Sleeps With Monsters

Sleeps With Monsters: Books to Look Forward to in the First Half of 2015

Last time I wrote one of these posts, I tried to be comprehensive, and talk about almost everything I knew about that was a) written by a woman, and b) forthcoming in the six months covered by the post’s title.

I learned something from that. I learned that it’s impossible to be comprehensive. So this time, I confess up front, I’m not even going to try. From me, you’re just going to hear about the books that I know about and find interesting—or am excited for. And one or two of them, I’m really excited for.

And I’ll trust you guys to fill in the gaps in my knowledge in the comments.

We kick off the year with a month that includes three books I’m really rather eager for. I’ve already had the privilege of reading Jo Walton’s The Just City (Tor),* a remarkable book that slyly tells you its thematic argument on the first page and then dazzles you with its achievements in succeeding ones. Or dazzles me, at least: “time travellers do Plato’s Republic with the assistance of a Greek god” is a novel I was probably always going to be inclined to view positively. It is a novel that wants you to argue with it—because of its engagement with philosophy, arguing is part of the form. I like it a lot.

*I’m reviewing it in Vector and interviewing Jo Walton for Strange Horizons.

I haven’t yet read Karen Lord’s The Galaxy Game (Jo Fletcher Books), which is not exactly a sequel to her interesting The Best Of All Possible Worlds. Lord has demonstrated an unusual sensibility in her previous work: I’m not sure I like it, but I do want to see what she does with it next.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (Tor UK) is a novel that sounds both bizarre and deeply attractive to me. Libraries. Espionage. Alternate realities. Magic. This is a book I want to read.

February is the month when we’ll see some of the first offerings from new imprint Saga Press, with Lee Kelly’s debut City of Savages, a science fiction dystopia that sounds like something I really want to read. (I don’t know that I’ll like it, but it sounds interesting.)

Also in the interesting camp is V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic (Tor). Magic! Parallel worlds! Peril and treachery… it sounds really up my street.

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know I’m really excited and enthusiastic for Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory (Tor). I’m pretty sure it’s going to be one of my favourite novels of 2015. It’s brilliant, and I love it, and you all need to read it as soon as it comes out, because I need people with whom to talk about this book.

As we get further into the year, there are fewer books I know enough about to be really excited for. March brings us a couple, though. I’ve already had the privilege of reading Marie Brennan’s Voyage of the Basilisk (Tor), the next instalment in her Memoirs of Lady Trent series. It’s just as good as its predecessors, and I look forward to reading many further instalments in the series.

Genevieve Valentine looks set to continue her streak of writing really excellent books with her near-future thriller, Persona, out of Saga Press. Someone let me read this novel soon: it sounds amazing.

Patricia Briggs’ latest Alpha and Omega novel, Dead Heat (Ace), doesn’t sound amazing. It does sound fun, though, and I really approve of fun.

And that brings us to April, which has more fun things in it. Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire (DAW) and Dark Heir by Faith Hunter (Roc) are the latest novels in their authors’ respective urban fantasy series—for McGuire, I should specify that this is her InCryptid series—and both sound like they’ll live up to their predecessors.

I’m not sure I will be reading Lauren B. Davis’s Against a Darkening Sky (Chizine): I tend to avoid novels set in or involving Ireland, and this one not only involves an Irish character, it’s set in 7th-century Northumbria. But it sounds interesting enough that I want to give it the benefit of the doubt…

May sees the first return to the novel fray in a few years by Amanda Downum, with her Lovecraftian contemporary fantasy Dreams of Shreds and Tatters (Solaris). Also this month is The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (DAW), a prequel of sorts to her award-winning Who Fears Death. Michelle West brings one of her epic fantasy series to a conclusion in Oracle (DAW), and Karina Sumner-Smith continues the trilogy she began in Radiant with her second novel Defiant (Talos).

That brings us to June, and the conclusion of this column. I’m personally interested in two sequels set to be published this month, Jo Walton’s The Philosopher Kings (Tor), a sequel to The Just City — and damn do I want to see where she takes it from there. And then there’s Jane Lindskold’s Artemis Invaded (Tor). I wasn’t especially impressed with the first Artemis book, but it was entertaining. I like being entertained.

Liz Bourke is a cranky person who reads books. Her blog. Her Twitter.


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