New fiction for February:
• "Dark Passage," by Junius Podrug. Time is ripped open in Israel and terrorists slip through the gap into the past. Their mission is to stop one of history's pivotal events, the Crucifixion. Three people are sent to stop them and land in an ancient era in which the Israelites are ruled by a mad and murderous queen. Each group has its own agenda, tools, and weapons. Who will win?
• "Jane Austen in Boca," by Paula Marantz Cohen. Here is the social dance, rewritten for modern times, with the eligible retired instead of the eligible gentry dancing. Thanks to her daughter-in-law, Carol, May finds her lonely life invaded by newly-available (and wealthy) Norman. While he's romancing her, her friends are being scouted by other eligible men of various types, and her best friend's niece is trying to catch it all for her film class.
• "The Tapestries," by Kien Nguyen. Based on the author's grandfather's life in Vietnam, this is a tale of treachery, betrayal and love. When Dan is six, he is married to a much older woman who is much more his big sister than his wife. Within the year, he is orphaned by the mayor of his village, and sold into servitude to the mayor's family by his wife. Though the mayor is the one who had his father killed, Dan finds himself in love with the mayor's granddaughter, the one woman he has no chance of ever marrying.
• "The Speed of Dark," by Elizabeth Moon. Lou lives in a world where birth defects of all sorts are corrected before their bearer is born. He is among the last to have been born carrying a genetic disorder, and lives a meaningful and comfortable life despite his autism. When a cure becomes available, societal pressure comes down hard on Lou, but he hesitates. How much of his self is his autism? Should he take the cure?
• "The Ballad of Johnny Sosa," by Mario Delgado Aparain. Johnny Sosa is a black musician in a small town in Uruguay when he is noticed by the local military leader, who turns Johnny into a useful tool for the dictatorship. While Johnny imagines the best possible future - singing at a national festival, being discovered, and becoming famous and successful - his friends are disappearing one-by-one, and soon Johnny is faced with the horrific consequences of his choices and ambitions.
• "The Adventures of Miles and Isabel," by Tom Gilling. Miles' mother is an actress who goes into labor on stage; Isabel is born that same day at the same theater to a playgoer who is a witness to what is, in 1856 Australia, a very scandalous event. The lives of the two children are separated by social convention but are strangely convergent, and when they finally meet as adults, romance blooms.
• "Dear Mr. President," by Gabe Hudson. This collection of stories, centered on American soldiers in the Gulf War, finds the absurdity as well as the tragedy in the effects of post-traumatic stress syndrome, biological warfare and yoga on soldiers and their families. Meet Lance Corporal Laverne, who discovers he's growing an ear on his torso, and the cross-dressing soldier whose dead daughter tries to save him so her mother won't be left alone.
• "Archangel Protocol," by Lyda Morehouse. In a future where everyone who can afford to be is cybernetically connected directly to the LINK, Deidre McMannus has had her connection taken away for a crime she didn't commit. No LINK, no job; no job, no money. So Deidre, once a police detective, is scrounging for P.I. work. And she gets offered the job of a lifetime - exposing the newly-emerging Cybernet Angels as fakes pushing a political agenda. She's the perfect person to do it; after all, she's already been excommunicated. But what if the angels are real?
If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site (www.juneau.lib.ak.us/library) and looking at our catalog.