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28 October 2004




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New and Notable Books November 2004


Clive Barker, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War (HarperCollins/Cotler Oct 2004)

The intriguing YA fantasy ‘‘Abarat’’ quartet picks up momentum in this second volume. ‘‘What began as an intriguing-but-slight fantasy series has rapidly become a must-read, and ... may well end up becoming a classic.’’ [Tim Pratt]

Andrew M. Butler, Edward James & Farah Mendlesohn, eds., Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature (Old Earth Books Sep 2004)

Pratchett has occasionally been accused of literature, and this gathering of 13 critical essays - by authors including John Clute, Cherith Baldry, and Andy Sawyer - finds him guilty as charged. Originally published in the UK in 2000, this first US edition adds three essays and updates.

R. Chetwynd-Hayes & Stephen Jones, eds., Great Ghost Stories (Carroll & Graf Sep 2004)

Noted horror editor Stephen Jones selected the best of the stories picked by the late Chetwynd-Hayes for the Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories anthology series. Authors range from Daniel Defoe and Sir Walter Scott to Stephen King and Garry Kilworth.

Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Bloomsbury USA Sep 2004)

Clarke’s critically acclaimed and bestselling first novel follows the two last magicians in 1806 England. ‘‘A quite extraordinary novel, not least because of the quiet, almost leisurely ways by which it achieves its extraordinariness.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Theodora Goss, The Rose in Twelve Petals and other stories (Small Beer Press Sep 2004)

This chapbook collection features five stories (one new) and nine poems by one of the most distinctive new authors, noted for her use of fairy-tale and mythic elements.

S. T. Joshi, The Evolution of the Weird Tale (Hippocampus Press Aug 2004)

One of the most respected experts on weird fiction looks at 18 authors from the ‘‘Golden Age’’ to the contemporary in this collection of essays, all revised from previous appearances. Authors discussed include Robert W. Chambers, Fritz Leiber, Poppy Z. Brite, and (of course) H.P. Lovecraft.

Caitlín R. Kiernan, Murder of Angels (Roc Sep 2004)

This gripping dark fantasy novel of threatening hallucinations and confused characters is a largely standalone sequel to Silk, and ‘‘…may be Kiernan’s best book to date.’’ [Tim Pratt]

Stephen King, The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower (Donald M. Grant/Scribner Sep 2004)

The seventh and final volume in King’s monumental fantasy series brings a transcendent conclusion to this modern epic, a masterly mix of dark fantasy, Western, and metafiction.

Jay Lake, American Sorrows (Wheatland Press Sep 2004)

Sample the work of this year’s winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer with this collection of four stories, two original. Includes Hugo nominee ‘‘Into the Gardens of Sweet Night’’.

Deborah Layne & Jay Lake, eds., Polyphony, Volume 4 (Wheatland Press Sep 2004)

The fourth volume in this slipstream anthology series brings together 24 stories by a notable group of authors including Lucius Shepard, Kit Reed, Michael Bishop, and Jeff VanderMeer.

Elizabeth A. Lynn, Dragon's Treasure (Ace Sep 2004)

War threatens and lives are transformed in this powerful fantasy, sequel to Dragon’s Winter, about a shape-changing dragon lord, the people he rules, and the woman he loves.

Deborah Noyes, ed., Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales (Candlewick Press Sep 2004)

Readers of all ages should appreciate this YA anthology of ten new gothic stories by a stellar line-up of authors including Joan Aiken, Neil Gaiman, Gregory Maguire, and Garth Nix.

Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (HarperCollins Oct 2004)

This special delivery in the Discworld series finds plenty to satirize at the post office as a convicted conman takes over the moribund Ankh-Morpork postal service.

Adam Roberts, Swiftly: Stories that Never Were and Might Not Be (Night Shade Books Jul 2004)

Noted new author Roberts displays a talent for short fiction - and for twisting familiar SF tropes - in his first collection of 12 stories, eight original.

Geoff Ryman, Air (Or, Have Not Have) (St. Martin's Griffin Sep 2004)

SF novel by one of the field’s most inventive writers. A new direct-to-mind communications technology with some disastrous problems arrives at a remote village.

Pamela Sargent, Thumbprints (Golden Gryphon Press Oct 2004)

Stories from across Sargent’s career are gathered in this excellent collection of 12 stories, one original.

Lucius Shepard, Trujillo (PS Publishing Aug 2004)

The noted short-fiction writer returns with this collection of ten stories from the last five years - plus the original novel-length title piece, an intense tale of two men locked in a deadly struggle.

Neal Stephenson, The System of the World (HarperCollins/Morrow Oct 2004)

The triumphant third and final volume in the ‘‘Baroque Cycle’’ epic historical fiction trilogy with touches of SF, and ties to Cryptonomicon.

William Tenn, Dancing Naked: The Unexpurgated William Tenn (NESFA Press Sep 2004)

One of SF’s notable characters discusses a wide range of topics in essays (many autobiographical), interviews, and assorted stories, published in honor of Tenn’s GoH appearance at Noreascon 4.

John Varley, The John Varley Reader (Ace Sep 2004)

A ‘‘Greatest Hits’’ collection from one of SF’s most entertaining writers of short fiction, this includes fascinating, often autobiographical, notes on the writing of each story.

Liz Williams, Banner of Souls (Bantam Spectra Oct 2004)

A dramatic and weird SF novel of a far future in which women rule, and two elite warriors battle over a genetically engineered child who may be humanity’s last hope.

Jack Williamson, Seventy-Five: The Diamond Anniversary of a Science Fiction Pioneer (Haffner Press Sep 2004)

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Williamson’s first published work with this oversized hardcover full of stories, novel excerpts, and non-fiction by and about Williamson, liberally illustrated with photos, cover reproductions, and even color comics.

Gahan Wilson, The Best of Gahan Wilson (Underwood Books Oct 2004)

Art mavens Arnie & Cathy Fenner edited this wonderfully funny and weird collection of classic cartoons in color and b&w, with occasional pithy comments by Wilson.


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