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January 2006

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Geoff Ryman

S.M. Stirling

Dave Duncan

Locus Bestsellers
New & Notable Books

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Mailing Date:
23 December 2005

Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Kage Baker, The Children of the Company (Tor Nov 2005)

The life and plots of the ruthless cyborg Labienus are revealed in this collection/fix-up novel in the popular series about the time travelers of the Company. This volume leans towards ‘‘a grim tapestry’’ yet Baker’s ‘‘effervescent characterizations and talent for social comedy make [it] picturesque and picaresque, sometimes extremely funny.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Elizabeth Bear, Worldwired (Bantam Spectra Dec 2005)

The final volume in the three-part novel begun in Hammered finds Canadian pilot Jenny Casey dealing with PanChinese attacks, corporate skullduggery, and pending ecological collapse – all while trying to communicate with incomprehensible aliens, fortunately with help from her world-spanning AI version of Richard Feynman and some alien nanotech. ‘‘One of the most welcome writers to come over the horizon lately.’’ [Russell Letson]

Adam Gopnik, The King in the Window (Miramax Oct 2005)

An American boy living in Paris is mistaken by window wraiths as the king who will save them from the evil mirror master in this charmingly offbeat young-adult fantasy, which deftly mixes humor, thrills, the wonders of Paris old and new, and a touch of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.

James A. Hetley, Dragon's Eye (Ace Nov 2005)

Two families with different magics in a small town in coastal Maine must overcome their differences to defeat a dangerous South American drug lord and brujo. Memorable characters and setting combine with action to make this a ‘‘thriller…the pace rarely slows.’’ [Faren Miller]

Cecelia Holland, The Serpent Dreamer (Tor/Forge Dec 2005)

Holland brings the past to life with unusual credibility in this historical fantasy of a tenth-century Viking in the New World who meets Native American tribes and their magics.

James Patrick Kelly, Burn (Tachyon Publications Nov 2005)

A rich man buys a planet in order to create a pastoral utopia in the style of Thoreau, but the inhabitants have other ideas. This satiric SF novella ‘‘… is a cogent, intelligent book, funny at times, melancholy in total; for the reader as tourist, Kelly’s rustic vistas will be tainted by an acrid overlay of smoke, utopia self-combusting.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Ernest Lilley, ed., Future Washington (WFSA Oct 2005)

The US capital provides a background for 16 new SF stories by authors including Kim Stanley Robinson, James Alan Gardner, Joe Haldeman, L. Neil Smith, and Jane Lindskold. ‘‘A first-rate original anthology.’’ [Rich Horton]

Ken MacLeod, Learning the World (Tor Nov 2005)

Far in the future, post-humanity finally encounters an intelligent alien life form, and both species have to adjust their thinking. ‘‘Once again MacLeod has managed to fit nitty-gritty-skiffy details and Big Think issues into a neatly engineered and highly entertaining narrative.’’ [Russell Letson] Originally published in the UK by Orbit (8/05).

Jack McDevitt, Seeker (Ace Nov 2005)

The third far-future SF mystery featuring antiquities dealer Alex Benedict, a gripping adventure that begins when Alex identifies a cup that could lead to a legendary lost colony.

Patricia A. McKillip, Harrowing the Dragon (Ace Nov 2005)

McKillip’s collection of 15 stories in fairy-tale mode, arranged in chronological order, demonstrates her continuing growth as a writer, ‘‘…her insight into human nature and her ability to express the deepest thoughts in the sparest prose.’’ [Faren Miller]

John Meaney, Context (Prometheus/Pyr Oct 2005)

Lord Tom Corcorigan seeks his lost love while a mysterious Blight threatens his subterranean world in this second novel in the Nulapeiron Sequence, a complex chronicle mixing adventure, hard SF, martial arts, and mysticism. Originally published by Bantam UK (2002).

Kai Meyer, translated by Elizabeth D. Crawford, The Water Mirror (S&S/McElderry Oct 2005)

An alternate Renaissance Venice under siege by an Egyptian army of mummies provides a moody setting for this enthralling young-adult fantasy adventure, the first in the Dark Reflections trilogy. Translated from the bestselling German original; published in the UK as The Flowing Queen (Egmont 5/05).

Frederik Pohl, Platinum Pohl (Tor Dec 2005)

The 30 stories collected here, including two Hugo winners, span five decades in the career of one of the field’s enduring masters.

Tim Pratt, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl (Bantam Spectra Dec 2005)

A comic-book creator finds the world of her Western comic invading modern Santa Cruz in this debut novel, a ‘‘cowpunk contemporary fantasy and two-fisted meta-fiction’’ from Locus’s own Tim Pratt.

Robert Reed, The Cuckoo's Boys (Golden Gryphon Press Nov 2005)

This collection of a dozen stories includes one new novelette and notes by Reed on his inspirations. ‘‘The 12 pieces in this volume are all highly original and very capably achieved…one of the strongest genre collections of the year.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Jonathan Stroud, Ptolemy's Gate (Hyperion/Miramax Jan 2006)

The third book in the Bartimaeus trilogy brings the YA fantasy series to a surprising and satisfying conclusion, as the division grows between magic users, their enslaved djinn, and the powerless commoners of London. Originally published in the UK (Doubleday 10/05).

Walter Jon Williams, Dread Empire's Fall: Conventions of War (HarperCollins/Eos Oct 2005)

The rousing and satisfying conclusion to the space opera trilogy. The ultimate battle approaches as humans struggle to stop the merciless insectoid Naxid from controlling the new empire.

© 2006 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.