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Del Rey Internet Newsletter, Issue #97 Number 99 (April 2001)

WHAT'S NEW IN THE STORES THE SKIES OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey. Hardcover. (SS) It is a time of hope and regret, of endings and beginnings. The Red Star, that celestial curse whose eccentric orbit was responsible for Thread, has been shifted to a harmless orbit, and the current Threadfall will be the last. Technological marvels are changing the face of life on Pern. And the dragonriders, led by F'lessan, son of F'lar and Lessa and rider of bronze Golanth, and Tia, rider of green Zaranth, must forge a new place for themselves in a world that may no longer need them. But change is not easy for everyone. There are those who will stop at nothing--not even violence--to keep Pern and its people pure. And now a brand-new danger looms from the skies . . . and threatens a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. Also, available in e-book format STAR WARS: THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO ALIEN SPECIES by Ann Margaret Lewis. Trade paperback. (SWS) An astonishing testament to the power of human imagination, the STAR WARS epic has become perhaps the most captivating myth of modern times. Now comes the first detailed look at more than 150 of the most fascinating alien species that inhabit this vast galaxy. Who these creatures are, how others see them, how they evolved, where they can be found . . . it's all here- thoroughly brilliantly illustrated, and packed with surprising facts. BLADE OF TYSHALLE by Matthew Stover. Trade paperback. (CS) Six years ago, Ma'elkoth--a god of Overworld--held Pallas Ril in grip. Earth's ruling elite wanted her dead. Caine swore he would said he didn't have a chance. They were wrong. He sacrificed his researched, his merciless save her. They career as Caine

to crush Pallas Ril's enemies and bring her home. Now Hari Michaelson is the only man who stands between the soulless corporate masters of Earth and the green hills of Overworld. Caine's victory over Ma'elkoth opened a door between the worlds, and the faceless masses of Earth are killing everything he loves. Enemies old and new array themselves against him. And Hari's not even Caine anymore. He's just one man--alone, half-crippled, powerless. They say he doesn't have a chance. They are wrong . . . STAR WARS: THE NEW JEDI ORDER: EDGE OF VICTORY: CONQUEST by J. Gregory Keyes. Paperback. (SS) No longer content with the destruction the Yuuzhan Vong have already sown, Warmaster Tsavong Lah has demanded the heads of all the Jedi. Now the Jedi Knights are in terrible danger--and none more so than the young students at the Jedi Academy on Yavin 4. Already the sympathizers known as the Peace Brigade are in the Yavin system--and a Yuuzhan Vong fleet is not far behind. At Luke Skywalker's request, Talon Karrde mounts an expedition to rescue the young students. Anakin Solo has his own ideas. Impatient, and figuring that forgiveness is easier to come by than permission, he takes off for Yavin 4 in his X-wing. When it comes to confidence, courage, and raw Force talent, Anakin has few peers. But when his friend Tahiri is separated from the other academy kids and captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, even Anakin may be in over his head. For the aliens have a different future in mind for Tahiri, and they will stop at nothing

to achieve their horrific ends . . . STARFIST: HANGFIRE: BOOK VI by David Sherman and Dan Cragg. Paperback. (CE) Most people will visit Havanagas only in their dreams, for few can afford the exclusive resort planet that recreates ancient worlds and caters to every taste. Witches are burned at the stake in medieval towns while riotous hordes fill Rome's Coliseum to watch gladiators battle. Even the basest of human lusts are satiated by deadly sex acts and a thriving slave trade. The crime bosses' control of Havanagas and its people is brutally effective. Now three Marines from Co. L's 3rd Platoon--masquerading as discharged military buddies on holiday--are going in to break the kingpins' bloody stranglehold. From bordellos and rebellious enclaves to the very pit of the Coliseum filled with deadly beasts, Corporal Pasquin and Lance Corporals Claypoole and Dean face certain death with only their wits and skills as weapons. But they're Marines, built to survive. . . . MORTALIS by R. A. Salvatore. Paperback. (SS) The long struggle is over at last. The demon dactyl is no more, its dark sorceries shattered by the gemstone magic wielded by the woman known as Pony. But victory did not come easily. Many lives were lost, including Pony's lover, the elf-trained ranger Elbryan Wynden. Yet despite the dactyl's demise, the kingdom still seethes in the same cauldron of plots and machinations. Was it for this, Pony wonders, that her beloved gave his life? Assailed by grief and doubt, Pony retreats to the northern lands where she and Elbryan once shared their brief happiness. There, among old friends, her wounded spirit can begin to heal. Then a deadly sickness appears suddenly among the people of Corona. Only Pony, with her supreme magical abilities, can heal the victims . . . or so she believes. But the plague resists her as if possessed of a malevolent strength and intelligence all its own. Now Pony must undertake a pilgrimage that will test her powers--and her faith--as never before. Watchful eyes follow her: The eyes of the elves, who have stolen something precious from her and keep it for their own mysterious purposes. And the eyes of the man she hates above all else: Marcalo De'Unnero, the villain responsible for Elbryan's death . . . who would desire nothing more than to lead Pony down that same treacherous path to destruction. DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey. Paperback. Reissue.(SS) After ten long Turns, Lessa is ready to come out of hiding, to reclaim her birthright . . . and to impress the young dragon queen and become Weyrwoman of Benden. Suddenly the deadly silver Thread once again threatens all Pern with destruction. But the mighty telepathic dragons that had defended Pern for centuries are now few in number, not nearly enough to protect the planet in its hour of greatest peril. So Lessa hatches a daring and dangerous scheme: rally support from people who long ago ceased to exist . . . DRAGONQUEST by Anne McCaffrey. Paperback. Reissue.(SS) Another Turn, and the deadly silver Thread continues to fall. So the bold dragonriders take to the air once more and their magnificent flying dragons swirl and swoop, breathing flames that destroy the shimmering strands before they reach the ground. But Weyrleader F'lar knows he must find a better way to protect his beloved Pern before the rebellious Oldtimers can breed any more dissent . . . before his brother F'nor is foolhardy enough to launch another suicide mission . . . and before those dratted fire-lizards can stir up any more disastrous trouble . . . THE WHITE DRAGON by Anne McCaffrey. Paperback. Reissue.(SS)

Never has there been as close a bond as the one that exists between the daring and adventurous young Lord Jaxom and his extraordinary white dragon, Ruth. Pure white and incredibly agile, Ruth is a dragon of many talents, though almost everyone on Pern thinks he is a runt that will never amount to anything. But Jaxom knows better, knows he can teach his dragon to fly and to destroy the deadly silver Thread that falls from the sky. Disobeying all rules, Jaxom and Ruth train in secret. Their illicit flights seem but a minor disobedience--until they find themselves in the path of danger and in a position to prevent the biggest disaster of all . . . DEL REY NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS WIN A FREE PALM PILOT AND AN ANNE MCCAFFREY EBOOK Win a free Palm Pilot and an Anne McCaffrey ebook! Palm Digital Media Group and Del Rey Books are sponsoring a promotion for Anne McCaffrey fans. Just go to and enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a Palm 3C, pre-loaded with a copy of McCaffrey's newest novel, THE SKIES OF PERN, in Palm Reader ebook. If you wish to read more ebooks on your PDAs go to to download the free Palm Reader software. Please forward this to your friends, we want everyone to enter! 10 DRIN READERS SELECTED TO READ AND REVIEW BLADE OF TYSHALLE! The following DRIN readers have been randomly selected to read and review BLADE OF TYSHALLE by Matthew Stover: Brian McGoldrick, Andreas Guldstrand, Steven Hay, Karen Daniels, Tim Lynd, Renee Taylor, Paul Gada, Jerri Mooney, John Terry and Dennis Cox. Reviews will be published in the May issue of the DRIN. CHINA MIVILLE'S RUNNING FOR BRITISH PARLIAMENT China Miville is running for British Parliament as the official candidate of his district for the Socialist Alliance. He has also been nominated for the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award in England and the 2000 British Science Fiction Award for PERDIDO STREET STATION. Click here to read an excerpt from PERDIDO STREET STATION. DEL REY DIGITAL WRITING WORKSHOP Science Fiction and Fantasy writers--sharpen your skills online. Join the FREE Del Rey Digital Writing Workshop: DRIN IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS The DRIN is available on your Palm Pilot, Visor, and Windows CE Devices. Go to for more information, or visit and search for the Books@Random channel. The DRIN is available in HTML format. Send a blank e-mail to:

WORKS IN PROGRESS: Changes, Additions, Updates Del Rey will publishe DAVID AND LEIGH EDDINGS next novel REGINA'S SONG, a supernatural thriller. CHINA MIVILLE turned in his manuscript for his next book. The current title is THE SCAR. It takes place in the same world as PERDIDO STREET STATION.

SIGNINGS, READINGS, CONVENTION ATTENDANCE BY DEL REY AUTHORS LARRY NIVEN and JOHN PHELAN will be attending NORWESCON 24 April 12-15 in Seattle, Washington. For more info visit the Convention Web site at STEPHEN BAXTER will be attending PARAGON/EASTERCON April 13-16 in Leicestershire, England. For more info visit the Convention Web site at KEVIN J. ANDERSON will be attending the BLACK HILLS WRITERS CONFERENCE April 20-22 in Rapid City, South Dakota. JACK CHALKER will be attending CONCOCTION April 20-22 in Moberly, Missouri. GREG BEAR will be attending the NEBULA AWARDS April 27-29 in Westwood, California. For more information visit the SFWA Web Site at

LATEST EXCERPTS ONLINE Sample chapters of most of our books since January 1995 are available online. This month's books are THE WOLF KING by Alice Borchardt, PERDIDO STREET STATION by China Mieville, PAVANE by Keith Roberts,PEGASUS IN SPACE by Anne McCaffrey, and BABYLON 5: THE PASSING OF THE TECHNO-MAGES: BOOK I: CASTING SHADOWS by Jeanne Cavelos. A sample chapter archive is available on the Del Rey Web site ( Sample chapters for our more recent titles will be in the Books@Random online catalog (


APRIL 2001: THE SKIES OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey (SF) 0-345-43468-4 Hardcover, 448 pp.; cover art by Les Edwards; SS editor STAR WARS: ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO ALIEN SPECIES by Ann Margaret Lewis (SF) 0-345-44220-2 Trade Paperback, 240 pp.; SWS editor BLADE OF TYSHALLE by Matthew Stover (F) 0-345-42144-2 Trade Paperback, 736 pp.; cover art by Dave McKean; CS editor STAR WARS: THE NEW JEDI ORDER: EDGE OF VICTORY: CONQUEST by J. Gregory Keyes (SF) 0-345-42864-1 Paperback, 292 pp.; cover art by Terese Nielsen; SS editor STARFIST: HANGFIRE: BOOK VI by David Sherman and Dan Cragg (SF) 0-345-43592-3 Paperback, 352 pp.; cover art by Jean Targete; KYL editor MORTALIS by R. A. Salvatore (F) 0-345-43042-5 Paperback, 576 pp.; cover art by Keith Parkinson; SS editor DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey (SF) 0-345-33546-5 Reprint, 320 pp.; cover art by Mychael Maier; SS editor DRAGONQUEST by Anne McCaffrey (SF) 0-345-33508-2

Reprint, 352 pp.; cover art by Mychael Maier; SS editor THE WHITE DRAGON by Anne McCaffrey (SF) 0-345-34167-8 Reprint, 480 pp.; cover art by Mychael Maier; SS editor

MAY 2001: HELL ON EARTH by Michael Reaves (F) 0-345-42335-6 Hardcover, 288 pp.; jacket design by David Stevenson; SS editor ACENDANCE: BOOK ONE IN THE SECOND DEAMONWARS SAGA by R.A. Salvatore (F) 0-345-43040-9 Hardcover, 448 pp.; cover art by Keith Parkinson; SS editor THE BEST MILITARY SCIENCE FICTION OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY with Harry Turtledove and Martin Greenberg, editors (AH) 0-345-43989-9 Trade Paperback, 544 pp.; jacket design by David Stevenson; SWS editor STAR WARS: ROGUE PLANET by Greg Bear (SF) 0-34543540-0 Paperback, 352 pp.; jacket design by David Stevenson; SS editor MIDNIGHT FALCON by David Gemmell (F) 0-345-43236-3 Paperback, 448 pp.; cover art by Doug Beekman; SWS editor

JUNE 2001: REUNION: A PIP AND FLINX NOVEL by Alan Dean Foster (SF) 0-345-41867-0 Hardcover, 336 pp.; cover art by Robert Hunt; CS editor STAR WARS: CLOAK OF DECEPTION by James Luceno (SF) 0-345-44298-9 Hardcover, 352 pp.; cover illustrations by Steven D. Anderson; SS editor THE HOBBIT: The Graphic Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien; adapted by Charles Dixon with Sean Deming; Illustrated by David Wenzel (F) 0-345-44560-0 Trade Paperback, 144 pp.; cover art by Donato Giancola; KYL editor PROSPERO'S CHILDREN by Jan Siegel (F) 0-345-44143-5 Paperback, 352 pp.; cover art by Tom Kidd; CS editor DIRGE: BOOK TWO OF THE FOUNDING OF THE COMMONWEALTH by Alan Dean Foster (SF) 0-345-41863-8 Paperback, 304 pp.; cover art by Mark Harrison; CS editor EMPIRE OF UNREASON by J.Gregory Keyes (F) 0-345-40610-9 Paperback, 416 pp.; cover art by Terese Nielsen; SWS editor

THE MISTS OF AVALON by Marion Zimmer Bradley (F) 0-345-35049-9 Reissue, 896 pp.; cover art by Braldt Bralds; CS editor THE SILMARILLION by J.R.R. Tolkien (F) 0-345-32581-8 Reissue, 480 pp.; cover art by Michael Dringenberg; KYL editor

JULY 2001: RAVENHEART by David Gemmell (F) 0-345-43226-6 Hardcover, 416 pp.; cover art by John Ennis; SWS editor CHILDHOOD'S END by Arthur C. Clarke (Impact) 0-345-44405-1 Trade Paperback, 256 pp.; cover design by David Stevenson; CS editor THE SHADOWS OF GOD by J. Gregory Keyes (AH) 0-34543904-X Trade Paperback, 320 pp.; cover art by Terese Nielsen; SWS editor GREAT WAR:BREAKTHROUGHS by Harry Turtledove (AH) 0-345-40564-1 Paperback, 624 pp.; cover art by George Pratt; SWS editor STAR WARS: THE NEW JEDI ORDER: BALANCE POINT by Kathy Tyers (SF) 0-345-2858-7 Paperback, 384 pp.; cover art by Cliff Nielsen; SS editor BABYLON 5: THE PASSING OF THE TECHNO-MAGES: SUMMONING LIGHT by Jeanne Cavelos (SF) 0-345-42722-X Paperback, 368 pp.; cover art by Ashley Wood; SWS editor

AUGUST 2001: THE DRAGON CHARMER by Jan Siegel (F) 0-345-43902-3 Hardcover, 352 pp.; cover art by Tom Kidd; CS Editor AMERICAN EMPIRE: BLOOD AND IRON by Harry Turtledove (AH) 0-345-40565-X Hardcover, 512 pp.; cover design by Big Dot Design; SWS editor THE STAR WARS GALACTIC PHRASE BOOK & TRAVEL GUIDE by Ben Burtt (SF) 0-345-44074-9 Trade Paperback, 192 pp.; cover art by Warren Fu, ILM Art Department ; SWS editor STAR WARS: THE NEW JEDI ORDER: EDGE OF VICTORY: REBIRTH by J. Gregory Keyes (SF) 0-345-44610-0 Paperback, 304 pp.; cover art by Terese Nielsen; SS editor WIT'CH WAR by James Clemens (F) 0-345-41710-0

Paperback, 560 pp.; cover art by Alan Pollack; SWS editor This month we have two feature articles: * THE PHYSICS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey * Matthew Stover talks about his latest work, BLADE OF TYSHALLE THE PHYSICS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey Did Anne McCaffrey plan the physics of Pern or did it develop along the way? Here's her response: The Physics of Pern -- ah, yes, well, they have been developed by Dr. Jack Cohen of Warwick University in DRAGONSDAWN and ALL THE WEYRS OF PERN and they are basically Newtonian physics and/or biology in which Jack holds both a Ph.D and a D.Sc. He is also a generalist and was able to correct some of my basic errors which were legion. I satisfied the science requirement at Radcliffe by taking cartography. (Although I did not know at that point in my life, that this would be a valuable asset in my life's work, nonetheless being able to develop a map of new worlds has been extremely valuable). Even expert Karen Wynn Fonstad, whom I helped with details in the Atlas of Pern, remarked that most of my suppositions about Pernese terrain jibed well with what was geologically possible. A case of the subconscious running with an idea in the best possible directions. To Jack Cohen, I owe the biology of Pern, especially of the dragons and the fire-lizards who supplied the genetic material used to create -- by a special and now-unknown process of the alien race, the Eridani, the dragons of Pern. (You can't just breed large examples of a species to other large examples and keep increasing the size in a few generations.) He also figured out how to decimate the malignant and possibly dangerous life-forms that inhabited the Oort Cloud with the zebedees (his name and creation, a creature that replicates itself despite its environment). I had, you see, backed myself into a corner in THE WHITE DRAGON, because there was no way the present day population of Pern could eradicate the mycorrhizoid Thread life form without the help of the original colonists. It was my notion to have a voice address artificial intelligence unit--AIVAS--as part of the settlers' equipment and for the present day Pernese to discover this device and learn from it. I might have been ahead of the game in suggesting such a computer in l970 but current computer techniques indicate that such a device--an artificial intelligence system--is within the realm of possibility. What I desperately needed was a system by which my Pernese generation could access the technology left by their progenitors so that they could actively fight Thread and honor the Weyrleader's vow to end the Threat of the Red Star forever. Jack was ingenious in working out details from me that would forward this ambition. For instance, how the colony ships were powered. And he figured out that, in order to move such a mass as a planet, there would need to be several attacks on it: he utilized the draconic ability to move between time as well as place. And also set up the zebedees to be sure that the mycorrhizoid spore did not again leave the Oort Cloud. According to the Hoyle-Wickramansingh theory (to which Jack does not personally subscribe but was willing to use as a mechanism in the story) about Oort clouds, many organisms might lurk within such an astronomical features as well as embryonic cometary masses and it would be as well to disseminate a killer virus in the cloud to prevent any recurrence of Thread or similar nebular virii. So, as far as the physics of Pern is discussed by me in the books, it is legitimate even if it hasn't happened elsewhere. Jack was adamant that I give a

logical explanation of as much as I could because then people are more apt to trust you when you come to the improbable. It's much easier to describe Pern as Earth-like in many aspects and that is quite legitimate, too, especially now that we have discovered other star systems do have Earth-type planets around their primaries. I try to have some basis for even the most drastic suggestions I make. However, I went to the source, as it were, for correct astronomical date for the latest Pern book, THE SKIES OF PERN, by asking Dr. Steven M. Beard of Edinburgh Observatory and Scott Manley of the Armagh Observatory for substantiating facts in deploying a Fireball above and into Pern. I went up to Armagh, also meeting Dr. Bill Napier, author of NEMESIS, and other members of the observatory staff to see Scott's Cosmic Impact Program from which he directed Pern's fire-ball. Coincidentally, Earth itself had a Near Earth Object scare about the time I finished writing the manuscript and many concerned scientists are watching the rather busy skies near our planet to identify and forewarn of other close encounters with NEO's and PHA ( possibly hazardous asteroids). Such movies as DEEP IMPACT and ARMAGEDDON gave me visual evidences of such a disaster but the dragons of Pern are unusually designed to help mitigate the worst effects of such a catastrophe. The thrust of THE SKIES OF PERN, the need for the inhabitants to become more aware of their spatial environment and the critical need to set up additional observatories to help prevent a recurrence of such a Cosmic Impact, is as modern and timely as the one currently in operation on Earth, even if it requires the dragons of Perns to implement. So, to the query : "Did I plan the physics of Pern or did it develop along the way?' the answer, "I didn't plan, it did develop along the usual lines for any Earth-type planet and I dragged in whatever experts I needed to substantiate any unusual actions or positing." People want Pern to be believable: I've tried to make it logical as well. I also hope that the general attitude of the Pern People within the books has reflected their growing awareness of science and technology which I tried to infer by their less restricted vocabulary and general acceptance of their historical origins. Matthew Stover talks about his latest work, BLADE OF TYSHALLE, a hard- hitting action/adventure set against a fantasy backdrop. I'm writing this article because I want to sell you a book. That's truth. So is this: I want to sell you a book is code for I want to tell you a story. The story I want to tell you is called BLADE OF TYSHALLE. Listen to a friend of mine from this story. His name's Deliann. "You've guessed by now that what you are seeing is a Fantasy -- what humans call 'illusion.' There will be those who will try to tell you that Fantasy is the opposite of reality, that it is the same as lies . . . that it is a lie because it is a Fantasy. I tell you this is not so. "It is the greatest gift of my people, that we can bring our dreams to life for other eyes. Fantasy is a tool; like any tool, it may be used poorly, or well. At its best, Fantasy reveals truths that cannot be shown any other way." Truth is part of what BLADE OF TYSHALLE's about. It's also about this: Nothing in the world is as simple as people say it is. When you're a kid, people tell you that life is pretty much a straight-up either/or. You're good or you're bad, right? Sick or healthy. Popular, or a loser. You are, or are not, Tall Enough to Go on This Ride. As you get older, the same people want to keep you thinking like a kid: they want you to think things are simple. Straightforward. Obvious. You're one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. Republican or Democrat, Labor or Tory, part of the solution or part of the problem. A success, a failure. Innocent or guilty.

Saved, or damned. Most of them are people you trust: Your parents. Your teachers. Your bosses. Your prime ministers and presidents. Your priests and ministers, imams and rabbis. You only really start to grow up when you realize that most of them are fooling themselves, and the rest are lying to you. BLADE OF TYSHALLE is about why they lie. It's about a lot of other things, too. It's about love, murder, blood and tears. It's about mortal gods and immortal men. It's about courage and madness, revenge and reunions, disease and darkness and death. It's about the cost of doing business. It's about the trouble with happy endings, and why the gods answer our prayers. It's about all the ways everything is connected to everything else, about the freedom found in prisons, about the power of names, the beauty of scars, and why we make stories of our lives. It's about a war. A personal war: one man against the world. The man's name is Hari Michaelson. Most people call him Caine. Some call him the Right Hand of Death: the Blade of Tyshalle. Because, as a rule, one man against a world doesn't have a chance. But this is Caine's war, and there are no rules. --copyright 2001 by Matthew Stover

[The Del Rey Internet Newsletter is copyright 2001 by Del Rey Books, except for the IN DEPTH section, which is copyright by the author. The DRIN may be reproduced only in its entirety, and not for profit.] To subscribe: send a blank message to To unsubscribe: send a blank message to Messages must be sent from the relevant e-mail address (the one you want to subscribe or unsubscribe). To change your subscription address: unsubscribe with your old address, then subscribe with your new one. The DRIN is now available on for your Palm Pilot, Visor, and Windows CE devices--go to for more information, or visit and search for the Books@Random channel.