Locus Online

New Books Jan. #3
R. Scott Bakker
L.A. Banks
Bill DeSmedt
Barb & J.C. Hendee
Jason Erik Lundberg
Steph Swainston
Vivian Vande Velde
Stephen Woodworth

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

2005 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 #4

* Askegren, Pierce : Human Resource
(Ace 0-441-01079-2, $6.99, 280pp, mass market paperback, February 2005, cover art Larry Rostant)

SF novel set on a Moon colony, first of a trilogy.
• The publisher's synopsis, and reader reviews, are on the Amazon page.
• The author is previously known for novelizations of Spider Man, Alias, etc. Keith R.A. Candido's book editing credits list this book, under a different title, and its sequels.
(Mon 31 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Buchs, Doug : The Mescalero Project
(Behler 1-933016-05-1, $14.95, 213pp, trade paperback, March 2005)

SF novel about a secret experimental prison, forgotten after cataclysmic solar storms in 2021, and rediscovered 50 years later.
• The book's back cover description and author bio are reproduced on the publisher's page.
• Advance reading copy received in December; publication due March 2005.
(Tue 14 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Cash, Steve : The Meq
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-47092-3, $13.95, 404pp, trade paperback, February 2005, cover art David Stevenson)
First US edition (UK: Macmillan, 2002).

Fantasy novel about a race of near-immortals who remain 12 years old until they meet another of their kind. First of a trilogy.
• The author was a member of the Ozark Mountain Devils band in the 1970s.
• Del Rey's site has this description and an excerpt.
• The Amazon page reproduces positive reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist -- the latter concludes "The drama is intense, the characterizations are fully realized, and the very cadence of the language infuses a rich sense of time, place, and historical context that draws one in."
• Online reviews are available at January and The Agony Column.
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Cherryh, C. J. : Destroyer
(DAW 0-7564-0253-0, $24.95, 345pp, hardcover, February 2005, jacket painting Michael Whelan)

SF novel in the ongoing "Foreigner" series, seventh overall and first in a new trilogy following previous volume Explorer (2002), concerning humans and the alien atevi.
• DAW's parent publisher's site has this brief description.
• Amazon has the PW review, which concludes "This volume, the first in a new trilogy, is hampered by the need to clarify what is now a considerable back story, but it features a healthy dose of the author's trademark well-developed characters, fine style and intense psychological realism. Cherryh's many readers should snap this one up."
• Russell Letson reviews the book in the February issue of Locus, concluding "Destroyer is filled with the usual close observation of human and atevi manners (Jane Austen with shooting?) as well as some of Cherryh's best writing. If you have not read the first six books, it is worth the effort to start now, not only for their own considerable pleasures but to eventually arrive here."
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(St. Martin's Griffin 0-312-33656-x, $19.95, 19+655pp, trade paperback, February 2005)

Anthology of 36 stories drawn from the first 20 volumes of Dozois' annual "The Year's Best Science Fiction" anthologies, stories originally published from 1983 through 2002 -- Greg Bear's "Blood Music" to Molly Gloss' "Lambing Season".
• Other authors include Gene Wolfe, Lucius Shepard, Nancy Kress, William Gibson, Robert Silverberg, Connie Willis, Joe Haldeman, Greg Egan, Ursula K. Le Guin, Michael Swanwick, Ted Chiang, James Patrick Kelly, Geoff Ryman, and Ian R. MacLeod. The Foreword is by Robert Silverberg.
• Also available in hardcover.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the February issue of Locus, analyzing Dozois's selections and the intent of the book, concluding "It doesn't really make much difference if these are the best possible authors or the best possible stories by these authors, or if there are too many aliens and not enough spaceships: they are the core of an argument, and it's an argument worth making. It's an argument that SF is permissible."
(Thu 30 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Fisher, Jude : The Rose of the World
(DAW 0-7564-0187-9, $23.95, 12+576pp, hardcover, February 2005, jacket painting Matthew Stawicki)

Fantasy novel, final volume in the "Fool's Gold" trilogy following Sorcery Rising (2002) and Wild Magic (2003).
• DAW's parent publisher's website has this brief description.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review.
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


(Carroll & Graf 0-7867-1426-3, $12.95, 624pp, trade paperback, October 2004, cover illustration Les Edwards)

Anthology of horror stories published in 2003. Authors include Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Michael Marshall Smith, Gene Wolfe, Charles Coleman Finlay, Joyce Carol Oates, and Neil Gaiman. Contributor Steve Nagy's website has a complete table of contents.
• There's also 92 pages of introduction, "Horror in 2003", and 62 pages of necrology.
• Nominally published in October, it appeared in Locus Online's local bookstores in January 2005.
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Jones, Stephen, ed. : The Mammoth Book of New Terror
(Carroll & Graf 0-7867-1409-3, $12.95, 496pp, trade paperback, December 2004, cover art John Picacio)
First US edition (UK: Robinson, November 2004).

Anthology of 26 horror stories, 4 original. This is a revised, expanded edition of the The Mammoth Book of Terror published in 1991.
• Authors include Ramsey Campbell, Neil Gaiman, and Pat Cadigan, plus 2004 stories by Christopher Fowler, Graham Masterton, Brian Mooney, David J. Schow, and Tanith Lee & John Kaiine (according to the complete table of contents listed here).
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Koontz, Dean, & Kevin J. Anderson : Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Book One: Prodigal Son
(Bantam 0-553-58788-9, $7.99, 469pp, mass market paperback, February 2005)

Horror novel, first of a series, in which Dr. Frankenstein has survived into the 21st century.
• Also available in hardcover and audiobook--see Amazon page for links.
• The publisher's page has this description and an excerpt.
• The Amazon page has the reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist; the latter's starred review by Ray Olson informs us that "With Anderson's help in this book (and Ed Gorman's in its continuation, coming this spring), Koontz realizes his original concept for a cable TV effort from which he withdrew. It was TV's loss, for, filmed utterly faithfully, Prodigal Son could be the best horror thriller and, hands down, would be the best Frankenstein movie, ever."
(Mon 31 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* McCaffrey, Todd : Dragonsblood
(Ballantine Del Rey 0-345-44124-9, $24.95, 438pp, hardcover, January 2005, jacket illustration Les Edwards)

SF novel in the long-running "Dragonriders of Pern" series, the first with solo writing credit by Todd McCaffrey, son of series creator Anne McCaffrey. They previously collaborated on Dragon's Kin (2003). This one concerns an epidemic among the dragons and a woman hundreds of years before who holds the secret to the cure.
• The publisher's site has this description, an excerpt, and a Q&A with Todd McCaffrey.
• Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its November 8th issue: "This stand-alone tale fits beautifully into the existing history and style of earlier books while still breaking new ground. Despite being geared toward the existing fan base, it will be quite accessible to new readers. In her introduction, the elder McCaffrey writes, "son, you done did good and me proud!" Even the most nepotism-wary will concur and eagerly look forward to the next installment."
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Niven, Larry, & Jerry Pournelle : Burning Tower
(Pocket 0-7434-1691-0, $25, 430pp, hardcover, February 2005, jacket art Paul Youll)

Fantasy novel, follow-up to The Burning City (2000), set in a prehistorical Los Angeles and in the universe of Niven's "Magic Goes Away" series, in which magic is a finite resource and the civilizations that depend on it are threatened with extinction.
• The publisher's site has this description, and an excerpt (the excerpt is also on the Amazon page).
• An anthology of previous stories in the series, The Magic Goes Away Collection, has just been published.
• Niven's website includes a page of 2001 photos and older with a couple photos from a New Mexico research trip with Pournelle.
(Fri 28 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Phillips, Holly : In the Palace of Repose
(Prime Books 1-894815-58-0, $29.95, 203pp, hardcover, February 2005, cover art Thomas Cole)

Collection of 9 stories, 7 of them original to this book, by a Canadian author who's an editor for On-Spec magazine; with an introduction by Sean Stewart.
• The publisher's site has this description, which includes Michael Bishop's front cover blurb.
• Rich Horton reviews the book in the February issue of Locus, remarking "It is really exciting to see a debut collection of this quality". And Gary K. Wolfe considers the book in his column for the March issue, commenting that the author "demonstrates a unique voice and an eclectic, often understated approach to the fantastic that often echoes mainstream short story construction more than genre tropes".
(Mon 6 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Saberhagen, Fred : Rogue Berserker
(Baen 0-7434-9873-9, $22, 281pp, hardcover, January 2005, cover illustration Kurt Miller)

SF novel in Saberhagen's long-running Berserker series about "automated killing machines programmed an age ago to denude the galaxy of life".
• The author's website has this description and excerpt. Baen's site has this description with links to several excerpts.
• Amazon has Roland Green's Booklist review, which remarks "Even those who have lost count of Saberhagen's Berserker novels should applaud this one."
(Mon 31 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Strike, Johnny : Ports of Hell
(Headpress/Diagonal 1-900486-33-4, $13.95, 155pp, trade paperback, February 2005, cover illustration Claudio Parentela)
First US edition (UK: Headpress/Diagonal, March 2004).

Fantasy novel about a young man who travels around the world on instructions from a man who claims to be from Lemuria.
• The publisher's description summarizes it as "A picaresque story that borrows from all the pulps, including crime, sci-fi, fantasy, adventure and horror."
• The author is a founding member of US punk band Crime. The book has a blurb from William S. Burroughs.
• This appears to be the 2004 UK edition, distributed in the US this month.
Bookmunch has posted this review.
(Mon 6 Dec 2004) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
The Ministry car pulled up before the Palace gate and the driver was out and holding the passenger door open before Edmund Stonehouse could get his papers shuffled into order. The top page of the rough draft for his annual finance report escaped and drifted to the cobblestones. The driver bent and picked it up, and Stonehouse gruffly thanked the man. He wished the motor pool people would stop changing drivers on him. Lazy Hawkins had let him open his own door in his own time.
Opening lines:
The kindness of strangers. Is it true? Most often, probably not, but invariably in everyoneís life there is a moment, a window in time, where only a stranger will make sense of a senseless thing and pull you out or through or wherever you need to go and do not have the power to do so alone. It will feel as gentle and effortless as an angelís touch. It will come unasked and unannounced. It will come from someone whose name you may or may not recall, whose face may blur with memory, but whose deed, in one way or another, saved you. It will be a stranger.
Opening lines:
Four men stood in a knot around the Star Stones of Fort Weyr. The sun was just above the horizon, casting the harsh shadows of early dawn at winterís end. Each man wore the prestigious shoulder knots of Weyrleader. Their warm wher-hide jackets proclaimed them the leaders of Benden, Fort, Telgar, and Ista Weyrs.

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