Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books August #3
Elizabeth Haydon
Herbert & Anderson
Walter H. Hunt
Greg Keyes
Brandon Massey
David Mitchell
John C. Wright

New Books August #2
Neal Barrett Jr.
Jim Butcher
Cox & Duncan
Victoria Elisabeth Garcia
Laura Anne Gilman
Ursula K. Le Guin
Juliet Marillier
S.M. Stirling
Harry Turtledove
Michelle M. Welch
Leslie What


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 : August 2004 Week #4

* Funke, Cornelia : Dragon Rider
(Scholastic/The Chicken House 0-439-45695-9, $12.95, 523pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket illustration Don Seegmiller)

Young adult fantasy novel about dragons searching for a safe haven. It's the author's first novel, published in Germany in 1997, here translated by Anthea Bell.
• Funke's debut novel in the US, The Thief Lord, was a YA bestseller for many months, and placed #6 on the 2003 Locus Poll for best YA Novel. Inkheart ranked on numerous 2003-2004 bestseller lists and placed on several Best of '03 lists.
• Amazon has the starred review from Booklist, which comments "This is a good, old-fashioned ensemble-cast quest in the style of Lloyd Alexander..."
• Scholastic has this page about the author, though nothing about this particular book.
(Tue 24 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Goss, Theodora : The Rose in Twelve Petals and other stories
(Small Beer Press , $6, 59pp, chap, 2004, cover art Charles Vess)

Chapbook collection of 5 fantasy stories and 9 poems by an acclaimed new author; limited to a print run of 400 copies.
• The publisher's page has a description, the table of contents, and quotes from reviews, including those by Locus reviewers Nick Gevers and Rich Horton.
• The author's online poetry anthology is Poems of the Fantastic and Macabre. Her poem "Octavia is Lost in the Hall of Masks" (not included in this volume) won this year's Rhysling Award.
(Tue 31 Aug 2004)


+ Harrison, M. John : Light
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-38295-0, $16, 310pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art Stephen Youll, cover design Jamie S. Warren Youll)
First US edition (UK: Gollancz, September 2002).

SF novel, alternating narrative strands between 1999 and 2400, concerning objects found on a barren asteroid in a mysterious region of the galaxy called the Kefahuchi Tract.
• The novel was published in the UK in 2002, and subsequently was nominated for the British SF Association Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award, placed #6 on the 2003 Locus Poll for best SF novel, and won the 2003 James Tiptree Jr. Award.
• This belated US edition is receiving mostly enthusiastic reviews -- see Blinks on the homepage -- as well as occasional grumbles from readers dismissing it as obsolete New Wave-style SF.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the November '02 Locus Magazine, calling it "likely to be one of the most rewarding and challenging novels of the year"; while David Langford's review on the Amazon UK page concludes "Harrison demands your full attention and rewards it richly."
• The author has set up a webpage about the book, with extracts, music (that he listened to), news, and more.
(Tue 31 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lake, Jay : American Sorrows
(Wheatland Press 0-9755903-0-8, $16.95, 8+169pp, trade paperback, September 2004)

Collection of 4 stories, including Hugo-nominated "Into the Gardens of Sweet Night", by the winner of this year's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Introduction by James Van Pelt. The author's afterword provides notes about each story.
• The author's homepage includes news, lists of stories already published and forthcoming, links to blogs, etc.
(Wed 25 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Layne, Deborah, & Jay Lake, eds. : Polyphony Volume 4
(Wheatland Press 0-9720547-6-6, $17.95, 413pp, trade paperback, 2004)

Anthology of 24 original stories, fourth in the series that began in 2002 with Polyphone, Volume 1. Authors include Alex Irvine, Lucius Shepard, Kit Reed, Eliot Fintushel, Michael Bishop, Tim Pratt, Forrest Aguirre, Theodora Goss, Stepan Chapman, and Jeff VanderMeer.
• The book's discussion board includes the table of contents.
(Wed 25 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Roberts, Adam : The Snow
(UK: Orion/Gollancz 0-575-07180-x, £17.99, 297pp, hardcover, August 2004)

SF novel in which snow covers the world leaving only 150,000 survivors. The book description calls it a "Ballardesque novel of global apocalypse".
• The author's website is, though it doesn't yet have details about this book. has posted this excerpt.
Guardian published a review by Christopher Priest.
• Nick Gevers reviews it in the upcoming October issue of Locus Magazine.
(Fri 27 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Sagan, Nick : Edenborn
(Putnam 0-399-15186-9, $19.95, 311pp, hardcover, August 2004)

SF novel, sequel to Idlewild (2003), about a group of students raised in virtual reailty, six of whom survive a plague that wipes out the rest of humanity. A third novel, Everfree, will follow
• The author's website has a description with links to review excerpts.
(Tue 31 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Smario, Tom : Knuckle Sandwiches
(Wheatland Press 0-9720547-8-2, $14.95, 61pp, trade paperback, July 2004)

Collection of 43 poems about boxing. Introduction by Lucius Shepard.
• A Google search turns up an interview with the author, Shepard's introduction, and this author profile.
(Wed 25 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Stroud, Jonathan : The Golem's Eye
(Hyperion/Miramax 0786818603, $17.95, 562pp, hardcover, September 2004)

Young adult fantasy novel, volume 2 of the "Bartimaeus Trilogy" following The Amulet of Samarkand (2003), set in an alternative London where magicians rule.
• Website The Bartimaeus Trilogy has descriptions and excerpts (scroll down) of both books, a reference guide, a trivia challenge, etc. The publisher's page also has an excerpt.
• has a review by Jennifer Hubert, which says "Stroud's second book is far too long and gloomy."
(Tue 31 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Wood, N. Lee : Master of None
(Warner Aspect 0-446-69304-9, $14.95, 390pp, trade paperback, September 2004)

SF novel in which a male botanist is marooned on a planet ruled by women.
• The publisher's page has a description and excerpt.
(Fri 27 Aug 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Towards the end of things, someone asked Michael Kearney, "How do you see yourself spending the first minute of the new millennium?" This was their idea of an after-dinner game up in some bleak Midlands town where he had gone to give a talk. Wintry rain dashed at the windows of the private dining room and ran down them in the orange streetlight. Answers followed one another round the table with a luminous predictability, some sly, some decent, all optimistic. They would drink until they fell down, have sex, watch fireworks or the endless sunrise from a moving jet. Then someone volunteered:

"With the bloody children, I expect."
Opening lines:
The snow started falling on September 6th, soft noiseless flakes filling the sky like a swarm of white moths, or like static interference on your TV screen -- whichever metaphor, nature or technology, you find more evocative. Snow everywhere, all through the air, with that distinctive sense of hurrying that a vigorous snowfall brings with it. Everything in a rush, busy-busy snowflakes. And, simultaneously, paradoxically, everything was hushed, calmed, as quiet as cancer, as white as death.

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