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New Books Archive
Dec '01


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.

Prose Quote #060

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The once-proud war galleon was named the Resolve, and she listed drunkenly in the nightmare sea...

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen, 24 - 31 July 2002

* Goldstein, Lisa The Alchemist's Door
(Tor 0-765-30150-4, $23.95, 286pp, hc, August 2002, jacket art and lettering Gregory Manchess)
Historical fantasy novel that imagines a collaboration between Elizabethan alchemist John Dee, and Rabbi Judah Loew (credited with creating the golem), in Prague in the 1580s. The author's website has the first chapter. The Amazon page has a starred review from Booklist. Reviewed by Faren Miller in the July Locus. (Fri 26 Jul 2002)

* Herald, Diana Tixier, & Bonnie Kunzel Strictly Science Fiction: A Guide to Reading Interests
(Libraries Unlimited 1-56308-893-2, $55, 22+297pp, hc, July 2002)
Nonfiction, bibliographical guide to SF, arranged by subject and theme. Over 900 titles, focusing on books currently in print or likely to be in library collections, are described and grouped into 8 broad categories: action/adventure, technology, "our strange world", "us and them", genre-blending, YA and children's, short stories, and nonfiction resources. Some titles are listed in more than one chapter, with cross-references. Many categorizations invite quibbling, of course — Connie Willis's Lincoln's Dreams is action adventure? — but as a rough guide to various themes and subgenres, it's quite useful, especially those subsections that list shared world fiction, romance and mystery hybrids, humorous SF, etc. Book descriptions address subject matter only, with no attempt to indicate quality or significance, aside from occasional icons that signify award winners or "classics". Introductory matter covers history and definition of SF, and appendices include lists of various awards winners, and indexes of authors/titles, subjects, and characters. (Mon 29 Jul 2002)

* Irvine, Alex Rossetti Song
(Small Beer Press, no isbn, $5, 70pp, chapbook, July 2002, book design T. Davidsohn)
Chapbook of four stories, three previously published, and one original, "The Sands of Iwo Jima". The author's website has (in addition to the first part of his recent novel A Scattering of Jade) pdf versions of three short stories, including the title story of this collection. A review by Nick Gevers will be posted shortly on Locus Online. (Mon 29 Jul 2002)

* Newcomb, Robert The Fifth Sorceress
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-44892-8, $26.95, 591pp, hc, August 2002, jacket illustration Justin Sweet, jacket design David Stevenson)
Fantasy novel, a first novel much-heralded by publisher Del Rey as the "Epic Fantasy of the Year" (from the publisher's webpage: "Not since Terry Goodkind unsheathed the Sword of Truth has there been such an epic tale of heroism and magic that so captures the imagination as this monumental new work by a master storyteller.") URL leads to a feature page (also on the Random House site) with a statement from Del Rey editor Betsy Mitchell, and a special offer to get an eBook version for free. The Amazon page has the PW review, which calls it a "surprisingly original doorstopper". (Tue 30 Jul 2002)

* Reimann, Katya Prince of Fire and Ashes
(Tor 0-312-86009-9, $27.95, 477pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Romas, jacket design Carol Russo Design)
Fantasy novel, third and final volume in the "Tielmaran Chronicles". Carolyn Cushman in the July Locus calls it "a solid conclusion to an entertaining series." Amazon has the PW review, and a Harriet Klausner reader review. The author's webpage has, in addition to photos etc., the prologue and first couple chapters of this book, all linked from this page.(Fri 26 Jul 2002)

+ Silverberg, Robert The Longest Way Home
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-380-97858-x, $25.95, 294pp, hc, July 2002, jacket illustration Jim Burns)
First US edition (UK: Orion/Gollancz May 2002). SF novel about a young man of privilege forced to travel by foot across a planet inhabited by humans and aliens. Reviewed by Nick Gevers in the April Locus, who called it Silverberg's "most unconventional and least anodyne novel in many years"; and (in its magazine serial form) by Rich Horton here at Locus Online, who called it "decent contemporary Young Adult SF". The PW review is posted on Amazon. The HarperCollins webpage includes a chapter excerpt. (Fri 26 Jul 2002)

* Siratori, Kenji Blood Electric
(Creation Books 1-84068-060-1, $14.95, 224pp, tpb, June 2002)
SF novel, billed "the new Japanese cyberpunk classic" on the front cover, by a young (born 1975) Japanese writer who has previously published ebooks (Locus Online noted Aidos back in May 2001) and online (here's a Manifesto posted in the current Exquisite Corpse, which also offers some author links); this is his "first major book publication". It's about the coming to consciousness of an artificial intelligence, told with "unparalleled stylistic terrorism" — see sample. (Mon 29 Jul 2002)

Seen earlier in July:

* Aldiss, Brian Super-State
(UK: Time Warner/Orbit 1-84149-144-6, £16.99, 230pp, hc, May 2002)
Near-future SF novel concerning 21st-century advances in technology and exploration (as a manned spaceship named Roddenberry reaches Jupiter's moon Europa) while fundamental issues of life and death remain unresolved back on Earth. The official Aldiss website has an extract. (Mon 15 Jul 2002)

* Allen, Roger MacBride The Ocean of Years
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58364-6, $6.50, 15+442pp, pb, July 2002, cover art Gregory Bridges)
Far future SF novel, second in "The Chronicles of Solace" following The Depths of Time (2000), concerning time travel, terraforming, interstellar travel, and wormholes. The author's website has reviews and an excerpt from the first book; these two will be followed by The Shores of Tomorrow. The Amazon page has reader reviews. (Thu 18 Jul 2002)

* Anderson, Kevin J. The Saga of Seven Suns, Book 1: Hidden Empire
(Warner Aspect 0-446-52862-5, $23.95, 453pp, hc, July 2002, jacket illustration Steve Youll, jacket design Don Puckey/Shasti O'Leary)
SF novel, first of a new series, "The Saga of the Seven Suns", about a war between humanity and various elder galactic races. The author's website,, has a page about the book; an excerpt from this book; and a contest to get your name into the next installment. The Amazon page (click title or cover image) has a review by prolific reviewer Harriet Klausner. (Tue 23 Jul 2002)

* Asher, Neal The Skinner
(UK: Macmillan 0-333-90364-1, £9.99, 474pp, tpb, March 2002, cover illustration Steve Rawlings/Debut Art)
SF novel, the second novel from UK author Asher following Gridlinked (2001); it concerns three travellers to the remote planet Spatterjay. The book is Russell Letson's lead review in his column for the August 2002 issue of Locus; he comments that Asher provides "an exhilarating tour through one of the most ingeniously, elaborately deadly worlds since Harry Harrison invented Deathworld in the 1960s." The Amazon UK page has a review by David Langford, and there's some description of the book on Neal Asher's website. (Mon 15 Jul 2002)

* Barnes, John The Sky So Big and Black
(Tor 0-765-30303-5, $24.95, 315pp, hc, August 2002, jacket art Vince Natale, jacket design Scott Levine)
SF novel in the "Heinlein juvenile" mode, set in the alternate future of Orbital Resonance (1991), Kaleidoscope Century (1995), and Candle (2000), according to Russell Letson's review in the August Locus. Cynthia Ward's Amazon review recognizes the Heinlein model too, and comments "Like his models, Barnes does a superb job". (Tue 23 Jul 2002)

* Brin, David, & Kevin Lenagh Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplife Universe
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-37796-5, $14.95, 14+191pp, tpb, July 2002, cover art Jim Burns)
Nonfiction guide to the universe of David Brin's Uplift novels (Startide Rising, The Uplift War, etc.), in the format of a training manual for human intelligence operatives, with background on aliens and urgent advice to humans on how not to antagonize them. The text is by Brin, with illustrations by Lenagh. Amazon has PW and Booklist reviews. Reviewed by Nick Gevers in the June Locus, who found it both encyclopedic and concise: "could serve as a model for books of that kind… It’s all very entertaining, hair-trigger farce disguised as a reference work; for devotees of Brin, it can’t be too highly recommended." (Sat 29 Jun 2002)

* Calder, Richard Lord Soho
(UK: Simon & Schuster/Earthlight 0-7434-0896-9, £6.99, 378pp, pb, June 2002, jacket illustration Jim Burns)
Far-future SF novel (or "futuristic sword-and-sorcery epic" according to David Pringle), subtitled "A Time Opera", set in the same future universe as Malignos (2000) and concerning the grandson, Richard Pike the Third, of the earlier book's protagonist. All chapters including "Lord Soho", "Incunabula", "The Lady of the Carnelias", "The Nephilim", "Roach Motel", and "Espiritu Santo" are reprinted or expanded from pieces published in Interzone from April '00 to August '01, and are variously based on myth, opera, or folk tales. Here's the publisher's page. (Sat 13 Jul 2002)

* Chiang, Ted Stories of Your Life and Others
(Tor 0-765-30418-x, $24.95, 333pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Gregory Manchess, jacket design Irene Gallo)
Collection of 8 stories, the author's entire output since his debut in 1990, including "Tower of Babylon", "Story of Your Life", "Seventy-Two Letters", and Hugo-nominee and Locus Award winner "Hell Is the Absence of God". One story is original to this volume, 45-page "Liking What You See: A Documentary". There are story notes by the author at the end of the book. The book is being widely reviewed, usually with superlatives, such as Gary K. Wolfe's conclusion to his review in the June Locus: "It is unlikely that a more important, or more elegantly and economically written, story collection will appear this year, or for some years to come." (Fri 28 Jun 2002)

* Dozois, Gardner, ed The Year's Best Science Fiction: Nineteenth Annual Collection
(St. Martin's Griffin 0-312-28878-6, $35, 44+637pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Donato Giancola, jacket design Shea M. Kornblum)
Anthology of 26 stories from 2001, by authors including Ian R. MacLeod, Geoff Ryman, Dan Simmons, James Patrick Kelly, Allen M. Steele, Michael Swanwick, Nancy Kress, Michael Blumlein, Charles Stross, and others. Dozois's lengthy "Summation: 2001" is a comprehensive overview of the year in publishing (with discussions of why magazine circulation is declining, and SF sites on the web), and the year's best novels, collection, anthologies, art books, etc., with several pages about the year's notable SF/F movies and TV shows as well, concluding with lists of major awards winners and deaths. Included are all three stories from the June Asimov's that won or placed in last weekend's Theodore Sturgeon Awards. Also of note even if you're a regular magazine reader is the inclusion of Ken MacLeod's novella "The Human Front", originally published in a limited edition UK chapbook. Reviewed by Gary K. Wolfe in the July Locus, as part of a detailed comparison of this and two other best of the year SF volumes. (Mon 8 Jul 2002)

* Eddings, David, & Leigh Eddings Regina's Song
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-44898-7, $26.95, 424pp, hc, July 2002, jacket design David Stevenson)
Fantasy novel, a supernatural thriller about two identical twins, one of whom is murdered; a change-of-pace for the authors usually known for high fantasy series. Amazon's review by Cynthia Ward is unenthusiastic, in contrast to the several reader reviews. (Tue 2 Jul 2002)

+ Fisher, Jude Sorcery Rising
(DAW 0-7564-0083-x, $23.95, 469pp, hc, July 2002, cover art Michael Whelan, cover design G-Force Design)
First US edition (UK: Simon & Schuster/Earthlight June 2002). Fantasy novel, Book One of Fool's Gold. The author previously published the 'Visual Companion' to the LOTR film, but what's more notable is the recent revelation that "Jude Fisher" is a pseudonym for editor Jane Johnson of UK publisher HarperCollins — a rival publisher to Earthlight, which first published and heavily promoted the book in the UK (see Ansible 180). Reviewed by Carolyn Cushman in the July Locus. (Mon 8 Jul 2002)

* Gaiman, Neil Coraline
(HarperCollins 0-380-97778-8, $15.99, 162pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Dave McKean)
Fantasy novel, published as a YA book, about a girl living in a huge old house who finds a door leading to a creepy alternate universe; with illustrations by Dave McKean. Also available on audio CD, read by the author. Amazon has a review by Karin Snelson. Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the June Locus, commenting "a more ambitious novel than it may first seem… a dark chamber piece, suitable enough for children, though with an unsettling edge of genuine terror which is emphasized by the creepy illustrations..." (Tue 2 Jul 2002)

+ Goto, Hiromi The Kappa Child
(Red Deer Press 0-88995-228-0, $16.95, 278pp, tpb, May 2002, cover design Duncan Campbell)
First US edition (Canada: Red Deer Press 2001). US edition of a novel that, on the basis of its Canadian publication last year, won this year's James Tiptree, Jr. Award (for SF or fantasy "that expands or explores our understanding of gender"). It's a magical realist novel about Japanese immigrants living on the Canadian prairie (a comparison is to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie), one of whom is pregnant with a new being — the Kappa Child. The cover design is notable — not visible in the scan is a reflective outline of the frog-like creature, with beak and webbed feet, standing amidst the green grass. (Tue 9 Jul 2002)

* Grimwood, Jon Courtenay Effendi: The Second Arabesk
(UK: Simon & Schuster/Earthlight 0-7432-0285-6, £12.99, 376pp, hc, April 2002, cover design The Whole Hog)
SF novel set in an alternate-world Alexandria, sequel to Clarke and British SF award shortlisted Pashazade (2001). The Amazon UK page has a review by Roz Kaveney. Gary K. Wolfe reviewed it in the June issue of Locus, remarking that Grimwood "has emerged over the last few years as one of the most interesting newer British novelists to have gained no real foothold in the U.S. …" Author's website. (Mon 15 Jul 2002)

* Harlan, Thomas The Dark Lord
(Tor 0-312-86560-0, $27.95, 538pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Stephen Hickman)
Fantasy novel, fourth and concluding volume in the series that began with The Oath of Empire in 1999, set in an alternative Roman Empire. Faren Miller assesses the entire series in the July Locus. The PW review on Amazon calls it "opulent historical fantasy on a grand scale". The author's website has this page about the series. (Wed 10 Jul 2002)

* Hartwell, David G., & Kathryn Cramer, eds Year's Best Fantasy 2
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-380-81841-8, $7.99, 13+492pp, pb, July 2002, cover art not credited)
Anthology of 22 fantasy stories from 2001, with a brief introduction summarizing the state of fantasy publishing. Stories include two Locus Awards winners: Le Guin's "The Finder" (almost 100 pages in this book!), and Chiang's "Hell Is the Absence of God", as well as stories by Andy Duncan, Gene Wolfe, Tanith Lee, Poul Anderson, James Blaylock, James Morrow, and others. As with the editors' SF anthology earlier this year, for some reason only Hartwell's name appears on the cover. Reviewed by Gary K. Wolfe in the August Locus. (Thu 18 Jul 2002)

* Irvine, Alexander C. A Scattering of Jades
(Tor 0-765-30116-4, $25.95, 428pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art John Jude Palencar, jacket design Howard Grossman/12E Design)
Fantasy novel about an 1835 fire in Manhattan, a discovery in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, a conspiracy involving P.T. Barnum, and much else… A first novel by an author noted for short fiction in recent years. Amazon has the PW review, and its own review by Cynthia Ward. Gary K. Wolfe, in the June Locus, called it "a positively startling accomplishment for a first novel." (Mon 8 Jul 2002)

+ Irvine, Ian Dark Is the Moon
(Warner Aspect 0-446-60986-2, $7.5, 14+677pp, pb, July 2002, cover illustration Mark Sofilas)
First US edition (Australia: Penguin Australia 1999). Fantasy novel, third volume “The View from the Mirror” quartet. Also published in the UK, May 2001; the Amazon UK page has a review by Roz Kaveney. (Tue 2 Jul 2002)

+ Lustbader, Eric Van The Veil of a Thousand Tears
(Tor 0-312-87236-4, $27.95, 672pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Keith Parkinson, jacket design Carol Russo Design)
First US edition (UK: HarperCollins/Voyager April 2002). Fantasy novel, second in "The Pearl Saga" following The Ring of Five Dragons (2001). Pdf extracts from both volumes are available at this site, and the author has a new website,, that's just gone live. (Wed 10 Jul 2002)

* McDevitt, Jack Chindi
(Ace 0-441-00938-7, $22.95, 403pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Edwin Herder, jacket design Rita Frangie)
SF novel, somewhat old-fashioned tale of interstellar adventure (says PW) and follow-up to two earlier novels, The Engines of God and last year's Deepsix, about space explorers investigating a strange star system filled with alien artifacts. Reviewed by Bill Sheehan in the June Locus, who called it a "big, lovingly detailed new novel of interstellar suspense." McDevitt's webpage has an excerpt. (Wed 10 Jul 2002)

* Merril, Judith, & Emily Pohl-Weary Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril
(Canada: Between the Lines 1-896357-57-1, 282pp, tpb, April 2002)
Memoir by influential writer and editor of SF in the 1940s through the 1960s, assembled by Merril's granddaughter. Judith Merril was one of the earliest prominent female writers in SF; her first short story, "That Only a Mother", became a classic; she's best-known as editor of a "Year's Best SF" series of anthologies from 1956 to 1968, in which she expanded the boundaries of her books beyond genre SF. No review on Amazon or in Locus, but John Clute's review at SF Weekly is here. (Fri 5 Jul 2002)

* Modesitt, L.E. Jr. Archform: Beauty
(Tor 0-765-30433-3, $25.95, 330pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art David Seeley)
SF novel set in the 24th century, but an author better known in recent years for fantasy novels. Amazon has a review by Roz Genessee, plus PW and Booklist reviews. (Tue 9 Jul 2002)

* Reynolds, Alastair Redemption Ark
(UK: Orion/Gollancz 0-575-06880-9, £10.99, 567pp, tpb, June 2002, jacket illustration Chris Moore, jacket design Richard Carr)
SF novel, a far future space epic, by popular new British SF writer; his third, a direct sequel to first novel Revelation Space and also linked to second novel Chasm City, according to David Langford's review on the Amazon UK page. Jonathan Strahan's review in the July Locus sets Reynolds's "Conjoiner/Demarchist" future history in the context of past SF future histories, from E.E. Smith to Asimov to Banks, and calls this book "clearly one of the year's major science fiction novels"; Langford says "a hugely enjoyable and ambitious interstellar epic, a must-read for fans of SF that operates on a truly colossal scale." Reynolds's webpage is Untitled. (Sat 13 Jul 2002)

* Robinson, Kim Stanley Vinland the Dream
(UK: HarperCollins/Voyager 0-00-713404-5, £6.99, 410pp, pb, May 2002, cover illustration Chris Moore)
Collection of 14 stories, all but one previously collected in earlier collections The Planet on the Table and Remaking History — the one that wasn't is "Discovering Life" (2000) — that mostly concern alternate history themes, and as such "anticipate some of the techniques that helped make The Years of Rice and Salt such a distinctive treatment of 'remade' history", according to Gary K. Wolfe's review in the May issue of Locus. (Mon 15 Jul 2002)

* Russell, Sean The Isle of Battle
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-380-97490-8, $25.95, 467pp, hc, August 2002, jacket illustration Stephen Hickman, jacket design Amy Halperin)
Fantasy novel, second in the "Swan's War" trilogy, following The One Kingdom (2001). Both Carolyn Cushman in the June Locus and Cynthia Ward on Amazon note that the book suffers from "middle-book-itis" — but the first book got unusually good reviews. The publisher's website has a preview. (Tue 23 Jul 2002)

* Saberhagen, Fred Gods of Fire and Thunder
(Tor 0-765-30201-2, $24.95, 319pp, hc, August 2002, jacket art Julie Bell, jacket design Carol Russo Design)
Fantasy novel, fifth in the "Book of the Gods" series, about the gods of Valhalla. Saberhagen's website includes a description and first chapter. (Fri 19 Jul 2002)

* Schmidt, Stanley Argonaut
(Tor 0-312-87726-9, $25.95, 333pp, hc, July 2002, jacket art Alan Pollack)
SF novel, the Analog editor's first novel in 16 years, about an invasion of Earth by alien-designed nanotech bugs. The Amazon page has a Booklist review by Regina Schroeder, and the book is reviewed by Alyx Dellamonica in the June issue of Locus, who comments that the book "serves as a response to the SF convention of a ship which visits a new world, does a couple of orbits, and easily acquires complete knowledge about its terrain, peoples, and military readiness. … Argonaut also has a pleasant Golden Age feel." (Wed 10 Jul 2002)

* Simmons, Dan Worlds Enough and Time
(Subterranean Press 1-931081-54-9, $40, 243pp, hc, March 2002)
Collection, the author's first since Lovedeath (1993), of five stories, including 2001's "On K2 with Kanakaredes" (also in Dozois's volume); "Looking for Kelly Dahl" and Locus Award winning "Orphans of the Helix"; "The Ninth of Av", first published in a French anthology edited by Robert Silverberg; and one original story, "The End of Gravity". Amazon has the PW review. (Thu 4 Jul 2002)

* Turtledove, Harry, ed Alternate Generals II
(Baen 0-7434-3528-1, $24, 339pp, hc, July 2002, cover art Dru Blair, cover design Carol Russo Design)
Anthology of 13 alternate history stories about generals, including Patton, Napoleon, Custer, etc. Authors include Roland J. Green, Harry Turtledove, and William Sanders. (Wed 26 Jun 2002)

* Turtledove, Harry American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-44421-3, $27.95, 503pp, hc, July 2002, cover design Big Dot Design)
Alternate history novel, second in the "American Empire" trilogy following Blood and Iron, in which the Confederacy won the Civil War. Amazon has a Booklist review by Roland Green. (Tue 2 Jul 2002)

* VanderMeer, Jeff City of Saints and Madmen
(Prime 0-9668968-8-2, $40, 218+pp, hc, July 2002, cover art Scott Eagle, cover design Garry Nurrish)
Much-expanded edition of a collection of linked stories, first published in 2001, now published in hardcover by Prime Books with a new introduction by Michael Moorcock. Locus Online published a review by Claude Lalumière earlier this year (which is quoted on the Amazon page!). The new edition adds a number of separately-paginated appendices. Faren Miller reviews the book in the August Locus, offering tips to reading the book and identifying the many relationships between its many parts (including a short story wrapped around the front and back of the dust jacket). The Amazon page has not only the PW review, but many many quotes from various reviewers. (Sat 6 Jul 2002)

* Watson, Ian The Lexicographer's Love Song and other poems
(DNA Publications no isbn, $5, 59pp, chap, November 2001, cover art Tim Mullins)
Collection of 21 poems, by the prolific British novelist and short story writer (and A.I. Artificial Intelligence screenwriter, the press release notes), 3 of them original. DNA publications has a webpage about the book, and three samples. Not on Amazon; purchase from DNA. (Wed 17 Jul 2002)

* Weber, David, & Eric Flint 1633
(Baen 0-7434-3542-7, $26, 598pp, hc, August 2002, cover art Dru Blair, cover design Carol Russo Design)
Alternate history time travel novel, sequel to 1632 by Flint alone. Flint's bibliography indicates several more volumes in the series forthcoming. Amazon has a description, and one very disappointed reader review. (Tue 23 Jul 2002)

* Zackey, Christopher The Skyslanders
(1st Books Library 0-7596-7285-7, 151pp, hc, 2002)
SF novel, about a summer classical music festival on an island in the sky, and written, according to the author, "to simulate finely-textured high animation, such as that found in classic Disney feature films." Available from as an e-book, paperback, or hardcover; also on Amazon (click title). (Wed 17 Jul 2002)

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