Neal Asher, Cowl
(Tor May 2005)
A far-future war extends throughout time in this twisted SF time-travel action-adventure, in which the monstrous advanced human Cowl spreads chaos and destruction through history in a battle to change the war’s outcome. Originally published in 2004 in the UK.
Damien Broderick, Godplayers
(Thunder's Mouth Press May 2005)
SF scholar-novelist Broderick gives a new twist to familiar SF tropes in this fast-paced Zelaznyesque novel, a mix of math and surreal humor in which a hapless former medical student discovers he’s really a player in a Contest of Worlds spanning multiple universes.
Lord Dunsany, The Collected Jorkens, Volume Three
(Night Shade Books Jan 2005)
The third and final volume in a three-volume set contains 59 tall tales and outrageous adventures - three never before published - narrated by Dunsany’s popular clubman and raconteur.
George Alec Effinger, George Alec Effinger Live! From Planet Earth
(Golden Gryphon Press May 2005)
Noted authors and editors pick and introduce their favorite stories by the impish - and technically brilliant - Effinger for this ironically titled posthumous collection of 20 stories and two poems, most not previously collected, eight originally published as by O. Niemand.
Carol Emshwiller, I Live with You
(Tachyon Publications Apr 2005)
Emshwiller, now in her 80s, is at the top of her form in this collection of 12 stories, including two originals, and one essay. Emshwiller uses the imagery of SF and fantasy to create strange, literary stories, and ‘‘circles around genre materials and themes like a poet.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Andreas Eschbach, The Carpet Makers
(Tor Apr 2005)
The first English translation of a 1995 novel by Germany’s most honored SF writer, this draws equally on the vastness of space opera and the delicacy of Borgesian fantasy to create a mosaic novel of galactic empire. ‘‘A world-class SF voice that we ought to know about.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]
Mary Gentle, A Sundial in a Grave: 1610
(HarperCollins/Perennial May 2005)
Swashbuckling high adventure, intrigue, and alternate history mix in this tale of future scholars studying historic documents featuring an unpredictable swordsman and spy recruited to change the course of history in 1610. An ‘‘…action filled, devious, hilarious, and remarkably kinky adventure epic…a full-fledged anti-alternate history…one of the very finest fantasy novels of 2003.’’ [Nick Gevers] Originally published in the UK (2003).
Charlaine Harris, Dead as a Doornail
(Ace May 2005)
New complications besiege telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, whose suitors now include two vampires, a werewolf, and a werepanther. Add a killer attacking local weres, and Sookie has her hands full in this fifth volume in a thoroughly engaging Southern supernatural mystery series.
Diana Wynne Jones, Conrad's Fate
(HarperCollins/Greenwillow Apr 2005)
The popular Chrestomanci series returns with this YA fantasy about a boy who believes he has catastrophically bad karma. Conrad hires on at the local mansion where someone is tampering with reality, and teams up with his fellow servant, the undercover enchanter Christopher Chant, to explore alternate realities and find the source of the worldshifting.
Naomi Kritzer, Freedom's Apprentice
(Bantam Spectra May 2005)
Freedom-fighter Lauria, trying to atone for her work with slavers, seeks to learn sorcery that can help free slaves. The second volume of the Dead Rivers trilogy, set in a world reminiscent of the empire of Alexander the Great, but with intriguingly different myths and magics.
Justine Larbalestier, Magic or Madness
(Penguin/Razorbill Mar 2005)
Larbalestier, best known as an SF critic, turns to young-adult fantasy in her first novel, a fascinating look at the price of magic, as an Australian teen aptly named Reason finds her hated grandmother is a real witch - with a magic door that strands the unprepared teen in snowy New York City.
Richard Morgan, Woken Furies
(Orion/Gollancz Mar 2005)
The third hard-hitting SF noir thriller featuring the infamous Takeshi Kovacs finds him back on his home planet twice - thanks to a copy of himself revived after 200 years to be an assassin - and there’s not room in the galaxy for the both of him.
Chris Roberson, Here, There, & Everywhere
(Prometheus/Pyr Apr 2005)
Time traveler Roxanne Bonaventure grows up in this episodic SF novel, which plays with genre conventions as the plucky young woman tries to find a place for herself amid alternate worlds and times past and future. Significantly expanded from the 2002 Any Time at All.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Buried Deep
(Penguin/Roc Apr 2005)
A forensic anthropologist and a Retrieval Artist investigate human remains found on Mars in an alien neighborhood - where the unsolved, decades-old murder promises to be a political disaster. A fascinating mix of mystery and exploration of an alien culture.
Anna Tambour, Spotted Lily
(Prime Books Mar 2005)
This full-length debut by a talented Australian short story writer rings unlikely changes on the classic ‘‘deal with the Devil’’ plot, with a bit of Pygmalion stirred in. Comedic and chaotic, this is a ‘‘wicked, thoroughly unpredictable romp of a first novel.’’ [Faren Miller]
Jane Yolen & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, eds., The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens
(Tor May 2005)
The year's best field gets a little more crowded with this new anthology for young adults, which features 11 stories chosen by two noted editors of YA SF. Authors include Kelly Link, Garth Nix, Delia Sherman, and Bradley Denton.