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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.

These lists are compiled independently of Locus Magazine's Books Received listings; publishers may send review copies to the Locus Online address on this page.

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6 March 2005
books seen February 2005

Benford, Gregory : Furious Gulf
(Warner Aspect 0-446-61153-0, $6.99, 414pp, mass market paperback, February 2005, cover illustration Don Dixon)
(First edition: Bantam Spectra, August 1994)

Hard SF novel, fifth in Benford's "Galactic Center" sequence, following Tides of Light, about humans escaping malevolent mechanical civilizations by heading for the black hole at the center of the galaxy.
• The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
• Placed #12 in the 1995 Locus Poll for best SF novel.

(Fri 4 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Benford, Gregory : Sailing Bright Eternity
(Warner Aspect 0-446-61152-2, $6.99, 495pp, mass market paperback, March 2005, cover illustration Don Dixon)
(First edition: UK: Gollancz, August 1995)

Hard SF novel, sixth and last in Benford's "Galactic Center" sequence, following Furious Gulf, about the final assault between humans and mechanical civilizations at the center of the galaxy.
• The publisher's site has this description and an excerpt.
• Placed #6 in the 1996 Locus Poll for best SF novel.

(Mon 21 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


* Lovecraft, H. P., edited by Peter Straub : Tales
(Library of America 1-931082-72-3, $35, 840pp, hardcover, February 2005)

Collection of 22 stories, selected by Straub and using corrected versions edited by S.T. Joshi for Arkham House and Hippocampus Press. Includes chronology and notes. Stories include "At the Mountains of Madness", "The Shadow Out of Time", and "The Colour Out of Space".
• This is a volume in Library of America's series of canonical editions of American fiction. Its website has this description of the book.
• Amazon has the starred review from Publishers Weekly's Jan. 3rd issue.
• Gary K. Wolfe reviews the book in the March issue of Locus, concluding: "Lovecraft may be among the most commonly reprinted of horror writers, but there is a great deal to be said for encountering his tales in the direct unmediated form in which we have them here, with no introduction, no fannish agendas, no hyperbole, no apologies. In some ways it's like reading Lovecraft for the first time, which is perhaps what we all need to do."

(Tue 8 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Shirley, John : In Darkness Waiting
(Infrapress 0-9742907-3-4, $15.95, 257pp, trade paperback, February 2005)
(First edition: NAL Onyx, April 1988)

Horror novel about a small town in Oregon besieged by 'Gray Pilots', parasitic entities responsible for various atrocities in human history. This edition has a new introduction by Shirley, calling this a 'director's cut', with added references to Beirut, Bosnia, and Abu Ghraib prison.
• Shirley's official website has this sub-site about the book, with the back cover description, excerpts from reviews, an excerpt, etc.
• Rick Kleffel's The Agony Column review (scroll down) said the book "excels because Shirley has managed to concoct a wonderfully imaginative horrific metaphor for what he calls 'Empathy Suppression Syndrome' -- that is, our ability to disconnect from our own humanity and torture, maim and kill one another if called to in the name of God, country, or the voices in our head. But then -- they're all voices in our head, aren't they? And they whisper so sweetly. What Shirley creates with 'In Darkness Waiting' is exquisitely imagined and grippingly plotted. All you need to do is surrender."
• Also available in hardcover.

(Sat 12 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Silverberg, Robert : Star of Gypsies
(Pyr 1-59102-309-2, $15, 470pp, trade paperback, March 2005, cover art John Picacio)
(First edition: Donald I. Fine, September 1986)

SF novel set in 3500 about Yakoub, once King of the Rom, the Gypsy race who in the future are the only pilots able to navigate starships through hyperspace, now obliged to regain his throne to save his people and the galactic empire.
• The publisher's site has this description of the book, and a long PDF excerpt.
• has this bibliographic history with comments.

(Wed 16 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Smith, Edward E. : Triplanetary
(ibooks 1416504087, $6.99, 240pp, mass market paperback, February 2005, cover design Raul Carvajal)
(First edition: Fantasy Press, 1948)

SF novel, first in the classic 'Lensman' space opera series, originally serialized in Amazing in 1934, about a breeding program on Earth by the elder race of the galaxy, the Arisians, to develop warriors able to repel the evil Eddorians.
• The Lensman novels were also reissued recently by Old Earth Books in trade paperback.
• SF Weekly ran this review by Craig E. Engler back in 1997. Grade: B+.

(Tue 8 Feb 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Spinrad, Norman : Bug Jack Barron
(Overlook 1-58567-585-7, $14.95, 254pp, trade paperback, November 2004)
(First edition: Avon, 1969)

Near future SF novel about a media celebrity whose call-in talk show challenges a giant corporation conducting experiments in cryogenics. This edition has an afterword by Michael Moorcock from the 1999 Toxic edition.
• The novel has a notorious history, being serialized in New Worlds magazine in Britain in 1968, and challenged there by the House of Commons; it was, according to David Pringle's Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, "the first sf novel to use four-letter obscenities profusely and to describe sexual acts in explicit detail."
• The publisher's site has this description.
• SF Site ran this review by Martin Lewis in 2002, which notes that Donald A. Wollheim denounced the book as "depraved, cynical, utterly repulsive and thoroughly degenerate", displayed by the Toxic edition as a badge of honor.

(Mon 31 Jan 2005) • Purchase this book from Amazon


Opening lines:
Two thousand million or so years ago two galaxies were colliding; or, rather, were passing through each other. A couple of hundreds of millions of years either way do not matter, since at least that much time was required for the inter-passage. At about that same time -- within the same plus-or-minus ten percent margin of error, it is believed -- practically all of the suns of both those galaxies became possessed of planets.
Opening lines:
"Split boys, will you?" drawled Lukas Greene, waving his black hand (and for that nasty little moment, for some reason, thinking of it as black) at the two men (perversely seeing them for the tired moment as niggers) in the Mississippi State Police (coon to the right) and Mississippi National Guard (schvug to the left) uniforms.
Opening lines:
It was a broken-down, sunbaked little town, but Perry was glad to see it. They'd changed buses twice, with layovers in dreary, steamy bus stations catered by Post House. Aunt June called the food tasteless. Perry wished it were.
Opening lines:
An old man sat and told a young man a story. As stories go it was long and angular, with its own momentary graces and clumsy logic, much the way life is.

"What is this place?" Toby asked. "This mountain?" Nigel Walmsley leaned back in a webbing that shaped itself to him. He was nude, leathery. The lattice of his ribs made him look as though he had a barrel chest, but that was because he was gaunt with age.

Earlier: January

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