Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books Sept. #2
Rabid Transit
Barry & Pearson
Carol Berg
Conard & Skoble
Flint & Freer
S.E. Hinton
Rosemary Kirstein
Michael Moorcock
Gary Raham
Pamela Sargent
Gordon Van Gelder

New Books Sept. #1
Terry Brooks
Trudi Canavan
Jay Caselberg
Susanna Clarke
Sara Douglass
Nancy Farmer
Eileen Gunn
M. John Harrison
James P. Hogan
S.T. Joshi
Elizabeth A. Lynn
McArthur & Hanson
Robert Silverberg
Jennifer Stevenson
Timothy Zahn
Sarah Zettel


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 #3

(HarperCollins/Cotler 0-06-029170-2, $24.99, 489pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket art Clive Barker)

Fantasy novel, second volume of a projected 4 young adult novels, following Abarat (2002), about a young girl transported to a land of 25 islands where each represents a different hour of the day. The cover and the over 100 color interior illustrations are by the author.
• Barker's website has this description, while the publisher's site has a description, an interview, and an excerpt.
• has a review by Jennifer Hubert, which concludes "There seems to be no end to Barker's ever-expanding idiosyncratic vision, and for that, fantasy fans of all ages can be grateful."
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Cooper, Loren W. : A Separate Power
(Mundania Press 1-59426-082-6, $11, 161pp, trade paperback, August 2004, cover art Regina Brytowski)

Fantasy novel in which humanity prospers only behind barriers that protect people from powerful spirits.
• The publisher's site has this description and a page about the author.
(Tue 14 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Edghill, Rosemary, ed. : Murder by Magic
(Warner Aspect 0-446-67962-3, $13.95, 345pp, trade paperback, October 2004)

Anthology of 20 original supernatural mystery stories. Authors include Laura Resnick, Susan R. Matthews, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Esther Friesner, and Mercedes Lackey.
• Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald's website has this description with complete table of contents, and excerpts from reviews, including Publishers Weekly's: "The standout, James D. Macdonald's "A Tremble in the Air," introduces a psychic detective, Orville Nesbit, who's clearly heir to the tradition of such sleuths as Algernon Blackwood's John Silence and who deserves to live on in further tales..."
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Jacques, Brian : Rakkety Tam
(Philomel 0399237259, $23.99, 371pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket art Troy Howell)

YA fantasy novel, book #17 in the Redwall series.
• The author's official site Redwall Abbey has this description.
• The UK publisher's site has this description.
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Jones, Gwyneth : Life
(Aqueduct Press 0-9746559-2-9, $19, 370pp, trade paperback, October 2004)

Near-future SF novel, a fictional biography of biologist Anna Senoz, who makes a momentous discovery about the X and Y chromosomes.
• The publisher's site has a description, blurbs from Karen Joy Fowler, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Suzy McKee Charnas, and a statement from the author -- Life: An Explanation.
• Excerpts from the interview of Jones from Locus January '04 issue are online.
(Wed 22 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Donald M. Grant/Scribner 1-880418-62-2, $35, 845pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket illustration Michael Whelan)

Fantasy novel, 7th and final volume of the series "The Dark Tower" that began with "The Gunslinger" in F&SF in 1978 and first book The Gunslinger (1982) that collected 5 novelettes first published in F&SF. Volume 2 followed in '87, volume 3 in '91, volume 4 in '97, then in rapid recent succession volume 5 Wolves of the Calla [Locus Online's description] appeared last year, volume 6 Song of Susannah [description] earlier this year, and now the conclusion in Sept. 2004.
• The book includes Robert Browning's "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" in an appendix, and an author's note. The cover and 12 interior color illustrations are by Michael Whelan.
• Official site The Dark Tower has synopses of the books, an excerpt from this volume, plus backgrounds of the artists, a glossary, list of characters, etc.
• Amazon has a review by Benjamin Reese, who notes "King ties up loose ends left hanging from the 15 non-series novels and stories that are deeply entwined in the fabric of Mid-World through characters like Randall Flagg (The Stand and others) or Father Callahan (Salem's Lot). When it finally arrives, the long awaited conclusion will leave King's myriad fans satisfied but wishing there were still more to come.
• Faren Miller reviews it in the upcoming October issue of Locus Magazine.
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Pike, Christopher : Alosha
(Tor 0-765-31098-8, $18.95, 301pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket art Larry Rostant)

Fantasy novel, first in a series by an author previously known for YA books, about a teenaged girl who discovers she is a faerie princess destined to save the world from Southern California loggers.
• Amazon has the PW review.
• The author has this webpage.
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Ryman, Geoff : Air (Or, Have Not Have)
(St. Martin's Griffin 0-312-26121-7, $14.95, 390pp, trade paperback, September 2004, cover design Philip Pascuzzo)

SF novel about the effects on a Chinese village of a new communications technology, Air, that works without power lines or machines. It's based on a 2001 short story, "Have Not Have", that was a Sturgeon Award finalist and appeared in Gardner Dozois's 19th annual best SF anthology.
• The book was first announced a couple years ago (in fact, Publishers Weekly included it on its list of Best SF books of 2003), but was delayed pending a final rewrite. The back cover has blurbs from John Clute, Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, and Michael Swanwick.
Infinity Plus has posted this excerpt, as well as an interview of Ryman by Kit Reed. SF Weekly posted a review by Claude Lalumiere back in January.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Ryman makes a triumphant return to science fiction in this superbly crafted tale. ... Besides being a treat for fans of highly literate SF, this intensely political book has important things to say about how developed nations take the Third World for granted."
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Stephenson, Neal : The System of the World
(HarperCollins/Morrow 0-06-052387-5, $27.95, 15+892pp, hardcover, October 2004)

SF novel, final volume in the "Baroque Cycle" following Quicksilver (2003) and The Confusion (Apr 2004), that traces the origins of the scientific revolution in the 18th century.
• The author's website launches a pop-up window that leads you to numerous links for this and the previous books, including a description of and excerpt from this book.
• The publisher's site has this description and chapter excerpt.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews it in the October issue of Locus Magazine, acknowledging that while "the novel - and to some extent the whole series - strains at the very edges of what narrative can represent" one cannot finished the novel "without the conviction that this is indeed a tremendous accomplishment, a daunting achievement, a truly epic undertaking."
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(New American Library 0451213041, $14.95, 351pp, trade paperback, October 2004)

Nonfiction guide to Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, just concluded with the publication of the seventh volume (see above), written with the cooperation of King. Includes synopses of each book in the series, traces to connections to the series in other works by King, etc.
• The author's website has this description with links to interviews and a signed, limited edition of the book from Cemetery Dance Press.
• The author writes a column about King in Cemetery Dance magazine.
• Faren Miller reviews the book in the October issue of Locus Magazine, calling it "neither an abstruse scholarly thesis nor a fannish rave" and "a wonderfully useful guide for further exploration."
(Tue 21 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Westerfeld, Scott : So Yesterday
(Penguin/Razorbill 159514000X, $16.99, 225pp, hardcover, September 2004)

YA novel about 17-year-old Hunter Braque, whose job is to spot the next cool thing.
• The author's website has this description, and an excerpt, with pictures.
• Cory Doctorow, on this Salon blog, calls it "a fast-paced, smart-talkin', trivia-spoutin' mystery thriller that I read through in about a day and a half, laughing aloud time and again".
(Wed 15 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Wrede, Patricia C., & Caroline Stevermer : The Grand Tour
(Harcourt 015204616X, $17, 469pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket illustration Allen Douglas)

Subtitled "Being a Revelation of Matters of High Confidentiality and Greatest Importance, Including Extracts from the Intimate Diary of a Noblewoman and the Sworn Testimony of a Lady of Quality", this is a YA Regency fantasy novel, sequel to Sorcery and Cecelia (1988), about an 1817 tour of Europe that involves evil wizards.
• The authors have this webpage.
• Amazon has the Booklist review by Kay Weisman, who says "the novel has the feel of Jane Austen meeting Harry Potter" and "those who persevere will be rewarded with a satisfying blend of magic, mystery, adventure, humor, and romance."
(Wed 15 Sep 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Mae lived in the last village in the world to go on line.

After that, everyone else went on Air.

Mae was the village's fashion expert. She advised on makeup, sold cosmetics, and provided good dresses. Every farmer's wife needed at least one good dress.
Opening lines:
Pere Don Callahan had once been the Catholic priest of a town, 'Salem's Lot had been its name, that no longer existed on any map. He didn't much care. Concepts such as reality had ceased to matter to him.

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