Off the shelf
Richard Rhodes won a Pulitzer for his tale of the nuclear bomb and its creation, (The Making of the Atomic Bomb). Now he's at it again, this time tackling the story of its successor. In Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb (Simon & Schuster $320), Rhodes looks at how the scientists set about their task, the political and military manoeuvring behind the scenes to control the ever-more powerful arsenal and the effect of a weapon, 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, on world events.
Photographs show the frightening power of the bomb, including a mock-up of its impact on Manhattan (a five-kilometre fireball; all five of New York City's boroughs destroyed) and a real shot of the obliteration of the island of Eulugelab.
Out in paperback is Moo, the latest work by Jane Smiley (Flamingo $84), another Pulitzer recipient. Smiley, who specialises in putting America's Mid-Western psyche on the couch, took the prize for A Thousand Acres, a modern-day version of King Lear set among the cornfields. Here, she focuses on academic life, taking a wry look at the happenings at Moo University, which is located, naturally, in the US heartland.
Outing Yourself by Michelangelo Signorile (Abacus $119) is a guide to those wanting to tell friends, relatives or work-mates that they are gay. It begins with the need for self-recognition, moves on to meeting other gay people and then suggests how best to let other people know. Signorile devotes the introduction to explaining why coming out can be beneficial to both self-esteem and confidence.
Richard Bach, author of the successful Jonathan Livingston Seagull, has put a warning in the front of his work, Running From Safety (Dell $70), telling readers he won't be responsible 'for personal or family catastrophes' which may occur if his ideas are taken on board by others. That said, he takes off for an encounter with himself, aged nine, in which his older, experienced self tries to teach the younger version his discoveries about life.
Those more concerned with outward rather than inward dimensions may relate to Olivia Goldsmith and Amy Fine Collins' cry that being Simple Isn't Easy (HarperCollins $72) when it comes to clothes. The two authors set out to show how wonders can be achieved with the right accessories, grooming and advice.
The Governor II (Pan $78) sees Lynda LaPlante's female prison chief, Helen Hewitt, back in action. This book of the television series finds Hewitt, last seen departing Barfield Prison, called in to help the new head deal with a tricky hostage situation.
Fantasy authors Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon sally forth with The White Gryphon (Millennium $60), the second book of the Mage Wars. A healer goes wild, an event which promises to upset life for the rest of the characters.