Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books 6 June
Greg Bear
John Birmingham
C.J. Cherryh
Gingrich & Forstchen
Hartwell & Cramer
Dennis L. McKiernan
Alastair Reynolds
Ringo & Williamson
Kim Stanley Robinson
Al Sarrantonio
Kenji Siratori

New Books 29 May
Neal Asher
Adam Connell
Jeanne DuPrau
Brian Jacques
Dean Koontz
Kenneth Oppel
Terry Pratchett
Thomas Wheeler
Tony Wolk


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.

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Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : Posted 12 June 2004

(Simon & Schuster 0-7432-5740-5, $22, 198pp, hardcover, May 2004)

Satirical SF novel (by the mainstream author of Little Big Man and others) about an animatronics technician who builds himself the perfect woman.
• The publisher's site has this excerpt.
• Listed as a "New & Notable Book" in the July issue of Locus.
• The Amazon page (click on title or cover image) reproduces reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly; the latter calls it the "literary equivalent of cotton candy: not filling but fun to digest."
• Here's a Denver Post review by Dorman T. Schindler.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Metropolitan Books 0-8050-5464-2, $26, 15+315pp, hardcover, June 2004)

Nonfiction, biography of Philip K. Dick, translated by Timothy Bent from the French Je suis vivant et vous etes morts (Editions du Seuil 1993).
• The publisher's site has this description.
• The book was reviewed in The Economist back in April.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Hearn, Lian : Brilliance of the Moon
(Penguin/Riverhead 1-573-22270-4, $24.95, 328pp, hardcover, June 2004)

Fantasy novel, third in the trilogy set in an imaginary medieval Japan by the pseudonymous Australian author, following Across the Nightingale Floor (2002) and Grass for His Pillow (2003).
• has its own review by Jeremy Pugh, the PW review, and reader reviews.
• The official website,, has this description and excerpt, as well as links to a FAQ, bulletin board, reviews, etc.
• This other official website,, has news about a film version of the first book.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Donald M. Grant/Scribner 1-880418-59-2, 413pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket illustration Darrel Anderson)

Fantasy novel, sixth volume in the ongoing Dark Tower sequence, following last year's Wolves of the Calla. The series began with a number of novelettes in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction back in 1978. The final volume, titled simply The Dark Tower, is due in September.
• The author's official site has this excerpt (also as pdf).
• Amazon reproduces the Publishers Weekly review, which notes that "Avid readers of the series will either be completely enthralled or extremely irritated when, in a gutsy move, the author weaves his own character into this unpredictable saga, but either way there's no denying the ingenuity with which King paints a candid picture of himself."
• Faren Miller reviews the book in the June issue of Locus, concluding "Self-deprecating, scatological, at times wickedly funny, as familiar with Godzilla movies and the guy behind the Wizard of Oz as he is with the sagas of gods, King turns a potential recipe for literary meltdown into what just might be a masterpiece."
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Niven, Larry : Ringworld's Children
(Tor 0-765-30167-9, $24.95, 384pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Stephan Martiniere)

SF novel in Niven's "Ringworld" series, that began with Hugo and Nebula winning Ringworld (1970) and continued with The Ringworld Engineers (1980) and The Ringworld Throne (1996).
• The book includes a preface, a list of Ringworld parameters, a cast of characters, and a glossary. There are cover blurbs from Orson Scott Card, Tom Clancy, Steven Barnes, and others.
• Online January magazine has posted this excerpt.
• Amazon has several reader reviews, including one that notes the "lots of 'insider' jokes that folks who've read most of the author's previous Known Space fiction will get a chuckle out of..."
(Tue 8 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Reed, Kit : Thinner than Thou
(Tor 0-765-30762-6, $24.95, 334pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art and design Shelley Eshkar)

Satirical SF novel set in an America where physical perfection is the new religion.
• The author's website,, points to this description and to this SF Weekly review by Pamela Sargent (A).
• Amazon reproduces the starred review from Publishers Weekly, which calls it a "stinging and mordantly witty satire" and concludes "With this sharp-eyed look at America's obsession with image, Reed provides much food for thought and reaffirms her position as one of our brightest cultural commentators."
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Scarecrow Press 0-8108-4938-0, $70, 51+451pp, hardcover, May 2004)

SF reference book comprising an introduction, a chronology, a long alphabetical section of author and subject entries, and a bibliography. Laminated hardcover, no dust jacket. More up-to-date (obviously) than Clute and Nicholls' Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, though nowhere as comprehensive (and pricey at $70).
• The publisher's site has this description, a ToC, and some pdf sample readings.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Wesleyan University Press 0-8195-6689-6, $24.95, 14+344pp, hardcover, May 2004)

Nonfiction study of Delany's works, focusing on their relation to African-American cultural traditions, with chapters on Dhalgren, the Return to Nevérÿon series, autobiography The Motion of Light in Water, novella Atlantis: Model, 1925, and pornographic novel The Mad Man. Includes notes, bibliography, and index.
• The publisher's site has this description, with blurbs from James Sallis and others.
• There's also a cloth edition (0-8195-6688-8), for $70.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Turtledove, Harry, & Noreen Doyle, eds. : The First Heroes: New Tales of the Bronze Age
(Tor 0-765-30286-1, $25.95, 368pp, hardcover, May 2004, jacket art Peter Fiore)

Anthology of 14 original historical fantasy stories set in the Bronze Age. Authors include Gene Wolfe, Poul Anderson, Gregory Feeley.
• Amazon has the PW and Booklist reviews.
• Steven H Silver has posted this review, which includes a complete ToC.
Locus Magazine reviews have been by Rich Horton in the April issue (he recommended the Feeley and Wolfe stories) and by Nick Gevers in the May issue (he likes stories by Anderson, Doyle, Turtledove, and Wolfe).
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Wolfe, Gene : Innocents Aboard
(Tor 0-765-30790-1, $25.95, 304pp, hardcover, June 2004, jacket art Rene Magritte)

Collection of 22 fantasy and horror (no SF or mainstream) stories from 1989 to 2003 (including "The Lost Pilgrim" just published in First Heroes listed above); none has been previously collected.
Locus Magazine reviews include one by Nick Gevers in the June issue -- he concluded the stories "are Gene Wolfe at his most captivating and probing, entertainer and inquisitor at once." -- and by Faren Miller in the upcoming July issue.
(Wed 9 Jun 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Louis Wu woke aflame with new life, under a coffin lid.

Displays glowed above his eyes. Bone composition, blood parameters, deep reflexes, urea and potassium and zinc balance: he could identify most of these. The damage listed wasn't great. Punctures and gouges; fatigue; torn ligaments and extensive bruises; two ribs cracked; all relics of the battle with the Vampire protector, Bram. All healed now. The 'doc would have rebuilt him cell by cell. He'd felt dead and cooling when he climbed into the Intensive Care Cavity.

Eighty-four days ago, the display said.
Opening lines:
"How long will the magic stay?"

At first no one answered Roland's question, and so he asked it again, this time looking across the living room of the rectory to where Henchick of the Manni sat with Cantab, who had married one of Henchick's numerous granddaughters. The two men were holding hands, as was the Manni way. The older man had lost a granddaughter that day, but if he grieved, the emotion did not show on his stony, composed face.

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