Doctorow, Cory :
Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town
(Tor 0-765-31278-6, $24.95, 315pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket art Dave McKean, jacket design Irene Gallo)
Surrealistic SF novel about a plot to provide free Wi-fi access to Toronto, in which the main character's father is a mountain, his mother is a washing machine, his brothers include a set of Russian nesting dolls, and whose neighbor is a girl with wings.
The author has made the novel available as a free download. Hardcover release was delayed several months while Tor arranged a co-marketing campaign with the Sci Fi Channel to promote one Tor book a month as a 'Sci Fi Essential' -- Doctorow's book being the first. (For details see SciFi Wire's news story or Tor's PDF press release.)
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its March 7th issue: "Doctorow (Eastern Standard Tribe) treats these and other bizarre images and themes with deadpan wit. In this inventive parable about tolerance and acceptance, he demonstrates how memorably the outrageous and the everyday can coexist."
Paul Di Filippo's SF Weekly review gave it an A.
Damien Broderick and Faren Miller reviewed it in Locus Magazine's March issue; Miller noted "Somehow this loose-jointed, wandering, ramshackle compendium of casual weirdness (perfectly expressed in the title) produces the kind of intimacy - even authenticity - more often associated with a personal journal, a blog, even autobiography."
Freer, Dave :
A Mankind Witch
(Baen 0-7434-9913-1, $25, 344pp, hardcover, July 2005, cover art Gary Ruddell)
Alternate history fantasy novel set in 16th century Scandinavia, a sequel to The Shadow of the Lion and This Rough Magic (written with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint), in which the theft of a Pagan relic leads into the Norse underworld of kobolds, dwarves, and trolls.
Baen's site has this description and links to several chapters.
Amazon has the starred PW review, from its June 13th issue: "Good characterization, ripsnorting action and an ingenious plot make this a feast for sword and sorcery fans."
Carolyn Cushman's review appears in the June issue of Locus Magazine: "Action dominates, making this a bit of a detour for the series, almost a standalone, refreshingly short on complicated politics and long on fantasy adventure with a distinctive Norse flavor."
Odom, Mel :
Lord of the Libraries
(Tor 0-765-30724-3, $25.95, 384pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket art Greg & Tim Hildebrant)
Fantasy novel about elves, goblins, and library magic; sequel to The Rover and The Destruction of the Books. This one concerns an apprentice tasked, in the absence of the abducted grandmagister of the Vault of All Known Knowledge, with reassembling the four pieces of The Book of Time.
Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist; the latter concludes "The story's fast pace, violent action, camaraderie among the companions, and leavening humor add up to a hard-to-put-down page-turner."
Satiric SF novel in which Mozart didn't die in 1791 but lives on as an immortal in 2028. It's the author's first novel; he's had stories in Oceans of the Mind, Abyss & Apex, The Fortean Bureau, and elsewhere.
Publisher ENC Press, which describes itself as a "boutique fiction house", has this description and ordering information.
The author's site has this longer description, background, excerpts from reviews, etc. He also has a blog, The Skwib.
Anthology of 6 original SF/mystery novellas. Authors are Mike Resnick, David Gerrold, Catherine Asaro, Robert Reed, Jack McDevitt, and Robert J. Sawyer.
Available exclusively from the Science Fiction Book Club, which has this page about the book with the dust jacket copy and a couple members' reviews.
Listed as a New and Notable Book in Locus' July issue: "SF mystery abounds in this anthology of six all-new SF noir stories by David Gerrold, Catherine Asaro, Robert Reed, Jack McDevitt, Robert J. Sawyer, and Resnick himself."
Simmons, Dan :
(HarperCollins/Eos 0-380-97894-6, $25.95, 690pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket illustration Gary Ruddell) First US edition (UK: Gollancz, June 2005)
Far future SF novel, the concluding volume of the story begun in Locus Award-winning Ilium (2003), that's a retelling of the Iliad as immortal post-humans restage the Trojan War on Mars.
Eos' website has this description with reader reviews, and an excerpt.
Simmons' news page includes his tour schedule, details of the marketing campaign, and reviews.
Amazon has PW's starred review, from its May 31st issue: "This is powerful stuff, rich in both high-tech sense of wonder and literary allusions, but Simmons is in complete control of his material as half a dozen baroque plot lines smoothly converge on a rousing and highly satisfying conclusion."
Both Gary Wolfe and Nick Gevers reviewed the book in the June issue of Locus Magazine; Gevers calls it "a supreme achievement".
Anthology of 10 novella-length stories first published in 2004, with an introduction, and introductions to each story, by the editor. Authors include James Patrick Kelly, Stephen Baxter, Bradley Denton, Charles Stross, and Gregory Feeley. The complete table of contents is listed in this Night Shade Books discussion thread (scroll down).
Available exclusively from the Science Fiction Book Club, which has this page about the book with the dust jacket description.
Twelve Hawks, John :
(Doubleday 038551428X, $24.95, 456pp, hardcover, July 2005)
Sf thriller about a band of prophets called Travelers who've controlled the course of history, and their protectors called Harlequins, now battling an organization called the Tabula that's made the US into a Vast Machine. First of a trilogy.
The book has its own website, www.traveler-book.com, with an online game based on the book. The publisher has this description and an excerpt.
The book is the subject of an extensive marketing campaign, described in this New York Times article. The reclusive author makes no personal appearances and is described only as living "off the Grid".
Amazon has PW's starred review: "Twelve Hawks's much anticipated novel is powerful, mainstream fiction built on a foundation of cutting-edge technology laced with fantasy and the chilling specter of an all-too-possible social and political reality."
NYT's Janet Maslin wrote this review ("Amazingly, this novel sustains a new voice even when its roots show."); Gabe Chouinard posted this review, which concluded "The Traveler is a fine novel, flawed by editorial interference, yet brimming with intelligence and depth."