Roll on 2010!

Here's a list of my most eagerly anticipated SFF titles of 2010, in no particular order. I'm sure I forgot a few. . .

- Prince of Storms by Kay Kenyon (Canada, USA, Europe)

In this series Kay Kenyon has created her most vivid and compelling society yet, the universe Entire. Reviewers have called this “a grand world,” “an enormous stage,” and “a bravura concept.”

Finally in control of the Ascendancy, Titus Quinn has styled himself Regent of the Entire. But his command is fragile. He rules an empire with a technology beyond human understanding; spies lurk in the ancient Magisterium; the Tarig overlords are hamstrung but still malevolent. Worse, his daughter Sen Ni opposes him for control, believing the Earth and its Rose universe must die to sustain the failing Entire. She is aided by one of the mystical pilots of the River Nigh, the space-time transport system. This navitar, alone among all others, can alter future events. He retires into a crystal chamber in the Nigh to weave reality and pit his enemies against each other.

Taking advantage of these chaotic times, the great foe of the Long War, the Jinda ceb Horat, create a settlement in the Entire. Masters of supreme technology, they maintain a lofty distance from the Entire's struggle. They agree, however, that the Tarig must return to the fiery Heart of their origins. With the banishment immanent, some Tarig lords rebel, fleeing to hound the edges of Quinn's reign.

Meanwhile, Quinn's wife Anzi becomes a hostage and penitent among the Jinda ceb, undergoing alterations that expose their secrets, but may estrange her from her husband. As Quinn moves toward a confrontation with the dark navitar, he learns that the stakes of the conflict go far beyond the Rose versus the Entire—extending to a breathtaking dominance. The navitar commands forces that lie at the heart of the Entire's geo-cosmology, and will use them to alter the calculus of power. As the navitar's plan approaches consummation, Quinn, Sen Ni, and Anzi are swept up in forces that will leave them forever changed.

In this rousing finale to Kenyon's celebrated quartet, Titus Quinn meets an inevitable destiny, forced at last to make the unthinkable choice for or against the dictates of his heart, for or against the beloved land.

- Shadowrise by Tad Williams (Canada, USA, Europe)

With King Olin imprisoned and Prince Kendrick slain, the royal twins Barrick and Briony have been forced to flee their homeland. But both families and nations can hide dark and terrible secrets, and even if Barrick and Briony survive learning the astonishing truths at the heart of their own family and of Southmarch itself, they must still find a way to reclaim their kingdom and rescue their home- from traitors, tyrants, a god-king, and even the angry gods themselves.

- Geosynchron by David Louis Edelman (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Defense and Wellness Council is enmeshed in full-scale civil war between Len Borda and the mysterious Magan Kai Lee. Quell has escaped from prison and is stirring up rebellion in the Islands with the aid of a brash young leader named Josiah. Jara and the apprentices of the Surina/Natch MultiReal Fiefcorp still find themselves fighting off legal attacks from their competitors and from Margaret Surina's unscrupulous heirs -- even though MultiReal has completely vanished.

The quest for the truth will lead to the edges of civilization, from the tumultuous society of the Pacific Islands to the lawless orbital colony of 49th Heaven; and through the deeps of time, from the hidden agenda of the Surina family to the real truth behind the Autonomous Revolt that devastated humanity hundreds of years ago.

Meanwhile, Natch has awakened in a windowless prison with nothing but a haze of memory to clue him in as to how he got there. He's still receiving strange hallucinatory messages from Margaret Surina and the nature of reality is buckling all around him. When the smoke clears, Natch must make the ultimate decision - whether to save a world that has scorned and discarded him, or to save the only person he has ever loved: himself.

- Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb (Canada, USA, Europe)

The dragon keepers and the fledgling dragons are forging a passage up the treacherous Rain Wild River. They are in search of the mythical Elderling city of Kelsingra, and are accompanied by the liveship Tarman, its captain, Leftrin, and a group of hunters who must search the forests for game with which to keep the dragons fed. With them are Alise, who has escaped her cold marriage to the cruel libertine Hest Finbok in order to continue her study of dragons, and Hest's amanuensis, Bingtown dandy, Sedric. Rivalries and romances are already threatening to disrupt the band of explorers: but external forces may prove to be even more dangerous. Chalcedean merchants are keen to lay hands on dragon blood and organs to turn them to medicines and profit. Their traitor has infiltrated the expeditionand will stop at nothing to obtain the coveted body parts. And then there are the Rain Wilds themselves: mysterious, unstable and ever perilous, its mighty river running with acid, its jungle impenetrable and its waterways uncharted. Will the expedition reach their destination unscathed? Does the city of Kelsingra even exist? Only one thing is certain: the journey will leave none of the dragons nor their human companions unchanged by the experience.

- Warriors edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Canada, USA, Europe)

- Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (Canada, USA, Europe)

UNDER HEAVEN will be published in April 2010, and takes place in a world inspired by the glory and power of Tang Dynasty China in the 8th century, a world in which history and the fantastic meld into something both memorable and emotionally compelling. In the novel, Shen Tai is the son of a general who led the forces of imperial Kitai in the empire's last great war against its western enemies, twenty years before. Forty thousand men, on both sides, were slain by a remote mountain lake. General Shen Gao himself has died recently, having spoken to his son in later years about his sadness in the matter of this terrible battle.

To honour his father's memory, Tai spends two years in official mourning alone at the battle site by the blue waters of Kuala Nor. Each day he digs graves in hard ground to bury the bones of the dead. At night he can hear the ghosts moan and stir, terrifying voices of anger and lament. Sometimes he realizes that a given voice has ceased its crying, and he knows that is one he has laid to rest.

The dead by the lake are equally Kitan and their Taguran foes; there is no way to tell the bones apart, and he buries them all with honour.

It is during a routine supply visit led by a Taguran officer who has reluctantly come to befriend him that Tai learns that others, much more powerful, have taken note of his vigil. The White Jade Princess Cheng-wan, 17th daughter of the Emperor of Kitai, presents him with two hundred and fifty Sardian horses. They are being given in royal recognition of his courage and piety, and the honour he has done the dead.

You gave a man one of the famed Sardian horses to reward him greatly. You gave him four or five to exalt him above his fellows, propel him towards rank, and earn him jealousy, possibly mortal jealousy. Two hundred and fifty is an unthinkable gift, a gift to overwhelm an emperor.
Tai is in deep waters. He needs to get himself back to court and his own emperor, alive. Riding the first of the Sardian horses, and bringing news of the rest, he starts east towards the glittering, dangerous capital of Kitai, and the Ta-Ming Palace - and gathers his wits for a return from solitude by a mountain lake to his own forever-altered life

- Thirteen Years Later by Jasper Kent (Canada, USA, Europe)

In the summer of 1812, before the Oprichniki came to the help of Mother Russia in her fight against Napoleon, one of their number overheard a conversation between his master, Zmyeevich, and another. He learned of a feud, an unholy grievance between Zmyeevich and the rulers of Russia, the Romanovs, that began a century earlier at the time of Peter the Great. Indeed, while the Oprichniki's primary reason for journeying to Russia is to stop the French, one of them takes a different path. For he has a different agenda, he is to be the nightmare instrument of revenge on the Romanovs. But thanks to the valiant efforts of Captain Aleksei Ivanovich Danilov, this maverick monster would not be able to begin to complete his task until thirteen years later. Now that time has come: it is 1825 and Russia once more stands on the brink of anarchy, and this time the threat comes from within...

- Swords & Dark Magic edited by Lou Anders and Jonathan Strahan (Canada, USA, Europe)

- Arms-Commander by L. E. Modesitt, jr. (Canada, USA, Europe)

Arms-Commander takes place ten years after the end of The Chaos Balance and tells the story of the legendary Saryn. The keep of Westwind, in the cold mountainous heights called the Roof of the World, is facing attack by the adjoining land of Gallos. Arthanos, son and heir to the ailing Prefect of Gallos, wishes to destroy Westwind because the idea of a land where women rule is total anathema to him.

Saryn, Arms-Commander of Westwind, is dispatched to a neighboring land, Lornth, to seek support against the Gallosians. In the background, the trading council of Suthya is secretly and informally allied with Gallos against Westwind and begins to bribe lord-holders in Lornth to foment rebellion and civil war. They hope to create such turmoil in Lornth that the weakened land will fall to Suthya. But Zeldyan, regent of Lornth, has problems in her family. To secure Zeldyan’s aid, Saryn must pledge her personal support—and any Westwind guard forces she can raise—to the defense of Zeldyan and her son. The fate of four lands, including Westwind, rests on Saryn’s actions.

- The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (Canada, USA, Europe)

After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke's own long lost love. Sabetha is Locke's childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke's life and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds Sabetha has just one goal - to destroy Locke for ever. The Gentleman Bastard sequence has become a literary sensation in fantasy circles and now, with the third book, Scott Lynch is set to seal that success.

- A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (Canada, USA, Europe)

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance once again--beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has three times three thousand enemies, and many have set out to find her. Yet, as they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

To the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone--a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, will face his greatest challenge yet. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

And from all corners, bitter conflicts soon reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all. . .

- The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Canada, USA, Europe)

"There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man."

An escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe discovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King's road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived. Under her tutelage, Kvothe learns much about true magic and the ways of women.

In The Wise Man's Fear Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

- The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Canada, USA, Europe)

In the sleepy Istanbul district of Eskiköy stands the former whirling dervish house of Adem Dede.

Over the space of five days of an Istanbul heatwave, six lives weave a story of corporate wheeling and dealing, Islamic mysticism, political and economic intrigue, ancient Ottoman mysteries, a terrifying new terrorist threat, and a nanotechnology with the potential to transform every human on the planet.

- The Many Deaths of the Black Company by Glen Cook (Canada, USA, Europe)

“Let me tell you who I am, on the chance that these scribblings do survive. . .

“I am Murgen, Standardbearer of the Black Company, though I bear the shame of having lost that standard in battle. I am keeping these Annals because Croaker is dead, One–Eye won’t, and hardly anyone else can read or write. I will be your guide for however long it takes the Shadowlanders to force our present predicament to its inevitable end....”

This omnibus volume comprises the novels Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live.

- Crack'd Pot Trail by Steven Erikson (Canada, USA, Europe)

It is an undeniable truth: give evil a name and everyone's happy. Give it two names and . . . why, they're even happier.

The intrepid necromancers Bauchelain and Korbal Broach, scourges of civilization, raisers of the dead, reapers of the souls of the living, devourers of hope, betrayers of faith, slayers of the innocent and modest personifications of evil, have a lot to answer for and answer they will. Known as the Nehemoth, they are pursued by countless self-professed defenders of decency, sanity and civilization. After all, since when does evil thrive unchallenged? Well, often: but not this time.

Hot on their heels are the Nehemothanai, avowed hunters of Bauchelain and Korbal Broach. In the company of a gaggle of artists and pilgrims, stalwart Mortal Sword Tulgord Vise, pious Well Knight Arpo Relent, stern Huntsman Steck Marynd, and three of the redoubtable Chanter brothers (and their lone sister) find themselves faced with the cruelest of choices. The legendary Cracked Pot Trail, a stretch of harsh wasteland between the Gates of Nowhere and the Shrine of the Indifferent God, has become a tortured path of deprivation.

Will honour, moral probity and virtue prove champions in the face of brutal necessity? No, of course not. Don't be silly.

- Spellwright by Blake Charlton (Canada, USA, Europe)

Imagine a world in which the written word can leave a page to physically lift a man into the air, sharpen his pitchfork, or stop his beating heart.

Such a world is home to Nicodemus Weal, a young wizard with tremendous talent for forging the magical runes which can create spells. Indeed, throughout his adolescence, Nicodemus was thought to be the Halcyon, a powerful magic-user prophesized to save the land from a coming apocalypse known only as the Disjunction.

There was only one problem: runes must be placed in an exact order to create a spell. Any deviation results in a "misspell"--a flawed spell that behaves in an erratic, sometimes lethal, manner. It so happens that Nicodemus is a "cacographer," one unable to correctly reproduce even simple texts.

Now twenty-three, Nicodemus lives in the devastating aftermath of having failed to live up to prophecy. His magical talent is restricted to the kitchen, where he cleans pots and scrubs walls with childish language. Life slips by one aggravating day at a time until a visiting author identifies an ancient curse infesting the young wizard's mind. The malicious text has, in fact, stolen his ability to spell. Suddenly, the two wizards closest to Nicodemus are murdered violently and he is forced to flee his home in a desperate quest to recover the stolen part of his mind.

SPELLWRIGHT is the first volume of Nicodemus' journey across the kingdoms of Faragard, his encounters with monsters and gods who distort language to their own ends, and his internal struggle to accept himself as whole without his ability to spell.

- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (Canada, USA, Europe)

The Way of Kings introduces the three protagonists who will be our windows on the strange and wondrous world of Roshar and the drama about to unfold there:

• Dalinar, the assassinated king’s brother and uncle of the new one, is an old soldier who is weary of fighting. He is plagued by dreams of ancient times and legendary wars, visions that may force him into a new role he could never have imagined.

• Merin, a highborn young man who has been brought low, indeed to the most miserable level of military slavery, and like Ben Hur must suffer and struggle to survive and rise again.

• Shallan, a naïve but brave and brilliant young woman who will do anything to save her impoverished noble house from ruin.

These are people we will come to know deeply and take to our hearts. But just as important to The Way of Kings is a fourth key ‘character,’ the unique world of Roshar itself, a richly imagined setting as real as science fiction’s Dune, as unforgettable as epic fantasy’s Middle Earth. Through all the volumes of The Stormlight Archive, Brandon Sanderson will make Roshar a realm we are eager to visit.

Add to that Steven Erikson's The Crippled God (Canada), Ian Cameron Esslemont's Stonewielder, Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson's Towers of Midnight, China Miéville's Kraken (Canada, USA, Europe), Melinda Snodgrass' The Edge of Ruin (Canada, USA, Europe), Richard Morgan's The Dark Commands, and plenty more books, and we have one hell of a year to look forward to!=)

Roll on 2010!!!

23 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

C'mon Pat, "Six years have passed since the time of events" for're better than that!

Anonymous said...

Wise Man's Fear, Republic of Thieves and A Dance with Dragons?? Hahahahaha. Vaporware, every last one of them.

JasonB said...

Well, at least there are a few books in that list I am interested in (Kenyon, Modesitt, and Cook). Normally Erikson would also be in that list, but I've never been able to find the Bauchelain and Korbal Broach novels anywhere to give them a try.

machinery said...

is "a dance with dragons" sure to come out in 2010 ?
I eagerly await my reutrn to the legion of martin fans.
for now I am content in being a detractor of martin.

Nick said...

I'm really excited now. If we can keep on track and see Dance With Dragons, Wise Man's Fear, and Republic of Thieves come out, it looks like 2010 will be a great year for fantasy and a bad year for my pocketbook.

Anonymous said...

It would be pretty epic if all the three currently most eagerly awaited books in the hottest fantasy series right now would come out in the same year. The bestseller lists would go nuts.

Anonymous said...

"Six years have passed since the time of events in "A Storm of Swords". Autumn is ending, with the realm in disarray. Tommen sits on the Iron Throne, but it is Cersei who rules, supported by Casterly Rock and Highgarden. Thanks to Dorne, the north has become a lawless wilderness."

WTF ??
Where did that come from ? That sounds like one of GRRM's old plans for ADWD, way back in 2001 or something. Pat, you have some serious explaining to do.

Salt-Man Z said...

Methinks Pat just pulled the summaries straight from Amazon. Witness the summary for The Many Deaths of the Black Company, which comes from the back of Bleak Seasons, the first book from the previous omnibus.

Anonymous said...

The ADwD blurb is from, I think.

The Black Company omnibus blurb is from the Tor/Macmillan website...


rebelaessedai said...

Lots of those sound amazing! But I too am skeptical about ADWD like, ever coming out!

Adam Whitehead said...

Yeah, the ADWD blurb is bogus. It actually starts, depending on how you read the timelines, several weeks before the end of the last chapter in ASoS, not six years later.

Of the three great constantly disappearing books, ADWD is actually the one most likely to appear in 2010. Lynch has completely vanished from the Internet again, so who knows about RoT? The news about Rothfuss rewriting vast swathes of TWMF from scratch is a bit ominous, although some commentators (like Shawn Speakman from Suvudu) have claimed that their information is that the book is like 90% done will definitely be out next year, so who knows?

I'm currently reading a review copy of Alastair Reynolds' TERMINAL WORLD and this should be on there. I'm only three chapters in but this has the best opening to any of his books and if the rest of the book is as good as this, it will be his best book to date, which is really saying something (since at the moment two of his books are likely to make my 'Best of the Decade' list).

Anonymous said...

A Dance With Dragons is on there. This must be a list for 2112.

Simeon said...

I honestly don't expect either ADWD or TWMF to come out in 2010. And I'm not sure I'd read them, even if they did. What's the point, when the NEXT one in each series will take another decade to be published?

Patrick said...

Found another blurb for A DANCE WITH DRAGONS.

I'm confident we'll get the new ASOIAF volume in 2010.

However, both Lynch and Rothfuss are long shots. As things stand, their pub dates is a tentative last 2010 affair. But they could be pushed back to 2011...

Unknown said...

How is Dust of Dreams not on there? I know its out in the UK, but still it hits the States in '10

Greyweather said...

I would add the second book of The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan - The Fall - and Mary Robinette Kowal's first novel - Shades of Milk and Honey - to that list.

mus42 said...

You forgot "The Desert Spear" Peter V Brett's follows up to "The Painted Man", really looking forward to that one :)

Luis said...

Seeing as how Pat knows George R.R. Martin personally, maybe he knows something everyone else doesn't and that's why A Dance With Dragons is on the list. One can only (cautiously) hope.

Ryan said...

This is a ridiculous and exciting list. I am most excited for Richard Morgan, though. I'm not sure we'll see that in 2010.

Matt said...

Towers of Midnight!

Susanne said...

I'm waiting for "A Magic of Dawn" most of all. Then "Under Heaven" and the new Carol Berg, "The Spirit Lens".

ADWD and Wise Man's Fear? I believe in them when I hold them in my hands. ;) (And I want to do that very, very much.)

Andrew said...

The most anticipated novel of 2010 has to be The Crippled God. The final volume in the most extensive, ambitious work of our time. Plus, how nice will it be to finally finish a series.

Adam Whitehead said...

For my money, TERMINAL WORLD is now the book that all the rest on this list will have to beat in 2010. There's not many I think will be able to do it ;-)

"The most anticipated novel of 2010 has to be The Crippled God. The final volume in the most extensive, ambitious work of our time. Plus, how nice will it be to finally finish a series."

Whilst it was the last book in the series it was looking great. Now it's just Book 10 in a 22-volume series, not so much.