Welcome to the latest installment of "Stuff I'm Looking Forward To This Year". As always, I take my information from the Locus Forthcoming list, plus a little bit of extra research when I'm aware of things that should be on the Locus list and are not. Not a big knock on Locus, though, because that list is a primary source in seeing what major works are coming out during the year. The list does need to be updated, though, and pushed out into 2010.
My standard opening statement:
Usually early in whatever quarter of the year we're in I like to take a look at the Locus list of books coming out in the next quarter. I just like to see what's coming out that I should keep an eye out for. It's about that time. So, here's what I think looks good in the fourth quarter of 2009. Obviously, publishing schedules can and do change.
A Dance With Dragons, by George R. R. Martin: Yes, yes. We know that this isn't coming out in October. It's just not. But because I'm using the Locus Forthcoming list for this, I just had to mention it. Whenever this comes osut, it's my anticipated novel of the year. I should really start my series re-read, though.
Canticle, by Ken Scholes: The sequel to Lamentation. Let's see how Scholes develops this series and what he has up his sleeve. Lamentation was a very solid debut.
Eclipse Three, by Jonathan Strahan: The new installment from one of my two favorite original anthology series (the other being Fast Forward). I must read this. I also must read Eclipse Two, which I have sitting on my shelf at home. So, yes, the strength of that first volume was enough that Eclipse will be perpetually anticipated.
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld: Everyone says this is awesome. What Westerfeld I have read has been awesome. Therefore, I must read this.
Under the Dome, by Stephen King: New Stephen King. It's another 1000+ page sprawling monster of a novel. Will it be good? Oh, god, I hope so.
The Best Horrors of the Year 1, by Ellen Datlow (editor): Honestly, this is my wild card. I wasn't a reader of the Datlow / Grant / Link Year's Best Fantasy and Horror series, but Ellen Datlow is one of the preeminent editors working today and I am quite curious what she has in store with an Best Of anthology.
Makers, by Cory Doctorow: By this point Cory Doctorow's name is enough to get me to read something, be it a short story or a novel (the disappointing yet Hugo nominated "True Names notwithstanding). Makers is currently being serialized on Tor.com and for no good reason, I'm avoiding the serialization. I want my Doctorow in one complete package. As such, I have no idea what this novel is about. All I know is that I must read it.
Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest: New Cherie Priest. Must I say more? If so, you haven't read her four previous novels and you are not aware this is a Civil War Steampunk novel that has enough promise that I think it could be one of the year's best and could even breakthrough to the mainstream. I may be projecting, but I think very highly of Cherie Priest's work.
By the Mountain Bound, by Elizabeth Bear: This is Bear's follow-up to All the Windwracked Stars.
The Silver Skull, by Mark Chadbourn: The beginning to a new series from the author of the Age of Misrule trilogy. The Age of Misrule is solid, and Pyr's purchase of Chadbourn's work and bringing it to the States was a major deal, and I really want to see what Chadbourn is all about.
The Gathering Storm, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson: Do I need to say it?
Scenting the Dark and Other Stories, by Mary Robinette Kowal: I haven't written about Kowal recently, but if you've been paying attention you know how much I like her stories. This is her first collection, a short chapbookish set from Subterranean Press.
Suicide Kings, by George R. R. Martin (editor): It's a new Wild Cards novel. Seriously folks, that should be enough to get everybody pumped for it. If you don't know Wild Cards, go quick read Inside Straight and see what the hell I'm talking about. Love it. Then go read Busted Flush. That'll prepare you for Suicide Kings (it's the third book of the Triad). After all that, you'll be ready to go back and read all the other books in the series.
The God Engines, by John Scalzi: Scalzi does fantasy and he does so without humor. He's been quite successful with his science fiction, so much so that I really want to see what else he has in his bag. This is a novella from SubPress.
Gunpowder 2, by Joe Hill: You can guess from the title, but this is a follow up to the first Gunpowder novella. I imagine the title will change.
The Iron Khan, by Liz Williams: The fifth volume in the Detective Inspector Chen series. The first three are quite good and I plan to start the fourth volume (Shadow Pavilion) shortly. It's mystical detective work in the Eastern city of Singapore Three and prominently features Demons (one is a major protagonist), plus Heaven and Hell.