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New Books Archive
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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.

Key:
* = first edition
+ = first US edition
Date with publisher info is official publication month;
Date in parentheses at paragraph end is date seen or received.


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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : April


* Asher, Neal : Cowl
(UK: Macmillan/Tor UK 1-4050-0137-2, £17.99, 406pp, hardcover, March 2004, cover illustration Steve Rawlings)

SF time travel novel in which enemies of the 4th millennium Dominion have escaped into the past. It's the author's fourth novel, following Gridlinked, The Skinner, and The Line of Polity.
• The author's home page has this description.
• Russell Letson reviews the book in the March 2004 issue of Locus Magazine, commenting on Asher's treatment of the time-travel adventure: "pump it full of performance-enhancing substances and send it crashing through a gigantically expanded version of its traditional milieu, exploding the big sets and sending body-parts flying in all directions..."
• Asher's first two novels have been published in the US by Tor, including The Skinner last month (not yet seen).
(Wed 14 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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+ Browne, N. M. : Basilisk
(Bloomsbury USA 1-58234-876-6, $17.95, 320pp, hardcover, May 2004)
First US edition (UK: Bloomsbury, March 2004).

Young adult fantasy novel about a boy who lives Below and a girl who lives Above whose fates are connected to the appearance of a flying dragon.
• The author's website, www.nmbrowne.com, has details of her three previous novels and advance discussion of this one.
• Bloomsbury's site has this description and extract.
• Amazon has a review by Karin Snelson.
• Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the May 2004 issue of Locus Magazine, calling it "sort of a Renaissance version of 1984".
(Tue 4 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense

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+ Graham, Ian : Monument
(Ace 0-441-01135-7, $14, 373pp, trade paperback, April 2004, cover art Jerry Vanderstelt)
First US edition (UK: Orbit, October 2002).

Fantasy novel, the debut novel by a British author, set "in a bleak, amoral world of oppressive religious systems and explosive violence" according to the Publishers Weekly review reproduced on the Amazon page.
• The UK publisher's site has this description and excerpt.
(Tue 4 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense

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(UK: Time Warner UK/Orbit 1-84149-175-6, £17.99, 369pp, hardcover, March 2004)

SF novel, a far future space opera concerning space settlers and AI war machines; the author's first stand-alone novel following the four-book "Fall Revolution" sequence (The Star Fraction, etc.), and the three-book "Engines of Light" sequence.
• The US edition from Tor is due in June.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the February issue of Locus, noting its elements of screwball comedy--MacLeod's first novel "to import to political hard SF something of the sensibility of Preston Sturges".
• MacLeod runs a blog, The Early Days of a Better Nation.
(Tue 13 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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* Mann, George : The Human Abstract
(UK: Telos 1-903889-65-0, £7.99, 133pp, trade paperback, April 2004, cover illustration Dariusz Jaziczak, cover design Anh Nguyen)

SF novella set on a colony world seeded with human genetic stock by intelligent machines; the first published fiction by the author of The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
• The publisher's site has this description.
(Mon 3 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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* Marshall, Michael : The Upright Man
(Jove 0-515-13638-7, $6.99, 360pp, mass market paperback, April 2004)

Horror novel by the author aka Michael Marshall Smith. This novel is also available in the UK as The Lonely Dead.
• The author's website has this description.
(Tue 4 May 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense

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* Mitchell, David : Cloud Atlas
(UK: Sceptre 0-340-82277-5, £16.99, 529pp, hardcover, March 2004)

Literary SF novel beginning with a voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850 and following six story threads into a future "of corporate cloning and the fall of civilisation"; the third novel by a young UK author selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists.
• John Clute brought the book to the attention of the SF community in his SF Weekly review.
• The Amazon UK page (click on title or cover image) has a review by Travis Elborough.
• The Random House website, which will published the US edition in August, has this description with a cover image. Here's a profile of the author at www.contemporarywriters.com.
(Thu 15 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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* Morgan, Richard : Market Forces
(UK: Orion/Gollancz 0-575-07512-0, £9.99, 386pp, hardcover, March 2004)

SF novel concerning corporate violence in the mid-21st century, according to David Langford's review for Amazon UK; the third novel by the popular author of Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, which both involved antihero Takeshi Kovacs.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the March issue of Locus Magazine, noting that in this book Morgan "has chosen to pull back from the more intriguing SF inventions of his first two novels, without diminishing the snazzy hardboiled violence that has nearly become his trademark."
• Online reviews includes those by Greg L. Johnson at SF Site and Cheryl Morgan's in Emerald City.
(Tue 13 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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* Stross, Charles : The Atrocity Archives
(Golden Gryphon Press 1-930846-25-8, $24.95, 12+273pp, hardcover, May 2004, jacket painting Steve Montiglio, jacket design Lynne Condellone)

Collection consisting of Stross' first-published novel "The Atrocity Archive", serialized in Spectrum SF and published here for the first time in book form, and sequel novella "The Concrete Jungle", original to this volume, along with an introduction by Ken MacLeod, an afterword by the author "Inside the Fear Factory", and a Glossary of "Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Organisations".
• "The Atrocity Archive" placed 5th as best first novel in the 2003 Locus Poll.
• The Amazon page reproduces the Publishers Weekly review.
• The publisher's site has this description with links to various reviews, including those of the original serial from Locus Magazine by Nick Gevers and by Rich Horton from here at Locus Online.
• Nick Gevers and Gary K. Wolfe both review this book in the May issue of Locus Magazine.
(Fri 30 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense

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* Swainston, Steph : The Year of Our War
(UK: Orion/Gollancz 0-575-07005-6, £9.99, 290pp, hardcover, April 2004, jacket illustration Edward Miller, jacket design Emma Wallace)

Fantasy novel, a first novel by a young UK author, concerning immortal companions to an emperior seeking to protect mankind from hordes of giant insects.
• This page describes the book and profiles the author.
• The book has received considerable buzz months before publication, with reviewers calling it the most significant debut since China Miéville's. Online reviews include Ariel's at The Alien Online and John Clute's at SF Weekly.
• The book is Gary K. Wolfe's lead review in the May issue of Locus Magazine; he advises "it might be a good idea to set aside anything you've heard about Steph Swainston's The Year of Our War until you've finished the book".
• Online reviews include those at The Alien Online and by Cheryl Morgan in Emerald City.
(Tue 13 Apr 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon

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Opening lines:
Beyond the Indian hamlet, upon a forlorn strand, I happened on a trail of recent footprints. Through rotting kelp, sea cocoa-nuts & bamboo, the tracks led me to their maker, a White man, his trowzers & Pea-jacket rolled up, sporting a kempt beard & an outsized Beaver, shoveling & sifting the cindery sand with a teaspoon so intently that he noticed me only after I had hailed him from ten yards away. Thus it was, I made the acquaintance of Dr. Henry Goose, surgeon to the London nobility. His nationality was no surprise. If there be any eyrie so desolate, or isle so remote, that one may there resort unchallenged by an Englishman, ítis not down on any map I ever saw.
Opening lines:
Checkout.

The shiny black plastic swipes through.

Nothing.

The machine fails in its habitual insectile chittering and the screen blinks, as if outraged at what it has been fed. The checkout girl looks up at the woman who has handed her the card and smiles a little too widely. It's a smile that contains as much genuine emotion as there is fruit juice in a carton of Five Fruit D-Lish.



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