Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books Nov. #2
Jacqueline Carey
Keith R.A. DeCandido
David Drake
David & Leigh Eddings
Eric Flint
Tamara Siler Jones
Oisin McGann
Christopher Moore
Jean Rabe
Leigh Richards
Joel Rosenberg
Robert Silverberg
Lisa Smedman
Gene Wolfe

New Books Nov. #1
Kelley Armstrong
Alison Baird
John Barnes
Algis Budrys
Robert Buettner
Dennis Foon
Esther M. Friesner
Shannon Hale
James A. Hetley
Michael Hoeye
Matthew Hughes
Jack McDevitt
John Pelan
Stanley C. Sargent
Tad Williams
George Zebrowski


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 : November 2004 Week #3

* Chabon, Michael : The Final Solution
(HarperCollins/Fourth Estate 0-06-076340-X, $16.95, 131pp, hardcover, November 2004, jacket design Jay Ryan & Jason Harvey)

Associational short novel about Sherlock Holmes. It was published in slightly different form last year in The Paris Review (No. 166).
• Parent publisher HarperCollins has this description with links to an excerpt and a reading guide.
• The author's website is An interview with Chabon will appear in the December issue of Locus Magazine.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which says "The writing here is taut and polished, and Chabon's characters and depictions of English country life are spot on." but concludes "Neither a proper mystery nor particularly fine literature, this haunting novella, for all its strengths, lies uneasily between the two and will fully please few fans of each."
(Thu 11 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Vintage 1-4000-7874-1, $13.95, 15+328pp, trade paperback, November 2004, cover illustration Lawrence Sterne Stevens)

Anthology of 15 original genre stories by writers known, mostly, as literary (non-genre) writers. It's a follow-up to the editor's similar anthology, McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales (2003). Authors this time include Margaret Atwood, Daniel Handler [Lemony Snicket], Steve Erickson, China Mieville, David Mitchell, Peter Straub, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, and Jonathan Lethem.
• The publisher's site lists the table of contents.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the upcoming December issue of Locus Magazine, noting that the strongest stories "interestingly, are mostly by writers with genre backgrounds": King, Straub, Mieville, Oates.
(Tue 16 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Clark, G. O. : Bone Sprockets
(Dark Regions Press 1-888993-45-6, $6.95, 39pp, chap, 2004, cover art Frank Wu)

Collection of 30 poems, some previously published in Asimov's, Star*Line, Strange Horizons, etc.
• Clark's webpage has several sample poems.
• Order from the publisher.
(Wed 17 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Donnelly, Marcos : Letters from the Flesh
(Canada: Robert J. Sawyer Books 0-88995-302-3, $19.95, 191pp, hardcover, May 2004, cover illustration Sam Weber)

SF novel consisting of alternating sets of letters, one composed by an extraterrestrial living on Earth at the time of Christ, the other by a modern day microbiologist. The book's structure and themes parallel those of C.S. Lewis' theological fantasy The Screwtape Letters, according to the Booklist review reproduced on the Amazon page.
• This is the first title published by the new Robert J. Sawyer imprint of Red Deer Press.
• An interview with Donnelly ran earlier this year at scifidimensions. Reviews of the book have been published at SF Site and at SF Weekly.
• Rich Horton reviewed it in the July issue of Locus Magazine, calling it "an unexpected delight".
(Thu 11 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Fenner, Cathy, & Arnie Fenner, eds. : Spectrum 11: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
(Underwood Books 1-887424-82-2, $29, 208pp, trade paperback, October 2004, cover painting Eric Joyner)

Eleventh annual yearbook of fantasy art, with reproductions of over 400 works by over 250 artists, chosen by jury and announcing Gold and Silver Awards in various categories (Advertising, Book, Comics, etc.) as well as a Grand Master Award -- this year to Michael Whelan. Arnie Fenner's introduction covers "The Year in Review". There's also an artist index with contact information for each artist.
• The publisher has this page about the series, but it's several years out of date.
The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards compiles winners from past years' volumes.
• Also available in hardcover.
(Thu 18 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lethem, Jonathan : Men and Cartoons
(Doubleday 0-385-51216-3, $19.95, 160pp, hardcover, December 2004)

Slender collection of 9 stories, including two or three of genre interest: "Access Fantasy", from Patrick Nielsen Hayden's anthology Starlight 2 (1998); "The Dystopianist, Thinking of His Rival, Is Interrupted by a Knock on the Door" from the Peter Straub-edited issue of Conjunctions (2002); and "Super Goat Man", published earlier this year in The New Yorker.
• The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
• Amazon has the PW review, which concludes "Stylistically varied, inventive, accessible, Lethem's stories offer a fine appetizer for fans hungry for his next big thing.", and the Booklist review.
• Online reviews have appeared in Village Voice and in The New York Times.
(Thu 11 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lindskold, Jane : Wolf Captured
(Tor 0-765-30936-X, $27.95, 527pp, hardcover, November 2004, jacket art Julie Bell)

Fantasy novel, fourth in the "Firekeeper" series following Through Wolf's Eyes (2001), Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart (2002), and The Dragon of Despair (2003), about a human girl raised by wolves thrust back into human society. Includes a glossary of characters.
• The author's website has a sample chapter.
• Amazon reproduces the starred Publishers Weekly review, from its Oct. 25th issue, which concludes "An increase in pace and greater character depth, coupled with a decrease in 'me Jane, you human' dialogue and cutesy animal business, help give this exciting book an edge over the first three entries in the series."
(Thu 11 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Marzulli, L. A. : The Revealing: The Time Is Now
(Zondervan 0-310-24086-7, $12.99, 357pp, trade paperback, November 2004, cover illustration Peter Bollinger)

SF thriller, third in the "Nephilim" series following Nephilim and The Unholy Deception, in which events in the Middle East, UFOs, and various other current events are seen as fulfilling ancient prophecies -- the end-time Luciferian agenda.
• The publisher's site has this description, with a link to a PDF excerpt (click on "Take a Closer Look").
(Wed 17 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(BenBella Books 1-932100-35-0, $14.95, 294pp, trade paperback, December 2004)

Collection of editorial essays, most first published in Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail from 1994 to 2004 (the paper discontinued his column this year), with an introduction by Lawrence Block.
• Robinson's website has this description, and offers a sample chapter, which is Robinson's original draft prior to newspaper and book editorial changes.
• Damien Broderick reviews the book in the upcoming December issue of Locus Magazine, calling the collection "energetic, funny, insightful, and graced with a delightful cover - Spider trussed inside a straitjacket, in conformity with Robert A. Heinlein's dictum that in the Crazy Years at the turn of the millennium 'a man with all his gaskets tight would have to be locked up'."
(Thu 11 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Stross, Charles : The Family Trade
(Tor 0-765-30929-7, $24.95, 303pp, hardcover, December 2004, jacket art Paul Youll)

Fantasy novel by a writer best-known for cutting-edge SF, first volume of "The Merchant Princes", with two volumes to follow: The Hidden Family (due next June) and The Clan Corporate (2006?).
• It's a "science fantasy in the 'misplaced modern' mode", according to the Publishers Weekly review on the Amazon page. The review compares it to Roger Zelazny's "Amber" series.
• Charles N. Brown, in the November Locus Editorial Matters, said the book, "a smooth conjunction of Roger Zelazny and H. Beam Piper tropes, was fun and had surprising depth."
• Damien Broderick reviews it in the November issue of Locus Magazine, calling it "a series of considerable promise ... nicely thought out and confident in its delivery." A review by Nick Gevers will appear in the December issue.
(Thu 18 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Vance, Jack : Lurulu
(Tor 0-312-86727-1, $22.95, 204pp, hardcover, December 2004, jacket art John Harris)

SF novel, long-awaited follow-up to the author's previous novel, Ports of Call (1998), and considerably shorter than any of the author's novels of the past two decades, about a wandering space freighter whose cargo handler Myron Tany searches for his 'lurulu', "which may best be translated as the achievement of your heart's desire" according to the Publishers Weekly review reproduced on the Amazon page.
• Russell Letson reviews it in the November issue of Locus Magazine; Faren Miller's review will be published in the December issue. Miller concludes: "Lurulu the novel partakes of both the skeptic and the romantic, mingling comic 'balderdash of the characters' own making with some of those nobler qualities the cook tries to describe, along with a pinch of heartbreak. The resulting concoction may not seem quite as fresh-made as the latest in 21st-century space opera, but its heart is rich -- and descriptive icing à la Vance will always be divine."
(Thu 18 Nov 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
As a boy Myron Tany had immersed himself in the lore of space exploration. In his imagination he wandered the far places of the Gaean Reach, thrilling to the exploits of star-dusters and locators; of pirates and slavers; of the IPCC and its brave agents.
Opening lines:
A boy with a parrot on his shoulder was walking along the railway tracks. His gait was dreamy and he swung a daisy as he went. With each step the boy dragged his toes in the rail bed, as if measuring out his journey with careful ruled marks of his shoetops in the gravel. It was midsummer, and there was something about the black hair and pale face of the boy against the green unfurling flag of the downs beyond, the rolling white eye of the daisy, the knobby knees in their short pants, the self-important air of the handsome gray parrot with its savage red tail feather, that charmed the old man as he watched them go by. Charmed him, or aroused his sense -- a faculty at one time renowned throughout Europe -- of promising anomaly.
Opening lines:
Wolfgang Von Schverdt hurried up the last few steps of the Fuehrerbunke, the vast underground complex that Adolph Hitler had constructed for his protection, and had made his home for the last 105 days of his life. Pushing open a heavy steel door, he saw an overcast May sky, his first glimpse of daylight in over a week. Then he gasped in astonishment at the twisted steel, broken concrete, and rubble that surrounded him . . . all that was left of the Reichschancellery. The Allied bombing had been unrelenting, pounding Berlin day and night without letting up, until much of the city had been reduced to ashes. An ubiquitous layer of dust and smoke, combined with the smell of rotting corpses and seared flesh, created a living hell.
Opening lines:
In the house where she lives,
there are mirrors lacking infinity,
maps without recognizable features,
and shoes which have lost their
sense of direction.

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