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May 2008
Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Barth Anderson, The Magician and the Fool (Bantam Spectra Apr 2008)

Two men — an art historian researching the earliest known tarot deck and a dumpster-diving tarot reader believed to possess it — are caught up in this convoluted thriller mixing secret history and the supernatural.

Charles de Lint, Dingo (Firebird Mar 2008)

The new girl in Newford comes from Australia and brings with her a real dingo — and some supernatural baggage — in this new young-adult novella by one of fantasy’s most celebrated authors.

Greg Egan, Dark Integers and Other Stories (Subterranean Press Mar 2008)

A collection of five stories — two pairs of related stories and a standalone — from one of the field’s most noted writers of hard SF. Includes the Hugo and Locus Award-winning story ‘‘Oceanic’’.

Peter F. Hamilton, The Dreaming Void (Ballantine Del Rey Apr 2008)

Hamilton returns to the universe of the Commonwealth Saga almost 1,000 years after the events of Pandora’s Star, for this SF novel, the first volume in the Void trilogy. Originally published by Tor UK (2/07).

Cecelia Holland, Varanger (Tor/Forge Apr 2008)

Noted historical author Holland continues her Viking fantasy saga with this rousing tale of two Norse warriors who find themselves stuck in frozen tenth-century Russia and sign up to join a raid on an outpost of the powerful Byzantine Empire.

Greg Keyes, The Born Queen (Ballantine Del Rey Apr 2008)

Anne Dare is finally queen, but the kingdom is still threatened by human invasion and by a supernatural force of entropy that threatens all life in this fourth book of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, a triumphant conclusion to a sweeping fantasy series.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Lavinia (Harcourt Apr 2008)

Le Guin brings her formidable knowledge of myth and the art of storytelling to this gloss on Vergil’s Aeneid from the point of view of Aeneas’s wife Lavinia. ‘‘Le Guin gives herself considerable latitude to re-imagine all the character relationships in the tale, and to give it the texture of a fully realized novel rather than a twice-told tale... easily her finest work of adult fiction in decades....’’ [Gary K. Wolfe] Of the many translations and retellings, ‘‘No result, surely, is as wise and subtle, as passionate, as Ursula K. Le Guin’s beautiful Lavinia.’’ [Cecelia Holland]

Paul Melko, Ten Sigmas and Other Unlikelihoods (Fairwood Press Mar 2008)

This first collection from a noted newer author presents 12 wide-ranging stories, several of which became part of Melko’s recent first novel, Singularity’s Ring.

Paul Park, The Hidden World (Tor Apr 2008)

Lost princess Miranda’s struggle to regain her throne continues in this ‘‘... fourth and final volume in Paul Park’s complex and brilliantly realized Roumania series...’’ a ‘‘... surprising yet satifactory conclusion to a most unusual epic.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

Mervyn Peake, Boy in Darkness and Other Stories (Peter Owen Jan 2008)

Fans of Gormenghast won’t want to miss this collection of six stories, most notably the title novella of Titus Groan wandering a land outside Gormenghast. This includes numerous sketches by Peake in both b&w and color, many never before published.

T. A. Pratt, Poison Sleep (Bantam Spectra Apr 2008)

Fantasy novel, the second in a series featuring sorcerer Marla Mason, by Locus’s own Tim Pratt (thinly disguised). ‘‘Poison Sleep blends elements of fantasy, mystery, and horror, plus bits of our modern world, to create something more than a facile hybrid or even a page-turner.’’ [Faren Miller]

Ken Rand, Where Angels Fear: The Collected Fiction of Ken Rand, Vol. 1 (Fairwood Press Mar 2008)

The first of two volumes collecting Rand’s stories presents 36 stories, 12 original. ‘‘Fans of well-written tales filled with ironic reversals will relish this quality collection.’’ [Publishers Weekly]

John Varley, Rolling Thunder (Ace Mar 2008)

The entertaining third volume in Varley’s generational series begun in Red Lightning gives a nod to Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars (among others) in this tale of a 19-year-old Podkayne, granddaughter of the protagonists of Red Thunder, doing her obligatory stint in the Martian Navy but determined to become a singer, even though disasters interfere.

Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods (Harcourt Apr 2008)

Noted literary novelist Winterson may claim not to care for science fiction, but she leans heavily on it for this frequently polemical novel made up of three interlinked tales about man and the environment — and love — seen primarily through scientist Billie Crusoe, who teaches her Robo sapiens (robot) pal Spike some interesting lessons. First published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton (2007).

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