Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books Oct. #1
Margaret Ball
Jim Butcher
Rachel Caine
Elaine Cunningham
William C. Dietz
Laurell K. Hamilton
Dean Koontz
Michael Martinez
Jalina Mhyana
L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Elizabeth Moon
Mary Murrey
Parker & Parker
Martin Scott
Wen Spencer
Stewart & Riddell
Liz Williams

New Books Sept. #4
Stephen Baxter
Herbie Brennan
Pushman Clark
Ronald L. Donaghe
L.B. Graham
P.B. Kerr
Mercedes Lackey
Paul Park
Tamora Pierce
Terry Pratchett
Philip Roth
Stephen Woodworth


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 : October 2004 Week #2

* Anthony, Piers : Currant Events
(Tor 0-765-30407-4, $24.95, 336pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket art Darrell K. Sweet)

Humorous fantasy novel, 28th in the long-running "Xanth" series, this one focusing on Clio, Xanth's Muse of History.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which notes this is first of a trilogy within the series, and concludes "This is great fun for punsters -- a Tor-ment for others."
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Banks, Iain M. : The Algebraist
(UK: Time Warner UK/Orbit 1-84149-155-1, £17.99, 534pp, hardcover, October 2004)

Far future space opera novel set on a remote gas giant planet awaiting its wormhole connection to the rest of galactic civilization; it's independent of Banks' Culture sequence of novels.
• Banks' website has this description of the book; the publisher's site has the same description and an extract.
• Cheryl Morgan reviews it in Emerald City. Amazon UK (click on title or cover) has reader reviews. Damien Broderick reviews it in the October Locus.
(Tue 12 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Baxter, Stephen : Exultant
(UK: Orion/Gollancz 0-575-07428-0, £18.99, 490pp, hardcover, September 2004)

Far future SF novel, second in the "Destiny's Children" sequence that began with last year's Coalescent, and part of Baxter's career-spanning "Xeelee" series about mysterious aliens battling mankind for control of the galaxy.
• Baxter talked about the book in his recent Locus interview, excerpted here.
• The Amazon UK page has a synopsis of the book from the publisher's page.
• The US edition is due from Del Rey in December.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews it in the September issue of Locus, and Nick Gevers reviews it in the October issue.
(Tue 12 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* de Lint, Charles : The Blue Girl
(Viking 0-670-05924-2, $17.99, 368pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket illustration Cliff Nielsen)

YA urban fantasy novel about a 17-year-old former gang member whose family moves to a new town (de Lint's Newford), where she meets a ghost and encounters faeries.
• Amazon has a review by Jennifer Hubert, who says "de Lint's Blue Girl reads like a really well-executed episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer--smart and thought provoking, without taking itself too seriously.", and the book description from the publisher's site.
• Jonathan Strahan reviews it in the upcoming November issue of Locus Magazine, seeing patterns familiar from the author's earlier work but concluding "The Blue Girl sees de Lint developing as a writer again, finding a way forward. It has flaws but, for that reason alone, it deserves to stand amongst his best and most interesting work. Certainly, The Blue Girl is de Lint's best book in some time, and one of the better fantasies of the year."
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Duncan, Dave : The Jaguar Knights
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-055511-4, $24.95, 386pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket illustration Paul Robinson)
First US edition (Canada: HarperCollins Canada, September 2004).

Fantasy novel, sixth book in "The King's Blades" series that began with The Gilded Chain in 1998 and whose previous volume was Impossible Odds in 2003.
• The author's website has this description, with an excerpt.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which concludes "Duncan's voice is accessible, his pacing breakneck and his unadorned style makes the impossible seem probable."
• Faren Miller's review in the October Locus notes that Duncan has been experimenting with the fantasy adventure form for some years, and this book "turns more than one genre on its head and gives them a tremendous shaking -- if not a full concussion."
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Greenberg, Martin H., & Russell Davis, eds. : Haunted Holidays
(DAW 0-7564-0223-9, $6.99, 310pp, mass market paperback, October 2004)

Anthology of 13 original dark fantasy stories about holidays. Authors include Peter Crowther, Brian A. Hopkins, Esther M. Friesner, David D. Levine.
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Lee, Tanith : Piratica
(Penguin/Dutton 0-525-47324-6, $17.99, 288pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket art Glenn Harrington)
First US edition (UK: Hodder Children's Books, February 2004).

YA fantasy novel, subtitled "Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas".
• The Amazon UK page for the first edition has a review by John McLay, calling it "a novel of great invention and bountiful surprises" and noting "The author's editorial tongue is firmly in cheek throughout, but its rip-roaring spirited and pleasurable nevertheless."
• UK publisher Hodder Headline has excerpts from reviews.
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Pohl, Frederik : The Boy Who Would Live Forever
(Tor 0-765-31049-X, $25.95, 380pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket art John Harris)

SF novel in Pohl's "Heechee" saga, following Hugo/Nebula/Campbell/Locus award winning Gateway (1977), its sequels Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, Heechee Rendezvous, and The Annals of the Heechee, and collection The Gateway Trip (1990).
• This novel incorporates several short works previously published: the title novella from Far Horizons (1999), "A Home for the Old Ones" from the 30th's anniversary DAW SF anthology, and "Hatching the Phoenix" in Amazing Stories 1999-2000.
• The Amazon page has the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its August 9th issue, calling the book "a pure delight, miraculously combining wry adventure and compassionate satire."
• Pohl has a Wikipedia entry.
• Russell Letson reviews the book in the October issue of Locus Magazine.
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Reeve, Philip : Predator's Gold
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-072193-6, $16.99, 325pp, hardcover, September 2004, jacket art Christophe Vacher)
First US edition (UK: Scholastic UK, September 2003).

YA SF novel, second in the "Hungry City Chronicles" following last year's Mortal Engines, about cities on wheels that travel and consume smaller cities in their paths.
• The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
• Amazon has a review by Sharon Rawlins from School Library Journal, who says "This exciting and compelling novel unfolds at breakneck speed with abundant plots and characters but readers won't have any trouble following along."
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Ringo, John, & Julie Cochrane : Cally's War
(Baen 0-7434-8845-8, $25, 326pp, hardcover, October 2004, cover art Clyde Caldwell)

Military SF novel, fifth in Ringo's "Posleen War" series that began with A Hymn Before Battle (2000).
• Baen's site has this description with links to chapter excerpts.
(Thu 14 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Shepard, Lucius : A Handbook of American Prayer
(Thunder's Mouth 1-56858-281-1, $22, 263pp, hardcover, September 2004)

Fantasy novel about a man, jailed for manslaughter, whose prayers in prison are actually answered, and who emerges from prison a national celebrity.
• The publisher's site has a description and excerpt (use search function to find the page). Amazon has the same description. Note Amazon has an outdated publisher name, and cover image; even the publisher's page has a cover image that doesn't match that of the actual book, which is scanned here.
• This is a long-awaited title from Shepard, first announced as far back as 1998, and erroneously listed in places as a collection rather than a novel. This Strange Horizons interview includes some words about this book.
• A short review appeared last week in Seattle Times.
(Sat 9 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Shepard, Lucius : Liar's House
(Subterranean Press 1-59606-002-6, $35, 90pp, hardcover, August 2004, jacket illustration J.K. Potter)

Fantasy novella set in the world of the dragon Griaule, setting of past Shepard stories including "The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule" and "The Scalehunter's Beautiful Daughter".
• It was first published by, and is still online at, Sci Fiction, and it placed #10 in this year's Locus Poll for best novella.
• This is a signed, limited edition of 500, available from Amazon (click on title or cover image here) or directly from Subterranean Press, which also offers a traycased, leatherbound, lettered edition of 26 for $150.
(Sat 9 Oct 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
I have a story to tell you. It has many beginnings, and perhaps one ending. Perhaps not. Beginnings and endings are contingent things anyway; inventions; devices. Where does any story really begin? There is always context, always an encompassingly greater epic, always something before the described events, unless we are to start every story with, 'BANG! Expand! Sssss . . . ', then itemise the whole subsequent history of the universe before settling down, at last, to the particular tale in question. Similarly, no ending is final, unless it is the end of all things . . .
Opening lines:
When people look back at things they're ashamed of having done and say it must have been another person who did those things, and they have no idea who that person was, what they're actually saying, though they may not understand it, is that they do know that person and they don't know who they are now. They believe or pretend to believe that age and experience have combined to make them larger, wiser, a grander and thus less knowable soul than their former self, one incapable of such miscreance. Perhaps committing an act of extreme violence helps to clear way these confusions, for I know exactly who I was on the night twelve years ago when I killed Mario Kirschner, and while I'm more patient that once I was and have rid myself of certain delusions, I'm essentially the same man today, equally susceptible to stupidity. Prayer has made a difference in my life, yet it hasn't proved to be the glorious difference-maker that evangelists suggest. Of course my prayers are aimed lower than the prayers of priests and mullahs, intended to produce not miracles but small, calculable effects.

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