Locus Online

New Books Jan. #2
Rachel Caine
Peter Crowther
Diana Pharoah Francis
Gaiman & Matuszak
Mitchell Graham
Diana Marcellas
R.M. Meluch
Jeanine Renne
Clint Smith
David Weber
Clive Woodall
Zicree & Wilson

New Books Jan. #1
Elizabeth Bear
Ben Bova
Sara Douglass
S.L. Farrell
Terry Goodkind
Robert A. Metzger
L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Stan Nicholls
Alastair Reynolds
Justina Robson
Al Sarrantonio
John Scalzi
Harry Turtledove

2004 Archive


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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New SF, Fantasy, and Horror books seen : January 2005 Week #3

+ Bakker, R. Scott : The Warrior-Prophet
(Overlook Press 1-58567-560-1, $26.95, 607pp, hardcover, January 2005, jacket illustration Daniel Rankine)

Fantasy novel, second in "The Prince of Nothing" trilogy following The Darkness That Comes Before (Canada 2003, US 2004), concerning a holy war between two great faiths.
• The Publishers Weekly review, reproduced on the Amazon page, calls it a "compelling, if overly long, sequel" and concludes "The final cinematic scene, of a vast landscape filled with enormous armies, nicely sets the stage for book three of this daringly unconventional series in the Tolkien mold."
• SF Site ran this interview with Bakker in September 2004.
(Wed 19 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Banks, L. A. : The Bitten
(St. Martin's Griffin 0-312-32408-1, $14.95, 434pp, trade paperback, February 2005)

Vampire novel, fourth in the "Vampire Huntress Legend" series following Minion, The Awakening, and The Hunted, concerning a crime lord/rock star vampire couple fighting a Master Vampire who has stolen a key that could trigger Armageddon.
• The series website has background, excerpts, and web exclusives.
• The PW review says "Mixing religion with erotic horror dosed with a funky African-American beat, Banks blithely piles on layer after layer of densely detailed plot, which might overwhelm new readers but will delight established fans."
(Wed 19 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* DeSmedt, Bill : Singularity
(Per Aspera 0-9745734-4-2, $25.95, 502pp, hardcover, November 2004, jacket illustration Karawynn Long, jacket design Long, Karawynn)

SF novel, the author's first novel, about a scientist's attempt to capture the microscopic black hole that caused the famous 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia.
• The publisher's site has this description, plus an online press kit with links to audio excerpts and a pdf sample. Similar material is on the author's official site.
• has a very enthusiastic review by Cynthia Ward: "Bill DeSmedt should be on the bestseller lists with Tom Clancy and Dan Brown. DeSmedt's ambitious and exciting debut novel, Singularity, mixes a post-Cold-War conspiracy with cutting-edge quantum physics and a century-old mystery to create a terrifying techno-thriller." There are also cover blurbs from Greg Bear, Kevin J. Anderson, and David Brin.
• Barnes & Noble's SF editor named it one of the top ten novels of 2004.
(Sat 15 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Hendee, Barb, & J. C. Hendee : Sister of the Dead
(Roc 0-451-46009-X, $7.5, 405pp, mass market paperback, January 2005, cover art Koveck)

Vampire novel in the "Noble Dead" series, following Dhampire and Thief of Lives, about two members of a species of half human/half vampires created for purposes of slaying the undead, now on a quest to discover the secret of their pasts.
• The authors' website,, has descriptions and excerpts.
• Amazon has reviews from readers, who compare the series to books by Laurell K. Hamilton.
(Sat 15 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Lundberg, Jason Erik : Scattered, Covered, Smothered
(Two Cranes Press , $9.99, 161pp, trade paperback, December 2004)

Anthology of food-related stories, poems, and unusual recipes. Authors include Christopher Rowe, Bruce Boston, Rhys Hughes, Barth Anderson, and the team of M.F. Korn, Des Lewis, & Jeff VanderMeer.
• The publisher's site has this description with ordering information (it's not listed by Amazon), quotes from reviews by Rick Kleffel and by Cheryl Morgan, plus contributor notes and photos.
• Rich Horton's review will appear in the March issue of Locus Magazine: "It's rather diverting stuff - sometimes dark, sometimes whimsical."
(Sat 15 Jan 2005)


+ Swainston, Steph : The Year of Our War
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-06-075387-0, $13.95, 384pp, trade paperback, February 2005, cover illustration Christophe Sivet)
First US edition (UK: Gollancz, April 2004).

Fantasy novel, a first novel by a young UK author, concerning immortal companions to an emperior seeking to protect mankind from hordes of giant insects. This is the first US edition; last year's UK edition has brought much acclaim, with reviewers ranking this alongside Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell as the two most notable debuts of 2004.
• The HarperCollins site has this description and excerpt. This page describes the book and profiles the author. The sequel, No Present Like Time, is due in the UK this coming April.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in last May's issue of Locus Magazine; he advises "it might be a good idea to set aside anything you've heard about Steph Swainston's The Year of Our War until you've finished the book". Damien Broderick subsequently reviewed the book in the January '05 issue of Locus.
• Online reviews include those at The Alien Online and by Cheryl Morgan in Emerald City.
(Wed 19 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Vande Velde, Vivian : Now You See It...
(Harcourt 0-15-205311-5, $17, 277pp, hardcover, January 2005, jacket illustration Cliff Nielsen)

YA fantasy novel about a girl who discovers a pair of sunglasses that reveals a parallel world.
• The publisher's site has a description and an excerpt. Similar material is on the author's site, including the answer to the question "Where do you GET those ideas?"
• Amazon has the review from Publishers Weekly: "The plot playfully wanders all over the map; readers will likely get just as much enjoyment from Wendy's sly and self-deprecating humor as from the whimsical adventure itself."
• Carolyn Cushman reviews the book in the January issue of Locus Magazine: "It's a fun adventure (with some serious messages snuck in about aging and not judging by appearances) that younger readers should appreciate."
(Sat 15 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Woodworth, Stephen : With Red Hands
(Dell 0-553-58645-9, $6.99, 307pp, mass market paperback, January 2005)

Fantasy novel set in a world in which people called Violets -- they have violet eyes -- have the ability to channel the dead. Sequel to Through Violet Eyes published last September.
• The publisher's site has this description, with an excerpt.
• Amazon has the starred review from Publishers Weekly's November 29th issue, which calls it a "fast-paced and imaginative sequel to his amazing debut" and concludes "The separate story threads weave together seamlessly as Woodworth unveils the "Needlepoint killer," whose viciousness makes Hannibal Lecter seem like a Sunday School teacher. As with Through Violet Eyes, the violence in this book is matched by its intelligence."
• Carolyn Cushman reviews it in the February issue of Locus Magazine, saying "This lacks some of the novelty of the first book, for the most part a pretty standard serial killer ghost story, but the killer's got some innovatively nasty quirks and the plot takes enough convoluted twists to keep things involving."
(Sat 15 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
As soon as I arrived in Lowespass I bought a newspaper and read it in the shadow of the fortress wall.
Opening lines:
Marianna Bonaventure eased through the access door and out onto the roof of 17 State Street. She paused a moment for breath and visuals. To one side, the mirrored facade of a setback penthouse held only her own reflection -- a slender figure in black body armor with helmet to match. Straight ahead, nothing but an arc of deserted skyterrace and, beyond it, the forty-one story dropoff down to Battery Park. No one, and nothing, in sight.

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