It’s 2013 and many people have posted articles about the books they’re looking forward to this year. I have only a few that I’m looking foward to so much I’ll be grabbing them the day they hit the shelves.
CATHERYNNE M. VALENTE – SIX-GUN SNOW WHITE
I wanted to order a signed limited edition but the shipping costs are more than half the book’s price – and I won’t pay 60 Euros even for Cat Valente. I’ll just wait and get the regular hardback. But man, I am soooo excited about this.
From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes a brilliant reinvention of one the best known fairy tales of all time. In the novella Six-Gun Snow White, Valente transports the title’s heroine to a masterfully evoked Old West where Coyote is just as likely to be found as the seven dwarves.
A plain-spoken, appealing narrator relates the history of her parents—a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother’s death in childbirth, so begins a heroine’s tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have. Filled with fascinating glimpses through the fabled looking glass and a close-up look at hard living in the gritty gun-slinging West, readers will be enchanted by this story at once familiar and entirely new.
Like I have to explain why I’m looking forward to this. It’s a new Gaiman. And even if I didn’t know him, the synopsis would get me interested.
The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.
It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family’s car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed — within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac — as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
MARIE BRENNAN – A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS
I’ve already read this as an e-ARC (review here) but it is such a gorgeous book that I have to own it. In hardback. So I can stroke it and run my fingers longingly over the beautiful illustrations by Todd Lockwood.
You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Marie Brennan introduces an enchanting new world in A Natural History of Dragons.
SCOTT LYNCH – THE BASTARDS AND THE KNIVES
A quick edit: I totally forgot Scott Lynch. If we’re very, very lucky, The Republic of Thieves will actually be published this year. But I saw now on several places on the interwebs that his collection of prequel-novellas set in the Gentleman Bastard world is supposed to come out as well. Guess who’ll be jumping on that book?
An omnibus containing two novellas: “The Mad Baron’s Mechanical Attic” and “The Choir of Knives”
These two novellas tell the story of how Locke, Jean and the other gentleman bastards acquired the Austershalin brandy that played such a key role in the con at the center of THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA and how they managed to avoid being killed by the elite assassins known as the Choir of Knives. These two novellas will fill in the backstory of the Bastards and allow fans to revisit the pleasures of the banter and antics of Calo, Galdo and Bug as well discover how Locke and Jean forged their gang.