Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books 22 May
4 manga
Trudi Canavan
Tracy & Laura Hickman
Mathew Lyons
Sarah Micklem
Jeff VanderMeer

New Books 14 May
John Crowley
Julie E. Czerneda
Tony Daniel
Flint & Dennis
Karen Joy Fowler
Jim Grimsley
E.E. Knight
Jane Lindskold
Ian Stewart & Jack Cohen
David Weber


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.

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : Posted 29 May 2004

+ Asher, Neal : The Skinner
(Tor 0-765-30737-5, $26.95, 474pp, hardcover, May 2004, jacket art Jim Burns)

SF novel, the second novel from UK author Asher following Gridlinked (2001); it concerns three travellers to the remote planet Spatterjay.
• The author's website has this description of the book.
• Amazon's page has the Publishers Weekly review, while the Amazon UK page has a review by David Langford.
• Russell Letson's review of the 2002 UK edition said that Asher provides "an exhilarating tour through one of the most ingeniously, elaborately deadly worlds since Harry Harrison invented Deathworld in the 1960s."
• This Tor edition has back cover blurbs from two online sources, Emerald City and SF Site.
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Connell, Adam : Counterfeit Kings
(Phobos Books 0-9720026-4-2, $14.95, 382pp, trade paperback, June 2004, cover art Stephan Martiniere)

SF novel, the author's first novel, concerning a retired bodyguard on a mining colony called back into service to protect the "king" from mechanical look-alikes.
• The book's website,, has a plot teaser, sample chapters, background on the author, a Q&A, etc.
• The publisher's site has this description.
• The Amazon page has the Publishers Weekly review, which concludes "Connell's novel boldly challenges the rigid moral conservatism so often found in traditional space opera, and is sure to both please and anger readers of this particular subgenre." Wigglefish posted this review.
(Sat 22 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* DuPrau, Jeanne : The People of Sparks
(Random House 0-375-82824-9, $15.95, 338pp, hardcover, May 2004)

Young adult SF novel, sequel to The City of Ember (2003), about refugees from a dying underground city who emerge onto the surface of the Earth, where they discover other people from the village of Sparks.
The City of Ember, just out in paperback, was on several 2003 best-of-the-year lists, and this New York Times review is still online.
• The author's site,, has background about the author, though only a teaser about this new book. The publisher's site has this description of the new book, with an excerpt.
• The Amazon page has a review by Patty Campbell.
(Wed 26 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Penguin/Philomel 0-399-24220-1, $16.99, hardcover, May 2004)

Collection of six stories, all original, intended for YA readers.
• The Amazon page has a review by Paul Hughes, describing the stories as "scary (but, of course, not too scary) tales, steeped in a mulligan stew of folk fables, ancient myths, and horror-flick fiends."
• The author's website is Redwall Abbey.
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Koontz, Dean : The Taking
(Bantam 0-553-80250-X, 338pp, hardcover, May 2004)

SF novel about a couple in an isolated California home who realize that a global alien invasion is underway.
• Koontz's section of the Random House site has this description and excerpt.
• The Amazon page reproduces the starred review from Booklist and the review from Publishers Weekly; the latter makes comparisons between this book and Koontz's early, pseudonymous Laser Books novel Invasion (as by Aaron Wolfe).
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Oppel, Kenneth : Airborn
(Eos 0-06-053180-0, $16.99, 355pp, hardcover, June 2004)

YA alternate history novel set in an early 20th century, where a cabin boy on a luxury airship becomes involves in a quest to find a new species of flying mammal.
• The author's site,, links to a separate site for the book, with a flash introduction, description, an excerpt, etc.
• The book was reviewed in Locus Magazine by Carolyn Cushman (April) and by Faren Miller (May); the latter notes that "if the plot is fairly simple the prose is grand."
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Pratchett, Terry : A Hat Full of Sky
(HarperCollins 0-06-058660-5, 280pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Chris Gall)

YA fantasy novel in the Discworld series, the second concerning Tiffany Aching following last year's The Wee Free Men (which has just been released in paperback).
• The Amazon page reproduces the Booklist review by Sally Estes.
Locus Magazine published reviews by Carolyn Cushman (March) and Faren Miller (May); Cushman called is "a wonderful, hilarious, and ultimately touching romp for all ages."
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Wheeler, Thomas : The Arcanum
(Bantam 0-553-80314-X, $22, 8+325pp, hardcover, May 2004)

Occult thriller, the first novel by a Hollywood screenwriter, set in New York City in 1919 and concerning a secret society whose members include Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and others.
• The publisher's site has this description and excerpt.
• Faren Miller reviews the book in the May issue of Locus Magazine, concluding that the book "is a lot of fun to read, and if someone has the sense to film it, it could be dynamite on the Silver Screen.
(Thu 27 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Ooligan Press 0-932010-00-9, $14.95, 252pp, trade paperback, 2004)

Time travel novel in which Abraham Lincoln is mysteriously transported from 1865 to the year 1955.
• The author teaches English at Portland State University, specializing in Renaissance literature and science fiction.
• The Amazon page has a description.
• The back cover has blurbs from Molly Gloss and Ursula K. Le Guin, who calls the book a "poignant, pixilated tale of the past turning to the future and the future to the past."
(Mon 24 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
It was well past midnight. He stood on the sidewalk, facing north. Far ahead lay Canada and the Pole. More of a walk than he had in mind when insomnia roused him from his bed. Considerably to the west, the Father of Waters ran south, the great Mississippi. Lake Michigan was just a few blocks to the east. He pictured the lake, a dark expanse, immense. It was so easy to forget that the lake had a northern flow, then on to the other lakes (Huron, Erie, Ontario), the St. Lawrence, and finally the Atlantic. All of which situated him in the middle, in the thick of things. He was reminded of the twin poles, where the next step allows for but one direction: either all south or all north.
Opening lines:
"We're going to have to stand and fight. They're right on top of us," Horrocks said. He gorged the thrusters with power looted from the ship's secondary demands.

His wife toggled through the viewscreens. The perimeter cameras tracked pursuit ships as they weaved through the background. "There's at least twenty," she said. "Closer to third. Two dead aft."

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