Locus Online
2004 Archive

New Books Nov. #4
Mark Budz
Michael Burns
Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Paul Di Filippo
Jennifer Fallon
Keith Olexa
Alastair Reynolds
Al Sarrantonio
David Sosnowski

New Books Nov. #3
Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon
G.O. Clark
Marcos Donnelly
Cathy & Arnie Fenner
Jonathan Lethem
Jane Lindskold
L.A. Marzulli
Spider Robinson
Charles Stross
Jack Vance


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.

External Links

Links Portal

Bookstore Links

Your purchase of books through and Amazon UK links (click on titles or covers) helps support Locus Online!

Publisher Links

Notable new SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : December 2004 Week #1

(Tor 0-765-31132-1, $25.95, 334pp, hardcover, December 2004, jacket art Paul Youll)

SF time travel novel in the author's series about the Company, a future organization that sends travelers into the past to rescue artifacts and extinct species. The series began with In the Garden of Iden (1997). A portion of this book was published as "Smart Alec" in the September 1999 issue of Asimov's.
• The author's website has this description of the book, and an excerpt.
• The Amazon page has the Publishers Weekly review, calling it a "solid addition to her time-travel series" but noting that "The author answers a number of questions raised in previous volumes, but the novel doesn't stand well on its own; new readers are advised to start with In the Garden of Iden."
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Baxter, Stephen : Exultant
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45788-9, $25.95, 471pp, hardcover, December 2004, jacket illustration and design David Stevenson)
First US edition (UK: Gollancz, September 2004).

SF novel, second in the "Destiny's Child" trilogy following Coalescent (2003), concerning war between humans and the mysterious alien Xeelee. This is set far in the future and has a military SF flavor. The concluding volume will be called Transcendent.
• Del Rey Online has this description and an excerpt.
• Amazon has the PW review: "Not content with one drop-dead hard-science idea, Baxter concatenates them, one building on the other; even his aliens represent ideas."
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the September issue of Locus, and Nick Gevers in the October issue.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Bishop, K. J. : The Etched City
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-38291-8, $14, 382pp, trade paperback, December 2004, cover art Paul Youll)
(First edition: Prime, February 2003)

Dark fantasy novel about two fleeing revolutionaries in the strange city of Ashamoil. It was published last year by Prime Books (described here); this reprint is its first widely distributed edition.
• The author's site has a description with links to extracts.
• The author won the Crawford Award for best new fantasy novelist, and the book was a World Fantasy Award nominee in 2004.
• Amazon has a review by Jeremy Pugh. Tim Pratt's review in Locus Magazine called it "a wondrous book, far more ambitious and well-crafted than most first novels."
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Cowdrey, Albert E. : Crux
(Tor 0-765-31037-6, $24.95, 349pp, hardcover, December 2004, jacket art Alan Pollack)

SF novel set in an oppressive 25th century concerning a conspiracy to travel into the past and prevent the 21st century "Time of Troubles" that caused the deaths of 12 billion people.
• The novel incorporates three stories first published in F&SF, beginning with the title novella in March 2000.
• Amazon has the PW review. Damien Broderick's review appears in the December issue of Locus Magazine.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Crichton, Michael : State of Fear
(HarperCollins 0-06-621413-0, $27.95, 12+603pp, hardcover, December 2004)

Contemporary thriller in which global warming is revealed to be a conspiracy by eco-terrorists to keep the world in a perpetual 'state of fear'.
• Crichton had an article in Parade Magazine on Dec. 5th, Let's Stop Scaring Ourselves, taking a skeptical look at doomsayers in general. (The article will become available starting Dec. 13.)
• The publisher's site has this description and a chapter excerpt. There's also a State of Fear Game.
Slate's Bryan Curtis wrote this review, calling the book "a 600-page tirade about global warming." NPR broadcast this review by Alan Cheuse.
(Tue 7 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Dann, Jack, & Gardner Dozois, eds. : A.I.s
(Ace 0-441-01216-7, $6.5, 10+294pp, mass market paperback, December 2004, cover art AXB Group)

Anthology of 10 reprinted stories about artificial intelligences. Authors are Charles Stross, Michael Swanwick, Robert Reed, Gregory Benford, Chris Beckett, Stephen Baxter, J.R. Dunn, Alexander Glass, Roger Zelazny, and Nancy Kress. All but four were first published in the past five years; the oldest are Zelazny's "Halfjack" from 1979 and Swanwick's "Trojan Horse" from 1984.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Gemmell, David : Ironhand's Daughter
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-45838-9, $7.5, 347pp, mass market paperback, December 2004, cover illustration Christian McGrath)
First US edition (UK: Legend, February 1995).

Fantasy novel, first book of "The Hawk Queen", concerning highland tribes and Outlanders.
• This is the first US edition; the book was followed in the UK by The Hawk Eternal (also 1995), which Ballantine Del Rey will publish in September 2005.
• The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Gould, Steven : Reflex
(Tor 0-312-86421-3, $25.95, 380pp, hardcover, December 2004)

SF novel, sequel to the popular YA Jumper (1992) about a teenager who can teleport, set years later as the protagonist, now grown up and married, becomes involved in a conspiracy at the National Security Agency.
• Amazon has the starred PW, from its November 1st issue, which calls it a "delightful SF thriller"; "Though Gould continues to exuberantly press the boundaries of scientific credibility, his gift for placing ordinary people in extraordinary situations against a backdrop of international concerns makes this fast-paced adventure sizzle."
• Gary K. Wolfe's review in the December issue of Locus finds the merging of YA novel with technothriller somewhat awkward, but concedes "What results might make for a pretty good TV pilot about a teleporting secret agent, complete with ingeniously worked out variations on how Jumping might be used creatively in cliffhanger situations, and with hints of comic possibilities as well. (Gould has clearly left himself room for sequels.)"
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Moore, John : Heroics for Beginners
(Ace 0-441-01193-4, $6.99, 246pp, mass market paperback, September 2004, cover art Walter Velez)

Comic fantasy novel that parodies the sword & sorcery genre.
• The author's website has a brief description: "Not all men are born heroes. Some have to read the instruction manual..."
• The book made Locus paperback bestseller list for December.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Noyes, Deborah, ed. : Gothic! Ten Original Dark Tales
(Candlewick Press 0763622435, $15.99, 11+241pp, hardcover, September 2004)

Anthology of 10 original dark fantasy tales for young adults. Authors include Neil Gaiman, M.T. Anderson, Joan Aiken, Garth Nix, Caitlin R. Kiernan, and Gregory Maguire.
• The publisher's site has this description with a list of authors, author notes, and the editor's bio.
• Amazon has the starred Booklist review: the collection "provides an excellent opportunity to introduce fans of Koontz, Rice, and King to some of the most imaginative exponents of YA dark fantasy."
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Price, Susan : A Sterkarm Kiss
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-072197-9, $16.99, 277pp, hardcover, October 2004, jacket illustration Pat Clark)
First US edition (UK: Scholastic UK, October 2003).

YA time-travel novel, sequel to The Sterkarm Handshake about a Time Tunnel that connects researchers to the violent 16th-century Sterkarm tribe. In this book the company tries again, but this time to an alternate 16th-century with a fresh set of Sterkarms.
• The publisher's site has this description and a chapter excerpt.
• The author's site has excerpts from her previous books, and news that she's now working on a Mars trilogy.
• The School Library Journal review on the Amazon page calls it "perfect for sophisticated YA readers" but Carolyn Cushman, in the February '04 Locus, had reservations: "It's an unusually harsh young-adult novel, powerful and moving, but dark, and ends unresolved with more violence in the offing."
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Robinson, Spider : Very Bad Deaths
(Baen 0-7434-8861-X, $18, 271pp, hardcover, December 2004, cover art Stephen Hickman)

SF thriller about a telepath and a hunt for a sadistic serial killer.
• Robinson's website has this synopsis, as well as Damien Broderick's Locus review from the November '04 issue. Broderick perceives similarities in character, setting, and incident between the book and Robinson's own life, notably a painful operation to correct pneumothorax...
• Baen's site has this description, with links to several chapter excerpts.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Taylor, Travis S. : Warp Speed
(Baen 0-7434-8862-8, $22, 285pp, hardcover, December 2004, cover art David Mattingly)

SF novel about an attempt to launch the first faster-than-light probe despite sabotage from enemies of the United States.
• Baen's site has a description and links to several chapter excerpts.
(Thu 2 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
In the darkness, he touched her arm and said, "Stay here." She did not move, just waited. The smell of salt water was strong. She heard the faint gurgle of water.

Then the lights came on, reflecting off the surface of a large open tank, perhaps fifty meters long and twenty meters wide. It might have been an indoor swimming pool, except for all the electronic equipment that surrounded it.

And the very strange device at the far end of the pool.
Opening lines:
I was fifty-four years old the first time a dead person spoke to me. Wouldn't you know it? It was the wrong one.

To be fair, he did manage to save my life. Just for openers.

Previous page: November week #4

© 2004 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.