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27 January 2005




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New and Notable Books February 2005


Forrest Aguirre, ed., Leviathan, Volume Four: Cities (Night Shade Books/Ministry of Whimsy Press Nov 2004)

The critically acclaimed cross-genre anthology returns, this time with a look at cities mythical and surreal, by authors including Jay Lake, K.J. Bishop, and Stepan Chapman.

Iain M. Banks, The State of the Art (Night Shade Books Nov 2004)

Banks’s first collection, published in the UK in 1991, is finally available in the US. Along with the original eight stories, this adds ‘‘A Few Notes on the Culture’’.

Elizabeth Bear, Hammered (Bantam Spectra Jan 2005)

A riveting first novel with hardboiled/noir/cyberpunk roots, about a female former special forces soldier trying to survive in hellish Hartford, Connecticut in 2062.

Ben Bova, Powersat (Tor Jan 2005)

Dan Randolph’s plans to develop a new energy source are threatened by competition, politics, and terrorists in this near-future thriller, a prequel to the novels of the Asteroid Wars in Bova’s Grand Tour of the Solar System.

Michael Chabon, ed., McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories (Vintage Nov 2004)

Chabon’s efforts to reinvigorate the short form continue in his second McSweeney’s anthology, filled with genre tales by noted authors including Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, and Stephen King.

Alan M. Clark, The Paint in My Blood (IFD Publishing Dec 2004)

Clark demonstrates his mastery of dark art in this full-color collection of paintings ranging from disturbingly dark to humorously grotesque, plus a CD showing the artist at work.

Joseph McCabe, Hanging Out with the Dream King: Conversations with Neil Gaiman and His Collaborators (Fantagraphics Dec 2004)

Neil Gaiman and his work in comics and literature are examined in depth in this collection of interviews with Gaiman and his many collaborators, including Dave McKean, Kim Newman, Terry Pratchett, and Gene Wolfe.

Ilene Meyer, Ilene Meyer: Paintings, Drawings, Perceptions (Underwood Books Dec 2004)

The elegantly surreal art of Ilene Meyer is beautifully showcased in this art book.

Alastair Reynolds, Century Rain (Orion/Gollancz Nov 2004)

Space opera and noir mix in this SF mystery of a 23rd-century archeologist who must solve a murder committed on a copy of Earth still in an alternate-history version of 1959. ‘‘An exciting, thought-provoking novel, an audacious synthesis of genre forms.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Justina Robson, Natural History (Bantam Spectra Jan 2005)

A normal, Unevolved human is sent to investigate the discovery of a habitable planet that could be a home for the altered-human Forged in this thought-provoking SF novel by one of the acclaimed writers of the New Space Opera, finally out in the US.

John Scalzi, Old Man's War (Tor Jan 2005)

The space war against aliens is fought by retirees in this Heinleinesque first novel about a 75-year-old man who enlists, only to find the war far stranger than he could have expected.

John Sladek, The Complete Roderick (Overlook Press Oct 2004)

This classic satiric tale of a robot struggling to be human is finally available in the US in the form its author intended, in this omnibus combining the complete texts of Roderick and Roderick at Random.

Allen Steele, Coyote Rising (Ace Dec 2004)

A colony world struggles to regain independence from repressive Earth forces in this engaging SF novel of pioneering, political repression, and young people growing up and learning to fight for what they believe in.

Harry Turtledove & Martin H. Greenberg, eds., The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century (Ballantine Del Rey Jan 2005)

An exceptional selection of 18 classic tales of time travel by authors including Theodore Sturgeon, Jack Finney, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Turtledove’s introduction discusses the theme and some of the classic novels it has inspired.

Harry Turtledove, Homeward Bound (Ballantine Del Rey Jan 2005)

The alternate-history saga begun in the Worldwar and Colonization series comes to a resounding conclusion in this epilog novel of culture clash, as a human starship reaches the homeworld of Earth’s lizard-like invaders, inadvertently prompting an alien plan to annihilate Earth.

Peter Watts, Behemoth, Book Two: Seppuku (Tor Jan 2005)

This thrilling conclusion to the Rifters series finds Lenie Clarke forced to confront the destruction she caused when she introduced the deadly Behemoth organism to the world – an organism now transformed into the even more deadly Seppuku.

Robert Freeman Wexler, Circus of a Grand Design (Prime Books Aug 2004)

A man on the run ends up working for a strange, surreal circus in this ‘‘fascinating, deeply bizarre adventure.’’ [Faren Miller]


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