Underground Fantasy – Part One: Caves
 

Underground Fantasy

Part One: Caves

 
Vowed by Liz de Jager
 

Vowed

ARC Review

 
Revisiting Thieves’ World Anthologies – Part Two
 

Revisiting Thieves’ World Anthologies

Article / Review - Part Two

 

Top Anticipated Fantasy Books For 2014 – Publishers’ Choice

Publishers-Choice-2014-featureEvery year, in addition to our own Most Anticipated list, we invite the world’s top fantasy publishers to let us know what novels from their following year’s list they are most excited about and which they think us fantasy readers should be looking out for. Although each of these publishing houses are rival businesses, it is their continued and combined effort that has seen the genre evolve to the state it is today.

What I have come to love about these posts is getting to know that the vast majority of people involved in the publishing industry are as geeky and as passionate about SFF books as we are. We sometimes forget the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff, but for a book to come to market a whole team has to have been involved in editing it, formatting it, creating the cover, developing a marketing strategy and so much more besides; as a result the people within the publishing houses form amazing bonds with their books.

Each year the publishers we invite have been going that extra mile to really think about what books they should recommend to fantasy readers and share with us the reasons why they love them so much. I’ve also noticed that they’ve got cheekier – more and more are submitting six titles (one even tried seven)! Ha. Anyway, my point is that for good reason these posts have become some of Fantasy-Faction’s most popular over the years and – excitingly – this year we’ve had more publishers than ever taking part; and, consequently, we’ve got more recommend books than ever too!

So, you may have seen last week’s article, but we were just guessing as to which books will rock. These recommendations come from the people who have read the books, chatted with the authors, worked on editing/formatting them and seen them evolve. What we present to you today, fantasy fans, is without doubt the most comprehensive list of anticipated books for next year. It is a list made by people who spend their days working in the industry, surrounded by books. So simply, who better to tell you what you should be looking out for? The answer of course is no one. So enjoy your read through of what publishers across the World are most looking forward to in 2014.

Oh, and one last thing, unlike our ‘Most Anticipated’ list, we don’t place restrictions on the book having to be pure fantasy. We allow publishers to recommend any book so long as if falls under SFF, so if you like to cross genres a bit throughout the year, you’ll appreciate this list all the more.

Jo Fletcher Books

Jo Fletcher Books

Asking a publisher to pick just five books out of the list is a little like asking your parents to pick a favourite child: first of all, parents – like publishers – shouldn’t have favourites, and second, if you’re not the chosen one, you were obviously adopted . . .

So for the purposes of this piece I am going to publicly apologise to the none-mentioned JFB authors: I want to make it clear this is due only to space limitations and has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of love I have for you. I love you all equally, and none of you were adopted. Right?

So now I have that out of the way, here are my five picks, obviously chosen completely at random (see above).

Jo-Fletcher-2014

Cemetery Girl by Charlaine Harris & Christopher Golden – January 2014

First up is obviously Cemetery Girl, because it’s my first graphic novel for JFB, and because it’s not just the wonderful Charlaine Harris, but the equally wonderful Chris Golden, who I have had my eye on for quite some time – and when you add in the magic pen of Don Kramer you’ve got a winning combination! Even better: it’s the first of three!

Traitor’s Blades by Sebastien de Castell – March 2014

Next I’m going for Sebastien de Castell’s Traitor’s Blades: this is like a cross between Joe Abercrombie and Alexandre Dumas mixed with a great chunk of something entirely de Castell: it’s heroic fantasy with a wide streak of dark and a leavening of wit and I’m sorry to say you’ll have to wait to read the sequel, Greatcoat’s Lament (unlike me – but I will tell you it’s a brilliant follow-up!).

The Fourth Gwenevere by John James – TBA 2014

John James’ handful of novels feature highly in my personal Fantasy Masterworks (and good on Gollancz for bringing out Votan and other Novels). Lurking in a dusty attic were the Amstrad discs containing most of James’ final novel – and thanks to John and Caitlin Matthews (you’ll hear the story of how it was tracked down, pieced together and finished in due course), we have The Fourth Gwenevere. This final part of Arthur’s story is earthy and rich and funny and tragic and perfect.

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop – March 2014

(I can’t pick the ends of all the trilogies I started JFB with, so I’ll just say: Don’t miss them!) And then move seamlessly onto Nicola’s [Jo's Assistant Editor] first acquisition: Anne Bishop is a huge bestseller in the US, but has never been published here, so it’s high time someone brought her Black Jewels trilogy over. So we are: Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows and Queen of the Darkness will be published in quick succession.

Gleam by Tom Fletcher – TBA 2014

And finally, I’m really looking forward to Tom Fletcher’s Gleam, the first of a Ghormenghastian fantasy trilogy. Tom’s being quietly publishing horror, to much acclaim within the small but perfectly formed horror field, but he’s taken a great leap and I can’t wait to see his first major work of fantasy. I think it’s going to be terrific!

Angry Robot Books

Angry Robot Books

There are so many books I’m looking forward to in 2014 it’s difficult to pick just 5, so I’m going to concentrate on just the first half of the year.

OK, let’s go –

Angry-Robot-2014

Hang Wire by Adam Christopher – US and ebook January 28, UK February 6.
This is Adam’s 4th for Angry Robot, and it also happens to be Angry Robot’s 100th book, and what a great book it is – it has everything: serial killers, gods, demons, a beach-dancing surfer dude, a circus, and exploding fortune cookies! And another fabulous cover by Will Staehle. It’s already garnering great reviews (including a Starred Review at a Major Review Site that we can’t mention yet because the review hasn’t gone live, yet) and this should be on your want list.

Last God Standing by Michael Boatman – US and ebook March 25, UK April 3.
Michael Boatman is perhaps best known for his starring roles on television in shows such as Spin City, Anger Management, Gossip Girl, The Good Wife, and Instant Mom. He’s published some novels and short stories through small press publishers, but Last God Standing will be his first publication with a mass market publisher. And this one is fun – serious fun! If you like your fantasy a touch on the wicked side, with hints of Christopher Moore and Tom Holt, you will love this one.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen – US and ebook April 1, UK April 3.
From our YA sister imprint Strange Chemistry comes a beautifully-told, folklore-inspired epic fantasy, featuring princesses, trolls, magic and a dash of romance. Of course, being one of our novels, there is a wonderful twist on proceedings that makes this a must-read book.

Peacemaker by Marianne de Pierres – US and ebook April 29, UK May 1.
I’ve been a fan of Marianne’s work ever since I read her Sentients of Orion series, so it was an absolute pleasure to welcome her to the Angry Robot family with Peacemaker. Peacemaker is a great genre blend – the sort of thing we became well-known for. It’s the first in a new scifi/fantasy/occult/mythological/buddy/crime series, and it’s fabulous. And just look at that Joey HiFi cover!

Night Terrors by Tim Waggoner – US and ebook May 27, UK June 5.
Tim’s previous series for us, the zombie PI Nekropolis series was a hit with readers and reviewers, and we’ve been looking forward to working with Tim, again. When he told us about his idea for Night Terrors, we knew this was the perfect follow-up. Supernatural meets Men In Black, with added creepy clown action? Yes, please!

Voyager

Harper Voyager

Here at HarperVoyager, home of amazing authors like George R.R. Martin, Ray Feist and Guy Gavriel Kay, every year we bring you the reader more fantastic SFF to get your teeth into. 2013 was no exception with the hotly anticipated third instalment in Peter V. Brett’s Demon Cycle, an epic conclusion to Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy and a new novella from George set in a fledgling Westeros which revealed the origins of the ‘Dance of the Dragons’. We celebrated more than 30 years of Ray Feist with Magician’s End and Robin Hobb concluded the Rain Wild Chronicles with Blood of Dragons and a massive UK tour culminating in Brighton at World Fantasy Convention!
This year we are not only publishing some of fantasy fiction’s favourites but also introducing some bold new voices to the genre. It’s an exciting time for us as our list is going from strength to strength – we publish such a range of voices and this year is no exception. Choosing only five from our list was a Herculean task but we hope our selection gives you a taste of what 2014 holds for the genre. These five books take the reader into new worlds, some disturbingly like our own, some punishingly brutal, all incredibly detailed and immaculately written. So ladies and gentleman, our much-loved readers, HarperVoyager are proud to introduce our 2014 picks – books to be devoured, shared and we hope, talked about; books that will stay with you even once the final page has turned. Because, as everyone’s favourite dwarf Tyrion famously said: “a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.”

Harper-Voyager

Birdbox by Josh Malerman, March 2014

An exciting debut novel that combines the atmosphere of Hitchcock with the haunting suspense of King, Bird Box has the qualities and resonance of a classic chiller with a gritty modern edge. Movies like Insidious and Paranormal Activity are feeding a return to more subtle ways of satisfying thrill-seeking audiences, and Voyager have been looking for the right talent in this area for some time. We wanted to find a writer who can haunt a reader’s thoughts long after the last page, and so are extremely excited to have found a novel that has the. BIRD BOX isn’t your average horror story. There are no zombies, no vampires, and no human centipedes. In his tense, claustrophobic world, Josh Malerman torments his characters with both mental and physical fears. His monsters are chilling and subtle, and they reside within his protagonists as well as outside their front door. The sense of their vulnerability – and their courage – is amplified because if they want to stay alive, they have to wear blindfolds. It is a genuinely harrowing novel of extraordinary quality, that Voyager is very proud to have secured

Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence, June 2014

Set in the same world of the critically acclaimed Broken Empire trilogy, PRINCE OF FOOLS is the first in a brilliant new epic fantasy series, The Red Queen’s War, from a rising star in fantasy fiction.

The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire fear her as they fear no other. Her grandson Jalan Kendeth is a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axe man, and dragged against his will to the icy north.

In a journey across half the Broken Empire, Jalan flees minions of the Dead King, agrees to duel an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath, and meets the ice witch, Skilfar, all the time seeking a way to part company with Snorri before the Norseman’s quest leads them to face his enemies in the black fort on the edge of the Bitter Ice.

Experience does not lend Jalan wisdom; but here and there he unearths a corner of the truth. He discovers that they are all pieces on a board, pieces that may be being played in the long, secret war the Red Queen has waged throughout her reign, against the powers that stand behind thrones and nations, and for higher stakes than land or gold.

We love Mark’s voice – he is a truly ground breaking writer and as Conn Iggulden puts it, ‘on a par with George R.R. Martin.’ Thanks Conn, we couldn’t agree more.

Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta, May 2014

MEMORY OF WATER is set in a future Scandinavian Union where clean water is in short supply and most people survive on desalinated rations from the new government. There are serious consequences for water crime: if found guilty, people simply disappear, leaving behind a mysterious blue circle which appears on their doors. We’ve picked Emmi Itaränta’s poignant and tense debut novel because it combines literary skill with a powerful creative vision. Winner of the Sci-fi and Fantasy Literary Contest organised by the Finnish publisher Teos, MEMORY OF WATER has already won the prestigious Kalevi Jäntti Literary Prize in Finland and we think Emmi is on the brink of great things!

Half A King by Joe Abercrombie, July 2014

We’re hugely excited to be publishing Joe’s first book with HarperVoyager, a classic coming-of-age tale set in a vivid and richly imagined world.

‘I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath’

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand. Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could. But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy…

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – August 2014

Robin Hobb is one of fantasy’s favourite authors – and 2014 sees the return of two of her best-loved characters, the Fitz and the Fool, in a brand new series. If you haven’t read the Fitz and the Fool’s story so far the beginning of 2014 is the perfect time to pick up a copy of Assassin’s Apprentice. You can delve into a world that has enchanted millions of readers and be ready and up to date for one of the biggest publications of this year! And we’re extra excited because Robin will be in the UK for the publication of Fool’s Assassin and as Guest of Honour at Loncon3.

WE CAN’T WAIT!

Gollancz

Gollancz

We’re thrilled to have a fantastic line-up of amazing books in 2014, including Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (continuing the adventures of our favourite magical detective), Midnight Crossroad (first in a spectacular new series by Charlaine Harris), Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (continuing the superb Stormlight Archive series), plus new novels by Richard Morgan, Elspeth Cooper, Hannu Rajaniemi, Mitch Benn, and a lot of fantastic surprises up our sleeve too, including some game, TV and film tie-in projects and a powerful and heart-breaking new novel from Sarah Pinborough! But as we can only single out five novels we’re excited about today, we thought we would pick out five astonishing new debuts who are joining the genre in 2014, and tell you a little more about them. If you’d like to learn more, why not visit the Gollancz blog and become a Gollancz Geek (http://www.gollancz.co.uk/gollancz-geeks/) or join our newsletter (http://www.gollancz.co.uk/).

We’d be thrilled to share the latest news with you first.

And in the meantime, here’s a sneak preview to whet your appetite!

Gollancz

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick – January

With echoes of Mervyn Peake, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Den Patrick’s ornate yet dark fantasy debut takes place in a pseudo-Renaissance Italy populated by unforgettable characters. Lucien de Fontein grew up in isolation in the Kingdom of Landfall. He is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game. Ruled by an insane King, this is a world where corruption and decay are deeply rooted…Written with vivid imagination and a slyly effective way with words, former bookseller and comics editor Den Patrick creates for his debut novel a beautifully imagined world and, most importantly, a warm empathy with Lucien De Fontein as he struggles to find his place among the nobility.

Barricade by Jon Wallace – Early 2014

In this kinetic, violent and hugely intelligent SF road thriller, Jon Wallace plots a savage road trip across the dystopian landscape of post- apocalypse Britain; narrated by the cold-blooded yet magnetic antihero, Kenstibec. On his journey he encounters ten-foot killer rats, a mutant King with a TV fixation, a drug-crazed army, and even the creator of the Ficial race. He also finds time to uncover a terrible plot to destroy his species for good – and humanity too. John Wallace has written acclaimed short stories in INTERZONE and is a thrilling new voice in British SF. His debut represents the sort of high-quality SF that Gollancz have become identified with!

The Seventh Miss Hatfield by Anna Caltabiano – July

In this incredibly assured and affecting book from a 17 year old American author, a young girl is tricked into taking up the mantle of Miss Hatfield – immortal, able to travel in time, and deadly afraid of something. In the brief period of overlap the previous Miss Hatfield sets her successor a vital task – to recover a painting from turn of the century New York. But nothing is as simple as it seems, and the new Miss Hatfield, still coming to terms with the way her life has suddenly changed, must negotiate a society she barely understands. And all the while someone else is following her, watching from the shadows. Are they seeking the secret of immortality – or have they already uncovered it?

The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs – August

In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it – from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do. When one of their number elopes with a noblewoman from the boat, our two heroes know that they must be found. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have plans for you… John Hornor Jacob’s first adult fantasy is already getting rave reviews from authors such as Myke Cole and Mark Lawrence, and this gritty journey through the edges of an impending war heralds a strong new voice in the genre.

The Relic Guild by Edward Cox – September

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls a hundred feet high. There is no escape, no way in, and magic in all its forms is banned. But the Relic Guild still exist, hunting down powerful artefacts and people born with magic in their souls. And they’re about to discover that the war may not be entirely over…

Edward Cox’s debut is a magnificent adventure, telling the story of a young girl caught up in the machinations of the Guild, and of the events that led up to the beginning of the war. Infused with a sense of this remarkable city and its impending doom, it also introduces us to some of the most remarkable characters of the year.

Orbit Books

Orbit Books

We’re very excited about our list of 2014 titles, so picking a handful of books to talk about is very hard! In the end we decided to pick three brilliant debuts from the first half of 2014, and three major new novels from some of the bestselling names in fantasy. So without further ado…

Orbit-Books-2014

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey – January
This is an astounding novel – one that will break your heart and chill you to the bone in equal measure. The incredible reaction we’ve already seen for this suggests it’s going to be the book everyone’s talking about in 2014. It’s a new direction for Mike Carey, critically acclaimed writer for X-Men and Fantastic Four and author of the Felix Castor novels. Intriguingly described by a fellow author as “Kazuo Ishiguro meets The Walking Dead”, this is one of the most original, heart-stopping thrillers we’ve ever read. Trust us, you will NOT want to miss this one.

The Remaining by D. J. Molles – May
This is a KILLER series. Think World War Z crossed with the Bourne films, it’s action-packed, heart-racing and utterly addictive. Having sold hundreds of thousands of copies as a self-published series, THE REMAINING got us hooked from the start with its premise: in a steel-encased bunker 20 feet below ground, a soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague has turned 90% of the population into hyper-aggressive predators. And soon, the soldier will have to step out into this new wasteland to complete his mission – to rescue and rebuild. If you don’t want to instantly devour the whole series as soon as you start reading this, I will eat my hat. But be warned if reading it in public places: it will have you constantly screaming out loud ‘NEVER. LEAVE. THE BUNKER’.

The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher – May
The Oversight is the story of a secret society in Victorian England – five brave men and women guarding the borders between the natural and the supernatural world. It’s a book that’s perfect for any fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Philip Pullman or Terry Pratchett. It’s also a book for anyone who enjoys great characterisation. From the dapper and dangerous Mr Sharp, who the author describes as essentially ‘Mr Darcy with a dagger’, to Cook, the Oversight’s matriarch, whose kitchen contains souvenirs from her days as a pirate queen, you’ll simply fall in love with the colour and the life that Charlie Fletcher puts into these characters.

M. R. Carey, the author of The Girl with all the Gifts, had this to say: “Exciting, exhilarating, scary and moving in about equal measure, The Oversight is a teeming world of dark deeds and dark magics, brilliantly realised. This feels like the start of something amazing.”

The High Druid’s Blade by Terry Brooks – March
Terry Brooks is a writer who just keeps getting better and better. And in March 2014 we’ve got a brand new offering from him, as well as an awesome new cover style. The High Druid’s Blade is a stand-alone novel set in the world of Shannara and featuring new hero Paxon Leah – a young man who believes himself to be ordinary until he accidentally unlocks the powers of an ancient blade . . . It’s a great point for new readers for begin, and for those seasoned Terry Brooks fans out there – this new series will show you Shannara as you’ve never seen it before.

Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan – May
The release of any new series from the million-copy selling, No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling Trudi Canavan is always a huge event! And new books don’t get much better than this . . . THIEF’S MAGIC is the first book in the Millennium’s Rule series, set in a brand new world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic. It follows the story of a sentient book called Vella – a former sorcerer who was transformed into a useful tool by one of the most powerful mages in history. And now she will help the student Tyen unlock clues about a disaster facing his world. The hardback we’re releasing is going to be a beautiful collector’s item that itself looks like an ancient leather-bound volume. Make sure you get your hands on a first edition!

The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks – August
What more can we say about New York Times bestselling and Gemmell award-winning author Brent Weeks? Not much that hasn’t been said already – the reviews for Brent’s last book, THE BLINDING KNIFE, were nothing short of spectacular. But you’ve not seen anything yet! In Brent’s new novel – THE BROKEN EYE – the stakes are even higher and the action even more explosive. If you’re a fan of epic fantasy – and it doesn’t get much more epic than this – then you absolutely need to be reading the Lightbringer series. We publish THE BROKEN EYE in August 2014, so there’s still time to catch up! And for those of you patiently waiting – it’ll be worth it. We promise.

Solaris & Abaddon Books

Solaris & Abaddon
Solaris-Books-2014

Heirs of the Demon King Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell – June
This is a new alternative history series from Abaddon in a world where Richard III won. In place of the Tudor monarchs Sarah Cawkwell’s vision of the 16th century is very different to the Tudors everyone knows and loves – it’s fantastic character-led historical fantasy from an up and coming author.

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin – July
The lead Solaris fantasy title for Summer 2014, and a exceptional return to the imprint for Martin, author of the perennially best-selling The Summoner. Martin has an established fan-base and will pick up new readers with this urban fantasy tale of the American South.
Gail Z. Martin is an exceptional self-promoter, and is already a very popular figures accross the blogosphere.

Jani and the Greater Game by Eric Brown – July
Steampunk always seems to be set in Victorian London and extolling the virtues of Victorian society. But Eric takes it to the Himalayas and the fringes of the Empire, taking the heart of Rudyard Kipling’s Kim and firing it full of steam! An informed, elegant and enthralling revision of colonial India and the politics of the world’s deadly war spy conflict.

The Fire Prince: Sentinel Mage 2 by Emily Gee – September
Sentinel Mage was one of our big hits and fans have been clamouring for more – Emily has now emerged from a sojourn into the wildernesses of New Zealand to give them what they want.

Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets by Multiple Authors (Anthology) – October
A dozen established and up-and-coming authors put Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation through a decidedly cracked lens. Holmes and Watson tackle a witch-trial in 17th Century Scotland, bandy words with Andy Warhol in 1970s New York, travel the Wild Frontier in the Old West, solve future crimes in a world of robots and even cross paths with a young Elvis Presley… Set to include stories by Kasey Lansdale, Guy Adams, Jamie Wyman, J E Cohen, Gini Koch, Glen Mehn, Kelly Hale, Kaaron Warren, Emma Newman and more. This volume redefines the definitive detective and is also the first short story anthology from Abaddon Books.

Tor Books

To Books

Tor-2014

The Godless by Ben Peek – 14/08/2014

So I worked in Australia for three years and have great respect for their genre writers. I always keep an eye on the scene and was thrilled when two brilliant authors came up for grabs earlier this year. I added them both to the list and now have three antipodean authors writing fantastic fantasy for us. Ben Peek is one of them.

His debut fantasy novel The Godless is set fifteen thousand years after the War of the Gods. The bodies of the gods now lie across the world, slowly dying as men and women awake with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on her home. With the help of the immortal Zaifyr, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. The saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret. Split between the three points of view, The Godless’s narrative reaches its conclusion during an epic siege, where Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.

I adored this book, it’s fast-paced, original with lots of action and heart. Ben’s a talented new voice and I can’t wait until people have a chance to read him.

The Returned by Seth Patrick – 09/10/2014

As publishers of the incredibly successful The Walking Dead novels by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonasinga – I do have a huge enthusiasm for the living dead. So you can imagine how thrilled I was when we had the opportunity to work with Zodiak and Haute et Court on their brilliantly innovative and original show The Returned which was aired on Channel 4 earlier this year.

Created by Fabrice Gobert the show takes place in a small alpine village and concentrates on a group of people who have started returning from the dead. No shambling zombies are these though, but beautiful and missed family members: a daughter, brother, fiancé and mysterious young boy who are unaware that they died. It’s an incredibly moving, poignant and chilling piece of drama that recently won an International Emmy for Best Drama and was named the Best TV show of 2013 by the Guardian beating shows such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. If you didn’t watch it – get the DVD – it’s AMAZING!!

Having been shown all over the world, garnered amazing reviews and gaining high-profile fans including Stephen King – everyone wants to know what happens next…

Seth Patrick, author of Reviver which has been sold to Legendary Entertainment for film development, is working on the novelisation in close conjunction with the scripts and writers – there will be new storylines, characters and all set with the same incredible atmosphere and intensity that has made the show such a cult hit. We plan to publish in the autumn next year alongside the next series of the show.

Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson – 10/04/2014

Very occasionally, a novel comes along that blows you away with its sheer scope, freshness of voice and imaginative world-building. We’ve experienced it with China Miéville and we now have it with Unwrapped Sky, a brilliantly original debut that we are publishing in April. It is a fantastic exploration of a society on the verge of collapse, seen through the varying perspectives of three very different characters, and has already been generating a buzz with Garth Nix calling it ‘a lyrical and evocative novel of ancient magic, minotaurs and myth; of dreams and nightmares, sacrifice and redemption. Highly recommended’. High praise indeed! Furthermore, the author is embedded in the Australian SF and Fantasy community having written short stories, essays, screenplays, reviews, and a short collection called The Library of Forgotten Books. He has also been short-listed for the Ditmar Award for Best Short Story three times, the Aurealis Award once and won the Ditmar award for Best New Talent in 2005. Now, with his first full-length work of fiction and an amazing cover to boot, we have high hopes for Unwrapped Sky!

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley – 16/01/2014

We do have such a terrific list next year that I was hard-pressed to choose my ‘most anticipated’ for 2014. So to make it a bit easier (tough ask, Fantasy Faction!), I’m sticking to debuts with my two choices. I’ve chosen THE EMPEROR’S BLADES as one of my most anticipated picks as you just need to read it! I can still clearly remember the excitement of reading this myself for the very first time, that rush of feeling that you’ve really found something special. And even better, in-house readers thought so too in spades. Louise on our Tor editorial team is as discerning as we all are (!) and her note to me at the time was ‘Full of excitement and intrigue, passion and despair, blood and guts, far-flung landscapes and protagonists you root for — after reading only two pages of this, I turned to my boyfriend and said “Wow. This is really good!”’

THE EMPEROR’S BLADES is a high-adrenaline adventure from start to finish against a background of empire, intrigue and betrayal. And I think it’s just the thing for those waiting for their next fix of Game of Thrones or the next Douglas Hulick book. It’s been praised by Col Buchanan, Elspeth Cooper, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. and others. Plus its goodreads ratings are just fabulous – especially considering it’s not even out yet. Goodreads reader Gavin Baker even called it ‘The best new fantasy novel of the last decade, easily surpassing other recent favourites of mine like Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and Joe Abercrombie’s The Blade Itself.’ Wow to all of that! Lucky readers who have yet to discover this treasure. Best yet, you don’t even have to anticipate it for that long, as it’s out in January.

Banished by Liz de Jager – 27/02/2014

This is the second debut I’m selecting for my ‘most anticipated…’ And no one who knows me is in any doubt about my excitement for this one! Or Liz’s excitement as her first book nears publication either. As a commissioning editor, I see hundreds of books submitted for possible publication each year. But when I start seeing the book on shelves already in my head before I’ve turned the last page . . . then I know there’s magic in store. Banished is a young adult urban fantasy set in our world, but here fairy-tale legends exist. And only one family – the Blackharts – are able to see fae interlopers, never mind fight them. Part Artemis Fowl, part Brothers Grimm, this makes for thrilling reading. The Guardian reviewed this a couple of days ago too, much to our delight and said the following: ‘This was certainly one action-packed story! Full of battles, weapons, mythical creatures and, of course, magic – it’s guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish… Banished ends on a real cliff-hanger’

Many will know Liz from her book-blogging days, as she co-ran the successful My Favourite Books blog for seven years. Now she’s on the other side of the process, and she’s finding it’s heady stuff to see how the publishing process works from a different perspective. With the book out in February, I’m getting the thrill already myself and wanting everyone to love it just as much as we do.

Headline

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Just five? C’mon! Well, obviously we’re excited about all of our 2014 books, but through this festive fug of turkey, mince pies, and mulled wine, the following are speaking to me. (I know it looks like there are six, but you’re wrong, ok.)

Headline-2014

The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

If you think that fantasy has lost some of its magic, you have to check out Jen Williams’ rollicking debut. It’s the whole package: fresh, credible characters; more magic and monsters than you can shake a sword at; an epic quest; and a completely kiss-ass dragon. All kinds of wonderful.

The Troop by Nick Cutter

I love really terrifying horror and this novel’s just that. It’s pretty gruesome in places; while I don’t want to give too much away, I will say that I first read it about a year ago and I still can’t look at spaghetti. Stephen King himself was good enough to blurb it: ‘Scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. Not for the faint-hearted but for the rest of us sick puppies, it’s the perfect gift.’ ‘Nuff said.

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

Take an Empire on the brink, add some political intrigue, a dash of forbidden love, a pinch of magic, and a great big dollop of mystery and you have Anne Leonard’s captivating debut. You’ll devour it in one sitting. Such a great debut.

Breach Zone by Myke Cole

Myke just gets better with ever book, and Breach Zone is the thunderous concluding novel in his epic Shadow Ops trilogy. One line pitch: imagine the Battle of Pelennor Fields on the streets of New York, adding gunships and automatic weapons. Oh hell yes.

The Shattered Crown by Richard Ford

The sequel to Herald of the Storm finds our ragtag group of unlikely heroes facing mortal danger inside the walls of their own city. And, with a vast invading army almost at their gates, it doesn’t look like this is going to have a happy ending. Raw, punchy and bloody marvellous.

Snowblind by Christopher Golden

My fifth (*cough*) choice is about a small town in Massachusetts that is haunted by the memory of a brutal storm. The friends and families of those who died would give anything to see their loved ones again. Then a sinister new storm hits and brings them exactly what they want. ‘Throw away all those “it was a dark and stormy night” novels; this one is the real deal’ Stephen King.

Titan Books

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Titan-2014

No Hero by Jonathan Wood

Can an everyman stand against sanity-ripping cosmic horrors?

Rivers of London meets Lovecraft in this dark and witty urban fantasy series… What’s not to be excited about? Barnes and Noble said, “Impeccably written – literally unputdownable…one of the best novels I’ve read so far this year,” and Titan Books can’t wait to share it with the UK.

“What would Kurt Russell do?”
Arthur Wallace asks himself that question a lot, because quite honestly, he prefers that action and heroics remain on the screen safely performed by professionals. But then, secretive government agency MI12 comes calling, hoping to recruit Arthur in their struggle against the tentacled horrors from another dimension known as the Progeny. But Arthur is, let’s face it…No hero.

A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

Award-winning writer Marie Brennan has created a vivid and compelling tale in A Natural History of Dragons, further establishing her as one of the most inventive authors in the SFF genre. Her background as a former academic in archaeology, anthropology and folklore, and her natural flair for storytelling, make this a novel set to scorch on publication this Valentine’s Day. For fans of Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and masterfully rendered fiction alike, Brennan brings to life a world of pomp and Victoriana in which her leading lady’s little darlings aren’t corgis, but fire-breathing other-worldly dragons; serpentine, air-born… ferocious.

Everyone knows Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, prospects, and her life to satisfy scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the mountains of Vystrana, where she made discoveries that would change the world…

Publisher’s Weekly said, “Fans of fantasy, science, and history will adore this rich and absorbing tale of discovery” and we agree – this novel has it all. Whether you’re looking for romance, feminism, thrills or fire-breathers, there’s something in here for you.

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

The first in the Spider Wars trilogy will establish Adam as the trailblazer of his generation of sci-fi writing. This is the smouldering space opera that will chill readers with its psychological suspense and its fearsome exploration of guilt, loss, and the dimensions that lurk beyond our own. This is the sci-fi epic of 2014.

Saving the planet Tau Retore from the sentient mechanical Spider race waging war against humanity earns Captain Idaho Cleveland the Fleet Medal, a robotic knee, and one last mission before early retirement: decommissioning the Coast City, a distant research outpost orbiting the toxic star Shadow. Once there, however, Ida finds himself shunned by a hostile skeleton crew convinced that his wartime heroics are a lie. Worse, with interference from Shadow’s deadly radiation blocking communication channels, Ida’s only contact with the outside universe is through his ham radio—which begins to tune itself to the banned and sinister dimension known as subspace.

Fighting isolation and paranoia, Ida hears and records a disturbing transmission over the radio—a woman’s thousand-year-old mayday call. But, when the voice on the recording begins speaking to Ida just as the station is attacked by mysterious forces, Ida realizes he is about to face an enemy far more evil and insidious than any he’s ever gone into battle against.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

The amount of praise Vicious has already received is overwhelming, and all of it deserved. Described by The Independent as “supremely plotted and incredibly well-written,” Vicious presents a fresh and fascinating take on the superhero genre, and its dark and thought-provoking story lives up to the hype [Titan Books, December 2013, £7.99].

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same brilliance, and hunger, in one another. Seemingly supernatural events lead them to investigate, revealing a tempting possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their extraordinary thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things take a sinister turn…

Koko Takes A Holiday by Kieran Shea

This debut novel marks the start of up-and-coming author Kieran Shea’s promising career, launching a brand-new series in which Koko Takes A Holiday is only the beginning [Titan Books, June 2014, £7.99]. Koko is a colourful sci-fi thriller with dark undertones, a humorous tale with a sinister edge, and Shea’s unique style will appeal to a vast range of audiences including fans of Richard Morgan and Lauren Beukes.

Five hundred years in the future on a tropical resort island, the sun is shining on Koko Martstellar, an ex-corporate mercenary sailing through an easy retirement. She smugly finds that the most challenging part of her day is deciding on her next drink. That is, until her old comrade Portia Delacompte sends a squad of security personnel to murder her. As holiday turns to horror Koko is forced to put down her cocktail and pick up her gun, this is one vacation no one will forget…

Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder

Hodder & Stoughton has so many incredible books coming out this year that it’s nearly impossible to pick and choose amongst them! So we’ve highlighted a taster’s menu below, showcasing a few publications throughout the entire year; check out our complete publication schedule for 2014 here. And you can keep up with Hodder via our blog, Hodderscape. Trust the dodo!

Hodder-2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown – 28 January

When helldiver Darrow discovers that he’s been living a lie, he vows revenge on the people who’ve worked him as a willing slave his entire life. As part of a resistance movement dedicated to bringing down the corrupt, classist society that rules Mars, Darrow disguises himself and infiltrates a kill-or-be-killed battle-school, intent on winning the brutal, year-long contest for supremacy and undermining Mars’ ruling class from within. But he’ll discover that he’s not the only person with a secret… and there can be only be one victor. Red Rising is Ender’s Game meets The Hunger Games; an astonishing debut from an incredible new voice in distopic YA fiction.

Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor – 10 April

When a meteorite slams into the water off Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, three people are swept out to sea. They return to find Lagos on the brink of riot. Together with a visitor from beyond the stars, Adaora, Anthony and Agu must race across the city to save their country, their world, and themselves. Featuring Nnedi’s breathtaking prose and an incredible cover from Joey Hi-Fi, Lagoon is an unforgettable novel from one of genre’s rising stars.

The Three by Sarah Lotz – 22 May

Four planes crash, virtually simultaneously, at four different points around the world. There are only four survivors: three children who escape unhurt, but not unchanged. And a woman named Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message. A message that will change the world. The Three is an incredible, haunting, terrifying novel that invites comparisons to everything from Lauren Beukes to Stephen King. You’ll stay up late to finish it… and then never want to sleep again.


Smiler’s Fair
by Rebecca Levene – 31 July

The first secondary-world fantasy Hodder has published in decades (indeed, perhaps ever!), Smiler’s Fair is the staggering first of an all-new series, The Hollow Gods. In a land where death lurks in the shadows, where the very sun and moon are at war, four people must discover how they fit into their world – and how to fit that world to themselves. It’s a novel that questions everything you hold dear about fantasy, twisting old tropes into astonishing new shapes. It’s fantasy for the 21st century – grimhighdarkpunk for a new generation of readers.


Untitled Fantasy
by Daniel Polansky – 9 October

And speaking of secondary-world fantasy… Daniel brought his fantastic Low Town series to a close last year with She Who Waits. But it’s not the last you’ll be hearing from him. We’re incredibly proud to be publishing Daniel’s next series, beginning in October, set in an entirely new world. Where the Low Town books were The Wire set in a crumbling fantasy megalopolis, Daniel’s new series is even bigger: it’s Tolkien meets The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and if that doesn’t get your blood pumping, then nothing can.

Questions

So, there you have it! The Publishers have chosen… but we’d like to ask you to leave a comment with your thoughts on:

  • Which publisher has the best list going into 2014?
  • Which books are you looking most forward to?
  • Are there any books on that list you weren’t aware of, but now want?
  • Which covers do you like? Which is your favourite?
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    Top Anticipated Fantasy Books For 2014 – Publishers' Choice, 9.4 out of 10 based on 8 ratings
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    10 Comments

    1. What I specifically like about this list is how many new, debut authors’ books are being given the limelight. I always get so excited when I discover a new voice that I would like to read, so thank you.

      On which publishers list I liked the most… As I was reading through the list I made notes of which of the books I want to read and Gollancz came out on top with the amount of books on my tbr list.

      My favourite covers:
      The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs
      Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard

      • Overlord says:

        Agreed! As I say in the intro, we can guess on books that will be great, but the publishers are the ones that have read them and KNOW; this is especially true with debuts. Like you, I’m really excited about a fair few of them :D

      • Overlord says:

        In terms of covers… I like so many of them. There is something I love about Copper Promise (it looks a lot like Moth and Spark was sone by the same author actually).

        Titan also has some cool ones. Koko Takes A Holiday is pretty awesome and Myke Cole’s Breach Zone by Headline is very cool. How about the new look Terry Brook’s cover in The High Druid’s Blade? Not sure what it is about that one, but the colours just seem to make it.

        Aesthetically, my bookshelves will be spoilt in 2014! :D

        • Nino van Vuuren says:

          It does look like the same person designed both the covers for Moth and Spark and Copper Promise. Funny, I remember sort of forcing myself to choose between the two when I picked my favourites. Maybe on another day I would have picked Copper Promise.

    2. […] Every year, in addition to our own Most Anticipated list, we invite the world’s top fantasy publishers to let us know what novels from their following year’s list they are most excited about and which they think us fantasy readers should be looking out for. Although each of these publishing houses are rival businesses, it is their continued and combined effort that has seen the genre evolve to the state it is today.  […]

    3. Bibliotropic says:

      So many books! There’s over a dozen books on this list that I’m looking forward to reading! I think that 2014 is going to be an awesome year for good reading material, judging by the lists I’ve been seeing lately.

    4. Samoza says:

      A great list there. Some interesting looking debuts, but also several of my recent faves coming back again. More books by the likes of Abercrombie and Polansky can never be a bad thing!

    5. […] Fantasy Faction’s Publishers’ Dhoice 2014 (Hang Wire/The Burning Dark – so far, I’m the only author to have managed to get two mentions!) […]

    6. Michael Knight says:

      I know I may be late, but I just had to say that the idea of this list is fantastic, and the list itself is great. One publisher I happen to like is Pyr. However, the fact you can taste the excitement coming from the publishers, especially with respect to their debut authors, makes me feel hyped for the books as well!

    7. Michael Knight says:

      (Pyr were unmentioned in this list surprisingly, or am I just being obtuse?)

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