Since 2013 is now over, its time to do my second “Best of the Best” list, for the second half of the year from July-December. There were some really good reads in this period, and as always, picking the best has been a chore. I always try to keep these lists as diverse as I can and hopefully you agree.
You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.
Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then! Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: Ace Books, Adventure Fantasy, Aliens, Alternate History, Apocalypse, Best Books, Best of 2013, Black Library, Black Magic, Blood Magic, Brimstone Angels, C Z Dunn, Chaos, Chaos Space Marines, Cold Steel, Courtney Schafer, Crash, Dark Angels, Death Guard, Demons, Devils, Dragon Apocalypse, Dragonborn, Dragons, Drasek Riven, Dune, Dune Chronicles, Dune: Messiah, Empire and Rebellion, Epic Fantasy, Erevis Cale, Erin M. Evans, Europe, Fantasy, Female Protagonists, Forgotten Realms, Frank Herbert, Galactic Empire, Games Workshop, Gods, Grey Knights, Guy Haley, Han Solo, Hellfire, Historical Fantasy, Hush, Ia, James Maxey, Jean Johnson, John Jackson Miller, Kate Elliott, Kenobi, Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, Mages, magic, Martha Wells, Naval Combat, Near Future, Nurgle, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Orbit Books, Pandorax, Paul Muad'dib, Paul S. Kemp, Penguin Books, Plague Marines, Razor's Edge, Science Fiction, Shadovar, Shattered Sigil, Solaris Books, Sorcerers, Space Marines, Space Opera, Spice, Spiritwalker, Star Wars, Tatooine, The Adversary, The Godborn, The Sundering, The Tainted City, Theirs Not To Reason Why, Tie-In, tieflings, Top Books, Warhammer, Warhammer 40000, Warhammer 40k, Western, Wizards of the Coast
Today’s guest for Names: A New Perspective is one of my favourite authors of this year, Kate Elliott, who has penned several SFF series over the years, like Spiritwalker, Jaran, Crown of Stars and others. I’ve only read her first Spiritwalker novel, Cold Magic (my review), but I’ll be reading the sequel Cold Fire in a few days, and then the third book Cold Steel hopefully next month. For me, Kate’s writing defines itself through detailed and thoughtful world-building, of the kind that Brandon Sanderson and Frank Herbert have done with their Mistborn and Dune Chronicles novels. World-building is something I love and Kate’s alternate Europe in Spiritwalker is one of my favourite SFF worlds. Here’s what Kate has to say on the topic of names in Cold Magic and its sequels.
One question that is being asked by many in the wake of the recent SFWA controversy, and all the commentary it has spawned in various places about misogyny and sexism within the publishing industry is: “If I want to read more books by female authors, where do I start?”
Often times, I think it is rather disheartening to hear such a question. Women have been writing books for a long, long time. And for people to not even be aware of that, or for that matter, be able to perform a basic google search about who are the big names right now? Doesn’t speak so well for us as a community. Speaking of the industry in the broadest sense, we are all very close-ranked, and to break out of the apparent restrictions is not easy. Sure its “easy” to get published as a woman, but to receive recognition? That’s an uphill battle.
It all comes down to respect. And when it comes to respect within the publishing industry (or even just in general in daily life), never ever use the word “political correctness”. That’s a dirty word to use, and it betrays a lack of ability to engage, and wilful dismissal of a very serious and ongoing issue that affects us all. Just look at the entire entertainment industry as a whole, whether its novels or comics or movies or even news.
In such a state, it is absolutely essential that we willingly look to broaden our horizons. We should take chances and read outside of our comfort zones, because otherwise we don’t challenge ourselves and we just propagate the “like begets like” scenario and we cannot grow as an individual.
Which is what this editorial, the third in my Publishing and Marketing series, is about: stepping out of your comfort zone. If you’ve never read a book by a female author before, then my suggestions herein are an excellent place to start.
Tags: 2012 Reading Challenge, 2013 Reading Challenge, A Soldier's Duty, Alchemist of Souls, Aliette de Bodard, Amanda Carlson, Angry Robot, Angry Robot Books, Animorphs, Anne Lyle, Between Two Thorns, Black Library, Blood and Feathers, Book Lists, Brimstone Angels, Challenges, Charlotte Bronte, Cold Magic, Dangerous Waters, Daughter of the Empire, DAW Books, Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Editorial, Elizabeth Gaskell, Emilie & The Hollow World, Emma Newman, Enid Blyton, Erin M. Evans, Fantasy, Female Authors, Full Blooded, Gemsigns, Hadrumal Crisis novel, Heir of Night, Helen Lowe, Jane Eyre, Janny Wurts, Jean Johnson, Jo Fletcher Books, Julianna Scott, Juliet E. McKenna, K. A. Applegate, Kate Elliott, Katy Stauber, Literature, Lou Morgan, Margaret Weis, Marketing, Marsheila Rockwell, Martha Wells, Miserere, Night Shade Books, North & South, Obsidian & Blood, Orbit Books, Penguin Books, Publishing, Publishing & Marketing, Sarah Cawkwell, Science Fiction, Self-published, Skein of Shadows, Solaris Books, Spin The Sky, Spiritwalker, Stephanie Saulter, Strange Chemistry, Teresa Frohock, The Famous Five, The Gildar Rift, The Holders, Theirs Not To Reason Why, Urban Fantasy, Wizards of the Coast, Women in SFF
The voting process on my latest reading poll closed last night, after two weeks of intense excitement and record after record. Once again, just as with the previous two polls that I’ve run, this was a humbling experience given the tremendous response from the authors and their fans and everyone else who helped make this new poll such a success.
Tags: 2013 Reading Challenge, A Discourse in Steel, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Angry Robot Books, Black Library, Blood of Nagash, Book Lists, Challenges, Cold Fire, Dan O'Shea, Dawn of the Jedi: Into The Void, Dire Earth Cycle, Egil & Nix, Eli Monpress, Epic Fantasy, Exhibit A Books, Fantasy, Gathering of the Lost, Helen Lowe, Jason M. Hough, Josh Reynolds, Kate Elliott, Kevin J. Anderson, magic, Neferata, Orbit Books, Paul S. Kemp, Penance, Rachel Aaron, science fantasy, Science Fiction, Seven Suns, Shadows of the Apt, Space Opera, Spiritwalker, Star Wars, Suspense, Sword and Sorcery, The Black and Gold, The Darwin Elevator, The Hidden Empire, The Spirit Rebellion, The Wall of Night, Thieves, Thrillers, Tim Lebbon, Time of Legends, Tor Books, Urban Action
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, Blood of Nagash, Book Lists, 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, 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, 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 Spirit Rebellion, The Wall of Night, Tie-in fiction, Tim Lebbon, Top 25 Series 2013, Tor Books, Trinity Rising, Urban Fantasy, Wild Hunt, Wizards of the Coast, Young Adult