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APRIL 2004

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Guy Gavriel Kay

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30 March 2004




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New and Notable Books April 2004


Stephen Baxter, Hunters of Pangaea (NESFA Press Feb 2004)

Published to commemorate Baxterís Guest of Honor appearance at Boskone 41, this collection features five essays and 19 stories, two original. Baxterís known as one of SFís best hard SF writers, but here shows further depth with a selection that includes fantasy, humor, and a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

Gregory Benford, Beyond Infinity (Warner Aspect Mar 2004)

Benford expands on his novella "Beyond the Fall of Night", a sequel to Arthur C. Clarkeís Against the Fall of Night (with the serial numbers cut off), in this somewhat Stapledonian hard SF novel of the far future, and the last original humanís quest to learn why her kind have been suddenly wiped out.

Cleve Cartmill, edited by John Pelan, Prelude to Armageddon (Darkside Press Feb 2004)

A neglected master of SF from the 1940s and í50s gets overdue recognition in this collection of 11 stories, the first volume of "The Collected Fantastic Fiction of Cleve Cartmill".

C. J. Cherryh, The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh (DAW Feb 2004)

The 31 stories gathered here combine the contents of earlier collections Sunfall and Visible Light plus 15 more. Cherryh adds a new "Sunfall" story and introductory material.

Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe (Tor Mar 2004)

A hapless man named Art tries to decide whether itís better to be happy or smart as he stumbles through an entertaining series of misadventures in this witty satirical near-future SF novel about a bunch of people out of step with the rest of society because they keep to US Eastern Standard Time no matter where they live.

Karen Haber & Jonathan Strahan, eds., Science Fiction: The Best of 2003 (ibooks Mar 2004)

The first of the "Yearís Best" annuals presents its choice of the 14 best SF stories of 2003, by authors including Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross, and Stephen Baxter.

Peter F. Hamilton, Pandora's Star (Ballantine Del Rey Mar 2004)

An expedition to a strangely shielded star accidentally releases an alien threat to the entire human Commonwealth. The first of two volumes in the far-future space opera "The Commonwealth Saga".

Robert Holdstock, The Iron Grail (Tor Feb 2004)

Holdstockís evocative mix of Greek myth and British legend continues in this second book of "The Merlin Codex". Merlin and Jason meet again in Alba (England), where Merlin faces dire prophecies and Jasonís search for his stolen son takes him to the Otherworld.

Guy Gavriel Kay, The Last Light of the Sun (Roc Mar 2004)

Norse sagas, epic fantasy, and extensive historical research combine in this powerful and complex alternate-history fantasy with its equivalents of Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings in Britain.

Paul McAuley, White Devils (Tor Feb 2004)

Genetic engineering, cloning, and a deadly corporate cover-up in the Congo are at the center of this frenetic near-future thriller. "It is almost irrationally violent, over-the-top, exploitative, paranoid, and tasteless, and I liked it." [Gary K. Wolfe]

Wil McCarthy, Lost in Transmission (Bantam Spectra Mar 2004)

The third novel in the far-future "Queendom of Sol" series, described as a high-tech comedy of manners. A group of idealistic rebels banished from the Queendom plan to settle a new colony of their own, only to find itís far from the paradise they planned.

Patricia A. McKillip, Alphabet of Thorn (Ace Feb 2004)

A young translatorís work on a mysterious text reveals an ancient tale of magic and love in this latest fantasy from one of the fieldís noted authors.

Richard K. Morgan, Broken Angels (Ballantine Del Rey Mar 2004)

This fast-paced SF noir space opera brings back 25th-century private eye Takeshi Kovacs from Altered Carbon, this time as part of a band of mercenaries aiming to salvage an ancient alien spacecraft.

John Myers Myers, Silverlock, Including the Silverlock Companion (NESFA Press Feb 2004)

The classic fantasy novel, famed for its hundreds of allusions to other literary works, returns in a new edition accompanied by non-fiction both new and old, including a revised version of Fred Lernerís 1988 Companion with its key to many of the references.

Lucius Shepard, Two Trains Running (Golden Gryphon Press Mar 2004)

Shepardís own experiences riding the rails infuse this collection of one article, Sturgeon Award winner "Over Yonder", and a new story about the hobo life.

Karen Traviss, City of Pearl (HarperCollins/Eos Mar 2004)

Earth sends a mission to a lost colony, and finds it on a world already claimed by three alien societies. A thoughtful and engaging first novel of alien contact, environmental responsibility, and basic human nature.


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