The book "Winning Ways" by Berlekamp, Conway, and Guy is finally out.
(A puzzlists' dream - to get 4^3 one day, and Winning Ways the next.)
It seems, on quick scanning, to be all rumor had it to be. It's sort
of a sequel to Conway's "On Numbers and Games", and contains a more
understandable of his Nimbers (Surreal Numbers), with lots of examples
applied to game analysis. There are chapters on many puzzles, including
one on Rubik's Cube. Also included are sliding block puzzles, Instant
Insanity, Life, Sprouts, Polyominoes and Polyiamonds, Wire puzzles,
Chinese Rings, peg jumping, etc, etc. An almost encyclopaedic
collection of puzzles and games (of certain types) from a mathematical
standpoint. With plenty of humor and puns. The only problem is its
price - about $20 for each of the two volumes, in paperback. (When the
hardback comes out later this year, it's supposed to be about $60 per
volume.) The 4 sections are "Spade Work" and "Change of Hearts" in the
first volume (on "Games in General"), and "Games in Clubs" and "Solitaire
Diamonds" (puzzles) in Vol. 2. ("Games in Particular). Academic Press.
Don't miss it.