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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Liviu's Anticipated 2010 Releases Part 2

At the end of 2008 Robert did a superb two-part post about 2009 Upcoming Releases (I + II), post that I used as reference many times to look out for new novels. While I hope he and the other contributors here will post their anticipated 2010 releases here, I decided to do something a little different in the sense that I will talk about all the known 2010 releases I plan to read and the reasons why.

Originally I thought there will be about 50 books, but consulting my Goodreads lists of current series I am following and various sources including the excellent sffworld threads (fantasy and sf) and Locus online, I got to about 90 titles. I want to stress that this is a very personal list so it's not intended as comprehensive, but indeed I plan to read all the books listed here and hopefully review quite a few of them as time goes.

I got the ball rolling with my Top 10 Anticipated Novels of 2010 and I will include the rest roughly 80 books and mention the 10 or so "maybes" in two more posts.

I will list for each book the known information as series/standalone goes, include cover if available and to avoid spoilers I will include blurbs only for standalones or series debuts, while for series continuations I will talk a bit about the previous volumes, link to our reviews if any since I have read all the previous installments in all the series I include here. Once all these posts are up, I will collate them in one huge reference post that I will use throughout 2010 and update it as I read any book from the list. Most of the information is based on public listings, Google searches and the like, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes and hope to timely correct them if drawn to my attention.

As mentioned above in Part 1 I included only my top 10 anticipated novels of 2010.

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Next there are three novels that were also strong candidates for the top 10; I found out about two only when I started researching this post seriously several days ago, while the third is on track for November 2010 as its editor Lou Anders confirmed, but it is not yet set in stone so to speak.

A History of the Half-Made World (??) - Felix Gilman
I have no idea what this book is about since I saw it mentioned only in several places including the Vandermeer Ecstatic Days site but based on the quality of Thunderer (FBC Rv by RT) and its sequel Gears of the City (FBC Rv by RT though Robert liked it less than me) both top 5 fantasy novels of the year for me, whatever this novel is, I expect it to be super-good.

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Absorption (Ragnarok 1)- John Meaney
"600 years from now on the world of Fulgor Roger Blackstone, son of two Pilots..."
The return to the universe of Nulapeiron, pilots and alternate universes is a book that would take precedence in my reading above almost everything; I found Paradox one of the most astounding sf novels ever as sense of wonder and larger than life characters went, while the sequels Context and Resolution were excellent but could not top the trilogy debut; two strong A's after an A++ is still super in my book.

To my surprise, I generally disliked Mr. Meaney's foray in dark sff The Bone Song which had great ideas but a very boring plot and focused on the least interesting aspects of that macabre universe and I do not have plans to read its sequel, so I was extremely pleased when I found out about his return to space opera. A candidate to the "blow me away" sf novel of 2010.
(Robert liked Tristopolis 1 more than me and reviewed Tristopolis 2 also)

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Horns of Ruin (new series 1) Tim Akers
"Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead god."
After the superb Heart of Veridon (FBC Rv) and considering Mr. Akers short stories which I loved quite a lot, any new fantasy by him would be a top anticipated novel; while I want the sequel to Veridon, the opening line of Horns of Ruin (original title - may change) above is also irresistible for me. If it makes 2010 this one is a candidate to top fantasy of mine for the year.

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In no particular order except for f/sf alternation some 38 more books from "established" authors. The rest of such, the 2010 debuts, the few non-sff novels I know about for 2010 and the "maybes" will follow in Part 3 soon.


Thirteen Years Later (Danilov 2) - Jasper Kent
Despite my dislike for vampire fiction, I loved Twelve quite a lot - narrative energy that compelled non-stop reading till the end, great characters, great recreation of Russia 1812 and reasonably unobtrusive vampires that I could keep my suspension of disbelief, so the sequel was always a highly expected novel; Russia 1825, the Decembrist plot and much more... Try Twelve first if you are intrigued by this, but I expect it will be readable on its own by and large. (FBC Rv RT)

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Transformation Space (Orion 4 - end series)- Marianne DePierres
I have just reviewed Mirror Space (Orion 3) so I will just note that Sentients of Orion is "space opera at its best" and that this one ends the tetralogy. I expect to be surprised...

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The Dark Commands (Land Fit for Heroes 2)- RK Morgan
The Steel Remains (FBC dual Rv) which started the series was a novel that was so over-hyped that made a full enjoyment by anyone involved in sff forums/blogs quite hard to come by since while very good and highly recommended by me, it was far from a "reinvention of the genre". Also as I noted in my part of the review RK Morgan did again his favorite end-trick that started becoming tiresome (without spoilers it involves the identity of the "real villain" and while it was innovative in Altered Carbon, it got me to say "not again" here).
However I enjoyed Ringil and the rest quite a lot to be curious where the story goes next. And now at least I start with much lower expectations so this one may be an unexpected top 5 fantasy of 2010.

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Guardians of Paradise (Hidden Empire 3) - JN Fenn
I loved both Ms. Fenn's debut Principles of Angels (FBC Rv) - I remember how surprised I was when the novel turned out to be adventure/space opera sf rather than the fantasy I expected based on the title and without doing my research, though I have ordered it on general principles as a touted Gollancz debut - and the highly anticipated novel of 2009, Consorts of Heaven (FBC Rv) that delivered all I wanted and more and that also showed an expanded range for the author being quite different than the debut though part of the same series. So this one is another high expectation novel and I know only that it somehow ties the previous two novels together but nothing more. There will be at least two more Hidden Empire novels after it.

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Salute the Dark (Shadows Apt 4) - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Shadows of the Apt with 3 novels out already and 2 more scheduled for 2010 of a total of planned 10 is on its way to becoming the most complex fantasy series I am reading today and the only one comparable to the sophisticated sf series of David Weber (Honor Harrington ) and Eric Flint and co (163*) in theaters of action, number of main characters and plot threads. From the inadvertently read blurb for #5 - go there to your own risk - I have an inkling of the major developments of this one, but I still expect to be surprised and of course I care a lot about many characters so I am eager to see their further fates.
We have reviews of all the previous installments: Empire in Black and Gold (RT), Dragonfly Falling (RT + LS) and Blood of the Mantis (LS) as well as an interview with the author that discusses the series to date in detail (some spoilers there).

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163* novels (163* 10+) - Eric Flint and co - should be at least one 1635-**** novel out there in 2010
From a simple premise and an intended standalone 1632 (free online) - what if Grantville, a mining town in W. Va, is transported back in time to Germany 1631 and the terrible Thirty Years War - this series grew to be a publishing phenomenon with tons of novels, 25+ magazines dedicated to it called Grantville Gazettes (most available only as e-books), several anthologies and guaranteed places on bestseller lists when any new novel appears.

And we are only in 1635 so far and there are literally tens of main characters, lots of plot-lines and just fun all around. From historical notables like Gustav Adolf, the two cardinals Richelieu and (the young) Mazarin, to the indomitable union leader that becomes a nation builder of an United States of Germany, one Michael Stearns and many, many fictional super characters this series is maybe the most complex original one in all current fiction. If you are a newbie to it, try 1632 since intended as a standalone it will give you a good flavor of the series at large and then move to the huge expansion of the storyline that follows. The official 1632 site and the 1632 Wikipedia have enough information to guide anyone. I plan to do an extended overview of the series sometime next year and will review any main new novel that will come out.

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The Desert Spear (Demon 2) - Peter Brett
Demons and glyphs, magic and survival, avoid the night at all cost and darker, grittier writing made The Painted Man (UK) aka The Warded Man (US) (FBC Rv) the debut of Peter Brett and of the series, a big time favorite last year. Since I have just received an arc of the huge The Desert Spear at almost 600 pages I plan to start it immediately and will update later with impressions; the first pages read as superbly as the ones from The Painted Man.

Update 12/14 - finished the novel and it was excellent end to end; pretty much the whole novel is on the quality of the best of The Warded Man; much more focused on the cultures of Krasia and The Free Cities than on the Demons per se, with Jardir emerging as a great main character in addition to Arles, Leesha, Rojer and several more; new kinds of demons too and a good stopping point setting up a great sequel plot

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The New Model Army (standalone) - Adam Roberts
"Adam Roberts' new novel is a terrifying vision of a near future war - a civil war that tears the UK apart as new technologies allow the worlds first truly democratic army to take on the British army and wrest control from the powers that be. Taking advances in modern communication and the new eagerness for power from the bottom upwards Adam Roberts has produced a novel that is at once an exciting war novel and a philosophical examination of war and democracy. It shows one of the UKs most exciting and innovative literary voices working at the height of his powers and investing SF with literary significance that is its due."

The undisputed king of high concept sf and one of my top six sf authors of the 00's, Adam Roberts does not write sequels and each book is different conceptually from the rest. So when this one - about which I know precisely what is above in the blurb - was announced it became another get asap and read on receive. I have reviewed Yellow Blue Tibia, included the opening lines from Land of the Headless among my top five opening lines of all time and discussed why Stone made my top sf novels of the 00's list. So go ahead and check any Adam Roberts novel's blurb, see which interest you and try it; since all are different, if you dislike one, you may love another....

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The Emerald Storm (Ryria 4)- Michael Sullivan
The Ryria Revelations series shows why it's good to try small press novels too since from the almost standalone first novel The Crown Conspiracy (FBC Rv) to the superb Avempartha (FBC Rv) that starts dealing with the big picture in a major way, to the very good, though somewhat less satisfying because of being essentially a transition novel, Nyphron Rising (FBC Rv tbp), the series has established itself as a page turning pure fun adventure tale and the 2010 offerings #4 above and #5 below are highly awaited novels.

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The Immorality Engine (Newburry/Hobbes 3)- George Mann
Another smaller press offering in the UK, though riding on its success it was picked by Tor in the US, the Newburry/Hobbes series with its mix of steampunk, "magic", sense of wonder, old fashioned detection in the Holmes spirit and secret agent skulldugery in the James Bond spirit has quickly become a big time favorite of mine. I reviewed both The Affinity Bridge (FBC rv) and The Osiris Ritual (FBC Rv) and the author has been kind enough to offer some hints about The Immorality Engine and future developments in a short note at the end of the Osiris review. There is also a blurb offered in the title link above if you want more information, but for me it's enough to know that is Newburry/Hobbes #3!

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The Map of All Things (Terra Incognita 2)- Kevin J Anderson
If you want a complex series with multiple happenings, lots of plot threads and 'swords and sail-ships" as sense of wonder, Terra Incognita is for you. Written in the author clear prose I enjoyed a lot the series debut The Edge of the World (FBC dual review with Cindy) and I am looking forward to read more about the fate of its many characters.


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Ghosts of Manhattan (new series 1) - George Mann
"1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. "

The blurb and my love of the Newburry/Hobbes series set in the same universe are enough to make this another highly awaited offering.

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Book of Whispers - (edit 12/16) new title The Scarab Path (Shadows Apt 5) - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Shadows of the Apt with 3 novels out already and 2 more scheduled for 2010 out of a total of 10 intended is on its way to becoming the most complex fantasy series I am reading today and the only one comparable to the sophisticated sf series of David Weber (Honor) and Eric Flint and co (163*) in theaters of action, number of main characters and plot threads. From the inadvertently read blurb for #5 - go there in the link above to your own risk - I have an inkling of the major developments of this one, but I still expect to be surprised and of course I care a lot about many characters so I am eager to see their further fates.
We have reviews of all the previous installments: Empire in Black and Gold (RT), Dragonfly Falling (RT + LS) and Blood of the Mantis (LS) as well as an interview with the author that discusses the series to date in detail (some spoilers there).

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The Restoration Game (standalone) - Ken MacLeod
"There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know - she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing."
Despite that I did not really care for Ken MacLeod's latest two near-future sf thrillers, I am still a big fan since his previous nine novels (a loose tetralogy Fall Revolution, a trilogy Engines of Light and two superb standalones Newton's Wake and Learning the World) have been big time favorites. So this one which seems more interesting than The Execution Channel (which I disliked) and The Night Sessions (have not tried but tempts me less) is a 2010 dark-horse so to speak.

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Wintertide (Ryria 5) - Michael Sullivan
The Ryria Revelations series shows why it's good to try small press novels too since from the almost standalone first novel The Crown Conspiracy (FBC Rv) to the superb Avempartha (FBC Rv) that starts dealing with the big picture in a major way, to the very good, though somewhat less satisfying because of being essentially a transition novel, Nyphron Rising (FBC Rv tbp), the series has established itself as a page turning pure fun adventure tale and the 2010 offerings #4 above and #5 below are highly awaited novels.

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Children No More (Jon Lobo 4) - Mark Van Name
From the series debut One Jump Ahead the Jon & Lobo combo (hardliner mercenary, sentient warship AI) grew on me and each novel in the series has been a treat so far. I have reviewed the latest one Overthrowing Heaven (FBC Rv) and discussed the earlier novels in the process too. Adventure sf in a space opera universe, much less military than most Baen related offerings and the most exciting series there after the perennial Weber, Bujold and Flint/163* favorites.

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Above the Snowline (Castle 4 but prequel)- by Steph Swainston
"
This is Jant Shira's life before the drugs took over, as a hunter in the mountains. Awian exiles are building a stronghold in the Darkling mountains, where the Rhydanne hunt. Their clash of interests soon leads to bloodshed and Shira Dellin, a Rhydanne huntress, appeals to the immortal Circle for justice. The Emperor sends Jant, half-Rhydanne, half-Awian, and all-confidence, to mediate. As Jant is drawn into the spiralling violence he is shaken into coming to terms with his own heritage and his feelings for the alien, intoxicating Dellin. ABOVE THE SNOWLINE tells the story of Jant's early years in the Circle and shows the Fourlands as you've never seen them before."

While technically book 4, it is a prequel so I included the blurb. The Castle Series is a big time favorite of mine for two reasons, one being its imaginative setting that combines a mixture of medieval/pre-modern and magic with very strong "new weird" vibes, but first and foremost because I love Jant Shira's voice; not the most heroic of protagonists, the drug-addicted "immortal Messenger" has become of my all time memorable and favorite characters in fantasy, so any novel involving him is a must. The first three novels of the Castle series which form a reasonably complete storyline - though there is clear room for more - are among the most remarkable offerings in recent fantasy and I plan to do a thorough review/overview of them around the publication of this one, though for newbies to the series I guess Above the Snowline may be a good place to start.

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The Orphaned Worlds (Humanity's Fire 2)- Michael Cobley
Another new space opera series that started in The Seeds of Earth, (FBC Rv) I am looking forward to the second novel and strongly hope it will fulfill the promise of the first volume. Like with the Orion series which had a very interesting but not totally satisfying first installment, Humanity Fire #1 while very good and highly recommended, was a little less than what I expected; in this case it was because of the lack of balance between the first part of the novel and the part where the "real story" began. I hope that book 2 will hit its stride and make this one a top-top series for me. Another potential mind-blowing novel for 2010.

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The House On Durrow Street (Magicians and Mrs Quent 2)- "Galen Beckett"
I absolutely and utterly loved Magicians and Mrs. Quent (FBC Rv by Robert who loved it a lot too) and this one has been on my "look for list" for a while now; so imagine my big surprise when on the (pseudonymous) author's website there was a recent note that the novel is done and will be published in 2010. This has the potential of making my top ten list for 2010 or even the top 5, it all depends how ambitious it gets since I have no idea where the series will go.


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Stone Spring (new series 1) - Stephen Baxter
"8,000 years ago Europe was a very different place. England was linked to Holland by a massive swathe of land. Where the North Sea is now lay the landmass of Northland. And then came a period of global warming, a shifting of continents and, over a few short years, the sea rushed in and our history was set. But what if the sea had been kept at bay? Brythony is a young girl who lives in Northland. Like all her people she is a hunter gatherer, her simple tools fashioned from flint cutting edges lodged in wood and animal bone. When the sea first encroaches on her land her people simply move. Brythony moves further travelling to Asia. Where she sees mankind's first walled cities. And gets an idea. What if you could build a wall to keep the sea out? And so begins a colossal engineering project that will take decades, a wall that stretches for hundreds of miles, a wall that becomes an act of defiance, and containing the bones of the dead, an act of devotion. A wall that will change the geography of the world."

Stephen Baxter is another author I follow though his novels tend to be hit or miss with me - loved many of his original Xelee novels (Ring, Raft...) and ss including the later trilogy Destiny's Children which is a big time favorite; loved Time and to a lesser extent Space and Origin; did not care about Flood or Ark, was meh about the Time Tapestries series, loved Time Ships the sequel to HG Wells Time Machine, loved a lot some of his non-series short stories here and there including the absolutely remarkable Last Contact. So this series about which again I know only what is in the blurb above is another one I *have* to try especially that it sounds very "on my taste" as subject goes.

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Inside Out - Maria Snyder
"Keep Your Head Down. Don't Get Noticed. Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. One of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. The Trava family who rules our world from their spacious Upper levels wants us to be docile and obedient, like sheep. To insure we behave, they send the Pop Cops to police us.

So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? Not like it's all that dangerous--the only neck at risk is my own.

Until a lower level prophet claims a Gateway to Outside exists. And guess who he wants to steal into the Upper levels to get the proof? You’re right. Me. I alone know every single duct, pipe, corridor, shortcut, hole and ladder of Inside. It’s suicide plain and simple. But guess who can’t let a challenge like that go unanswered? Right again. Me.

I should have just said no...
"

Teen Girl fiction for me??? Who would have believed it? Well, since I opened absolutely by chance Maria Snyder's superb debut Poison Study, I have become a big fan of her fast, immediate, page-turning style and I read all her five novels to date, all pretty much without putting them down so I have no choice but to try Inside Out...Especially that the voice of the narrator seems very compelling.

I have reviewed the
Glass series (Storm Glass and Sea Glass) and in the first review there is a short discussion of the Study trilogy that introduced me to this wonderful author. Leave aside preconceptions and give this one a try!!

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Cryoburn (Miles 10+) - Lois Bujold
Do not know more than it's the next Miles novel; do not need to know more for the novel to be an asap since I have been a big Miles (and of Lois Bujold's fantasy too) fan since the early 90's. I have read all the Miles novels and ss quite a few times and A Civil Campaign is still one of my big-big time favorites for its zany humor and non-stop action.

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Stealing Fire (standalone) - Jo Graham
"
Alexander the Great's soldier, Lydias of Miletus, has survived the final campaigns of the king's life. He now has to deal with the chaos surrounding his death. Lydias throws his lot in with Ptolemy, one of Alexander's generals who has grabbed Egypt as his personal territory. Aided by the eunuch Bagoas, the Persian archer Artashir, and the Athenian courtesan Thais, Ptolemy and Lydias must take on all the contenders in a desperate adventure whose prize is the fate of a white city by the sea, and Alexander's legacy."

Since I read and was very impressed by Ms. Graham's debut Black Ships (FBC Rv by Robert who did not like it as much as I did) - a recreation of Aeneas' tale though not quite as the Aeneid tells it - I have become a big time fan and while I enjoyed her second effort Hand of Isis (FBC Capsule Rv) a bit less, mostly because I read way too many books (fiction and non-fiction) about Cleopatra, this one is about a subject I read much less, namely the "successors wars" following Alexander's untimely demise and lack of mature heirs. I expect another top, top novel on the Black Ships caliber.

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The House of Discarded Dreams (standalone??)- Ekaterina Sedia
From a Locus interview excerpted online:
"The book I'm working on now, The House of Discarded Dreams, is mostly based on urban legends, but there's also some other strange stuff going on. This girl's parents are Zimbabwean immigrants, and she has problems with her mother, who is politically aware and insistent on her daughter following the same road and having the same beliefs. It's urban fantasy, but it's more Atlantic City/New Jersey/horseshoe crabs (though the urban legends are mostly Zimbabwean). There's a Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera, who wrote about this entity known as Man-Fish -- it's a fish that swallows the soul of a drowning person, and becomes a fish with the soul of a person inside of them. I read this book and thought, 'Oh my god, this is so awesome! But I'm not going to steal somebody else's ideas.' Then I found out the Man-Fish was actually an urban legend. Score! I am so going for it!”

Since I loved The Alchemy of Stone (FBC Rv by Robert who loved it too), any new novel by Ms. Sedia that has the least interest to me is a must. Based on the above, I am curious about this one and while it's not steampunk/secondary world, I still believe I will like it quite a lot.

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The Gaslight Dogs (standalone or new series??)- Karin Lowachee
"At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war. A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast. From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples."

While I liked to a large extent Ms. Lowachee's loose trilogy (Warchild, Burndive, Cagebird) - I actually liked the writing a lot and the universe of the series was intriguing but the main characters were somewhat annoying and I generally dislike teen boys as heroes especially in sf, less in fantasy since in medieval times there was no such thing as "teenhood" and a 15-16 year old could be as mature as a 30 year old today, but having modern teens as heroes is like having children as heroes in many ways - I sort of forgot to follow her writing until I saw this somewhere in the links above and it seemed interesting, while for once the none of the main characters seems to be a modern male teenager...

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A Magic of Dawn (Nessantico 3 - end series) - SL Farrell
Great characters and a complex storyline stretched across some decades made the first two installments favorites of mine, so the series ending is another *must*. I have reviewed volume 2 A Magic of Nightfall (FBC Rv) and talked about volume 1 in the process. Political fantasy with lots of adventure scenes too and a page turner also despite its 600+ page length per volume, this series is a great addition to modern fantasy and I hope it will conclude as well as it started.

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The Kingdom of Two Sicilies (standalone or series beginning) by Mary Gentle - may go 2011
"Conrad Scalese is a writer of librettos for operas in a world where music has immense power. In the Church, the sung mass can bring about actual miracles like healing the sick. Opera is musicodrama, the highest form of music combined with human emotion, and the results of the passion it engenders can be nothing short of magical. In this world of miracles, Conrad is an aetheist - he sees the same phenomena, but sees no need to attribute them to a Deity . . . until his first really successful opera gets the opera-house struck by the lightning bolt of God's disapproval . . . . . . And Conrad comes to the attention of the Prince's Men, a powerful secret society, who are trying to use the magic of music to their own ends - in this case, an apocalyptic blood sacrifice. Life is about to get interesting for Conrad."

Though this one may get delayed till early 2011, it seems done and ready to go, so I am including it here too. Mary Gentle and a complex secondary world (or alt-hist) series is something I started cherishing since the superb 1610 and Ilario novels. I have not read Ash yet though I plan to do it sometime since I have the mammoth omnibus, but I definitely plan to read this one as it comes out and maybe review either 1610 or Ilario or both since they are such superb novels. Not for everyone though because their main characters are unusual to say the least, but great, great entertainment. I also loved Mary Gentle sf series ending in Ancient Light that made her name many years ago and I still recommend that one as great sociological/planet adventure sf duology with a strong f-nal ethos in the spirit of U. LeGuin masterpieces.

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Dragonsoul (seems to be Havemercy 3)- Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett
Do not know more than the title and the indication above, but anything by the two author combo that produced the excellent novels Havemercy (FBC dual Rv with Robert) and Shadow Magic (FBC Rv) is a must also. If - as it seems quite plausible based on the title - this is a novel set in the universe of the above two, I am very, very curious where it takes the series next...

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Grand Central Arena (standalone or series debut)- Ryk Spoor
"
It was supposed to be a simple test flight, one that pilot Ariane Austin was on only as a last-ditch backup; intelligent, superhumanly fast automation would handle the test activation and flight of humanity's first faster-than-light vessel. But when the Sandrisson Drive activated, every automated system crashed, the nuclear reactor itself shut down, and only the reflexes and training of a racing pilot saved the test vessel Holy Grail from crashing into the impossible wall that had appeared before them, a wall which is just part of a monstrous enclosure surrounding a space twenty thousand kilometers across. With all artificial intelligences inert and their reactor dead, they had to find some other source of power to reactivate the Sandrisson Drive and—hopefully—take them home."

Do not know more than the above outside some excerpts the author kindly posted on Baen's Bar, but it seems quite interesting and I plan to try it with pretty high expectations.

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The Thief-Taker's Apprentice (new series) - Stephen Deas
"Berren has lived in the city all his life. He has made his way as a thief, paying a little of what he earns to the Fagin like master of their band. But there is a twist to this tale of a thief. One day Berren goes to watch an execution of three thieves. He watches as the thief-taker takes his reward and decides to try and steal the prize. He fails. The young thief is taken. But the thief-taker spots something in Berren. And the boy reminds him of someone as well. Berren becomes his apprentice. And is introduced to a world of shadows, deceit and corruption behind the streets he thought he knew. Full of richly observed life in a teeming fantasy city, a hectic progression of fights, flights and fancies and charting the fall of a boy into the dark world of political plotting and murder this marks the beginning of a new fantasy series for all lovers of fantasy - from fans of Kristin Cashore to Brent Weeks."

A new Stephen Deas novel and a blurb that interests me and it's another must considering that King of the Crags is among my top ten anticipated novels of 2010.

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The Age of Zeus (standalone but related thematically with Age of Ra) - James Lovegrove
Do not know more than the title but it seems to be related to the superb The Age of Ra (FBC Rv) so another must.
edit 12/14 - found blurb:"The Olympians appeared a decade ago, living incarnations of the Ancient Greek gods on a mission to bring permanent order and stability to the world. Resistance has proved futile, and now humankind isunder the jackboot of divine oppression.

Then former London police officer Sam Akehurst receives an invitation too tempting to turn down, the chance to join a small band of geurilla rebels armed with high-tech weapons and battlesuits. Calling themselves the Titans, they square off against the Olympians and their ferocious mythological monsters in a war of attrition which not all of them will survive!

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Imager's Intrigue (Imager 3) - LE Modesitt
The Imager series took me by surprise as becoming such an unexpected favorite after just discovering it some weeks ago. But I am a sucker for first person narration and Rhenn is an extremely endearing character. I have
even started a longer term project to read the Recluce series in chronological order and read the first five novels as such, so I really want more Rhenn asap. Robert has reviewed Imager and I have reviewed Imager 2.

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The Dervish House (standalone but in the spirit of River of Gods and Brasyl) - Ian McDonald
After a superb River of Gods and a great stylistic but ultimately breaking down sf-nally Brasyl, I am eager to read this one too, though I hope that Mr. Mc Donald can combine the superb pyrotechnics of Brasyl with a good sf-nal storyline that does not collapse in solipsism. Despite that, I still recommend Brasyl since for maybe 3/4 is a masterpiece until it starts to read more like the wish-fulfillment dream of the author than a "real story", while River of Gods is a panoramic novel that is worth all the fame it got. This one has the potential to be a top five novel of 2010 but only if it delivers both on the stylistic front (here I am fairly sure it will do) and on the sf-nal front (this will remain to be seen).

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The Black Lung Captain (Ketty Jay 2) - Chris Wooding
As fun as it goes Retribution Fall (FBC Rv) was such a big hit with me in 2009 that any new Ketty Jay novel is a must. Steampunk, adventure and weird characters, all in Chris Wooding clear page turning prose. Retribution has even a local poker primer at the end of the novel!

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Geosynchron (Jump 225 3 - end trilogy) - DL Edelman
Natch, "Multireal" and the rest of the great characters in this mind blowing near-future sf disguised as far-future sf in a carefully worked out chronology that feels dated after only two-three years, so fast the "real life" is becoming sf-nal, Geosynchron is another must read that I plan to get to in the near future. I have reviewed Multireal and discussed Infoquake in the process too, but as mentioned the social-media part of the Internet has been growing so rapidly in the past two-three years that there is a very "now" vibe for the series and it should be looked more and more as near-future sf.

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Who Fears Death (standalone??) - Nnedi Okorafor
"
In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke tribe for good. An Okeke woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her child Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient tongue."

I do not know more than the blurb above, but I really want to try this novel since it seems very interesting and has the potential to be a top novel of 2010 if it turns out to be "for me".

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Heretics (Apotheosis 2 - Moreau universe 9)- SA Swann
I have read S Andrew Swann Moreau universe books since their publication in the mid 90's and enjoyed pretty much all of the 8 so far (there is an original Moreau trilogy collected in an omnibus with a fourth and weakest addition later starring one of the original characters, a space opera/mil sf trilogy set some hundred years later on the libertarian planet Bakunin and now this trilogy that started in Prophets). I planned to review the very enjoyable page turning adventure Prophets, but the timing did not work out, so I will review both Prophets and Heretics when this one comes out. Not dissimilar with Jon & Lobo in kind though with a slightly different ideology and highly recommended if you want a fast adventure sf which provides lots of sens e of wonder too.


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Swords & Dark Magic - edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan
Though I came to fantasy from "cape and sword" novels a la Dumas, Zevaco, Sabatini and lesser known masters of the genre, so I am less excited by magic than by intrigue and historical fiction-like plots, this anthology is a must for any lover of secondary world fantasy considering its editors and contributors. The table of contents is here and it's enough to make this highly expected.

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The Lotus Eaters (Carrera 3) - Tom Kratman
Hard right wing wet-dream, at least in the ending of the second Carrera book - would not spoil it but it involves crucifixions, sex changes and much more - and definitely not for everyone, I loved the first two novels which follow a new Earth like society through analogues of 9/11, the Iraq war
and more, though this time they are due to manipulations from the "real" Earth representatives who resent the growing power of the free nation of "Columbia" aka the US of course, while on "real" Earth the hereditary UN, Greenpeace and more general "Tranzis" leaders rule a brutal slave state with unspeakable perversions and cruelty as Duke of UN, Countess of Greenpeace and so on...

As it happens though, while of "Columbian" (ie US) extraction the main hero takes his Balboan (aka Panamanian) wife's name and with mostly a Balboan "mercenary" army and "Arab" allies wins the war for the Columbians; so no paeans to the superiority of the "white man", no racism, but no mercy for the corruption of the Tranzis either. Again the series is not for everyone and the first two volumes are dark and moody in the bargain, but I expect a great absorbing read...

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Kraken (standalone) - China Mieville

"The Natural History Museum’s prize exhibit – a giant squid – suddenly disappears. This audacious theft leads Clem, the research scientist who has recently finished preserving the exhibit, into a dark urban underworld of warring cults and surreal magic.

It seems that for some, the squid represents a god and should be worshipped as such. Clem gradually comes to realise that someone may be attempting to use the squid to trigger an apocalypse. And so it is now up to him and a renegade squid-worshipper named Dean to find a way of stopping the destruction of the world as they know it whilst themselves surviving the all out-gang warfare that they have unwittingly been drawn into…"

Any adult Mieville is an asap however much (Bas-Lag) or not (City/City FBC Rv by me and by Fabio) I care about its subject; The Scar is still my top standalone fantasy of all time and this one sounds much more on my taste than City/City; anyway, it's China Mieville, it's a must...

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Note: Part 3 containing more "established" sff novels I am looking for, the 18 or so debuts I plan to try, the several non-sff novels I know about and want to read in 2010 - I will read more non-sff, it's just that I do not know what for now since I have much less information about new 2010 novels outside genre - and the "maybes" I want to mention will come soon too!

9 comments:

raul said...

tom kratman is a bullshit writer; his novels are war-porn for fox news watchers.

raul said...

forgive me for not saying so before; but thanks for your work and your perspective on the upcoming titles.

Liviu said...

Thank you for your kind words; while we do not agree on Mr. Kratman's work at least as Carerra goes, I cannot say that I am overtly fond of Foxnews either :)

I hope to do the rest of the books I plan to read in 2010 including the 18 debuts I want to try - strictly speaking 16 since I read 2 already - by the end of next week and then refer back to the collated post throughout 2010 with short updates once I read/try one of the books here.

For now I am reading Desert Spear and so far is on par (or better) with Painted Man and if it keeps like this, it will be what i expected and more...

Phoenix said...

looks like we will be getting the Veridon sequel
Tim Akers just posted on his blog that his resigned with Solaris for an early 2011 publication

yay!

Calibandar said...

Thanks for the list Livie. I hope the other contributors will partake as well, even though I realize it can be a lot of work. Robert's feature last year was the best preview of 2009 I encountered anywhere on the Net, no small feat.

Liviu said...

Phoenix:
Great news about Solaris and Tim Akers - that series has great, great potential.

Calibandar:
I miss Robert's "upcoming posts" too though he may do something from what I hear

Anonymous said...

Liviu:

Lotus Eaters includes a political campaign, with violence, an attempted coup and counter-coup, a drug war, the opening shots in the war with the Tauran Union, and a lot of putting some meat on the bare bones of the political philosophy in Starship Troopers.

Sometime next year Volume IV should be out, The Amazon Legion, which concerns Carrera raising a regiment each of gay and of female infantry. After that, V, Molon Labe (Come and take them), which is the first half of the serious war with Taurus. ("Viva Balboa Libre! Death to the Tauran Union.")

Raul:

You wound me...deeply. Ahem.

best,

Tom Kratman

Liviu said...

I have very high expectations that Lotus Eaters will be an entertaining read and I plan to review it here; the first two books had tremendous narrative energy though again they were dark, moody and not for everyone, and I would strongly recommend them.

Anonymous said...

I think the only real problem with Lotus Eaters is that it's an interim book between one war and another, so you may find it a little...mmm...jarring.

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