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December 2005

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Robin Hobb

Paul McAuley

Locus Bestsellers
New & Notable Books

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Mailing Date:
29 November 2005

Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Terry Bisson, Greetings and Other Stories (Tachyon Publications Oct 2005)

A collection of ten stories by one of SF’s foremost humorous satirists, including long novellas ‘‘Greetings’’ and British SF Award nominee ‘‘Dear Abbey’’. ‘‘We could hardly be in the hands of a more able storyteller.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Terry Bisson, Numbers Don't Lie (Tachyon Publications Sep 2005)

Hilarious collection/fix-up novel of three SF stories featuring Wilson Wu, rollicking polymath and modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and his faithful sidekick Irv.

Jack Dann & et al, The Fiction Factory (Golden Gryphon Press Oct 2005)

Collaboration can be fun and productive, at least for Dann, who teamed up with eight noted authors including Gardner Dozois, Barry N. Malzberg, and Michael Swanwick to produce the 18 excellent stories in this collection. Comments by the authors on each story provide ‘‘invaluable insight into the storytelling process.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Steven Erikson, Memories of Ice (Tor Nov 2005)

The third volume in The Malazan Book of the Fallen fantasy series, a powerful and occasionally disturbing epic full of action and masterly worldbuilding. Originally published by Bantam UK in 2001.

Charles Coleman Finlay, Wild Things (Subterranean Press Oct 2005)

Finlay’s first collection gathers 14 stories, demonstrating his impressive storytelling ability across the range with SF, fantasy, and horror.

Nancy Holder & Nancy Kilpatrick, eds., Outsiders: All-New Stories From the Edge (Roc Oct 2005)

Original anthology of 21 ‘‘stories from the edge,’’ most horror, and a poem by Neil Gaiman. Authors include Poppy Z. Brite, Kathe Koja, Joe R. Lansdale, Tanith Lee, and Steve Rasnic Tem. ‘‘Contemporary horror is alive and well.’’ [Tim Pratt]

Matthew Hughes, The Gist Hunter and Other Stories (Night Shade Books Aug 2005)

First collection of 13 witty, often satirical stories, most set in Hughes’s Archonate, a Vance-like Dying Earth milieu. ‘‘With his opulent style, Latinate wit, and quick-fire philosophizing, Hughes genuinely captures the splendid ironic textures of Vance’s writing.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Stephen Jones, ed., The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror: Volume Sixteen (Carroll & Graf Oct 2005)

The latest in this year’s best horror series collects 21 stories by Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Lisa Tuttle, and others, plus a summary of the state of horror for 2004.

Robert Jordan, Knife of Dreams (Tor Oct 2005)

Alliances are formed and thrilling rescues made as forces move toward the final conflict in this 11th - and penultimate - volume in the epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time.

S. T. Joshi & Stefan R. Dziemianowicz, eds., Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia (Greenwood- Heinemann Nov 2005)

This three-volume encyclopedia is a valuable resource for scholars and a tempting compendium for fans, with entries on major books, authors, editors, publishers, magazines, and motifs. It also features indices of fictional characters and themes, a bibliography, and a foreword by Ramsey Campbell.

Caitlín R. Kiernan, To Charles Fort, With Love (Subterranean Press Aug 2005)

Collection of 13 stories, one original, by one of horror’s most ambitious and stylish writers. ‘‘When Kiernan contemplates Lovecraft’s and Fort’s visions of a mysterious, dangerous universe, and puts the stories down in her own breathtaking prose, the results are extraordinary.’’ [Tim Pratt]

Deborah Layne & Jay Lake, eds., Polyphony, Volume 5 (Wheatland Press Oct 2005)

The latest in the acclaimed original anthology series brings together 31 new SF, fantasy, and slipstream stories by Theodora Goss, Jeff VanderMeer, Ray Vukcevich, Leslie What, and others. ‘‘A feast of well-written, symbolically cogent, and emotionally resonant tales.’’ [Nick Gevers]

George R. R. Martin, A Feast for Crows (Bantam Spectra Nov 2005)

This long-awaited fourth volume in Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga continues the intrigue, suspense, magic, and gritty realism that has made the bestselling series a favorite for legions of fantasy fans. ‘‘We’re lucky enough to be at the birth of a classic, something that will be read and reread for years to come.’’ [Lisa Goldstein]

David Marusek, Counting Heads (Tor Nov 2005)

Marusek extends his noted novella ‘‘We Were Out of Our Minds with Joy’’ in this account of life on an overcrowded Earth 100 years in the future. ‘‘A moving tale of compassion and survival, and almost certainly the most impressive and significant first novel the SF field will see this year.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, Zahrah the Windseeker (Houghton Mifflin Oct 2005)

A distinctive African flavor infuses this young-adult SF novel, a first novel which draws on Nigerian folklore to tell the story of a young woman with unusual abilities on the planet Ginen, who must go to the forbidden Greeny Jungle to find a cure for a comatose friend. ‘‘A consistently compelling and provocative tale.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Kenneth Oppel, Skybreaker (HarperCollins/Eos Dec 2005)

This grand adventure story returns to the world of airships and intrigue first introduced in Oppel’s Airborn, with cabin-boy turned pilot-in-training Matt Cruse on the trail of the long-lost zeppelin Hyperion.

Norman Partridge, Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales: A Collection, a Recollection, a Writer's Handbook (Subterranean Press Oct 2005)

Innovative horror writer Partridge’s legendary Stoker Award-winning first collection (Roadkill Press 1992) has been reprinted and expanded with 11 more early stories and an unpublished novel excerpt added, for a total of 19 dark tales. A long introduction and extensive story notes (with footnotes!) by Partridge provide a fascinating chronicle of his early years as a struggling author.

Kim Stanley Robinson, Fifty Degrees Below (Bantam Nov 2005)

Robinson plays with the conventions of the thriller genre in this novel of political and ecological disaster, second in his Science of the Capitol trilogy begun with Forty Signs of Rain. Washington DC has recovered from the floods it suffered in that first volume, only to undergo a ‘‘cold snap’’ that threatens a new mini-Ice Age. ‘‘May end up as the most significant and impressive work of political science fiction in recent decades.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study (Luna Books Oct 2005)

This impressive first novel weaves together adventure and suspense in a compelling fantasy about a condemned young woman given a chance to live - as a food taster in an intrigue-filled court.

Karen Traviss, The World Before (HarperCollins/Eos Nov 2005)

Humans are about to be judged for the destruction of a planet’s native race in this insightful third novel in the acclaimed SF series begun in City of Pearl.

Gary Westfahl, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy : Themes, Works, and Wonders (Greenwood Press Oct 2005)

The first two books in this encyclopedic three-volume exploration of the ideas behind SF concentrate on common themes and motifs - Adam and Eve, Dragons, Religion, Parallel Worlds, and many more - while the third volume includes synopses and discussions of classic books and films. An exhaustive overview of the great (and not so great) ideas that drive SF.

Conrad Williams, London Revenant (Night Shade Books Oct 2005)

This disturbing novel combines psychological horror, dark urban fantasy, and black comedy in the tale of a narcoleptic Londoner who finds himself entwined with a serial killer stalking the Underground. First US edition (The Do-Not Press 2004).

Liz Williams, Snake Agent (Night Shade Books Sep 2005)

Detective Inspector Chen investigates the illegal trade in souls in this futuristic cross-genre gem. ‘‘This exotic amalgam of police procedural, SF, comic fantasy, and horror is a delight from start to finish.’’ [Faren Miller]

John C. Wright, Orphans of Chaos (Tor Nov 2005)

Five supernaturally talented orphans at an unusual British boarding school must figure out their true destinies in ‘‘this perverse and diabolical coming-of-age tale... an imaginative exercise in Christian apologetics... a bit like C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia updated by half a century, but with more gusto.’’ [Damien Broderick]

© 2005 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.