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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — Peter V. Brett


2008 FAVORITES:

Writing full time and having my first child cut quite deeply into my reading time this year, which makes the list to choose from shorter than usual. I would also note that editing my own work constantly has made it difficult to turn off my internal editor, and I frequently find myself dissecting an author’s prose rather than falling into the story. It’s no way to live, and has caused me to put down several books half-finished that I would have plowed through without a problem in other years. Even so, there were a few gems I read this year:

Books:

1)The Graveyard Book” by
Neil Gaiman. I’ve always been a big fan of Gaiman’s comics, but never read any of his novels until I was given an advance copy of this one. Told in very clean and simple prose, this story of an orphan boy raised in a graveyard by a kindly group of undead was an unexpected delight.

2)Victory of Eagles” by
Naomi Novik. On the first page of this book, I started dissecting the prose, and worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it like I had the others. The next thing I knew, I was done with it, and wondering where the time went. Love that Temeraire.

3)The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss. I’d heard a lot about this book, but hadn’t gotten around to it until a friend of mine noted that Rothfuss and I are the same age, both took seven years to write our first novel only to have it sell overnight in multiple markets, and are both burning the midnight oil working on sequels, so I wanted to check out what the (Roth)fuss was all about. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next one.

4)Soon I Will Be Invincible” by
Austin Grossman. Okay, I won’t lie. I read this in late 2007, but I just wanted to give it a shout-out. If you grew up reading superhero comics, buy this book. Even now, over a year later, I sometimes think about Dr. Impossible and chuckle to myself.

Comics:

1)Path of the Assassin” by
Kazuo Koike and the late Goseki Kojima. These are Dark Horse reprints of the original comic which was published in Japan in the 1970’s. Like all of Koike & Kojima’s work, it is fucking fantastic.

2)Fables: The Good Prince” by
Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, et al. What? You haven’t been reading Fables? Shame on you!

3)Conan” by
Roy Thomas, Kurt Busiek, et al. Dark Horse comics recently got the rights to the Conan franchise, and have been reprinting all the original Roy Thomas Marvel comics, as well as producing their own. I have been reading all of it and loving it, especially Roy Thomas’ musings in the back of the reprints. I’ve literally read twenty trade paperback Conan collections this year. I hear Barak Obama’s a fan, too.

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2009:

My plan is to turn in “The Desert Spear” and take a month off writing to catch up on my reading and recharge my creative batteries. I have a big “to read” pile already, but there are a few things that I will buy immediately and put on top:

1)Wings of Wrath” by
C.S. Friedman. I am in awe of Celia Friedman. Always have been. Her writing is so beautiful and complex, with rich characters and harsh moral questions. She’s one of those writers who daunts and inspires you at the same time.
2)A Dance With Dragons” by
George R.R. Martin. I was looking forward to this one last year, too. And the year before. But whatever. George is worth it.
3)The Wise Man’s Fear” by
Patrick Rothfuss. Heard it was delayed a bit. Hopefully not too much.
4)A Princess of Landover” by
Terry Brooks. It’s been over a decade since the last Landover book, but they meant a lot to me as a kid, and I think it will be like visiting old friends.

ON THE HORIZON:

The Warded Man” (US title for The Painted Man) releases March 10, 2009 (
Del Rey), followed by international releases in a total of ten languages. The sequel, “The Desert Spear”, will release in the UK in August 2009 (HarperVoyager).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Peter V. Brett received a BA in English Literature and Art History from the University at Buffalo. “The Painted Man” is his first novel and was named one of
Amazon.co.uk’s 10 Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Novels of 2008. The book was also nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award. For more information, please visit the author's Official Website.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index
HERE.

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