31 December 2014

Books I'm looking forward to in 2015

I keep a spreadsheet to track books that are coming out, and I've been reviewing 2015 (need to get those orders in early if I'm not to miss anything!)  I search online (You Know Where) for new books by authors I've already read, and trawl blogs, podcasts and Twitter for advance news.

I find You Know Where is useful as a database for this - it will often tell you whether an author has something new up to two years ahead. It's also a good way to cross check information from other sources (publication dates can change!)  And you don't actually have to buy from it if you don't want to.

So, based on all that, here are some books coming up that I hope to be reading and reviewing next year...

January (6)

Jo Walton's The Just City (8 Jan) comes highly recommended by various SFF podcasts I follow.  I haven't read any of Jo's books before but it sounds intriguing - a marriage of Greek philosophy and fantasy.  Out on 13th is Adam Sternbergh's Near Enemy, a sequel to his Shovel Ready, a lovely cross between fantasy and noir set in a decaying New York of the future.

Weathering by Lucy Wood (due on 15 Jan) is - I think - her first novel.  I absolutely loved her recent short story collection Diving Belles so am keen to read more by her.

Dead Girl Walking by Chris Brookmyre (22 Jan) is... by Chris(topher) Brookmyre!

The Boy Who Wept Blood by Den Patrick (29th) is a sequel to the Boy With the Porcelain Blade, set in excellently imagined, Italianate fantasy that has, I think, dark secrets at its heart.

February (5)

Neil Gaiman has Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances coming out on 3 Feb.  My son and I got terribly excited when Gaiman visited Oxford a couple of years ago promoting The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and signed at our local bookshop.  This is a must, though I have no idea what's in it.  Rook Song by Naomi Foyle is due on 5 February, a sequel to Astra, one of the books I enjoyed most in 2014: a political, ecological saga set in the near future.

Then there's The Death House by Sarah Pinborough - more Sarah Pinborough! Yes! - and Touch, both on 26th, by Claire North.  I found North's earlier urban fantasy, written as Kate Griffin, hard to get into - but then last year she wrote The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August which I enjoyed immensely (with Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, multiply iterated parallel lives seem to be having a moment...) and I want to see what she does next.

To round off February, we have A Darker Shade of Magic on 27th by VE Schwab.

March (3)

Company Town by Madeline Ashby is out on 3rd March.  Another one recommended on the podcasts, I'm also intrigued by the description.

"They call it Company Town – a Family-owned city-sized oil rig off the coast of the Canadian Maritimes.  Meet Hwa. One of the few in her community to forego bio-engineered enhancements, she’s the last truly organic person left on the rig. But she’s an expert in the arts of self-defence, and she’s been charged with training the Family’s youngest, who has been receiving death threats – seemingly from another timeline.  Meanwhile, a series of interconnected murders threatens the city’s stability – serial killer? Or something much, much worse..?"

There's a new book by Ian Tregillis, The Mechanical, on 10th March.  His Lovecraftian alt WWII/ Cold War trilogy was entrancing, and then followed up by Something more than Night,  which read as though Milton had turned to writing pulp fiction, so I WANT this.

Finally, on 19 March, there's Glorious Angels by Justina Robson, whose Quantum Gravity trilogy I loved.  Description runs "On a world where science and magic are hard to tell apart a stranger arrives in a remote town with news of political turmoil to come. And a young woman learns that she must free herself from the role she has accepted."

April (3)

Blood, Salt, Water by Denise Mina on 9 April is the latest DI Alex Morrow book, a series which I'm enjoying a lot.

Then there's a new book by Magnus Mills, The Field of the Cloth of Gold, on 23 April  (23/4)  Mills, Magnus.  Like A Cruel Bird Came to the Nest and Looked In, this seems to be a book with historical parallels but not set in actual history, as it were.

Then the next day, 24 April, there's The Machine Awakes, the second in Adam Christopher's SF Spider Wars.  The first book, The Burning Dark, was a wonderfully atmospheric ghost story in space.

May (4)

My most anticipated book of 2015 is A God in Ruins (5 May) by Kate Atkinson. Based in the same world as Life After Life this is apparently focussed on a different character from the earlier book - I'm intrigued how that will be managed amongst the multiple timelines!

May also has Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi on 12th, and The Last Post by MR Hall on 21st, the next of the Jenny Cooper series.  Cooper is a coroner with a troubled past and a knack for exposing awkward truths, a wonderful character who just gets more and more interesting.

Finally, for the first half of next year, I know nothing at all about Seveneves (19 May) by Neal Stephenson but - Neal Stephenson!

In the second half of the year there is a new Laundry novel by Charles Stross, and The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas, short stories by China Mieville and another book(!) by Adam Christopher.

I don't have so many books on my list as I did this time last year, and more of them are (I think) short story collections, or first sequels to brilliant books published last year - so perhaps 2015 will be more of a year of consolidation than 2014?  Of course there will be lots of stuff that I don't know about yet, so as ever, it will be an exciting year.

Enjoy your reading in 2015.


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