Baird, Alison :
The Stone of the Stars
(Warner Aspect 0-446-61302-9, $6.99, 575pp, mass market paperback, July 2005, cover illustration Steve Youll)
(First edition: Warner Aspect, February 2004)
Fantasy novel, first of "The Dragon Throne" series, set on an Earth-like planet once ruled by magic. The second book, The Empire of the Stars, came out last November, while the third, The Archons of the Stars, is due in August 2005.
These are the first adult novels by an award-winning Canadian writer of YA novels; this one got a starred review from Publishers Weekly: "Baird has produced a real winner, sure to please current fans and appeal to many new ones."
The author's website has images of these and Baird's earlier books.
Bear, Greg :
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-44838-3, $7.5, 299pp, mass market paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: UK: HarperCollins, May 2004)
Near-future SF thriller/ghost story concerning a porn film producer and a telecommuncations device that accesses the spirit world of the dead.
Del Rey's site has a description and excerpt.
Amazon has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, the latter concluding "Bear's masterful prose, effectively chilling and reminiscent of Koontz at his best, makes this a good pick for sf and horror fans".
Gary K. Wolfe's review in the May '04 issue of Locus concluded that the book is "a performance piece which gains in narrative energy as it grows more conventional in the telling..."
The book placed #14 in this year's Locus Poll (results in the July issue) for best fantasy novel of 2004.
Cherryh, C. J. :
Forge of Heaven
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-380-82023-4, $7.99, 439pp, mass market paperback, July 2005, cover by Bob Eggleton)
(First edition: HarperCollins/Eos, June 2004)
SF novel, second volume in "The Gene Wars" after Hammerfall (2001), concerning a world embargoed for its use of nanotechnology.
The Amazon page has reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and mixed reader reviews. Booklist concludes "It carries the reader along as it gathers momentum toward the stunning and unexpected ending that is realized with masterly aplomb."
Gilman, Laura Anne, ed. :
Worlds That Weren't
(Roc 0-451-46054-5, $6.99, 309pp, mass market paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: Roc, July 2002)
Anthology of four alternate history novellas, by Harry Turtledove, S.M. Stirling, Mary Gentle, and Walter Jon Williams, with afterwords by the authors explaining the historical background of the stories.
Williams' story, "The Last Ride of German Freddie", was a 2003 Sidewise Awards finalist.
There was an earlier trade paperback edition as well as the original 2002 hardcover edition.
Hand, Elizabeth :
(HarperCollins/Perennial 0-06-075534-2, $13.95, 364pp, trade paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: HarperCollins/Morrow, July 2004)
Fantasy novel interweaving three narrative strands about artists, spanning Victorian England to the present.
The publisher's site has this description, an excerpt, and a reading guide.
The author's site has this background about the writing of the book.
The book placed #9 in this year's Locus Poll (results in the July issue) for best fantasy novel of 2004.
Micklem, Sarah :
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-38340-X, $14, 383pp, trade paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: Scribner, June 2004)
Fantasy novel, the author's debut novel and first of a trilogy, about a servant girl with strange powers who becomes the mistress of a nobleman.
The book has its own website, www.firethorn.info, with a synopsis, excerpt, background on the world, etc.
Simon & Schuster's website has this description of the author, with a photo, and an excerpt.
Amazon has a review by Cynthia Ward, who calls it "Bloody, insightful, emotionally wrenching, and beautifully written", and the Publishers Weekly starred review which calls it a "majestic and powerful debut".
The book placed #13 in this year's Locus Poll (results in the July issue) for best first novel of 2004.
Modesitt, L. E. Jr. :
(Tor 0-765-34992-2, $7.99, 518pp, mass market paperback, July 2005, cover art David Seeley)
(First edition: Tor, September 2004)
SF novel set in the 24th century future of Archform: Beauty (2002), in which Jonat deVrai uses subliminal forms of advertising in a political campaign and becomes a target for killers.
Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which calls it a "Chandleresque tale of corporate and political scheming and murder".
The author's website [note new URL] has this description.
Moon, Elizabeth :
The Speed of Dark
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-48139-9, $6.99, 369pp, mass market paperback, June 2005)
(First edition: Ballantine, January 2003)
SF novel about autism and the consequences of a future 'cure' for the condition, based on the author's own experience raising an autistic teenager.
Winner of the 2004 Nebula Award for best novel; also a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards.
This is the first mass market paperback edition; there was an earlier trade paperback edition.
Simmons, Dan :
(HarperTorch 0-380-81792-6, $7.99, 731pp, mass market paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: Eos, July 2003)
Far future SF novel that retells The Iliad by way of immortal post-humans restaging the Trojan War on Mars, the first of a two-volume sequence concluding with Olympos, just published in hardcover.
This book won the 2004 Locus Award for best SF novel, and was a finalist for that year's Hugo Awards.
Eos' website has this description and excerpt.
Gary K. Wolfe's review in Locus Magazine concluded that the book is "one of the most enjoyable, and likely one of the most important, SF novels to appear so far this year."
Stross, Charles :
(Ace 0-441-01296-5, $7.99, 433pp, mass market paperback, July 2005, cover art Danilo Ducak)
(First edition: Ace, July 2004)
SF novel, sequel to 2003's Singularity Sky, currently a Hugo Award finalist.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's review, which describes the book as "compelling space opera and cutting-edge tech with a tasty dash of satire".
Nick Gevers' review in the July '04 Locus Magazine called it "boisterous and provacative, opinionated and hilarious".
It placed #2 on this year's Locus Poll (results in the July issue) for best SF novel of 2004 -- the highest ranking SF novel of those nominated for this year's Hugo Award.
Turtledove, Harry :
Settling Accounts: Return Engagement
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-46405-2, $15.95, 623pp, trade paperback, July 2005)
(First edition: Ballantine Del Rey, August 2004)
Alternate history novel, first in a trilogy that's sequel to the "Great War" and "American Empire" series, in which the Confederate States of America attacks the United States of America, even as WWII looms.
The publisher's site has this description, and excerpt.
Wheeler, Thomas :
(Bantam 0-553-38199-7, $14, 325pp, trade paperback, July 2005, cover by Jules Elis Dulaunay)
(First edition: Bantam, May 2004)
Occult thriller, the first novel by a Hollywood screenwriter, set in New York City in 1919 and concerning a secret society whose members include Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and others.
The publisher's site has this description and excerpt.
Faren Miller's review in the May 2004 issue of Locus Magazine concluded that the book "is a lot of fun to read, and if someone has the sense to film it, it could be dynamite on the Silver Screen."
The book placed #12 in this year's Locus Poll (results in the July issue) for best first novel of 2004.