Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books August #4
Cornelia Funke
Theodora Goss
M. John Harrison
Jay Lake
Layne & Lake
Adam Roberts
Nick Sagan
Tom Smario
Jonathan Stroud
N. Lee Wood

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


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 : September 2004 Week #1

(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-43574-5, $26.95, 357pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket illustration Steve Stone)

Fantasy novel, second volume in the "High Druid" trilogy following last year's Jarka Russ (which is just out in paperback), itself part of Brooks' long-running Shannara series.
• The author's website has this description with links to two experts, as well as a bibliography, forum, etc. Del Rey's site has this page with some of the same material.
• Amazon has a review by Cynthia Ward, which says "Filled with action, treachery, and sacrifice, Tanequil will enthrall Terry Brooks's millions of fans as it roars to a shocking conclusion.", though she advises starting with one of the earlier books in the series.
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Canavan, Trudi : The High Lord
(Eos 0-06-057530-1, $7.5, 531pp, mass market paperback, September 2004)

Fantasy novel, conclusion of "The Black Magician" trilogy.
• The author's website has this page with cover images and descriptions of all three books.
• The HarperCollins website has this description and excerpt.
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Caselberg, Jay : Metal Sky
(Roc 0-451-45999-7, $6.99, 307pp, mass market paperback, September 2004, cover art Christian McGrath)

SF novel about Jack Stein, Psychic Investigator, tracking a missing artifact made of mysterious metal. It's a follow-up to the author's first novel, Wyrmhole (2003). Caselberg also writes as James A. Hartley.
• The author's website has this excerpt.
(Tue 7 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Clarke, Susanna : Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
(Bloomsbury USA 1-58234-416-7, $27.95, 782pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket design William Webb)

Fantasy novel set in 19th century England about a society of magician scholars. The book is something a literary sensation, widely reviewed and likened by some to Harry Potter for adults. The author's previous work includes three stories in Patrick Nielsen Hayden's Starlight anthologies. Note that the US edition comes in two colors: black on white, or white on black.
• The book has its own website,, with a description, an interview with the author (her five favourite authors include Neil Gaiman and Josh Whedon), and extras including a short story, The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse.
• The Amazon page reproduces Publishers Weekly's starred review (from its 7/12 issue), which concludes "the mesmerizing story reveals its intimacy, humor and insight, and will enchant readers of fantasy and literary fiction alike."
Locus Magazine ran reviews by Faren Miller, in the August issue, and by Gary K. Wolfe, in the September issue.
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Douglass, Sara : Sinner
(Tor 0-312-87046-9, $26.95, 464pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket art Royo)
First US edition (Australia: HarperCollins Australia, 1997).

Fantasy novel, fourth book in "The Wayfarer Redemption" series following the Axis trilogy (BattleAxe, Enchanter, and Starman, first published in the '90s in Australia and from 2001-2003 in the US (where the first volume was retitled The Wayfarer Redemption); and to be followed by Pilgrim and Crusader (the second trilogy called "The Wayfarer Redemption" trilogy on the author's website).
• The author's website has this description and the unedited chapter one.
• Amazon has the PW review, which calls it an "ambitious epic fantasy".
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Farmer, Nancy : The Sea of Trolls
(Simon & Schuster/Atheneum 0-689-86744-1, $17.95, 459pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket illustration Tim O'Brien)

YA fantasy novel, set in the 9th century, about a brother and sister enslaved by berserkers.
• The publisher's site has this description, with an excerpt and a reading guide.
• The excerpts from Farmer's interview in the January '04 Locus include a paragraph about this book.
(Tue 7 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Gunn, Eileen : Stable Strategies & Others
(Tachyon Publications 1-892391-18-x, $14.95, 17+206pp, trade paperback, September 2004, cover design John D. Berry)

Collection of 12 stories, 2 of them original to this volume (one of them a collaboration with Leslie What), 10 of them reprinted from various sources and including 1989 Hugo nominee "Stable Strategies for Middle Management" and 1990 Hugo nominee "Computer Friendly", as well as collaborative novella "Green Fire" (written with Andy Duncan, Pat Murphy, and Michael Swanwick; first published at Event Horizon (no longer online) and later revised for Asimov's magazine).
• There's an introduction by William Gibson, another by the author, and a introductory poem by Michael Swanwick; plus an "Afterwards" by Howard Waldrop.
• Gunn edits The Infinite Matrix and has personal website, with this page about the book, and excerpts.
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Harrison, M. John : The Course of the Heart
(Night Shade Books 1-892389-97-5, $27, 200pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket art David Lloyd)
First US edition (UK: Gollancz, 1992).

Dark fantasy novel about three Cambridge graduates and an acquaintance who speaks metaphysical riddles about a realm called "the Pleroma". This is the first US edition.
• The author's website has this excerpt.
• The description on the publisher's site calls it a "genre-bending novel that weaves together mythology, sexuality, and the troubled past and present of Eastern Europe."
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews it in the September '04 issue of Locus Magazine, partly in the context of the last decade's genre developments, concluding "The Course of the Heart is certainly in one sense a fantasy, and in one sense a horror tale, but it also makes you wonder just what the difference is: it's less about what fantasy can do for us than what it can do to us, and, in this in part is what makes it a seminal work of the last few decades of fantastic literature."
(Sun 5 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Hogan, James P. : Kicking the Sacred Cow
(Baen 0-7434-8828-8, $24, 374pp, hardcover, July 2004)

Nonfiction collection of essays addressing various scientific topics the author feels have become dogmatized, including Darwism, the Big Bang, relativity, Velikovsky, global warming, and AIDS.
• The author's site includes a title page linking a background essay, the table of contents, and several excerpts.
• Baen's site has this description, with links to numerous excerpts.
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Hippocampus Press 0-9748789-2-8, $15, 216pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art Wallace Smith)

Nonfiction survey of American and British supernatural writers of the past century plus, from Robert W. Chambers and Rudyard Kipling, to H.P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber, to Rod Serling and Poppy Z. Brite. The book consists of an introduction, 18 chapters in 4 sections, and a bibliography.
• The publisher's site has this description, which calls this book an informal follow-up to earlier studies The Weird Tale (1990) and The Modern Weird Tale (2001).
(Sat 4 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Lynn, Elizabeth A. : Dragon's Treasure
(Ace 0-441-01196-9, $23.95, 325pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket illustration Les Edwards)
First US edition (UK: Tor UK, November 2003).

Fantasy novel, sequel to Dragon's Winter (1998), about a dragon-changeling who rules a medieval world.
• The Amazon page has the PW review and a Booklist review by Roland Green which concludes "This one, despite a large cast and occasionally complicated plotting, features full and pleasing measures of Lynn's graceful prose and world-building talent."
• Carolyn Cushman reviewed it in the February '04 Locus, calling it "moving, occasionally powerful, but rather episodic".
(Tue 7 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* McArthur, Maxine, & Donna Maree Hanson, eds. : Encounters: An Anthology of Australian Speculative Fiction
(Australia: CSFG Publishing 0-958139-02-4, 213pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art Les Petersen)

Anthology of 22 original stories by new, emerging, and established Australian writers. Authors include Lee Battersby, Cat Sparks, and Chris Barnes. There are interior illustrations by Shane Parker.
• This is the fourth CSFG (Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild) anthology, following Nor of Human, Machinations, and Elsewhere. The CSFG website has this description and table of contents.
(Sat 4 Sep 2004)


(Subterranean Press 1-931081-99-9, $40, 625pp, hardcover, May 2004, jacket art Jim Burns)

Collection of 23 stories spanning 6 decades of the author's career, from the 1950s to the 2000s.
• Stories include "Road to Nightfall", Nebula Award winning "Passengers", Hugo Award winner "Nightwings", "Sundance", Nebula winner "Good News from the Vatican", Nebula winner "Born with the Dead", "Schwartz Between the Galaxies", Nebula winner "Sailing to Byzantium", Hugo winner "Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another", "Beauty in the Night", and "With Caesar in the Underworld".
• Silverberg provides an introduction to the book, introductions to each decade section, and introductions to each story.
• A trade paperback edition is due from ibooks in October.
• Amazon has the PW review. Paul Di Filippo reviewed it for SF Weekly. Tim Pratt's review appeared in the July issue of Locus.
(Sun 5 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Stevenson, Jennifer : Trash Sex Magic
(Small Beer Press 1-931520-12-7, $16, 292pp, trade paperback, June 2004)

Fantasy novel about trailer trash women who work magical wiles on men, and a real estate developer who threatens their land. The author's first novel, it's also available in hardcover.
• The publisher's site has this description, with excerpts from reviews and advance quotes, while the author's site has this excerpt.
• Amazon has the PW review, which concludes "Filled with oddly bent characters, lovingly detailed descriptions of the Illinois countryside, and just the right amount of magic, Stevenson's first novel is at once sexy, beautifully written and passing strange."
• Faren Miller reviewed it in the June '04 issue of Locus Magazine, calling it a "wondereful debut novel" that "can sweep you up and leave you dazzled, miles from home."
(Thu 2 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Zahn, Timothy : The Green and the Gray
(Tor 0-765-30717-0, $27.95, 443pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket art Jim Burns)

SF/mystery novel about a couple caught up in a New York City civil war between rival factions of aliens.
• The Amazon page has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it "understated yet compelling", and a review by Harriet Klausner, who describes it as an aliens-among-us tale that's "a very exciting work of speculative fiction".
(Tue 7 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Zettel, Sarah : The Firebird's Vengeance
(Tor 0-765-30812-6, $27.95, 414pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket art Romas)
First US edition (UK: HarperCollins Voyager, January 2004).

Fantasy novel, conclusion of the Isavalta trilogy following A Sorcerer's Treason (2002) and The Usurper's Crown (2002).
• The author's webpage has some notes about these and other works.
• Amazon reproduces the blurbs from the back cover, and has a review by reader Harriet Klausner, who compares the author to Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton.
(Tue 7 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Some years ago there was in the city of York a society of magicians. They met upon the third Wednesday of each month and read each other long, dull papers upon the history of English magic.
Opening lines:
Sen Dunsidan, Prime Minister of the Federation, paused as he reached his sleeping chambers to look back over his shoulder.

There was no one there who shouldnít be. His personal guard at the bedroom doorway, the sentries on watch at both ends of the hallway - no one else. There never was. But that didnít stop him from checking anyway. His eyes scanned the torchlit corridor carefully. It didnít hurt to make certain. It only made sense to be careful.

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