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A Man Rides Through. Mordant's Need, Volume II, by Stephen R. Donaldson. New York: A Del Rey Book from Ballantine. 661 pp. $19.95. Tantalized Donaldson fans can now answer the questions raised by ``The Mirror of Her Dreams.'' Will Master Eremis have his way with Teresa? Is Geraden a bumpkin, the King a dotard? Are Myste and Nyle traitors? ``A Man Rides Through'' resolves all the subplots that entangled a heroine trying to heal both herself and a symbolically ``wounded land.'' Translated by the ``mirror imagery'' of Mordant's images to a world that truly needs her, Teresa struggles to distinguish love from lust, loyalty from policy, trust from treachery - and her true self from what other people try to make her into. She discovers the truth about her personal demons as well as the monsters in the mirrors, and the secrets of Elega, Vagel, Gilbur, and Havelock. The author of ``Lord's Foul Bane'' weaves haunting psychological insights and Thurber-like humor into an analogue-world that provides new perspective on old values. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Crazy Time, by Kate Wilhelm. New York: St. Martin's Press. 248 pp. $16.95.

A powerful mainframe lasers a game-playing hacker's hero simulation to atoms - along with a genuine cartoonist in the real line of fire. Dissipated but not destroyed, Corky clings to Lauren, an insecure PhD who saw him vanish but thinks he is a hallucination. Musselman the military castoff declares them a ``commie plot,'' making an odd couple of fugitives indeed out of a psychologist who hates her very tall body and a very short Irishman who no longer has one. The pretensions of Silicon Valley big shots, security goons, and pseudo-shrinks of the Super Consumer persuasion are all afloat in a timeless stream of unifying intellectual consciousness. Like Spider Robinson's ``Time Pressure,'' ``Crazy Time'' postulates a psychic continuum to compensate for the hypertech bed of nails moderns often make themselves lie in. Wilhelm's blend of satire and spiritualism is original and often unsettling serio-comic testimony to her science-fictional drive to go where no woman has gone before. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Orphan of Creation, by Roger McBride Allen. New York: Baen Books. 345 pp. $3.50.

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Admirers of Michael Bishop's acclaimed hominid novel ``No Enemy but Time'' will welcome Allen's paleological exploration of what ``human'' means. A painstaking ``dig'' for historical as well as moral truth takes us to the South (past and present), the Smithsonian, and Africa, to experience both the shock of slavery and the thrill of scholarly discovery. Barbara Marchando is led by the American diary of her own black ancestor to australopithecine bones in the family backyard - and a living ``Orphan of Creation'' in Gabon. Dr. Marchando confronts herself, her colleagues, and her own history as she fights for the rights of a hominid woman time forgot. Allen's plea for perspective in the proper study of humankind gives ethical as well as scientific dimensions to a novel that reminds us that moral and social evolution depends not only on our knowing where we are going, but remembering where we have been. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jack the Giant Killer, by Charles de Lint. New York: Ace Books. 202 pp. $16.95.

``Jack the Giant Killer'' will have the whole family rooting for a contemporary Canadian with speedspells in her sneakers and gentleness in her heart. De Lint's delightful Jacqueline does more than battle ogres: She ends the violent tradition that has always sent the ``Wild Hunt'' out terrorizing - in this instance mounted on nine noisy Harley-Davidsons, wearing motorcycle helmets instead of antlers. The fight she joins is indeed a giant one. Troll-and-bogle power is growing, threatening the positive goodness of faerie. In a humorous meshing of the best from two intercepting worlds, trusty steed Judith (of the vanishing beetle breed Volkswagen) gives a much-needed lift to Jacky and her Swan prince outside a Dairy Queen that is - and is not - in Ottawa. The real magic is the cleverness and courage readers of all ages will find in the heroes and wish for themselves. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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