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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Liviu's Top Ten Anticipated Novels of 2010

While I plan to do a longer post and hopefully to have everyone here adding their favorites, I counted something like *50* 2010 books that range from "highly anticipated" to "I have high hopes about but need to try them..."; so I decided to get the ball rolling with the 10 books I really *want now*, would drop anything to read and will hunt for arcs as soon as possible...

There actually may be more than 50 books I am looking forward in 2010 since I am finding out all the time about books handed in, books scheduled, anticipated debuts and all. And this does not take into account the titles that are "maybes" - any fantasy lover knows some of those of course, but I will be looking also for a bunch of titles outside sff that may or may not be published in 2010; I do not intend to list for now titles without reasonably firm 2010 dates.


In generally random order:

Mission of Honor by David Weber (July 2010, Baen Books)

"Oyster Bay" - the obvious analogy with December 1941 - and its aftermath; most likely peace with Haven and the start of the breakdown of the Solarian League; but who knows for sure outside Mr. Weber and his editors/first readers since after all he is one of the masters of surprise and his twists and turns have blown me away quite a few times so far. This one is my most anticipated novel of 2010. Hopefully I will get to do the long planned Honorverse overview here soon.


The Folding Knife by KJ Parker (February 2010, Orbit Books)

Do not know more than the blurb, but considering that KJ Parker has become one of my most favorite fantasy author recently, the blurb is enough to know this will be a read/review on receive.

"Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man.

He is ruthless, cunning, and above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he's only ever made one mistake.

One mistake, though, can be enough."


Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds (March 2010, Gollancz UK)

Do not know more than the blurb, but considering that recently I ranked Alastair Reynolds as the best sf writer of the 00's, this is enough to know that will be a read/review on receive. Moved from 2009 to 2010, this has been a highly awaited novel for a while now.

"Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains . . . Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels - and with the dying body comes bad news. If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality - and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability . . ."


Naamah's Curse by Jacqueline Carey (June 2010, Grand Central Publishing)

More Moirin after the superb Naamah's Kiss (FBC Rv); enough said, though I will add that I consider Ms. Carey the top fantasy author of the 00's as will be noted in the forthcoming post on the topic complementing the recent one on sf authors.

"Far from the land of her birth, Moirin sets out across Tatar territory to find Bao, the proud and virile Ch'in fighter who holds the missing half of her diadh-anam, the divine soul-spark of her mother's people. After a long ordeal, she not only succeeds, but surrenders to a passion the likes of which she's never known. But the lovers' happiness is short lived, for Bao is entangled in a complication that soon leads to their betrayal."


A Mighty Fortress by David Weber (April 2010, Tor Books)

I know, I know, too much David Weber and also kind of breaking my rule of trying to mention an author only once in a general post like this since I strongly dislike general lists that repeat an author over and over; but what can I say, the Safehold Series (BSRA Rv, BHD Rv, DW interview) has become almost as big a favorite as Honor Harrington and after all, as the Grand Inquisitor ends volume 3 "we will find something to keep us busy", I definitely want to see what's next; outside that is volume 4 of the series, I do not know that much about "A Mighty Fortress" and it may get delayed from the date above, but I think it's a 2010 lock; I expect to be surprised with unexpected twists and turns...


The Black Prism by Brent Weeks (August 2010, Orbit Books)

Do not know more than the seemingly not quite correct and spoilerific blurb HERE - so head out there to your own risk - but considering that Brent Weeks became another top author of mine, that is enough.


The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton (Fall 2010, Tor UK/Del Rey) - cover substituted with The Temporal Void one since the actual cover is not yet done as far as I know

The Void trilogy ending from my co-#1 sff author and "king of space opera" (Void 1 Rv, Void 2 Rv); enough said about the novel, while about publication dates here is the latest from Mr. Hamilton's website:

"Publication dates are not absolutely final yet, but The Evolutionary Void is tentatively scheduled for release in September 2010. And as a treat for Peter's US fans, this is the release date for both sides of the Atlantic! So there will be at most a couple of weeks difference between the UK and US releases. "


The King of the Crags by Stephen Deas (April 2010, Gollancz UK)

This is a novel that I would not have expected to put it here when I finished the superb debut of Mr. Deas' The Adamantine Palace which I liked but was somewhat dissatisfied about in the beginning; however after a reread of that novel, I realized that what I disliked about The Adamantine Palace was that it ended; it was so fast and so crammed with ideas and interesting stuff that I really wanted it to go on for a while more, so The Adamantine Palace moved much higher in my estimation and this one got its place in my top 10 highly awaited novels of 2010.

Here is the blurb with spoilers for volume 1 though:

Prince Jehal has murdered, poisoned and betrayed his way to the top. There is a new speaker for the realms, his opposition has been crushed, now he just has to enjoy the fruits of power. And yet . . . He feels more for the wife he married for power than perhaps he should and his lover knows it. And out in the realms those loyal to the old regime are still plotting. and there are rumours that the Red Riders, heralds of revolution and doom are on the ride. And still no-one has found the famous white dragon. The dragon that, if it lived, will have long since recovered from the effects of the alchemical liquid fed to the the dragons of the realms to keep them docile, to block their memories of a time when they ruled and the world burned . . . Stephen Deas has created an epic world, vivid characters, a plot full of betrayals and the most awesome dragons fantasy has seen.


Empire of Light by Gary Gibson (Summer 2010, Tor UK)

Dakota Merrick 3 from the best "new" writer coming from the UK - I have been a fan of Mr. Gibson since his superb 2004 debut as I wrote in many posts, but it seems that only now people are catching up with this superb talent.

Here are FBC reviews of Mr. Gibson's work from Robert, myself and a co-interview with him.


City of Ruin by Mark C. Newton (June 2010, Tor UK)

Last but not least and with the mention that I am slightly cheating here since I read a final draft of the novel and indeed it's what I expected and more - but will discuss in detail only closer to pub date - the second book in the superb Legends of the Red Sun series by another favorite new author Mark Newton.

For now just the blurb which is accurate as it goes but is far, far from conveying the richness and even highly developed sense of wonder of the novel. If Nights of Villjamur (FBC Rv, FBC Interview) struck some as somewhat conservative as genre conventions goes, in this one Mr. Newton really lets it go...

Viliren: a city of sin that is being torn apart from the inside. Hybrid creatures shamble through shadows and barely human gangs fight turf wars for control of the streets.

Amidst this chaos, Commander Brynd Adaol, commander of the Night Guard, must plan the defence of Viliren against a race that has broken through from some other realm and already slaughtered hundreds of thousands of the Empire’s people.

When a Night Guard soldier goes missing, Brynd requests help from the recently arrived Inqusitor Jeryd. He discovers this is not the only disapearance the streets of Viliren. It seems that a serial killer of the most horrific kind is on the loose, taking hundreds of people from their own homes. A killer that cannot possibly be human.

The entire population of Viliren must unite to face an impossible surge of violent and unnatural enemies or the city will fall. But how can anyone save a city that is already a ruin?


The Reader said...

How about the Desert Spear Liviu? I know I'm awaiting that one.


Stephen Deas said...

Am a little awestruck to be on a list like this! You can also look forward to The Thief-Taker's Apprentice if you like :-)
Thank-you - made my day this did.

Liviu said...

Thank you for your kind words - Thief-Taker's Apprentice goes on my 2010 list and will be included in the extended "looking forward to 2010" post I will do in a week or so just to avoid repetition.

It's very hard to whittle down to 10, but Desert Spear is on the extended list, though if I were to continue Thirteen Years Later/Kent, Cold Commands and White Luck Warrior would be by next fantasy choices and then Desert Spear, again leaving aside the "maybes".

Also the novel that Tim Akers is writing for PYR would have made the top 10 - since I read City of Ruin I would have included it as a special and had 11 books as "top 10" - if it were a sure thing but will be included as the top "maybe of 2010"

Liviu said...

As an update - I started working on the list of 2010 novels I plan to read or at least try - though for most I have high expectation - and outside these 10 here, I discovered some 70+ more :) of which 60+ are scheduled

Unknown said...

Nothing about "The Crippled God"?
(Malazan books of the fallen)

Liviu said...

Sorry, not a Malazan fan - I do not really like the author's writing style, or better put not enough to read these many pages, though I occasionally enjoyed him at short length.

Robert is a big fan though


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