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2004 Archive


This page compiles selected classic and otherwise-notable SFFH works newly available in any edition, hardcover or paperback.

For recent books just reprinted in paperback, see New in Paperback.

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10 February 2005
books seen January 2005

Blish, James : Cities in Flight
(Overlook Press 1-58567-602-0, $16.95, 9+593pp, trade paperback, January 2005, cover illustration Brad Holland)
(First edition: Avon, February 1970)

Omnibus of four books in Blish's grandiose future history space opera series: They Shall Have Stars (1957), A Life for the Stars (1962), Earthman, Come Home (1955; fix-up of stories first published in Astounding and elsewhere in the early '50s); and The Triumph of Time (1958).
• This is a reprint of Overlook's 2000 hardcover edition, with that edition's Betty Ballantine introduction, plus the Richard D. Mullen afterword from the original 1970 omnibus edition analyzing the series in terms of the historical theories of Oswald Spengler.
• The publisher's site has this description.
• Amazon has review by Luc Duplessis: "Despite the occasional, inevitable anachronism, such as vacuum tubes, Cities in Flight stands up remarkably well to modern reading. The novel's political and literary sophistication was unmatched in its time; there is very little to rival it even today."
(Sun 9 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Drake, David, Eric Flint & James Baen, eds. : The World Turned Upside Down
(Baen 0743498747, $24, 743pp, hardcover, January 2005, cover illustration Thomas Kidd)

Anthology of 29 stories, originally published from 1933 to 1967, chosen by the three editors as those stories that "had the most impact on us as teenagers and got us interested in science fiction in the first place".
• Authors include Arthur C. Clarke, A.E. van Vogt, Fritz Leiber, John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Tom Godwin, and Theodore Sturgeon.
• Baen's site has this description, with copyright information at the bottom listing the stories included. There are links to the Preface and to 7 of the stories, apparently the complete texts, including Heinlein's "The Menace from Earth" and Clarke's "Rescue Party".
• Amazon has the Booklist review by Carl Hays: "With the emphasis on pulp sf from the 1940s and '50s, fans get to discover some lost gems among the forgotten (and remembered) classics."
(Tue 4 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Heinlein, Robert A. : Rocket Ship Galileo
(Ace 044101237X, $6.99, 211pp, trade paperback, January 2005, cover art Tristan Elwell)
(First edition: Scribner's, 1947)

Young adult SF novel, the first of Heinlein's acclaimed and fondly-remembered series of 'juveniles' published from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, though perhaps the most dated of them. It's about a scientist and three boys who build a rocket in their back yard, fly to the moon, and discover Nazis. (John Varley's Red Thunder [description] is a contemporary update of the theme.)
• Amazon has several reader reviews.
Heinlein's Wikipedia entry.
Heinlein Concordance entry: Rocket Ship Galileo.
(Tue 11 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Le Guin, Ursula K. : The Wind's Twelve Quarters
(HarperCollins/Perennial 0060914343, $13.95, 303pp, trade paperback, December 2004)
(First edition: Harper & Row, October 1975)

Collection of 17 stories, the author's first collection, with stories originally published from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s: "April in Paris", "The Rule of Names", Nebula nominee "Nine Lives", Hugo nominee "Vaster than Empires and More Slow", "The Stars Below", Hugo winner "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas", Nebula and Locus winner "The Day Before the Revolution" among them.
• This is one of a series of reprints from Perennial; others are Four Ways to Forgiveness and Orsinian Tales.
• The book won the 1976 Locus Poll for Best Collection.
(Sun 9 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Niven, Larry, ed. : The Magic Goes Away Collection
(Pocket 0743416937, $13, 358pp, trade paperback, February 2005)

Omnibus volume of three books -- Niven's short novel The Magic Goes Away (1978, a World Fantasy Award nominee in 1979), and anthologies The Magic May Return (1981) and More Magic (1984) both edited by Niven -- set in a common fantasy world in which magic is a limited resource.
• Authors in the anthologies include Fred Saberhagen, Dean Ing, Steven Barnes, Poul Anderson & Mildred Downey Broxon, Bob Shaw, Dian Girard, and Roger Zelazny.
• The publisher's site has this description.
• Also related are two novels by Niven with Jerry Pournelle: The Burning City (2000) and Burning Tower (2005 -- description).
(Mon 31 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


+ Sladek, John : The Complete Roderick
(Overlook Press 1-58567-587-3, 611pp, trade paperback, October 2004)
First US edition (UK: Gollancz, October 2001).

Omnibus of two satirical novels about robots: Roderick: The Education of a Young Machine (1980) and Roderick at Random (1983).
• Overlook Press' website has this description.
• The first US edition of Roderick was a finalist for the 1983 Philip K. Dick Award.
• David Langford conducted this interview with Sladek in 1982. David Pringle included the two books as one entry in his 1985 book Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels: "It is a treatise on the whole theme of mechanical men, homunculi, automatons and machine intelligence -- the ultimate robot novel, which makes Isaac Asimov's I, Robot (1950) and its sequels look like the thin stuff that they are."
• Damien Broderick reviewed this book in the November '04 issue of Locus: "But is it fun? Is it funny? Yes, but mostly to people who enjoy doing cryptic crossword puzzles, solving fiendish algorithmic problems during their working hours, or painting mustaches on Mona Lisa."
(Sun 9 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


* Turtledove, Harry, & Martin H. Greenberg, eds. : The Best Time Travel Stories of the 20th Century
(Ballantine Del Rey 0345460944, $17.95, 13+425pp, trade paperback, January 2005)

Anthology of 18 time travel stories. Authors include Theodore Sturgeon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, Jack Finney, Arthur C. Clarke, and Ray Bradbury. Introduction by Turtledove.
• The publisher's site has this description, along with an excerpt from Theodore Sturgeon's "Yesterday Was Monday".
(Sun 9 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Vance, Jack : Emphyrio
(ibooks 0743497759, $11.95, 315pp, trade paperback, December 2004)
(First edition: Doubleday, 1969)

SF novel about a rebel in an authoritarian society who bases his actions on the legendary hero 'Emphyrio'.
• Amazon has numerous reader reviews.
• Rich Horton wrote this SF Site review of a UK edition of this novel: "This is one of Vance's better novels, and in many ways a good introduction to this author. On display are many of the hallmarks of his mature style: his elegant writing, his wonderful depiction of local colour, his unusual social systems."
(Tue 4 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense


Opening lines:
Spring came to the University of Minnetonka in the form of a midnight blizzard, spraying snow the length and breadth of the great campus, annoying people from Faculty Hill clear down to Fraternity Row.
Opening lines:
In the chamber at the top of the tower were six individuals: three who chose to call themselves "lords" or sometimes "remedials"; a wretched underling who was their prisoner; and two Garrion. The chamber was dramatic and queer: of irregular dimension, hung with panels of heavy maroon velvet. At one end an embrasure admitted a bar of light: this of a smoky amber quality, as if the pane were clogged with dust -- which it was not; in fact, the glass was a subtle sort, producing remarkable effects. At the opposite end of the room was a low trapezoidal door of black skeel.
Opening lines:
"Everybody all set?" Young Ross Jenkins glanced nervously at his two chums. "How about your camera, Art?" You sure you got the lens cover off this time?"
Opening lines:
The shadows flickered on the walls to his left and right, just inside the edges of his vision, like shapes stepping quickly back into invisible doorways. Despite his bone-deep weariness, they made him nervous, almost made him wish that Dr. Corsi would put out the fire. Nevertheless, he remained staring into the leaping orange light, feeling the heat tightening his cheeks and the skin around his eyes, and soaking into his chest.

Earlier: December

© 2005 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.