of essays -- including one each memorializing Clifford D. Simak and Robert A. Heinlein. A meaty collection.
- Merle Constiner, Outrage at Bearskin Forks/Short-trigger Man. An "Ace Tall Ten Western," repackaged from two earlier Ace editions.In the first book, Charles Wheeler, a cattle dealer, returned home from a trip to find his young son dead in his table, and both gold and horses missing. Tracks from the scene led to the notorious Simmons Gang. wheeler follows the tracks, bent on revenge. In the second, Watts Denning had hung up his guns six years before to follow the life of a roving bartender. Hired to go Folshee, Montana, to tend bar and to watch over the owner's son, Denning finds a much different -- and deadlier -- situation waiting for him.
- Margaret & John Harris, The Medicine Whip. Western. "Like Primrose, other men had underestimated Bradon's strength without his 20-foot whip. Steve Chard, a ruthless army major, claimed Bradon was a coward without it. When Chard and Bradon made the long hazardous trip to save Fort Gillam from disaster, Chard was out to prove to the world that Bradon was less than a man. And for Chard and Bradon, there was still another prize to battle for -- the lovely Tracy Brown, a girl so spirited that she made the terrifying trip to Fort Gillam with the two men who loved her, and there faced the deadly vengeance of 2,000 savage Indians!"
- Harry Harrison & Malcolm Edwards, Spacecraft in Fact and Fiction. Coffee table book chock full of art and photographs detailing spacecraft as portrayed in proto-science fiction, pulp science fiction, motion pictures, historical photographs, space race photos, and planned, proposed, and imagined space vehicles. The text is pretty good, too.
- Marvin Kaye, The Stein and Day Handbook of Magic. How to be a professional magician in 19
easychapters. (Well, not how I could be a magician, because I am all fumble fingers.) Kaye is perhaps best known as an anthologist and editor, although he has also published some interesting SF and mystery novels.
- Barry Malzberg, Phase IV. Movie tie-in novel. "Is there a creature who could challenge man's supremacy on earth?" (Well, yeah.) "The answer came one hot day when a horde of ants turned a thriving city into a ghost town. Then it was only a matter of time until the final confrontation. The terrible battle pitted the human race against a formidable insect civilization that far surpassed Man's paltry brain and weapons!" A fairly trite premise that made a fairly trite film. I suspect this early Malzberg is not top-notch.
- Robert J. Randisi, Lancaster's Orphans. Western. "It certainly wasn't what Lancaster had expected. When he rode into Council Bluffs, he thought he thought he would just stop at the bar for a beer. How could he know he'd ride right into the middle of a lynching? Lancaster couldn't let an innocent man be hanged, but when the smoke cleared and the lynching was stopped, a bystander lay dying on the ground, caught in the crossfire. With his last breath he asked Lancaster to take care of the people who had been depending on him -- a wagon train filled with women and children on their way to California!" Randisi can always be counted on for a crisp, entertaining story.