We are now within the confines of 2011 and with the New Year comes a whole new swath of great books to look forward to! While I have two dozen books I want to read coming out this year, these are the books I’ll be buying the day they are released!
I’m betting some of them are on your list! Let’s find out, shall we!
In alphabetical order by last name:
The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
I have not read Joe’s work. He has assured me this is a perfect place to start. And I’m fascinated by the first sentence of the book description. “They say Black Dow’s killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls.” Sounds dark. Gritty. And full of badassery. I may not have read Joe’s earlier work but I know his signature when I see it—and I’m in the mood for something dark. Gritty. And full of badassery! Ha!
The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham
I have also not read Daniel’s work. I’ve been busy writing and editing, writing and editing, and my reading time drastically dropped in 2010. That changes in 2011 and it’s time to remedy that as well with Daniel Abraham. He has made an ever growing splash with his The Long Price Quartet and The Dragon’s Path is the first book in a new series that makes a great jumping on point for new readers. And it sounds great. From the book description, “Falling pebbles can start a landslide. What should have been a small summer spat between gentlemen is spiraling out of control. Dark forces are at work, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon’s Path — the path of war.” Want it!
The Inheritance by Robin Hobb
I love short story collections. After having read Robin’s story in the 2010 Warriors anthology, I’m more than looking forward to The Inheritance. My only gripe is it isn’t being published in US hardcover. Annoying. But it will be chocked full of Robin Hobb goodness, the stories pulled from her career with several new additions in the series that made her a beloved writer! And is that a new Fitz series possibly in the works? Hmm, the future is full of possibilities!
A Dance With Dragons by George R. R. Martin
Enter the skeptic. Will this publish in 2011? I have no idea. I stated it was my opinion it would hit in 2010 but GRRM proved my optimism wrong. As I’ve said for years now, he has been unprofessional with this book and the fans have every right to be frustrated. I hate to say it, I’ll take it a step further into territory even detractors won’t go. GRRM seems unavoidably stuck on certain plot elements and I’m more worried about the integrity of the whole series at this point than just one book. One book can be late and it can still be a great book, one that is a great addition to the series; a book with plot inconsistencies or holes can ruin the entirety of Ice & Fire all the way to its climax. It’s sadly the latter I’m leaning toward now, at least until Dance proves me wrong. And I hope I’m proven wrong!
As one blogger out there stated though, George is beyond the amount of manuscript pages seen in A Storm of Swords—the largest book of the series—so when it does finally publish fans will be getting one helluva large book, that’s for sure!
On a different point, in preparation for the HBO series, Unbound Worlds will be conducting a re-read of A Game of Thrones. Get ready! More on this at the end of this month.
Embassytown by China Mieville
China is one of the finest writers working today. His awards won in 2010 prove it from a literary point of view and his readership grows yearly, a testament to his readability. The City & the City was one of his best novels, one that stretched his imagination and his ability. This year we get Embassytown, his first foray into hard science fiction. “Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe. Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts – who cannot lie. Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect the two communities. But an unimaginable new arrival has come to Embassytown. And when this Ambassador speaks, everything changes. Catastrophe looms. Avice knows the only hope is for her to speak directly to the alien Hosts. And that is impossible.” Sounds right up my alley!
The Dark Commands by Richard Morgan
It has been a long time coming but the sequel to 2008’s The Steel Remains looks like it will publish in late 2011. Keep your hope safe though. As with A Dance With Dragons, The Dark Commands (The Cold Commands) has been pushed back several times. Still, I enjoyed The Steel Remains a great deal. I don’t think it was revolutionary but it was dark and gritty and went into some areas that made many readers squirm. And as a writer, I like authors who make people squirm. So let’s hope the October 2011 release date is the final one! After all, I’m in the mood for some dark and gritty fantasy and Richard Morgan is a master at dark and gritty!
Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
I am hoping this book sees 2011. I don’t know for certain. I know Naomi was trying to wrap up the seventh book in the Temeraire series by December before she gave birth to her first child. Still, it can’t be far away from completion if she was near the end, which means it very well could see 2011. And if it does, great! I love Temeraire. As dragons go, he is one of the most amusing I’ve read. And with Laurence and his companion barging/flying all over the world, alone for all intents and purposes now, it will be interesting to see where Naomi takes their story! And who knows? Perhaps this will be the year the series is greenlit onto the silver screen! Stay tuned!
The Unremembered by Peter Orullian
Here is the only debut book on the list. The Unremembered by Peter Orullian. It is a massive epic being published by Tor Books, definitely in the vein of Brandon Sanderson or Terry Brooks’ early work. It publishes in April, and here is a bit more about it: “he gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance—between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.
Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells…. “ Sometimes I need a big epic to immerse myself in for a month. I think April will be a great time for it, while it rains and rains and rains here in Seattle…!
The River of Shadows by Robert V. S. Redick
I loved The Red Wolf Conspiracy. It was one of the best debut books, in my opinion, a few years ago. The Ruling Sea, it’s sequel, started slow but picked up strong enough I am really looking forward to the third book, The River of Shadows. I love seafaring tales and the tale of the epic ship Chathrand is that—and so much more! Throw in some great and fascinating characters, and Robert Redick is proving himself to be one of my favorites!
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of Wind. Arguably one of the finest debut books in the last decade. It is the story of Kvothe, who sinks from gypsy to homeless pauper to University student and beyond. Kvothe is one of the most fully realized characters I’ve read and his story is one most people fall in love with immediately. The Wise Man’s Fear is the continuation of that tale and it’s been three long years in the waiting. It’s also a massive book! Love that kind of pay out! When March 1st arrives, be prepared for a swell of publicity surrounding this release, as it will be one of the biggest bestsellers of the year! Can Rothfuss pull off another wonderful tale? I hope so! March can’t come quick enough!
There you have it! My list of books I want right now! What books make your list? Post them! Maybe I can get around to them too this year!