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Friday, January 11, 2008

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2007 Review/2008 Preview: A Writer’s Perspective

So another year has come and gone and in the blogger world that means the inevitable Best Of/End-of-the-Year lists. Nothing wrong with that as Fantasy Book Critic has its own lists HERE and even participated in SFF World’s fabulous 2007 Review HERE (Part I) + HERE (Part II), but I also wanted to do something a little different. You see, back when I ran a music webzine, a feature that proved very popular was having the actual bands/band members provide their favorite albums of the year. So, ever since I started Fantasy Book Critic I was hoping to compile a similar list for 2007 with writers of speculative fiction including SF, fantasy and horror. After all, it’s nice to know what a fellow blogger thinks about his or her favorite/best books of the year, but it’s much more exciting to hear an author’s point of view :D And, to add even more excitement, I’ve asked the participants to provide a little preview of what they have in store for their fans in the New Year and any books that they might be anticipating in 2008. So, what I’ve done is broken down each contribution into the following sub-categories:

WHO: A little background information about the author.
2007 FAVORITES: The author’s favorite books of 2007, limited to a maximum of five selections with (optional) comments. (NOTE: Titles are not listed in a particular order unless specified)
ON THE HORIZON: A preview of what the author has going on in 2008.
2008 BOOKS: Any releases that authors are anticipating themselves or are recommending to readers along with (optional) comments.

*Please note that the participating authors are listed alphabetically, that all 2008 release dates are tentative and subject to change, and that the writers were not required to contribute to every single category.

Before commencing with the lists, one last thing. When putting together the feature, I realized that I wanted to do something special such as getting a popular cover book artist to create some artwork for the article. Of course, I came up with the idea way too late and probably couldn’t afford it anyways ;) Instead, I thought why not use some existing artwork? With that decided, I immediately honed in on award-winning concept illustrator, cartoonist, and animation director
Stephan Martiniere who is probably my favorite cover book artist at the moment. While Stephan’s artwork has graced many science fiction/fantasy book covers—including novels by Daniel Abraham, Neal Asher, Ian McDonald, Larry Niven, Brandon Sanderson, Joel Shepherd, Charles Stross, et cetera—Mr. Martiniere has also worked with film (Stars Wars Episode II + III, I, Robot, The Fifth Element), television (Spider-Man, He-Man, Johnny Quest, Conan), videogames (Myst: Uru, Star Wars, Star Trek), animation and even theme parks & rides!

Focusing solely on book covers, 2008 looks to be another busy year for
Stephan Martiniere who has contributed artwork to the following: “An Autumn War” (TBA 2008) by Daniel Abraham, “Elom” (March 4, 2008) by William H. Drinkard, “Infoquake” (Mass Market) and “Multireal” (July 21, 2008) by David Louis Edelman, “Hunter’s Run” (January 8, 2008) by GRRM, Gardner Dozois and Daniel Abraham, “A World Too Near” (March 2008) by Kay Kenyon, “Escapement” (June 24, 2008) by Jay Lake, “Juggler of Worlds” (TBA 2008) by Larry Niven, “The Starry Rift” (April 17, 2008) edited by Jonathan Strahan, “The Dragons of Babel” (January 8, 2008) by Michael Swanwick, “Earth Ascendant” (April 29, 2008) by Sean Williams, and a bunch of Bookspan Anniversary Collection releases. In short, I don’t think there was a better choice than Stephan Martiniere and for the feature I’ve chosen to showcase the breathtaking piece that was used for Jay Lake’s upcoming “Escapement”.

I believe that’s all I have to say. So without further ado, I present to you Fantasy Book Critic’s 2007 Review/2008 Preview – A Writer’s Perspective:

Joe Abercrombie
WHO: Up-and-coming British fantasy author of The First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings).
1) “I haven’t read a single book published in 2007 that I didn’t write myself. How weak is that?”
ON THE HORIZON:Last Argument of Kings”, the final volume in Joe’s First Law trilogy, is due out March 20, 2008 in the UK. “Before You Are Hanged” (Volume II) will make its US debut March 25, 2008 followed by “Last Argument of Kings”. By that point, Joe hopes to have finished his fourth book “Best Served Cold”—a standalone fantasy thriller—for publication in 2009.
2008 BOOKS:
1)A Dance With Dragons” by
George R. R. Martin (TBA 2008/2009). “I’ll be excited to hear whether it’s a disappointment or a return to form for George, but it doesn’t sound as if it will appear next year.”
2)The Wise Man’s Fear” by
Patrick Rothfuss (TBA 2008/2009)
3)The Republic of Thieves” by
Scott Lynch. (TBA 2008/2009). “I’m interested to see whether Pat Rothfuss and Scott Lynch can keep up the great receptions their series have started. Doubt I’ll actually read any of these books myself, at least not next year. I mean, who’s got time to read stuff?”

Daniel Abraham
WHO: Author of The Long Price Quartet fantasy series & short fiction, and has collaborated with George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois & Walter Jon Williams.
1)KOP” by
Warren Hammond
2)Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar” by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein
3)The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate” by Ted Chiang
4)The Assault on Reason” by Al Gore
ON THE HORIZON: A summer release for “An Autumn War”, the third volume in The Long Price Quartet; the US debut of “Hunter’s Run” (w/
GRRM & Gardner Dozois) on January 8, 2008; A new Wild Cards book called “Inside Straight” (January 22, 2008); a Wild Cards comic book titled “Wild Cards: The Hard Call”, which will hopefully come out by the end of the year; several short stories to appear in various magazines & anthologies; and come December 2008, “Unclean Spirits” sporting for the first time Mr. Abraham’s pseudonym M. L. N. Hanover.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Ex-KOP” by
Warren Hammond (TBA 2008)
2)Implied Spaces” by
Walter Jon Williams (April 1, 2008)
3)Kitty Goes to Las Vegas” by
Carrie Vaughn (Working Title, TBA 2008/2009). “I read the manuscript and Carrie just keeps getting better…”
4) Upcoming Fantasy Trilogy by Ian Tregillis (TBA 2008/2009). “I'm seriously jonesing to see this in print. My fingers are crossed.”

Kevin J. Anderson
WHO: Highly prolific SF writer of the Star Wars: Jedi Academy trilogy, the Young Jedi Knights series w/Rebecca Moesta, the Dune prequels with Brian Herbert, Saga of Seven Suns, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, et cetera.
1)The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss. “One of the best new fantasies I’ve read in ages”.
2)Renegade’s Magic” by
Robin Hobb. “She’s always good”. (Released in the UK July 2, 2007; out in the US January 8, 2008).
3)Saturn Returns” by
Sean Williams. “Good space opera”.
ON THE HORIZON: Following the December 10, 2007 release of “Metal Swarm”, Mr. Anderson will release “The Ashes of Worlds” (July 1, 2008), which is the grand finale in his Saga of Seven Suns series—“I've worked close to eight years on this series, and I think it's my best work.” Also next year, Mr. Anderson &
Brian Herbert will be telling the story between Dune and Dune Messiah with the new novel “Paul of Dune” (Fall 2008).

Christopher Barzak
WHO: Author of numerous short stories—have appeared in The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, Strange Horizons, Nerve, Realms of Fantasy, et cetera—and the well-received debut novel “One For Sorrow”.
1)Powers” by
Ursula K. Le Guin
2)Generation Loss” by Elizabeth Hand
3)The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice” by Catherynne M. Valente
4)The Abstinence Teacher” by Tom Perrotta
5)The Gathering” by Anne Enright
ON THE HORIZON: Second novel “The Love We Share Without Knowing”—“pitched as Murakami meets Dan Chaon, set in Japan, in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked and interwoven by love and loss and fate”—should be released and is also hard at work finishing his third novel “Yesterday’s Child”.
2008 BOOKS:
1) “I'm highly anticipating
Kelly Link's YA collection of short stories”
2) “Also
David J. Schwartz' debut novel, Superpowers (June 10, 2008-Three Rivers Press)”

Elizabeth Bear
WHO: Noted novelist/short fiction writer of speculative fiction and winner of the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.
2007 FAVORITES: “My top three books of 2007:”
3)The New Moon’s Arms” by
Nalo Hopkinson. “Nalo is one of the finest prose stylists in the genre today, and better at evoking a sense of place than anybody ought to be. In “The New Moon's Arms”, not only does she have the best title of the year—she's also got a wonderful liminal world set up where things brush past you half-noticed and all the magic seems to have drifted in through a crack while you were looking at something else. The narrator is a difficult and prickly woman, wonderfully characterized.”
2)Generation Loss” by
Elizabeth Hand. “Overall, excellent. Strongly characterized, well-written, fast-paced. The ending might be a bit... facile... in that everything ties up just a little too neatly, and too much by chance. The setting, both in terms of coastal Maine and the derelict NYC punk scene, are quite spectacularly rendered. Also, there might be a spec element, if you want to insist on such things in your reading. Then again, there might not.”
1)Territory” by
Emma Bull. “It is possible that Emma Bull isn't the best fantasy writer working today. But if she isn't, I don't know who is. “Territory” is not a book about the Gunfight Down The Block From The O.K. Corral. It is a book about the events that made that gunfight inevitable, and the dark sticky secret compulsive magic that accompanied it—in Emma's universe, at least. It's relentlessly well-written, soft-spoken and subtle and layered without being inaccessible. Painstakingly well-researched, it brings alive the American West without romanticizing. “Territory” is a book about boundaries, about lines drawn, about owning what you are and what you choose, and about how what you are and what you choose owns you.”
ON THE HORIZON: Following the January 2008 (December 26, 2007 to be exact) mass market paperback release of “Dust” which kicks off the new science fiction trilogy Jacob’s Ladder, Ms. Bear will also release the third and fourth Promethean Age novels in the summer—“Ink & Steel” (July 1, 2008) and “Hell & Earth” (August 5, 2008). Elizabeth is also starting a new heroic fantasy series in October with “All the Windwracked Stars”, and you can be sure that there will be some short stories, articles and other good stuff coming out in 2008 :)
2008 BOOKS:
1) “The Dragons of Babel” by
Michael Swanwick. “This comes out in January (January 8, 2008), according to the title page, and man, are you guys jealous of me.

This long-awaited sequel to The Iron Dragon's Daughter is an award-quality novel, although I wasn't certain of that until I got to the end of the book. Because the novel is a picaresque, in which things seem unconnected, but in the end get tied up with a big neat bow and you suddenly understand the shape of the narrative.

Also, it's a total pillorying of some of the standardest of standard fantasy tropes, the quest fantasy and the farmboy-makes-good tale, with a couple of codwhallops for good measure, and a little painful examination of class and political issues. Also, it's got a caper plot, something for which I am a sucker.

I only had a couple of complaints—all the female roles center on the protagonist, for one thing, and in fact the whole world kind of revolves around him. However, since I know something about the end of The Iron Dragon's Daughter that I won't spoil here, and this book takes place in the same milieu, I'll just leave it as making perfect sense on a meta-level that everything and everyone in the book iterates around the protagonist, and also sometimes that things are a tad disjointed.

But yes, for those of you who know the spoiler, it's that same kind of patterning, indicative of the same sort of mental quirk, though the outcome is completely different from that in the first book.

Also, there are short random appearances by characters with rather familiar names, including a sardonic swordfighting instructor. Whose identity I will not reveal here, because when I saw the name on the page, I blinked, read it twice, and then crowed aloud and fired off three delighted emails. *g*

Swanwick's Iron Dragons are still in the five best dragons anywhere, and my only wish is that they were in the book more in person, and less as a metaphor. (I also love
Diane Duane's dragons in The Door into Shadow. I love good dragons, and dragons are so very rarely done well.)”

Drew C. Bowling
WHO: A young fantasy author who started writing his debut novel “The Tower of Shadows” while in high school and is currently enrolled in college.
1)Thunderer” by
Felix Gilman. “You could call it a steampunk epic, but it is so much more. I blurbed “Thunderer” with good reason. First time author Felix Gilman, whose imagination is off the charts, has written a phenomenal debut that has it all: an outrageously inventive world; three dimensional, compelling characters; strong literary underpinnings; and a twisting, engaging plot. And Gilman weaves everything together with beautiful prose.”
ON THE HORIZON: “I'm writing my second novel, tentatively titled “The Sea of Dreams”, which will be published by
Del Rey in 2008. It is the sequel to my first, “The Tower of Shadows”, and is the second installment in a projected trilogy. I'm also working on a dark steampunk fantasy set in post-apocalyptic Washington D.C.”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “In addition to “Thunderer”, I blurbed another debut fantasy novel called “Havemercy”, co-written by
Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett, which will be released in June 2008. Great characters, solid prose, and a cool take on dragons.”

Kristen Britain
WHO: Author of the popular Green Rider epic fantasy series—“Green Rider”, “First Rider’s Call” and “The High King’s Tomb”.
2007 FAVORITES: In no particular order:
1)Reap the Wild Wind” by
Julie E. Czerneda
2)The Bone Garden” by Tess Gerritsen
3)Sorcery and the Single Girl” by Mindy Klasky
4)Belladonna” by Anne Bishop
5)The Sharing Knife: Beguilement" (2007 ppbk release) by Lois McMaster Bujold
ON THE HORIZON: Kristen will have a couple of short stories appearing in the anthologies “Misspelled” (April 1, 2008) edited by Julie E. Czerneda and “Imaginary Friends” (September 2008) edited by John Marco and John Helfers.“ Other than that, I will be laboring on book four of the Green Rider series!”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “In the spring will be the (US) re-publication of
Doranna Durgin'sDun Lady’s Jess” (April 15, 2008), a quite wonderful and much beloved fantasy novel. Not only that, but it features horses!! I was honored to provide a blurb for this whole new edition. For those who can't wait, it's available in Canada now.”

Tobias S. Buckell
WHO: A Caribbean-born, up-and-coming science fiction writer whose novels include “Crystal Rain” and “Ragamuffin”.
1)Queen of Candesce” by
Karl Schroeder
2)Acacia” by David Anthony Durham
3)Halting State” by Charles Stross
4)Last Colony” by John Scalzi
ON THE HORIZON: In early 2008 Tobias’ short story collection “Tides From the New Worlds” will be released by Wyrm Publishing. In June, the paperback edition of “Ragamuffin” will be issued followed by the hardcover release of Mr. Buckell’s third novel “Sly Mongoose” (Summer 2008). Additionally, the author has a couple of short stories scheduled for Lou Ander’sSideways In Crime” (June 17, 2008) anthology and “Baen's Universe” as well as a couple of short story requests to be completed.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Thunderer” by
Felix Gilman. “Comes out December 26th, but that's pretty much next year. Seriously. Anyways, I quite honestly wrote: "Magical! A satisfying and incredible sprawling, urban, Dickensian fantasy that sucks you into its gritty streets and never lets go until you've turned its last corner.”

Mark Chadbourn
WHO: Two-time winner of the British Fantasy Award and author of eleven fantasy, science fiction and horror novels including the trilogies The Age of Misrule, The Dark Ages, and the yet-to-be-completed Kingdom of the Serpent.
1)The Raw Shark Texts” by
Steven Hall
ON THE HORIZON:The Burning Man”, the follow-up to “Jack of Ravens” in the Kingdom of the Serpent trilogy, is due out in the UK February 15, 2008. “It's a tale of some of the world's greatest mythologies slowly re-awakening in the modern world – the gods of the Egyptians, Greeks, Norse, Chinese and others.” Mark will also be delivering two other books in 2008 – “The Lord of Silence about an amnesiac hero who can only stay alive by absorbing the life essence of others (Solaris Books); and a novel about a war in the land of faerie between humans and gods.”

David Anthony Durham
WHO: Critically-acclaimed and award-winning historical novelist—Gabriel’s Story, Walk Through Darkness, Pride of Carthage—who is trying his hand at epic fantasy with “Acacia”, Book One of The War with the Mein.
2007 FAVORITES: “I've been a bit buried as the semester draws to a close. The teaching side of my life has been giving me a beating these last few months... For that matter, it dusted the floor with me last school year also. I've really got to get that under control and get the writing back to the center of my life.”
“First off, I'm thrilled that over the course of the year the foreign editions of “Acacia: The War with the Mein” will start to appear. Starting the year off is Germany, and then the United Kingdom in May. After that I don't know the dates for things, but my French publisher has said they'll be promoting the book as their featured fantasy debut of the year. My Italian publisher is going to publish it in two volumes, and the Swedish publisher seems really behind the book, too. Who does that leave? Oh, the Polish and Russian editions! Nice to know that spaced out over the year Acacia's story will appear in bookstores and find new readers – in lots of languages I don't speak!

Of course, I'll also be delivering the second Acacia novel to my publisher in 2008. I have a ways to go yet, but I'm well into it and excited about the direction it's going. It really expands the world and sees the characters continue to grow into their fates and circumstances in surprising ways. We're calling it “The Other Lands” at the moment and, yep, a big feature of it is that the Acacians make contact with the Lothan Aklun and the Auldek. Of course, nothing goes as they planned!

There's also the continuing saga of movie possibilities. My first novel, “Gabriel's Story”, will be optioned for the fourth year by Redwave Films. They've been working on it for a while, obviously, but they have more pieces in place now than ever before: producer, director, screenplay. One of these days I think they'll make it happen – maybe in 2008! Also, my second novel, “Walk Through Darkness”, got optioned recently, and another novel has also been snatched up. I'm staying close-lipped about this last one because it's still not announced yet, but I'll definitely be announcing news about it in 2008. Could be big!

And that's about it. I'll also be teaching, living, raising my kids, of course. Can't forget about that...”

Kate Elliott
WHO: Pen name of writer Alis A. Rasmussen. Probably best known for her Crown of Stars epic fantasy series and The Golden Key collaboration with Melanie Rawn & Jennifer Roberson. Also wrote the Jaran science fiction books and is currently working on her new Crossroads novels.
2007 FAVORITES: "Disclaimer: My list of books published in 2007 that are on my To Be Read pile is much larger than my list of 2007 books I have actually read. This is because I was too busy reading books published before 2007. I am in an eternal state of trying to catch up. Of what I did read, here are five favorites in no particular order:"
1)Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century” edited by
Alex Steffen. “The title says it all.”
2)The Spirit Stone” by
Katharine Kerr.
3)The Fox” by
Sherwood Smith.
4)Acacia” by
David Anthony Durham. “Three excellent examples of volumes in ongoing series that exemplify the kind of second-world narrative I love to read.”
5)The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” by
J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer + Jake Page. “Not that ingrained sexism was coloring people’s interpretation of the evidence, or anything.”
ON THE HORIZON: "My novel Shadow Gate is due for publication in April 3, 2008 (
Orbit Books) for the UK & Australia) and April 15, 2008 (Tor Books) in the USA. It’s the second Crossroads novel, and is basically the middle book of a trilogy (not the second of a seven volume series as I have seen mentioned here and there online). I call it “HBO-style fantasy”—gritty, dark, and complex. I’ve also agreed to write a short story for a volume to be published by Subterranean Press in 2008. This is of note mostly because I have written three times more novels than short stories. I’m not even quite sure I remember how to write a short story."
2008 BOOKS:
“Books coming out in 08 worth looking for? Plenty more than I know about, but here are a few I do know about. I’m currently reading an ARC of
Daniel Abraham’s excellent “An Autumn War”. Also, I’m naturally looking forward to “King’s Shield” (Smith) and “The Shadow Isle” (Kerr), from the series mentioned above (I don’t know when the next Durham is scheduled). Finally, the long-awaited “The Hidden City” by Michelle West.

David Farland
WHO: Pseudonym for Dave Wolverton, author of The Runelords epic fantasy series, The Mummy Chronicles, The Golden Queen, Serpent Catch and Star Wars tie-in books.
1)The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss. “A book that I'm currently reading with great delight. I love Rothfuss' laid-back style, his warmth and charm.”
2)The Book of Joby” by
Mark J. Ferrari. “A wonderful novel—one of my favorites of the past few years.”
3)The Well of Ascension” by Brandon Sanderson. “The second book in his intriguing Mistborn series.”
ON THE HORIZON:The Wyrmling Horde”, volume seven in the Runelords saga tentatively set for a September 2008 release. Three other novels may also be released including two YA books (as yet untitled) and a historical novel called “In the Company of Angels”. Also, “I am starting a daily blog for people interested in writing. The basic idea is to give them a short writing tip or bit of inspiration each day. The idea is to help motivate them to work toward their dreams. The blog is called "David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants." To register, people may email me at and just say, "Kick me!"”

Joe Haldeman
WHO: Veteran, award-winning author of “The Forever War” (Hugo/Nebula winner), “Forever Peace” (Hugo/John W. Campbell winner), “Camouflage”, etc.
1) Provided blurbs for
Greg Bear’sQuantico”, Kathleen Ann Goonan’sIn War Times”, and poetry books by Bruce Boston & Mary Turzillo.
2) Enjoyed an advance copy of
Peter Straub's book of essays “Sides”.
ON THE HORIZON:Marsbound” is currently set for an August 5, 2008 release via
Ace Books with Mr. Haldeman currently writing its sequel “Starbound”.

Kim Harrison
WHO: New York Times bestselling author of the popular urban fantasy Rachel Morgan series (Dead Witch Walking; The Good, The Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; et cetera).
1)Scent of Shadows” and “Taste of Night” by
Vicki Pettersson. “Urban fantasy highlighting not witches or vamps, but superheroes.”
2)Stray” by
Rachel Vincent. “Urban fantasy focusing on werecats.”
3)Seraphs” by
Faith Hunter. “Urban fantasy after the apocalypse.”
4)Blood Engines” by
T.A. Pratt. “Urban fantasy with unique magic system.”
ON THE HORIZON: Sixth book in the series, “The Outlaw Demon Wails”, will be released February 26, 2008 and celebrated with a nine-city signing tour. Kim will also be appearing at the
Romantic Times Conference (April 12-19) in Pittsburg, PA, and contributed to the Hotter Than Hell (June 2008) urban fantasy/paranormal romance anthology. Finally, the first four titles—Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms—in the series will all see hardcover release starting in April.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Nightwalker” by
Jocelynn Drake (July 29, 2008). “I loved this jet-setting vampire, flawed and perfect all at the same time.”

Jim C. Hines
WHO: First-place winner of the 1998 L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award and author of the Goblin Quest trilogy (Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero and the upcoming Goblin War).
1)Sword and Sorceress XXII” edited by
Elisabeth Waters. “Marion Zimmer Bradley began the Sword and Sorceress anthologies decades ago. I loved them, both for the theme (strong female protagonists in a S&S setting) and for the stories themselves. I was delighted to see the series continue with a new publisher, Norilana Books...which just happens to be run by one of Bradley's proteges. The book contains some strong stories, including one by Dave Smeds which I particularly loved.”
2) "The Name of the Wind" by
Patrick Rothfuss. “Rothfuss' debut novel has gotten a lot of publicity. As an author, I would be both annoyed and envious if it weren't for two things. 1 – Pat's a really nice, down-to-earth guy. 2 – The book is really good. It's got some incredible world-building, and I'm very much looking forward to the sequel.”
2008 BOOKS: Jim’s third and final (for now) Goblin book, “Goblin War”, comes out March 4, 2008. After that, he’s starting a new series for
DAW. “The Stepsister Scheme doesn't have a release date yet, but I would love to see it come out before the end of '08. In the meantime, I'm hoping to finish up the sequel to Stepsister. I'll also be working on a few short fiction projects.”
1) “Er ... I got nothing. The Rothfuss sequel doesn't have a release date yet, but I'd hope to see that some time next year. I should be paying more attention to forthcoming books, but I can't even keep up with the reading pile already stacked beside my bed.”

Susan Hubbard
WHO: An award-winning professor of English who is also the author of two critically acclaimed short story collections (Walking On Ice, Blue Money), two chick-lit novels (Lisa Marie’s Guide for the Perplexed, Lisa Marie Takes Off) and the literary vampire tale “The Society of S”.
2007 FAVORITES: “I'll remember 2007 as the year I became a zombie (again). I went on the road promoting “The Society of S”, then came home to work on a sequel, teach, direct MFA theses, and do the other stuff. I had precious little time or inclination to read for pleasure. And so, the works I selected are either short or pictorial. So, my Top Five Books of 2007”:
1)After Dark” by
Haruki Murakami. “Why do all weird stories begin late at night at Denny's? Because art imitates life? Yes. I wanted this novel to be longer.”
2)On Ugliness” by
Umberto Eco (ed). “A gallery of macabre images accompanied by quotations from writers ranging from Aristotle to Sartre. Anyone interested in the aesthetics of the grotesque may find inspiration here.”
3)Edmund and Rosemary Go to Hell: A Story We All Really Need Now More than Ever” by
Bruce Eric Kaplan. “A picture book whose title says it all. We needn't fear going to hell—we're already there, my friends.”
4)Creature” by
Andrew Zuckerman. “These photographs remind us how lucky we are to share the planet with nonhumans. Stunning. They made me think of the NIN song, "Right Where It Belongs": "See the animal in his cage that you built. Are you sure what side you're on?"”
5)Last Night at the Lobster” by
Stewart O'Nan. “A melancholy novel that sent me right out to the local Red Lobster to soak up atmosphere, scarf down cheesy biscuits, and dream of liberating the sad creatures in the tanks and in the kitchen.”
ON THE HORIZON: Following the paperback release of “The Society of S” in April 2008 is the sequel “The Year of Disappearances” (May 6, 2008). In promotion of the new book
Simon & Schuster will be sending Susan on a book tour starting in May. Additionally, British, Australian, Dutch, Italian, Indonesian, Spanish, German, Chinese and Taiwanese rights to “The Society of S” have been sold with Ms. Hubbard hoping to be in London for the December 2008 launch of the UK edition.
2008 BOOKS:
1) “Next year I'm looking forward to reading
Charlaine Harris's next installment in her Southern Vampire series, which I finally let myself begin to read last month. And I hope to travel to do research into identify theft cases, which will be a central concern of my next book.”

Matthew Jarpe
WHO: New science fiction writer whose debut novel “Radio Freefall” came out last year.
1)KOP” by
Warren Hammond
2)Queen of Candace” by Karl Schroeder
ON THE HORIZON: “I just finished a hard SF space adventure novel called “Machine Intelligence”. If that sells of course it will take more than a year to hit the street, so you won't hear much from me in 2008.”
2008 BOOKS:
“I'm still looking forward to reading a lot of the books from 2007, I'm that far behind. I want to read
Robert Charles Wilson'sAxis”, William Gibson'sSpook Country”, and Austin Grossman'sSoon I Will Be Invincible”. They were on my Christmas list. But for new books in 2008, I'm really looking forward to David Louis Edelman'sMultireal” (July 2008). I've heard him read excerpts and it sounds great. Warren Hammond's follow up “Ex-kop” (TBA 2008) is coming out. I'm also anticipating the return of the Wild Cards with “Inside Straight” (January 22, 2008) edited by George R.R. Martin. And speaking of GRRM, if “A Dance with Dragons” shows up sometime in the next 12 months I will be a happy man.”

J.V. Jones
WHO: Bestselling fantasy author of The Book of Words trilogy, “The Barbed Coil” and the currently ongoing series Sword of Shadows.
1)House of Meetings” by
Martin Amis. “I’ve always been a fan of Amis, and I think this is his best book. It’s the story of two brothers who are sent to the Gulag. The writing’s lean and brutal, and it tells us some unwelcome truths about being human.”
2)Naming of the Dead" by
Ian Rankin. “Writers of detective novels are finally starting to get some respect from the critics. For non-critics like you and me it isn’t news that writers such as Rankin, Connelly and Pelecanos are brilliant—that’s why we read them—but thanks in part to influential Washington Post critic, Patrick Anderson, literary types are beginning to look at their work more closely.”
3)The View From Castle Rock” by
Alice Munro. ”It’s Munro. Enough said.”
4)Soldier Son Trilogy” by
Robin Hobb. “Hobb transports us to another world, and she does so with subtlety and restraint. It’s a brave move having a seriously overweight character as a protagonist, and Hobb handles it deftly.”
ON THE HORIZON: Should complete the fourth book in the Sword of Shadows series, but it won’t be published until 2009. The paperback edition of “A Sword From Red Ice” will be released in 2008 though.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Exit Music” by
Ian Rankin (TBA 2008). “The final Rebus book has already been published in the UK but not the US.”
2)Renegade’s Magic” by
Robin Hobb (January 8, 2008). “Likewise with the third installment of Robin Hobb’s Soldier Son Trilogy.”

Paul S. Kemp
WHO: Prolific Forgotten Realms fantasy author of several books including the Twilight War trilogy, Sembia and the Erevis Cale trilogy.
1)The Road” by
Cormac McCarthy. “I cannot remember my eyes welling up from any book I’ve read in my life, save this one.”
2)The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” by
Michael Chabon. “Chabon’s pacing and feel for storytelling is better here than in “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” and his prose, as always, remains spectacular and envy-inducing.”
3)Falling Man” by
Don DeLillo. “Bleak, psychologically intense, and wonderfully characterized post 9-11 story about broken people trying to pull the pieces together.”
1) “The tie-in anthology for my Twilight War trilogy (the continuing adventures of Erevis Cale), entitled “Realms of War”, will be released in January. I’ve got a story in there, along with a host of other well-known names, including
R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, and Elaine Cunningham.”
2) “The third and final book in the Twilight War, entitled “Shadowrealm”, will be released in August.”
3) “I continue work on “Azazel,” my fantahorrormyst (:-)) novel and when that’s done I’ll be looking for an agent.”
4) “I’ve agreed to do another trilogy set in the
Forgotten Realms, building on the event of the Twilight War, so I’ll be putting that together.”
5) “I’ve got a variety of things on the short story front but they’re up in the air enough that I cannot speak of them just yet.”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “I’m going to cheat a bit and name “Gentlemen of the Road” by
Michael Chabon. It was released late in ’07 so I won’t get to it until ’08 :)”
2) “Other than that, I’ll play it by ear and pick up whatever strikes my fancy when time and circumstance allow for some leisure reading.”

Caitlin R. Kiernan
WHO: Four-time International Horror Guild Award-winning author of six novels, the Beowulf movie novelization, 100+ short stories/novellas, and comic books (Neil Gaiman’s The Dreaming).
1)The Children of Húrin” by
J.R.R. Tolkien
2)M is for Magic” by Neil Gaiman
3)20th Century Ghosts” by Joe Hill
4)The Terror” by Dan Simmons
5)Sunshine” by Alex Garland
ON THE HORIZON: Will be releasing her seventh novel “Joey LaFaye”, a new edition of Murder of Angels, and a new edition of the short-fiction collection “Tales of Pain and Wonder” (March 25, 2008-
Subterranean Press). Will also be writing a screenplay based on her short story “Onion” (2001 IHGW Award Winner) and will continue the email-subscription-only-publication Sirenia Digest.

Jay Lake
WHO: 2004 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer; author of over 200 published short stories and three novels including “Trial of Flowers” and “Mainspring”.
1)A Betrayal In Winter” by
Daniel Abraham. “A refreshing and edgy take on fantasy which stands outside the post-Tolkien tradition. Part two of a brilliant tetralogy.”
2)Spaceman Blues” by
Brian Slattery. “Absolutely cockeyed eruption of the fiction crazies, sort of Hunter S. Thompson by way of Philip K. Dick.”
3)The Arrival” by
Shaun Tan (2006 Australian release, graphic novel). “Very nonstandard perspective on both art and story, tackling the immigrant experience through the lense of the fantastic.”
ON THE HORIZON:Escapement”, the sequel to “Mainspring”, is set for a June 2008 release, followed by “Madness of Flowers” (The City Imperishable, Volume Two) via
Night Shade Books at the end of the year. Also has a short SF novel called “Death of a Starship” coming out from MonkeyBrain Books.
2008 BOOKS:
1)An Autumn War" by
Daniel Abraham (TBA 2008). “The third book in his tetralogy. This one will blow the head off the fantasy scene.”
2)The Court of the Air” by
Stephen Hunt (TBA 2008). “American release of a British book which I recently had the privilege of reading for a blurb. An awesome realization, bending steampunk, Dying Earth, Aztec cosmology, and English history together.”

Tim Lebbon
WHO: Horror & Dark fantasy author of the “Dusk/Dawn” duology, “Face”, “White”, the 30 Days of Night movie novelization, etc.
1)The Terror” by
Dan Simmons. “One of the best from one of the best.”
2)The Servants
by Michael Marshall Smith. “Moving, brilliantly observed, and incredibly powerful.”
3)Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire” by
Christopher Golden & Mike Mignola. “The word Gothic was created for this novel.”
4)Virus” by
Sarah Langan (US version is called The Missing). “A great new talent, and a name to watch.”
ON THE HORIZON: 2008 is a busy year for Mr. Lebbon starting with the release of “After the War: Two Tales of Noreela” (February 1, 2008-
Subterranean Press), followed by the third Assassin novella “A Whisper of Southern Lights” (Necessary Evil Press), his third Noreela novel “Fallen” (April 29, 2008), “Mind the Gap” (May 20, 2008) the first Novel of the Hidden Cities written in collaboration with Christopher Golden, and “Bar None” (July 1, 2008-Night Shade Books). Tim also hopes that his new collection “Last Exit for the Lost” will see the light of day next year and that the movie based on his novella “White” will go into production. Additionally, Mr. Lebbon is working on his fourth Noreela novel “The Island”, “The Map of Moments” with Mr. Golden which is the second Novel of the Hidden Cities, two YA projects including a collaboration with Christopher Golden, a couple of novellas, and a screenplay ;)
2008 BOOKS:
1)The Gospel According to Lazarus” by Stephen Volk. “As yet unpublished, one of the most stunning alternate-history novels I've ever read.”
2) “I was honored to write the intro to
Christopher Golden's forthcoming collection “The Secret Backs of Things”, and it's just wonderful. Also the anthology “Five Strokes To Midnight” (Haunted Pelican Press) is very good indeed, and again, I was pleased to be asked to write the intro.”
3) “I'm also looking forward to books from
Rob Dunbar and Nate Southard.”

Tom Lloyd
WHO: A new British fantasy author in the midst of writing his Twilight Reign quintet.
2007 FAVORITES: “Being a fan of paperbacks, most of the books I've read this year weren't actually published in 2007, but I'm delighted to say that most of those I did were great! In no actual order, the most notable ones were:”
1)Dead Men's Boots” by
Mike Carey. “Haven't quite finished it if I'm completely honest, but I'm loving it as I did the others; how could I not? It's spooky noir based in London, perfect!”
2)Hunter's Moon” by
David Devereux. “Sex, violence and magic; the magic can't be faulted because he's a magician, the violence is matter-of-fact and unglamorised, and the sex isn't cringe-worth which makes this a rarity in literature. All in all, it's great.”
3)Devil's Peak” by
Deon Meyer. “A difficult subject (an ex-soldier taking out his grief on killers who avoided justice) but one that was told sensitively and without sensationalism, a fine novel.”
4)Before They Are Hanged” by
Joe Abercrombie. “Following straight on from book one, it's unashamedly more of the same but when that is still really good, who'd complain?”
5)Reaper's Gale” by
Steven Erikson. “After a slight dip in the previous book, Erikson is back on song for the latest installment of his jaw-droppingly ambitious series.”
ON THE HORIZON: 2008 will see the release of Mr. Lloyd’s US, German & Polish release of his debut novel “The Stormcaller”, while UK readers will get the mass-market edition of “The Stormcaller’s” sequel “Twilight Herald”. Around June, the author hopes to complete “The Grave Thief”, volume three in the Twilight Reign quintet, for UK publication in early 2009.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Last Argument of Kings” by
Joe Abercrombie (March 20, 2008-UK)
2)Eagle Rising” by
David Devereux (May 15, 2008-UK)
3)Toll the Hounds” by
Steven Erikson (August 11, 2008-UK)

Gail Z. Martin
WHO: Author of the currently ongoing fantasy adventure series The Chronicles of the Necromancer, which began last year with “The Summoner”.
2007 FAVORITES (In no particular order):
1)Dante’s Girl” by
Natasha Rhodes. “I enjoyed the look at LA’s jaded culture through the perspective of its vampire and werewolf residents.”
2)Bitterwood” by
James Maxey. “Very interesting commentary on any conflict—heroes and villains depend on your point of view more than on absolutes (American Revolutionary fighters were heroes to us, traitors to the British Crown).”
3)Thief With No Shadow” by
Emily Gee. “Intrigued by the world building and especially the sentient salamanders.”
4)Deadstock” by
Jeffrey Thomas. “I don’t usually read dystopian fiction (had enough of the “real” stuff growing up during the Cold War) but this is good.”
5)Set the Seas on Fire” by
Chris Roberson. “Having been a history major, I love watching someone meld history and fantasy.”
And Gail’s number one pick for 2007 although technically, it was released in 2005: “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Greatest Pandemic in History” by
John M. Barry. “This reads like a Michael Crichton novel (better than some of his)—but it’s true. It traces the 1918 pandemic like a detective mystery—if you like Bones or CSI, this is for you. The egos and personalities, the researchers pushing the edge of technology, the paranoia and arrogance, the utter stupidity…and the enormous human cost. My grandmother survived the 1918 flu (she was an 18 year-old war bride). She had to cut her long hair because she was so weakened that it would have pulled out by the roots, and I remember her showing me the braid of her hair when I was a child. She lived outside Philadelphia, which was one of the hardest-hit areas. It’s the story no one talks about—because it was so horrific. This book was a spellbinder.”
ON THE HORIZON:The Blood King, Book Two in the Chronicles of the Necromancer, comes out in February (January 29, 2008). I’m really excited about that. I am also due to turn in the manuscript for book three in the series in April of 2008, so that’s another milestone to look forward to. Once that is finalized, it’s on to book four.”
2008 BOOKS:
A.J. Hartley has a new book coming out—his stuff is more suspense/thriller, but I really enjoy them. At this point, I’m so far behind on all the series that I enjoy, it will take me all of 2008 to catch up!”

Paul McAuley
WHO: Author of fifteen novels including the recently released “Cowboy Angels”, Mr. McAuley has won the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, British Fantasy, Sidewise and John W. Campbell Awards.
1)The Yiddish Policeman's Union” by
Michael Chabon
2)The Broken Kings” by Robert Holdstock
3)Brasyl” by Ian McDonald
4)The Land of the Headless” by Adam Roberts
5)Soldier of Sidon” by Gene Wolfe (Actually a 2006 title, but I’ll let it slide ;)
ON THE HORIZON: Aside from the mass-market paperback releases of “Players” (March 3, 2008) and “Cowboy Angels” (June 12, 2008), Mr. McAuley’s next novel “The Quiet War” is scheduled for publication October 16, 2008. Also wrote the introductions for
Stephen Baxter's novella “Starfall” (TBA 2008-PS Publishing), and an anthology of short stories about AI called “We Think, Therefore We Are” (TBA 2008-Daw Books), edited by Peter Crowther.

Juliet E. McKenna
WHO: One of the leaders of The Write Fantastic—an authors’ initiative promoting speculative fiction—and British author of the fantasy series The Tales of Einarinn and The Aldabreshin Compass.
2007 FAVORITES: “I couldn’t rank these in any kind of order of merit if I wanted to, and I don’t want to. Just be amazed at the fabulous diversity of the speculative fiction genre!”
1)Dead Men’s Boots” by
Mike Carey
2)The Atrocity Archive” by Charles Stross
3)Black Powder War” by Naomi Novik
4)Thief With No Shadow” by Emily Gee
5)River of the World” by Chaz Brenchley
ON THE HORIZON: “I shall be writing the second volume of The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, as well as some short fiction, notably something for the ‘Subterfuge’ anthology due out from NewCon Press.”
2008 BOOKS:
“As far as reading goes, I am eagerly anticipating “Halting State” by
Charles Stross (January 17, 2008-UK), “Empire of Ivory” by Naomi Novik (2007 release), “Personal Demon” by Kelley Armstrong (March 25, 2008), “Shadow Gate” (April 15, 2008) by Kate Elliott and oh, there’ll be others I haven’t seen in the distance. I’m also looking forward to finally reading The Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. I’ve just been so busy that I’ve been holding off till it’s all in paperback, so those three volumes will be my summer holiday reading!”

Karen Miller
WHO: Australian science fiction/fantasy author who recently made her US debut with the release of the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker Duology.
1)Creation in Death” by
JD Robb. “I love the In Death series by Robb, (pen name of megabestseller romance writer Nora Roberts) because she's got the mix of suspense, police procedural, character, romance and future spec just right, in my view. The characters grow, develop, they remain true to themselves but they're not dull and repetitive. She's a genius, and every time I read her I learn something.”
ON THE HORIZON: “2008 is another big year for me. In the US and UK my Godspeaker trilogy starts releasing with book one “Empress” (April 1, 2008). In Australia, the series concludes with the release of book three in June. My second Stargate novel, “Do No Harm”, releases in all markets March 25, 2008. Also in April I have a new series launching in Australia under a pen name. It's fantasy, but it's a proper series (not a trilogy or quartet or whatever!), with a distinctly different flavour to my epic fantasy work. I can't say too much more about it than that, right now, but when I can be more forthcoming I promise I will. Keep an eye on my website! As well as the second book to write in that series, I have the first of the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker sequel duology to deliver at the end of the year, and my 3rd Stargate novel. So it's a lot of writing ahead of me. When I'm not writing, or losing my mind *g*, I'm coming over to Denver for Worldcon in August, and going home via London to catch up with publishers and friends.”
2008 BOOKS:
1)A Dance With Dragons” by
George R. R. Martin (TBA 2008/2009). “I am massively massively looking forward to Martin'sA Dance with Dragons.”
2) “I'm hoping there's another new
Pratchett (though I wish he'd get back to the regular characters, because I miss the witches and the Watch).”
3) “Any new
Nora Roberts/JD Robb.”
4) “New
Sue Grafton, that'll be terrific.”
5) “New
Jonathan Kellerman.”
6) “Anything new by
Robert Crais or Michael Connelly.”
7) “I don't know if there's a new
Kage Baker due, but if there is I'll be buying it. Tragically, I find it much harder to read fantasy/SF than I used to, now that I'm writing it. I'm more likely to dive into drama on DVD, because it rests my brain from all the words! I do have some new authors to start reading. I hope to do a better job on that front next year.”

L.E. Modesitt Jr.
WHO: Highly prolific science fiction and fantasy author of several series including The Saga of Recluse and the Corean Chronicles.
1)The Princes of the Golden Cage” by
Nathalie Mallet. “Of the more than thirty books I've read in the field this year, only one that I'd recommend was actually published in 2007 and that was the debut novel by Nathalie Mallet.”
ON THE HORIZON: Mr. Modesitt Jr. has three books scheduled for 2008 hardcover release including “Viewpoints Critical: Selected Stories” (March 18, 2008), “Mage-Guard of Hamor” (July 2008-a Recluse novel), and “The Lord-Protector’s Daughter” (December 2008-a Corean Chronicles short novel). Will also be appearing at the
Virginia Festival of the Book (March-Charlottesville), CONduit (Salt Lake City-Memorial Day Weekend), WorldCON (Denver), and the World Fantasy Convention (November-Calgary).
2008 BOOKS:
1)Mad Kestrel” by
Misty Massey (March 4, 2008)

Natasha Mostert
WHO: Author who specializes in contemporary paranormal mystery/thrillers including “The Midnight Side”, “The Other Side of Silence”, “Windwalker” and “Season of the Witch”.
1)Bad Monkeys” by
Matt Ruff. “The protagonist of the story is a deliciously psychotic woman and the author has given her an unforgettable, unique voice. The humour is dark, unpredictable and very funny.”
2)The Wild Places” by Robert MacFarlane. “A non-fiction book that is written like poetry. It is a description of wild, unmanicured places in Britain and the quality of the writing takes your breath away. It was published this year in the UK in hardback, and I'm not quite sure if it has made its way across the Atlantic yet.”
ON THE HORIZON: In 2008, ten foreign language editions of “Season of the Witch” (2007) will be released worldwide while the English language paperback edition of the novel will hit the shelves in the UK and the US in March/April. ”At the moment I'm going slowly insane as I'm writing between nine and eleven hours a day in order to beat the February deadline for my next book, titled “Dragonfly”. This mad dash at the end always happens to me when I write. Also, I recently broke my ankle sparring with my 190 pound kickboxing instructor (see my
blog on MySpace for the gory details) but at least it keeps me deskbound. There's always a silver lining...”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “I've read British writer
Mo Hayder's new book in manuscript. She and I share the same editor. The novel is titled “Ritual” and is typical Mo Hayder fare: very dark, very violent and absolutely terrific. This woman knows how to mess with your mind. It deals with subject matter with which I'm very familiar, namely South African “muti” or witchcraft murders. However, Hayder places the action in Bristol, UK, which is an interesting twist.”

Mark Charan Newton
WHO: Solaris Books editor who will be making his debut in 2008 with “The Reef” (Pendragon Press)
2007 FAVORITES: Aside from all
Solaris books, of course :-)
1)Nova Swing” by
M. John Harrison. “I can't stress enough the importance of this writer to the genre. We live in a commercial age, and MJH is one of the few authors allowed at the mass market level to provide us with an intense combination of genre, literary pyrotechnics, and superbly thought-out prose style. You know every sentence has been worked over. I really think the genre would suffer without the likes of MJH pushing what can be done.”
2)Rain” a novella by
Conrad Williams. “Another fantastic stylist, everything Conrad writes has the ability to sift through the debris of humanity and expose us at our most darkest, and nastiest. He can shock the hell out of you too. From Gray Friar Press. Strange as it may seem for a mass market editor to say, but: always support the genre small presses—they're the lifeblood of this industry, without which we’d suffer from a lack of variety. There are a lot of talented guys there too. In fact, I’d ask everyone to buy at least one extra small press title each year. The internet has made them more powerful in recent years, and that can only be a force for good. Conrad makes a mass market statement next year with “The Unblemished”, another awesome, sickening title. You won’t sleep at night after reading it.”
3)Falling Man” by
Don DeLillo. “Powerful stuff from a literary master. I find I need to read out of genre as much as in; for a writer and a commercial editor, it's important to calibrate yourself. DeLillo is one of my favourite writers, who writes with poetic toughness and precision.”
Abandon the Old in Tokyo” (out Dec 06, can I have this?!). “Graphic novel collection of this 1950s Japanese master of alternative comics. One of the strangely darkest things I've come across. Exposes the mundane as being sinister.”
5)Blood River” by
Tim Butcher. “The real world can be more incredible than any fantasy creation; you just have to know where to look. This is wonderful and saddening travel book of one man’s journey through the Congo. A real eye-opener; something we often forget in our comfortable lifestyles.”
ON THE HORIZON: “Next year, I become “editor turned writer”. My debut novel, The Reef, is out from UK publisher,
Pendragon Press. It's a strange, steampunk-flavoured fantasy, with a few literary ambitions, as well as being a properly dark island-based adventure, inspired by Hemingway. You can read some extracts on my website, which also has a much better summary than I can give, and shows the really smart cover art too. I’m terribly English when it comes to self-promotion... I reckon if you like China Miéville, you should give this a go. I think I'll start calling it ‘alternative fantasy’, you know, like alternative rock music. I’ll start a one man trend that'll end my career right there too—huzzah!

Professional plans: well,
Solaris continues to go from strength to strength. We've had a fantastic year, gaining the respect of readers and industry professionals. And we've made some great friends along the way—who says publishing shouldn't be fun, and about people and quality books as well as the obligatory ‘shifting units’, of course? We're genre lovers, and want to serve genre fans, to interact with them, and not be sitting in any glass tower. And I hope that shows in the books we're producing. Check out the Solaris website to see our latest signings—there's some very impressive books coming through. New names include Mark Chadbourn, Juliet E. McKenna, Paul Kearney, James Lovegrove... I'm sure I'll be at a convention or two, propping up the bar with George, Christian or Marco. Come and find us, and we'll fill your glass.
2008 BOOKS: What am I most looking forward to next year? (Aside from all
Solaris books, of course! Ahem.):
1)The Shadow Year” by
Jeffrey Ford (March 28, 2008). “Jeffrey's a wonderful writer. I really enjoyed his Girl in the Glass and Portrait of Mrs Charbuque.”
2) The next
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds-August 11, 2008-UK) of course, although I'm getting behind. I'll still buy it anyway! I tend to read a lot of books from different decades, since I'm only a wee snip of a lad at 26, and like to increase my awareness of genre books through time. Basically, who knows what I'll be reading. I make impulse buys—I’m worse than girls and shoes. I can guarantee I'll be buying more books than I can keep up with...

T.A. Pratt
WHO: A Hugo Award-winning short story writer and novelist behind the new Marla Mason urban fantasy series. Also co-edits the zine Flytrap and works as a senior editor / book reviewer at Locus Magazine.
1)Halting State” by
Charles Stross. “A tour-de-force of near future SF, funny and strange and so cutting edge that various weird ideas in it are already starting to come true in the real world.”
2)Daughter of Hounds” by
Caitlin R. Kiernan. Possibly the best book by one of my favorite authors, heartbreaking and breathtaking by turns.”
3)The Yiddish Policemen's Union” by
Michael Chabon. “I'll read anything Chabon writes, but a detective novel set in an alternate world where a Jewish state was formed in Alaska? Yum.”
4)The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss. “I thought I was sick of big epic fantasies, and then I read this, so it seems I'm only sick of *bad* big epic fantasies. A very accomplished first novel, and I'm looking forward to the sequels.”
5)Generation Loss” by
Elizabeth Hand. “Amazing writing, and a disturbing but fascinating protagonist. A dark joy to read.”
ON THE HORIZON: On March 25, 2008, Mr. Pratt’s next Marla Mason novel “Poison Sleep” comes out, followed six months later by the third book in the series “Dead Reign”. “It's my first two-novel year!”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “I'm very excited about
Elizabeth Bear's books “Ink & Steel” (July 1, 2008) and “Hell & Earth” (August 5, 2008). I love her Promethean Age novels.”

Andy Remic
WHO: UK military science fiction author who wrote the Spiral trilogy and “War Machine” which kicks off the brand-new Combat K series.
1)The Steep Approach to Garbadale” by
Iain Banks
2)Troy: Fall of Kings” by David Gemmell
3)Deadstock” by Jeffrey Thomas
4)And Another Thing: World According to Clarkson v2” by Jeremy Clarkson
5)A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” by Ishmael Beah
ON THE HORIZON: Andy’s next novel “Biohell” is slated for a November 2008 release, which is also when “War Machine” should see a mass market paperback release. In the meantime, the author is working on his third Combat K book “Sick World”.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Blue War” by
Jeffrey Thomas (February 26, 2008)
2)Matter” by
Iain M. Banks (February 27, 2008)
3)The Reef” by
Mark Charan Newton (March 24, 2008-UK)

Mike Resnick
WHO: According to Locus, Mike Resnick (Kirinyaga, A Hunger in the Soul) is the leading all-time award winner—living or dead—for short fiction among science fiction writers, including five Hugos. Has sold forty-eight novels, almost two hundred short stories, and edited forty anthologies.
1)Odyssey” by
Jack McDevitt (Mass Market Release)
2)Laws of Survival” by
Nancy Kress (novelette, Jim Baen’s Universe)
3) "Distant Replay” by
Mike Resnic (short story, Asimov’s)
4)Bright of the Sky” by
Kay Kenyon
5)Recovering Apollo 8” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (novella, Asimov’s)
ON THE HORIZON: Somebody once asked Picasso what he did for a hobby. He replied, "I paint". The interviewer said he meant what did Picasso do when he wasn't working. The answer: "I paint". Me, I write:

Novels – “Stalking the Unicorn” (Reprint), “Stalking the Vampire” (August 2008), “Starship: Rebel” (TBA 2008), “The Gods of Sagittarius” (TBA 2008/2009), and “Hazards” (TBA 2008/2009).
Collection – “The Other Teddy Roosevelts” (February 2008)
Anthologies edited – “History Revisited” and “The Dragon Done It” w/Eric Flint.

Short Fiction:
Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders” (
Sluggo” (
Jim Baen's Universe)
Visitor's Night at Joey Chicago's” (Something Magic This Way Comes)
A Jaguar Never Changes Its Stripes” (
3 as-yet-unwritten Lucifer Jones stories (
Honorable Enemies” (
Jim Baen's Universe)
A Most Unusual Greyhound” (Urban Vampires)
“A Very Special Girl” (Blood Light)
An as-yet-unwritten Harry the Book story (City Fantastic)
The Last Actor” (Future Americas, w/Linda Donahue)
A Small Skirmish in the Culture Wars” (The Future We Wish We Had w/
James Patrick Kelly)
A Better Mousetrap” (Nature)
An as-yet-unwritten story for Fast Forward 2 w/
Pat Cadigan
The Hex Is In” (Crime Spells)

4 Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues in the
SFWA Bulletin
6 editorials in Jim Baen's Universe
An article on electronic publishing in Nebula Showcase 2008
Introduction to “Mad Scientists & Cannibals
Introduction to Jack Vance'sThe Grey Prince

2008 BOOKS: “I give a few every year, but I don't keep a record of what I blurb or when it's due out. I know I gave one to
Kay Kenyon's (A World Too Near-March 2008) next one, and (I think) to Toby Buckell's (Sly Mongoose-Summer 2008). And of course I strongly recommend all of my daughter's (Laura Resnick) novels; I believe she has two coming out from DAW in 2008, though I'd have to check.”

Patrick Rothfuss
WHO: Debut novelist whose first novel, “The Name of the Wind”, is making a huge impact in the world of fantasy. Won the 2007 Quill Award for Science-Fiction/Fantasy and was listed as one of the year’s Best Books by Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon (#25). Was also nominated for the Original Voices Award from Borders. (“Award isn't given out until January, but it's cool just to be nominated because it's not just a sci-fi award…I'm one of the six nominees for ALL fiction books this year.”)
1)Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight” by
Dark Horse Comics. “It’s the continuation of Buffy the Vampire slayer in graphic novel format. While I’d rather have Whedon working his Buffy Magic on TV again, I’ll take what I can get. It’s the first comic that I’ve ever bought and read on an issue-to-issue basis.”
2)The Well of Ascension” by
Brandon Sanderson.
3)White Night” by
Jim Butcher. “I actually read all of the Dresden books for the first time this year. I loved them, and polished off the whole lot in about two week’s time, but I can only officially mention the ninth as it’s the only one that came out in 2007.”
4)Cowboy and Octopus” by
Jon Scieszka. “It’s a funny children’s book that a fan sent me. I used it when I was teaching my children’s literature class.”
ON THE HORIZON: “I can already hear the great wailing and gnashing of teeth about this. I have yet to make the official post on my blog explaining the why and the wherefore (of the sequel’s delay). I hate to disappoint people by having the book take longer than we had originally planned. But I’d hate it even more if I rushed things and the book ended up being two-thirds shit when it hit the shelves. However, I’m doing a side project with
Subterranean Press that might come out in 2008. It’s a not-for-children children’s book. Imagine Calvin and Hobbes meets Coraline. Fun stuff. I also will probably have a story or two appearing in various anthologies, I’m just starting to get approached for that sort of thing now. There might also be a graphic novel adaptation of the book on the way, but I have no idea what the timeline for that might be.”
2008 BOOKS:
1) “I actually gave out my first blurb just a couple weeks ago for
Daniel Abraham. I got to read an advance copy of the third book in his Long Price series: “An Autumn War” (TBA 2008). Good Stuff. Very original fantasy.”
2) “I’m looking forward to reading more of
Joss Whedon’s X-Men and Buffy in graphic novel format. I’ve become such a comic junkie lately…”
3) “I’m also really looking forward to the third book in the Mistborn series, “The Hero of Ages” (TBA 2008). However, since the author,
Brandon Sanderson, just got tapped to write the final Robert Jordan book, I don’t know how on-schedule that will be…”
4) “Lastly and probably mostly, I’m looking forward to
Neil Gaiman’sThe Graveyard Book” (June 24, 2008). I got to hear him read the first chapter at a convention a couple of weeks ago, and it sounds great…”

Lilith Saintcrow
WHO: Prolific urban fantasy author of the Watcher series, the Society books and the Dante Valentine novels. Also wrote the Keeper books under the Anna Beguine pseudonym.
1)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by
JK Rowling. “There was no way Rowling was going to make everyone happy with this wrap-up, but I enjoyed the hell out of it and love the whole series. I was there at midnight to get my copy, dammit!”
2)The Mirador” by
Sarah Monette. “Any Monette book is a good time. After Melusine, I vowed to read everything about Felix and Mildmay I could get my hands on.”
3)Kushiel's Scion” by
Jacqueline Carey. “Carey is the best thing to happen to the fantasy genre in the last ten years. Seriously. The Kushiel books are some of the best damn fantasy writing I've read since discovering Tanith Lee, and that's saying something.”
4)The Secret Books of Paradys” by
Tanith Lee. “This was just released in trade-paper, with all the novellas/books in it. Highly recommended. Lee is my favorite author, and this is just about her best work.”
5)The Electric Church” by
Jeff Somers. “I loved this book when I edited it for, loved it so much I gave it to my editor at Orbit and it ended up being bought by them. Cyborgs, dystopia, an antihero assassin, and taking down the Establishment? What's not to love? As well as some damn fine writing.”
ON THE HORIZON: Lilith’s new Jill Kismet series will be premiering in July 2008. “Jill Kismet's a hunter and exorcist—wen things go bump in the night, she bumps back. Hard. I'm very excited and looking forward to that, as well as to the eventual release of Steelflower in paper instead of ebook form. I'm also in a couple of anthologies—Hotter Than Hell, My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, and—this just in—The Massive Book of Vampire Romance. I'm also told
ImaJinn Books will be bringing out the next Watcher novel, Mindhealer, sometime in 2008. I'm also looking forward to taking some time to finish the second book in a yet-unsold fantasy opus, The Left-Hand Consort. But that's just for me.”
2008 BOOKS:
1)Black Magic Woman” by
Justin Gustainis. “Enjoyed every second of it. Not only does it more than nod to the original Dracula, but it involves fetishes, voodoo, white witchery, and Gustainis won my heart by referencing The Aristocrats. It's awesome.”
2)Happy Hour of the Damned” by
Mark Henry. “Imagine a sorority bitch turned into a zombie. Now make it engaging and funny as hell. There, you've got the book. It was a zinger.”

R.A. Salvatore
WHO: Acclaimed author of the DemonWars books, the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Vector Prime, and his numerous Forgotten Realms novels.
2007 FAVORITES: “This one's hard...and depressing. I've been so busy this year, I didn't even finish a danged book, other than those for next year's quotes!”
ON THE HORIZON:The Ancient”, which follows the character introduced in “The Highwayman” and starts a brand new series set in the DemonWars’ universe Corona, comes out March 4, 2008. Also coming out is the second DemonWars graphic novel (
Devil’s Due-TBA 2008), a beautiful Reader's Guide to the Legend of Drizzt (Summer 2008) and “The Pirate King” (September 2008), which is the second volume in the Transitions trilogy.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Tigerheart: A Tale of the Anyplace” (June 17, 2008) by
Peter David. “Wow.”

Brandon Sanderson
WHO: Rising American fantasy author of “Elantris”, the Mistborn trilogy and the YA novel “Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians”.
1)Making Money” by
Terry Pratchett. “Guy’s a genius, what can I say?”
2)The Name of the Wind” by
Patrick Rothfuss. “Deserves the hype. Beautiful epic fantasy.”
3)A Betrayal in Winter” by
Daniel Abraham. “I’m a sucker for a fascinating world, and I think this setting is just plain awesome.”
4) “I’m going to be very untraditional here and name something odd, a webcomic collection. “
Order of the Stick: The Start of Darkness.” I’m a webcomic junky, and think that the genre deserves more recognition. Reading this book was some of the most fun I had all year.”
5)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by
J.K. Rowling. “I know, I’m a dork—it’s not even the best in the series. “But, blast it, I really enjoy reading these.”
ON THE HORIZON:The Hero of Ages” (TBA 2008), the third and final volume in the Mistborn trilogy will be released as well as “Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones” (TBA 2008), the sequel to Mr. Sanderson’s new YA series. Brandon will also be shopping an on-spec novel entitled “Scribbler”, was recently selected to complete
Robert Jordan’s final Wheel of Time novel “A Memory of Light”, and has “like 50 other books I want to write. We’ll see what I find time for…”

Joe Schreiber
WHO: Exciting new horror author of “Chasing the Dead” and “Eat the Dark”.
1)Dark Harvest” by
Norman Partridge. “A future classic of Halloween literature and a one-sitting read. Perfect in every way.”
2)Nerve Damage” by Peter Abrahams. “Abrahams is the master of everyday suspense with a perfect handle on language. So good. So clear. So simple.”
3)Returning to Earth” by Jim Harrison. “Heartwrenching and human, and funny. Harrison hauls in all the chips on this one.”
4)The Hoax” by Clifford Irving. “A wild card from back in the '70s that I read because of the Richard Gere adaptation released this year. Irving's nonfiction account of how he pulled the wool over the eyes of Big Publishing is hilarious and almost unbelievable, if it hadn't actually happened."
ON THE HORIZON: Is hoping to finish edits for his next two novels “The Black Wing” and “Stillwater”, a non-supernatural suspense novel, and get them both ready for publication. Also just started writing an untitled thriller.
2008 BOOKS:
1)Lush Life” by Richard Price. “Right now Lush Life is the book I'm most looking forward to, which I think is due out in March (March 4, 2008). Price's last novel Samaritan was the best thing I'd read by anyone in a very long time.”
2)Severance Package” by
Duane Swierczynski. “Real-time suspense and hardcore crime with black humor and Pepperidge Farm cookies. I blurbed the galley - the book's due out in '08 (May 27, 2008).

Jeff Somers
WHO: American author of “Lifers” (2001), “The Freaks Are Winning” (2002), “The Electric Church” (2007) and various short fiction. Also, creator of The Inner Swine e-zine.
2007 FAVORITES: “This was hard for me; I'm a used-book rat. I prowl used bookstores and buy ancient paperbacks for a buck, so much of my reading is anything but recent. Even books I thought surely were from 2007 turned out to be from 2005 or something like that. But after much investigation (luckily, I don't ever throw or give books away, so I was able to locate just about every book I read this year just by wandering the house late at night) here's my list:”
1)Fatal Revenant” by
Stephen R. Donaldson. I'm an old, old SRD fan. I read "Lord Foul's Bane" when I was in sixth grade, I think, and while a lot of it floated over me at the time I still enjoyed the hell out of it. The first book in this new Covenant series took me a while to get into, but the second book pops.”
2)The Traitor” by
Michael Cisco. “I wish I had this guy's first-person chops. Not for everyone, but I really enjoyed it even while not being sure I "got it" entirely. But not getting something should never be something to be ashamed of! I wear my ignorance and weak logic on my sleeve, like a badge of honor.”
3)Under my Roof” by
Nick Mamatas. “Nick's a great writer and this book has some truly wonderful ideas in it. Plus, it has a garden gnome as a central icon. In my mind, garden gnome=genius.”
4)Devices and Desires” by
KJ Parker. “Okay, this one is published by my publisher as well, so let's be up front about that. I got it free at World Fantasy Con in November, and had no plans to read it any time soon until I indulged in one of my habits by reading the first line: "'The quickest way to a man’s heart,’ said the instructor, ’is proverbially through his stomach. But if you want to get into his brain, I recommend the eye socket.’" After that, I had to keep going, and was well rewarded with one of the more interesting characters I've encountered recently."
5)Flashman on the March” by
George McDonald Fraser. “This is a cheat, as it actually came out in November 2006. I'm hoping I'll be forgiven since I didn't read it until 2007. Plus, Fraser's a master at what he does, which is cheeky historical fiction. I've read all of the Flashman books and recommend them to everyone and anyone who has even a glancing interest in history, especially history told from the POV of a drunken coward who somehow manages to run away from the 19th-century's greatest conflicts and still get all the glory."
ON THE HORIZON:The Digital Plague”, the second Avery Cates book, is scheduled for release May 12, 2008. “It's much faster-paced than The Electric Church and I had a LOT of fun writing it, so I hope people enjoy it as much as I did. I'll probably be finishing up the first draft of the third Cates book around that time as well. So far untitled, but I'm really pleased with the direction I'm taking and how it's turning out. And, as always, my zine The Inner Swine ( will have another 4 issues out, if it kills me. Plus, I fully expect to be Despot of the World by around June, but this is probably not the right venue for that announcement.”

Jeffrey Thomas
WHO: Author of several novels and short stories; best known for his Punktown releases (Punktown, Monstrocity, Everybody Scream!, et cetera).
1)Over the Darkening Fields” by Scott Thomas. “Yes, it looks like nepotism, but if you read my brother’s work you’ll see why two of his stories once appeared in a single volume of “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.” Scott also released the collection “Midnight in New England” in 2007, but this was the one I got to first. This collection of eerie tales may call to mind the stories of M. R. James, E. F. Benson, and other classic writers of the weird tale, but Scott really has a style all his own, poetic and disturbing at the same time. One of my favorite stories herein, “Cabin 13,” revolves around a seemingly happy married couple who by the end reveal an estrangement so deep that they end up in alternate realities, in each of which the other has gone missing. And in the lengthy “The Cinnamon Mask,” Scott manages to combine humor, mystery, ghastliness and social commentary about the subjugation of women in a surreal tale set in some alternate 19th Century world where everyone must wear an animal mask outdoors, and women are blinded at birth. Very unique, beautifully rendered stuff.”
2)Blame!#7 by
Tsutomu Nihei. “Okay, it’s a graphic novel, and okay, I’m filling the rest of my list with four in this series – but if there were a sixth slot, I’d put “Blame!#6 in there, too. I’m not a fan of manga, actually. The only ones I’ve ever been enthusiastic about before “Blame!” were Senno Knife’s creepy “Mantis Woman” collection, and Hideshi Hino’s mind-bogglingly nasty “Panorama of Hell.” But Nihei’s world is just so awe-inspiring in its scale, intricate in its detail, influenced by the likes of Giger and Moebius, and maybe even haunted by Japan’s taste of atomic Armageddon. The setting is a bleak future world, apparently some partly virtual reality – a seemingly infinite factory-city, crumbling and barely populated. Our pretty if stony hero, Killy, is menaced by hordes of mannequin-faced beings called Safeguards, who are at odds with a Cenobite-like race called the Silicon Creatures. Nihei’s ink style and labyrinthine, seemingly pointless megastructures call to mind Piranesi’s 18th Century “Carceri” series of prints, and Piranesi studied as an architect as Nihei did. Issue #7 was one of my favorites in the series, introducing the new character Dhomochevsky, a Safeguard taking form as a spiky-haired brooding human who seems to be attracted to our willowy blonde heroine, Cibo.”
3)Blame!#8 by
Tsutomu Nihei. “Dhomochevsky’s second appearance, and his last. As is often the case in “Blame!’s” bleak world, heroes meet a brutal fate, and yet their acts still resonate as a kind of human defiance in the face of this gargantuan uncaring universe.”
4)Blame!#9 by
Tsutomu Nihei. “Our characters, both good and bad, routinely survive and regenerate after the loss of limbs, being encased in lava, or even death, sometimes resurrecting in another edition of themselves. Cibo seems to be the foremost resurrector, taking a number of forms throughout the series. In a touching subplot, a child-like newly spawned Cibo is watched over by an animal-like “builder” robot, which of course perishes in an act of futile but still moving heroism.”
5)Blame!#10 by
Tsutomu Nihei. This seems to be the final volume in the series, and if so ends on a maddeningly enigmatic and unresolved note, but there’s a dream-like sameness to the series, a sense of infinity; thus, there can be no real end to the story. In this issue there are some amazing fight sequences, as usual, and a bizarre and lovely bit taking place in some gothic-type virtual dead zone where amnesiac entities wait to be reunited with their bodies in “base reality.” Here, Cibo’s final incarnation consults a creature like a cross between a sphinx and a beached leviathan to ask answers that not even he can answer. A melancholy end to a rather depressing, if absolutely gorgeous, post-industrial nightmare.”
ON THE HORIZON: February 26, 2008 will see the debut of Jeffrey’s new book “Blue War” (
Solaris Books), which is a sequel to last year’s “Deadstock”. Also coming out in the first quarter is Mr. Thomas’ horror collection “Voices From Hades” (Dark Regions Press) and possibly a “Voices From Punktown” (Dark Regions Press) collection may show up during the year. “Meanwhile, I’m pitching a new novel and contributing to a major anthology, but can’t talk more about those just yet.”
2008 BOOKS:
1)The Reef” by
Mark Charan Newton (March 24, 2008). “I contributed a blurb to that. It’s very New Weirdish, and I like that subgenre a lot, but it’s a controversial one so Newton’s calling this “steampunk-inspired fantasy.” Either way, it’s a compelling tale!”

Eldon Thompson
WHO: A former college QB, Mr. Thompson returned to his first love fantasy fiction with “The Crimson Sword” + “The Obsidian Key”. Also wrote the screenplay for Terry Brooks’The Elfstones of Shannara”, which was optioned by Warner Bros.
1)The Scent of Shadows” by
Vicki Pettersson. “This was Vicki's debut novel. I believe it falls into the dark urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre. For me, it seemed like a cross between The Matrix and... I don't know... Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nonstop action, lots of crazy twists, and a wry, sometimes scathing sense of humor. All in all, a delightful read from a brand new author whose future work I'm very much looking forward to."
ON THE HORIZON: 2008 should mark the release of “The Divine Talisman”—being edited now—the concluding volume in the Legend of Asahiel trilogy. “While that happens, I’m currently working on a number of screenwriting projects, as well as outlining a potential series of books featuring a favorite character from my first novel, “The Crimson Sword.”
2008 BOOKS:
1)A Dance With Dragons” by
George R. R. Martin (TBA 2008/2009). “I’m eagerly anticipating this like everyone else. Don't know if it'll actually happen, but a guy can hope.”
2)Untitled Book Three” by
Terry Brooks (September 2008). “I'm also anxious to read the concluding volume in Terry Brooks' The Genesis of Shannara trilogy. 2006's “Armageddon’s Children” and 2007’s “The Elves of Cintra” were terrific, and set the stage for what I imagine will be a thrilling climax.”

Janny Wurts
WHO: Veteran fantasy novelist who has written several Wars of Light and Shadow series, the Cycle of Fire trilogy and the international best-selling Empire trilogy w/Raymond E. Feist. Oh, and she also does her own covers…
2007 FAVORITES: Fair warning, before I start: I read widely, but not extensively. Often, my reading lags well behind publication date due to vagaries of my work habits and schedule. (I do no reading while in final edit on a novel, and as a result, I'll devour novels in bursts.) Here, in no particular order, are the genre titles from 2007 that most delighted me:
1)Flesh and Spirit” by
Carol Berg. “I truly love stories with multi-faceted protagonists, set into adversity where the challenges are not cut and dried, black and white, good vs "bad." Berg has always delivered, in this fashion, expanding her insights beyond classical boundaries, and crossing the lines, with her protagonist reaching to understand the antagonist, and often, redeeming the issue at hand for both sides. I like her respect for the reader's intelligence. She doesn't moralize or spell out the viewpoint, but lets the story deliver the facts, and draw the conclusions in situ. This book presents a hero with a nontraditional viewpoint, and the unwinding events define the character's backbone, set against a well defined world with neatly woven factions and political turmoil. Obviously an opening book, but Berg's other series have always delivered.”
2)Sagittarius Command” by
R. M. Meluch. “This is first rate, fast moving space adventure, with an amazingly drawn cast of characters. The quantum twist evoked in the backdrop is jaw dropping, and sets this above its class. Although the third book in a series (The Myriad) due to the changeable nature of the quantum universe, these books could be read separately. Meluch carries her story at juggernaut speed, with economical, even dazzling use of detail, and some madcap pokes at gender roles that had me laughing until my ribs hurt. Some books are too much fun, and this author, too under appreciated. For a back title with a more serious slant, “Jerusalem Fire” is one of the finest SF books I've read, ever, for evoking the complexity of characters who outgrow their initial roles in a conflict.”
3)Ysabel” by
Guy Gavriel Kay. “A tender view of a coming of age, a conflict of mythic scope that crosses time and plays out in a setting in modern day France, Kay's well thought out story deftly crosses the boundaries of time and place. To read any work by this author is to tread the paths of ancient legend. The prose is immaculate, and the character insights, poignant and meaningful. The finish of Kay's works always leaves the unresolved sense that the story continues, off the page, and wanders, living, into the margins. There is that echo, left, that haunts long after the last line has been read.”
4)Sword of the Deceiver” by
Sarah Zettel. “I have loved every one of Zettel's books, whether fantasy or science fiction. She is unfailingly adept with her characters and her world building. Although this title is part of her Isavolta series, any of the books can be read independently. Each has a different social slant, and often, characters that are antagonists in one novel will become the protagonists in another. Her ability to infuse mythic scope, set against the common thread of human relationships is without peer, and her command of prose, simply magical.”
5)The Fox” by
Sherwood Smith. “Here is a book two of a trilogy that delivers as promised! Smith has created an intricate political intrigue along classic themes, and provided a rich fabric of interpersonal relationships. She is fearless at presenting deep friendships between characters without leaning or wallowing on romance themes. Solid research makes her battles and her nautical scenes clear cut. As threads of the opening narrative move toward convergence, she is deftly setting the platform for a finale that expands the story's initial conflict into a wider arena, where opposing factions must play a defining role. Begin this series with “Inda”, and bear with the pace of her opening as she presents the rich fabric that backdrops a stunningly spun tale.”
ON THE HORIZON: Janny recently completed the Alliance of Light phase of her Wars of Light and Shadows series with “Stormed Fortress” just released from
HarperCollins UK. “I am currently tinkering with three unrelated standalone novel ideas, and the closing scene of a drafted novella. These stories were seeded for play, just to find out which one will pop. Besides the next Light and Shadows book, which launches an entirely new phase, I have a short story scheduled to appear in “Catapolis”, edited by Marty Greenburg and Janet Deaver-Pack. Further details, book excerpts, and new paintings are continually posted at my website:"
2008 BOOKS:
1) “Some cherished favorites are still in my To Be Read pile, among them,
Jennifer Roberson's Karavans and Deepwood; also, the rest of Steven Erikson's series, Malazan Book of the Fallen. I'll be watching releases to snap up the latest for two writers, new to me, with intriguing debuts: Stephen Hunt, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss.”

So there you have it! Fantasy Book Critic’s first, and hopefully not last, End-of-the-Year Review/Preview as seen through the eyes of an eclectic mix of authors. If I may say so myself, I was quite pleased with the results and just want to thank each and every writer that contributed to the feature as well as Mr. Martiniere :) I also want to thank all of the readers that have been visiting the blog and hope that you enjoy reading the article as much as I enjoyed putting it together. If all goes well, you’ll be seeing this on a yearly basis :D Once again, thanks and much love & respect!


Chris, The Book Swede said...

This is a seriously awesome list! Great idea, too! :D I shall save it, probably print it out and then add a ton of books to my TBR list! ;)


Anonymous said...

Gotta say that was a really fantastic feature! Thanks for putting that together!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Robert!

Robert said...

I'm glad you all like the feature :) There's definitely some great recommendations from 2007 in there and plenty to look forward to in 2008!

Neil Richard said...

Damn! That was a great list. I think I'll have to bookmark it so I can come back and pick up some of those favorites to read.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Holy shit! I didn't think this would ever end...and that was a good thing. And then it did, which was sad. But wow, what a great post. Nicely done!

Graeme Flory said...

That is so cool...
*adds list of books to list of books that I still have to read...*

Anonymous said...

Super, I can only say, best feature I have seen on SFF blog for ages.

Robert said...

Thanks again for all the compliments :) There were actually several authors who expressed interest in the feature, but didn't get around to participating and I'm hoping they'll have the time for the next Review/Preview. So as great as the article was, it could have been even better :)

marco said...

Monstrous post. Very well done. In fact, it was so great, you should do it again next month...

(Insert smiley.)

Marco @ Solaris

Larry Nolen said...

You know it's a fascinating post when you find yourself comparing the authors' lists to your own favorites and seeing many of them on there. Now I'm even more curious about the ones I didn't have the chance to read in 2007, especially Daniel Abraham's work. I have Shadow in Summer, but not Betrayal in Winter and I really want to read those two back-to-back and then get the third volume. Nice to see that this post has given me a greater impetus to do so :D Very good work, Robert!

Patrick said...

Great post, Robert!:-)

banzai cat said...

Well done indeed. :-) Like everyone, I broke out my book-buying list as soon as I started the next paragraph.

Robert said...

Marco, Larry, Pat and Banzai Cat, thanks for stopping by :) It took me over a month to put the article together, so I don't think we'll ever see it monthly, but it would be cool ;)

Larry, it'll be interesting to see what you think of the Long Price Quartet. I'm really liking the series so far, but I have high expectations for the third one...

Anonymous said...

Has none of these respectable authors read Black Man? Damn shame.

Robert said...

That is an interesting observation Sadface...

Chris, The Book Swede said...

Damn, on a re-read (I do this every couple of days!) I missed some on my "to get hold of at all costs" list!

Just wondering, love Resnick, but how can he blurb a book and not know he did it? Just curious. That was Tobias Buckell's Sly Mongoose, btw.

I'm not respectable, but I'm reading Black Man, soon (or 13, whatever it's called)! :D


Anonymous said...

wow amazin stuff!! thanks for the info!

Inishi said...

I was absolutely thrilled to read Brandon Sanderson's List! wonderful blog by the way.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the question on blurbing Toby Buckell's book: I usually see galleys a year or two ahead of publication, I've read all of Toby's books, I know I blurbed one, and a year or two later I can't remember which one. OK?

-- Mike Resnick

Donna Hatch said...

I've stepped away from Fantasy for a while to contentrate on Regency but now I shall mend my ways. Glad to see Terry Brooks and surprised not to see Sharon Shinn. I've read some of these but I see there are a bunch of new ones out there I must read. My TBR pile is truly terrifying. If only I could read instead of deal with other annoying aspects of life, like work...

MPO188 said...

Good Blog, really fantastic feature! Thanks for putting that together!

Deposit ShopeePay said...

That is an interesting observation Sadface...

Deposit Pulsa said...

Damn! That was a great list. I think I'll have to bookmark it so I can come back and pick up some of those favorites to read.


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