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Friday, December 28, 2007

Fantasy Book Critic's 2007 Favorites

When running Dynamic Rock, I was never a fan of the yearly ‘Best Of’ lists. The way I saw it, how could I possibly judge what were a year’s ‘Best Albums’ if I hadn’t listened to every single record that was released that year. I couldn’t, and I feel the same way towards literature. So instead, I’m providing readers with a list of my ‘Favorite’ books of 2007, based on the novels that were released this year and that I actually read. I’ve broken my ‘Favorites’ up into categories since there were so many titles to choose from, and also threw in a couple of other groupings like ‘Favorite’ cover art and books that I wanted to read this year, to spice things up. Unfortunately, what I didn’t get to do was provide rankings and commentary on the books that made the list, but perhaps next year. Also, by no means is this a definitive list. I’m sure there are many titles that I’ve overlooked or forgotten and for that I apologize. In the end, I know it’s not much, but hopefully it will make for some entertaining reading over the holiday break :)

2007 Favorites – Fantasy:

Acacia” by David Anthony Durham (Reviewed HERE)
Auralia’s Colors” by
Jeffrey Overstreet (Reviewed HERE)
God’s Demon” by
Wayne Barlowe (Reviewed HERE)
Heaven’s Net Is Wide” by
Lian Hearn (Reviewed HERE)
Night of Knives” by
Ian Cameron Esslemont (Reviewed HERE)*
Seeing Redd” by
Frank Beddor (Reviewed HERE)
Red Seas Under Red Skies” by
Scott Lynch (Reviewed HERE)
The Blade Itself” by
Joe Abercrombie (Reviewed HERE)**
The Book of Joby” by
Mark J. Ferrari (Reviewed HERE)
The Court of the Air” by
Stephen Hunt (Reviewed HERE)***
The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss (Reviewed HERE)
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin & Spice” by
Catherynne M. Valente (Reviewed HERE)
The Solaris Book of New Fantasy” edited by
George Mann (Reviewed HERE)
The Sword-Edged Blonde” by
Alex Bledsoe (Reviewed HERE)
Thunderer” by
Felix Gilman (Reviewed HERE)

*Originally published in 2004 as a limited hardcover, then in 2006 as a trade paperback
**US debut
***Released in UK Only in 2007

2007 Favorites – Science Fiction:

Black Man/Thirteen” by Richard K. Morgan (Reviewed HERE)
Dust” by
Elizabeth Bear (Reviewed HERE)
Empyre” by
Josh Conviser (Reviewed HERE)
End of the World Blues” by
Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Reviewed HERE)
Hilldiggers” by
Neal Asher (Reviewed HERE)
Radio Freefall” by
Matthew Jarpe (Reviewed HERE)
Stealing Light” by
Gary Gibson (Reviewed HERE)
The Dreaming Void” by
Peter F. Hamilton (Reviewed HERE)*
War Machine” by
Andy Remic (Reviewed HERE)

*Released in UK Only in 2007

2007 Favorites – Misc. (Horror, Urban Fantasy, Comic Books, Graphic Novels and anything else that didn’t fit in the other categories):

Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire” by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden
Crooked Little Vein” by
Warren Ellis (Reviewed HERE)
Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born” by
Stephen King, Peter David + Robin Furth
Daughter of Hounds” by
Caitlin R. Kiernan (Reviewed HERE)
Gentlemen of the Road” by
Michael Chabon (Reviewed HERE)
Half the Blood of Brooklyn” by
Charlie Huston (Reviewed HERE)
Soon I Will Be Invincible” by
Austin Grossman (Reviewed HERE)
The Arrival” by
Shaun Tan
The Bestiary” by
Nicholas Christopher (Reviewed HERE)
The Intruders” by
Michael Marshall (Reviewed HERE)
The Missing” by
Sarah Langan (Reviewed HERE)
The Shotgun Rule” by
Charlie Huston (Reviewed HERE)

2007 Favorites – Debuts:

Auralia’s Colors” by Jeffrey Overstreet (Reviewed HERE)
Crooked Little Vein” by
Warren Ellis (Reviewed HERE)
God’s Demon” by
Wayne Barlowe (Reviewed HERE)
Night of Knives” by
Ian Cameron Esslemont (Reviewed HERE)*
Radio Freefall” by
Matthew Jarpe (Reviewed HERE)
Soon I Will Be Invincible” by
Austin Grossman (Reviewed HERE)
The Blade Itself” by
Joe Abercrombie (Reviewed HERE)**
The Book of Joby” by
Mark J. Ferrari (Reviewed HERE)
The Devil You Know” by
Mike Carey (Reviewed HERE)**
The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss (Reviewed HERE)
The Sword-Edged Blonde” by
Alex Bledsoe (Reviewed HERE)
Thunderer” by
Felix Gilman (Reviewed HERE)

*Originally published in 2004 as a limited hardcover, then in 2006 as a trade paperback
**US debut


2007 Favorites – Covers:

Acacia” (German Version) artwork by Mikko Kinnunen (Reviewed HERE)
Bright of the Sky” artwork by
Stephan Martiniere
Crooked Little Vein” (
Subterranean Press Version) artwork by Siege (Reviewed HERE)
God’s Demon” artwork by
Wayne Barlowe (Reviewed HERE)
kop” artwork by
Chris McGrath (Reviewed HERE)
Kushiel’s Justice” artwork by
Cheryl Griesbach & Stanley Martucci (Reviewed HERE)
Queen of Candesce” artwork by
Stephan Martiniere
Seeing Redd” artwork by
Vance Kovacs (Reviewed HERE)
The Electric Church” artwork by
Jae Lee (Reviewed HERE)
The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin & Spice” artwork by
Michael Komarck (Reviewed HERE)
The Solaris Book of New Fantasy” artwork by Jon Sullivan (Reviewed
HERE)
The Spiral Labyrinth” artwork by
Tom Kidd
The Sword-Edged Blonde” artwork by
Justin Sweet (Reviewed HERE)
The Summoner” artwork by
Michael Komarck (Reviewed HERE)
The Terror” artwork by
Erich Lessing (Reviewed HERE)
The Well of Ascension” artwork by
Jon Foster (Reviewed HERE)

2007 Wishlist (Books I wanted to read this year):

20th Century Ghosts” by Joe Hill
2012: The War for Souls” by
Whitley Strieber
A Sword From Red Ice” by
J.V. Jones
Axis” by
Robert Charles Wilson
Bang Bang” by
Theo Gangi
Before They Were Hanged” by
Joe Abercrombie
Brasyl” by
Ian McDonald
Bright of the Sky” by
Kay Kenyon
Confessor” by
Terry Goodkind
Darkness of the Light” by
Peter David
Dexter in the Dark” by
Jeff Lindsay
Dreamsongs: Volumes I + II” by
George R. R. Martin
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by
J.K. Rowling
Inferno” edited by
Ellen Datlow
Ink” by
Hal Duncan
Jack Knife” by
Virginia Baker
Let Me In” by
John A. Lindqvist
Mainspring” by
Jay Lake
One For Sorrow” by
Christopher Barzak
Ragamuffin” by
Tobias S. Buckell
Reaper’s Gale” by
Steven Erikson
Scarlet” by
Stephen R. Lawhead
Spook Country” by
William Gibson
Territory” by
Emma Bull
The Children of Húrin
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Queen of Bedlam” by
Robert McCammon
The Queen of Wolves” by
Douglas Clegg
The Reincarnationist” by
M.J. Rose
The Seven Days of Peter Crumb” by
Jonny Glynn
The Spiral Labyrinth” by
Matthew Hughes
Queen of Candesce” by
Karl Schroeder

2008 Wishlist (Release Dates are tentative):

The Red Wolf Conspiracy” by Robert V.S. Redick (February 1, 2008-UK)
The Domino Men” by
Jonathan Barnes (February 21, 2008-UK)
Last Argument of Kings” by
Joe Abercrombie (March 20, 2008-UK)
Dark Wraith of Shannara” by
Terry Brooks (March 25, 2008)
The Born Queen” by
Greg Keyes (March 25, 2008)
Before They Are Hanged” by
Joe Abercrombie (March 25, 2008-US Debut)
The Lost Ones” by
Christopher Golden (March 25, 2008)
Infected” by
Scott Sigler (April 1, 2008)
The Line War” by
Neal Asher (April 4, 2008)
The Sharing Knife: Passage” by
Lois McMaster Bujold (April 22, 2008)
Iron Angel” by
Alan Campbell (April 29, 2008)
Fallen” by
Tim Lebbon (April 29, 2008)
The Kingdom Beyond the Waves” by
Stephen Hunt (May 6, 2008-UK)
Mind the Gap” by
Christopher Golden & Tim Lebbon (May 20, 2008)
The Unblemished” by
Conrad Williams (June 10, 2008-Virgin)
Kushiel’s Mercy” by
Jacqueline Carey (June 12, 2008)
Tigerheart: A Tale of the Anyplace” by
Peter David (June 17, 2008)
In Odd We Trust” by
Dean Koontz (June 24, 2008)
Escapement” by
Jay Lake (June 2008)
Hespira” by
Matthew Hughes (August 1, 2008)
Listener” by
Warren Ellis (August 5, 2008)
Toll the Hounds” by
Steven Erikson (August 11, 2008-UK)
Return of the Crimson Guard” by
Ian Cameron Esslemont (August 11, 2008-UK)
The Steel Remains” by
Richard K. Morgan (August 21, 2008)
An Autumn War” by
Daniel Abraham (TBA 2008)
The Hero of Ages” by
Brandon Sanderson (TBA 2008)
The Republic of Thieves” by
Scott Lynch (If it comes out in 2008)
Dean Koontz’sFrankenstein”, Jim Butcher’sThe Dresden Files” and George R. R. Martin’sWild Cards” from Dabel Brothers (TBA 2008)

6 comments:

Calibandar said...

Nice feature Robert, great to see your overview.

Carl V. said...

Great round up for the year. There are many, many books on the list that I hope to get to sometime. I loved the groupings, especially including favorite cover art. I like all the covers you listed with the exception of the Carey one. After the fantastic John Jude Palencar covers, the one for Kushiel's Justice, which I don't find particularly good anyway, is really disappointing.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

It's interesting (and, quite frankly brilliant!) that quite a lot of your favourites (and mine) have been débuts. A really good sign, and it'll be interesting to see whether 2008 lives up to last year!

~Chris
The Book Swede

Robert said...

Calibander, Carl--glad you liked the feature :) For 2008, I hope to be more comprehensive, but I just didn't have the time this time around. Regarding the Kushiel cover art, I was sad that John wasn't continuing with the series, but there's just a simplistic beauty to Cheryl & Stanley's artwork that I couldn't help but appreciate :)

Chris, that was definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2007--the number of quality debuts. Not sure if 2008 can live up to that high standard, but I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Anonymous said...

One author I think you missed...JV Jones...absolutely brilliant

Ondrej from Star Wars Books said...

I've recently went through The Name of The Wind (for some weird reasons our publishers have decided to split the volume in two so I had to wait for over a week for the second half) - it's just fantastic, one of the books that will make you want more the second you finish it.

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