Feb 1, 2010

YetiStomper Picks for February

February is short on days but way the list of books I want to read is way too long...

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin

If you've been paying attention to the SFF blogosphere, you should know that N.K. Jemisin's debut fantasy comes out on February 25th. Why? Because everyone has been talking about it. From rave reviews in Publisher's Weekly to spotlights on io9.com, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms has all the signs of being the biggest debut fantasy of the year. And that's something when considering all of the highly anticipated books this year. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms appears to be a politically charged fantasy in a world where people tell the gods what to do. I've been desperate for an ARC but I haven't been able to get one yet.

The Conqueror's Shadow - Ari Marmell

Another contender for debut fantasy of the year, the title might come down to taste rather than quality. Marmell appears to be taking a difference approach to the heroic fantasy staple that intrigues me greatly. His hero (or antihero), Corvis, is a former warlord who gave up his dreams of conquest for hopes of love. But it so happens that the guy he handed his armies to needs stopping and Corvis is the only one who can get the job done. Marmell's take on things seems dark and gritty, begging comparisons to Joe Abercrombie. Abercrombie is probably my favorite fantasy author who still releases books on a regular schedule so The Conqueror's Shadow is another one I'm really excited to read. Plus Lou Anders recommends it. And it's not even a Pyr book! High praise indeed.

Horns - Joe Hill

Based on what I've heard, Joe Hill is proving that writing talent might be hereditary. I haven't read Hill's debut, Heart Shaped Box, yet but one of my goals this year (that post has been in progress forever) was to read more Horror. Joe Hill appears to be one of the rising stars of the genre and this new book about a man and the demons within him (apparently literally) is one worth checking out.

The Adamantine Palace - Stephen Deas

This is one of those books that comes out in the UK gets a lot of attention and finally makes its US debut a few years later. I've been so close to buying this book several times but I held out for the US edition to help Deas's sales. Plus that cover is pretty impressive. The first book in the Memory of Flame sequence, Deas does dragons as they should be done. Monstrous, violent and deadly. I've heard mixed things about this one, mostly the critique that it's fairly generic. If you are a big dragon fan though, you might want to check this one out.

Blackout - Connie Willis

"Connie Willis." That should be enough to get you to the Amazon page at least. This book is the first in a duology set in the same Hugo- and Nebula- award winning universe as Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog. In 2060, Oxford historians are capable of time-traveling into the past and redefining historical research. Blackout takes these historians back to World War II Britain and the historians aren't sure which is worse: the fact that they are researching amidst German bombing raids or the fact that their time travel technology appears to be glitchy. I might use this as an opportunity to catch up on some award winning novels that I have ignored for far too long.

Geosynchron - David Louis Edelman

Edelman wraps up his Jump 225 trilogy with Geosynchron. The core principle behind these books is the MultiReal, a technology that probabilistically predicts future outcomes and allows for making scarily informed decisions. Geosynchron comes in when the MultiReal goes out and all hell breaks loose. If you like high concept science fiction, the Jump 225 trilogy is worth investigating further. Additionally, those covers are gorgeous. I'd buy one just to pretend I'm reading it on the bus.

Chill - Elizabeth Bear

This is the MMPB release of Chill, the 2nd book in Bear's Jacob's Ladder trilogy. These books concern two women fighting for change on a wayward generation ship and about a million things more that I can't really even start to describe. It's high quality, large scope space opera science fiction subject matter is a relatively rarity in an market increasingly skewed toward Vampires and Fantasy.

Clone Wars Gambit: Stealth - Karen Miller

I love Star Wars. Karen Miller's Star Wars work has been surprisingly good. But if you don't read Star Wars, don't worry about this one.

If you are going to read just one book this month, good luck picking. While all these books are on my to read list, the YetiStomper Pick for February is a three way tie between The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Conqueror's Shadow, and Horns. The other books should be great but aside from The Adamantine Palace (which has been out in the UK) all the other books require some prior reading. If you are looking for something darker go with Horns, a Abercrombian Fantasy go with The Conqueror's Shadow, and if you want to read one of the most unique and well-reviewed debut fantasies I've seen in a long time, go with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. It's your call.

Anyway, as always, if you are interested in more details regarding any of the above books, just click on through the Amazon links. I'm more interested in telling you why I recommended them rather than simply what the books are about. out there. Let me know if there is anything I may have missed in the comments? And which one of these covers is your favorite?

You can view previous installments of YetiStomper Picks here


  1. Really looking forward to The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but until I get my filthy paws on that, the debut of the month for me is Sam Sykes' Tome of the Undergates. although it doesn't hit the States until September, I'm told.

    I'd be interested to check out some of Edelman's trilogy when I have a little free time, but for the moment, I'm getting my Horns on, damn it.


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