Tuesday, January 06, 2009

16 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2009

Last year I stole this from the Gravel Pit because I thought it was a great idea to look at the titles from the full year to come rather than just what might be interesting in a single quarter. Locus only went up to September, so if I am missing a great title, it is only because I am not aware of it yet.

This list is mostly in order of my interest, but after the first couple it becomes a real jumble. Tis the season for lists and no actual content.

1: A Memory of Light, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (??): Yeah, as if there is a question about this. I've spent the majority of my fantasy reading life with Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time, and even the least of his work has been a joy to read. Whether this is split into two volumes or published as one extraordinarily mammoth volume, A Memory of Light is without a doubt the one book I want to read in 2009 if, for some reason, I would read only one book.

2: A Dance with Dragons, by George R. R. Martin (??): I wrote about this last year and it was the #1 novel I most looked forward to. Here, it is still #2. I believe and hope that 2009 will give us the new George R. R. Martin. If it does then fantasy fans shall rejoice. Or, they should.

3: Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie (July): Mr. Abercrombie may have a slight problem with being placed at number three on any list, but sir, look at your company. I've still only read the first two volumes of The First Law and have the third at home, but it doesn't really matter what Best Served Cold is actually about. I'll read anything Mr. Abercrombie writes.

4: Seven for a Secret, by Elizabeth Bear (March): So, y'all know how I feel about Elizabeth Bear, right?

5: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year: Volume Three, edited by Jonathan Strahan (March): I thought the second volume was fantastic, I still want to read the first, and I expect this is going to be one of the classics of the field of "Best Of" anthologies. There's no question here.

6: Chasing the Dragon, by Justina Robson (August): A fourth Quantum Gravity novel? Ohhhh yeah! I really have no idea where Robson is going with this series and I find the idea of the broken hero Lila Black fascinating. Sure, there are plenty of broken heroines, but Robson does this one very well.

7: The Revolution Business, by Charles Stross (April): I am seldom enthused about Stross's fiction, but I'd be happy with another half dozen more of this series.

8: The Walls of the Universe, by Paul Melko (February): I thought the short story this novel is based on was excellent, so this is a novel I've been waiting for ever since I heard an inkling it might be real.

9: The City & The City, by China Mieville (May): Hey, it's new Mieville. I'm not sure I really care what it is about. It's worth a look.

10: The City Without End, by Kay Kenyon (February): This is a series improving with each of the first two volumes and Kay Kenyon is proving herself to be a writer who commands attention. And deserves it.

11: The God Engine, by John Scalzi (April): Well, this is on the Locus list, but I'm not seeing it on the SubPress forthcoming catalog. Will it come out in April? I dunno. If it does, or if it comes out in December, a new Scalzi story (a novella, a non-novel length story with a plot!) is worth reading.

12: Steal Across the Sky, by Nancy Kress (February): I've only read a small amount of Kress's work, but I'm at the point that I want to read anything new she publishes all the while I seek out her older work.

13: Warbreaker, by Brandon Sanderson (June)

14: Federations, edited by John Joseph Adams (May): I like JJA's work as an anthologist, so there's no way I'm missing this one.

15: The Son of Retro Pulp Tales, edited by Joe R. Lansdale (May)

16: The Republic of Thieves, by Scott Lynch (??): Originally slated for 2008 publication, then early 2009, I don't see The Republic of Thieves on any schedule. As such, if I had any inkling this entry into The Gentlemen Bastards would be published in 2009, it would be much, much higher on the list. Since I don't, it will get an honorary place on the list. I think there is a far better chance of seeing the new George Martin.

To look at a full year, these are the sixteen titles I most look forward to, the titles I would actually want to highlight. Now, I may be missing something exceptional here, and if so, let's add it to the list!


ediFanoB said...

Release date for hardcover of THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES is 24th of February 2009 in case you can trust amazon.com

UK paperback will be released on 19th of November 2009

Release date for UK paperback in Germany will be the 1rst of January 2010.

So far I preordered around 20 books. On top of my list is definitely A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by George R.R. Martin.

Within this year I will also buy some Elziabeth Bear books.

SEVEN FOR A SECRET seems to be a kind of short story.Only 128 pages as per amazon information.

Joe said...

Amazon is notoriously unreliable and in the case of Scott Lynch, it is flat out wrong. It was tentatively slated for April (I think), but got pulled off the publisher's schedule. Scott Lynch hasn't turned in the manuscript yet.

Neil Richard said...

Looks like I'll need to make some more room on my To Be Read list. Somehow I've forgotten about Best Served Cold coming out. The last book was a good finish, but I know there's more Abercrombie has to offer.

Kristen said...

That's the first I heard about Steal Across the Sky. I really enjoyed the Sleepless trilogy by Nancy Kress as well as her first Probability book (haven't read the next two yet). That is one I'll have to keep an eye out for.

Marc said...

I'm looking forward to Glen Cook's Surrender to the Will of the Night, which will be the third volume of The Instrumentalities of the Night. No publication date has been announced, but the manuscript was accepted by Tor during 2008.

Also from Cook, the omnibus of Darkwar (3 books originally published in 85-86) is due this summer from Nightshade. They should also be releasing details of the final Dread Empire omnibus, which may include the long-lost third sequel! I know Joe isn't too excited about the Dread Empire, but I am! ;-)

Joe said...

Marc: Unless something has changed, we're never going to see the long lost Dread Empire book.

I read in an interview (I think) that some "fan" who was invited into Glen Cook's house stole the only copy of the manuscript and it has never been recovered.

I'm holding out for more Black Company novels.

That said, I still need to read the second Dread Empire omnibus and I actually want to read the forthcoming third omnibus (maybe it is out, not sure). I might be a glutton.

Marc said...

Hi Joe, I've made the case in a couple of places (a Glen Cook mailing list and my own new blog) that Nightshade deviated from their own stated schedule for the Dread Empire omnibus editions. The sequels one was to be the third publication, but then suddenly in the spring of 2008, the short story collection was moved forward.

When the A Fortress in Shadow came out in paperback, the listing for the sequels omnibus had been changed to show that it had three books, not the two listed in the A Cruel Wind paperback omnibus.

Meanwhile, when someone asked about this on the Nightshade message board, and I mentioned it on the Cook mailing list (which has members who are in contact with Cook), the response was silence. This suggests to me that something is going on, but no party to it is willing to discuss it, until Nightshade is ready to make some sort of big announcement.

With all that said, it could simply be my imagination having fun, but the speculation by itself is entertaining to me! So I'm holding out hope that in the 3-4 years that the details of the stolen manuscript emerged, that the story was returned or otherwise recreated. We should know more by this summer.

Amanda said...

AMOL! AMOL! AMOL! Imagine my anticipatory dance of joy!!!! =)

Joe said...

I know, right? I'm really looking forward to AMOL. This reminds me I need to get back with my re-read of the series. TSR, here I come!

Marc: I noticed the shift in what the third Dread Empire omnibus was supposed to be, so even if the readers never see the last Dread Empire novel, I hope for Mr. Cook's sake that the manuscript was recovered. That was just a crappy thing to have happened.

And with any luck, the readers will get the lost Dread Empire novel. That would be awesome (despite my stated position on the first Dread Empire omnibus).

Delving said...

Can't wait for A Memory of Light! Will be interesting to see if it still maintains the Robert Jordan feel to it or not though. ...