Speculative Fiction Stars

1997: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror Starred Review Titles

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.
dragonTitles are listed by approximate date of publication, then by alpha by author.

Special thanks to Jamey Stegmaier for his outstanding volunteer work and his contributions to this page.


  • The Pure Product
    Kessel, John
    Tor Date: 1997-12 $23.95 ISBN: 0312861176 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    As one of the most highly acclaimed sci-fi writers of the past 15 years, John Kessel's mordant wit and warm insight into the human condition comes to full flower in his short fiction. The Pure Product presents a collection of 16 of his short stories, two poems and an award-winning play.
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog
    Willis, Connie
    Bantam Spectra Date: 1997-12 $23.95 ISBN: 0312861176
    star Publishers Weekly
    It is 1888 and Ned Henry is shuttling between the 1940s and modern day, researching Coventry Cathedral for a patron who wants to rebuild it. But when the time continuum is disrupted, Ned must scramble to set things right.
    Suggested Reading: Time Travel Stars
  • Computer One
    Collins, Warwick
    Marion Boyers Date: 1997-11 $ 24.95 ISBN: 0714530336 Date: 1997
    star Booklist
    As Professor Enzo Yakuda prepares to retire, he is plagued with a nightmare about the annihilation of the entire human race--by Computer One, the international civil computer network.
  • The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium & Discovery
    Gosh, Amitav
    Date: 1997- 10 $ 23 ISBN: 0380975858 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    In a near future New York City, Antar, a low-level programmer, comes across the I.D. card of a man he once knew, who vanished somewhere in Calcutta years before. Murugan, Antar is drawn into a bizarre alternate history of medical science. Eventually Antar and Murugan will stumble upon evidence of an impossible ongoing experiment in controlled destiny.
  • Running With the Demon
    Brooks, Terry
    Fawcett Books Date: 1997-09 $ 25.95 ISBN: 0345379624 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    In a sleepy steel-mill town, the ultimate battle between Good and Evil is about to begin. The brewing conflict draws John Ross, a Knight of the Word, to town. Nightmares tell him that an ancient horror is coming. Caught between them is Nest Freemark, a 14-year-old-girl with the gift. Now the future of humanity depends upon a man haunted by his dreams and a gifted young girl--two who will discover what survives when hope and innocence are shattered forever.
  • The Moon and the Sun
    McIntyre, Vonda
    Pocket Books Date: 1997-09 $ 23.00 ISBN: 0671567659 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly starKirkus
    In 17th-century France, King Louis XIV manages to obtain a rare sea monster. The king considers the shrieking creature to be the key to immortality, but for Marie-Josephe de la Croix, it is something much more. The mysterious sea animal's gaze and haunting cries foretell a different future--one in which Marie-Josephe will find herself challenging her most fundamental loyalties.
    Suggested Reading: Alternate History Stars
  • Finity's End
    Cherryh, C. J.
    Warner Books 1997-08 $ 22.00 ISBN: 0446520721 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    Finity's End is the oldest Merchanter ship in the universe. In an era of spies, pirate traders, and uneasy alliances, the Company Wears are now over, the hunt for the fleet is winding down, and the ship is coming home to reclaim her trade routes. Having lost an entire generation, the youngest crew members, bred and trained for war, must face their most critical battle of all--survival in a time of lasting peace.
  • Days of Cain
    Dunn, J.R.
    Avon 1997-08 $ 23 ISBN: 0380974339 Date: 1997
    starKirkus
    Gaspar James is a "monitor" whose job is to guard the historical integrity of the 24th century. As the story traces its path across millennia, Gaspar is faced with a heartbreaking moral dilemma. An intriguing time travel novel that plunges the reader into a riveting tale of love, life, and the awesome responsiblity of choice.
  • Secret Passages
    Preuss, Paul
    Tor Books 1997-08 $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312863462 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    The author of Broken Symmetries returns from future fiction to the contemporary world to tell a story of cutting-edge science. Set against the colorful backdrop of the island of Crete, Secret Passages tells the story of a revolutionary physics experiment. Earthquakes, love, loss, and the mysterious history of the physicist, Minakis, enhance the novel's fascinating story.
  • Slant
    Bear, Greg
    Tor Books 1997-07 $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312855176 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    In the sixth decade of the 21st century, Earth has been transformed. Nanotechnology has been perfected, giving humans the ability to change their environment and themselves down to the cellular level. And the study of the mind has brought a revolution in human psychotherapy and artificial intelligence. It's a sane and perfect world--almost.
    Suggested Reading: Artificial Intelligence Stars
  • The Art of Arrow Cutting
    Dedman, Stephen
    Tor Books Date: 1997-07 $ 22.95 ISBN: 0312863209 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    In his first full-length work, acclaimed short fiction sci-fi writer Stephen Dedman seamlessly blends taut suspense, myth and magic, and the violence of organized crime into the story of a jaded itinerant photographer who's thrown into the role of hero when he suddenly finds his bleak modern world full of ancient Japanese enchantment.
  • Grail (Pendragon Cycle)
    Lawhead, Stephen R.
    Avon Books Date: 1997-07 $ 24.00 ISBN: 0380975262 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    The eagerly anticipated new "Pendragon" novel from the author of The Dragon King trilogy. Plague has come to Britain and King Arthur, awed by the miraculous healing power of the Grail, is determined to build a shrine for the holy cup. The evil Morgian, Queen of Air and Darkness, however, has other ideas.
  • God's Fires
    Anthony, Patricia
    Ace Books 1997-06 $ 22.95 ISBN: 0441004075 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly starKirkus
    In Portugal, during the Inquisition, a spaceship crash lands. Three creatures emerge from the ship and are captured and imprisoned by the Jesuits. Are they angels or devils? Should they be worshipped or burned at the stake? All of society is divided in this unforgettable novel that asks what we should do in the face of the truly unknown.
  • Distress : A Novel
    Egan, Greg
    Harper Prism 1997-06 $ 21.00 ISBN: 0061052647 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    In his latest novel, the author of "Permutation City" and "Quarantine" creates a fragmented futuristic world where technology and bio-engineering threaten humanity's very existence. The year is 2055, and the world's only hope for survival lies in Violet Mosasa's development of a final Theory of Everything. But whether it will lead to the total destruction of Life As We Know It or the complete remaking of the Universe may be a risk too dangerous to take.
  • Destiny's Road
    Niven, Larry
    Tor Books 1997-06 $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312851227 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    The bestselling, multiple award-winning author of such classics as Ringworld, The Integral Trees, and the popular Man-Kzin Wars series returns with an ambitious work of science fiction set in an all-new world. Jemmy Blocher's serene life in Destiny's small community of Spiral Town is shattered when he kills a laborer in a tavern fight and must flee to an unknown part of the planet to survive.
  • Dogland
    Shetterly, Will
    1997-06 $ 25.95 ISBN: 0312851715 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    Set in Florida in the late 1950s, this "intriguing hybrid of fantasy that mixes life on the streets with magic and glimpses of unworldly beauty" ("Kirkus Reviews") introduces the Nix family who manage to outrage the locals with their tourist attraction, "Dogland", as well as their outspoken beliefs in integration.
  • Spares
    Smith, Michael Marshall
    1997-05 $ 22.95 ISBN: 055310604x Date: 1997
    star Kirkus starBooklist starPublishers Weekly
    For the last five years, Jack Randall has been hiding out on a Spares Farm, working at the only job still available to him: guarding people who have never seen the outside world--people who can't even spell the word "escape". Now Jack is on the run with seven of the Farm's inmates--and the people who own them will do anything to get them back--"anything".
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
  • The Family Tree
    Tepper, Sheri S.
    Avon Books (Trd) 1997-05 $ 23.00 ISBN: 0380974789 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    Police officer Dora Henry is investigating the bizarre murder of three geneticists when the world around her goes crazy. Weeds are becoming trees; trees are becoming forests. Overnight, a city is being transformed into a wild and verdant place inhospitable to what humankind has become. Stranger still, Dora soon discovers she can actually communicate with the rampaging flora, and that the solution to the impending catastrophe lies in a far distant future that is a lot closer than anyone imagines.
  • Bijapur (Blood of the Goddess)
    Dalkey, Kara
    Tor Books Date: 1997-04 $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312860013 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    The second volume in a rich fantasy trilogy set in India in the 1500s, Bijapur follows Thomas, a young English apothecary's apprentice, as he is led by the lovely woman Aditi and his own dark dreams.
  • The Dark Shore (Dominions of Irth)
    Lee, Adam
    Avon Books (Trd) Date: 1997-04 $ 24.00 ISBN: 038097441X Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    A mysterious plague has descended upon the magical world of Irth. Once ruled in peace by the benevolent wizarduke Drev, the Seven Dominions are being smashed one by one by a dark lord and his nightmare hordes of flesh-eating winged cacodemons. Now Drev must find a way to save his world before it's too late. Author Adam Lee makes a stunning debut as a talented fantasy novlist.
  • The Stars Dispose
    Roessner, Michaela
    Tor Books Date: 1997-04 $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312857543 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    Set in Renaissance Florence, this fantasy revolves around the life of Catherine de Medici. The powerful Medicis are served not only by the great houses of Italy, but by servant families bound by oaths and ties of blood. One of these, Cosimo Ruggerio, the Medici astrologer, will become Catherine's chef, the guardian of her hearth; but first they must both survive the war for possession of the city of Florence.
  • Foundation's Fear (Second Foundation Trilogy)
    Benford, Gregory/ Asimov, Isaac Foundation Trilogy
    Harper Prism 1997-03 $ 23.00 ISBN: 0061052434 Date: 1997
    star Booklist starPublishers Weekly starKirkus
    Authorized by the estate of the late Isaac Asimov, one of the most popular science fiction series of all time continues. Hari Seldon has been nominated First Minister by Emperor Cleon. But the appointment complicates Hari's simple life and draws him into the debate over whether or not robot's have souls. FOUNDATION'S FEAR is the first of three new novels written by the brightest stars in contemporary science fictioncombining rousing adventure, intellectual debate and ingenious possibilities.
    Suggested Reading: All Stars
  • Once a Hero
    Moon, Elizabeth
    Baen Books 1997-03 $ 21.00 ISBN: 0671877690 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    From the author of the popular "Heris Serrano" series. Esme just wants a secure berth and to live her life out in peace. Instead she finds herself in the middle of a space battle with the senior surviving officer in a mutiny against a treacherous captain. Suddenly she's the youngest, lowest-ranking member of the fleet ever to win a major battle . . . and she can't help being a heroine.
  • The Black Sun
    Williamson, Jack
    Tor Books 1997-03 $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312859376 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    In the near-future, humankind's Project Starseed uses quantum-wave technology to send colonists to distant star systems. What they discover contains a startling, world-shattering revelation, inspiring a spine-tingling wonder in the endless possibilities of the universe.
  • The Soprano Sorceress (Erde Series)
    Modesitt, L. E., Jr.
    Tor Books Date: 1997-02 25.95 ISBN: 0312860226 Date: 1997
    starKirkus
    Anna Marshall wishes she could be anyplace other than Ames, Iowa, and anything other than a singer and music instructor. But she makes her wish at exactly the wrong time, because on Erde, a travel sorceress has summoned a sorceress from the mist worlds--and instead gets Anna--angry, confused, and thinking that this is not what she had in mind!
  • King's Dragon (Crown of Stars)
    Elliott, Kate
    Daw Books Date: 1997-02 22.95 ISBN: 0886777275 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    In an alternate Europe where bloody conflicts rage and sorcery holds sway, a young man seeking the destiny promised him by the Lady of Battles and a young woman gifted with a power that can alter the course of history are swept up in a world-shaking conflict for the survival of humanity.
  • Black Wine
    Dorsey, Candas Jane
    Tor Books Date: 1997-01 22.95 ISBN: 0312861818 Date: 1997
    star Kirkus
    An ambitious, feminist debut novel in the tradition of Joanna Russ and Suzy McKee Charnas, Black Wine tells of women coming to terms with their identities in a barbarous fantasy world.
  • City on Fire
    Williams, Walter Jon
    Harpercollins 1997-01 $ 22.00 ISBN: 0061052132 Date: 1997
    star Publishers Weekly
    This sequel to Metropolitan finds Constantine in control over a segment of the vast world-city that covers the globe. Aiah, his disciple and somethimes lover, continues to support the man she helped bring to power. But what she discovers is a man who cannot help himself, a man who needs her more that ever, even as she wonders if he is worth helping, yet again.

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

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