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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — David Anthony Durham


I find it rather difficult to remember what I read this past twelve months. I should really keep a reading journal or something—or blog about the books I’m reading more faithfully—so that I have a record of it. Without those tools and just scanning my much-abused brain, three titles come to mind. They each tickled me in different ways and have made the authors new favorites of mine:

The Dreaming Void” by
Peter F. Hamilton. I loved the scale of this, the variety of plotlines and engaging characters. It’s all well written. Just a smart as you could ask for. Some of the plotlines are hard sci-fi feeling; some are set on almost subsistence worlds and feel more like fantasy. Nothing is really resolved in the book, but with writing like this I’m happy to read on for a few more thousand pages. Definitely my kind of book.

The Terror” by
Dan Simmons. A great combination of dense historical material, gothic horror, complete misery, starvation, suffering, the worst of human nature and . . . a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. I really liked this book. Not for those that can’t… um, stomach… reading about cannibalism and scurvy.

In the Courts of the Crimson Kings” by
S.M. Stirling. I’d never read Stirling before, but after this one I certainly will. It was a little slow to start for me, and I almost stopped reading. So glad that I didn’t, though. At some point I realized I was really enjoying exploring a vastly and authentically alien world on Stirling’s imagined Mars. He’s got such creepy and ingenious details here. It really feels like a lesson on how an author can deal with imaginative foreignness. Also, make no mistake about it—this novel is action packed. Giant octopus like things, talking carnivorous birds, battles in air and desert. Good stuff.


The Temporal Void” by
Peter F. Hamilton. Release Date: March 24, 2009 (US Debut). Published by Del Rey.

Wildfire” by
Sarah Micklem. Release Date: July 7, 2009. Published by Scribner.

The Steel Remains” by
Richard K. Morgan. Release Date: January 20, 2009 (US Debut). Published by Del Rey.

The House of Discarded Dreams” by
Ekaterina Sedia. Release Date: July 2009. Published by Prime Books. I’m actually reading and enjoying this right now.

Anathem” by
Neal Stephenson.

And hopefully…

A Dance With Dragons” by
George R.R. Martin. Published by Bantam Spectra (US).

The Wise Man’s Fear” by
Patrick Rothfuss. Published by DAW Books (US).


I have another book coming out next year! The second Acacia novel—The Other Lands—should appear in September. The first book will roll out in a few more foreign languages, like Italian, Polish, Russian. And the movie prospects should work slowly forward. The end of 2008 saw the first draft of the Acacia screenplay completed, and it looks like
Mike De Luca and Relativity Media are going to keep moving it forward. I’ve got a few other things planned as well, but they’re kinda secret.


David Anthony Durham is the author of the fantasy novels Acacia: The War With The Mein and the forthcoming Acacia: The Other Lands. Before turning to fantasy, he wrote historical novels including Pride of Carthage, Walk Through Darkness and the award-winning Gabriel’s Story which has been optioned for film adaptation. For more information, please visit the author’s
Official Website and Official Blog.

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


drey said...

I think I'm actually going to give up on A Dance with Dragons coming out any time soon... =( Who knows, maybe it'll be out (like, for real) by next Christmas?? =P

Robert said...

Drey, the way I look at it is "A Dance with Dragons" will come out when it comes out ;) Until then, there are plenty of other great authors and books out there to keep me busy :D


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