Roundtable on 2015 Releases

Being close to the end of the year, it occurs to me it might be interesting to talk about some of the books we’re most looking forward to in 2015, and why. I will mention three to get the ball rolling. Daryl Gregory’s Harrison Squared (March 24, 2015). I love Daryl’s writing, and this Lovecraftian teen story promises to be dark, comical and poignant all in one. Kit Reed’s Where (May 12, 2015). Don’t know much about it, but consistently find her work intriguing and worth checking out. Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (May 19, 2015)–Stan returns to pure space exploration. (And I love the cover).

Ellen Datlow

Afraid I can’t participate in this one. Too busy reading for 2014!

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

That’s a great reason, Ellen! Maybe you can mention a few of the projects *you* have in the pipeline for 2015, which will surely be on some of *our* lists of books to look forward to? πŸ™‚

Ellen Datlow

Okay. A quickie (I’m learning a new computer and email system today, which is taking wayyy too much time).

To be totally self-serving, my antho for Tor called The Doll Collection will be out March 10th–and it will hopefully satiate anyone who loves/hates/is afraid of dolls. With illos by Ellen Klages, Rick Bowes, and my doll collections πŸ™‚

Cecelia Holland

I have a book coming out next year also, Dragon Heart, from Tor. If Ellen can do it, I can.

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro

You certainly can, Cecelia–thanks for sharing. Any 2015 releases you’re looking forward to as a reader?

Jack Skillingstead

I always look forward to Daryl’s work. I read Harrison Squared in manuscript last year, and, yes, it’s very good.

Nick Gevers

A few books I’m looking forward to in 2015:

Gene Wolfe, A Borrowed Man (Tor)
Michael Swanwick, Chasing the Phoenix (Tor)
Neal Stephenson, Seveneves (William Morrow)
Catherynne M. Valente, Radiance (Tor)
James P. Blaylock, Beneath London (Titan)
Ken Liu, The Grace of Kings (Saga Press)
Ian McDonald, Luna (Gollancz)
Charles Stross, The Annihilation Score (Ace)
N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (Orbit)
Jeffrey Ford, A Natural History of Autumn (Small Beer)
Paul Witcover, The Watchman of Eternity (Bantam UK)
Paul McAuley, Something Coming Through (Gollancz)
Robert Charles Wilson, The Affinities (Tor)

And Stan Robinson’s Aurora.

Karen Burnham

I definitely agree with looking forward to Daryl Gregory’s Harrison Squared–I always love Gregory’s stuff, and the related novella, We Are All Completely Fine, which came out from Tachyon in 2014, was excellent.

Filed under “guilty pleasures” are the new Atrocity Archives book from Charles Stross (The Annihilation Score) and the (presumably) final book in the Tao trilogy from Wesley Chu, The Rebirths of Tao.

It’s always interesting to see what new door-stopper anthology will come out from Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, so while I haven’t had the chance to dive into their Time Travelers anthology yet, I’m looking forward to Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology. Whenever I’m reading as a scholar, volumes like this are invaluable.

I’d be looking forward to Robert Charles Wilson’s The Affinities more, except that his most recent book, Burning Paradise, didn’t grab me. But on the basis of all the books of his that I’ve loved, I’ll give this one a try as well.

Karen Lord’s The Galaxy Game will be likely be intriguing, a follow on to her previous The Best of All Possible Worlds.

And isn’t everyone waiting for Kelly Link’s new book Get in Trouble?

Fabio Fernandes

I’m looking forward for the usual suspects, naturally–Gene Wolfe’s A Borrowed Man, Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, Stan Robinson’s Aurora and the next Richard Kadrey Sandman Slim novel (I’m a huge fan). Also:
Cixin Liu’s The Dark Forest (the sequel to The Three-Body Problem).

And I’m really interested in the upcoming anthologies: Rose Lemberg’s An Alphabet of Embers, Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell’s Stories for Chip, Seanan McGuire’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction, Matthew David
Goodwin’s Latino/a Rising, and Sam Wilson’s The Near Now (with a personal interest in this last one, cause I have a story innit–but there are stories by Lauren Beukes, JY Yang, Charlie Human and Sarah Lotz that I’m dying to read, so).

Russell Letson

As a reviewer, it would be tactless of me to indicate which books I look forward to–and by implication, which books I might not be so excited about. Of course, anybody can look at the forthcoming-books pages of Locus and at my reviews over the last few years and make some educated guesses, but I’ll leave that parlor game to–well, I can’t imagine who would find it amusing. I’m sure I’ll find a couple dozen titles that will at the very least engage my attention. (I’m reading one right now, but you’ll have to wait for the review to see which one it might be.)

Paul Graham Raven

I’ve never been much of one for thinking far ahead about books, to be honest–which is more a reflection of my general inability to plan than anything else, perhaps. (I was always terribly laggard about even my favorite bands, back in the days when the number of new album releases was still something one could reasonably be expected to keep up with.) And the demands of a PhD aren’t exactly freeing up extra braincycles, either–so I’ll politely excuse myself from this thread, while noting that reading it is clueing me in to a few titles I’ll try to remember to look out for in the year ahead. πŸ™‚

Cecelia Holland

Yes, I think this round is going to be for the critics, not the writers.

Paul Graham Raven

Heh–I assumed that more people would think of me as the former than the latter, despite (or is it because of?) my unbalanced attempts to keep a foot in both camps. πŸ™‚

Fabio Fernandes

I’m more of a writer (and editor) than critic. πŸ™‚

Karen Burnham

Apropos of what Russell said (although I don’t share his take on reviewers avoiding mention of favorites) I should say that probably what I’m most looking forward to next year is the thing I’ve never heard of that I’ll end up loving. In 2013 that was the anthology Glitter & Mayhem–I would never have picked it up based on its cover copy description, but when I was assigned to review it (for Locus, I think) it totally hit my sweet spot. The array of authors and the way they tackled the subject matter turned out to be my favorite of the year. I don’t think any 2014 releases hit me quite that way, but I haven’t been reviewing much this year, either. So I’m looking forward to the things I don’t know about yet in 2015!

Stefan Dziemianowicz

I’m of the same frame of mind. As a critic who reviews horror fiction, had you asked me last year at this time what books I was looking forward to, I would have mentioned Stephen King’s Revival mostly out of a sense of obligation. It’s always interesting to see what new tricks the genre’s bestselling author has got up his sleeve. But it wasn’t until this year, when I actually read Revival and was totally blown away by it, that I realized how long it had been since I had reacted so strongly to one of King’s novels. For 2015, I’m looking forward to books by authors whom I’m not familiar with that make an impact, and books by authors whose work I do know that exceed expectations. That’s about as vague and indefinite as you can get, but it’s what keeps me reading as a reviewer.

Peter Straub

This is a funny thread. The writers say they won’t, and the critics say they can’t.

Cecelia Holland

It’s all in the life of the mind, Peter.

Ellen Datlow

The editors also can’t (at least this one can’t) πŸ™‚

Andy Duncan

Karen beat me to it, but I was going to say Link’s collection, absolutely. Heard her read from it at World Fantasy. Terrific, of course.

Peter Straub

Karen and Andy, I’m with you on this one. Kelly’s new book, for sure.

Ellen Datlow

Even I will say YES, although I’ve read all the stories, I think πŸ™‚

Siobhan Carroll

I echo the enthusiasm for Kelly Link’s new collection. Andy, don’t you also have a collection coming out? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

I’ll be on the lookout for Okorafor’s The Book of Phoenix, Karen Lord’s Galaxy Game, Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory, and others. I’ll add that I caught Randy Henderson’s highly entertaining reading of his forthcoming Finn Fancy NecromancyΒ at the World Fantasy Convention, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that.

Andy Duncan

Siobhan, yes, thanks, but it might not be 2015.

Elizabeth Hand

I’m late to the party, sorry! My answer echoes Russell’s–I review so much stuff that I feel that I can’t play favorites. I will say that there are MANY titles already mentioned here that I’m really looking forward to!

Nick Gevers

Oh yes, another 2015 title I’m looking forward to: Liz’s Wylding Hall.

Paul Di Filippo

I confess to being out of the loop on this discussion–please forgive!

But if no one has yet mentioned Reif Larsen’s I Am Radar, allow me to do so. I did not read his previous novel, The Selected Works of T. S. Pivet, but recall being attracted by its different vibe. With galley of the new one in hand, my interest in this author is further stoked. Looks totally Pynchonesque!

Marie Brennan

I’m afraid I’m way too out of the loop as to what’s coming out in the next year. (I have to stop and remind myself which of *my* books is coming out next year–the perils of a timeline where you’re working on #4 when the general public has only read up through #2.)

Siobhan Carroll

I loved the new Fitz & Fool book, so I’m looking forward to Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Quest, and I hear great things about Jo Walton’s The Just City… honestly though, I’m most looking forward to discovering titles and authors I don’t yet know are out there.

Stefan Dziemianowicz

Okay–let me chip in a few titles from the horror side. I’m looking forward to Joe Hill’s fourth novel, The Fireman, an excerpt from which I heard him read some months back at at New York’s KGB Bar Fantastic Fiction reading series (and which, at the time, he alluded would NOT be out until later than 2015). It’s a 1,000-page post-apocalyptic thriller that–say, wait a minute… wasn’t there some other guy a few decades back whose fourth novel was also a 1,000-page post-apocalyptic thriller? Hmmm….

I eagerly anticipate Ellen Datlow’s anthology The Doll Collection, because any original anthology that Ellen edits invariably yields a handful (or more) of stories that wind up in the various year’s-best compilations. (Plus, who among us doesn’t have some creepy childhood memories–or fantasies–of dolls?)

Melanie Tem has the novel Yellow Wood coming out, and Steve Tem a stand-alone novella In The Lovecraft Museum. Both of the Tems write stories whose supernaturalism seems perfectly in synch with the rhythms of everyday life. They’re writing a sort of fiction for the twenty-first century that Shirley Jackson was lauded for in the 1950s and ’60s.

And–what the hey–I’m interested in Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels, because it revisits themes and moments from his Books of Blood era.

Fabio Fernandes

Alvaro, if I may add one more title: Victor Milan’s The Dinosaur Lords. Knights and dinosaurs: what’s not to love?

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