interviews Locus banner
The Newspaper of the Science Fiction Field

Back to Reviews page

§

Latest Recommended Books

Cumulative '97 Recommended SF novels | Fantasy/Horror novels | First Novels | Collections | Anthologies | Nonfiction & art books | Reprints

§

Latest Recommended Short Fiction

Cumulative '97 Recommended Novellas | Novelettes | Short Stories

1997 First Novels

The Seventh Heart, Marina Fitch (Ace 6/97, $5.99, pb) Contemporary fantasy novel where California disasters result from some disgruntled spirits of place, and the heroine must try to cope with both the difficulties of daily life and a fantastical search for solutions. A first novel.

Expendable, James Alan Gardner (AvoNova 7/97, $5.99, pb) SF novel, a first novel, of a future which cherishes lives -- except for those in the Explorer corps, sent into the dangers of deep space and hostile worlds.

Lightpaths, Howard V. Hendrix (Ace 9/97, $5.99, pb) Near-future SF of a utopia that isn't quite what it seems. An impressive first novel.

The Great Wheel, Ian R. MacLeod (Harcourt Brace 8/97, $24.00, hc) In this impressive first novel, MacLeod presents the vastly changed Earth of the 22nd century, following a century of catastrophic weather and social transformations, and gives it the convincing intimacy of mainstream literature as he deals with a troubled Euro priest in what once was North Africa.

An Exchange of Hostages, Susan R. Matthews (AvoNova 4/97, $5.99, pb) Intense SF novel of a young surgeon trained as a "Ship's Inquisitor" in deep space. A first novel.

Waking Beauty, Paul Witcover (HarperPrism 2/97, $24.00, hc) On a patriarchal world, the scent of Beauty can draw men to their doom at night, and women the long-time caretakers are moving toward rebellion, in this mixture of fairytale and worldbuilding by a first novelist who melds religion, fairytale, and the battle of the sexes with a sophistication recalling Gene Wolfe.

Cinderblock, Janine Ellen Young (Roc 4/97, $5.99, pb) This first novel bring elements of "Cinderella" to a downbeat cyberpunkish Los Angeles of the near future, for a promising debut.

Reprinted First Novels

The Nature of Smoke, Anne Harris (Tor 7/97, $13.95, tp) Chaos theory meets riot grrls in this hard-edged near future. A first novel we missed reviewing last year when it appeared in hardcover. A belated recommendation.