Last week, I seized the opportunity to talk about the books I enjoyed most from the last couple of months of 2012. This week, I figure, it’s a good time to talk about what I’m most looking forward to from the first half of 2013.
And console myself for the fact that there’s very little coming out in January that appeals... What is it about January, anyway? Such a horribly depressing month in the northern hemisphere. Oh, yes! Doesn’t Michelle West have a new book out this month? Battle (DAW), the fifth in her House War sequence. I should really get properly caught up with Skirmish so I can read it....
February brings promising things, starting with Necessity’s Child (Baen), the newest Liadenverse novel from Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. A standalone which takes place during the same period as Dragon Ship and stars new, young members of Clan Korval.
Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons (Tor) is the second February novel that looks impossibly tempting. After wrapping up a secret history set in London in With Fate Conspire, Brennan’s turned yet again to a second-world setting to write the first volume of the memoirs of Lady Trent, Dragon Naturalist. I’m positively giddy with anticipation.
The Best of All Possible Worlds (UK: Quercus/Jo Fletcher, US: Ballantine Del Rey) by Karen Lord is the third of the February trinity: Lord’s second book (after 2010’s much-lauded Redemption in Indigo) marks her science fiction debut, and I’m agog to see what she does in the medium. Redemption in Indigo was such a delightful book, it hardly seems possibly The Best of All Possible Worlds can do it better.
March brings with it five books’ worth of quivering anticipation: those who know me know I’m waiting on Elizabeth Bear’s Shattered Pillars (Tor), the second volume of her Central Asia-reminiscent epic fantasy trilogy (begun in Range of Ghosts) with bated breath. Range of Ghosts felt like the epic fantasy I’d been waiting to read my whole life. I expect Shattered Pillars to do it one better.
New Zealand YA author Karen Healey’s When We Wake (Little, Brown) sounds very promising. “On what should have been the best day of Tegan’s life, she dies,” says the flap copy, and, cryogenically frozen, “wakes up a hundred years in the future” I really enjoyed Healey’s debut, Guardian of the Dead, so I expect great things of her third novel.
Seanan McGuire needs no introduction. Her Discount Armageddon made me giggle, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Midnight Blue-Light Special (DAW).
“The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things... But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own talent—and reconcile with Abby—if she’s to have a hope of saving him,” says the blurb of Nalo Hopkinson’s Sister Mine (Grand Central). How can I not be enthusiastic?
I know next to nothing about Pierre Pevel’s The High Kingdom, expected in translation from Gollancz. But after the swashbuckling adventures of The Cardinal’s Blades? Yeah, I’ll be there. I’ll definitely be there.
What happens in April? April brings Guy Gavriel Kay’s River of Stars (Roc), a new novel set in the world of his Under Heaven. April was also scheduled to bring Tamora Pierce’s Battle Magic (Scholastic Press), the newest instalment in her long-running Circle of Magic series, but that has since been pushed back to October. If I need to explain why I’m panting to read their newest books... Well. If you do not already know, explanations would take a long time.
April also promises Martha Wells’ Emilie and the Hollow World (Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry), a Young Adult novel from the author of The Element of Fire, one of my favourite books ever. The description alone is enough to stoke my enthusiasm.
There’re only two books I’m looking forward to in May, and they’re both science fiction. I admit I’m anticipating Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian (Roc) mostly because by May, I’ll be wanting a hit of SPACE GOES BOOM. But Chris Moriarty’s Ghost Spin (Ballantine Spectra)—which I’ve long-awaited, after Spin Control and Spin State—promises crunchy spiffy spectastic skiffy.
And June is the month of Continuing Epic Fantasy Series, with Kate Elliott’s Cold Steel (Little, Brown/Orbit) promising a resolution of the cliffhanger at the end of the brilliant Cold Fire, Elizabeth Moon’s The Limits of Power (UK: Little, Brown/Orbit, US: Ballantine Del Rey) continuing on from Echoes of Betrayal in the “Paladin’s Legacy” series, and the third book in Andrzej Sapkowski’s “Witcher” series, The Time of Contempt (Gollancz), finally reaching an English-language audience. Sapkowski’s flaws are myriad, particularly with regard to the role of women, but he has his compensations.
So that’s my Hotly Anticipated List of the next sixth months. I expect you guys have your own lists. Have at it!
(Please keep the comments and recommendations focused on writing/media produced by or focusing on women and/or genderqueer people, thanks.)
If it’s the second week of January, Liz Bourke is on a research trip in the frozen wilds of Germany. Eventually her frozen carcass may return, and once again be found complaining @hawkwing_lb on Twitter.