Betancourt, John Gregory :
Roger Zelazny's Shadows of Amber
(iBooks 1596871180, $22.95, 254pp, hardcover, September 2005, cover art Aaron Campbell)
Fantasy novel, first in a new trilogy set in the universe of Roger Zelazny's ten-volume Amber series, first published from 1970 through 1991 and subsequently all collected in The Great Book of Amber.
Betancourt wrote a previous Amber trilogy: The Dawn of Amber (2002), Chaos and Amber (2003), and To Rule in Amber (2004).
Amazon has a brief book description -- "Oberon, newly-crowned King of Amber, finds himself in the middle of deadly political machinations..." -- and a reader review.
Bond, Lance :
(Argon Publishing 0-9769950-0-x, $15.95, 308pp, trade paperback, July 2005)
Fantasy novel, first of a series, subtitled "A Hârn Novel, The House of Kand: Book I".
This is the first release from publisher Argon Publishing, which is distributed by Columbia Games, whose products include the HarnWorld and Harnmaster role playing game.
Argon's website has a description -- "Hârn is the most detailed fantasy world ever created. Now a brilliant new novel captures the excitement of this intriguing island where chivalry and magic blend in the best traditions of the Arthurian legends." -- and extensive chapter samples.
The book includes a loose fold-out map.
Courtenay Grimwood, Jon :
(UK: Gollancz 0-575-07615-1, £12.99, 328pp, hardcover, October 2005, jacket illustration Laura Brett)
Near-future SF crime novel about a San Francisco policeman who investigates his own murder, including the mystery of why he's being haunted by a nine-tailed albino fox.
The description on the publisher's site -- 'A noir melding of ancient Chinese folklore, organised crime and cutting edge medical technology..." -- is reproduced on Amazon UK's page. The author's site has a similar description.
Cheryl Morgan's Emerald City review says "There are no pulled punches in 9tail Fox. Grimwood has all the grittiness and local color of Richard Paul Russo's excellent Carlucci series, but with the SF content toned down enough to sell to a much wider market. This book might just break him as big as Richard Morgan, movie deal included."
Gary K. Wolfe reviewed the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine: "9 Tail Fox is principally a brisk and efficient murder mystery with a key SF concept at its center."
DiMarco, Cris, ed. :
(Fandom Press 1-59092-185-2, $19.99, 468pp, trade paperback, September 2005, cover art Liz Danforth)
Anthology of 26 stories (5 with previous publication credits, the other 21 original to this book) with Pacific Northwest themes, sponsored by this year's Cascadian Con, which hosted the book's launch party in September.
The publisher's website has this page about the book, with the story of its genesis and launch. "Northwest Passages is a diverse and fully captivating anthology of speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy from both new and established authors. From the hilarious 'Free Range,' to the surreal 'Dance of the Cube-Farm Dreamers' and the poignant 'The Pulse of the Sea,' here are stories that break new ground, recast the stereotypes of the genre and truly evoke the essence of the Pacific Northwest at every turn."
Authors include Bruce Holland Rogers, Ruth Nestvold, Derwin Mak, Uncle River, Rhea Rose, Bruce Taylor, and Eric Choi.
Duncan, Hal :
(UK: Macmillan 1-4050-5208-2, £17.99, 502pp, hardcover, August 2005)
Fantasy novel, subtitled "The Book of All Hours: 1", which is about 180,000 words.
The publisher's page for the book offers this description: "In the Vellum -- the vast realm of eternity on which our world is just a scratch -- the unkin are gathering for war..." and provides this extract.
Duncan, who made quite an impression at last month's World Fantasy Convention, posts blog Notes from the Geek Show.
Online reviews of this book include John Clute's -- "Michael Moorcock's Finnegans Wake by Hal Duncan" -- Cheryl Morgan's -- "Vellum is the parchment on which the Word of God is written. Imagine a language so precise that simply uttering a word can make something so. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was written on Vellum." -- and Fantasybookspot's -- "As strong of a debut as one could hope for, Duncan's first effort demands his next work to be on every reputable 'to read list', no matter how short."
Amazon UK has a reader review by Jason Erik Lundberg: "Vellum is an incredible novel by an incredible writer. Hal Duncan writes alternately with florid beauty and scathing simplicity. His concepts for the Vellum and the Book of All Hours are so ingeniusly original that it is hard to believe no one has thunk them up until now..."
Lisa Goldstein reviewed it in the July issue of Locus Magazine: "This is territory somewhere between Dan Brown and Umberto Eco: mysterious tomes, ancient conspiracies, mystical quests."
Hamilton, Peter F. :
(UK: Macmillan UK 1-4050-0036-8, £18.99, 949pp, hardcover, October 2005, cover illustration Jim Burns)
Enormous SF novel, "Part Two of the Commonwealth Saga", follow-up to Pandora's Star (2004), about a far-future interstellar Commonwealth being attacked by alien Primes.
Hamilton's newly refurbished site has this description: "After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth..."
The publisher's site has a brief description.
The Amazon UK page has a review by David Langford: "The action climaxes in a long, exhilarating chase sequence spiced with ultra-violent skirmishing as the Starflyer comes into the open at last. Stormgliding, an extreme sport introduced in book one, becomes vital to the race against time. Meanwhile, rival starships with different plans chase one another to the Prime system. Hamilton delivers the expected multiple payoffs with suitable pyrotechnics and a satisfying scatter of happy endings. A long, colourful, suspenseful example of modern British space opera."
Jones, Tamara Siler :
Threads of Malice
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-58710-2, $6.99, 497pp, mass market paperback, November 2005, cover art Edward Miller)
Fantasy novel, a medieval police procedural, sequel to the author's first novel Ghosts in the Snow [described here], which won the Compton Crook Award for best first novel.
In this book, the head of security at Castle Faldorrah investigates a series of brutal murders of young men.
The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
Amazon has several reader reviews.
Kearney, Paul :
The Mark of Ran: Book One of the Sea Beggars
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-38361-2, $12, 303pp, trade paperback, December 2005, cover illustration Steve Stone) First US edition (UK: Transworld/Bantam UK, October 2004)
Fantasy novel, first in a series, about a young man who embarks on a sea voyage in search of his destiny.
The author's website has links to two interviews.
The Random House webpage for the book says "A stunning blend of visionary storytelling and majestic prose, The Mark of Ran is a new masterpiece of imaginative fiction. In this epic adventure, Paul Kearney records the voyages of a reluctant hero, a band of outcasts, and a quest into the unknown no one has ever dared before..." and includes an excerpt.
Amazon has the PW review, which concludes "Kearney's crisp, often lyrical writing shines brightest when his characters take to the sea. Readers who fancy the creak of ship's timbers and the flash of live steel, the taint of dark magic and the lure of long-buried secrets, will gladly sail away with Kearney's latest novel."
Koontz, Dean :
(Bantam 0-553-80416-2, $27, 334pp, hardcover, December 2005)
Fantasy novel, sequel to Odd Thomas (2003), about a young man who can see the dead.
Bantam's site has this description -- "Every so often a character so captures the hearts and imaginations of readers that he seems to take on a life of his own long after the final page is turned. For such a character, one book is not enough -- readers must know what happens next. Now Dean Koontz returns with the novel his fans have been demanding. ..." -- and an excerpt.
Amazon has Publishers Weekly's starred review, from its November 7th issue: "Odd's strange gifts, coupled with his intelligence and self-effacing humor, make him one of the most quietly authoritative characters in recent popular fiction."
Meaney, John :
(Prometheus/Pyr 1-59102-335-1, $25, 533pp, hardcover, October 2005, jacket illustration Jim Burns) First US edition (UK: Transworld/Bantam UK, November 2002)
SF novel, second in the 'Nulapeiron Sequence' following Paradox (UK 2000, US 2005 from Pyr), about an isolated world now threatened by an outside enemy.
Pyr's website has this description -- "Nulapeiron: a world isolated for twelve centuries. Its billions of inhabitants occupy subterranean strata, ruled by a trained aristocracy of lords and ladies whose power base is upheld by oracles. But revolution has touched all of its many cultures - failing in its intent, yet changing everything. ..." -- and excerpts from reviews.
The Amazon UK page for the UK first edition has a review by David Langford: "This is a big, demanding, compelling novel, full of rewarding complexities and alive with that quantum strangeness where hard science intersects with the unknowable. A third Nulapeiron volume is promised: Resolution."
The Amazon US page for this edition has the Publishers Weekly review: "While readers may find the personal stories of the characters more accessible than the almost overly detailed realm of Nulapeiron, they should enjoy the exquisite world building of this ambitious SF epic."
Pratt, Tim :
The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl
(Bantam Spectra 0-553-38338-8, 402pp, trade paperback, December 2005, cover illustration Michael Koelsch)
Contemporary fantasy novel about the night manager of a Santa Cruz coffeehouse whose cowpunk comics are affecting her own sense of reality.
The author, who's an editor for Locus Magazine, has tracked the book's publication and reviews in his online journal Tropism.
Bantam's site has this description -- "In this debut novel, acclaimed short-story author Tim Pratt delivers an exciting heroine with a hidden talent-and a secret duty. Witty and suspenseful, here is a contemporary love song to the West that was won and the myths that shape us." -- and an excerpt.
Amazon has the PW review.
Faren Miller reviews the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine: "At a time when everyone seems to be talking about the vulnerability of our cities to terrorist attacks, hurricanes, floods, or California's long-awaited Big One, Tim Pratt's first novel The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl seems as relevant as it is entertaining. It is also true to its setting, the coffeehouse culture of Santa Cruz CA sometime in the past decade, with a cast of students, artists, wannabes and generally agreeable weirdoes. Agreeable, that is, until the Outlaw comes to town...."
Resnick, Laura :
(Luna 0373802331, $13.95, 312pp, trade paperback, December 2005)
Urban fantasy novel, first in the "Manhattan Magic" series, about a struggling actress in New York City where stage assistants have been mysteriously vanishing.
The publisher's site has this description with a link to an excerpt.
The author's site has this page about the series, with quotes from reviews and excerpts.
Reynolds, Alastair :
(UK: Gollancz 0-575-07438-8, £14.99, 457pp, hardcover, October 2005, jacket illustration Chris Moore)
SF novel set in 2057, in which comet miners pursue Saturn's moon Janus, which has revealed itself to be an alien spacecraft that has set off on a high-speed course for Spica.
Reynolds' site has this description; "Although the book touches on similar themes to some of the earlier ones -- space exploration, alien intelligence, nanotechnology -- I hope that it does so in a crunchier, grittier, more contemporary fashion." The author
notes that a novella set in the same universe is has a stand-alone novella due to appear in Gardner Dozois' anthology One Million AD, due shortly from the Science Fiction Book Club. [correction via the author, 5 Dec]
Nick Gevers reviewed the book in the November issue of Locus Magazine: "The story Reynolds tells is of a crew of space jocks, scientists, and administrators enduring an involuntary journey beyond the solar system and, quite possibly, to the end of time; rough-hewn Heinleinian character attributes have not often been so thoroughly tested. And motifs from Clarke, Bear, and Baxter are invoked too; Pushing Ice is hard SF of a grand, traditional sort, a trifle formulaic because of that, but unquestionably a gripping and well-told tale, and with a profounder artistry implicit in its structure."
Robson, Justina :
Living Next Door to the God of Love
(UK: Macmillan UK 1-4050-2116-0, £17.99, 480pp, hardcover, September 2005)
SF novel, a loose sequel to Natural History, in which an intelligence known as Unity creates various pocket universes for humanity to play in; the story follows a 15-year-old runaway.
The Amazon UK page has the publisher's description (also on the author's homepage): "Following on from her brilliant previous novel, Natural History, Justina Robson again takes into a series of worlds and dimensions we would have never thought of on our own ..."
Cheryl Morgan's review comments that "Living Next Door to the God of Love is not only a book I want to read again, but also one I think I need to read again in order to full appreciate everything that is going on."
Blogger Niall Harrison contrasts Hal Duncan and Justina Robson.
Guardian posted this review by Gwyneth Jones.
Willis, Connie :
(Subterranean Press 1-59606-024-7, $35, 99pp, hardcover, July 2005, jacket art J. K. Potter)
Fantasy novella about a professional skeptic trying to debunk a psychic who might be channeling H.L. Mencken. The story was first published in the January 2005 issue of Asimov's magazine.
Subterranean Press has this order page for the book, which had a first edition of 500 signed and numbered copies (as well as a traycased edition of 26 signed leatherbound copies), and an unsigned 2nd printing [which is what Locus Online received from its Amazon order], all indicated as sold out. Amazon apparently has some of those 2nd printing copies (click on title or cover image to order).
Rick Kleffel posted this review; Rambles, this review.
Both Rich Horton and Nick Gevers reviewed the story in the January issue of Locus Magazine; Gevers called it "a characteristically brilliant novella by Connie Willis"; Horton, "This is Willis in her manic mode, though with a distinctly sober undertone".