Monday, February 17, 2014

19 Books I Want to Read in 2014

I’ll be up front here, and if you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that it’s been a very quiet couple of years.  I’ve spent a lot of time unconsciously detaching from what’s going on in literature and the SFF world.  It wasn’t planned, but due to some personal stuff in my life and just changing motivation and desire, I really didn’t have anything to say or the desire to say it.  I’ve slowly been recovering the itch. 

As such, I can’t say that I have completely followed what is new and shiny in this forthcoming year in books and I certainly don’t know much about many of the new authors who seem to have everyone all in a tizzy (though I am aware of Ann Leckie and have been for a while now).  So, I gave a quick look through the LocusForthcoming List, a quick search on stuff I have saved on Goodreads, and voila! We have list! 

As such, this isn’t exhaustive or authoritative.  This is just a list of 19 books, in presumed publication order, that I’d like to read this year.  I’m sure I missed something awesome.  

Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer (Feb): It may, at this point, be impossible to have heard about Annihilation (the first volume in the Southern Reach trilogy). It seems to be exploding all over the place, which is fantastic.  I hope to read it soon, and I expect it to be friggin awesome.

Locke and Key: Alpha and Omega, by Joe Hill (Feb): Joe Hill concludes his Locke and Key series of graphic novels.  This has been one of the best things going, and if you’ve been waiting for the collections (like I have), the wait has been painful.

Words of Radiance, by Brandon Sanderson (Mar): Big Fat Fantasy alert.  Follow up to Sanderson’s epic Way of Kings.  Now that he has been able to step away from finishing The Wheel of Time, he’ll have that much more availability to work on his own stuff.  I’m not convinced the man sleeps or is not a robot of some sort, but if you like the big fantasy epics, Sanderson is your man. 

Steles of the Sky, by Elizabeth Bear (Apr): Just read (andwrote about) Range of Ghosts. This is the concluding volume. Also, it’s written by Elizabeth Bear. That’s enough to push it to the top of a must read pile for me. 

Valour and Vanity, by Mary Robinette Kowal (Apr): I read Shadesof Milk and Honey years ago, loved it, but I haven’t read the next two volumes (yet, book two is on my shelf waiting for me).  This is the fourth.  Unless she’s gone completely off the rails since then, which I highly doubt, this will be wonderful.

King of Ashes, by Raymond E. Feist (May): This is the first non-Riftwar novel that Feist has written in a long, long, long time. Remember the creepy Faerie Tale?  I believe this is a new fantasy series, but I’m curious how Feist will do stepping away from Riftwar.  It could be a very good thing.

Cyador’s Heirs, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr (May): New Recluse.  If Modesitt keeps writing them, I’ll keep reading them. Or, I suppose it’s more of a Cyador novel than Recluse, being set way earlier in the history of that world. Even so, I know exactly what to expect from these books and if I don’t try to read 10 of them in the same year, I’m always satisfied.

Defenders, by Will McIntosh (May): I’ve read Soft Apocalypse and Hitchers (plus the story Love Minus Eighty was based on) and I’m a fan, man.  Will McIntosh is the real deal and he writes books I want to read.

My Real Children, by Jo Walton (May): I haven’t read much from Jo Walton, but after reading Among Others a couple years back, I am sold.  Doesn’t matter what this is, I want to read it. 

Cibola Burn, by James S. A. Corey (Jun): I’ve read the first two volumes of The Expanse (the series to which this belongs). I have Book 3 coming up, and then this. 

Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King (Jun): New Stephen King. 

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, by Genevieve Valentine (Jun): I’m curious.  I thought Mechanique was fantastic and this is Valentine’s next novel. 

One-Eyed Jack, by Elizabeth Bear (Aug): I’m not sure I could be more excited about this book.  So, here’s the deal. Between 2006 and 2008, Elizabeth Bear published four novels in her Promethean Age series. I absolutely adore those novels, especially the two part Ink & Steel / Hell & Earth set. I haven’t read them in years, but I could wax rhapsodic about them. Her publisher didn’t want to do any more, much to the chagrin of right-thinking readers everywhere.  It’s been six years, but Prime books is publishing the fifth volume, One-Eyed Jack.  Holy crap, y’all. But, don’t worry about not having read the first four.  This one ties into the larger world, but is completely stand alone.  Actually, the series so far consists of two sets, so Blood and Iron or Ink and Steel are equally valid entry points to the series. As is this. I shall be there.

Lock In, by John Scalzi (Aug): New Scalzi.  I’m there. 

Hawk, by Steven Brust (Sep): New Vlad Taltos novel.  I’m there.  Seriously, read this series if you’re not already. Start with Jhereg and go with publication order. 

Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest (Sep): New Cherie Priest. I’m there.  Priest describes this as “Lizzie Borden fighting Cthulhu with an axe”, which, I’ll be honest, sounds kind of awesome.

The Thorn of Emberlain, by Scott Lynch (Nov): Gentleman Bastards Book 4.  I still need to read Republic of Thieves, but this is must read fantasy for me.

Symbiont, by Mira Grant (Nov): First, I thought Mira Grant’s Newsflesh trilogy was excellent.  Second, I enjoyed the first book in this new series, Parasite.  I want more. 

Going Gray, by Karen Traviss (Dec): Since she published her excellent Wess’har Wars series, Traviss has publishing Star Wars and Halo novels.  I can speak for the Star Wars books and say that those are suburb, but I’ve been itching for Traviss to write something that wasn’t tied to anything else.  Going Gray is that book. 

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