Below are the novels coming this Fall and Winter that I think are must reads. The truth is, I can’t read them all so I’m looking forward to seeing what interests you. I’m not going to mention Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country and Brent Weeks’s The Blinding Knife because they fall into the no-shit category. I want to read them, and so does everybody else.
Here’s what else caught my eye:
Stray Souls by Kate Griffin (September 2012)
Sharon Li has just discovered she’s a shaman. And not a moment too soon: London’s soul has gone missing. If anyone can solve the mystery and rescue the dying city, she can, but she’ll need help—from the support group she’s just set up for people with magical issues. Now, this motley crew must find a way to save the world….
I’ve never read Griffin’s work before and as my readers know I’m not generally a big fan of urban fantasy as a subgenre. That said, I like to give one a try every now and again. I think Stray Souls might be my fall UF gamble.
Fade to Black by Francis Knight (September 2012)
Today isn’t Rojan’s day. His latest bounty almost killed him three times, his girlfriends all found out about each other and trashed his rooms—and his niece has been kidnapped. Now he’s got to use his magic to find her—and there is a good chance it will end up destroying him.
Rojan follows his niece’s trail to the Pit, the underbelly of the city. The Pit was evacuated when the Synthtox wiped out most of the city’s residents—and a new city was built over it. But what he wasn’t told is that the Pit was never emptied. And Rojan isn’t the only one using pain magic. And there is more at stake than the life of one little girl.
Being honest, this blurb doesn’t do a lot for me, but it’s a great cover and I’ve come to trust Orbit’s editorial direction in recent years (with some reservation). What I didn’t mention above is that the Hachette catalog compares Knight’s writing to a combination of China Miéville and Jim Butcher. Yeah, I’m interested.
Humanity’s Fire by Michael Cobley (Sep-Nov 2012)
The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth’s last hope was to dispatch three colony ships to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on.. .somewhere.
150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien’s forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races. Unknown to its colonists, Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?
This series has been well reviewed the UK and I’m looking forward to getting a look at it finally. I’m a big fan of space opera. It’s a relief to see publishers continue to bring these kinds of titles to the US given the generally flagging sales of SF here. All three books in the series are being released over a three month span. Orbit style!
The Folly of the World by Jesse Bullington (October 2012)
On a stormy night in 1421, the North Sea delivers a blow to Holland: the Saint Elizabeth Flood, a deluge of biblical proportions that drowns hundreds of towns, thousands of people, and forever alters the Low Countries.
Yet even disaster can be profitable, for the right sort of individual, and into this flooded realm sail three conspirators: a deranged thug at the edge of madness, a ruthless con man on the cusp of fortune, and a halfferal girl balanced between them.
In a topsy-turvey world where peasants feast while noblemen starve, these three uneasy confederates discover that betrayals born of greed, rage, and lust are simply politics as usual in Dordrecht, and even if their scheme succeeds they may not live long enough to enjoy it.
I read The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart a few years back. Impressed I was not. Bullington’s writing was great, but the story meandered and I lost interest. Fast forward to 2011, and The Enterprise of Death was released and subsequently shortlisted for The Kitschies, an award I hold in high esteem. I’ll be giving Billington another shot this year with The Folly of the World. Great cover if nothing else.
The Red Knight by Miles Cameron (December 2012)
Winning a throne is not as easy as winning a fight. Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild.
Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. But if standing and fighting is hard, leading a company of men—or worse, a company of mercenaries—against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder.
It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it.
The Red Knight has all three, he has youth on his side, and he’s determined to turn a profit. So when he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with.
Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war…
My gut reaction to this blurb is that The Red Knight will either be a train wreck or genius. It’s either going to be Joe Abercrombie or John Fultz. Interesting both Fultz and Cameron have the same editor though I’m fairly sure neither were acquired by Tom Holman who’s replacing DongWon Song.
Given that Gollancz has the UK rights, I’m holding out hope it’s got a lot more Abercrombie in it than not. Also good to know that book two in the series is already schedule for publication in the Spring of 2013.
Oh, Miles Cameron is an as yet undercover pseudonym. I bet he’s K.J. Parker.
Orbit is also rereleasing three series in omnibus/boxed set format: The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant (Oct 2012), The Culture 25th Anniversary Collection by Ian M. Banks (Oct 2012), Godspeaker Trilogy by Karen Miller (Nov 2012).
Based on the catalog it appears that all three will also be released in an eBook set (read: cheaper than buying the individual books).
What say you? Any of these catch your interest?