Reading Goals and 2012 Most Anticipated
One of my goals this year is to read a lot of books. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Baneofkings, one of my fellow reviewers on The Founding Fields and also the most prolific reviewer over there, is aiming to go through 200 prose publications this year. So I thought that I would aim for something similar. However, to be a little more specific given my wide variety of reading, I am going to aim for 200 novels, novellas, anthologies, audio dramas and stand-alone short stories.
Its not really that big a number when you think about it. Its almost 17 publications a month or 4 each week. Audio dramas are pretty easy to go through while you are doing almost anything so they are going to be quite fast.
As it stands, I’ve already read about 5 or 6 this year, and my currently slow pace is only due to the fact that I also need to write reviews for all these books so that I don’t get too much of a backlog in that regard. But, that should hopefully start smoothing out this week and the next so I can get back into the full force of things.
It also helps that I actually do have a significant amount of titles on my reading pile as well as on the to-get pile. So let’s start with the Black Library stuff first since it is easier to collate!
Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe. This Horus Heresy novel focuses on my favourite legion and Primarch of all time: the Raven Guard and Corax. My esteem for them is as high as it is for the Space Wolves and Leman Russ. Originally, I was going to get this at Black Library Live but I was unable to control my urges, so I went ahead and bought the eBook for the new year. I have since finished the eBook and it was a downright fantastic read. Now I just want to get a signed copy of this from Gav. So fingers crossed for being able to attend Black Library Live in March this year!
Age of Legend, edited by Christian Dunn. More Warhammer Fantasy is always a good thing I say. And this anthology definitely fits the bill. I rather like anthologies because of the variation in styles, plots, themes, characters, settings etc you get out of them. And this is for the Time of Legends meta-series so all the better! Not to mention that my favourite new author and friend Sarah Cawkwell is also in the anthology so that’s a bonus. Plus it has some other new authors who I am quickly becoming good acquaintances with so yay!
Luthor Huss by Chris Wraight. Having read the tie-in super-short story in the BL GD Anthology, which I reviewed here, I am really looking forward to this story. Chris’s style for WHF is definitely gripping and atmospheric, with a simplicity to it that I enjoyed in both The Battle of the Fang and The March of Doom. I am willing to bet my pristine signed copy of Bill King’s Grey Hunter that this is going to be another Black Library bestseller.
Blood Angels Second Omnibus by James Swallow. I already have the two novels separately but I still want this omnibus because of the extra background material in it and the short stories. The Blood Angels are one of my favourite chapters, on par with the Raven Guard, Space Wolves and the Salamanders, so I am really looking forward to this. Not to mention that Jim is bloody brilliant as a writer and also one of the most fun people I have ever talked with.
Know No Fear by Dan Abnett. This is the first story in a sort of linked duology about the Battle of Calth. Mindful of my high expectations for Prospero Burns, I am still pretty excited about this one because it is frikkin Calth that we are going to be reading about, the second biggest event of the Horus Heresy after the massacres at Istvaan III and V. And this is Dan we are talking about, whose Gaunt’s Ghosts novels I have rather enjoyed on the whole although the Lost arc left me quite disappointed.
Iron Warriors Omnibus by Graham McNeill. The previously limited edition novella is in here. So are old and new short stories alike. Two reasons: Iron Warriors and Graham. Arite, arite, third one too: Warsmith Honsou. Alongside Sarah and Jim, Graham is my favourite author and I’ve been looking for an Iron Warriors/Honsou fix since reading Blood Harvest in the Heroes of the Space Marine anthology. This will fill the void quite nicely. Quite nicely indeed.
Legion of the Damned by Rob Sanders. That title alone makes this novel worthy of being included in this list. And World Eaters. And Khorne Daemons. ‘Nuff said. Although to be fair to myself, I already bought the eBook. Have already read a few starting pages and it looks very promising.
Phalanx by Ben Counter. I have already read the serialized version and loved it. This is supposed to be the last novel in the Soul Drinkers series as well, a series I have a love-hate relationship with. The ending is almost sad and depressing, in a sort of a good way if that makes sense. Reading it in paperback is going to be a whole another experience.
Gotrek & Felix: The Anthology, edited by Christian Dunn. This is Gotrek & Felix dammit! It features all new short stories by a variety of authors, including Nathan and a brand-new novella from him as well. Plus that artwork is so sexy and exciting!
Void Stalker by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. This is going to be a (promised) epic conclusion to the Night Lords trilogy. Having enjoyed the first two, this one is definitely one to look forward to. Plus that artwork is really gripping as well!
Architect of Fate, edited by Christian Dunn. I’ve already read Accursed Eternit by Sarah and I have the eBooks for the others as well but I a still going to re-read them all in print to get that nice continuity therein. Reading linked anthology stories in continuation is always a good, good thing.
Dead Winter by C L Werner. This is the start of a brand-new Time of Legends trilogy, focusing on the Skaven and the Black Plague. Having read the tie-in short story Plague Priest in the BL GD anthology and having enjoyed it immensely, this should be another great novel for the year.
Eye of Vengeance by Graham McNeill. This is an Ultramarines audio drama focusing on the veteran Scout-Sergeant Torias Telion. Named Scout-Sergeants are always bad-ass and Torias is no slouch in that regard. This should be fun!
Bloodsworn by Nathan Long. You can find my reviews of Bloodborn and Bloodforged here and here. Fantastic reads for Warhammer Fantasy and one of the easiest to read and great introductions to the setting as well if you like Vampires. Ulrika is one fantastic character and Nathan has promised that this is going to be just as much fun as the previous two.
Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus by Graham McNeill. More Graham is never a bad thing! I’ve been waiting for this omnibus for a long time. The fact that it includes several short stories, compared to the meagre ONE of the first omnibus is an excellent, excellent bonus.
The Emperor’s Gift by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. His first Grey Knights novel and one that relates to the First War of Armageddon. The spoiler snippets on Facebook have been quite interesting and while I do have a small issue with one of them in particular, I think this is going to be a good read as well since I’ve liked his work so far.
Butcher’s Nails by Aaron Demsbki-Bowden. More stuff from the Irishman! This time it is another Horus Heresy audio drama but one that focuses on Angron himself. That says it all. Oh and the artwork too!
The Primarchs, edited by Christian Dunn. A novella anthology focusing on the Lion, Fulgrim, Night Haunter and Ferrus Manus. That is quite the impressive line-up no?
Wrath of Iron by Chris Wraight. An Iron Hands Space Marine Battles novel, Chris’s second for the series and the second for the chapter after the oldy Iron Hands by Jonathan Green. Chris has promised as in-depth a study of the chapter as we got for the Space Wolves in The Battle of the Fang. That’s only a good thing right?
Angel of Fire by William King. I am always cautious regarding novels about the Imperial Guard. I just don’t enjoy them as much as I do Space Marines. However, Bill’s Grey Hunter was my first BL novel and I’ve always been a fan of his work so there’s no way I am going to pass on this one!
Valkia the Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell. Sarah’s second novel promises to be just as awesome as her first. The fact that she is writing about one of the coolest characters in the Chaos Warriors armybook is just plain icing on the cake.
Priests of Mars by Graham McNeill. And Graham strikes again, this time with a novel about an Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator Mission that travels beyond the edges of the Imperium? What’s not to love? And have you seen the artwork for this baby?
The Great Betrayal by Nick Kyme. I absolutely loved Nick’s Salamanders work for 40k and although Oathbreaker wasn’t a good read for me, Nick has grown on me for sure. There’s also the fact that this is yet another Time of Legends trilogy so I can’t in good conscience NOT be excited for this!
The Legend of Sigmar by Graham McNeill. Does BL give Graham no rest for this year? This is going to be the first Time of Legends omnibus, collecting together the three Sigmar novels plus new bonus material. Having enjoyed Heldenhammer previously, this is definitely somewhere at the top of the list for me.
Malediction by C Z Dunn. Christian is writing about the Dark Angels and the Fallen, one of the most controversial hot-topics in the lore. The cover art seems to have Mr Fallen General, Cypher himself, so who wouldn’t be excited for this audio drama?
Fear To Tread by James Swallow. This is Jim’s next novel-length entry for the Horus Heresy, and features the Blood Angels, Sanguinius and their arch-nemesis Ka’Bandha who is also known as the Lord of the Bloodthirsters. Neil’s explosive cover art alone makes you want to get this novel. The fact that I am an ardent Blood Angels fan is just secondary!
Shadows of Treachery, edited by Christian Dunn. Is this the year for anthologies perhaps? BL seems to give that idea so who am I to say no? This is another Horus Heresy anthology and with a cover art like that, who in their right mind would not pick this up?
Perfection by Nick Kyme. An Emperor’s Children audio drama that is going to tie-in with Nick’s Salamanders novels and his next trilogy for them: Circle of Fire. Colour me pink with excitement!
Chosen of Khorne by Anthony Reynolds. Another audio drama for this year. Seems like the format is really picking and who am I to complain? I’ve enjoyed almost all the audio dramas from BL so far and this one features Kharn the Betrayer himself. Mr Reynolds, you have just won internet cookie points for this.
Pariah by Dan Abnett. This marks the start of a brand-new Inquisition trilogy that ties in to Dan’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor novels. This is also being called the Eisenhorn versus Ravenor trilogy. I get shivers just thinking about this. The story Thorn wishes Talon in the Thorn and Talon audio drama was bloody fantastic so I wish it was November already!
Van Horstmann by Ben Counter. Ben is marking his first foray into Warhammer Fantasy with this Warhammer Heroes novel by one of the most iconic Chaos characters in the game lore. Or so I am told. The excitement seems to be building up for him and since I rather like Ben’s work, I eagerly await this novel.
Tome of Fire by Nick Kyme. This omnibus is going to collect all the Salamanders short stories and audio dramas released to date and will also feature a brand-new exclusive novella. That is amazing news since all the short-form Salamanders good stuff will now be in one place.
The Siege of Castellax by C L Werner. C L gets his first full-length 40k novel and that too for the Space Marine Battles novel. This is also going to be the first Chaos Space Marines centric novel in the series and features an Ork Waaagh! smashing into an Iron Warriors fortress world. Enough said!
Garro: Sword of Truth by James Swallow. The third installment in the Horus Heresy Garro audio dramas. Jim was quite excited about this at Games Day last year and I can’t help but share that excitement since Garro is one of the most endearing characters in the Horus Heresy. Plus the rumours and speculations about what certain organisation he may help found later.
Blood of Aenarion by William King. This is the paperback version of the first novel in the Tyrion & Teclis trilogy. I am really starting to delve deep into Warhammer Fantasy this year so this is going to be a must-have for me.
Sword of Caledor by William King. Sequel to the above but in hardback. Lot of buzz around the novel and I can’t wait to experience it myself.
So that’s all the new Black Library stuff I am looking forward to this year. Lots of great titles (36 in all, counting omnibuses as one). Of course, I will be reading far more than just these this year since I am also an advance reviewer for Black Library and will be receiving all the releases for the coming months. This should be a fun and promising year on that front.
For old stuff, I am planning to re-read Hammer & Bolter 1-10 since I skipped some of the short stories therein and plan to get around to reading Issues 11-15 as well which I recently bought. Once I get through them, then I’ll pick up Issue 16 and then all the others as they are released throughout the year.
A fair bit of research is involved with Project In The Emperor We Trust so Anthony Reynolds’s Word Bearers novels, Graham’s Courage and Honour, Jim’s Sisters of Battle novels and some of Dan’s Gaunt’s Ghosts novels are also in order. And a few others as well that all involve more re-reading.
Then I have a long catalogue of things to read from the Space Marine Battles series since I finally picked up all the titles I didn’t have previously and I also need to finish reading Fall of Damnos. This all just means that I have a lot of Space Marine-related reading to do this year!
Of course, that’s not all the BL books I will be reading this year. All I will say is that The Founding Fields is going to be publishing a lot of reviews from me this year.
Other than all of this, I am part of the Angry Robot Army and I have received a fair few eARC’s from them as well, six in all so far and there are going to be many, many more for the rest of the year.
I have already gone through Matt Forbeck’s Carpathia so far, which is a Titanic novel mixed in with honest-to-god vampires and was a great read. The review for that shall be up rather soon. My review of the novel will be going up tomorrow in fact.
Next on my reading list is Empire State by Adam Christopher who is Angry Robot’s newest. The novel is quite a noir story in New York or so I am told and that genre is something I am keen to experiment with my reading. The buzz around it has been extremely positive and having read the first few pages, I quite agree.
Then I also have David Tallerman’s Giant Thief, an original fantasy novel which promises to be another excellent read. A fantasy novel about a thief with what appears to be a ogre companion? That one deserves a read for sure.
Rounding off my current supply of Angry Robot eARCs are: City of Light and Shadow by Ian Whates, The Great Game by Lavie Tidhar and Dead Harvest by Chris F Holm. I have yet to check their blurbs but as is the case with the rest of Angry Robot publications, their artwork is damn good.
I am also rather keen to pick up Paul Kemp’s three Star Wars novels (Riptide, Crosscurrent and Deceived), as well as his Erevis Cale novels which are set in the Forgotten Realms setting. All these novels come highly-recommended from my friends Liliedhe and Jeffery Preston respectively. Since these two have quite the good taste where fantasy/sci-fi are concerned, I bow to their wisdom.
He also has another new novel coming out, an original one in the swords and sorcery style, called The Hammer and The Blade, in the summer. That one should be fun. I am doubly excited that this is another Angry Robot title.
I also have the first five Riyria Revelations novels from Michael J Sullivan sitting on my hard-drive waiting to be read.Plus a free short story that I got directly from him. Michael’s final novel in the series comes out quite soon so I should probably double-time and get started on all the reading!
Mossy Toes, from over on the Bolthole, has also recommended Steven Erikson’s The Malazan Book of the Fallen novels. This is one staggering double-series and I hope my shelves don’t break under the pressure when I get them. Perhaps it might be far more convenient to get them as eBooks? I should probably look into that!
Then there are the first two novels of the Dawning of Power fantasy trilogy by Brian Rathbone which I also picked up last month, after having met Brian through twitter. He is quite the fun fellow and really entertaining and helpful as well. These should be excellent reads in my quest to diversify out of my Black Library reading.
Other than all that though, there isn’t much to mention. I’m sure I’ll be coming back to update on my progress throughout the year as new things are announced and/or I become aware of them!
So until next time folks!