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New Books


mid September
C.L. Anderson
Jameson Currier
Amanda Downum
Kathleen Duey
Daniel Keyes
Violette Malan
Adam Niswander
Joseph S. Pulver, Sr.
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Carol Serling
Jack Skillingstead
Rob Thurman
James Van Pelt

early September
John Joseph Adams
Paolo Bacigalupi
J.G. Ballard
Dakota Banks
Iain M. Banks
James Barclay
Mark Bould et al
Bould & Miéville
Brom
Suzanne Collins
Mark Del Franco
David Anthony Durham
Patrick Ness
R.A. Salvatore
Jack Skillingstead
S.A. Swann
John Twelve Hawks

2009 Directories




 

* Anderson, James, & Mark Sebanc : The Stoneholding
(Baen 978-1-4391-3299-9, $14.99, 419pp, trade paperback, September 2009, cover art Todd Lockwood)

Epic fantasy novel, first of series, about refugees from an ancient highlands community who seek an abducted prince.
• Baen's site has this description with links to several chapters.
• Amazon has mixed reader reviews, and the Publishers Weekly review, which notes that this book is "Baen's first forway into epic fantasy"; the review concludes "Strong characterization, especially of ingenious, daring Kal, obscures some awkward prose and dubious plot revelations. Readers who enjoy Baen's military SF and alternate history may well be pleasantly surprised by this new direction."

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Atwood, Margaret : The Year of the Flood
(Doubleday/Talese 978-0-385-52877-1, $26.95, 434pp, hardcover, September 2009)

Dystopian SF novel set in the same future as Oryx and Crake (2002), concerning two female members of a Christian environmentalist sect called God's Gardeners.
• The book has its own website, http://www.yearoftheflood.com/us/, with a PDF excerpt, a reading list, information about a music CD based on the book by Orville Stoeber, and much else.
• Amazon has a statement by the author and a review from The New Yorker: "Atwood's gallows humor is appealing -- one of the women joins the cult in order to escape the abusive manager of a human-meat burger joint -- and her complex characterization allows the novel's environmental, Biblical, and sociological themes to intertwine seamlessly."
Publishers Weekly's signature review called it "a gutsy and expansive novel, rich with ideas and conceits".
• Robert Charles Wilson offered his review in Literary Review of Canada: "And if one sets aside considerations of genre, The Year of the Flood is above all else a Margaret Atwood novel, richly characterized and emotionally and intellectually rewarding -- again, if not her best book, then at least a very good one."

(Thu 24 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Briggs, Patricia : Hunting Ground
(Ace 978-0-441-01738-6, $7.99, 286pp, mass market paperback, September 2009, cover art Daniel Dos Santos)

Fantasy novel, second in series "Alpha and Omega" following Cry Wolf, about a woman who becomes a rare type of werewolf.
• This book concerns a summit between the North American and European werewolves in Seattle.
• The author's website has her comments on the background of the book and a sample chapter.
• Carolyn Cushman reviews it in the September issue of Locus Magazine: "It's a good read -- a little confused about Seattle geography, but good fun."

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Erikson, Steven : Bauchelain & Korbal Broach
(Tor 978-0-7653-2422-1, $14.99, 306pp, trade paperback, September 2009, cover art Steve Stone)

Omnibus of three short novels set in Erikson's Malazon Empire series, all first published by PS Publishing in the UK: Blood Follows (2002), The Healthy Dead (2004), and The Lees of Laughter's End (2007).
• The publisher's site has this description.
Publishers Weekly said the book "pushes the boundaries of epic fantasy with morally ambiguous protagonists, bloody altercations and gritty world-building."

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Lackey, Mercedes, & James Mallory : The Phoenix Transformed
(Tor 978-0-765-31595-3, $27.99, 511pp, hardcover, September 2009, jacket art Todd Lockwood)

Fantasy novel, third in "The Enduring Flame" trilogy following The Phoenix Unchained (2007) and The Phoenix Endangered (2008), and follow-up to the authors' earlier "Obsidian Trilogy", set 1000 years later as both magic and darkness are being reintroduced into the world.
• Tor's website has this description.
• Amazon's "Look Inside" feature includes an excerpt.

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Lee, Sharon, & Steve Miller : Fledgling
(Baen 978-1439132876, $24, 375pp, hardcover, September 2009, cover art Alan Pollack)

SF novel in the authors' long-running Liaden Universe series, about the daughter of two academics on the Safe World of Delgado.
• The novel was first published in chapters on the authors' website, in response to reader contributions.
• Baen's site has this description with links to several chapters.
• Amazon has more than two dozen positive reader reviews.

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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+ McAuley, Paul : The Quiet War
(Pyr 978-1-59102-781-2, $16, 405pp, trade paperback, September 2009, cover illustration Sparth)

Interplanetary SF novel set in a 23rd century, in which political forces on Earth deal with colonists in the outer planets. It shares a setting with several previous "Quiet War" stories, including 2000 novella "Making History", but does not incorporate them.
• Pyr's site has this description with quotes from several reviews.
• McAuley's website has this page for the book with a description, blurbs, and links to several extracts.
Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review in its July 20th issue, calling it a "sweeping interplanetary adventure [that] is also a thoughtful examination of human nature".
• Gary K. Wolfe's review last year in Locus Magazine said it "is likely to end up as one of the best SF novels in this year of very good SF novels". He further commented, "Clarity may be the single most salient strength of The Quiet War. McAuley's settings, which range from Brasilia to Antarctica to Ganymede and Callisto, are described in precision and detail that at once an object lesson in evoking the classic sense of wonder and a poetic translation of the most recent NASA probes; in the best sense, this is pure hard SF."
• A new review by Russell Letson appears in the October issue of Locus Magazine.

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* McGuire, Seanan : Rosemary and Rue
(DAW 978-0-7564-0571-7, $7.99, 346pp, mass market paperback, September 2009, cover art Chris McGrath)

Urban fantasy novel, first of a series, about October Daye, a half-human, half-faerie private investigator in San Francisco.
• The author is a filk-singer who's won Pegasus Awards.
• The author's website has this description of the book, with a sample chapter, and excerpts from reviews.
• Amazon has nearly three dozen 5-star reader reviews, and the Publishers Weekly review: "Well researched, sharply told, highly atmospheric and as brutal as any pulp detective tale, this promising start to a new urban fantasy series is sure to appeal to fans of Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison."

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Niffenegger, Audrey : Her Fearful Symmetry
(Scribner 978-1-4391-6539-3, $26.99, 406pp, hardcover, September 2009)

Fantasy novel about two twins who inherent a haunted London apartment that borders Highgate Cemetery.
• It's the author's second novel, following her popular The Time Traveler's Wife.
• The publisher's site has this page for the book, with a description, video from the author, audiobook excerpt, and a link to a cryptic crossword inspired by the book.
• Amazon also has the author video, plus its own review by Brad Thomas Parsons and the short review from The New Yorker.
Publishers Weekly called it "a beautifully written if incoherent ghost story".
• Amazon has mostly positive reader reviews.

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Robson, Justina : Chasing the Dragon
(Pyr 978-1-59102-746-1, $15.98, 401pp, trade paperback, August 2009, cover illustration Larry Rostant)

Fantasy/SF novel, fourth in the "Quantum Gravity" series, following Keeping It Real, Selling Out, and Going Under, about cyborg secret agent Lila Black in a future when the Quantum Bomb has made elves and elementals part of everyday life.
• Pyr's site has this description.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, which concludes: "This fast-paced techno-fantasy will delight fans of manga-influenced action and violence."

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Stirling, S. M. : The Sword of the Lady
(Roc 978-0-451-46290-9, $25.95, 484pp, hardcover, September 2009, jacket art Larry Rostant)

Alternate history SF novel, third in a trilogy following The Sunrise Lands (2007) and The Scourge of God (2008), set a generation after a mysterious "Change" has rendered most technology inoperative.
• In this book clan leader Rudi MacKenzie reaches Nantucket Island, origin of the Change, where he discovers a sword inside a stone house.
• Stirling's official website has this description with links to sample chapters and a map.

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Taylor, Laini : Dreamdark: Silksinger
(Putnam 978-0-399-24631-9, $18.99, 449pp, hardcover, September 2009, cover by Jim Di Bartolo)

Young adult fantasy novel, second in the series following Dreamdark: Blackbringer, about a carpetweaver who shields a magic djinn from the devils who have invaded her world.
• The author's site has this page for the book, with a description and quotes from reviews.
• Amazon has several enthusiastic 5-star reader reviews.

(Wed 30 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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+ Tobin, Betsy : Ice Land
(Plume 978-0-452-29569-8, $15, 354pp, trade paperback, August 2009) First US edition (UK: Short Books, February 2008)

Historical fantasy novel based on Norse myth and set in Iceland, AD 1000.
• The publisher's site has this description, which calls it "in the tradition of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon".
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review: "Tobin's rich understanding of the source material, backed up by deft historical touches -- beds made of moss and skins, turf-roofed houses, earthenware cups -- brings the narrative to life."
• Cecelia Holland reviewed it in the September issue of Locus Magazine: "Tobin's gods and giants, dwarves and humans are all trapped in the same rush of time. That she describes the impending eruption of Hekla in terms of plate tectonics underscores this adherence to modern material reality. Nonetheless it's a rousing story."

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* von Schlegell, Mark : Mercury Station
(Semiotext(e) 978-1-58435-071-2, $17.95, 287pp, trade paperback, May 2009)

Literary SF novel set in 2150 in a prison camp on Mercury; follow-up to the author's first novel Venusia (2005).
• The publisher's site has this description of the first book and this description of the current book.
• Amazon has the Booklist review by Carl Hays, who says that "Von Schlegell's odd mixture of Joycean wordplay and jarring plot twists may not be to everyone's taste, but he excels at pushing speculative fiction's creative limits as far as they will go."
• Jeff VanderMeer reviewed it for Bookform: "The novel harks back to the heyday of such New Wave giants as J. G. Ballard, as well as such glorious eccentrics as Ursula K. Le Guin, John Calvin Batchelor, and Philip K. Dick, while shooting off stylistic fireworks reminiscent of Vladimir Nabokov... von Schlegell addresses the realities of a grim future with grace, humor, and intellectual honesty."

(Fri 25 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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* Wilson, F. Paul : Ground Zero
(Tor 978-0-7653-2281-4, $25.99, 368pp, hardcover, September 2009)

Fantasy/thriller novel, 13th in the "Repairman Jack" series about a vigilante hero who deals in the paranormal, following last year's By the Sword.
• This volume involves an otherworldly conspiracy behind the the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.
• The series has its own website, www.repairmanjack.com, with a page for the author's Secret History of the World.
• The publisher's website has this description (which notes this as volume 13 of 15) with an excerpt.
• Amazon has the Publishers Weekly review, and reader reviews.

(Tue 22 Sep 2009) • Purchase this book from Amazon | BookSense • (Directory Entry)

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New SF/F/H books:
late September 2009

posted 4 October 2009




Opening lines:

'Tis the last day before the ides of October, in the eleventh year of the current Indictio Romana. This creature speaks these sentences from a turret deep in the air of the Malfi Coast while the delicate hand of her pupil, a Princess of Naples and sinful wretch, traces them onto a well-used parchment.




Opening lines:

Espeth died while Robert was standing in front of a vending machine watching tea shoot into a small plastic cup. Later he would remember walking down the hospital corridor with the cup of horrible tea in his hand, alone under the fluorescent lights, retracing his steps to the room where Elspeth lay surrounded by machines. She had turned her head towards the door and her eyes were open; at first Robert thought she was conscious.




Opening lines:

In the early morning Toby climbs up to the rooftop to watch the sunrise. She uses a mop handle for balance: the elevator stopped working some time ago and the back stairs are slick with damp, so if she slips and topples there won’t be anyone to pick her up.




This page lists selected newly published science fiction, fantasy, and horror books seen by Locus Online. (Locus Online does not have access to materials sent to Locus Magazine).

Review copies received will be listed (though reprints and reissues are on other pages), but not galleys or advance reading copies. Selections, some based only on bookstore sightings, are at the discretion of Locus Online.

* = first edition
+ = first US edition

Date with publisher info is official publication month; date in parentheses at paragraph end is date seen or received.






   
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© 2009 by Locus Publications. All rights reserved.