Here’s a great topic for Top Ten Tuesday which I totally missed so I’m doing it now, on a Friday, because I’m rebellious like that. Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. 2016 has been such a busy year for great new releases, even better than 2015 And I am SO. VERY. BEHIND. on reading all of those new books. However, I already have a list of stuff I’m looking forward to next year. Here are my top ten:
Top Ten 2017 Releases I’m Looking Forward To
In order to spare you my incessant gushing about Cat Valente, I have split this list into sections. You can skip whichever one you want to avoid.
Part I: The Valentes
Catherynne M. Valente – The Lords of Glass Town
The Brontës as children, stepping into their made-up portal fantasy? Written by Cat Valente?! GIMME GIMME GIMME! The book doesn’t have a cover yet (I’m sure it will be epic) but here’s what little Goodreads says about the plot:
The Lords of Glass Town follows Charlotte, Emily, Branwell, and Anne Brontë as they discover a portal into Glass Town, a Narnia-like fantasy world of their own creation.
Catherynne M. Valente – Matryoshka
Unlike The Lords of Glass Town, I’m not sure this will actually be published in 2017. If it is, I’ll be the first to pounce on it and in this case, I’ll probably need the UK and US edition to go with my UK and US editions of Deathless.
The Deathless companion novel is a retelling of Ivan and the Firebird set during the children’s evacuation of Leningrad.
Catherynne M. Valente – The Spindle of Necessity
Valente said recently on Twitter that this third of her Prester John books would be Kickstarted next year. I still haven’t read the second book in the trilogy, but come on. Like I’m going to miss out on that. Plus, if it’s on Kickstarter, there may be some awesome extra swag to go with the book. Cat Valente is the one author I’ll gladly throw all my money at. No regrets.
Catherynne M. Valente – The Refrigerator Monologues
Cat Valente has been busy writing, it appears, with four books coming out in a single year. This happens to be the perfect amount of Valente books per annum, if you ask me, and she could totally keep doing that forever and ever. AND this book is illustrated, so yay!
The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics.
From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.
In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.
Part II: The Obvious Choices
Scott Lynch – The Thorn of Emberlain
No idea if this will come out in 2017. It’s been pushed back several times and I’ll have to re-read The Republic of Thieves anyway. But despite my fading memories of a terrible reveal and new cliffhanger, I will look forward to this until it is finally in my hands.
With 50,000 copies sold of The Republic of Thieves and with praise from the likes of Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin the saga of the Gentleman Bastard has become a favourite and key part of the fantasy landscape. And now Locke Lamora, thief, con-man, pirate, political deceiver must become a soldier.
A new chapter for Locke and Jean and finally the war that has been brewing in the Kingdom of the Marrows flares up and threatens to capture all in its flames.
And all the while Locke must try to deal with the disturbing rumours about his past revealed in The Republic of Thieves. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of right and wrong is one thing. Fighting a war when you don’t know the truth of yourself is quite another. Particularly when you’ve never been that good with a sword anyway…
Nnedi Okorafor – Binti: Home
I adored Okorafor’s Tor.com novella, Binti, and I cannot wait for the sequel. Although Binti told a full story, the world is wide open for more and I am so glad Okorafor decided to share more of it with her readers. The cover is gorgeous again.
It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she left her family to pursue her dream.
And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.
But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.
After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?
Caitlín R. Kiernan – Agents of Dreamland
The description actualyl doesn’t sound like my thing but it is a new Caitlín R. Kiernan novel and it’s sure to be weird and creepy and wonderful.
A government special agent known only as the Signalman gets off a train on a stunningly hot morning in Winslow, Arizona. Later that day he meets a woman in a diner to exchange information about an event that happened a week earlier for which neither has an explanation, but which haunts the Signalman.
In a ranch house near the shore of the Salton Sea a cult leader gathers up the weak and susceptible—the Children of the Next Level—and offers them something to believe in and a chance for transcendence. The future is coming and they will help to usher it in.
A day after the events at the ranch house which disturbed the Signalman so deeply that he and his government sought out help from ‘other’ sources, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory abruptly loses contact with NASA’s interplanetary probe New Horizons. Something out beyond the orbit of Pluto has made contact.
And a woman floating outside of time looks to the future and the past for answers to what can save humanity.
Susan Dennard – Windwitch
Here’s an unexpected one. I didn’t think I’d come to like Truthwitch as much as I did. It had flaws, sure, but overall, the fun aspect was stronger and I find myself eagerly awaiting the sequel.
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.
In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch.
Part IV: The Not-So-Obvious Choices
Katherine Arden – The Bear and the Nightingale
If you read the synopsis, you’ll know why I want this. It has all my buzzwords right there. Fairy tales, Russian ones at that, a wild, willful girl – I need this!
A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.
In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.
S. Jae-Jones – Wintersong
This is a Labyrinth retelling/sequel/spinoff!!! I was worried for a long time because this could go so very, very wrong. However, a handful of early reviews are up (by authors and trusted people) and they all sound quite positive. This appears to be less YA-tropey than expected so I’m all in.
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
Part V: Non-Fiction
Jo Walton – An Informal History of the Hugos
I feel like I’ve read a dozen informal histories of the Hugos during the last three years and their accompanying Hugo disasters. But next year I’ll actually be attending WordCon for the first time, so more Hugo writing is welcome. Plus, I love Jo Walton’s non-fiction.
The Hugo Awards, named after pioneer science-fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback, and voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Society, have been given out since 1953. They are widely considered the most prestigious award in science fiction.
Between 2010 and 2013, Jo Walton wrote a series of posts for Tor.com, surveying the Hugo finalists and winners from the award’s inception up to the year 2000. Her contention was that each year’s full set of finalists generally tells a meaningful story about the state of science fiction at that time.
Walton’s cheerfully opinionated and vastly well-informed posts provoked valuable conversation among the field’s historians. Now these posts, lightly revised, have been gathered into this book, along with a small selection of the comments posted by SF luminaries such as Rich Horton, Gardner Dozois, and the late David G. Hartwell.
Engaged, passionate, and consistently entertaining, this is a book for the many who enjoyed Walton’s previous collection of writing from Tor.com, the Locus Award-winning What Makes This Book So Great.
Between starting this post and finishing it, I have accumulated a whole new list of books to look forward to in 2017. I believe it’s going to be a good year for SFF.