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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2019 Review/2020 Preview — Gareth Hanrahan




This was the first year when I was aware of books coming out in a particular year, as opposed to grabbing stuff off the bookshop shelf in a timeless haze. Debuting has a way of concentrating the mind.

Some favourites from the past year:


Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert McFarlane is technically non-fiction, but it delves into a variety of underground realms across millions of years. Fascinating and inspiring stuff.

The Future Starts Here: Adventures in the 21st Century, by the always-fascinating John Higgs, is also technically non-fiction, but it kicks off by asking why our fiction has stopped imagining the near future as anything other than a catastrophe, and then proceeds to explore ways to imagine a better tomorrow.

Another benefit of being published: a flood of free books from fellow authors in the Orbit stable. The Hod King (Josiah Bancroft) for its stunning prose and characterisation, the artistry and lyricism of The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Alix Harrow) and the world-building of The Bone Ships (RJ Barker) was my particular picks.

And of the books I actually had to pay for, I’ll also mention Rebecca Kuang’s Poppy War, Peter McClean’s Priest of Bones and Tim Clare’s vertiginous portal fantasy The Ice House.

Looking Ahead To 2020


Susannah Clarke’s Piranesi would be on my radar based on the author alone, but combine Clarke’s prose with those haunting engravings of fantastical prisons… I can’t wait. I’m also awaiting Robert Bennett’s Shorefall. And waiting under the Christmas tree is Ioanna Iordanou’s Venice’s Secret Service, which I’m really looking forward too.  

On The Horizon for Gareth Hanrahan




My second Black Iron Legacy book, The Shadow Saint, will be out in early 2020, and I’m in the middle of writing the still-untitled third book in the not-a-trilogy series. The Shadow Saint involves war, election meddling, crazed tyrannical gods and dying empires, so it nearly counts as topical. I’ll also have some short fiction coming out from Black Library, and hope to get a non-Black Iron Legacy book finished, too.

With my tabletop gaming hat on, 2020 should see the release of The Borellus Connection (spies vs the Cthulhu Mythos in the 1960s in the Delta Green setting), Dragons of the Pyre (a fantasy campaign for the 13th Age game) and Errantries of the King (Gondor adventures for The One Ring). 

Oh, and maybe Moria, if the publishing gods smile upon me.




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