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New Arrivals
compiled by Neil Walsh

2004 is here at last, and with it come new books from Sarah Zettel, Guy Kay, Lucius Shepard, Richard Morgan, Steve Alten, and many more.

But first, let me tell you about some of what I've been reading lately:

  • Hell on the Installment Plan edited by Jennifer C. Barnes (The Dream People Publications, chapbook, 30 pages, 2003, USA)
        Three very short stories of "supernatural crime and punishment." The first, "Re-Possession: My Life as a Soul Thief" by Abel Diaz & John Lawson, is the punchiest. From the perk-up-&-pay-attention opening line to the final scene, this is a story that just won't be ignored. The second, "Mercy-Jacking" by Susanne Brydenbaugh, fits well enough with the theme, but it left me less chilled than I think the author intended. (Maybe I'm too crusty & cynical; or maybe I missed something.) Tim Curran's "Brimstone Cowboy" is my favourite of the three. It has the potential to be nothing but one big cliché, but the atmosphere & mood are so brilliantly evoked that instead it feels positively mythic -- not an easy accomplishment in under 10 pages. Definitely a mini-anthology worth seeking.
  • The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner, hc, 394 pages, November 2003, USA & Canada)
        Hopkinson's novels are always worth reading, and this one is (on the most superficial level) probably more generally accessible than her previous two, as it uses significantly less dialect and more standard English. On the other hand, it's also a more ambitious project than either of her two previous novels, braiding together in an unorthodox manner story strands from widely different eras and geographical areas. On the whole, it's a successful experiment that makes for an enjoyable read.
  • Changeling by Roger Zelazny (ibooks, trade, 244 pages, February 2003, USA & Canada)
        First published in 1980, this is unfortunately not Zelazny at his pinnacle. The fundamental premise is a great idea -- two boys switched in the cradle; one from a world where magic is only legend, the other from a world where complex technology is only legend but magic is real -- and there's plenty of classic Zelazny atmosphere, with the age-old problem of tech/magic integration. But ultimately the writing is a little soft, particularly the dialogue, which sounds pretty corny throughout. Still, even a rough-around-the-edges Zelazny novel can be better than a more polished work from a lesser talent. The sequel, Madwand, was also published by ibooks in 2003.

(Books are listed alphabetically by author. Only books received are noted.)

New Arrivals & Forthcoming Books: Mid-December 2003
Resurrection by Steve Alten
Forge, Tor (hc, 416 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): February 2004, USA & Canada

Lord of Snow & Shadows: The Tears of Artamon, Book 1 by Sarah Ash
Bantam (mm, 704 pages)
Publication date: 1 January 2004, UK
reviewSF Site Review

Orbital Burn by K.A. Bedford
Edge (trade, 306 pages)
Publication date: January 2004, USA & Canada

Story Time by Edward Bloor
Harcourt (trade, 432 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): April 2004, USA & Canada

Sunshine Patriots by Bill Campbell
Hats Off (trade, 207 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): 24 February 2004, USA

Julia and the Dream Maker by P.J. Fischer
Traitor Daschund Books (trade, 290 pages)
Publication date: December 2003, USA

Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost
Tor (trade, 398 pages)
Publication date: 10 December 2003, USA & Canada
   Part of the Fairy Tales Series created by Terri Windling, this book is a retelling of the tale of Bluebeard. First published December 2002.

The Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay
Viking Canada (hc, 512 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): March 2004, Canada

Snare by Katharine Kerr
Voyager (mm, 630 pages)
Publication date: 5 January 2004, UK
reviewSF Site Review

Path of the Just edited by James Lowder
Silver Age Sentinels, Guardians of Order Inc. (trade, 208 pages)
Publication date: August 2003, USA & Canada
   An anthology of superhero fiction from John Ostrander, Steven Grant, Ed Greenwood, Bradley J. Kayl, Steven Harer, Robin D. Laws, Lucien Soulban, et al.

Dragon's Kin by Anne & Todd McCaffrey
Bantam (hc, 292 pages)
Publication date: 4 December 2003, UK

Acorna's Rebels by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Corgi (mm, 384 pages)
Publication date: 4 December 2003, UK
reviewSF Site Review

Prince of Dreams by Nancy McKenzie
Del Rey, Ballantine (trade, 418 pages)
Publication date: 6 January 2004, USA & Canada

Market Forces by Richard Morgan
Victor Gollancz (hc & trade, 400 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): 4 March 2004, UK

Other Cities by Benjamin Rosenbaum
Small Beer Press (chapbook, 48 pages)
Publication date: November 2003, USA
   A collection of 14 stories; only 500 copies printed.

Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories by Christopher Rowe
Small Beer Press (chapbook, 66 pages)
Publication date: November 2003, USA
   A collection of 5 stories; only 500 copies printed.

Two Trains Running by Lucius Shepard
Golden Gryphon (hc, 112 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): March 2004, USA

Legends II edited by Robert Silverberg
Del Rey, Ballantine (hc, 642 pages)
Publication date: 6 January 2004, USA & Canada
   New short novels from Terry Brooks, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and Anne McCaffrey.
reviewSF Site Review

The Affinity Trap by Martin Sketchley
Simon & Schuster (trade, 306 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): 2 February 2004, UK

T'top by Jeffrey J. Testin
Bedside Books, American Book Publishing (trade, 270 pages)
Publication date (forthcoming): 1 March 2004, USA

Dark Matter: Reading the Bones edited by Sheree R. Thomas
Warner Aspect (hc, 400 pages)
Publication date: 2 January 2004, USA & Canada
reviewSF Site Review

Dream of the Sea by Élisabeth Vonarburg, translated by Howard Scott & Élisabeth Vonarburg
Tesseract Books (trade, 291 pages)
Publication date: September 2003, Canada / February 2004, USA

The Usurper's Crown by Sarah Zettel
Voyager (mm, 628 pages)
Publication date: 5 January 2004, UK

Comics & Graphic Novels

Plastic Man, No. 1 by Kyle Baker
DC Comics (comic, 32 pages)
Publication date: February 2004, USA & Canada
   Kyle Baker writes & illustrates this re-invention of the character first created by Jack Cole.

Magazines

Black Gate, No. 6, Fall 2003, USA & Canada
Contributors to this issue include: Iain Rowan, Anne Sheldon, Kevin N. Haw, Mark W. Tiedemann, Karen Jordan Allen, Rick Norwood, Charles R. Tanner.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2004, USA & Canada
Contributors to this issue include: Michael Shea, Charles Coleman Finlay, John Peyton Cooke, Nancy Etchemendy, Sheila Finch, George Tucker, Garth Nix.

Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 2004, USA & Canada
Contributors to this issue include: Paolo Bacigalupi, Ysabeau S. Wilce, Robert Reed, Albert E. Cowdrey, Steven Utley, Daryl Gregory, Chet Williamson.

The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Vol. 6, No. 2, Autumn 2003, USA
Contributors to this issue include: Ann K. Schwader, Jamie Wasserman, Mary Soon Lee, G.O. Clark, Lee Clark Zumpe, Kiel Stuart, Sandra J. Lindow, Bruce Boston, Jessy Randall, Timons Esaias, Lee Ballantine.

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