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June 2008
Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Ben Bova, ed., Nebula Awards Showcase 2008 (Roc Apr 2008)

Bova takes the reins for the 42nd volume in the anthology series presenting the 2007 Nebula and Andre Norton Award winners, a selection of nominated works, essays on the art and business of writing, and two Rhysling Award-winning poems.

Orson Scott Card, Keeper of Dreams (Tor Apr 2008)

A sprawling collection of short fiction with 22 stories, including SF, fantasy, and mainstream work, most written since his 1990 retrospective Maps in a Mirror. Includes “Geriatric Ward”, a previously unpublished piece written for The Last Dangerous Visions.

Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes (Simon & Schuster/McElderry Mar 2008)

This dark young-adult urban fantasy continues the Mortal Instruments trilogy begun with City of Bone. “The climactic scenes are more than just cinematic action sequences crammed with special effects; the emotional relationships between the young protagonists only deepen as the dangers and challenges grow.” [Faren Miller]

Ellen Datlow, ed., The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Ballantine Del Rey May 2008)

An original, unthemed anthology of 16 SF and fantasy stories by Elizabeth Bear, Carol Emshwiller, Jeffrey Ford, Maureen F. McHugh, Barry M. Malzberg, and others. “Edgy contemporary or near-future stories, full of good prose and suspense, with a touch of horror often evident.” [Nick Gevers]

Cory Doctorow, Little Brother (Tor May 2008)

Doctorow’s first foray into writing for young adults updates Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four for the new millennium, pitting technologically-savvy teens in the near future against the injustices of a Homeland Security department run rampant in the aftermath of a devastating terrorist attack. “Easily the most important book Doctorow has written, the most directly confrontational, and possibly the best.” [Gary K. Wolfe]

Gardner Dozois, ed., Galactic Empires (SFBC Mar 2008)

Original anthology of six space opera novellas about galaxy-spanning empires, with stories by Peter F. Hamilton, Neal Asher, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter, and Ian McDonald. “Rich, persuasive reading, SF at its most expansive and thought-provoking.” [Nick Gevers]

John Kessel, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories (Small Beer Press Apr 2008)

Kessel’s first collection in a decade gathers 14 stories, one original, including Tiptree winner “Stories for Men.” “Employing a finely calculated combination of realism and satire, Kessel constructs stories of subversive eloquence... one of the best collections of the year.” [Nick Gevers]

Allen Steele, Galaxy Blues (Ace Apr 2008)

The latest in the Coyote series is “a testament to the sturdiness of classical SF models and to Steele’s writerly chops... delivers solid and satisfying enjoyment with nary a post-human, a godlike AI, or a fantasy motif to be seen. There’s life in the Old Stuff yet.” [Russell Letson]

Jonathan Strahan, ed., The Starry Rift (Viking Apr 2008)

Young-adult anthology collecting 16 “tales of new tomorrows,” all original except for one reprint by Cory Doctorow. Includes stories by Neil Gaiman, Margo Lanagan, Kelly Link, Garth Nix, Scott Westerfeld, and others. “A superb, generously proportioned selection of new young-adult SF stories from an exceptional list of the masters of short fiction.” [Nick Gevers]

Ann Vandermeer & Jeff VanderMeer, eds., Steampunk (Tachyon Publications May 2008)

This anthology explores the increasingly popular clockwork-and-Victoriana steampunk sub-genre with 11 stories by Neal Stephenson, James P. Blaylock, Michal Chabon, Paul Di Filippo, and others; a novel excerpt by Michael Moorrock; two original essays; a preface by the editors; and an introduction by steampunk expert Jess Nevins.

Jack Williamson, edited by Stephen Haffner, The Worlds of Jack Williamson: A Centennial Tribute 1908-2008 (Haffner Press Apr 2008)

This tribute to Williamson, timed to coincide with the centennial of his birth, includes 11 stories (four original), a previously unpublished film treatment, Williamson’s 1957 Master’s thesis A Study of the Sense of Prophecy in Modern Science Fiction, and nearly 60 newspaper columns from 1975-6, plus critical essays by others about Williamson’s work.

© 2008 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.