Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books 18 July
Chris Bunch
Paul Di Filippo
Greenberg & Helfers
Naomi Kritzer
William Pillow
Reaves & Perry
Charles Stross

New Books 11 July
Rhysling Anthology
Ray Bradbury
Brown & Strahan
Richard Butner
Loren W. Cooper
Sara Douglass
Bill Fawcett
C.S. Friedman
L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Mel Odom
Keith Olexa
Diana L. Paxson
John Ringo
S.L. Viehl
Margaret Weis
Martha Wells


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 1 August 2004

* Akamatsu, Ken : Negima! 2
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-47120-2, $10.95, 190pp, trade paperback, 2004)

Second volume of the manga series about a 10-year-old wizard school graduate assigned to an all-girls school in Japan. This volume was first published in Tokyo in 2003 and is here translated by Douglas Varenas and adapted by Peter David and Kathleen O'Shea David. It's about the teacher and his class's trip to the school's Library Island.
• Del Rey's site has this description. The third volume in the series is due in October.
• This volume is labeled "for mature audiences ages 16+". The author has a website at
(Mon 26 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Asaro, Catherine : Sunrise Alley
(Baen 0-7434-8840-7, $24, 309pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket art Jeff Easley)

Near-future techno-thriller about mind transfer, androids, and rogue AIs.
• Baen's site has this description with links to the first several chapters.
• The author's website is
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Night Shade Books 1-892389-75-4, $27, 249pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Michael Dringenberg, jacket design Garry Nurrish)

Collection of 13 stories, including the 65-page title story, original to this volume, and four stories first published in 2001 by
• Amazon (click on title or cover image) has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its June 21st issue, which concludes "These wry and often wise narratives prove Baker is one of the most accomplished fantasists of our era."
• The author's website has this page about the book, and this excerpt from the title story.
• Rich Horton reviewed the book in the June issue of Locus Magazine, describing the title story as "a fun novella about a rascally man who gets involved with a mysterious fortune-teller and her very odd adopted child."
(Tue 27 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Barlough, Jeffrey E. : Strange Cargo
(Ace 0-441-01160-8, $14.95, 481pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art Gregory Bridges)

SF/fantasy novel, third in the "Western Lights" series that began with Dark Sleeper (1998) and continued with The House in the High Wood (2001), set on "an alternate Earth where Ice Age wonders coexist alongside a fragment of Victorian society" according to the Publishers Weekly review posted on the Amazon page.
• The PW review concludes "Despite the narrative's shaggy-dog aimlessness, Barlough's eye for the nuances of Victorian life and his ear for the slang and idiomatic expressions of the era give the wildest events an authentic period flavor. Even readers new to the series will enjoy this leisurely tale in an original fantasy realm."
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(iUniverse 0-595-31729-4, $17.95, 188pp, trade paperback, June 2004, cover art Robert Borski)

Nonfiction study of Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun" series, the four-volume novel that began with The Shadow of the Torturer in 1980 and concluded with The Citadel of the Autarch in 1983, with sequel volume The Urth of the New Sun in 1987.
• Portions of this book previously appeared in The New York Review of Science Fiction and elsewhere.
• The book consists of 22 chapters in 140 pages, followed by 30 pages of Notes, a 14-page Appendix, and a 2-page Selected Bibliography.
• The publisher's site has this description, with table of contents and samples.
• It's a Locus Magazine New and Notable Book in the August issue.
(Mon 26 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Buckner, M. M. : Neurolink
(Ace 0-441-01188-8, $6.99, 326pp, mass market paperback, August 2004, cover design Rita Frangie)

SF novel, set in the 23rd century, in which corporations called 'Coms' have replaced nations and exploit poverty-stricken 'protes'.
• This is the author's second novel; her first, Hyperthought, was a Philip K. Dick Award finalist.
• The author's site,, has this description.
(Thu 29 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(HarperCollins/Morrow 0-380-97839-3, $24.95, 401pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket design Archie Ferguson)

Alternate history/fantasy novel about a James Dean who didn't die in 1955 but who lived into the '60s.
• Amazon has the reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
• The publisher's site has this description. URL includes some author's notes about writing the novel, and a list of references.
• Both Nick Gevers and Faren Miller reviewed it in the July issue of Locus Magazine. Gevers remarked "This is alternate history with passion and difference...a significant and very gripping novel."
(Tue 27 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Datlow, Ellen, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds. : The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection
(St. Martin's Griffin 0-312-32928-8, $19.95, 155+564pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art and design Thomas Canty)

Anthology of 43 stories and poems first published in 2003. Authors include Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Terry Bisson, Shelley Jackson, Michael Swanwick, Lucius Shepard, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Karen Joy Fowler.
• The book opens with 130 pages of summary about the year's fantasy and horror: Kelly Link & Gavin Grant on the former, Ellen Datlow on the latter, plus Edward Bryant on media, Charles Vess on comics and graphic novels, Joan D. Vinge on anime and manga, Charles de Lint on music, and James Frenkel on obituaries.
• This year co-editors Kelly Link & Gavin Grant succeed Terri Windling, who covered fantasy in the series' first sixteen volumes. Their page of guidelines for recommended stories is at
• Amazon has the book description, and reproduces the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 2nd issue, which concludes "these stories are proof that the best fantastic fiction is modern mythmaking at its finest."
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the August issue of Locus Magazine.
(Tue 27 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Irvine, Alexander C. : One King, One Soldier
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-765-30116-4, $13.95, 337pp, trade paperback, August 2004)

Contemporary fantasy novel about Lance, a Korean War veteran, who travels to Berkeley CA, where he meets a poet who thinks Lance is the Fisher King, destined to find the Holy Grail.
• The author's website has this description with quotes from reviews. The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
• John Clute reviewed the book in SF Weekly. Faren Miller's review appeared in the July issue of Locus; Gary K. Wolfe's review appears in the August issue.
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Judson, Theodore : Fitzpatrick's War
(DAW 0-7564-0196-8, $19.95, 481pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket painting Gnemo)

SF novel, the author's first, set in a 26th century where a semifeudal Yukon Empire has succeeded the technological societies that collapsed in the 21st century.
• The book garnered a starred review in Publishers Weekly's July 19th issue; the review concludes "Judson's use of the twin viewpoints allows him to make points about subjects as diverse as history and heroes, academia and ambition, love and shame. Yet like Heinlein, Asimov and other great writers in the genre, Judson never lets his message get in the way of the story, nor does he lapse into preachiness. This terrific SF debut is sure to be a contender for many awards."
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lackey, Mercedes, Eric Flint & Dave Freer : The Wizard of Karres
(Baen 0-7434-8839-3, $22, 313pp, hardcover, August 2004, cover art Stephen Hickman)

SF novel, sequel to the popular 1966 novel by James H. Schmitz, just reprinted in hardcover by Baen, The Witches of Karres.
• Baen's site has this description with links to the first several chapters.
• Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the August issue of Locus, calling it "a pretty decent sequel to a real SF classics."
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Miéville, China : Iron Council
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-46402-8, $24.95, 564pp, hardcover, July 2004, jacket design David Stevenson)

SF/fantasy novel, the author's fourth novel and his third set in the world of New Crobuzon, setting of Perdido Street Station (2000, winner of the Arthur C. Clarke and British Fantasy Awards) and The Scar (2002, winner of the Locus and British Fantasy Awards).
• The publisher's site has this description, an author Q&A, and an excerpt.
Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review in its July 6th issue. Amazon has its own review by Jeremy Pugh, which concludes "Improbably evoking Jack London and Victor Hugo, Iron Council is a twisted frontier fable cleverly combined with a powerful parable of Marxist revolution that continues Miéville's macabre remaking of the fantasy genre."
• See Locus Online's Directory entry for this book for links to reviews in SF Weekly, New York Times, and Village Voice.
• Nick Gevers' review will appear in the September issue of Locus Magazine.
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Stewart, Sean : Perfect Circle
(Small Beer Press 1-931520-11-9, $15, 243pp, trade paperback, June 2004)

Fantasy novel about an unemployed Houston man haunted by ghosts; "An offbeat but evocative ghost story full of fascinating characters and local color", according to Locus Magazine's August New & Notable Books listing.
• The publisher's site has this description with quotes from reviews, plus links to excerpts at Salon.
• Amazon has the PW review, and the starred review from Booklist.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the May issue of Locus, while Faren Miller's review appeared in the June issue.
(Wed 28 Jul 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
A man runs. Pushes through thin bark-and-leaf walls, through the purposeless rooms of Rudewood. The trees crowd him. This far in the forest there are aboriginal noises. The canopy rocks. The man is heavy-burdened, and sweated by the unseen sun. He is trying to follow a trail.

Just before dark he found his place. Dim hotchi paths led him to a basin ringed by roots and stone-packed soil. Trees gave out. The earth was tramped down and stained with scorching and blood. The man spread out his pack and blanket, a few books and clothes. He laid down something well-wrapped and heavy among loam and centipedes.
Opening lines:
I woke up sweaty and shaking. Tense. I had been dreaming about ghost roads again. This one was leaving an apartment complex swimming pool, and there was a little girl walking down it. She was looking back over her shoulder at me, eyes solemn behind a cheap kid's snorkeling mask, and wearing pool flippers; slow dreamy duck-steps, a trail of wet inhuman footprints disappearing into the dim black and white houses, the humming silence.
Opening lines:
In a country of mad forests and night, there was an open plain, and pitiless sunlight.

A man dressed as a clown was running for his life across the plain.

A baked-clay track, the only road for miles, reflected the sun's heat and made the man sweat as he ran along it. He was staggering a little as he ran, for he had been running a long while and he was fat, and the silken drawers of his clown costume had begun to work their way down his thighs. It was a particularly humiliating costume, too. It made him look like a gigantic dairymaid.

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