This Weekend: Locus Awards

Posted by Admin - June 13th, 2012

The Locus Awards are held this coming weekend in Seattle, WA.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or you want to take a drive, definitely do it. Gonna be great weather and fantastic writers available!
Suvudu » Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, Comics, and Games

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2011 Locus Recommended Reading List with Comments (by Liviu Suciu)

Posted by Admin - February 3rd, 2012

On February 1st, Locus Online has released their 2011 Recommended Reading List which most likely will form the basis of the main list for the upcoming Locus Award which I consider one of the two major and relevant awards in the sff of today together with the more UK oriented Arthur Clarke one.

You can find the full list and the names of the contributors on Locus Online and I copy/pasted the choices in the three main categories of interest, SF novels, Fantasy novels and First novels. I will present them below with some comments.

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Novels – Science Fiction

Link

COMMENTS

General: A great list with almost all the major sf novels of 2011 I thought were excellent or very good. In my list of 2011 highly recommended books you will find The Clockwork Rocket (my top sf of 2011 as we can consider 1Q84 to be “mainstream” for genre award purposes), Leviathan Wakes, Embassytown, The Islanders, Vortex, Home Fires all reviewed on FBC HERE.

Disagreements: Here, the two books I thought had some good stuff but were a little far from being on a top list were Firebird and Heart of Iron. I have no interest in most of the rest as I am not a fan of zombies, Stephen King, Charles Stross (outside of his crazy far future sf which was excellent, his near future and alt hist/fantasy are boring), Vernor Vinge, Joe Haldeman etc. The Ian McLeod would be of some interest but I have not seen a copy yet.

Notable Misses: Of the 2011 major sf novels the one missing here is By Light Alone by Adam Roberts. In addition I am strongly recommending the small press Dancing with Eternity by John Patrick Lowrie which quite surprisingly was my #2 sf novel of the year and # six overall.

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Novels – Fantasy

COMMENTS

General: A good list with some of the fantasy novels I thought were excellent or very good but with a lot of divergence from my tastes too . In my list of 2011 highly recommended books you will find A Dance with Dragons (my top fantasy of 2011), The Hammer, The River of Shadows, The Dragon’s Path, The Book of Transformations, The Cold Commands, Heroes all reviewed on FBC HERE.

Disagreements: Here, the three books I thought had some good stuff but were a little far from being on a top list were The Fallen Blade, The Wise Man’s Fear and The Uncertain Places. Kingdom of Gods and Mr. Fox are books I plan to read at some point, while in the rest I have no interest. I strongly disliked the first Magicians book by Lev Grossman which I thought quite poorly written as literary style goes, regardless of the fantasy-nal content and surprisingly I never got into the “Daniel Fox” series despite that I quite liked his fantasy series written under his real name, while Mystification just did not work out for me as style goes but others loved it…

Notable Misses: Major misses here are the novels by Kate Elliott, Jacqueline Carey, Carol Berg, Paula Brandon (aka Paula Volsky) and of course Adrian Tchaikovsky. In addition, I would strongly recommend Scholar by L.E. Modesitt and The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman.

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First Novels

COMMENTS

General: This is the list with the fewest overlap with my preferences as I would recommend only Debris, The Night Circus and for literary style, The Tiger’s Wife despite my objections to some of its content.

Disagreements: The only other books on the list I finished were Mechanique which I found ultimately mediocre despite some great moments and Low Town which I found just bad. I tried a few others like God’s War, Seed and The Desert of Souls but they did not work for me though in all cases it was just a matter of style not matching my taste so I would recommend taking a look at our (FBC) reviews of some of those and Of Blood and Honey which were among Robert or Mihir’s favorites.

Notable Misses: 2011 was not a great year for debuts imho as I found very little to compare with very strong preceding years. There was Dancing with Eternity mentioned above and the one major publisher miss from the list, All Men of Genius by Lev Rosen whose absence here surprises me a little bit as the book should have ticked all the right boxes for the Locus staff…

Fantasy Book Critic

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Some Quick Updates, Locus Poll, Greg Egan, Paul Hoffman (by Liviu Suciu)

Posted by Admin - April 21st, 2011

Today it is April 15th and it’s a deadline; and no, not the usual one here in the USA, since for some arcane reasons that is April 18th this year, but the Locus Poll deadline about which I talked earlier and you can see my votes HERE.

Go and vote HERE since it is important to have your voice heard; if you want a more balanced coverage of core genre in places like Locus, you have to show that you are interested in reading it since like any sensible business, Locus caters to its audience and one way of measuring that is by what gets voted in the online poll. And again, you do not need to vote in all categories, or for all available five spots, but just where you think you have something that applies.

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The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan has featured prominently in my posts about the books I look forward the most in 2011 (HERE and HERE). The start of the Orthogonal trilogy that takes place into a strange universe where matter is unstable, complex molecules have to be really complex – so the sentient beings that are the heroes of the series like Yalda in this book are six limbed shapeshifters with a strange reproductive biology for example – but people are still people so to speak and they have desires and motivation that we can empathize with…

Well, I just finished the book yesterday afternoon and I *had* to reread it immediately, so powerful it was. I put some very rambling thoughts on Goodreads that need editing at some point in the future and a full review will come here in due course – read those thoughts at your peril since while I do not think they are spoilery, I have to let a little time to pass to really think about this book unemotionally, since besides being a pitch-perfect example of sf and showing why sf is still my favorite genre even after 20+ years of heavy reading in it, the novel is very emotional as literature with characters we care about…

Anyway, while I saw the ending from a long way back it still made me almost cry in a way no sf has done so since the 2005 Honorverse novel At All Costs (FBC Rv) by David Weber whose ending is similarly emotional. Coming back to the Orthogonal trilogy by Greg Egan, the only thing I will add is that I *really, really* want the second installment…

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The other novel I talked about in the two above mentioned posts (HERE and HERE) is the The Last Four Things by Paul Hoffman. Somewhat to my surprise, my dual review with Robert Thompson of The Left Hand of God is probably the single most read review of ours here at FBC based on the continual hits it gets daily and of course I am delighted since I *really* loved the book, bought for myself a final edition to complement the review copy I got and I kept inquiring about a review copy for this one for months now.
Link
Due to the quirks of publishing the book will be out in the UK soon, while the print US edition is scheduled for August, but it seems that – in a very wise decision imho – Penguin will sell the ebook in both UK and US (and presumably elsewhere) on April 28 if the Amazon listing HERE is correct.

To my surprise I have received a US edition review copy several days ago and with this the full five books in my original Top 5 Anticipated Post are accounted for – I read the other four and all were superb and will be top novels of 2011.

Needless to say I will get to this one next and will have some thoughts soon, though I have not decided yet when to do the full review. If the Amazon ebook listing holds, I will review it for sure later this month since the book is then officially available here too, otherwise I will see.

Edit 4/16 Some 1/3-1/2 in the book and it is as crazily inventive and good as The Left Hand of God, with the same alternating of styles, tones and narrative modes; there is considerably more backstory and world building and things make sense and hang together well, but the same “all but the kitchen sink” is thrown in and this one has some stuff that’s even more outrageously funny than in The Left Hand of God and I found myself shaking with laughter often, though the book is also pretty dark and not for the easily offended.

The Pyramid of Lincoln and (the Bosco ordered forgery to save his and Cale’s bacon) The Protocols of the Elders Moderators of Zion Antagonism are among the many early “pearls”, and even more than in The Left Hand of God, The Last Four Things abounds with such play on the famous and infamous from history, always well done imho…
And there are battles, treachery, fights, blunders, deep seated plans that may or may not work…

Edit 4/18: About 100 pages to go out of 400+ and The Last Four Things has been all I expected and more; I would have easily finished the book in the weekend but I enjoy it so much that I do not want it to end so every 100-150 pages I reread them before going forward.

Even now and I have no real idea where it will go – I expect a particular ending to this one but who knows, the author keeps throwing surprises as well as underlining how the best laid plans just break because of stupidity, misunderstandings or pure chance. The “all but the kitchen sink” famous and infamous from history continues to delight and the book is just awesome – better than The Left Hand of God in some ways because it hangs things together and makes sense of the “big picture”…

Cale, Bosco, Vague Henry, Kleist and a few more new characters are shining – of course Cale first and foremost – but the rest have also great lines on occasion.

Edit 4/18 later I finished the book and while what I expected to happen, happened, the book went further, twisted again and left me a bit stunned and again without having much of a clue about what’s going to happen in the 3rd volume; this time the author has a great two page explanation about his sources, including famous philosophers, Catholic thinkers, poets, obscure manuals of war that are available online and one (in)famous speech of Saddam Hussein (seems to be on YouTube) that *** cribs here before ***.

All in all The Last Four Things takes the promise of the Left Hand of God, fulfills it and more in a considerably more complex book this time with all the world building that was only hinted there, but keeping the narrative switches and the many twists, while the trilogy finale is something I really, really want asap…

Also this is another book like The Clockwork Rocket that will take a while to process, though here I am just somewhat stunned by the ending since the book kept getting darker and darker and went beyond emotion in some ways, more like say The Kindly Ones than the usual sff

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LinkNote: So far this year my highly anticipated novels delivered in spades with The Clockwork Rocket and The River of Shadows being #1 in sf and fantasy for now – though to a large extent just because a book has to be number one – and with five more books: Leviathan Wakes, Naamah’s Blessing, The Hammer, Embassytown and The Sea Watch on the same level for me – marked as 1-7 in my Goodreads list HERE they are for most part equals for me this year and the order is temporary, though the truly emotional ending of The Clockwork Rocket above and The River of Shadows (see the review) may keep those as #1.

Fantasy Book Critic

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The 2010 Locus Recommended Reading List with Comments (by Liviu Suciu)

Posted by Admin - February 9th, 2011

Locus has recently put out its annual Recommended Reading List and then followed with the Locus Awards online voting form. Since the magazine purports to represent the sff field, I always pay attention to its list and I vote in the poll.

I posted my full vote list for 2008 HERE and highlights from my vote list for 2009 HERE – I do not remember why I did not post my full list but it may be that I forgot to save it – and once I will vote in the near future, I will post again my full vote list; I urge every sff lover to take 15-20 minutes and vote HERE.

For now I want to discuss the 3 main categories: SF novel, Fantasy novel and Debut novel.

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Novels – Science Fiction

Comments: 17/18 novels with the Willis duo.

Opened 15 – have not heard of Birdbrain until now and I never touch a W. Gibson novel since I do not like his style.

Fully read 5 – Surface Detail (A++, #1 sff and all around 2010 novel of mine), Hull Zero Three (A+, recommended list), The Passage (A, very slow and boring middle third takes away from a better than expected novel), Terminal World (B/A-, disappointment list), The Dervish House (D, dismal)

More-or-less fast-read 2 – the ultra-forgettable Brain Thief and the “interesting premise but poor execution in which my suspension of disbelief got broken fast and I just could not take it seriously” Blackout; from the remaining books, the only one I am sure I will read at some point is Cryoburn, with Zendegi an outside shot if I am ever in the mood for it.

The one big surprise on the list is Directive 51 since I just cannot see how junk like that got included.

In general I found this list ok’ish, more core-sf’nal than I expected though still somewhat away from what is sf today and there is even a Baen book to my surprise, but I guess that Lois Bujold is too big a name to be ignored…

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Novels – Fantasy

Comments: 24 novels

Opened 14 – 4 of the unopened ones are from series I do not follow since the first volume was not for me though I liked some of the respective authors’ other offerings in two cases and I would be willing to try something closer to my taste in the other two (Changeless, Wolf Age, Jade Man’s Skin, Hespira) 5 are from authors I do not touch since I do not like their style – Hill, Holland, McKillip, Straub, Stross, while the Pinborough novel seems far from my taste and being Gollancz, I would need to order it from the UK which I have no interest in doing; if it ever gets a US edition, I may take a look though.

Fully Read 6 – The Folding Knife (A++, top fantasy of mine in 2010), The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (A++, top 10 novel of 2010, though I do not really think it’s fantasy, maybe sf if you want to make it sff), The Half -Made World (A++, top 25 novel and top 10 fantasy), The Sorcerer’s House (A+, recommended list), The Desert Spear (A, more forgettable than I expected on first read), Under Heaven (A-, beautiful writing and world building but huge flaws and one of the worst main leads in recent novels, the “boy with the golden spoon”)

Of the rest Kraken (still stuck around page 200) and Shades of Grey – this one I kind of fast read it, but when book 2 appears I may read it carefully too – are the ones most likely to be finished by me.

Here I cannot say I am surprised by any selection maybe except for Changeless, though Locus trying to at least pay lip service to the current trends by including standard UF is a good thing imho. The traditional fantasy is also better represented than I expected though the list is still far away from what core fantasy is today. Here Locus still needs a lot of catch-up to claim being representative.

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First Novels

Comments: 15 novels

Opened 14 – I do not remember having heard of Meeks until now

Fully Read 6 – The Last Page (A++, top 25 novel), The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (A+, recommended list), The Bookman (A+, recommended list), Shades of Milk and Honey (A-, liked the style but too little substance), The Quantum Thief (B, far away from the hype but a mostly entertaining middling sf closer to Scalzi/Sawyer than to Banks/Reynolds, disappointment though mostly due to hype), The Dream of Perpetual Motion (D, the one debut I really wanted to like and it just fell flat for me – Robert has reviewed it for FBC and he liked it more)

More-or-less-finished – Clowns at Midnight (pretty good and I want to give it a more careful read at some point), How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (dismal sf for grad-lits who have no clue about math, I recommend everyone to read this review of it since it says a lot of what I thought, though I would add a recommendation that the author tries to learn what a differential equation is before throwing the term around freely; at least Mr. Huso’s holomorphs/holomorphy makes some sense in The Last Page‘s context and that is supposed to be fantasy not sf)

I am unlikely to read any of the remaining novels here. All in all, a decent list and considerably better than I expected.

Fantasy Book Critic

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Selecting Books: A Case Study Using the Locus List of Selected Forthcoming Books (by Liviu Suciu)

Posted by Admin - January 30th, 2010


Book selection, book selection, book selection…

I always note that this is the most important element that allows me to read lots of books – sure I make the time, read whenever and wherever I can but ultimately *book selection* is the key since while it means spending time and effort to find the most interesting books, it also means I always have something on tap that keeps my interest high. I look at tons and tons of titles – mostly new but also anything old that attracts my attention, though the older titles tend to be non-sff by and large – and I am always excited to find unexpected books, while of course there is a large “asap”/”on publication” list too. I will have a Top Anticipated 2011 Books post too, maybe split in several parts with a continually updated collated post as I did for 2010 books.

Today of course “book selection” is much easier with lists of upcoming books, samples and all and I find it hard to understand why people persist in reading meh books, rather than looking for those special ones that will brighten their life…

So as a case in study, I took the recently published Locus list of selected upcoming sff from September 2010 till June 2011 and to keep the post of reasonable length, I picked some random months (November 2010, March/May/June 2011) and did a quick look through and commented on each book as I always do “in my mind” when I look at such lists.

Note that the books on the list are only a partial sample of sff releases and also publication dates change, so this list is just one of several sources I use to find out about new sff.

Of course most books – as is the case in general since *an arbitrary book is most likely not of interest for an arbitrary reader* – are of “no interest” to me, which does not mean that I think the book will be bad in any “objective” way – it just means what it says. In many of the “no interest” cases I am acquainted with the respective author’s work and found it “not for me”, while in a few cases – I would say UF first and foremost, but tie-ins too – it is just a matter of the subject being way outside my interests; in the situations I am not sure, I marked it as such and will take a look whenever.

November 2010

  • Adams, John Joseph, ed. • The Way of the Wizard(Prime Books, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Akers, Tim • The Horns of Ruin(Pyr, tpb)
  • begged for an arc since the book was a huge anticipated one for 2010; read it on receive but sadly the book turned out to be far from my tastes

  • Armstrong, Kelley • Counterfeit Magic(Subterranean Press, nva, hc)
  • no interest

  • + Bakker, Scott • Disciple of the Dog(Tor/Forge, hc)
  • no interest

  • Ballantine, Philippa • Geist(Ace)
  • will check but unlikely to be of interest
  • + Banks, Iain M. • Surface Detail(Orbit USA, hc)
  • begged for an arc, currently reading; top expected book of the rest of 2010 by far
  • will be late October most likely, with the UK edition early October

  • Barnes, Steven • Assassins(ISFiC Press, cln, hc)
  • will check but unlikely to be of interest

  • Bear, Greg • Hull Zero Three(Orbit US, hc)
  • an arc would be nice, but a try on publication otherwise

  • Briggs, Patricia • Wolfsbane(Ace)
  • no interest

  • Bujold, Lois McMaster • CryoBurn(Baen, hc)
  • read on publication; this one moved to October too from what I hear

  • Butcher, Jim • Side Jobs(Roc, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Card, Orson Scott • Pathfinder(Simon Pulse, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Clark, Simon • The Gravedigger’s Tale: Fables of Fear(Robert Hale, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Cook, Glen • Gilded Latten Bones(Roc)
  • no interest

  • Cook, Glen • Surrender to the Will of the Night(Tor, hc)
  • I read the first two and got an arc of this one and will read it but not a big asap since my taste evolved a bit away from this series

  • + Cornish, D. M. • Factotum(Putnam, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Cornish, D. M. • Monster Blood Tattoo, Book Three: Factotum(Fickling UK, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • de Lint, Charles • The Painted Boy(Viking, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Fenner, Cathy, & Arnie Fenner, eds. • Spectrum 17: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art(Underwood Books, anth, hc)
  • will look at it in store

  • Fforde, Jasper • The Last Dragonslayer(Hodder & Stoughton, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Gribbin, John • The Alice Encounter(PS Publishing, nva, hc)
  • no interest

  • Gurney, James • Color and Light(Andrews McMeel, art, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Hoban, Russell • Angelica Lost and Found(Bloomsbury, hc)
  • no interest

  • Jemisin, N. K. • The Broken Kingdoms(Orbit US, tpb)
  • an arc would be nice, but read on publication otherwise

  • Jones, Stephen, ed. • Visitants: Stories of Fallen Angels and Heavenly Hosts(Ulysses Press, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Jordan, Robert, & Brandon Sanderson • Towers of Midnight(Tor, hc)
  • no interest

  • Kearney, Paul • Corvus(Solaris US)
  • got an arc and read it on receive – excellent mil-fantasy
  • will be late October most likely

  • Kidd, Tom • OtherWorlds: How to Imagine, Paint and Create Epic Scenes of Fantasy(F + W Publications/Impact, tpb)
  • no interest

  • King, Stephen • Full Dark, No Stars(Simon & Schuster/Scribner, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Lansdale, Joe R. • Flaming Zeppelins: The Adventures of Ned the Seal(Tachyon Publications, cln, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Lee, Sharon • Carousel Tides(Baen, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Leiber, Fritz • Strange Wonders: A Collection of Rare Fritz Leiber Works(Subterranean Press, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • MacLeod, Ian R. • Wake Up and Dream(PS Publishing, hc)
  • maybe if a pdf arc shows up

  • Martin, George R. R., & Gardner Dozois, eds. • Songs of Love and Death(Simon & Schuster/Gallery, anth, hc)
  • will try on publication

  • McDevitt, Jack • Echo(Ace, hc)
  • an arc would be nice, but read/review on publication otherwise as I do with all Jack McDevitt novels

  • McKinley, Robin • Pegasus(Putnam, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • McLeod, Suzanne • The Bitter Seed of Magic(Gollancz, hc/tpb)
  • no interest

  • Nicholson, Scott • Transparent Lovers(PS Publishing, nva, hc)
  • maybe if a pdf arc shows up
  • Painter, Deborah • Forry: The Life of Forrest J Ackerman(McFarland, nf, hc)
  • no interest

  • Rambo, Cat, Paul Tremblay & Sean Wallace, eds. • Worlds of Fantasy: The Best of Fantasy Magazine(Prime Books, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Reed, Robert • Eater-of-Bone(PS Publishing, cln, hc)
  • maybe if a pdf arc shows up

  • Rickert, M. • Holiday(Golden Gryphon Press, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Rushdie, Salman • Luka and the Fire of Life(Random House, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Sargent, Pamela • Seed Seeker(Tor, hc)
  • will try on publication

  • Snyder, Lucy A. • Shotgun Sorceress(Ballantine Del Rey)
  • no interest

  • + Stroud, Jonathan • Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon(Disney-Hyperion, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Swenson, Patrick, ed. • The Best of Talebones(Fairwood Press, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Valente, Catherynne M. • The Habitation of the Blessed(Night Shade Books, tpb)
  • will try if it comes into my hands or a large sample is available

  • VanderMeer, Ann, & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. • Steampunk Reloaded(Tachyon Publications, anth, tpb)
  • will try if it comes into my hands or a large sample is available

  • Warrington, Freda • Midsummer Night(Tor, hc)
  • asked for an arc and got it; blew me away, one of the best 2010 novels I’ve read; review in due course

  • Williams, Tad • Shadowheart(DAW, hc)
    no interest

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March 2011

  • Barnes, John • Daybreak Zero(Ace, hc)
  • will check on publication; unlikely to try it though

  • Beagle, Peter S. • Sleight of Hand(Tachyon Publications, cln, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Bear, Elizabeth • Grail(Ballantine Spectra)
  • no interest

  • Bishop, Anne • Twilight’s Dawn(Roc, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Buckner, M. M. • Gravity Pilot(Tor, hc)
  • will try on publication

  • Bullington, Jesse • The Enterprise of Death(Orbit, tpb)
  • an arc would be nice, will try and maybe read on publication otherwise; this one sounds much more interesting than the author’s debut and it may be a ‘sleeper” top 2011 book for me

  • del Toro, Guillermo, & Chuck Hogan • Eternal Night(Morrow, hc)
  • no interest

  • Feist, Raymond E. • A Kingdom Besieged(Harper Voyager, hc)
  • no interest

  • + Fforde, Jasper • One of Our Thursdays Is Missing(Viking, hc)
  • no interest

  • Furey, Maggie • Exodus of the Xandim(Gollancz, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Gentle, Mary • Black Opera(Night Shade Books, tpb)
  • high, high interest and top anticipated novel of 2011, will try and get it asap; not sure about publication date, but this one is an apriori best of 2011 candidate

  • Godwin, Parke • The Prince from Nowhere(PS Publishing, nva, hc)
  • no interest

  • Gustainis, Justin, ed. • Those Who Fight Monsters(Hades/EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Harrison, Kim • Pale Demon(Eos, hc)
  • no interest

  • Herbert, James • Ash(Macmillan UK, hc)
  • no interest

  • Howe, Harrison, ed. • It Never Sleeps: Tales from the Darker History of New York City(PS Publishing, anth, hc)
  • no interest

  • Jakober, Marie • The Demon Left Behind(Hades Publications/EDGE SF and Fantasy, tpb)
  • will look at it, most likely no interest

  • Kent, Jasper • The Third Section(Bantam UK, tpb)
  • will try on publication and hope it will revert to Twelve’s form rather than the somewhat disappointing Thirteen Years Later

  • Lynch, Scott • The Republic of Thieves(Ballantine Spectra, hc)
  • make or break series book for me though the excerpt so far is disappointing since I am tired of the ‘buddy, buddy” storyline.. an arc will be nice but a try/read on publication otherwise

  • Matheson, Richard • Other Kingdoms(Tor, hc)
  • no interest

  • McKenna, Bridget, & Marti McKenna, eds. • End of an Aeon(Fairwood Press, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Moon, Elizabeth • Kings of the North(Ballantine Del Rey, hc)
  • no interest

  • Remic, Andy • Cloneworld(Solaris, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Rothfuss, Patrick • The Wise Man’s Fear(DAW, hc)
  • high expectations book, will try and get and read asap; another apriori candidate to top of 2011

  • Strahan, Jonathan, ed. • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Five(Night Shade Books, anth, tpb)
    will look at it

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May 2011

  • Anderson, Kevin J., ed. • Nebula Awards Showcase 2011(Tor, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Canavan, Trudi • The Rogue(Orbit US, hc)
  • no interest

  • Deas, Stephen • The Order of the Scales(Gollancz, hc/tpb)
  • asap novel, will read on arrival, very high expectations book and top anticipated book of 2011

  • + Erikson, Steven • The Crack’d Pot Trail(Tor, nva, hc)
  • no interest

  • Foss, Chris • The Art of Chris Foss(Titan Books, art, hc)
  • no interest

  • Freeman, Pamela • Ember and Ash(Orbit, tpb)
  • will try on publication and maybe read the trilogy ending Full Circle in the process; I liked the first two books in the milieu but the third dropped on my pile for now and this, the fourth, may be the spark to rekindle my interest

  • + Hobb, Robin • Inheritance(Eos, hc)
  • no interest

  • Hobson, M. K. • The Hidden Goddess(Ballantine Spectra)
  • will look at it, but most likely no interest

  • Lachlan, M. D. • Fenrir(Gollancz, hc)
  • will look at it, but most likely no interest

  • Lee, Tanith • Court of the Crow(Night Shade Books, hc)
  • no interest

  • Martinez, A. Lee • Catching the Moon(Orbit US, hc)
  • no interest

  • McCaffrey, Anne, & Todd McCaffrey • Dragon’s Time(Bantam UK, hc)
  • no interest

  • Miéville, China • Embassytown(Ballantine Del Rey, hc)
  • high, high expectations book; will read asap; top 10 expected sf of 2011

  • + Rajaniemi, Hannu • The Quantum Thief(Tor, hc)
  • I assume I have made my mind already based on the September 2010 UK edition – either a top book or a not for me one, depending on how the author’ style matches my taste

  • Roberts, Adam • Beggar’s Banquet(Gollancz, hc/tpb)
  • high expectations book; will read/review asap as I do with all of the author’s (original) work

  • Rusch, Kristine Kathryn • City of Ruins(Pyr, tpb)
  • will try though unlikely to be of interest

  • Scalzi, John • Fuzzy Nation(Tor, hc)
  • no interest

  • Valentine, Genevieve • Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti(Prime Books, tpb)
  • will take a look and decide the interest then

  • Whates, Ian • The Noise Revealed(Solaris)
  • beg for an arc book; one of the top anticipated sf of mine in 2011 and of course very, very high expectations
  • Wilson, Robert Charles • Vortex(Tor, hc)
  • will ask for an arc and will read asap; another very high expectation sf of 2011 especially that the author never disappointed me – I may not have loved equally all his novels, but I never found one I did not like


***********************************************************************

June 2011

  • + Abraham, Daniel • The Dragon’s Path(Orbit US, tpb)
  • interesting one; will try and see if my dislike of the author’s acclaimed tetralogy was a fluke or it is just that his writing style does not chime with my taste; try on publication, though an arc will be nice

  • Baxter, Stephen • The Bronze Summer(Gollancz, hc/tpb)
  • may spark my interest in getting the first book in the series – update, got Stone Spring and did not like it that much so far, but will try again

  • Carey, Jacqueline • Naamah’s Blessing(Grand Central, hc)
  • beg for an arc, read asap and a very high expectations fantasy of 2011

  • Carroll, Lee • The Watchtower(Bantam UK, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Duncan, Dave • When the Saints(Tor, hc)
  • no interest

  • Englehart, Steve • The Plain Man(Tor, hc)
  • will look at it, but unlikely to be of interest

  • Goonan, Katherine • Collection(PS Publishing, cln, hc)
  • no interest

  • Grant, Mira • Deadline(Orbit US)
  • no interest

  • Hamilton, Laurell K. • Hit List(Berkley, hc)
  • no interest

  • Hartwell, David G., & Kathryn Cramer, eds. • Year’s Best SF 16(Eos, anth)
  • will look at it

  • Horton, Rich, ed. • The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: 2011 Edition(Prime Books, anth, tpb)
  • will look at it

  • Kowal, Mary Robinette, ed. • The Hugo Award Showcase, 2011 Volume(Prime Books, anth, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Martin, George R. R., ed. • Wild Cards: Fort Freak(Tor, anth, hc)
  • no interest

  • Newton, Mark Charan • Book of Transformations(Tor UK, hc)
  • beg for an arc, read asap, a top 10 anticipated fantasy of 2011

  • Rawn, Melanie • The Diviner(DAW, hc)
  • no interest

  • Sinclair, Alison • Shadowborn(Roc, tpb)
  • no interest

  • Sparks, Cat • Effigy(Angry Robot, tpb)
  • will look it, cannot say offhand

  • Steele, Allen • Hex(Ace, hc)
  • no interest most likely, but will take a look just in case

  • van Eekhout, Greg • Last(Bloomsbury USA, nvl-ya, hc)
  • no interest

  • Vaughn, Carrie • Kitty’s Big Trouble(Gollancz)
  • no interest

  • Yep, Laurence • City of Ice(Starscape, nvl-ya, hc)
    will look at it since I heard good things about the author

Fantasy Book Critic

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