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July 2008
Locus Magazine
New and Notable Books

Joe Abercrombie, The Last Argument of Kings (Gollancz Mar 2008)

This third book in a series ‘‘...ends the First Law trilogy with a mordant brilliance that recalls K. J. Parker’s Engineer trilogy.... Despite the apparent medievalism of its courts and tribes, this is industrial-strength, politically savvy fantasy reworked for our own times.’’ [Faren Miller]

Lou Anders, ed., Sideways in Crime (Solaris Jun 2008)

This crossover anthology mixes alternate history and the whodunit in 15 tales by authors including Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Paul Park, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Stephen Baxter, and Kage Baker. ‘‘The latest of this year’s major anthologies.... It’s refreshing to have so much good quality allohistory gathered between a single set of covers...the counterfactual speculation is always bracing.’’ [Nick Gevers]

Alex Bell, The Ninth Circle (Gollancz Apr 2008)

An amnesiac named Gabriel keeps a journal describing his somewhat surreal experiences in Budapest as he goes from wondering who he is to uncovering a supernatural mystery involving a war between angels and demons. ‘‘I had been too diverted by Gabriel’s eccentricities and the suggestion of wonders and horrors trembling on the verge of revelation to remember... I was reading a first novel.’’ [Paul Witcover]

Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come (Orbit Jun 2008)

Elizabethan England has a faerie court hidden beneath London in this complex historical fantasy of intrigues that entangle both worlds. ‘‘[Brennan] interweaves historic and fantastic details with scholarship, inspired acts of imagination, and a keen wit.’’ [Faren Miller]

Philip K. Dick, Five Novels of the 1960s & 70s (Library of America Jul 2008)

The prestigious Library of America presents a second omnibus volume of five more SF novels: Martian Time-Slip, Dr. Bloodmoney, Now Wait for Last Year, Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, and A Scanner Darkly.

David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year's Best SF 13 (Eos Jun 2008)

Hartwell & Cramer’s annual strictly SF anthology showcases 24 stories and one poem from 2007, by authors including Karen Joy Fowler, Ken MacLeod, Terry Bisson, and Bruce Sterling.

Diana Wynne Jones, The House of Many Ways (HarperCollins/Greenwillow Jun 2008)

A bookish young woman with no experience with magic finds herself in charge of her uncle’s exceedingly magical house, even as she takes a new job helping the king sort his library. Add the wizard Howl and his rambunctious crew, and chaos naturally ensues in this imaginative young-adult fantasy, a largely standalone third volume in the series begun in Howl’s Moving Castle.

Marvin Kaye, ed., A Book of Wizards (SFBC Apr 2008)

Kaye rounds up a some of fantasy’s biggest names for this anthology of six all-new stories about wizards, by Kim Newman, Margaret Weis with Robert Krammes, Holly Phillips, Tanith Lee, Peter S. Beagle, and Patricia A. McKillip.

Nancy Kress, Nano Comes to Clifford Falls and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon Press May 2008)

Thirteen stories from the last eight years are gathered here with afterwords on each by the author. This collection ‘‘...easily passes the test of being an entertaining assembly of tales, but... Kress can reach beyond mastery of technique, and generate provocative and complex art as well.’’ [Gary K. Wolfe]

George Mann, ed., The Solaris Book Of New Science Fiction Volume Two (Solaris Mar 2008)

The second anthology in the series presents 15 stories by an impressive roster of writers including Paul Di Filippo, Chris Roberson, Robert Reed, Neal Asher, and Michael Moorcock.

Adam Roberts, Swiftly (Gollancz Mar 2008)

Roberts envisions a fascinating alternate world where Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels were true, and by 1848 the British Empire has enslaved the Lilliputians, while the French military employs the giant Brobdingnagians. ‘‘...the pungent realization of Roberts’ settings and the vivid pastiche of his mid-19th century cast... brings a fresh turn of the spade to SF’s humus.’’ [Damien Broderick]

Shaun Tan, Tales from Outer Suburbia (Allen & Unwin Jun 2008; McClelland & Stewart Canada Nov 2008; Scholastic/Levine Feb 2009)

Tan goes from his wordless Locus Award-winner The Arrival to this quirky collection of 15 strange and fantastic stories of suburban life, extensively illustrated by Tan in a range of styles, from charmingly realistic to hauntingly surreal.

Jerad Walters, ed., A Lovecraft Retrospective: Artists Inspired by H.P.L. (Centipede Press Jun 2008)

Over 350 images by more than 80 artists fill this massive oversized art book full of images inspired by Lovecraft’s work, from early illustrations by Lee Brown Coye and Virgil Finlay to the recent works of H.R. Giger, J.K. Potter, Ian Miller, and Bob Eggleton.

© 2008 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.