FICTION Cale , by Sylvia Wilkinson (Algonquin, $11.95; hardcover, $21.95). This novel about a small-town North Carolina family first appeared in 1970 but received very little critical attention. Algonquin Press, in Chapel Hill, is reissuing it, revised and shortened, in an effort to "revise a bit of history and to help restore an author to a position in our literary life that . . . she merits but has been denied," as editor Louis D. Rubin writes. The story, set in the 1940s and 1950s, concerns the responses of the Jenkins family, in particular young Cale Jenkins, to the tremendous changes afooot in the South at that time. Love Always , by Ann Beattie (Vintage, $5.95). Various creative types -- magazine writers, photographers, and such -- from New York summer in Vermont, where they are, as always, incredibly modish. The author, in this, her third novel, captures them mercilessly. Here Maureen, the hostess of a dinner party, watches a guest, Lucy, a woman she suspects of being her husband's lover: "Lucy had a way of looking around, taking it all in very quickly, as if hidden cameras were photographing her, every firefly a potential flashbulb. She saw Maureen and lit up with a flawlessly perfect smile. If Maureen had been Lucy's orthodontist, she would have be proud." NONFICTION Tent Life in Siberia , by George Kennan (Peregrine Smith/Gibbs M. Smith, $14.95). George Kennan, born in 1845, was one of those globetrotting 19th-century American journalists -- H.M. Stanley, of Africa fame, was another. Kennan adopted Russia, wrote the definitive study in English of the Imperial Russian penal colonies, Siberia and the Exile System, and was a member of the Russo-American Telegraph Company Siberian exploration party from 1865-1868. This brilliant adventure narrative is the result. First published in 1879, it is here republished for the first time. Kennan (a distant relative of the noted present-day diplomat and historian) writes of the excitement of sledding into the vast whiteness of Siberia, a place of astonishing beauty but one unforgiving of human error. A colorful gallery of pre-revolution characters is introduced. Not as well-known as Stephen's Incidents of Travel in Yucatan or Francis Parkman's Oregon Trail, it is nevertheless one of the great American travel books. Give Us Each Day: The Diary of Alice Dunbar-Nelson edited by Gloria T. Hull (Norton, $8.95). Best known as the wife of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alice Dunbar-Nelson was also a writer of essays, poems and stories, as well as editing a newspaper in Wilmington, Del., with her second husband, Robert J. Nelson. In the '20s she kept a diary, recording both the public and private events in her life. While raising six children (her two stepchildren and her sister's four) she led a busy life as political activist and newswoman. According to the editor, hers is only the second diary of a black woman ever published. SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY Delirium's Mistress , by Tanith Lee (DAW, $3.95). Readers intrigued by Tanith Lee's work (see the review of her collected stories on page 4) will find her imagination at full throttle in this novel, the latest installment of the "Tales from the Flat Earth." Sensuous, decadent, Beckford-like fantasies, these tales focus on the Arabian Nights-style adventures of various Lords of Darkness, mages, poets, witch-queens and priestesses; the admired earlier novels are Death's Master, Night's Master, and Delusion's Master. Dark Valley Destiny: The Life of Robert E. Howard , by L. Sprague de Camp, Catherine Crook de Camp and Jane Whittington Griffin (Bluejay, $9.95). In his diaries from the '30s that strange recluse Arthur Inman writes of devouring the pulp fiction of Robert E. Howard, while lamenting that such a thrilling writer would soon be forgotten. As with many things, Inman was wrong: Howard has come to be regarded as a master of swashbuckling adventure, his stories comparable in influence to those of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, and his major creation -- Conan the Barbarian -- an emblematic warrior of modern heroic fantasy. This definitive biography not only presents Howard's life and death -- he committed suicide in his early thirties -- but charts his writing career and analyzes most of his major fiction. Terry Carr's Best Science Fiction of the Year, No. 15 , edited by Terry Carr (TOR, $3.50). Of three annnual collections -- the others are edited by Donald Wollheim and Gardner Dozois -- Carr's offers a selection that cannot be beat for the price: Here are John Crowley's "Snow," Michael Bishop's sf-horror story, "A Gift from the Graylanders," James Tiptree Jr.'s "The Only Neat Thing To Do," and work from Robert Silverberg, Ian Watson, Lucius Shepard, and Connie Willis. Finally, fans of Howard Waldrop (turn to page 4 for a review of his collected stories) will find here his latest marvel, "Flying Saucer Rock & Roll."