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2002 Archive


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.

in LOCUS Magazine

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Books reviewed in January

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen, 14 - 25 February

* Barnes, Steven Zulu Heart
(Warner Aspect 0-446-53122-7, $24.95, 463pp, hc, March 2003, jacket illustration Craig Nelson, jacket design Don Puckey)
Alternate history novel, follow-up to last year's Lion's Blood (which is on Locus's 2002 Recommended Reading List), set in a North America colonized by Africans using European slaves.
• Reviewed in the March 2003 issue of Locus Magazine by Alyx Dellamonica, who's very enthusiastic: "Lionís Blood was an outstanding accomplishment, one that looked impossible to surpass. But in Zulu Heart Barnes has done just that, infusing still more adventure, intrigue and romance into a vibrant world that is so utterly believable, so vivid and sensual, that it makes reality itself seem like the imagined realm."
• Barnes has a website, containing tools and ideas for writers; but no current personal website that would have excerpts or info from this book.
• The publisher's website has this description.
(Seen Fri 14 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Hunt, Walter H. The Dark Path
(Tor 0-765-30606-9, $27.95, 413pp, hc, February 2003, jacket art David Seeley)
Military SF novel, direct sequel to the author's 2001 debut novel The Dark Wing (Tor), concerning humans and the alien zor, now allies but threatened by a new menace.
• The Publishers Weekly review is reproduced on the Amazon site, which also has a couple 5-star reader reviews.
• Hunt now has this website, with a convention and bookstore schedule; see also Author Appearances for Hunt's signing tour for this book.
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Kress, Nancy Crossfire
(Tor 0-765-30467-8, $24.95, 364pp, hc, February 2003, jacket art Jim Burns)
SF novel concerning human colonists on a distant planet who discover primitive humanoid aliens there, and eventually become involved in interstellar war.
• Kress's website (which employs some weird, irritating browser-window resizing instruction) has this page about the book, with links to Prologue and Chapter 1 excerpts.
• Reviewed by Russell Letson in the March 2003 Locus Magazine, who's not sure if there might be a sequel, but hopes for one.
• The Amazon page has reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Harriet.
(Seen Tue 18 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Lackey, Mercedes Joust
(DAW 0-7564-0122-4, $24.95, 373pp, hc, March 2003, jacket painting Jody A. Lee, jacket design G-Force Design)
Fantasy novel about dragons--the "most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined" according to the book's description--first in a series.
• Lackey's website has this page about the book, with links to Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 excerpts.
• Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the March 2003 Locus Magazine, noting the book's variation on Lackey's own Valdemar formula and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series.
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Mitchell, Syne The Changeling Plague
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-45910-5, $6.99, 327pp, pb, February 2003)
SF novel about genetic engineering and a worldwide plague.
• The author's website includes this excerpt and this page of abstract and reviews.
• Reviewed by both Carolyn Cushman and Alyx Dellamonica in the March 2003 Locus; Cushman calls it "a thought-provoking thriller full of action and colorful characters."
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Reilly, Matthew Contest
(St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne Books 0-312-28625-2, $24.95, 334pp, hc, March 2003, cover design Jerry Todd)
Thriller about a contest in which 7 people start and only 1 will survive, set in -- of all places -- the New York Public Library.
• The author has published 3 previous novels -- Area 7 is just out in paperback) -- though this was Reilly's first book, self-published in 1994.
• The author's website,, has sound effects and cover images.
• The book includes diagrams of the library building, and a post-epilogue interview with Reilly, who acknowledges the inspiration of Michael Crichton: "Not only are his stories original, they are also told at a cracking pace."
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

+ Rydill, Jessica Children of the Shaman
(Penguin/Roc 0-451-45911-3, $6.5, 355pp, pb, February 2003)
First US edition (UK: Orbit August 2001). Fantasy novel, subtitled "a novel of empire, ice, and magic", set in an indeterminate alternate world or far future Earth, following a 500-year "Great Cold".
• The first edition, published in the UK in 2001, was reviewed by Faren Miller in the December '01 Locus Magazine; Miller remarked that the book "provides an apt introduction to a fantastic world with some refreshing differences from the norms of fantasy." The sequel, The Glass Mountain, was published in October 2002 in the UK.
• The author's website, Shamansland, has this description, with a chapter 1 excerpt.
• Amazon UK's page includes a review by Elizabeth Sourbut.
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Shinn, Sharon Angelica
(Ace 0-441-01013-X, $23.95, 485pp, hc, March 2003, jacket illustration John Jude Palencar, jacket design Judith Murello)
SF/fantasy novel, latest in the series about genetically-engineered "angels" who keep peace on a colony planet, following Archangel (1996), Jovah's Angel (1997), and The Alleluia Files (1998).
• According to this fan site, it's set about 200 years before the events of Archangel.
(Seen Tue 25 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

* Zeddies, Ann Tonsor Steel Helix
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-41873-5, $6.99, 362pp, pb, March 2003, cover illustration John Dismukes)
SF novel by the author of Typhon's Children (1999) and Riders of Leviathan (2001) published as by Toni Anzetti, and two earlier novels published under this name, Deathgift (1989) and Sky Road (1993). This is about a geneticist who declines a chance to develop mankind's replacement, "Original Man", but then faces the destruction caused when the new race is developed anyway.
• The Amazon page has a longer description. There is an author's site, here, with an excerpt.
(Seen Wed 19 Feb 2003)
• Purchase this book from Amazon
• Purchase this book via BookSense

Opening lines:
The day had been glorious. The southern sun gilded the sparse clouds as they frolicked in a fair wind. It was a time of slow delicious sweltering. Now, at last, the day drew to a close. The past seventy-two hours had provided recreation and renewal for the family of Bilalistan's youngest Wakil, Kai of Dar Kush. For those precious hours, duty no longer deviled him.
Opening lines:
Rameau knew that something was wrong. He was watching the colors dance. Streaks of many hues drifted past his face--deep red, magenta, and bubbles of frothy pink, as if someone had been washing their hands of the whole mess with a bar of ruby soap.

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