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29 July 2004




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New and Notable Books August 2004


R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness that Comes Before (Overlook Press Jun 2004)

The first book in the sweeping epic fantasy series "The Prince of Nothing", a powerful first novel finally available in the US, just as the sequel, The Warrior-Prophet (Penguin Canada 6/04), comes out in Canada. In a vivid world of intrigues and magic a religious war is already underway, but its course may be altered by one man, who may be the new prophet.

Robert Borski, Solar Labyrinth: Exploring Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun (iUniverse Jun 2004)

A detailed exploration of the literary puzzles in Wolfe's epic "Urth Cycle", for serious scholars and fans. Excerpts previously appeared in the New York Review of Science Fiction and online.

Charles N. Brown & Jonathan Strahan, eds., The Locus Awards (Eos Jul 2004)

Over 30 years of the Locus Awards (chosen by readers of Locus) have been distilled down to the best of the best: 18 stories by authors including Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, Terry Bisson, Connie Willis, and Neil Gaiman.

C. J. Cherryh, Forge of Heaven (HarperCollins/Eos Jun 2004)

A powerful sequel to Hammerfall, set hundreds of years later, as the now-immortal Marak trin Tain seeks to protect his evolving world with its unique mix of peoples and alien nanotech, even as other worlds fight for influence.

Jack Dann, The Rebel: An Imagined Life of James Dean (HarperCollins/Morrow Aug 2004)

Alternate-history/fantasy novel about a James Dean who didn't die in 1955, and ends up involved in many of the cultural keypoints of the sixties. "This is alternate history with passion and difference…a significant and very gripping novel." [Nick Gevers]

Paul Di Filippo, Neutrino Drag (Four Walls Eight Windows Apr 2004)

Di Filippo lets his funny side loose in this collection of 20 unpredictable and offbeat stories, complete with charmingly chatty comments on each.

Gardner Dozois, ed., The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-first Annual Collection (St. Martin's Griffin Jul 2004)

The heavyweight champion of the Year's Best volumes weighs in with 29 stories from 2003, by authors including Terry Dowling, Terry Bisson, John Varley, and Vernor Vinge, plus the usual summary of the year by noted editor Dozois.

Elizabeth Hand, Mortal Love (HarperCollins/Morrow Jul 2004)

A compelling tale with mythic overtones, of artists and art lovers from Algernon Swinburne and Edward Burne-Jones to a present-day critic and journalist, all bemused and inspired by a mysterious woman.

David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year's Best Fantasy 4 (Eos Jul 2004)

The all-genre-fantasy Year's Best presents 21 stories from 2003 by authors including Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Lucius Shepard, Michael Swanwick, and Gene Wolfe.

David G. Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer, eds., Year's Best SF 9 (Eos Jun 2004)

The all-genre-SF Year's Best presents 20 stories from 2003 by authors including Octavia E. Butler, Geoff Ryman, John Varley, and Stephen Baxter.

Stephen King, The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah (Donald M. Grant/Scribner Jun 2004)

The penultimate volume in the epic dark fantasy, which brings Susannah to New York City in 1999 and the gunslingers to Maine in 1977 in their struggle to stop the destruction of the Dark Tower.

Alastair Reynolds, Absolution Gap (Ace Jun 2004)

The New Space Opera hits a new high note in this dramatic conclusion to the "Revelation Space" series (for now), in which alien devices threaten humanity.

Cat Sparks, ed., Agog! Smashing Stories (Agog! Press Jun 2004)

An all-new anthology of original stories from down under, third in a series offering an excellent overview of the latest in Australian SF. Authors include Sean McMullen, Richard Harland, and Simon Brown.

Jennifer Stevenson, Trash Sex Magic (Small Beer Press Jun 2004)

Stevenson's first novel, a funny, sexy, even romantic contemporary fantasy of trailer trash women with sex magic - and a developer who wants the land they live on.

Sean Stewart, Perfect Circle (Small Beer Press Jun 2004)

An unemployed Houston man who sees ghosts reluctantly becomes a ghosthunter, while coping with problems of family both living and dead. An offbeat but evocative ghost story full of fascinating characters and local color.

Jonathan Strahan, ed., Best Short Novels: 2004 (SFBC Jun 2004)

Nine novellas originally published in 2003, by authors including Kage Baker, Walter Jon Williams, Lucius Shepard, and Connie Willis.

Martha Wells, The Ships of Air (Eos Jul 2004)

The fascinating alternate-world fantasy adventures continue in this second book of "The Fall of Ile-Rien", as a luxury liner full of refugees flees from a magical alternate-world version of WWII to another dimension, where magic-hating swordsmen - and enemy forces with their dirigibles - await.


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