Aug 5, 2010

2011: The Year of the Fantasy Doorstop

SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: 2011 Fantasy Lineup May Cause Wrist Injury, Eye Strain, Loss of Employment, and Severe Head Asplode
You're probably anticipating a new fantasy doorstop or two in 2011. But what you don't realize is that ALL of the new fantasy books you've been excited for will hit shelves in the next calendar year.

Let's take a brief look at the fantasy lineup scheduled for 2011

You've got your decade-long-series-enders

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time #14) - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen #10) - Steven Erikson

The Young Superstars
The Wise Man's Fear (Kingkiller Chronicle #2) - Patrick Rothfuss

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) - Scott Lynch

The Heroes - Joe Abercrombie

Requiem (Psalms of Isaak #4) - Ken Scholes

The Series Debuts

The Fallen Blade (Assassini Trilogy #1) - Jim Courtney Greenwood

The Dragon's Path (The Dagger and the Coin #1) - Daniel Abraham

The Genre Giants

Book 2 of the Legends of Shannara duology - Terry Brooks

Raising Taxes (Discworld Book #1,141,746) - Terry Pratchett

A Kingdom Besieged (Chaoswar Saga #1/Riftwar Cycle #27) - Raymond E. Feist

The Grim and Gritty

The Cold Commands (A Land Fit for Heroes #2) - Richard Morgan

The White-Luck Warrior (The Aspect-Emperor #2) - R. Scott Bakker

His Father's Fist (Acts of Caine #4) - Matt Stover

The British Invasion

The Order of Scales (Memory of Flames #3) - Stephen Deas

The Iron Jackal (Tales of the Ketty Jay #3) - Chris Wooding


The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt #6) - Adrian Tchaikovsky

New Blood

Percepliquis (Riyria Revelations #6/6) - Michael J. Sullivan
Black Halo (Undergates #2) - Sam Sykes

Spellbound (Spellwright #2) - Blake Charlton
Fenrir (Wolfsangel #2) - M.D. Lachlan


The Warlord's Legacy (Warlords Trilogy #2) - Ari Marmell

And thats not including books from Mark Charan Newton, Lev Grossman, Jon Sprunk, Col Buchanan,  among others.

Thats over 20 highly anticipated books not counting the potential for another debut on the order of Rothfuss, Abercrombie, or Rothfuss.

I'm betting the stack would be taller than me. To test this, advance editions of all of these books may be sent to my review address. Do it. For science.

And if we get A Dance With Dragons, the most anticipated fantasy title of the past 25 years?

Animated Gifs  

So which one of these books is at the top of your list?

For me it's The Heroes or The Dragon's Path


  1. Next year could defintely be the best year of new releases in quite some time. What about Tregillis' The Coldest War?

    11 books from this list are on my to-read immediately list. Out of these I can't wait for The Wise Man's Fear, The Republic of Theives, & The Dragon's Path.

  2. It's a boom year! Us New Boods are gonna have to be sharp to prove ourselves in the crowd.

  3. p.s. quite a carpel fracture you got there. you should see a doctor about that.

  4. @Mad Hatter Review - The Coldest War is more alternate history. I tried to group all of the more tradition "otherworld" fantasy. This list doesn't include Urban Fantasy, SF, alternate history, and general genre stuff.

    If I did that there would be Mieville and Reynolds and Doctorow and Stross and Hamilton and Butcher and so many more. I think all of these books appeal to the same core audience.

    @Blake Charlton - I blame Sanderson. I don't envy you selling books against this lot.

  5. Wow, that's a crowded field jam-packed with secondary world goodness. I was feeling impatient that my DAW book is probably not coming out until Jan 2012, but now I'm...well, still impatient, but also kinda relieved.

  6. @saladinahmed - Agreed. There is going to be a fight for fantasy readers attention in 2011 and it's likely to be a hard year for debut fantasy authors. Few people will be looking for new reading material with all of the series volumes that are coming out.

  7. A MEMORY OF LIGHT might not come out until spring 2012. Brandon won't start writing it until January. He'll try to get it out by the end of the year but the next spring is more likely.

  8. @Peter Ahlstron - Way to ruin the list! Let's just say Dec 27, 2011. End the year with a bang and save the best for last and all that.

  9. A lot of these books are on my list, some of them I have ordered in advance.
    Now I need to convince my wife the I would like to spend my whole holiday on a desert island - just with a bag full of books ;-)

  10. I totally thought that last comment was my husband. He said he would include me on his island, along with the children. Mind you, I would only be there to watch the little ones! how rude!!! :)

  11. Crippled God, Crippled God, Crippled God!

  12. Nine of those books are must-reads for me, with His Father's Fist by Stover topping the list.

    China's Embassytown will easily be the biggest non-series release of the year.

    There's also a chance we'll see Paul Kearney's Kings of Morning (Macht 3) and Jasper Kent's Third Section (Danilov 3), both of which would jump straight onto my reading pile.

  13. Although I'll probably read a bare majority of those books, I suspect that few, if any, will come anywhere near my favorite reads for 2011. Past history seems to indicate that there will be some surprises, or rather non-hyped, non-series releases, that I'll end up enjoying more. Hopefully, that'll be the case next year (and this, as well).

  14. I feel like the only one, but I'd much rather read something new than revisit previous material. 18 of those books are number -- in a series. What ever happened to originality? Has publishing in SSF gotten to the point where it's an oddity ( or perhaps, a liability ) to publish a stand lone?

  15. @Chad - An interesting thought. The problem of course is that genre work trends toward series these days and with series come anticipation. A number of authors are doing standalones but it's hard to know about them in advance.

  16. There is a chance I may pick up The White Luck Warrior from the library, but my days of paying for that series is over after the massive disappointment that was The Judging Eye. Same for Abercrombie, though I don't have a reason behind that, I just haven't picked up any of his books since the trilogy, which I rather liked.

  17. Ah, ignore that top comment. I was copying from OneNote, where ctrl + a apparently means you only grab a single para.


    Perhaps only interesting to me, but I count only five that I am actually really interested in. A few years ago that number would have been much higher, but I have been winding down to the point where I enjoy short standalone novels more than anything.

    The Crippled God is high on the list, but since I still have to get through Dust of Dreams, I highly doubt it will be picked up immediately.

    The Republic of Thieves, however, is one that I am most looking forward to and I will be picking it up upon release. Granted, I am wary of the book since my reread of Red Seas Under Red Skies, which turned my opinion from overly positive to somewhat negative.

    Requiem is, at the moment, a must, but it all depends on how things go with Antiphon. I love Scholes' series, but Wert's early review has been less than positive and that does not bode well.

    Of the series just starting, I will be giving Abraham's The Dragon's Path a go and hoping that it lives up to the quality of his existing work.

    I thought The Steel Remains was rather mediocre, underwhelming on most points, but the end left me craving more. I'm definitely looking forward to reading The Cold Commands, I just hope it is an improvement over the former.

    There is a chance I may pick up The White Luck Warrior from the library, but my days of paying for that series is over after the massive disappointment that was The Judging Eye. Same for Abercrombie, though I don't have a reason behind that, I just haven't picked up any of his books since the trilogy, which I rather liked.

  18. The books I'm anticipating most from your list aren't 100% definites:
    A Dance with Dragons
    His Father's Fist

  19. I'm SO looking forward to reading Republic of Thieves! I'm still trying to catch up on Erikson, Bakker and Martin's novels so it'll be a while yet before I can read their current ones.


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