Sleeps With Monsters

Sleeps With Monsters: Anticipating the Second Half of 2013

Now it is time. Now the curtain can be pushed back on the second half of 2013, and all the books—or at least all those with announced publication dates and online retailer pages—can be spoken of in terms of hot anticipation!

…And I’m going to stop avoiding the personal pronoun now. Dear Readers, let’s talk about what’s to look forward to in the second half of the year. By your leave, I’ll go first.

July is my favourite month, only partly because it’s the month in which my birthday falls. (It’s also a relatively warm and dry month. That, I like.) But where June’s a month filled with delightful new releases (hello, new books by Ben Aaronovitch, Neil Gaiman, Kate Elliott, Lauren Beukes, Elizabeth Moon, Deborah J. Ross!), July brings with it only a few books after which I hanker: Catherynne M. Valente’s The Melancholy of Mechagirl (Viz Media); Charles Stross’s second novel in his Saturn’s Children universe, Neptune’s Brood (Ace); and DB Jackson’s Thieves’ Quarry (Tor), sequel to last year’s Thieftaker. I’m a sucker for the 18th century, even if rather less keen on colonial Boston, so I’m going to hope for a diverting hour’s read…

July also sees a paperback printing of Barbara Hambly’s Magistrates of Hell, a book whose hardcover I really enjoyed. Just putting that out there for other interested parties.

August is another month not entirely overflowing with Things I Want To Read. In the running this month? Just two books.

Everyone’s favourite male cover model Jim C. Hines has the second novel in his Ex Libris series, Codex Born, out from DAW. And coming from Masque Books, an e-first imprint, Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi. I’ve read a galley copy of this for review: it has the tone of Firefly but with less background racism and more lesbian polyamory, and I have several friends who’ll be getting copies of this for August birthdays…

But now we come to the months of the year which look full to bursting with shiny interesting books: September and October.

September has seven books I really want to read, and three of them are YA: First up, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Untold (Random House), sequel to 2012’s cliffhangered gothic Unspoken. Malinda Lo’s Inheritance (Little Brown), sequel to the brilliant Adaptation. And Rae Carson brings her debut trilogy—which began with the most excellent The Girl of Fire and Thorns—to a conclusion in The Bitter Kingdom (Greenwillow).

Meanwhile, Subterranean Press is bringing forth a novella from Elizabeth Bear, The Book of Iron, set in the same world as the Eternal Sky trilogy; Michelle Sagara continues the adventures of Kaylin Neya in Cast in Sorrow (Luna), the ninth instalment in the Chronicles of Elantra; and Jaime Lee Moyer’s debut Delia’s Shadow (Tor), set in the early 1900s, looks like an intriguing take on the ghost story. And DAW should be bringing forth Seanan McGuire’s seventh Toby Daye* book, Chimes at Midnight.

October brings with it a massive nine books that I’d dearly, dearly love to read. Ann Leckie’s SFnal debut is out from Orbit, Ancillary Justice. I don’t know about you, but the cover copy makes me eager to see if it’s going to be nearly as intriguing as it sounds. Nnedi Okorafor has a collection out from Prime, Kabu Kabu. Tamora Pierce’s long-awaited Battle Magic (Scholastic) should be appearing on shelves. Martha Wells has a novel in the Star Wars continuity due out, set during the original trilogy: Star Wars: Rebels (Lucas Books), and I’m hot to see what one of my favourite authors does with one of my first SFnal loves (I can’t be the only person who came to science fiction through Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire trilogy, can I?). Jacqueline Carey’s Autumn Bones (Roc) comes out, at least so Locus tells me, and Tina Connolly follows up her debut Ironskin with a sequel, Copperhead (Tor). And Allegiance (Tor), the third book from Beth Bernobich in the series that opened with Passion Play, is a fantasy novel I’m deeply looking forward to: I want to see what happens in all the intrigue and politics and derring-do!

Before you ask, yes, I’m looking forward to two books by lads, too: Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves (Gollancz) is a book I’ve been waiting for lo this long time: I’ve always had a weakness for the caper story. And Max Gladstone’s Two Serpents Rise, his second novel, comes out from Tor. Considering how much I enjoyed his debut, I’m either going to be very happy or incredibly disappointed when I get to read Two Serpents Rise.

That takes us up to November. Mí na Shamhna, as I had to call it in Irish class, the usual start of the nasty wet part of winter—with four books whose appearance may, in fact, thrill me utterly. And one book I’ve heard of that sounds like it might be up my street…

Nicola Griffith’s Hild (Farrar Straus Giroux) may not be SFF. But a historical novel from the author of Slow River and The Blue Place? I am so there. SO THERE, I tell you.

Meanwhile, from Prime Books, Elizabeth Bear has a standalone set in her Promethean Age universe, One-Eyed Jack. Mira Grant returns with Parasite (Orbit), a new departure into parasitology after the zombie virology of Newsflash trilogy. And Cherie Priest returns to the Clockwork Century with the shiny-looking Fiddlehead (Tor). Fifth, but not least, Rachel Bach (AKA Rachel Aaron) ventures into science fiction with Fortune’s Pawn (Orbit).

As for December… Well, I only know of two interesting-sounding books for the final month of the year, as yet. Catherynne M. Valente’s The Bread We Eat in Dreams (Subterranean Press), and Ian Tregillis’s Something More Than Night (Tor).

What am I missing? What are you looking forward to?

*I’ve only just discovered that I quite like the Toby Daye books, after bouncing out of the second. Pressed to try again with the third, I fear myself a convert.


Liz Bourke is looking forward very much to ALL THE BOOKS. She blogs, tweets, and spends far more time reading fiction than a woman in her situation really ought….

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