May 10, 2010

Call for Comments: Anticipated Books for the rest of 2010

Last week I posted asked the internets what their favorite book was four months into 2010. There are still 8 months to go but for the most part, there won't be many new additions to the 2010 release calendar.

Given that the selection is now all but locked in (and Rothfuss and GRRM didn't make the cut), I'd like to revisit the topic of anticipated books.

Hypothetically, if you could only read 3 more books that will be released this year, which would you choose?

For reference, there is a great guide to upcoming books over at Locus Magazine's website. [Forthcoming Books]

Note: If any publishing outfits would like to send me advance copies of any of these books, I will very begrudgingly accept.

Here are my top three.

The Dervish House - Ian McDonald - I've got an ARC of this sitting beside me right now and if I didn't have so many other things to do, I'd be reading it right now. McDonald is one of the best cultural SF writers there are and his examinations of India and Brazil have been stellar. This time he takes on Turkey and if the book is anything like Brasyl or River of Gods/Cyberabad Days it will well be worth reading. If you like dense, detailed and not-so-implausible SF you should check this book out. Plus that cover is gorgeous.

Zoo City - Lauren Beukes - Moxyland was the suprise hit of 2009 and I came away more than impressed with Beukes's near future vision of South Africa. Zoo City is her sophomore effort and one I am looking forward to greatly. I've only heard bits and pieces about the book but there was a reason why I picked Beukes as one of my 25 Authors Worth Watching. Fresh, captivating, and provocative, Beukes is a welcome new voice in the genre scene.

The Way of Kings (Book 1 of The Stormlight Archive) - Brandon Sanderson - Sanderson starts his next fantasy epic. Sanderson, Abercrombie, and Rothfuss are the holy trinity of fantasy authors to debut in the last several years. Rothfuss and Abercrombie don't have books coming out this year, Sanderson has two. And The Way of Kings doesn't require 13 books of backstory. Need I say more?

Here are some other notable titles that just missed the cut.

Cover Art Not Final

Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal - Kowal is another of my favorite authors (and another on my Worth Watching list). The subject matter for her debut novel is just slightly outside of my comfort zone but based on the strength of her other writing, I will definitely be reading this one. Kowal's prose is elegant and efficient, pouring more emotion into fewer words and getting me to connect with her protagonists suprisingly quick. I loved her debut collection, Scenting the Dark and Other Stories and her dialogue is some of the most natural I've read, which even more impressive considering she is a relatively newcomer. Kowal won last year's Campbell Award for Best New Writer and she continues to prove she earned it.

Behemoth (Book 2 of the Leviathan Series) - Scott Westerfeld - Last year's steampunk Leviathan was absolutely fantastic and the combination of beautiful artwork and Westerfeld's alternate vision of World War I has me anticipating the follow up greatly. Leviathan's biggest flaw was that it ended too soon (YA books typically have inflated page count due to font size). I wish I could show off Behemoth's cover because I'm sure it will be fantastic. If you haven't read Leviathan yet, do yourself a favor and see what you're missing.

The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi - Hannu sold this book (and its two sequels) based only on a few pages of work. I'm hesitant to put this into the top three because I have yet to see any concrete reviews but based on the early buzz, this is a debut book to watch for. The Quantum Thief makes its UK debut this September.

With Great Power . . . - Lou Anders (editor) - Lou Anders is one of the best editors working in the genre today and his name combined with the group of authors showcased in this superhero themed anthology has me salivating over this book. The only reason this book didn't make the first list is a numbers game. This is going to be a highly enjoyable book. Check out the full ToC here.

The Passage - Justin Cronin - I don't know if anyone would dispute that Cronin's The Passage is the most hyped book of the summer. I'm not sure if it's purely publisher hype or there is any substance to it but there is no denying that people are talking about it. I'm curious to read it but I don't necessarily know what to expect.

So that's my list, what are your 3 most anticipated books for the remainder of 2010?


  1. Oh... I can think of more than three but let's keep it limited.

    I think you got one right there with Ian McDonald's new novel. I very much enjoyed a number of his books so I am looking forward to The Derwish House.

    Under Heaven by Guy Gaviel Kay is also on the list. I already have a copy but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet.

    Another highly anticipated book is The Crippled God by Steven Erikson (asuming it will be published this year, haven't seen a release date yet). I'm very curious how he is going to wrap up this massive series.

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  3. I'm with you on With Great Power.

    As you know I can never contain myself to 1 or 3 of anything to my top 5 must haves are:

    Dreadnought by Cherie Priest - standalone sequel to Boneshaker in her Clockwork Century world.

    The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick - first in his Weird West steampunk series. Resnick can usually deliver a fun read.

    Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey - sequel to Sandman Slim. Badass Urban Fantasy.

    Antiphon by Ken Scholes - Third book in the The Psalms of Isaak series, because it is the best long series going.

    Black Lung Captain by Chris Wooding - Sequel to Retribution Falls, which was one of the most enjoyable reads of the last year.

  4. Leviathan Wept by Daniel Abraham

    The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

    Swords and Dark Magic Strahan and Anders

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  6. The Crippled God by Steven Erikson

    The Way of King by Brandon Sanderson

    City of Ruin by Mark Charan Newton

    I can also think of more but three were asked!

  7. That is a toughie...

    Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings
    Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Scarab Path
    Jo Graham's Stealing Fire

    I'm pretty sure that Scott Lynch's Republic of Thieves is not out until 2011. If not, I'd get that one in a heartbeat.


  8. I'll definitely have to check out the author's you got in your watch list Patrick - I haven't read much new speculative fiction and I'm setting up my reading list for the summer.

    Linked you to my blog at WordPress, by the way, so I can keep an eye on you. Hope you don't mind. :)

    Kellye Parish

  9. I read a bunch of books that are not yet published (most notably the Jon Sprunk and Anthony Huso debuts which are excellent and awesome respectively, and the David Mitchell new novel which is my co-#1 of the year so far),

    while another high expectation novel (Evolutionary Void/PFH) popped up tonight courtesy of Random House and UPS,

    so of books I do not have/read (yet), the three I want asap are: Passion Play by Beth Bernobich (the J. Carey/Kushiel connection makes this one a must asap), Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers (the one book I give reasonable odds at topping Folding Knife for #1 sff of 2010) and A History of the Half Made World by Felix Gilman (next in line as odds go for #1), with Empire of Light by G. Gibson, The Scarab Path by A Tchaikovsky and The Black Prism by B. Weeks next and then Wintertide/Sullivan, Absorption/Meaney and (non-sff) Empire/Saylor rounding a top 10 expected list

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  11. Corvus by Paul Kearney - sequel to The Ten Thousand, his retelling of Xenephon's Anabasis.

    Stonewielder by Cam Esslemont - the next in his Malazan sequence (and with the news that The Crippled God is delayed until '11, the only Malazan full-length we'll see this year).

    I'll also echo some anticipations already found within the comments above, namely Kill the Dead by Kadrey, Antiphon by Scholes, and The Black Lung Captain by Wooding (that Hatter has impeccable taste!), City of Ruin by Mark C. Newton and the Swords and Dark Magic anthology by Strahan and Anders.

    2011 though... holy shit. Embassytown by China MiƩville, The Cold Commands by Rich Morgan, His Father's Fist by Matt Stover, The Wind Through the Keyhole (possibly?) by Steve King, The Crippled God by Steve Erikson, The White-Luck Warrior by Scott Bakker, The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, The Wise Man's Fear by Pat Rothfuss, The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie, Listener (maybe?) by Warren Ellis, Requiem by Ken Scholes, The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding ... even if only half of those see release it will be the very best year in recent memory.

  12. Great choices all around. I haven't yet ventured into the Malazan books for fear of it consuming my entire reading schedule but everyone seems to love them.

    And I definitely think that 2011 is shaping up to be one hell of a year for genre fiction.


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