51 Most Anticipated Releases For 2013

With regards reading, 2012 was a fantastic year for me. It was the year that I stepped out of my comfort zone and read in genres that I normally would not read, such as urban fantasy (involving angels, vampires, werewolves etc) and historical fiction. It was also the year that I read more than the traditional fantasy, and tie-in fantasy at that. My experiments seem to have mostly been successful as I’ve started to really like reading these kind of books.

My goal for this year is to continue on that same path and read as widely as I can. Which is why this massive list is so huge in scope, with tons of variety. I went through the catalogues for most of these publishers and picked out things I liked,and which caught my eye. Getting through the entire list this year will probably not happen, but then again, never say never!

So let’s get to it!

Angry Robot Books

1. Cora Oglesby #2: She Returns From War by Lee Collins

SheReturnsFromWar-144dpi  Link | Author Blog | Review of “The Dead of Winter

Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.

Why is the book on my list?

I read the first book in this series, The Dead of Winter, last year and I was mightily impressed with it. Western, Horror, old-school Vampires, fast-paced action, thrilling mysteries, and a kickass heroine, this book had it all. Lee Collins has definitely left a mark, and I’m really looking forward to reading this sequel. The only way is to go up!

2. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

MadScientistsDaughter-144dpi  Link | Author Blog | Review of “The Assassin’s Curse

“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.”

He looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion… and more.

But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

Following her acclaimed Young Adult debut for our sister imprint Strange Chemistry, The Assassin’s Curse, the very talented Cassandra Rose Clarke moves on to more adult themes, in a heartbreaking story of love, loss … and robots.

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve read Clarke’s debut novel, The Assassin’s Curse, and while I wasn’t too taken with it, the author showed a lot of promise. The sequel is up for release in June, and I’m looking forward to reading it, although I anticipate this one more since it gives me a very Isaac Asimov vibe from the premise, and I’m a huge fan of his work. So… yeah!

3. Split Worlds #1: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman

BetweenTwoThorns-144dpi  Link | Author Blog

Something is wrong in Aquae Sulis, Bath’s secret mirror city.

The new season is starting and the Master of Ceremonies is missing. Max, an Arbiter of the Split Worlds Treaty, is assigned with the task of finding him with no one to help but a dislocated soul and a mad sorcerer.

There is a witness but his memories have been bound by magical chains only the enemy can break. A rebellious woman trying to escape her family may prove to be the ally Max needs.

But can she be trusted? And why does she want to give up eternal youth and the life of privilege she’s been born into?

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve read some of Newman’s short stories that she has been putting out, leading up to the novel release. They are a fairly mixed bunch, but I can’t deny that I haven’t enjoyed them. You can find the links to all the short stories on Newman’s blog. The Founding Fields hosted the 38th story even! I’m definitely taken with her world!

4. Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey

BlackFeathers-144dpi Link | Author Blog

Black Feathers is a modern fantasy set in two epochs: the Black Dawn, a time of environmental apocalypse, and generations into the future in its aftermath, the Bright Day.

In each era, a child undertakes a perilous journey to find a dark messiah known as The Crowman. In their hands lies the fate of the planet as they attempt to discover whether The Crowman is our saviour… or the final incarnation of evil.

Why is the book on my list?

The premise. It’s all about the premise really. It sounds like a really cool idea for a post-apocalyptic story. And it is in keeping with Angry Robot’s specialty of putting out books that initially sound weird, but turn out to be totally awesome, like Dead Harvest or Empire State.

5. The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher

TheAgeAtomic-144dpi  Link | Author Blog | Review of “Empire State | Review of “Seven Wonders

The sequel to Empire State – the superhero-noir fantasy thriller set in the other New York.

The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze and the populace are demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle.

Meanwhile, in 1954 New York, the political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale.

As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.

Why is the book on my list?

Because it’s Adam Christopher. Honest. I’ve read both of his Angry Robot novels, Empire State and Seven Wonders, and I love his style, his geeky attention to detail, and his world-building. As far as I’m concerned, he is one of the top names in genre fiction today.

6. The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

TheLivesOfTao-144dpi Link | Author Blog

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn’t.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

Why is the book on my list?

Because how many genre novels are about IT technicians? Seriously?

7. The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig

Link | Author Blog

Meet Mookie Pearl.

Criminal underworld? He runs it.

Supernatural underworld? He hunts in it.

Nothing stops Mookie when he’s on the job. But when his daughter takes up arms and opposes him, something’s gotta give…

Why is the book on my list?

I haven’t read any of Wendig’s work to date. I have a couple of his books but never quite got around to reading them. Took a peek in Blackbirds but wasn’t impressed. This one though, has winner written all over it. Here’s me hoping!

8. Egil and Nix #2: A Discourse in Steel by Paul S. Kemp

Link | Author Blog | Review of “The Hammer and The Blade | Review of “The Erevis Cale Trilogy”

Egil and Nix have retired, as they always said they would.

No, really – they have!

No more sword and hammer-play for them! But when two recent acquaintances come calling for help, our hapless heroes find themselves up against the might of the entire Thieves Guild.

And when kidnapping the leader of the most powerful guild in the land seems like the best course of action, you know you’re in over your head…

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve read the first novel in the series, The Hammer and The Blade, and I loved it. I’ve read his Erevis Cale Trilogy for Forgotten Realms, and I love that too. I’ve read his Star Wars: The Old Republic novel Deceived, and I was impressed with how sympathetic he made Darth Malgus. In short, I love his work. That is all.

Black Library

9. Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls by Josh Reynolds

Road-of-Skulls Link | Author Blog | Review of “Gotrek & Felix: The Anthology | Review of “The Riddle of Scorpions | Review of “Knight of the Blazing Sun

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask… Gotrek and Felix race to the dwarf hold at Karak Kadrin, finding it besieged by one of the grand armies of Chaos under the command of Warlord Garmr.

When King Ungrim Ironfist speaks of the legendary ‘Road of Skulls’ and of the hated foe’s attempts to open a portal into the Realm of Chaos, Gotrek senses that a great doom awaits him – though it may not be the one he would choose for himself. As the king’s own son leads his army of Slayers to fulfil an ancient prophecy, it seems that Garmr’s hour of victory may be at hand…

Why is the book on my list?

Because Josh Reynolds, despite my issues with Knight of the Blazing Sun, is a fantastic author, and a great guy to hang out and chat with. That gets him bonus points. Then, he is writing Gotrek & Felix, one of the most kick-ass adventuring duos in fantasy. The only way it could get better is if Bill King or Nathan Long were back on the series.

10. Warhammer Heroes: Van Horstmann by Ben Counter

VanHorstmann Link

Egrimm van Horstmann is the most promising wizard the College of Light has ever seen. Surpassing his mentors and reaching new heights of magical power, he seems destined to lead the College into a bright new future.

But van Horstmann’s true motives are sinister – he plans to unleash an ancient dragon imprisoned beneath the college and bring ruin to the Empire, in the name of the Dark Gods.

Why is the book on my list?

For me, Ben Counter is one of the most underestimated authors writing for Black Library. Some of his books have been not so good, but he still wrote one of my favourite Horus Heresy novels, Galaxy In Flames, and the mind-bending Grey Knights short story Sacrifice. This is his first full-length Warhammer Fantasy novel, and I’m super excited.

11. Space Marine Battles: The Death of Antagonis by David Annandale

Death-of-Antagonis  Link | Author Blog

The Black Dragons fall upon the world of Antagonis, summoned to combat the plague of undeath that has engulfed the planet.

Allying themselves with Inquisitor Werner Lettinger and a force of Sisters of Battle, the Black Dragons endeavour to save the souls of the Imperial citizens who have succumbed to the contagion.

But there is more than a mere infection at play – the dread forces of Chaos lie behind the outbreak, and the Black Dragons stand in the way of the Dark Gods’ victory…

Why is the book on my list?

David Annandale joined the ranks of BL authors last year and he has been very impressive in his work so far. His Blood Angels short story Eclipse of Hope was particularly good, a story that I really do recommend. Finding out that he was writing about a chapter as mysterious and exciting as the Black Dragons is like a dream come true. That really is my motivation.

12. Gotrek & Felix: The Curse of the Everliving by David Guymer

audio-curse-of-the-everliving Link | Review of “Gotrek & Felix: The Anthology

Gotrek and Felix: unsung heroes of the Empire, or nothing more than common thieves and murderers? The truth perhaps lies somewhere in between, and depends entirely upon whom you ask…

While travelling north in pursuit of hobgoblin gold, Gotrek and Felix find themselves holed up in the infamous Castle Bilenkov as guests of the curious Count Viktor. While the old man seems harmless enough, Felix soon finds himself the target of an ancient Kislevite curse, battling for his very soul against the insidious daemon Ghrizzhtadt.

With Gotrek’s resistance to magic waning, the adventurers have no choice but to confront the eternal evil of the Everliving…

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve been interacting with David Guymer for a while now, and while I wasn’t too taken in with his Gotrek & Felix short story from the anthology last year, he has written some good short fiction nonetheless. And again, this is Gotrek & Felix. That’s enough to get me reading! Or in this case, listening!

13. The Black Plague #2: Blighted Empire by C. L. Werner

blighted-empire Link | Author Blog | Review of “Age of Legend | Review of “Black Library Games Day 2011 Anthology | Review of “The Siege of Castellax | Review of “Dead Winter

The Black Plague spreads across the Empire, followed by a tide of monsters from legend: the skaven.

In Altdorf, Emperor Boris’s troops valiantly hold off the ratmen while the corrupt Emperor escapes to safety.

In Middenheim, Graf Gunthar and his son Mandred defend their city against a horde of the vile invaders.

And in Sylvania, the skaven find more than they had expected in the form of the necromancer Vanhal and his army of the dead… an army that gets larger as the plague worsens.

Why is the book on my list?

The first book in this trilogy, Dead Winter, was amazing because it did the whole political thriller theme so well and delved into all walks of life in the Empire. It was a fantastic book and this one should be even better. Plus, I might have a cameo in there somewhere, and will be killed in a most horrible way, since I like the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Can’t wait for my first novel death!

14. Space Wolves: Blood of Asaheim by Chris Wraight

Blood-of-Asaheim Link | Author Blog | Review of “The Battle of The Fang”

After half a century apart, in service to the Deathwatch and the Chapter, Space Wolves Ingvar and Gunnlaugr are reunited.

Sent to defend an important shrine world against the plague-ridden Death Guard, the Grey Hunters clash with the pious Sisters of Battle, who see the Space Wolves as little better than the enemy they fight.

As enemies close in around them and treachery is revealed, Gunnlaugr and his warriors must hold the defenders together – even as hidden tensions threaten to their the pack apart.

Why is the book on my list?

Because Chris Wraight wrote one of the best 40k novels ever, The Battle of The Fang, and he totally knocked that one out of the park. It was a novel that exceeded expectations and delivered a fantastic story of revenge, manipulation and betrayal. Needless to say, it was a defining novel in 40k fiction, and Wraight set a very high bar, which I’m really hoping that Blood of Asaheim will surpass.

15. Imperial Guard: Baneblade by Guy Haley

Baneblade Link | Author Blog | Review of “Reality 36 | Review of “Omega Point | Review of “Champion of Mars

By the blessing of the Omnissiah was the Mars Triumphant born – from the forges of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the mighty Baneblade super-heavy battle tank comes to bring death and destruction to the foes of the Imperium.

As part of the Paragonian 7th Company, Honoured Lieutenant Marken Cortein Lo Bannick commands the venerable war machine in a bitter war against the orks in the Kalidar system. As the campaign grinds on it begins to take its toll upon his crew, and old clan prejudices from the regiment’s home world arise once more.

In a war which cannot be won by force of arms alone, such division may prove to be their undoing.

Why is the book on my list?

Because Guy Haley is one of my favourite authors, period. And because ever since I read Champion of Mars last year, I’ve been wanting him to do a 40k novel. As it turns out, he’s contracted for a total of three novels with Black Library!

Jo Fletcher Books

16. The Secret of the Nagas by Amish


The hunt is on. Shiva, the man believed to be the prophesied Neelkanth – the destroyer of evil – will not rest until he finds his demonic adversary; the Naga warrior that killed his friend, Brahaspati, and now stalks his wife. But the rise of evil is everywhere and Shiva’s own philosopher guides have betrayed his unquestioning faith by accepting aid from the dark side. Even the perfect empire of Meluha is riddled with a terrible secret – a master puppeteer is playing a grand game, and Shiva himself is at the heart of it. Shiva’s search for truth takes him across the length and breadth of ancient India, a land of deadly mysteries where nothing is what it seems.

Why is the book on my list?

This is Indian fantasy, what’s not to love? The subgenre is a rather neglected one, if I do say so myself. It has no wider market outside of India itself. Which is a bit depressing given that Indian culture is one of the richest in the world. For that reason alone, this book is high on my list of books to read this year.

17. The Immortals of Meluha by Amish


1900 BC: the once-proud Suryavanshi rulers of the Meluha Empire are in dire peril.

The empire’s primary river, the Saraswathi, is slowly drying up.

There are devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis – and to make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.

The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient prophecy: when evil reaches epic proportions and all seems lost, a hero will emerge . . .

Why is the book on my list?

Same as above!

18. Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter

gemsigns Link | Author Blog

For years the human race was under attack from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found – in the form of genetically engineered human beings, Gems – the line between survival and ethics was radically altered.

Now the Gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the Norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the Gems is the key to that freedom.

But with the Gemtech companies fighting to keep the Gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these ‘unholy’ creations, the Gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose.

Why is the book on my list?

Look at that cover, and tell me if it doesn’t rock. And even beyond that, this is a book about genetically engineered humans. That’s a subgenre that I definitely love. And Saulter seems to have a really interesting take on all of it.

19. Everness #1: Planesrunner by Ian McDonald

plannesrunner1 Link | Author Blog

There is not just one you, there are many yous. We’re part of a multiplicity of universes in parallel dimensions – and Tejendra Singh has found a way in.

But he’s been kidnapped, and now it is as though Tejendra never existed. Yet there is one clue for his son, Everett, to follow: a mysterious app, the Infundibulum.

The app is a map, not just to the Ten Known Worlds, but to the entire multiverse – and there are those who want to get their hands on it very badly. If Everett’s going to keep it safe and rescue his father, he’s going to need friends: like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter, Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.

Why is the book on my list?

One of the protagonists is of Indian origin. That automatically gets this book an entry on this list. No, really, it does! More than that, the premise sounds wonderful, and that cover art is just… amazing.

Nightshade Books

20. Billy Fox: Blind God’s Bluff by Richard Lee Byers

BLIND-GODS-BLUFF Link | Author Blog | Review of “Dissolution”

Ante up for the game of a lifetime!

Billy Fox, a small-time gambler on a losing streak, has more than enough problems on his hands, owing too much money to some very impatient people. But when he rescues a blinded stranger from a swarm of bloodthirsty fairies, Billy’s life gets a lot more complicated. . . .

Seems the stranger is actually a powerful local god who is involved in a high-stakes Florida poker tournament against various supernatural challengers. And with his eyes currently missing, he needs somebody to take his place at the gaming table. Before Billy knows it, he finds himself playing against the likes of an ancient Egyptian mummy, an unbearably seductive succubus, a mechanical man, an insect queen, and a cannibalistic beast-man. And not just cards are in play; magic, bloodshed, and cheating are not only expected, they’re encouraged.

Everybody, including a sexy satyr-girl with her own cards up her sleeve, thinks that Billy is in way over his head. But Billy is a born gambler and, when the chips are down, he might just change his luck for good!

Blind Man’s Bluff is an outrageously addictive urban fantasy that will keep you flipping pages until the very last hand.

Why is the book on my list?

This sounds like a mashup of James Bond, Burn Notice, Vegas, and 21. I’m so totally in. I’ve read Byers’ Dissolution, the first novel in the War of the Spider Queen double trilogy in the Forgotten Realms setting, and I wasn’t too impressed with it, but this one sounds fun!

21. Earth Thirst by Mark Teppo

EarthThirst Link | Author Blog

The Earth is dying.

Humanity–over-breeding, over-consuming—is destroying the very planet they call home. Multinational corporations despoil the environment, market genetically modified crops to control the food supply, and use their wealth and influence and private armies to crush anything, and anyone, that gets in the way of their profits. Nothing human can stop them.

But something unhuman might.

Once they did not fear the sun. Once they could breathe the air and sleep where they chose. But now they can rest only within the uncontaminated soil of Mother Earth—and the time has come for them to fight back against the ruthless corporations that threaten their immortal existence.

They are the last guardians of paradise, more than human but less than angels. They call themselves the Arcadians.

We know them as vampires. . . .

Why is the book on my list?

Vampires in a post-apocalyptic setting where they might be the saviours of the world? Where do I sign up?

22. Moon Saga #2: Binding by Carol Wolf

Binding_Cover Link | Author Blog

What do you do after you’ve saved the world—and nobody believes you?

Amber is a teenage runaway, hiding out in Los Angeles, who is also a daughter of the wolf kind. And, not long ago, she had her own personal demon. Richard was her servant, her lover, and a hellish force bound to the earth against his will. Together they turned back the World Snake that threatened to destroy the city—and she had granted Richard his freedom.

Now Amber is alone, but nobody accepts that she has truly shed her demon. Many still fear the World Snake and seek to capture the demon’s power for their own purposes, unaware that Richard has already departed the mortal realm. Amber finds herself hunted, in both wolf and human forms, by cultists, illusionists, raisers of power, and even an evil veterinarian.

Saving the world was one thing. To save herself Amber may have to call back her fearsome demon lover, who is no longer bound to obey her. . . .

Why is the book on my list?

Set in Los Angeles. An urban fantasy. Wolf kind. Demons. This promises to be a cracker.

23. Prepare To Die by Paul Tobin

PrepareToDie Link | Author Blog

A Novel of Superheroes, Sex, and Secret Origins!

Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy’s life.

Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his arch-nemesis Octagon and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs – and prepare to die.

Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world’s greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was… and the girl he never forgot.

Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Prepare to Die! is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.

Why is the book on my list?

It’s that tag line above that sold me on the novel. I love superhero fiction as much as the next guy, thanks to a ton of comics and Adam Christopher’s Seven Wonders, all of which I read last year. Superhero fiction just rocks.

24. The Daedalus Incident by Michael J. Martinez

DaedalusIncidentThe_CoverPanel Link | Author Blog

Mars is supposed to be dead…

Bizarre quakes are rumbling over the long-dormant tectonic plates of the planet, disrupting its trillion-dollar mining operations and driving scientists past the edges of theory and reason. However, when rocks shake off their ancient dust and begin to roll—seemingly of their own volition—carving canals as they converge to form a towering structure amid the ruddy terrain, Lt. Jain and her JSC team realize that their routine geological survey of a Martian cave system is anything but. The only clues they have stem from the emissions of a mysterious blue radiation, and a 300-year-old journal that is writing itself.

Lt. Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s Royal Navy is an honest 18th-century man of modest beginnings, doing his part for King and Country aboard the HMS Daedalus, a frigate sailing the high seas between continents…and the immense Void between the Known Worlds. Across the Solar System and among its colonies—rife with plunder and alien slave trade—through dire battles fraught with strange alchemy, nothing much can shake his resolve. But events are transpiring to change all that.

With the aid of his fierce captain, a drug-addled alchemist, and a servant girl with a remarkable past, Weatherby must track a great and powerful mystic, who has embarked upon a sinister quest to upset the balance of the planets—the consequences of which may reach far beyond the Solar System, threatening the very fabric of space itself.

Set sail among the stars with this uncanny tale, where adventure awaits, and dimensions collide!

Why is the book on my list?

Thanks to Guy Haley’s Champion of Mars, I’m starting to become a sucker for Mars SF and anything space opera in general. You could even call it an obsession, and I won’t even deny the charge. Not to mention that Weatherby’s arc has a very magical quality to it that really appeals to me.

25. Pimm and Skye: The Constantine Affliction by T. Aaron Payton

Constantine_Affliction Link

London is a city in transition.

The Constantine Affliction—a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex— has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in the Thames, have forever altered the face of the city.

Pembroke “Pimm” Halliday is an aristocrat with an interest in criminology, who uses his keen powers of observation to assist the police or private individuals—at least when he’s sober enough to do so. Ellie Skyler, who hides her gender behind the byline “E. Skye,” is an intrepid journalist driven by both passion and necessity to uncover the truth, no matter where it hides.

When Pimm and Skye stumble onto a dark plot that links the city’s most notorious criminal overlord with the Queen’s new consort, famed scientist Sir Bertram Oswald, they soon find the forces of both high and low society arrayed against them. Can they save the city from the arcane machinations of one of history’s most infamous monsters—and uncover the shocking origin of… The Constantine Affliction?

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve heard a lot of praise for this book and the idea of gender-swapping has a lot of appeal. Plus it is set in historic London, around the time of Sherlock Holmes. Can you say hell yeah?

26. No Return by Zachary Jernigan

NoReturn_Press_Corrected_FinalV1b Link | Author Blog

On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists–only what his intentions are.

Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon–a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle–warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor, on the far side of Jeroun’s only inhabitable continent.

From the Thirteenth Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a young master of martial arts, laden with guilt over the death of one of his students. Traveling with him are Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. Together they must brave their own demons, as well as thieves, mages, beasts, dearth, and hardship on the perilous road to Danoor, and the bloody sectarian battle that is sure to follow.

On the other side of the world, unbeknownst to the travelers, Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages (astronauts using Alchemical magic to achieve space flight) have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. But Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas–which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.

Who may know the mind of God? And who in their right mind would seek to defy him? Gritty, erotic, and fast-paced, author Zachary Jernigan takes you on a sensuous ride through a world at the knife-edge of salvation and destruction, in this first installment of one of the year’s most exciting fantasy epics.

Why is the book on my list?

Because Zachary Jernigan would no doubt do horrible things to me if I didn’t have it on this list. Kidding aside, this is a debut novel, and my experience with such in 2012 has been pretty fantastic, so I’m all for a better 2013, which this promises to contribute to.

Orbit Books

27. Seven Kings by John R. Fultz

Fultz_SevenKings-TP Link | Author Blog

In the jungles of Khyrei, an escaped slave seeks vengeance and finds the key to a savage revolution.

In the drought-stricken Stormlands, the Twin Kings argue the destiny of their kingdom: one walks the path of knowledge, the other treads the road to war.

Beyond the haunted mountains King Vireon confronts a plague of demons bent on destroying his family.

Iardu the Shaper weaves history like a grand tapestry, spinning sorceries into a vision of apocalypse.

Giants and Men march as one to shatter a wicked empire.

The fate of the known world rests on the swift blades of Seven Kings…

Why is the book on my list?

Demons and sprawling kingdoms in epic fantasy? Sounds good to me.

28. Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin

Martin_IceForged-TP Link | Author Blog

Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine ‘Mick’ McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment.

But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

Why is the book on my list?

I read a guest post by Martin today and she mentioned that this novel was a medieval apocalypse story. I was immediately sold on the idea, especially when she went on to quality her statement.

29. Fade To Black by Francis Knight

Fade-to-Black Link | Author Blog

Today isn’t Rojan’s day. His latest bounty almost killed him three times, his girlfriends all found out about each other and trashed his rooms—and his niece has been kidnapped. Now he’s got to use his magic to find her – and there is a good chance it will end up destroying him.

Rojan follows his niece’s trail to the Pit, the underbelly of the city. The Pit was evacuated when the Synth-tox wiped out most of the city’s residents —and a new city was built over it. But what he wasn’t told is that the Pit was never emptied.

And Rojan isn’t the only one using pain magic. And there is more at stake than the life of one little girl.

Why is the book on my list?

Magic, poisons and bounty hunters. Now that’s a dangerous combination all right. Plus this seems to have some strong vibes of the Liam Neeson-starrer movie Taken. It can’t get any better than that right? Plus that title sounds really ominous, so we shall see.

30. Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins

Higgins_WolfhoundCentury-HC Link | Author Blog

Inspector Vissarion Lom has been summoned to the capital in order to catch a terrorist — and ordered to report directly to the head of the secret police.

A totalitarian state, worn down by an endless war, must be seen to crush home-grown terrorism with an iron fist. But Lom discovers Mirgorod to be more corrupted than he imagined: a murky world of secret police and revolutionaries, cabaret clubs and doomed artists.

Lom has been chosen because he is an outsider, not involved in the struggle for power within the party.

And because of the sliver of angel stone implanted in his head.

Why is the book on my list?

To be honest, it was the cover and that big sigil on it that drew me to this book. The premise sounds really fun too, if a bit dark, which is totally fine with me. As an avid reader of Black Library fiction, I’m used to dark fiction.

31. Jessica McClain #2: Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Hot-Blooded-Book-Cover1 Link | Author Blog | Review of “Full Blooded

Jessica McClain has just discovered she’s the biggest threat the supernatural world has seen in over eight-hundred years, but there’s only one thing on her mind—finding her mate. Rourke’s been kidnapped by a wicked goddess and his only chance of survival lies in her hands.

Finding Rourke and defeating the goddess proves to be difficult enough, but when the Underworld comes calling and Jessica discovers she’s accused of crimes she hasn’t committed, the entire game changes. The price they are demanding for her freedom is too steep. There is no way she can ever pay it back.

Why is the book on my list?

This is the sequel to Carlson’s debut novel from last year, Full Blooded, which I absolutely loved, as you can no doubt tell from that review. The Jessica McClain series is definitely the kind of “shapeshifter urban fantasy” that I want to be reading. The kind that has some really badass characters who don’t give a fig about their emotional states. The ending to Full Blooded was a really good cliffhanger and I’m dying to find out what is going to happen next!

32. Rebellion by Ian Irvine

rebellion ian irvine Link | Author Blog

Hightspall is dying. Every year the winters worsen, and the realm’s protective magic disappeared with the traitor-king, Lyf, two thousand years ago.

Now Lyf is back, bent on wiping Hightspall off the map and rebuilding his ancient land anew. Lyf also killed Tali’s mother and now he is hunting Tali, for the master pearl she bears inside her holds the key to saving the realm – or destroying it.

Can Tali find Lyf before he tears Hightspall apart? And if she does, can she put aside her quest for vengeance to save her country? Or will Lyf cut the pearl from her and use its magic to plunge her world into perpetual darkness?

Why is the book on my list?

Revenge, fantasy, and traitor kings fit so well together that it’s a real surprise. Can’t wait for this one. Plus this is one of those end-of-the-world-or-else fantasies. Those are always fun.

33. Riyria Chronicles #1: The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

crowntower-2-5 Link | Author Blog | Review of “Theft of Swords | Review of “Rise of Empire | Review of “Heir of Novron

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

The Crown Tower is the first book in a new series, The Riyria Chronicles, based on characters from The Riyria Revelations. Unlike the previous series, which was a carefully choreographed interconnected series of books, the Chronicles are designed to be stand-alone stories that can be read independent of each other or the prior novels.

Why is the book on my list?

Michael J. Sullivan was one of the top authors I read last year and I’ve enjoyed all of his work thoroughly, barring some niggles with The Emerald Storm. He is also one of the more consistent authors that I know of and since this is a prequel series, it should be a fun ride!

34. Powder Mage #1: Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan

promise of blood Link | Author Blog

The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.

Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and greedy scrambling for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces. Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.

Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…

Why is the book on my list?

The cover art, this one is all about the cover art.

35. Rojan Dizon: Before The Fall by Francis Knight

Link | Author Blog

With the destruction of their main power source, the towering vertical city of Mahala is in crisis.

Downsiders are verging on a riot, and the mage Rojan Dizon is just trying to keep his head down and some power back to the city — whilst staying hopeful that he won’t get executed for using his magic. Then things go from bad to worse when a Downsider and emerging mage is found murdered. It’s a crime that divides all sides, and the result is mayhem.

But Rojan’s worst nightmare is just around the corner. When he discovers the killer’s identity, he’s either going to be responsible for all-out anarchy, or for a war with Mahala’s neighboring countries that no one is prepared for.

And there’s nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible.

Why is the book on my list?

Same as above for Fade To Black.

36. Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Aaron

Link | Author Blog | Review of The Spirit Thief

Deviana Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. One of those is going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.

Not when she just got a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble. And with a reputation for bad luck that makes one year as security detail on this ship equal to five years everywhere else – Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan.

But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year might be more than even Devi can handle.

Why is the book on my list?

Because I love her style and she is one of the most awesome people to interact with and get advice from. Plus Deviana’s short-name is Hindi for Goddess. Hah!

Strange Chemistry

37. Broken by A. E. Rought

Broken-144dpi Link | Author Blog

Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry’s boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetary and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she’s intrigued despite herself. He’s an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely…familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel’s. The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there’s something very wrong with Alex Franks.

And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks’ estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

Why is the book on my list?

A modern retelling of Frankenstein. Given that I love that book, I’m automatically all for this book. A young adult twist to the whole thing sounds really fun.

38. The Holders by Julianna Scott

TheHolders-144dpi Link | Author Blog

17-year-old Becca has spent her whole life protecting her brother – from their father leaving and from the people who say the voices in his head are unnatural. When two strangers appear with apparent answers to Ryland’s “problem” and details about a school in Ireland where Ryland will not only fit in, but prosper, Becca is up in arms.

She reluctantly agrees to join Ryland on his journey and what they find at St. Brigid’s is a world beyond their imagination. Little by little they piece together information about their family’s heritage and the legend of the Holder race that decrees Ryland is the one they’ve been waiting for—but, they are all, especially Becca, in for a surprise that will change what they thought they knew about themselves and their kind.

Why is the book on my list?

Strange Chemistry has been delivering on some really fun books and The Holders sounds like it is going to be another one for the “Best of…” lists. I’m really liking the premise of the book, especially the whole mystery about the elder races.

39. Emilie and The Hollow World by Martha Wells

EmiliestheHollowWorld-144dpi Link | Author Blog

While running away from home for reasons that are eminently defensible, Emilie’s plans to stow away on the steamship Merry Bell and reach her cousin in the big city go awry, landing her on the wrong ship and at the beginning of a fantastic adventure.

Taken under the protection of Lady Marlende, Emilie learns that the crew hopes to use the aether currents and an experimental engine, and with the assistance of Lord Engal, journey to the interior of the planet in search of Marlende’s missing father.

With the ship damaged on arrival, they attempt to traverse the strange lands on their quest. But when evidence points to sabotage and they encounter the treacherous Lord Ivers, along with the strange race of the sea-lands, Emilie has to make some challenging decisions and take daring action if they are ever to reach the surface world again.

Why is the book on my list?

The premise reminds me a lot of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, and since I loved those books, I’m totally onboard for this one as well.

40. Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon

ZennScarlett Link | Author Blog

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars will find her working with alien patients from whalehounds the size of a hay barn to a baby Kiran Sunkiller, a colossal floating creature that will grow up to carry a whole sky-city on its back.

But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

Now, she must unravel the baffling events plaguing her school, before someone is hurt or killed, before everything she cares about is ripped away from her and her family forever. To solve this mystery – and live to tell about it – Zenn will have to put her new exovet skills to work in ways she never imagined, and in the process learn just how powerful compassion and empathy can be.

Why is the book on my list?

This sounds like something straight out of a comedy SF TV Show. Those are fun. This should be too!

41. Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa


When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

Why is the book on my list?

Two words: video games. That is all.

42. Cracked by Eliza Crewe

Link | Author Blog

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and avoiding a bad-ass cripple that doesn’t trust her are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it.

Why is the book on my list?

When the novel tagline is what it is for this book, that book is an automatic winner.

Tor Books

43. The Kassa Gambit by M. C. Planck

the kassa gambit Link | Author Blog

Centuries after the ecological collapse of Earth, humanity has spread among the stars. Under the governance of the League, our endless need for resources has driven us to colonize hundreds of planets, all of them devoid of other sentient life. Humanity is apparently alone in the universe.

Then comes the sudden, brutal decimation of Kassa, a small farming planet, by a mysterious attacker. The few survivors send out a desperate plea for aid, which is answered by two unlikely rescuers. Prudence Falling is the young captain of a tramp freighter. She and her ragtag crew have been on the run and living job to job for years, eking out a living by making cargo runs that aren’t always entirely legal. Lt. Kyle Daspar is a police officer from the wealthy planet of Altair Prime, working undercover as a double agent against the League. He’s been undercover so long he can’t be trusted by anyone—even himself.

While flying rescue missions to extract survivors from the surface of devastated Kassa, they discover what could be the most important artifact in the history of man: an alien spaceship, crashed and abandoned during the attack.

But something tells them there is more to the story. Together, they discover the cruel truth about the destruction of Kassa, and that an imminent alien invasion is the least of humanity’s concerns.

Why is the book on my list?

Aliens, space opera, doom of mankind. More please!

44. Marked: Eve of Darkness by S. J. Day

eve of darkness Link | Author Blog

Years ago, Evangeline Hollis spent a blistering night with a darkly seductive man she can’t forget. But that evening of addictive pleasure has become a disaster of biblical proportions: She’s been branded with the Mark of Cain.

Now Eve is thrust into a world where sinners are marked and drafted to kill demons. Her former one-night stand, Cain, is now her mentor—and his equally sexy brother Abel is her new boss.

And Eve has become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…

Why is the book on my list?

To be honest, this book is a little out of my league, since the more romance-y urban fantasy stuff isn’t for me, but I found the premise to be too exciting to pass on it, and the book looks like it really could be a lot of fun. I certainly wouldn’t be averse to the novel if it comes my way!

45. The Six-Gun Tarot by Rod Belcher

Six Gun Tarot Link

Nevada, 1869: Beyond the pitiless 40-Mile Desert lies Golgotha, a cattle town that hides more than its share of unnatural secrets. The sheriff bears the mark of the noose around his neck; some say he is a dead man whose time has not yet come. His half-human deputy is kin to coyotes. The mayor guards a hoard of mythical treasures. A banker’s wife belongs to a secret order of assassins. And a shady saloon owner, whose fingers are in everyone’s business, may know more about the town’s true origins than he’s letting on.

A haven for the blessed and the damned, Golgotha has known many strange events, but nothing like the primordial darkness stirring in the abandoned silver mine overlooking the town. Bleeding midnight, an ancient evil is spilling into the world, and unless the sheriff and his posse can saddle up in time, Golgotha will have seen its last dawn…and so will all of Creation.

Why is the book on my list?

A Wild West-style setting and urban fantasy mixing together? That has so much damn potential. Having read something similar with Lee Collins’ debut novel The Dead of Winter I’m all for this particular mash-up.

46. The Sixth Station by Linda Stasi

Sixth Station Link

Some say Demiel ben Yusef is the world’s most dangerous terrorist, personally responsible for bombings and riots that have claimed the lives of thousands. Others insist he is a man of peace, a miracle worker, and possibly even the Son of God. His trial in New York City for crimes against humanity attracts scores of protestors, as well as media and religious leaders from around the world.

Cynical reporter Alessandra Russo heads to the UN hoping for a piece of the action, but soon becomes entangled in controversy and suspicion when ben Yusef singles her out for attention among all other reporters. As Alessandra begins digging into ben Yusef’s past, she is already in more danger than she knows—and when she is falsely accused of murder during her investigation, she is forced to flee New York.

On the run from unknown enemies, Alessandra finds herself on the trail of a global conspiracy and a story that could shake the world to its foundations. Is Demiel ben Yusef the Second Coming or the Antichrist? The truth may lie in the secret history of the Holy Family, a group of Templars who defied the church, and a mysterious relic stained with the sacred blood of Christ Himself.

Why is the book on my list?

A contemporary thriller with apocalyptic themes? I normally wouldn’t read something like this, but I find myself to be very curious and the premise does stand out quite a bit.

47. The Eldritch Conspiracy by Cat Adams

Eldritch Conspiracy Link | Author Blog

Celia Graves was once an ordinary human, but those days are long gone. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren. Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia’s cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she’s a Siren princess, and she’s marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She’s getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out—including Celia herself, who is half Siren.

Luckily, Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. When Adriana returns to the Siren homeland to try to prevent a coup, Celia is free to hunt for the terrorists and the vile mage who is helping them (while keeping her eyes open for the perfect maid-of-honor dress).

Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.

Why is the book on my list?

When I first read the premise I genuinely laughed. Vampires and Sirens mixed together with assassination attempts in a beauty salon of all places. I’m also getting a bit of an Underworld vibe here, which is great since I love that series.

48. Farside by Ben Bova

Farside Ben Bova Link | Author Blog

Farside, the side of the Moon that never faces Earth, is the ideal location for an astronomical observatory. It is also the setting for a tangled web of politics, personal ambition, love, jealousy, and murder.Telescopes on Earth have detected an Earth-sized planet circling a star some thirty light-years away. Now the race is on to get pictures of that distant world, photographs and spectra that will show whether or not the planet is truly like Earth, and if it bears life.

Farside will include the largest optical telescope in the solar system as well as a vast array of radio antennas, the most sensitive radio telescope possible, insulated from the interference of Earth’s radio chatter by a thousand kilometers of the Moon’s solid body.

Building the Farside observatory is a complex, often dangerous task. On the airless surface of the Moon, under constant bombardment of hard radiation and infalling micrometeoroids, builders must work in cumbersome spacesuits and use robotic machines as much as possible. Breakdowns—mechanical and emotional—are commonplace. Accidents happen, some of them fatal.

What they find stuns everyone, and the human race will never be the same.

Why is the book on my list?

I’ve long wanted to read some Ben Bova, and this book looks like it may fit perfectly with the type of SF I usually like to read.

49. Wild Hunt #2: Trinity Rising by Elspeth Cooper

Trinity-Rising_Cooper Link | Author Blog | Review of “Songs of The Earth

This sequel to Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper continues the story of a young man who has been sentenced to death, and then exiled, for his magical abilities.

As Gair struggles with grief over the loss of the only home he had known, and his beloved, he is walking into a conflict that’s greater and more deadly than he or his mentor ever anticipated.

A storm of unrest is spreading across the land and they are going to be caught up in it—at a moment when Gair’s hold on his magic, his greatest defense and most valuable tool, is starting to slip….

Why is the book on my list?

Having read the first book in the series, Songs of the Earth, last year and enjoyed it, this is one of the books I’ve really been looking forward to. Cooper’s style and world-building is one of the best I’ve seen in a while, which is saying something since I read so many damn good books last year, and this novel promises to meet all my expectations of it!

50. Blood’s Pride by Evie Manieri

Blood's Pride Link | Author Blog

Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.

Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?

This thrilling new epic fantasy is set in a quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region, drawing together the warrior culture of Vikings, the wanderlust of desert nomads, and the oracles of ancient Greece. Evie Manieri’s Blood’s Pride is an intricate, lush fantasy novel full of taut action, gut-wrenching betrayal, and soaring romance.

Why is the book on my list?

The setting is what sells me on this book: quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region. Just as with Indian fantasy, I think this subgenre is a really ignored one, and it’s fantastic that Evie Manieri is going to be exploring it in this novel.

51. The Wreck of The River of Stars by Michael Flynn

Wreck of the River of Stars Link

This is a compelling tale of the glory that was. In the days of the great sailing ships, in the mid-twenty-first century, when magnetic sails drew cargo and passengers alike to every corner of the solar system, sailors had the highest status of all spacemen, and the crew of the luxury liner the River of Stars, the highest among all sailors.

But development of the Farnsworth fusion drive doomed the sailing ships, and now the River of Stars is the last of its kind, retrofitted with engines, her mast vestigial, her sails unraised for years. An ungainly hybrid, she operates in the late years of the century as a mere tramp freighter among the outer planets, and her crew is a motley group of misfits. Stepan Gorgas is the escapist executive officer who becomes captain. Ramakrishnan Bhatterji is the chief engineer who disdains him. Eugenie Satterwaithe, once a captain herself, is third officer and, for form’s sake, sailing master.

When an unlikely and catastrophic engine failure strikes the River, Bhatterji is confident he can effect repairs with heroic engineering, but Satterwaithe and the other sailors among the crew plot to save her with a glorious last gasp for the old ways, mesmerized by a vision of arriving at Jupiter proudly under sail. The story of their doom has the power, the poetry, and the inevitability of a Greek tragedy. This is a great science fiction novel, Flynn’s best yet.

Why is the book on my list?

Once again, an Indian-origin protagonist. Plus some space opera with a very Titanic/Poseidon vibe to it. And this also looks like it could be a hard-SF novel, which should really spice things up!


More lists from me:

Posted on January 8, 2013, in 2013 Reading Challenge, Book Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. I’m looking forward to reading Between Two Thorns. I have fond memories of Bath from visits and studying about it in Latin classes.


  2. I’m so happy to have made your list! I’ll be really, really interested to know what you think of Gemsigns once you’ve read it (I do think I have a different take on the subject matter, but then I would, wouldn’t I). And as for the cover – yep, that’s what we were going for. Always good to know the theory works in practice. Best, Stephanie.


  3. Thanks for listing me, Abhinav! You’ve avoided me doing horrible things to you. For now.


  4. Thanks for the shout out and the kind words! Hope you enjoy it!


  5. Hmm, I’m curious how Neal Asher’s ‘The Departure’ slipped your radar… Mars a major setting there and its also from Nightshade.

    On another note, although I can’t recommend it myself Dan Simmons had a SF duology, Ilium/Olympos, which dealt with apparently both Mars and various Greek figureheads and events. Greek myths mixed together with Mars surely must be a double win for you, eh? 🙂


    • Hmm, didn’t know about the Dan Simmons release. As for Neal Asher. I tried reading one of his books last year, but the style wasn’t working for me at all, so I’m giving his stuff a pass.


  6. Thanks so much for including my debut in your list! I hope you enjoy it! Also, this is a great list. I’m a big Adam Christopher fan myself, so I’ve been looking forward to his new one, too.

    The SIXTH STATION looks really good, what an awesome twist on apocalyptic themes. SIX GUN TAROT and the DAEDALUS INCIDENT both look amazing. I told myself I was going to read 100 books this year, and I think I may very well just upload your whole list. Thanks, Abhinav!


    • Thank you for stopping by! Good luck with your reading! As I told you on Twitter when your book was announced, I’m a huge fan of video games, and it was also my degree in college, so yeah 😀


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