Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books 12 June
Thomas Berger
Emmuanel Carrère
Lian Hearn
Stephen King
Larry Niven
Kit Reed
Brian Stableford
Jeffrey A. Tucker
Turtledove & Doyle
Gene Wolfe

New Books 6 June
Greg Bear
John Birmingham
C.J. Cherryh
Gingrich & Forstchen
Hartwell & Cramer
Dennis L. McKiernan
Alastair Reynolds
Ringo & Williamson
Kim Stanley Robinson
Al Sarrantonio
Kenji Siratori


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 20 June 2004

+ Bakker, R. Scott : The Darkness that Comes Before
(Overlook Press 1-58567-599-8, $25.95, 594pp, hardcover, June 2004)
First US edition (Canada: Penguin, April 2003).

Fantasy novel, the author's first novel, subtitled The Prince of Nothing, Book One; it's "the beginning of a large-scale, swords and magic fantasy trilogy" according to the review by Greg L. Johnson on the Amazon Canada site, by an author with a background in history, philosophy, and ancient languages.
• The Canadian first edition was noted here.
• (click on the title or cover image) has a review by Cynthia Ward, who calls it "a strong, impressive, deeply imagined debut novel", and the starred review from Publishers Weekly's May 24th issue, which calls Bakker "arguably, a worthier successor [to Tolkien] than such established names as David Eddings and Stephen Donaldson."
• Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the August 2003 Locus.
(Tue 15 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Erikson, Steven : Gardens of the Moon
(Tor 0-765-31001-5, $25.95, 494pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Stephen Youll)
First US edition (UK: Bantam, April 1999).

Fantasy novel, first of a projected 10-volume series about the Malazan empire, by a Canadian author. Four more volumes have already appeared in Britain, most recently Midnight Tides.
• The series' website is, with details about the background of the series, though several pages are still under construction, and a synopsis of this book.
• Amazon has the PW review. Carolyn Cushman reviewed the book in the October 1999 issue of Locus.
(Tue 15 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(McFarland 0-7864-1862-1, $29.95, 177pp, trade paperback, 2004)

Nonfiction, a guide to websites related to Halloween and horror. There are 15 chapters, each focusing on a particular theme (clothes, recipes, movies and TV, fortune telling, etc.) and containing descriptions, from one to several paragraphs, of websites on that theme. Index.
• The publisher's site has this description.
(Thu 10 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Greenberg, Martin H., & Russell Davis, eds. : Faerie Tales
(DAW 0-756-40182-8, $6.99, 309pp, mass market paperback, May 2004)

Anthology of 12 original fantasy stories. Authors include Charles de Lint, Jane Lindskold, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
• The Amazon page has the Booklist review by Frieda Murray.
• Rich Horton covered the book in the April issue of Locus, reviewing the story by Michelle West.
(Tue 15 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Amber Quill Press 1-59279-883-7, $15.5, 266pp, trade paperback, October 2003)

Arthurian fantasy novel concerning a lady who was once made a slave by the cruel prince Mordred.
• The author's site has this description, a brief excerpt, and quotes from reviews.
(Thu 10 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Kerner, Elizabeth : Redeeming the Lost
(Tor 0-312-89065-6, $25.95, 398pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Stephen Hickman)

Fantasy novel, third in the "Tales of Kolmar" following Song in the Silence (1997) and The Lesser Kindred (2000).
• The author has this official website. The Amazon page has the book's description and About the Author.
• Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the upcoming July issue of Locus: "There are some truly touching moments, but they slop over into sappy a little too often. Still, this series has a powerful appeal, and fans will find this a rewarding resolution to the series."
(Tue 15 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ MacLeod, Ken : Newton's Wake
(Tor 0-765-30503-8, $24.95, 316pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Stephan Martiniere)
First US edition (UK: Time Warner UK/Orbit, March 2004).

US edition of MacLeod's new novel; the UK first edition was noted earlier.
• It's a far future space opera concerning space settlers and AI war machines; the author's first stand-alone novel following the four-book "Fall Revolution" sequence (The Star Fraction, etc.), and the three-book "Engines of Light" sequence.
• The Amazon page has the Publishers Weekly review: "MacLeod slyly entices Americans to see ourselves as others see us-not a flattering picture at all."
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the February issue of Locus, noting its elements of screwball comedy--MacLeod's first novel "to import to political hard SF something of the sensibility of Preston Sturges".
• MacLeod runs a blog, The Early Days of a Better Nation.
(Fri 18 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* McDonald, Ian : River of Gods
(UK: Simon & Schuster UK 0-7432-5669-7, £17.99, 583pp, hardcover, June 2004)

SF novel set on the eve of India's 100th anniversary--August 15, 2047.
• The Amazon UK page has only a synopsis. The author this somewhat out of date webpage.
• Cory Doctorow posted a rave review in his blog.
• The book is reviewed by both Faren Miller and Nick Gevers in the upcoming July issue of Locus; Gevers calls it "a big, thoroughly ambitious SF novel of the Third World" and "hugely adventurous and entertaining, sumptuously inventive and full of heart."
(Mon 14 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Newcomb, Robert : The Scrolls of the Ancients
(Ballantine Del Rey , 531pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket illustration Justin Sweet)

Fantasy novel, third in the "Chronicles of Blood and Stone" trilogy following The Fifth Sorceress (2002) and The Gates of Dawn (2003).
• The author's official site,, has a description, excerpts, and hints about subsequent volumes in the series.
• Amazon has the PW review.
(Fri 18 Jun 2004)


* Siepiela, Donna : Ab-ar-da: The Truth About Grays
(AuthorHouse 1-4184-1119-1, 470pp, trade paperback, April 2004)

SF novel about aliens who come to Earth to solve humanity's problems.
• The publisher's site has this description and excerpt.
• The paperback is a "large print edition". Also available as an e-book.
(Wed 16 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Weisskopf, T. K. F., ed. : Cosmic Tales: Adventures in Sol Space
(Baen 0-7434-8832-6, $6.99, 449pp, mass market paperback, June 2004, cover art Bob Eggleton)

Anthology of stories and articles about the "conquest of the solar system". Authors include Allen M. Steele, Jack McDevitt, John Ringo, Charles Sheffield (a final McAndrew story), and Gregory Benford (whose story is an excerpt from his current novel Beyond Infinity).
• The Baen site has this description, with links to excerpts.
• Rich Horton reviews the book in the July issue of Locus.
(Fri 18 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
The body turns in the stream. Where the new bridge crosses the Ganga in five concrete strides, garlands of sticks and plastic snag around the footings; rafts of river flotsam. For a moment the body might join them, a dark hunch in the black stream. The smooth flow of water hauls it, spins it around, shies it feet first through the arch of steel and traffic. Overhead trucks roar across the high spans. Day and night, convoys bright with chrome work, gaudy with gods, storm the bridge into the city, blaring filmi music from their roof speakers. The shallow water shivers.
Opening lines:
There wasn’t even a crackle of static when all of the thousands of television broadcasts all over the world were interrupted and replaced by an image of a small-thin, gray-skinned creature with a large head and big black eyes. It was standing in front of some very large exotic plants with colossal blooms of many vibrant colors. The creature closed its eyes and bowed its head with its hands pressed flat to each other before it. As it straightened and opened its eyes, it began to speak.

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