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October 2007
Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Daniel Abraham, A Betrayal in Winter (Tor Aug 2007)

Book two of the Long Price quartet finds reluctant student mage Prince Otah forced back to court after a series of assassinations leaves the family in turmoil. Threads of mystery, dangerous magic, royal intrigues, and lost love mix in an epic fantasy with "...the feel of drama — a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy where the bonds of love and family can only lead to disaster — and Abraham has the literary chops to pull this off without seeming pretentious, thanks to a gift for the telling phrase." [Faren Miller]

Stephen Baxter, Conqueror (Ace Aug 2007)

Book two of the epic alternate history series Time's Tapestry moves to the Britain of the Anglo-Saxons and the Norsemen. "Baxter is accomplishing something special here... an anti-alternate history, which casts off numerous interesting counterfactual echoes while remaining essentially a well-researched, accurate, excitingly told, orthodox historical novel." [Nick Gevers] Originally published in the UK by Gollancz (2/07).

Ted Chiang, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate (Subterranean Press Jul 2007)

A poor man tells the Caliph four tales of alchemical time travel in this Arabian Nights-style fantasy novelette from one of the field's most noted writers of short fiction.

Joe Haldeman, The Accidental Time Machine (Ace Aug 2007)

An MIT grad student accidentally puts together a time machine, ends up charged with murder, and travels into the increasingly strange future looking for help. A fascinating romp, influenced by both Wells and Heinlein.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Powers (Harcourt Sep 2007)

The third novel in the Annals of the Western Shore (after Gifts and Voices) is a thought-provoking young-adult fantasy about a slave boy who has occasional visions of the future, whose intense loyalty to his master is betrayed, sending him running into a world crueler and more varied than he ever expected.

Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant, eds., The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet (Ballantine Del Rey Sep 2007)

The editors of the offbeat, genre-bending — and critically acclaimed — small-press magazine present their choice of the 49 best pieces (stories, poems, and oddities) from the past ten years, including works by Nalo Hopkinson, Jeffrey Ford, Karen Joy Fowler, James Sallis, and Ray Vukcevich. Link & Grant "have a genuine love for the fantastic and an eye for stories that take the stuff of old fairtales, legends, even SF, and make it wonderfully new again." [Faren Miller]

Nathalie Mallet, The Princes of the Golden Cage (Night Shade Books Aug 2007)

A scholarly prince with over a hundred brothers all vying for the throne becomes the prime suspect when his brothers start dying of sorcery. The first book of the Amir series, and a first novel. "A fine debut, a vibrant blend of mystery, adventure, and the fantastic." [Faren Miller]

Sarah Monette, The Mirador (Ace Aug 2007)

Felix and Mildmay return in their third adventure, back in the magical city of Mélusine, where the gentleman wizard Felix has regained his position in society and the wizard's citadel, the Mirador — but his half-brother Mildmay the thief has unwittingly become involved in a plot to destroy the Mirador. leading to "...a thrilling, sometimes heart-wrenching series of crises, leading to a conclusion that opens the door to something new." [Faren Miller]

Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension (Tor Aug 2007)

The second book in the Mistborn trilogy tackles the question, "What happens after you bring down the Dark Lord of the Evil Empire?" with plenty of debate and "...all the explosive action any adventure fan could want...full of plot twists and surprises." [Faren Miller]

Karl Schroeder, Queen of Candesce (Tor Aug 2007)

The post-singularity steampunk SF series Virga continues in this second novel, in which noble-born Venera Fanning comes to the ancient cylinder world of Spyre, where feuding nations and cultures provide an entertaining background to an old-fashioned adventure tale. "Schroeder's world-building, storytelling, and character-drawing chops seem strong enough to give even [Larry Niven's] Known Space a run for its money." [Russell Letson]

Bruce Sterling, Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling (Subterranean Press Aug 2007)

This excellent overview of 24 stories from one of SF's most acclaimed and influential authors includes five stories in the Shaper/Mechanist universe, and three each in the Leggy Starlitz and Chattanooga series, as well as lots of other goodies.

Peter Straub, Sides (Cemetery Dance May 2007)

This collection of Straub's non-fiction gathers introductions, afterwords, essays, and the collected works of Straub's irritating alter-ego, the late Putney Tyson Ridge, a "friend" and pompous academic who delighted in poking holes in Straub's work.

Shaun Tan, The Arrival (Scholastic/Levine Oct 2007)

Tan artfully tells his story without words in this atmospheric picture book about an immigrant to a surreal city, reminiscent of early 20th-century New York. Originally published in Australia by Lothian (2006).

Sheila Williams, ed., The Asimov's 30th Anniversary Anthology (Tachyon Publications Jul 2007)

Asimov's first 30 years are celebrated in this sampler of 17 stories originally published in the magazine, by a stellar roster of authors including John Varley, Octavia E. Butler, Connie Willis, and Stephen Baxter.

© 2007 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.