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This page lists selected newly published SFFH books seen by Locus Online (independently from the listings compiled by Locus Magazine).

Review copies received will be listed (though reprints and reissues are on other pages), but not galleys or advance reading copies. Selections, some based only on bookstore sightings, are at the discretion of Locus Online.

* = first edition
+ = first US edition
Date with publisher info is official publication month;
Date in parentheses at paragraph end is date seen or received.

in LOCUS Magazine

Locus Magazine publishes comprehensive Listings of US, UK, and International Books and Magazines Received each month


Locus Magazine's Books Received listings are accumulated as the online Locus Index.

Locus Magazine publishes reviews of 20-30 books every month.
Books reviewed in January

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : January

* Bailey, Dale : House of Bones
(Penguin/Signet 0-451-21079-4, $6.99, 369pp, mass market paperback, December 2003)

Horror novel, in which an eccentric billionaire and his guests spend the night in an old public housing building with a dark history. Amazon [click on title above or cover image at right] has reader reviews, including one from Scott Nicholson. The author's official site has this page quoting the jacket description, and comments on the news page about the author's background--he did his dissertation on the haunted motif in American fiction, and thought "It's only a matter of time before someone sets a haunted house tale in the ruined inner-city housing projects of America's blighted inner cities".
(Tue 13 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Golden Gryphon Press 1-930846-22-3, $24.95, 12+332pp, hardcover, November 2003, jacket painting John Picacio, jacket design Lynne Condellone)

Collection of 11 stories, most first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, with an introduction by Barry N. Malzberg and story notes by the author. The title story was a Nebula nominee, and another story, "Death and Suffrage", won an International Horror Guild Award. Amazon quotes the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews. The publisher's site has this page with the book description and links to several reviews. The author's website has this page quoting numerous reviews of the book. Locus Magazine ran reviews by Faren Miller in December '03 and by Nick Gevers in January '04.
(Wed 7 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Benford, Gregory, ed. : Microcosms
(DAW 0-7564-0171-2, $6.99, 316pp, mass market paperback, January 2004, cover art Getty Images)

Anthology of 13 original stories on the theme of the title. Authors include Mike Resnick & Dean Wesley Smith, Stephen Baxter, Robert J. Sawyer, Pamela Sargent, Robert Sheckley, and others. Amazon has the Booklist review by Regina Schroeder. Locus Magazine's February '04 issue will have a review by Rich Horton, who cites the stories by Tom Purdom and Geoffrey A. Landis.
(Wed 7 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Tor 0-765-30772-7, $24.95, 382pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket art John Harris)

Collection of SF stories set in the context of Bova's "Grand Tour" novels -- Mars, Saturn, The Rock Rats, etc. -- about the expansion of humanity into the solar system. Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review. The author's website has background, including a chronology, of the Grand Tour books.
(Tue 6 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Clarke, Arthur C., & Stephen Baxter : Time's Eye: A Time Odyssey
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45248-8, $26.95, 337pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket illustration David Stevenson, jacket design David Stevenson)

SF novel, first in a series described as at right angles to the famous "Space Odyssey" series by Clarke; this is an "orthoquel" to them, taking similar premises in a different direction. It concerns a 'discontinuity' in 2037, in which alien devices appear across Earth, and various eras of history are scrambled into a patchwork. As is usual with Clarke collaborations, this appears to be a novel by Baxter based on an idea by Clarke; the style is Baxter's, not Clarke's. The book comes with a CD ROM of two earlier Baxter novels (published by Del Rey), Manifold: Time and Evolution, plus features. Reviews are mixed, including Amazon's review by Cynthia Ward, and the Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews there. Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the November '03 issue of Locus Magazine. The publisher's website has this description and excerpt.
(Wed 14 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Drago, Ty : Phobos
(Tor 0-765-30544-5, $25.95, 431pp, hardcover, November 2003, jacket art Vincent di Fate)

Military/hard SF novel about colonists and terrorists on a Martian colony, with a decidedly old-fashioned cover illustration reminiscent of '50s SF. The Amazon page has reviews from Publishers Weekly, which calls the book "a strong candidate for the year's best SF debut", and Booklist, which says "Drago's exceptionally well-written first novel is a police procedural set on Mars in the twenty-second century."
(Tue 23 Dec 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Frank, Jane : The Art of John Berkey
(UK: Paper Tiger 1-84340-122-3, $29.95, 128pp, hardcover, October 2003, cover art John Berkey)

Art book surveying the work of impressionist SF artist John Berkey, with over 100 color works (none of them previously seen in the 1991 volume Painted Space). Though best known for his abstract images of enormous spaceships, Berkey's works here also include historical images, pastoral landscapes, and even some female nudes. The World of Wonder site has this description. The Amazon page has the Booklist review by Roy Olson.
(Wed 7 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Graham, Mitchell : The Emerald Cavern
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-050675-x, $7.99, 461pp, mass market paperback, January 2004)

Fantasy novel, sequel to The Fifth Ring, about the search for a powerful ring that lies in the hands of the enemy. The Amazon page has a withering Publishers Weekly review, but enthusiastic reader reviews. The author's site has numerous excerpts.
(Tue 13 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* James, Edward, & Farah Mendlesohn, eds. : The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction
(Cambridge University Press 0-521-01657-6, $22, 27+295pp, trade paperback, November 2003, cover illustration Jim Burns)

Anthology of critical essays and articles on the history, critical approaches, and themes of SF. Contributors include John Clute, Kathryn Cramer, Gary K. Wolfe, Ken MacLeod, Gary Westfahl, and others. The publisher's site has this description with a complete table of contents. Adam Roberts contributed a glowing review to The Alien Online, while Jonathan Cowie of Concatenation has this very mixed review.
(Wed 7 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Jordan, Robert : New Spring
(Tor 0-765-30629-8, $22.95, 334pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket art Darrell K. Sweet)

Fantasy novel, a prequel to the popular "Wheel of Time" series (and much shorter than the typical series novel). It's an expansion of a novella that appeared in Robert Silverberg's 1998 Legends anthology. Carolyn Cushman's review in the January Locus compares the two versions, and recommends the book as "a good book for new readers, curious about the series." Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and readers. Tor has a Robert Jordan section,, with links to reviews, a chapter 1 excerpt, etc.
(Tue 6 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lackey, Mercedes : The Fairy Godmother
(Harlequin/Luna 0-373-80202-1, $24.95, 417pp, hardcover, January 2004)

Fantasy romance, the first title in a new Harlequin imprint, which Carolyn Cushman, in the February Locus, calls "a charming send-up of fairy tales with an interesting magic system". The author's website has this preview page, with links to excerpts.
(Tue 6 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ May, Julian : Conqueror's Moon
(Ace 0-441-01132-2, $24.95, 389pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket illustration Steve Stone)

Epic fantasy novel, first of a new series, about which Publishers Weekly's review on the Amazon site says "her inventive use of magic and well-conceived plot will sweep readers along", while the Booklist review there says "May is a competent writer but an outstanding world-builder.." Another review online is at SF Site.
(Thu 8 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Robson, Justina : Natural History
(UK: Macmillan 0-333-90745-0, £16.99, 330pp, hardcover, April 2003, cover illustration Steve Stone)

Near-future SF novel in which human explorers encounter alien technology. The author's first two novels, Silver Screen (1999) and Mappa Mundi (2001), were both shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award, and this novel was described as one of the "best examples of New Space Opera" by Gary K. Wolfe in his review in the August issue of Locus Magazine, who continued "not [because] it reinvents the essentials of the form, but that it infuses those tropes with a political resonance and moral complexity, introduces major characters who can at once be deeply flawed and touching, and draws on genuinely provocative physics theory in place of the old hyperspace and FTL jargon..." Also reviewed in Locus by Farah Mendlesohn. The author's website has a description, and links to reviews.
(Sat 20 Dec 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Saberhagen, Fred : Berserker Prime
(Tor 0-765-30625-5, $25.95, 396pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket art Paul Youll, jacket design Carol Russo Design)

SF novel, latest in Saberhagen's long-running Berserker series about humanity's war against robotic spaceships programmed to destroy all life. The author's website has this description and brief excerpt. The Amazon page has the Publishers Weekly review, which notes the "incidental[] lampooning [of] Asimov's laws of robotics".
(Fri 9 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Sabin, E. Rose : A Perilous Power
(Tor 0-765-30859-2, $19.95, 286pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket art Vince Natale)

Young adult fantasy novel, follow-up to 2002's A School for Sorcery, about a teenaged boy who makes his way to the same magical school. Reviewers, even Andre Norton on the dust jacket cover, compare it to Rowling. The earlier books won the "prestigious Andre Norton Gryphon Award".
(Fri 9 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Tarr, Judith : House of War
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-52900-6, $16, 376pp, trade paperback, October 2003)

Alternate-history fantasy novel, third in the series following Pride of Kings and Devil's Bargain. The Amazon page has reviews from Publishers Weekly, which calls it an "action-packed sequel", and Booklist, which calls it a "beautifully researched, masterfully written historical fantasy".
(Thu 11 Dec 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Thomas, Sheree R., ed. : Dark Matter: Reading the Bones
(Warner Aspect 0-446-52860-9, $25.95, 12+400pp, hardcover, January 2004, jacket illustration Daniel Minter, jacket design Don Puckey)

Anthology of 24 stories, most of them original to this book, and 3 essays; a follow-up to the 2000 anthology Dark Matter. Authors includes Nalo Hopkinson, Walter Mosley, Charles R. Saunders, Tananarive Due, Nisi Shawl, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Samuel R. Delany. Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review. The publisher's site has this description, with a complete table of contents, and excerpt. Locus Magazine reviews appeared in November '03, by Gary K. Wolfe, and December, by Faren Miller.
(Wed 7 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Williams, Sean, & Shane Dix : Heirs of Earth
(Ace 0-441-01126-8, $7.99, 348pp, mass market paperback, January 2004, cover art Chris Moore)

SF novel, third in the trilogy that began with Echoes of Earth (2002) and Orphans of Earth (2003), concerning the near-extinction of humanity and a conflict between two "enigmatic and unthinkably powerful groups of aliens", according to Russell Letson's review in the upcoming February '04 issue of Locus Magazine, which compares the series to the work of Olaf Stapledon and Arthur C. Clarke.
(Tue 6 Jan 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Day's end: 5433.
Base beacon delay: 3 years, 351 days.
Speed: approaches 0.265 lights.
Fixed Stars Estimate Navigational Error: 0.0134.
Direction: Barnard's Star, holding.
Immediate Region: infestation of scattered micrometeors within density spectrum 0.001 to 0.032/m3. Bhupal halo configuration suggests ancient significant explosion. Expansion suggests incident congruent with Earth geotime 246BC: Archimedes works on his principles, Buddhism spreading over India, Punic Wars in full swing.
Opening lines:
For thirty million years the planet had cooled and dried, until, in the north, ice sheets gouged at the continents. The belt of forest that had once stretched across Africa and Eurasia, nearly continuous from the Atlantic coast to the Far East, had broken into dwindling pockets. The creatures who had once inhabited that timeless green had been forced to adapt, or move.
Opening lines:
The noise came snarling out of the distance, through the air and open windows, penetrating bedrock and reaching up into the foundations of Timber's capital city. It invaded the graceful building called the Citadel in the form of an ominous, droning bass note, blended with a grim vibration of even lower frequency. The latter component of the sound seemed to Plenipotentiary Gregor to be resonating somehow in his own aging bones. Gregor thought the projectors being tested, the planet-guarding weapons that could incinerate a spaceborne battleship at a range of thousands of kilometers, must be at least five kilometers from where he stood. The bulk of their output would of course be pouring up and out into space, but still enough energy was being wasted around the edges to shake a faint fall of dust out of the Citadel's fanciful grillwork, so delicately carved, in a time of peace, from ancient stone.

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