Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : August-September
+ Banker, Ashok K. : Prince of Ayodhya(Warner Aspect 0-446-53092-1, $24.95, 389pp, hc, August 2003, jacket illustration Paul Gregory, jacket design Don Puckey)
First US edition (UK: Orbit, February 2003).
Fantasy novel based on the ancient Indian epic The Ramayana; the first US/UK publication by a Bombay-based writer who's already published several novels in India. The publisher's site has this excerpt and interview. Reviewed by Carolyn Cushman in the forthcoming October 2003 issue of Locus Magazine.
* Doctorow, Cory : A Place So Foreign and Eight More: Stories(Four Walls Eight Windows 1-56858-286-2, $13.95, 243pp, tpb, September 2003, cover design Jerry Engelbach)
Collection of 9 stories by the author of 2003 first novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, including signature first sale "Craphound" and last year's "Ownz0red", first published by Salon. Introduction by Bruce Sterling, with story introductions by the author. Amazon has the PW review. The author has this page about the book, which can mostly be downloaded for free, and which quotes Faren Miller's review in the September 2003 issue of Locus Magazine. The publisher has this page about the book.
* Freeman, T. A. : Gray Areas(Visibility Unlimited Publications 0-9744954-0-9, $4.95, 59pp, chap, June 2003)
Collection of 6 horror stories, 3 of which were first published in House Carfax magazine in 1989 and 1990; the other 3 are apparently original. The author is a consulting archaeologist and technical writer. Can be purchased in print or as an ebook from this page, which links to excerpts.
(First edition Titan, 1993)
Nonfiction guide to the life and works of Douglas Adams, first published in 1988, revised in 1993, and now revised and updated again to cover Adam's death in 2001 and his posthumous publications. The title page notes "additional material by David K. Dickson & MJ Simpson". The author (of course) has become at least as popular and well-regarded as his subject. There's a new, July 2003, Foreword by Gaiman. Appendices include the original synopsis for 'The Hitchhiker's Guide..", variant text, comments on characters by Adams, and more. The publisher's site has this page about Neil Gaiman's books.
* Lange, Sue : Tritcheon Hash(Metropolis Ink 0-9580543-8-x, $14.95, 228pp, tpb, 2003, jacket design Joel Basco)
Satiric SF novel about a test pilot sent on a mission to save the Earth. There's a cover blurb by John Grant. The publisher has this page about the book, with this link to a free PDF ebook version, this extract, and this author info. Amazon has reader reviews.
* Nicholson, Scott : The Harvest(Pinnacle 0-7860-1579-9, $5.99, 383pp, pb, September 2003)
Horror/SF novel in which an alien entity lands in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, by the author whose first novel was last year's Stoker nominated The Red Church. (And he was the Writers of the Future Grand Prize winner in 1999.) Amazon has several enthusiastic reader reviews. The author's website, The Haunted Computer, includes a synopsis and excerpt. Reviewed by Tim Pratt in the September 2003 issue of Locus Magazine.
* Stephenson, Neal : Quicksilver(Morrow 0-380-97742-7, $27.95, 927pp, hc, September 2003, jacket design Richard L. Aquan)
Historical novel about science, first of a trilogy by the author of Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon (1999), to which characters in this book have connections. The trilogy is called "The Baroque Cycle" and will continue, at roughly 6 month intervals, with The Confusion and The System of the World, and has its own website, www.baroquecycle.com, with this preview of the first book, an interview with the author, etc. The Amazon page has reviews from PW and Booklist and readers. Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the September 2003 issue of Locus Magazine. Reviews and profiles in the online press includes those at Salon, Newsweek, Slate, and The New York Times.
* Tomasula, Steve : In & Oz(Ministry of Whimsy Press 0-892389-63-0, $25, 144pp, hc, October 2003)
Fantasy/surrealist novel "of art, love, auto mechanics, and two places: the actualities of the here and now and the desire for somewhere better" who "find themselves drawn together when they begin to suspect that the thing lacking in their lives might be discovered in the other place". The author is an assistant professor of English at Notre Dame; his website is here.
The publisher's site has this page about the book.
* Zivkovic, Zoran : The Book(Serbia and Montenegro: Polaris 86-83741-04-4, 270pp, tpb, 2003)
Novel, translated by Aleksandar B. Nedeljkovic and edited by Tamar Yellin, by the Serbian writer of linked-collections/mosaic-novels Time Gift, Impossible Encounters, The Library, etc. It was published in Serbian in 1999, with this English translation from the Serbian publisher in 2003; Prime Books will publish the English edition next February, according to the bibliography on the author's website. The page describing this book is here, and links to this excerpt.
Enoch rounds the corner just as the executioner raises the noose above the woman's head. The crowd on the Common stop praying and sobbing for just as long as Jack Ketch stands there, elbows locked, for all the world like a carpenter heaving a ridge-beam into place. The rope clutches a disk of blue New England sky. The Puritans gaze at it and, to all appearances, think. Enoch the Red reins in his borrowed horse as it nears the edge of the crowd, and sees that the executioner's purpose is not to let them inspect his knotwork, but to give them all a narrow and, to a Puritan, tantalizing glimpse of the portal through which they all must pass one day.Opening lines:
It's twilight, and I haven't much time. When the darkness comes, so will they. And then I don't know what will happen.Opening lines:
It isn't easy being a book.
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