New and Notable Books
Lou Anders, ed., Live Without a Net
(Penguin/Roc Jul 2003)
Authors envision a world without the Internet in this science fiction anthology, with 18 stories, one a reprint, by authors including Michael Swanwick, Rudy Rucker, Stephen Baxter, Paul Di Filippo, and Charles Stross.
Chaz Brenchley, The Devil in the Dust
(Ace Jun 2003)
Alternate world Crusaders and Arabian Nights magic mix in this first volume of the epic fantasy "Outremer" series, originally published in the UK as the first half of The Tower of the King’s Daughter. An intense tale of warring desert kingdoms and ruthless religious repression in a land of ancient magics.
Gardner Dozois, ed., The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twentieth Annual Collection
(St. Martin's Jul 2003)
The heavyweight champ of the year’s bests weighs in with 25 stories and Dozois’s usual percipient look at the year in science fiction.
Phyllis Eisenstein, Night Lives: Nine Stories of the Dark Fantastic
(Gale Group/Five Star Apr 2003)
This collection displays her darker works with nine stories, three co-authored by Alex Eisenstein. The author’s introduction discusses trying to find the defining line (or area) between SF and fantasy.
Lynn Flewelling, Hidden Warrior
(Bantam Spectra Jul 2003)
This second book in the fantasy trilogy after The Bone Doll’s Twin takes a somewhat lighter tone. Young Prince Tobin learns to become a warrior at court while trying to deal with the revelation that he is really a magically transformed girl destined to restore the cursed kingdom’s matrilineal rule.
David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year's Best Fantasy 3
(Eos Jul 2003)
This year’s best, with its focus on genre fantasy, presents 29 stories by a stellar roster of writers, plus a discussion of the year in fantasy by the editors.
Brians A. Hopkins, 13 Horrors
(KaCSSFS Press Apr 2003)
Published for World Horror Convention 13 in Kansas City, this anthology presents 13 original stories by past writer GoHs of the convention, including such dark luminaries as Edward Bryant, Ramsey Campbell, Michael Bishop, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, John Shirley, and Gene Wolfe.
Graham Joyce, The Facts of Life
(Atria Books Jun 2003)
Joyce’s unique vision and subtle fantasy infuse this mostly mainstream novel of a boy raised by his grandmother and aunts in England after WWII, and the psychic senses some of the family members share.
Ursula K. Le Guin, Changing Planes
(Harcourt Jul 2003)
SF, fantasy, and satire mix in this collection of 16 stories, ten new, of life in alternate dimensions as seen by travelers who can transport themselves while stuck at airports - "between planes" - a conceit that gives Le Guin plenty of room to display her considerable talents for worldbuilding and wry cultural observation.
Juliet Marillier, Wolfskin
(Tor Jun 2003)
A young Norse warrior is caught up in culture clashes and questions of loyalty in this powerful first volume of the "Children of the Light Isles" historical fantasy series, set in the Viking era. Disaster follows when Norse adventurers invade the magical Light Isles, or Orkney Islands.
Patricia A. McKillip, In the Forests of Serre
(Ace Jun 2003)
This distinctive take on Russian fairy tales mixes a bleak mood with wry humor, as a near-suicidal prince falls afoul of a witch’s curse and the Firebird while his abandoned princess bride-to-be languishes with her in-laws and an untrustworthy wizard.
Peter McNamara, ed., Wonder Years
(MirrorDanse Books Jun 2003)
McNamara presents his choices for the ten best Australian stories of the past decade, by both newcomers and noted authors including Sean Williams, Lucy Sussex, and Jack Dann & Janeen Webb. McNamara also adds two earlier stories, by Terry Dowling and Damien Broderick, that greatly influenced him.
Alastair Reynolds, Redemption Ark
(Ace Jun 2003)
Quests for vengeance and redemption play out on a galactic stage in this grand space opera , the sequel to Revelation Space, set in Reynolds’s future history.
Robert Silverberg, Roma Eterna
(Eos Jun 2003)
Silverberg presents a spectacular pageant of alternate history in this collection/fix-up novel in ten parts (three new) covering millennia in an alternate world where Rome never fell.
Allen M. Steele, American Beauty
(Gale Group/Five Star May 2003)
This collection from noted hard SF writer Steele presents ten stories ranging from alternate history and time travel to parodies of popular culture. Steele provides an entertaining introduction on the genesis of each story.
Howard Waldrop, A Better World's in Birth!
(Golden Gryphon Jul 2003)
The ghosts of revolutionary martyrs Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, and Richard Wagner are haunting the Peoples’ Federated States of Europe in this rich, allusion-filled alternate history novella in chapbook form.