2015 has come and gone, let’s look to 2016

It’s that magic time of the year again, it’s 35 plus degrees outside (I live in the Great Down Under), I’ve drank too much, eaten too much and the in-laws are getting on my last nerve.  However, these humid, sun burnt days covered in Aloe Vera, unmoving, does give me time to reflect and take stock on the books I have read this past year.  There have been good, bad and exceptional, which leads to the inevitable, mournful, pitiable thought: Where did the year go? Can someone please scratch my nose it hurts to move? And I should have read more?

Fortuitously we are given another chance to increase our book tally and plan for the new year as I recover and rehabilitate from the holiday excess, offering alms to the unread soul of 2015 and be like the bear and get stuck in a new.

Down to it, then, my cream of the crop, the duck’s nuts, or if you like the dog’s balls. Of the books I have reviewed (not all released in 2015) my picks for the year would have to include:

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison coverThe story has its twists and turns, nothing too dramatic or surprising and is told across an expansive kingdom, but there are no flashy fight scenes, dragons or mighty heroes, just a fragile king looking for friendship and guidance, with a desire to make the life of the people he rules better.

It’s this theme that resonates and makes you love the book even more.

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim ButcherUp, up, the winds and mists call the Grimm and wildcats. Duty, freedom and protection of family, new and old calls, as War blazes and the few and dedicated will be required to preserve the many. Another great series for a master of the Genre.

Day Boy by Trent Jamieson

Day Boy by Trent Jamieson book cover imageDay Boy is a coming of age story set in a world of harsh truths, blood, death and survival. It is a poetic story of humanity, of monsters living in the Shadow of the Mountain, bitter cold and open to the burning of the clear night sky.

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson book cover imageIn Shadows of Self you can feel the world, its mists and people. You can smell the horse leather and the coal in the air and you just want more.

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan book cover imageThe Autumn Republic is everything you want – and didn’t want – for this story. The writing quality, flow and depth of commitment Brian McClellan has put into this final book in the trilogy is no less than the previous two instalments. I cannot see how you will be disappointed.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman book cover imageIf you like your worlds colourful but dark, fantastical and adventurous, this is the book for you.

Speak the name of the Library in the Language and the door will open. Step through at your own risk.

The Vagrant by Peter Newman

The Vagrant by Peter Newman book cover imageThe Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Years have passed since humanity’s destruction emerged from the Breach. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape.

A Crown of Cold Silver by Alex Marshall

Twenty years ago, feared general Cobalt Zosia led her five villainous captains and mercenary army into battle, wrestling monsters and toppling an empire. When there were no more titles to win and no more worlds to conquer, she retired and gave up her legend to history.

The middle runners, while not world burners, they provided me a goodly amount of enjoyment and nostalgia,

The not so middle, those riding on the crest of the wave until they reach the shore of the next in their series.

As always there are some books which I did not have a chance to review but do require a mention,

  • Hallow Point by Ari Marmell 7/10
    The second in Oberon series, is much like the first, a great little read that ticks along nicely. The site has a review from another reviewer, click here.
  • Time Salvager by Wesley Chu 6.5/10
    If I am being honest, I had high hopes for this book and was somewhat disappointed. Well written, good narrative and engaging in parts, its biggest negative is the story was not very original, sticking to well-worn ideas on time travel and cause and effect.
  • Lockstep by Karl Schroeder 7.5/10
    The first three quarters of this book are fantastic, unfortunately the last quarter peters out and the finale is unsatisfying. You get the feeling the story ending was rushed a little and that more was intended, but not achieved.
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson 9/10
    Awesome second installment to the Stormlight series. I tried a few times to get a review on paper, but the sheer size always made my words stumble and fall at the starting blocks. Can recommend this series enough got lovers of EPIC fantasy.
  • Firefight by Brandon Sanderson 7/10
    While not in the same league as Steelheart, the second installment in the Reckoners series had its highs and lows, but was overall a decent read.

I actually read all of the Secret History series by Simon R Green, The Man with the Golden Torc being book 1 and would recommend them to readers who enjoy funny, dark and on the nose comedy.

Side note on Brandon Sanderson, whose books fill the 2015 and 2016 list.

Have you ever seen the movie Multiplicity with Michael Keaton, if not, the basic premise is Keaton’s character clones himself four times in order to do everything he needs to do in life, work, play, bake, etc. So in that regard I would like to postulate hear and now, due to the SHEER volume of words Brandon Sanderson has been out putting out in the last few years and in the year to come, that he is quadruplets. Three for every day and one for Sunday best. I have even found a raw photo of all four of them together, on the far left is Studious Sanderson, next is the Wiseguy Sanderson, followed by the Scholarly Wiseguy Sanderson and finally Mischievous Sanderson.

The Four Sandersons image

It’s either that or he has stolen Shakespeare’s monkeys and has had them working overtime for the last decade.

Image with monkeys typing

Side note end.

And now comes the goodies for 2016, including their release dates. Gimme!

Gimme Them All (Futurama)

  • Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson, 26th Jan 2016
  • Staked by Kevin Hearne, 26th January 2016
  • Calamity by Brandon Sanderson, 16th Feb 2016
  • Burned by Benedict Jacka, 5th April 2016
  • The Malice by Peter Newman, 24th April 2016
  • Peace Talks by Jim Butcher, 10th May 2016
  • A Blade of Black Steel by Alex Marshall, 24th May 2016
  • Stiletto by Daniel O’Malley, 14th June 2016
  • The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch, 16th June 2016
  • The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks, Mid-Late 2016
  • Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss, Mid 2016
    (Fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes are all crossed it’ll happen)

What are you looking forward to in 2016?

My book addiction 2014 and more of what’s to come in 2015

Where to start… There have been so many excellent (and a few bad) releases in 2014, so much so I reviewed nearly all of the books I have read, so hurray me. Some have inspired me, most have captivated me and a few have made me shake my head in indignation.

There is just something in the power of words that make even the tough times that little bit easier; they are the escapism, relief to stress and pressure which draws you into another world for a few minutes or hours. Paraphrasing Robin Williams, “books are a crutch and support for people who get lost in reality”.

Broken record I know, but I said it last year and I am sure to say it again. Why do you care what some blogger with a friendly webmaster says about this year’s reading material? The simple answer is you don’t have too, but I like to talk, I am still opinionated and you never know where a good recommendation or possibility a book to miss comes from.

My 2014 reads (some reviews are from books published prior 2014) in order of my favourites are:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

Slow Regard of Silent Things coverThe University, a renowned bastion of knowledge, attracts the brightest minds to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences like artificing and alchemy. Yet deep below its bustling halls lies a complex and cavernous maze of abandoned rooms and ancient passageways – and in the heart of it all lives Auri.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a joyous offering of literary excellence and a heart-breaking delving of loss, loneliness and the mysteries that are Auri.

You can read an interview with the author here.
Rating: 10/10

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Skin Game book coverIn the absence of justice and a choice Harry must withhold vengeance against his greatest enemy? Bound as the Winter Knight to Winter’s Law Harry must settle Mab’s debt, committing theft and robbery from the most secure vault in the Nevernever. Unwillingness to comply to the letter of the agreement risks violating Mab’s word, his life and a chance for payback against Nicodemus. It’s going to take some fast thinking to get Harry out of this one alive and in one piece.

Stacking up the last three books, this has definitely been my favourite, this is Dresden through and through.
Rating: 9/10

The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan

The Crimson Campaign book coverWhen Gods walk the Earth and War rages unchecked, Tamas suffers defeat at the hands of Kez. Beaten but not Broken Tamas must fight his way back to Adro and his son.

Taniel awakens from his coma only to hear of his father is assumed death, traveling to the front, many things are not as they should be, as a traitor hides with the Armies high command.

Crimson Campaign is the second in the Powder Mage Trilogy and much like the Promise of Blood, it is simply fantastic. Gods, overt and introvert, magic, a struggle for survival and revenge, bundled up across three main story arcs. The Autumn Republic is going to be a great conclusion.
Rating: 9/10

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan

I initially started a review of this but still can’t bring myself to finish it. I was left a little wanting (yes, I understand Jordan passed away). If you have read or reading the WoT series nothing I can say will keep you from this final instalment. Still a great read.
Rating 7.5/10

Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia

Monster Hunter International book coverIn Monster Hunter International we inhabit a world of werewolves, vampires, trolls, orcs and much much more. It’s a hidden world known only to those who fight these creatures and those who have suffered at their hands. From the opening pages this book contains a lot of action and gun love, and continues in this vain from the start to finish. Think of it as a book that runs up hill without stopping and then jumps off.

This was enjoyable book, which came as a surprise. The shape and flow of the story is well defined and you easily breeze through the pages with glee.
Rating 8/10

The Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

Promise of Blood book cover imageThe alchemy of gunpowder fused with the magic of sorcery. In a time of upheaval, resurgence and corrupted Royalty Privileged, one-man’s love for his lost wife and his country burns and fuels a new order where all can be treated equally.

You can almost smell the gunpowder and hear the guillotine falling.
Rating 8.5/10

The Very Best of Tad Williams by Tad Williams

The Very Best of Tad Williams book cover imageThe very best of Tad Williams is a collection of 17 different stories that will appeal to old and new fans alike. Whether you like fantasy, sci-fi, crime or horror there is a story here for you. Williams has delivered another well-conceived and written book, that if nothing else is a great introduction to his works for new fans.

The work regardless of the story is typical Williams, well constructed and thought-out, at times a little preachy for my taste but otherwise any reader would be very happy to pick up this work up.
Rating 8.5/10

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

I great little piece of English Urban fiction (even if he now lives in New York). Cosmic, funny, a lot of action and a great tag line, “What would Kurt Russell do?” Think Nightside mixed with Alex Verus.

When multidimensional horrors known as the Progeny try it invade your reality what would you do? Answer, join the secret government agency MI37 and ask yourself what would Kurt Russell do?
Rating 8/10

The City by Stella Gemmell

The City by Stella Gemmell book cover imageThe City is ancient and vast and has been waging almost constant war for centuries. At its heart resides the emperor. Few have ever seen him. Those who have remember a man in his prime – and yet he should be very old. Some speculate that he is no longer human, others wonder if indeed he ever truly was. And a few have come to a desperate conclusion: that the only way to halt the emperor’s unslakebale thirst for war is to end his unnaturally long life.

I will be the first to admit that I picked up this story with my own reservations and preconception, but was very happy to have them changed. This is a great addition to the epic fantasy genre.
Rating 7/10

Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan

Trudi Canavan's Thief's Magic book coverIn a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Overall the story is a success, mostly due to Tyen and Vella, with the last couple of chapters of Rielle’s story picking up the pace. There are some true Canavan elements and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next story. Tyen will only develop and learn and it will be interesting to see how he handles the power and responsibility. Rielle must evolve or stay the pawn of a religious overlord; I am not sure which way she will go.
Rating 7.5/10

Shattered by Kevin Hearne

Shattered by Kevin Hearne book coverFor nearly two thousand years, there was only one Druid left walking the Earth – Atticus O’Sullivan, the Iron Druid, whose sharp wit and sharp sword kept him alive while pursued by a pantheon of hostile deities. Now he’s got company.

The epilogue for Atticus, Granuaile and Owen is one of more trouble to come and I like that I can see which way and how it will be shaped in the next book.
Rating 7/10

Sleeping Late on Judgment Day by Tad Williams

The final book in this Bobby Dollar series doesn’t disappoint (well not much). Bobby must face the consequences of his actions, route out a Traitor in Heaven and maybe, just maybe save the girl/demon/love of this life. So, not much to worry about then.

For the most, Sleeping Late brings all the story threads together, throws in the Big Bad behind Bobby’s troubles (with very large hints to his past, which is then left unexplained, grrrr) and provides him the opportunity to kick some ass, while still getting his handed to him along the way.

Nice conclusion to this this particular story line.
Rating 7/10

Hidden by Benedict Jacka

Hidden by Benedict Jacka book coverAlex’s friend, the life mage Anne, distanced herself from him when she found out about his past as a Dark apprentice. Now she’s in serious trouble, but wants nothing to do with him. Alex has to start wondering if Anne’s problem is really with him – or if there’s a secret she’s trying to hide.

I am a big fan of Benedict Jacka, his writing style has a consistent flow and pace, his characters have a fully cemented feel to them but I found the lack of action for the first half of the book caused the reading to be a little dry. I would describe the book has having two parts. The first half is a good recap of the previous novels and leads you snugly to the second half, where the pace really picks up and you feel the story going somewhere. Knock through the first five chapters quickly and you won’t be disappointed.
Rating 7/10

The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey

The Getaway God by Richard Kadrey book coverRivers of blood, Armageddon and a resurrected enemy Stark personally made sure was dead. Welcome to L.A. The Old Gods are at the door and they want the squatters out. One problem, all of Stark’s favourite stuff is there, his DVD’s, his guns and his girlfriend, and as they say possession is nine-tenths of the Law.

Overall, The Getaway God had some true Sandman Slim elements and concluded to a degree Stark’s Sandman journey, but ultimately it didn’t feel like a cohesive and rounded novel.
Rating: 6/10

Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind

It may be best to just read my review. I also read The Third Kingdom in 2014 but it falls into the same basket as Severed Souls.
Rating 2/10


 

My still to read and review list from 2014 (have heard nothing but good things). So many books not enough time.

  • Age of Iron by Angus Watson
  • Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
  • Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
  • The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
  • The Binding Knife by Brent Weeks

2015 is starting to look pretty good, so mark your calendars but I don’t think I have enough time to read them all. That’s it – I’m quitting work to read full time…

  • Firefight (Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson
    Just Released!
  • Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman
    Release date, 3 February
  • The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage #3) by Brian McClellan
    Release date, 10 February
  • A Blink of the Screen by Terry Pratchett
    Release date, 17 March
  • The Skull Throne (Demon Cycle, #4) by Peter V. Brett
    Release date, 24 March
  • The Vagrant by Peter Newman
    Release date, 23 April
  • King of Ashes (War of Five Crowns) by Raymond E. Feist
    Release date, April
    Blood of the Cosmos (Saga of Shadows #2) by Kevin J. Anderson
    Release date, 2 June
  • Stileto (sequel to The Rook) by Daniel O’Malley
    Release date, 30 June
  • Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim, # 7) by Richard Kadrey
    Release date, 28 July
  • The Aeronaut’s Windlass (The Cinder Spires #1) by Jim Butcher
    Release, Mid 2015 (sometime before Peace Talks)
  • Peace Talks (The Dresden Files, #16) by Jim Butcher
    Release date, September
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson
    Release date, October

Maybe (most likely not, but so want them to be) late late 2015 releases.

  • Doors of Stone (Kingkiller Chronicles #3) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Skybreaker (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson
  • Staked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #8) by Kevin Hearne

Orion announce full programme activities for 2014 Gollancz Festival

Gollanz Festival 2014 PosterGollancz, the science-fiction and fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, have announced the full programme of author events at Waterstones Piccadilly for The Gollancz Festival 2014 – the publisher’s first interactive multi-media celebration of genre fiction – on the 13th August 2014.

New additions to the line–ups of both rooms at Waterstones Piccadilly include Joe Hill and Connie Willis. For updates on digital events register your interest at www.gollancz.co.uk/gollanczfestival2014 and follow @gollancz #gollanczfest.

Room 1 at Waterstones Piccadilly will have a reading from Patrick Rothfuss followed by a series of panel events with award-winning authors covering the sense of wonderment in SF, the elements of SFF that make it impossible to cross genre boundaries, and whether fantasy, by definition, is consolatory.

In Room 2, Gollancz’s 2014 debut novelists will talk about their novels and experience of publishing, and three bestselling authors will give solo talks, readings and interviews:  Joanne M. Harris will discuss the use of different narratives as a means of exploring stories; Joe Hill might share an insight into having your work become a Hollywood film; and Patrick Rothfuss will give a solo talk and audience Q&A.

Gollancz have also confirmed that the Gollancz Festival Goodie Bags, available to every ticket-holder, will include two Gollancz novels, and an exclusive Pat Rothfuss The Slow Regard of Silent Things book plate.

For full details of the Waterstones evening event, to purchase tickets or to pre-order a signed book visit www.waterstones.com/events or call 020 7851 2400.

Authors participating in the festival will include:

  • Ben Aaronovitch
  • Joe Abercrombie
  • Mark Alder
  • James Barclay
  • Leigh Bardugo
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • Greg Bear
  • Holly Black
  • Mitch Benn
  • Kit Berry
  • Miles Cameron
  • Pat Cadigan
  • Anna Caltabiano
  • AJ Dalton
  • Elspeth Cooper
  • Edward Cox
  • Janie Fenn
  • Joanne Harris
  • Peter Higgins
  • Joe Hill
  • Stephen Hunt
  • Simon Ings
  • John Hornor Jacobs
  • Tom Lloyd
  • Scott Lynch
  • Paul McAuley
  • Elizabeth May
  • Suzanne McLeod
  • David Moody
  • Richard Morgan
  • Den Patrick
  • Sarah Pinborough
  • Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Adam Roberts
  • Alastair Reynolds
  • Robert VS Redick
  • Justina Robson
  • Patrick Rothfuss
  • Brandon Sanderson
  • Nalini Singh
  • Gavin Smith
  • Jon Wallace
  • Connie Willis
  • Chris Wooding

Fergus McCartan: My book addiction in review

2013 has been a good year for feeding my book addiction. The majority of my reads have gone well and while many of the books were not from a new series I tried to branch out into the undiscovered whenever possible.  However, there is only so much time for reading for those of us with everyday working lives so I remain true to my favourites.

Maybe you are now questioning why you should care what some random reviewer with access to Word and has to say about this year’s reading material? The simple answer is there is no particular reason you should but I like to talk, I am rather opinionated, but you never know where a good recommendation might come from…

If I’d had the time I would have liked to of reviewed each and every book I have read, but sometimes that’s just not possible. Thankfully others have the same love and passion and together we can complete the picture and bore you ad nauseam about why we love or hate a particular book.

This year my hits have been many, my misses few. There have also been some I have placed on the back burner, which will get a second chance even though the first read was a struggle.

Down to it then.

Good – Top picks first

Dodger by Terry Pratchett coverDodger by Terry Pratchett
One of the best Pratchett books I have read in many years and my top pick of 2013. Come one come all to  the greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all.

“Pratchett has beautifully narrated Dodger. The story has been written in such a way you can feel the cobblestones under your feet as Dodger works his way around London; thankfully you don’t have to feel some other things described. The quality of the writing takes me back to discovering Terry Pratchett for the first time.”

Read my full Dodger review

The Dirty Streets of Heaven cover image.The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
A very welcome surprise.  My preconceived expectations of this story were blown out of the water.  I went in preparing for the worst but it really came out as a cracker.

” I found the main characters and view to be engaging. The principle character, Bobby Dollar, is a nice balance of several characters types. If you have seen the movie or read the comics, you will find elements of Constantine, in his view of aspects of Heaven, Hell and Demons. I also found characteristics of Sandman Slim in the anthropomorphic depiction of demons and miscellaneous things that walk. Dresden is also in the mix in the elements of Bobby’s motivation and actions towards demons. Divine hero, wounded, beaten, and tired, out of his depth and trick but ever growing, evolving and becoming something more.”

Read my full The Dirty Streets of Heaven review

Steelheart cover imageSteelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Comic book superheroes that make Lex Luther look like a girl scout.  In a world turned upside down, humanity struggles to survive.  Great read, highly recommended.

“Strength, speed and immortality are a few of the Epics powers, but ridiculously stupid evil villain names like Conflux, Deathpointer, Pink Pinkness: I am not sure whether to laugh or cry. I say laugh as it’s got to be some strange homage to Stan Lee. I will be honest, I went into this book not expecting to like it and came out pleasantly surprised. Don’t dwell too long on some of the comic book silliness and you will be pleased.”

Read my full Steelheart review

Ender’s Game & Speaker of the Dead by Oscar Scott Card
There is not much I can add to this that already hasn’t already been said over the years. My usual literary bread and butter is fantasy and I don’t often venture into sci-fi however, with the talk of the upcoming movie I wanted to get the original story before the edited movie version. Once I finished the first book it was suffice to say I choose not to see the movie. This may be a little harsh but after watching the trailers and reading the reviews I knew too much had been amended to give a true representation of the story. The quality, complicity, and nuances of the books where lost. The concepts behind the need for Ender’s existence, his treatment and isolation where not, could not be a tale for a children’s movie. The realism, pain and gut crippling fear just wouldn’t be possible in a PG movie. I would urge anyone who has seen the movie and found it lacking to redeem the story by reading the book, you will not be left wanting.

Hunted by Kevin Hearne
Book six in the Iron Druid Chronicles. If you are into these books, you need no further explanation. It delivers everything the other books have previously; fast paced, magical, Gods and the ever impending doom of the Apocalypse.  If you have read the series, get a move on – it’s great little read.  Book one, Hounded, will drag you into a world of the Last Druid, Atticus O’Sullian, 2,100 years old but doesn’t look a day over 21.  Old hatred doesn’t die for the Immortal Gods the Tuatha Dé Danann, hiding for centuries Atticus is tired of running and finally will face his enemies down.

Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
Book four of the Sandman Slim novels. While not as gripping and engaging as the other three novels, Kadrey gives it a red-hot go. Older Gods from before time, supernatural squatters in abandoned shopping malls where the dead roam free. What could go wrong? If you have not come across the series before, have a read of the review for the first book, Sandman Slim, absolutely awesome.

Broken Homes cover imageBroken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
Book four of the Rivers of London series and Aaronovitch is still going strong. Layer upon layer is built and we begin to see a world build around Peter and the Folly Team. Laughs, action, betrayal and the realisation that the Faceless Man is fallible.

“You can’t go past the humour in these books, reading Peters attempts to use dog barks as scientific measurement in his research into magic and let’s not forget Molly’s learning to cook and everyone still going hungry. The times when magical ‘kick-assery’ is employed are absorbing and energizing; Nightingale coming to the rescue of Peter and Lesley, a cottage collapsing around him and walking out fixing his tie in one hand and dragging the bad guy with the other, very Bond. Laughs, action, betrayal and the magic woof-scale. What more can you ask for?”

Read my full Broken Homes review

Promise of Blood book cover imagePromise of Blood by Brian McClellan
I was given this recommendation by my local bookmonger (which sounds better than just plain “guy in book store”).  I wasn’t lead wrong: French revolution, mixed with guns and magic.

“Love, betrayal, swords, magic, muskets and Kresimir returned, there is trouble on the horizon for Tamas in book two. I will say this now, Tamas will die; he is going to sacrifice himself to the Kresimir to save the world or his son or both. I just can’t see another out outcome for him. Thankfully we are a while away from that, maybe I should say hopefully…”

Read my full Promise of Blood review

Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy
If you are this far down the rabbit hole you have to admit that your “dirty little secret read”. A fun, dark page-turner. Only one more book and it’s all done.  If you haven’t read it, pick up book one and pretend your going to give it to the kids…

Cursed cover imageCursed by Benedict Jacka
Book two of the series and Jacka really begins to add meat to the bones of the Alex Verus world, and slowly move away from the Dresden stereotype. Assassins, Magical Councils, Martial Arts and angry women – what more can you ask for?

“In ‘Cursed’ we are starting to build into the back story and get some legs behind the world of Alex Verus, it’s still verging on a Dresden story but we are staring to see some breakout individuality. The more I read, the more I enjoy and the more I want to read.”

Read my full Cursed review

Happy Hour in Hell cover imageHappy Hour in Hell by Tad Williams
Bobby Dollar crawls through Heaven and Hell for love and we follow him every step of the way. Great second installment.

“That aside, in book two we begin to delve more into heavenly and demonly (yes I know that is not a word) affairs.  We are reminded that Bobby is a small fish in a big pond, mostly by himself. However, for such a small fish those in power are very interested. I am unsure if there is a hidden path for Bobby or if it’s just the depths of his abilities and determination flow from his forgotten history. I am currently favouring two options at the moment. One: Bobby is an Arch-Angel, disillusioned with Heaven and trying to regain some faith by doing some leg work on earth. Two: Bobby is actually a Fallen Angel who has been granted access to Heaven again. More than likely it’s neither, but it’s fun to guess.”

Read my full Happy Hour in Hell review

The Desert Spear by Brent Weeks
A great second installment in the Demon Trilogy. We begin to get the history behind Ahmann Jardir and Arlen.  Betrayal, from those we love cuts that much deeper. Brent Weeks has provided us with a depiction of a man trying his best to help a world in fear by teaching them to help themselves. And a man who thinks he can save the world by strength and will alone.

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
All of the Discworld feel but lacking in that quirkiness. In a universe of magic and anthropomorphised characters, steam power has come to Ankh-Morpork, hot, dangerous and alive. Raising Steam has all the elements of our Discworld favourites: Vimes, Vetinari, dwarfs but for me the spark was missing.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the book but I did walk away feeling it was a little lacking.  Maybe I am still looking for that first Discworld hit, that pee in my pants, sniggering on the bus like a mad man while everyone is looking at you moment and maybe I should realise you can’t have that very time. Read and judge for yourself.

Death Most Definite by Trent Jamieson
Death is a business and it runs in the family. Even when people die they need help. Help to let go and move on.  Death Most Definite is a nice twist on the tale of death and the afterlife. Death is a business, broken down into regions, nice bite size pieces and business is good.  When the people who facilitate death begin turning up dead themselves, the recently deceased are left stranded. A cataclysm is coming, someone wants promotion and nothing will get in their way. This is a great little read from a Brisbane local and I particularly liked the concept for the afterlife; death, recycling and the tree of life. Dark, funny and mythic.

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Cheesy, somewhat predictable modern fantasy with hard notes and a nice twist of a future, alternate world. Mages, monsters and necromancers abound the main character Kate is an underdog with teeth. Surprisingly fun little read, it won’t take up to much of your weekend.

Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Vampire fiction is not my usual could of tea but this was a recommendation and I decided to give it a go. You know how the story go, man becomes vampire, man BECOMES the vampire, man eventually see the errors of his ways and tries to redeem himself. In a city of vampire loyalty and divided territories, a single vampire walks a path of survival and maybe do a little good. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t have a heart. Don’t get me wrong here, he will rip the still beating beat from the chest of the bad guy, but he’ll feel bad about it.

Bad – Worst first

Prophecy’s Ruin by Sam Bowring
On the plus side was well-written and the story had legs.  However, the characters where flat and a quarter of the way through, we still hadn’t progressed past the character build up and back-story.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I just don’t know what I was thinking – young adult drivel at it best. At least there aren’t any sparkly vampires. If you were a fan of Edward or Jacob, then this is for you.

Daylight War by Peter V Brett
I was really looking forward to the third installment in the Demon Cycle books. The first two books were very good, and while I can understand the concept Brett was trying to put across, it just didn’t work. In book one we had Arlen’s story, in book two we had Jardir’s and for book three we focus on Inevera’s story. The problem with this is that Inevera is not a relatable character. I developed no empathy for her or her back-story and while Inevera’s story depicts a harsh upbringing it was unmoving and dry, in the end I just put the book down half way through. I will most likely read about the book online before trying to progress to book four, I just hope that we don’t have to go through this Robert Jordan-esque character development again.

Magician's End cover imageMagician’s End by Raymond E Feist
This one was bitter sweet for me, I didn’t want it to end but after the stretching of the plots over the last couple of books it was time. Magician’s End had so much potential, we could have really had a real tearjerker but Feist played it safe and as such it was all very deflating. It really shouldn’t be in the bad pile, maybe in the “to revisit”, but it could have been so much more. It deserved to be so much more.

“There is an old saying “whoever brought me here must also bring me home”. Feist brought us to Pug and Midkemia many years ago and has finally brought us home to an ending; unfortunately I am just not sure that it is an ending worthy of the life of Pug and the Midkemia Universe. When I read a series I have a tendency to not read the last novel, I guess I don’t want it to actually be over. Nevertheless, it felt like it was time to close the page on Pug (pun intended); I just wish it were more. In Magician’s End I found the plot to be lean, the sub-stories unconnected and I found no empathy or connection with a lot of characters laid out in the story.”

Read my full Magician’s End review

To revisit

The Gunslinger by Stephen King
No need to shoot the messenger here (pun intended) and I am sure to get come flack for this, but I just couldn’t make myself like it. I just found the story too laborious, the characters to be monotonous and we just don’t seem to be going anywhere. Time and perspective are a great boon.

Clockwork Vampire Chronicles by Andy Remic
I will be honest: I found the story and world to be vivid and compelling, Remic has an excellent writing technique and makes the world jump out from the page. Unfortunately the characters did not.  I am not sure if it was just my frame of mind but I felt they lacked a certain spark. I will sit on it for a while and give another go, as I can really see this being a very good series.

A Memory of Light Cover Reveal

As Orbit so succinctly put it, “Twenty years. Thirteen books. Forty million fans. And now the final battles approaches.”

Orbit have revealed the cover and release date for the final installment in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, ‘A Memory of Light’, which is set to hit shelves worldwide in January 2013.

‘And it came to pass in those days, as it had come before and would come again, that the Dark lay  heavy on the land and weighed down the hearts of men, and the green things failed, and hope died.’ – From Charal Drianaan te Calamon, The Cycle of the Dragon.

In the Field of Merrilor the rulers of the nations gather to join behind Rand al’Thor, or to stop him from his plan to break the seals on the Dark One’s prison – which may be a sign of his madness, or the last hope of humankind. Egwene, the Amyrlin Seat, leans toward the former.

In Andor, the Trollocs seize Caemlyn.

In the wolf dream, Perrin Aybara battles Slayer.

Approaching Ebou Dar, Mat Cauthon plans to visit his wife Tuon, now Fortuona, Empress of the Seanchan.

All humanity is in peril – and the outcome will be decided in Shayol Ghul itself. The Wheel is turning, and the Age is coming to its end. The Last Battle will determine the fate of the world . . .

For twenty years The Wheel of Time has enthralled more than forty million readers in over thirty-two languages. A MEMORY OF LIGHT brings this majestic fantasy creation to its richly satisfying conclusion.

Working from notes and partials left by Robert Jordan when he died in 2007, and consulting with Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson has recreated the vision Jordan left behind.

Most Anticipated Books of 2012 – 2012 Heavyweights

Well would you look at that. 2012 has arrived, and is already starting to fly by. Resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but the holiday fat is beginning to disappear (hopefully). Work is starting back, school as well, and the days are getting shorter or longer, depending on where you live.

And there is a new crop of books just waiting to be printed, pressed and delivered.

Ryan Lawler and Josh Hill have set out to give you the run down on the best, biggest, and … the rest, of the fantasy books being published in 2012. So have a read, and stick around all week as we build up to their personal choices for Most Anticipated Books of 2012.

This time around it’s those books of 2012 that aren’t necessarily our favourites, but we’ll be reading, enjoying, and looking forward to. They are the big name authors of the year that just miss our cut for Most Anticipated, coming the beginning of next week.

Well would you look at that. 2012 has arrived, and is already starting to fly by. Resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but the holiday fat is beginning to disappear (hopefully). Work is starting back, school as well, and the days are getting shorter or longer, depending on where you live.

And there is a new crop of books just waiting to be printed, pressed and delivered.

Ryan Lawler and Josh Hill have set out to give you the run down on the best, biggest, and … the rest, of the fantasy books being published in 2012. So have a read, and stick around all week as we build up to their personal choices for Most Anticipated Books of 2012.

This time around it’s those books of 2012 that aren’t necessarily our favourites, but we’ll be reading, enjoying, and looking forward to. They are the big name authors of the year that just miss our cut for Most Anticipated, coming the beginning of next week.

Check out the first part of this series, ‘The Rest’ and the last part, Our Favourites.

 

the 2012 Heavyweights

The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower) by Stephen King

We join Roland and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. As they shelter from the screaming wind and snapping trees, Roland tells them not just one strange tale, but two–and in doing so sheds fascinating light on his own troubled past.

In his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt-ridden year following his mother’s death, Roland is sent by his father to a ranch to investigate a recent slaughter. Here Roland discovers a bloody churn of bootprints, clawed animal tracks and terrible carnage–evidence that the ‘skin-man’,
a shape-shifter, is at work. There is only one surviving witness: a brave but terrified boy called Bill Streeter.

Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, ‘The Wind Through The Keyhole.’
‘A person’s never too old for stories,’ he says to Bill. ‘Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.’

A Memory of Light (Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

Currently in the 2nd Draft stage, according to Brandon Sanderson’s own website, ‘A Memory of Light’ is blurb-less for the moment, but we are very excited to see the conclusion of this mammoth and industry-shaking series.

King of Thorns (Broken Empire) by Mark Lawrence

To reach greatness you must step on bodies, and many brothers lie trodden in my wake. I’ve walked from pawn to player and I’ll win this game of ours, though the cost of it may drown the world in blood…

The land burns with the fires of a hundred battles as lords and petty kings fight for the Broken Empire. The long road to avenge the slaughter of his mother and brother has shown Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath the hidden hands behind this endless war. He saw the game and vowed to sweep the board. First though he must gather his own pieces, learn the rules of play, and discover how to break them.

A six nation army, twenty thousand strong, marches toward Jorg’s gates, led by a champion beloved of the people. Every decent man prays this shining hero will unite the empire and heal its wounds. Every omen says he will. Every good king knows to bend the knee in the face of overwhelming odds, if only to save their people and their lands. But King Jorg is not a good king.

Faced by an enemy many times his strength Jorg knows that he cannot win a fair fight. But playing fair was never part of Jorg’s game plan.

A Path to the Coldness of Heart (Dread Empire) by Glen Cook

At long last, the conclusion to Glen Cook”s Dread Empire saga has arrived! King Bragi Ragnarson is a prisoner, shamed, nameless, and held captive by Lord Shih-kaa and the Empress Mist at the heart of the Dread Empire. Far away in Kavelin, Bragia”s queen and what remains of his army seek to find and free their king, hampered by the loss or desertion of their best and brightest warriors. Kavelina”s spymaster, Michael Trebilcock, is missing in action, as is loyal soldier Aral Dantice. Meanwhile, Dane, Duke of Greyfells, seeks to seize the rule of Kavelin and place the kingdom in his pocket, beginning a new line of succession through Bragia”s queen, Dane”s cousin Inger. And in the highest peaks of the Dragona”s Teeth, in the ancient castle Fangdred, the sorcerer called Varthlokkur uses his arts to spy on the world at large, observing the puppet strings that control kings and empires alike, waiting… For the time of the wrath of kings is almost at hand, and vengeance lies along a path to coldness of heart.

And it is already out, available to purchase.

The Blinding Knife by Brent Weeks

No cover and no blurb, as of yet, but the first three chapters are available on Brent Weeks’ website here.

A Crown Imperiled by Raymond E. Feist

The penultimate volume of the mighty Riftwar Cycle

War rages in Midkemia but behind the chaos there is disquieting evidence of dark forces at work.

Jim Dasher’s usually infallible intelligence network has been cleverly dismantled; nowhere is safe. He feels that the world is coming apart at the seams and is helpless to protect his nation.

Quiet palace coups are underway in Roldem and Rillanon; and King Gregory of the Isles has yet to produce an heir. In each kingdom a single petty noble has risen from obscurity to threaten the throne.

Lord Hal of Crydee and his great friend Ty Hawkins, champion swordsman of the Masters’ Court, are entrusted with the task of smuggling Princess Stephané and her lady-in-waiting, the lovely but mysterious Lady Gabriella, out of Roldem to a place of greater safety. But is there any safe haven to be found?

Meanwhile, Hal’s younger brothers Martin and Brendan are attempting to hold the strategic city of Ylith against an onslaught of Keshian Dog Soldiers, and a mysterious force from beneath the sea. The Kingdom might lose Crydee and recover; but if Ylith falls, all is lost.

An unknown player appears to be orchestrating these conflicts. Can Pug and the Conclave of Shadows track down this source before Midkemia is destroyed?

The Wards of Faerie (Shannara’s Dark Legacy) by Terry Brooks

The Wards of Faerie, Book I in the Legacy of Shannara series, will be published in August 2012. It is the story set 100 years after the events of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, where the people of the Four Lands have become largely distrusting of magic after the failed Third Council of Druids. But when a Druid stumbles upon information that might lead to the re-discovery of the lost Elfstones of Faerie, Ard Rhys of Paranor and Khyber Elessedil must decide to undertake the most dangerous of missions to acquire them—at all costs.

Alice Wybrew experiences the David Gemmell Legend Awards 2011

On 17th June 2011, The Magic Circle in Euston hosted the David Gemmell Legend Awards for the third time running. Cosy yet elegant, the venue has become synonymous with the awards and remains the perfect venue for celebrating the fantastical within each of us.

Set up in 2009, the DGLA was designed to celebrate the historical and cultural importance of fantasy literature, striving to fill a gap in the awards market and bring all the influential players in the field together for one night a year.

And this year, once again, it certainly saw to that. With authors, publishers, fans and contributors to the fantasy and SF community sipping champagne and nibbling on canapés, all the major players were in attendance. Kim Newman, author of the recent Anno Dracula; Pierre Pevel, author of The Cardinal’s Blades and the first French fantasy author to be translated into English; Stephen Deas, author of The Adamantine Palace, King of Crags and more recently The Order of the Scales, were just some of the royalty present. Sadly though, overall numbers for the awards seemed not to have increased all that much since the opening of the awards three years ago.

The evening kicked off with a reading by comedian-come-fantasy author James Barclay from one of David Gemmell’s later novels, Shields of Thunder. Exquisitely performed, this opening ceremony reminded us all what we love about the genre and why we’re here.

The trademark auction followed, with some sterling prizes up for grabs. In among the valuable, yet less creative offerings, such as a signed Trudi Canavan cover and a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne and Legend glasses, there were items such as a cameo in Scott Lynch’s new novel, a gold chalet at next years’ SFX weekender and tickets to the Gollancz 50th party. A swell in attendance would have helped shift these better and generated more much needed cash for the awards, but the DGLA were still able to procure a good sum from willing attendees.

Half an hour later and the awards themselves began. Hosted by long-standing organizers of the awards and close friends of the late Mr Gemmell, Stan and Anne Nicholls.

An image of Olof Erla Einarsdottir’s winning cover art. First up was the Ravensheart award for best cover art. The nominees consisted of Todd Lockwood for his cover of The Ragged Man, Olof Erla Einarsdottir for Power and Majesty, Jon Sullivan for Shadow King, Cliff Nielson for The Thousand Kingdoms and Frank Victoria for Tymon’s Flight. Presented by enigmatic fantasy artist Anne Sudworth, the award pulled in one thousand votes from forty-nine different countries. The winner was somewhat of a give-away following the announcement that the majority of votes came from Iceland but it was great to see that Olof Erla Einarsdottir was there in person to collect the award.

The Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer was presented by fantasy veteran Juliet McKenna, who had some touching words of wisdom for aspiring new writers. Despite competition from the likes of NK Jemisin and Blake Charlton, voters from fifty-three countries united to honour debut author Darius Hinks for his new novel Warrior Priest (published by Black Library).

The final and most prestigious award was The Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel of 2010-2011. The nominees for this award were incredibly strong contenders and it was anybody’s guess who would take it home. With both German author Markus Heitz nominated for the second in his fantastic Dwarves series along with last year’s Morningstar winner Pierre Pevel for his second swashbuckler with a difference The Alchemist in the Shadows, it was great to see European fantasy represented so strongly. Sadly no English authors made the cut this year, though the remaining nominees made it clear why, with some of the best talent from across the pond filling in the gaps – Peter V Brett, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan and Brent Weeks.

An image showing Juliet McKenna sharing her experience with new writers.

Presented by last year’s Legend winner Graham McNeil (kitted out in his trademark kilt), three-and-a-half thousand votes from sixty-six different countries spoke out, nominating Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of the Kings as the fantasy read of the year. Unfortunately Brandon was unable to attend the awards and so Deputy Publishing Director of Gollancz, Simon Spanton stepped up to accept the honour in his place, concluding the DGLA awards of 2011.

The awards themselves have a long way to go however, if they are to remain not only in existence, but to earn the credibility they so desperately need. While the idea of a UK award singling out Fantasy literature is long overdue, there has been some criticism by authors and bloggers alike that it benefits only novels with an already significant amount of money behind them. As much as the voting is in the hands of the people, the majority will vote for books with the best advertising campaigns, best shelf positioning and most well marketed releases – because that’s how they discovered them in the first place. Though most of these will be, and very frequently are, great books, there is some argument that it is the smaller, less recognized authors who should benefit from an award such as this, not those who are already making the Best Seller list.

An image of Simon Spanton accepting the Legend Award for winner Brandon Sanderson.

Such debate will no doubt become more prominent as the awards continue though garnering such viewpoints may not be so easy. The demographic of the attendees at this year’s awards attests to this. The majority of the people present were industry professionals, authors, publishers or sponsors, who, although obviously an integral part of the process and a much needed presence, do not represent the fans or the voters. It’s a shame that more reviewers, bloggers and fantasy enthusiasts were not present, as not only would they flesh out numbers, but it’s these people who provide critical feedback on the awards and boost its buzz in across the internet and SF and fantasy communities.

In the meantime however, it is the spirit of the awards that should be remembered. As Friday night highlighted, the awards not only succeed in celebrating a fantastic genre of literary fiction in memory of the life and works of fantasy great David Gemmell, but they also unite people all across the world in their love for the fantastic, and this is something that should be celebrated for many years to come.

Fantasy news round-up, June 17, 2011

JK Rowling launches Pottermore.com
JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series has launched a new website, Pottermore.com. A Harry Potter fansite, the Leaky Cauldron, said it got a preview of the new site reporting that “it is one of the most amazing, engaging, and breath-taking additions to this fandom imaginable.” No word on when the seemingly in-the-works site will launch or exactly what it will be about. Right now, it shows the name “Pottermore,” the words “coming soon…” and Rowling’s signature. The site has its own Twitter account, @Pottermore.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Winnie the Pooh: Which character are you?
With the new Winnie the Poof film due out in US theatres next month Disney have put together a personality quiz so that you can find out which character is closest in persona to you! Take the test by clicking here (link removed as it no longer worked).

The Winnie the Pooh personality test

Tor.com publish prologue and chapter one of Brandon Sanderson’s fourth Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law
Tor.com have published excerpts from Brandon Sanderson’s fourth and latest Mistborn novel,The Alloy of Law, out November 8th. Tor.com will be releasing six excerpts in all from The Alloy of Lawas the weeks go on.

Wax crept along the ragged fence in a crouch, his boots scraping the dry ground. He held his Sterrion 36 up by his head, the long, silvery barrel dusted with red clay. The revolver was nothing fancy to look at, though the six-shot cylinder was machined with such care in the steel-alloy frame that there was no play in its movement. There was no gleam to the metal or exotic material on the grip. But it fit his hand like it was meant to be there.

Read the rest of the prologue here.

Stephen King returns to the Dark Tower
Stephen King is set to return to the world of his bestselling fantasy series, the Dark Tower books, in a new novel out next year. Just acquired by UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton, The Wind Through the Keyhole is set between the fourth and fifth books in the Dark Tower series, and addresses the “hole in the narrative progression”, as King himself put it, between “what happened to Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah, and Oy [when] they leave the Emerald City (the end of Wizard and Glass) and the time we pick them up again, on the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis (the beginning of Wolves of the Calla)”.

An image of Roland Deschain and a horse from Stephen King's Dark Tower series.

Source: Guardian.co.uk

Enid Blyton charity “to close because of cheque downfall”
A charity established by Enid Blyton’s daughter to maintain the British author’s generosity is to close after nearly three decades of work because of the phasing out of cheques, it has emerged. The Enid Blyton Trust for Children, established 29 years ago in memory of the author of the Famous Five and The Secret Seven, has distributed more than £500,000 to children’s charities across the country. But its 75 year-old founder, Imogen Smallwood, has decided to retire, partly because banks were insisting she use “new technology” rather than pay her bills by cheque.
On Friday Mrs Smallwood, who ran the Midhurst, West Sussex-based Trust with her daughter Sophie, lamented her decision. “Everything is automatic now. It’s all technology,” she said. “The Enid Blyton Trust has been sending out cheques up till now. It could hardly go on like this.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk

Tor.com publish prologue and chapter one of The Alloy of Law

Tor.com have published the prologue and chapter one from Brandon Sanderson’s fourth and latest Mistborn novel, The Alloy of Law, due out on November the 8th, 2011.

Here are the first three paragraphs from the prologue:

Wax crept along the ragged fence in a crouch, his boots scraping the dry ground. He held his Sterrion 36 up by his head, the long, silvery barrel dusted with red clay. The revolver was nothing fancy to look at, though the six-shot cylinder was machined with such care in the steel-alloy frame that there was no play in its movement. There was no gleam to the metal or exotic material on the grip. But it fit his hand like it was meant to be there.

The waist-high fence was flimsy, the wood grayed with time, held together with fraying lengths of rope. It smelled of age. Even the worms had given up on this wood long ago.

Wax peeked up over the knotted boards, scanning the empty town. Blue lines hovered in his vision, extending from his chest to point at nearby sources of metal, a result of his Allomancy. Burning steel did that; it let him see the location of sources of metal, then Push against them if he wanted. His weight against the weight of the item. If it was heavier, he was pushed back. If he was heavier, it was pushed forward.

To read the remainder of the prologue, and the first chapter, click here.

Tor.com will be releasing six excerpts in all from The Alloy of Lawas as the weeks go on, along with sweepstakes, news, and other fun stuff.

An image of the book cover of The Alloy of LawThe Mistborn trilogy has become a firm favourite with fantasy fans the world over. The imagination that Sanderson brought to the series and his skill at marshalling epic storylines and dramatic action, his ability to create vivid characters made him a natural choice to complete Robert Jordan’s epic wheel of time sequence. But with Mistborn, his standalone fantasies and his new series, The Stormlight Archive, Sanderson has shown his bountiful talents in his own fiction. Now he returns to the series that made his name with a new story set years after the events of Hero of Ages. In a world recovering only slowly from evil, a world where allomancers wield immense power through their ability to unleash the magic bound up in common metals someone who can burn metals that no-one has burned before can tip the balance… Sanderson has the knack of giving the epic fantasy reader exactly what they want. This ability has thrown him to the forefront of the genre and the dramatic story within The Alloy of Law shows off this skill to its very best.

The SFcrowsnest.com top 100 science fiction and fantasy books for 2010

Image: Best Served Cold cover SFcrowsnest.com, the hugely respected online fantasy and science fiction publication, has published its chart for the Top 100 fantasy, science fiction and horror books (as voted for by the readers) of the last year.

It is of course the fantasy titles that stand out for us and we would like to lay further praise on the Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire, Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Fate (great to see such a wonderful book still riding high in the charts), Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Stewart & Riddell’s The Last of the Sky Pirates and James Barclay’s Once Walked With Gods.

So now, without any further ado, is the list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books for 2010. Voted for be readers it should be an invaluable source for those looking for some great new titles to read.

  1. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  3. Kraken by China Mieville
  4. Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds
  5. Hidden Empire by Orson Scott Card
  6. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
  7. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi
  8. Regenesis by C.J. Cherryh
  9. Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent
  10. Desolation Road by Ian McDonald
  11. Changes (The Dresden Files book 12) by Jim Butcher
  12. Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt
  13. The Fuller Memorandum by Charles Stross
  14. A Pleasure To Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories by Ray Bradbury
  15. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  16. No Mercy by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  17. The Restoration Game by Ken Macleod
  18. The Light Of Other Days by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
  19. Splinter by Adam Roberts
  20. Tales Of The Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
  21. Orphaned Worlds by Michael Cobley
  22. The Stars Like Dust by Isaac Asimov
  23. The Rise Of The Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt
  24. Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb
  25. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  26. Up The Bright River by Philip Jose Farmer
  27. Angelglass by David Barnett
  28. Boneshaker by Cheri Priest
  29. The Summoning (The Darkest Powers book 1) by Kelley Armstrong
  30. Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey
  31. Necropath by Eric Brown
  32. The Winds Of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
  33. A Mighty Fortress by David Weber
  34. Starship: Flagship by Mike Resnick
  35. Dragon Age: The Calling by David Gaider
  36. Marked by PC and Kristen Cast
  37. Elric: In The Dream Realms by Michael Moorcock
  38. Mammoth Book Of Best New SF 21
  39. Brian Lumley’s Necroscope: The Plague-Bearers by Brian Lumley
  40. Havemercy by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett
  41. The Osiris Ritual (A Newbury And Hobbes Investigation) by George Mann
  42. The Thingummy by Danny Danziger and Mark McCrum
  43. The Terminal State by Jeff Somers
  44. The Kosher Guide To Imaginary Animals by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
  45. The Nemesis List by R.J. Firth
  46. Necroscope: Harry And The Pirates by Brian Lumley
  47. Small Miracles by Edward M. Lerner
  48. Zendegi by Greg Egan
  49. Metal Swarm by Kevin J. Anderson
  50. The Superman Guide To Life boxset
  51. The Best Of H.P. Lovecraft
  52. Clementine by Cherie Priest
  53. Nights Of Villjamur by Mark Charan Newton
  54. Orcs Bad Blood 2: Army Of Shadows by Stan Nicholls
  55. The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas
  56. The Edge Chronicles: Clash Of The Sky Galleons by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
  57. Hawkmoon: The Mad God’s Amulet by Michael Moorcock
  58. Eternal Vigilance III: Bound In Blood
  59. Fun With Rainbows by Gareth Owens
  60. Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro
  61. Hard-Luck Diggings: The Early Jack Vance
  62. Galileo’s Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson
  63. We, Robots edited by Allan Kaster
  64. The Palace At Midnight by Robert Silverberg
  65. Guardians Of Paradise by Jaine Fenn
  66. Writers Of The Future: The First 25 Years
  67. Engineman by Eric Brown
  68. Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson
  69. Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey
  70. The Superman Handbook by Scott Beatty
  71. The Machinery Of Light by David J. Williams
  72. Freedom by Daniel Suarez
  73. Grave Secret (Harper Connelly series book 4) by Charlaine Harris
  74. In His Majesty’s Service (Three Novels of Temeraire) by Naomi Novik
  75. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
  76. Drood by Dan Simmons
  77. A Mighty Fortress audio book by David Weber
  78. Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski
  79. The Boys Are Back In Town by Christopher Golden
  80. Sherlock Holmes: The Seventh Bullet
  81. Icons: The DC And Wildstorm Art Of Jim Lee
  82. The Devil’s Playground by Jenna Black
  83. The War Of The Dwarves by Markus Heitz
  84. New Model Army by Adam Roberts
  85. The Book On Fire by Keith Miller
  86. Seeds Of Earth (Book One of Humanity’s Fire) by Michael Cobley
  87. The Gabble And Other Stories by Neal Asher
  88. The Sweet Scent Of Blood: Spellcrackers.com by Suzanne McLeod
  89. Out Of The Dark by David Webber
  90. Not Less Than Gods by Kage Baker
  91. Crimson Shadows: The Best Of Robert E. Howard Volume One
  92. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong
  93. Black Glass by John Shirley
  94. Burning Shadows by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  95. Lift Off by Scott Robertson
  96. All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris
  97. Elves Once Walked With Gods by James Barclay
  98. Swiftly by Adam Roberts
  99. In The Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente
  100. Werewolves Of Montpellier by Jason