In a lot of ways, 2013 has been a fairly good year for debut novels, as much as 2012 was. There have been some really fantastic releases, and they have all continued an unofficial tradition of doing something different with the genres that they have been set in. I can say for certain that of all the debut novels I read this year, none of them have been quite what I expected. Some of these novels have been really, really good while a small handful have been disappointing.
I put together a list at the end of last year in which I ran through my top picks of all the debuts I’d read, and I found the experience to be quite rewarding, and a great help in figuring out just why these novels were so good beyond just writing up the reviews.
All in all, of the 20 debut novels I wanted to read this year as per my list (link), I read 18 of them. Here are the 8 books I consider to be the best of the bunch.
Tags: 2013 Debuts, 2013 Release, A Conspiracy of Alchemists, Alchemy, Aliens, Angry Robot, Angry Robot Books, Best Debuts, Between Two Thorns, Black Science, Brian McClellan, Chronicles of Light and Shadow, Debut Authors, Del Rey, Del Rey Books, Dire Earth Cycle, Fae, Fantasy, Gemsigns, Genetic Engineering, Gunpowder Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Irish Mythology, Jason M. Hough, Jo Fletcher Books, Julianna Scott, Liesel Schwarz, London, magic, Michael Martinez, Near Future, Nightshade Books, No Return, Noir, Orbit Books, Powder Mage, Promise of Blood, Random House, Random House Books, Regency Fantasy, science fantasy, Science Fiction, Skyhorse Publishing, Space Elevator, Space Opera, Split Worlds, Steampunk, Steampunk Fantasy, Stephanie Saulter, Strange Chemistry, Strange Chemistry Books, The Daedalus Incident, The Darwin Elevator, The Holders, Urban Fantasy, Zachary Jernigan
In January and February, I ran two highly successful polls where I asked all the readers of the blog to help me pick my reading list for the following months. The first one was for novels, the second one for comics. I managed to meet the reading goals for the first of those polls, but am still progressing through the second one, mostly because I’ve been traveling a bit too much of late, and reading time has generally been at a premium due to work and more time devoted to my writing.
However, I should be done with it by the end of this month, so keep an eye out for updates on that.
In the meantime, here’s my next reading poll, and this one is for novels once again. Hit the break to find out more.
Tags: 2013 Most Anticipated, 2013 Reading Challenge, 25 In 2013, 51 For 2013, A Discourse in Steel, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Agents of Artifice, Angry Robot Books, Ari Marmell, Assassin's Apprentice, Betsy Dornbusch, Billy Fox, Black Library, Blind God's Buff, Blood of Nagash, Book Lists, Cast No Shadow, Cold Fire, Dan O'Shea, David Annandale, Dawn of the Jedi, Del Rey Spectra, Dire Earth Cycle, Eberron, Egil & Nix, Eli Monpress, Elspeth Cooper, Epic Fantasy, Exhibit A Books, Exile, Fantasy, Farseer, Gathering of the Lost, Helen Lowe, Heroic Fantasy, Into The Void, James Swallow, Jason M. Hough, John C. Scott, Josh Reynolds, Kate Elliott, Kevin J. Anderson, List Polls, Magic The Gathering, Marsheila Rockwell, Neferata, Nightshade Books, Nineteen Galaxies, Orbit Books, Paul S. Kemp, Penance, Planeswalker, Playing Tyler, Pocket Books, Poll, Rachel Aaron, Reading List, Reading List Poll, Recon One-Five, Richard Lee Byers, Robin Hobb, Science Fiction, Self-published, Seven Eyes, Seven Suns, Shadows of the Apt, Simon & Schuster, Space Marine Battles, Space Opera, Spiritwalker, Star Trek, Strange Chemistry, T. L. Costa, The Black and Gold, The Darwin Elevator, The Death of Antagonis, The Hidden Empire, The Shard Axe, The Spirit Rebellion, The Wall of Night, Tie-in fiction, Tim Lebbon, Top 25 Series 2013, Tor Books, Trinity Rising, Urban Fantasy, Warner Books, Wild Hunt, Wizards of the Coast, Young Adult
Participating in the first guest post for Names: A New Perspective Part 3 is Nathan Long, one of my top favourite fantasy authors (with some excellent sword-and-planet mixed in). I’ve been reading Nathan’s books for almost 6 or 7 years now, and have pretty much read all the work he’s done for Black Library to date. His The Blackhearts Omnibus remains a firm favourite for me, as do his Ulrika the Vampire books (review of Bloodborn, Bloodforged, and Bloodsworn), and his Jane Carver of Waar duology (review of Jane Carver, and Swords of Waar) from Nightshade Books. Just as with Matt Forbeck, Nathan is one of the most consistent authors I know, and his books are always engaging and entertaining. Here’s what Nathan has to say on the topic of names.
Guesting on the blog today for Names: A New Perspective is debut author Michael J. Martinez. His first book, The Daedalus Incident, is scheduled for a June/July release, but given the ongoing restructuring and sellout-acquisition deal at Night Shade Books, it is more than likely that the book will be delayed a few months. You can read more about it from Mike himself here, and I will be doing a Publishing & Marketing column about it later this week as well. In the meantime, you can read my review of the book, one of the top debuts of the year, and here’s what Mike has to say on the topic of names.
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!
Tags: 2013 Most Anticipated, A Discourse in Steel, A. E. Rought, Adam Christopher, Aliens, Amanda Carlson, Amish, Androids, Angry Robot Books, Baneblade, Before The Fall, Ben Bova, Ben Counter, Between Two Thorns, Billy Fox, Binding, Black Feathers, Black Library, Blighted Empire, Blind God's Bluff, Blood of Asaheim, Blood's Pride, Brian McClellan, Broken, C. L. Werner, Carol Wolf, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Cat Adams, Chris Wraight, Christian Schoon, Chuck Wendig, Cora Oglesby, Cracked, David Annandale, David Guymer, Earth Thirst, Egil and Nix, Eliza Crewe, Elspeth Cooper, Emillie and The Hollow World, Emma Newman, Epic Fantasy, Eve of Darkness, Everness, Evie Manieri, Fade To Black, Fantasy, Far Future, Farside, Fortune's Pawn, Francis Knight, Gail Z. Martin, Gemsigns, Gotrek & Felix, Guy Haley, Heroic Fantasy, Hot Blooded, Ian Irvine, Ian McDonald, Ice Forged, Imperial Guard, Jessica McClain, Jo Fletcher Books, John R. Fultz, Joseph D’Lacey, Josh Reynolds, Julianna Scott, Lee Collins, Linda Stasi, M. C. Planck, Mark Teppo, Marked, Martha Wells, Michael Flynn, Michael J. Martinez, Michael J. Sullivan, Moon Saga, Near Future, Nightshade Books, No Return, Orbit Books, Paul S. Kemp, Paul Tobin, Peter Higgins, Pimm and Skye, Planesrunner, Playing Tyler, Powder Mage, Prepare To Die, Promise of Blood, Rachel Aaron, Rebellion, Richard Lee Byers, Riyria Chronicles, Road of Skulls, Robots, Rod Belcher, Rojan Dizon, S. J. Day, Science Fiction, Seven Kings, She Returns From War, Space Marine Battles, Space Opera, Space Wolves, Split Worlds, Steampunk, Stephanie Saulter, Sword and Sorcery, T. Aaron Payton, T. L. Costa, The Age Atomic, The Black Plague, The Blue Blazes, The Constantine Affliction, The Crown Tower, The Curse of the Everliving, The Daedalus Incident, The Death of Antagonis, The Eldritch Conspiracy, The Holders, The Immortals of Meluha, The Kassa Gambit, The Lives of Tao, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, The Secret of the Nagas, The Six-Gun Tarot, The Sixth Station, The Wreck of The River of Stars, Tor Books, Trinity Rising, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Van Horstmann, Warhammer, Warhammer Heroes, Werewolves, Wesley Chu, Wild Hunt, Wolfhound Century, Zachary Jernigan, Zenn Scarlett
A little late, but I finally have the schedule of posts down. Post-NaNoWriMo blues and a massive reviewing/reading backlog plus my Advent Reviews series has kept me rather busy. Which reminds me, I still need to do that NaNoWriMo “after-action” report too! Ack! You can read any of the previous posts by using the series tag: “Names A New Perspective“. The previous line-up of authors is here. So, without further ado, here you are.
Tags: 2012 Debuts, Adam Christopher, Aliette de Bodard, Amanda Carlson, Angry Robot Books, Black Library, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Chuck Wendig, Ciara Ballintyne, David Guymer, Debut Authors, E. J. Swift, Erin M. Evans, Fantasy, Forgotten Realms, Gareth Powell, Genre Magazines, Guest Posts, Janet Edwards, Jo Anderton, Jocelyn Koehler, Lee Collins, Lyndsay Faye, Matt Forbeck, Names A New Perspective, Nightshade Books, Science Fiction, Self-published, Solaris Books, The meaning of Names, Tim Marquitz, Urban Fantasy, Warhammer Fantasy, Wizards of the Coast
Another Thursday, another Names: A New Perspective guest post! This time, it is Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of the Lays of Anuskaya series, which is published by Nightshade Books. He also runs the Speculate SF site, which is one of the best genre scenes on the internet, and is also an excellent resource for authors. I haven’t had a chance to read his books as yet, but I’m quite looking forward to them, and they are high on Mountain Tobereadpile. That’s in no small part due to the absolutely gorgeous covers for his novels. Here’s what he had to say on the subject of names and their significance.
Tags: Bradley P. Beaulieu, Debut Authors Guest Series, Guest Posts, Kickstarter, Names, Names A New Perspective, NANP, Nightshade Books, The Lays of Anuskaya, The meaning of Names, The Straits of Galahesh, The Winds of Khalakovo
For Day 2 of my Advent Reviews series, I bring to you my thoughts on the this debut novel by author E. J. Swift, the first in the Osiris Project series being published by Night Shade Books, who have put out such gems as Teresa Frohock’s Miserere: An Autumn’s Tale and Nathan Long’s Jane Carver of Waar.
Dropping by on the blog today is Stina Leicht, author of the Fey And The Fallen series, and is a 2012 Campbell Award nominee. She is one of the new-generation of Night Shade Books authors, alongside Teresa Frohock, Courtney Schafer and Jeff Salyards among others, who’ve all been featured on the blog previously. I read her first novel, Of Blood And Honey, in August of this year and was suitably impressed with it to get the sequel, And Blue Skies From Pain. Stina is a fantastic author and I’m looking forward to some great things from her in the future. Here’s what she had to say on the topic of names and their significance in her writing.
Another Thursday, another Names: A New Perspective post, this time with author Jeff Salyards, who debuted this year with his first Bloodsounder’s Arc novel, Scourge of the Betrayer (my review). As I said in my review, the novel is a very different sort of fantasy book that breaks with tradition and delves far more into the characters than many others; its a character study at its core. The novel also continues the seeming tradition of Nightshade Books to publish authors who are out to challenge the mainstream perception and tastes, and I think it succeeds on that level. When I invited Jeff to talk about how and why he names his characters (and places) as he does, this is what he came back to me with.
Joining me on the blog today is Courtney Schafer, author of the adventure fantasy novels The Whitefire Crossing and The Tainted City, both of them a part of her The Shattered Sigil series for Nightshade Books. I read The Whitefire Crossing last month and I was utterly blown away by it (my review). It is easily one of my best reads this year, even made my September Reading Awards list. If you are looking for a different type of fantasy novel to read, one that is serious and covers some new ground in terms of its magic system and characters and its scope, then The Whitefire Crossing is what you want. This is what Courtney had to say about her world-building in the the two novels.
So its time again to do another end-of-the-month report. Overall, April was a somewhat better month where my writing is concerned as I managed to knock some submissions together and managed to get a headstart on editing my novel submission, but not by much really. The muse was hell of a lot more fickle than it usally is so I didn’t get anywhere near as much as I wanted to get done. On the reading front however, it was a blast, and I read some fantastic novels this month, and some not so fantastic as it turns out. Quite disappointed with two of my reads in particular – Giant Thief by David Tallerman (extremely disappointed) and Void Stalker by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (very ambivalent about it). And on the reviewing front, book reviews were posted fairly regularly while I only got around to posting a single one, I did write two. So that’s a target hit, I think?
Anyway, the lowdown is after the break.
Tags: 2012 Debuts, 2012 Reading Challenge, 24FPS, Angels of Retribution, Angry Robot, Angry Robot Army, Black Library, Book Reviews, Goals, Guest Posts, IDW Publishing, In The Emperor We Trust, Iron Lords, Nightshade Books, Project Starfighter, Project The Price of Failure, Project Ties of Blood, Reading Goals, Review Central, Self-publishing, Sons of Corax, Space Marines, Submissions, The Founding Fields, Writing Goals