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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 May

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen, 1 - 15 May

* Atwood, Margaret : Oryx and Crake
(Canada: McClelland & Stewart 0-7710-0868-6, C$37.99, 378pp, hc, April 2003, jacket design Kong)

Dystopian SF novel, by the Canadian author of The Handmaid's Tale (1985), receiving much attention from general critics and SF commentators; the former offering mixed reviews (see Field Inspections); the latter issuing scornful judgments on the author's insistent efforts to distance her novel from science fiction (which is about "monsters and spaceships"). Reviews from genre critics are so far lacking, though The Handmaid's Tale was well-received; it won an Arthur C. Clarke Award, was a Nebula nominee, etc. This Canadian edition is apparently the first edition (April 22); US and UK editions appeared May 6. The Amazon CA page has a review by Mark Frutkin ("no flying cars here" he points out).
(Tue 13 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon


+ Atwood, Margaret : Oryx and Crake
(Doubleday/Talese 0-385-50385-7, $26, 376pp, hc, May 2003)

US edition of the above. The Amazon page has Publishers Weekly and Booklist reviews. leads to a Random House site, with an interview, essay ("Oryx and Crake is a speculative fiction, not a science fiction proper. It contains no intergalactic space travel, no teleportation, no Martians."), tour dates, etc.
(Tue 6 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Berg, Carol : Song of the Beast
(Roc 0-451-45923-7, $6.99, 467pp, pb, May 2003, cover art Matt Stawicki)

Fantasy novel about a musician kept in prison, then mysteriously freed, in a society of dragon riders; Carolyn Cushman's review in the May Locus said "The plot keeps twisting right until the end, with some entertaining characters to keep the reader involved even when things are most complicated and grim." The author's website has this page about the book, with an excerpt and a glossary of people, places, and pronunciations.
(Tue 13 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Coe, David B. : Seeds of Betrayal
(Tor 0-312-87808-7, $27.95, 541pp, hc, May 2003, jacket art Gary Ruddell)

Fantasy novel, second in the "Winds of the Forelands" tetralogy, following Seeds of Betrayal (2002). The author's webpage has this page about the book, with some lengthy excerpts. An interview with the author is posted at
(Tue 13 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Miramax 0-7868-1914-6, $16.95, 309pp, hc, May 2003)

YA fantasy novel, third in the popular series about a 12-year-old criminal mastermind. This time he's out to steal a supercomputer built with fairy technology. The series has its own domain,, with a page of excerpts, among other things; there's a different UK site,; and the author also has a page,
(Tue 6 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Constantine, Storm : The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure
(Tor 0-765-30346-9, $27.95, 496pp, hc, May 2003, jacket art Rick Berry)

Fantasy novel, "The First Book of the Wraeththu Histories", returning to the setting of her "Wraeththu" trilogy, about a race of androgynous beings who assume mastery of the Earth; two more books are forthcoming, according to the author's official website, which has pages for news, a journal, a bibliography, and downloads of maps and other things.
(Thu 8 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Huff, Tanya : Long Hot Summoning
(DAW 0-7564-0136-4, $6.99, 413pp, pb, May 2003, cover art Judy York)

Urban fantasy novel, third in "The Keeper's Chronicles", about a high school girl battling evil for control of a shopping mall. Carolyn Cushman, in the June Locus, comments "This volume lacks some of the freshness of previous volumes in the series, but remains good fun." Harriet Klausner's review appears both on the Amazon page, and at ParaNormal Romance Reviews.
(Thu 8 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* MacLeod, Ian R. : The Light Ages
(Ace 0-441-01055-5, $23.95, 456pp, hc, May 2003, jacket illustration Steve Stone, jacket design Judith Murello)

Fantasy novel set in a parallel England where the discovery of "aether" has changed the world and brought about the Third Age of Industry. Comparing the book's setting to Dickens and its sensibility to Mervyn Peake's, Faren Miller's review in the June Locus "can only suggest a fraction of what's going on in this work that also encompasses the mysteries of love, adulthood, disillusionment, fantastic beings and fantastic wealth, and much more." Amazon's page reprints the starred PW review. The author's webpage includes a description and extract.
(Tue 13 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Miles, Scotland : Don't Take Me to Your Leader
(iUniverse 0-595-27077-8, $14.95, 213pp, tpb, 2003, cover art Chris Jenkins)

SF novel, subtitled "Angelina the Martian's Lost Notes on America", which, as the subtitle suggests, consists of a great many short chapters on subjects ranging from "How Humans are Named" to "The Female Human Juror" to "God" to "The Hoarding Instinct", etc. The Amazon page has a description, and reader reviews. The publisher's page has a description and lots of sample pages.
(Tue 13 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Roberts, Adam : Jupiter Magnified
(UK: PS Publishing 1-902880-56-0, 10, 104pp, tpb, March 2003, cover art Edward Miller)

SF novella in which Jupiter, filling half the sky, suddenly appears above Earth. Preface by James Lovegrove. The author's website has this extract and, on the writing page (scroll down), discussion of why he wrote the story, and what it's 'about'. The book is limited to 400 hardcover and 500 paperback copies. There's no informaton on the Amazon UK page; see description and ordering instructions on the PS Publishing site instead.
(Thu 8 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Silverberg, Robert, & Karen Haber, eds. : Fantasy: The Best of 2002
(ibooks 0-7434-5867-2, $7.99, 9+358pp, pb, May 2003, cover art Ciruelo, cover design j. vita)

Best-of-the-year anthology of 11 stories first published in 2002. Authors include Ursula K. Le Guin, Brian Stableford, Jeffrey Ford, Robert Sheckley, Paul di Filippo, James Patrick Kelly. The Introduction is, with only a minor amendation, the same as the introduction to last year's volume. An audio casette edition is due in July (see Amazon).
(Tue 6 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Williams, Tad : The War of the Flowers
(DAW 0-7564-0135-6, $24.95, 686pp, hc, May 2003, jacket painting Michael Whelan)

Fantasy novel, a single-volume epic, about a contemporary San Francisco man who discovers the world of an industralized Faerie. Carolyn Cushman's review in the upcoming June Locus calls it "a masterpiece of fairytale worldbuilding", while Amazon has the PW and Booklist reviews. Williams' Shadowmarch website has some excerpts on the sneak peeks page.
(Tue 6 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Harcourt 0152025278, $17, 349pp, hc, May 2003, jacket illustration Cliff Nielsen)

Young-adult fantasy set in the early days of King Arthur's court. It got a starred review from Publishers Weekly (not online), while Amazon has a positive review by John Moe, and reprints a starred review from Booklist. The Amazon page of reviews includes an excerpt. The author's site has this page about the book.
(Tue 6 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Zettel, Sarah : The Usurper's Crown
(Tor 0-312-87442-1, $27.95, 525pp, hc, April 2003, jacket art Romas)
First US edition (UK: HarperCollins/Voyager, November 2002).

Historical/fantasy/romance novel, subtitled "A Novel of Isavalta", follow-up to A Sorceror's Treason (2002). It's actually a prequel to that book, Carolyn Cushman noted in her March 2003 Locus review, calling this novel "a rich and lively, if somewhat episodic, mix of fantasy and fairy tale elements from various cultures.." The Amazon page has PW, Booklist, and Harriet reviews. Zettel's own webpage is out of date, but the British publisher's site has this brief description, while Amazon UK's page for that edition has a review by Roz Kaveney, who calls it "one of the most adult fantasies of the year".
(Thu 8 May 2003) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
I still see her now.

I see her in the poorest parts of London. Beyond the new iron bridges which bear the trams above the ferries, where the Thames spreads her fingers through tidal mud. I see her in a place beyond even the furthest rookeries of the Easterlies, although you will not find it on any maps. Plagued with flies and dragonlice and the reek of city effluent in summer, greyed with smog and ice in winter, even the foulest factories turn their backs away.

There, beyond the hovels and the wastetips of London, I see my changeling.
Opening lines:
Snowman wakes before dawn. He lies unmoving, listening to the tide coming in, wave after wave sloshing over the various barricades, wish-wash, the rhythm of heartbeat. He would so like to believe he is still asleep.

On the eastern horizon there's a greyish haze, lit now with a rosy, deadly glow. Strange how that colour still seems tender. The offshore towers stand out in dark silhouette against it, rising improbably out of the pink and pale blue of the lagoon. The shrieks of the birds that nest out there and the distant ocean grinding against the ersatz reefs of rusted car parts and jumbled bricks and assorted rubble sound almost like holiday traffic.

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