Most Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2016: Publishers’ Choice
Can you believe it… It’s 2016 already! And you know what that means, right? It’s time for another one of Fantasy-Faction’s most popular posts of the year: “Most Anticipated Fantasy Novels of 2016: Publishers’ Choice”. If you are new to Fantasy-Faction, the Publishers’ Choice article is where we spend a few weeks going to each Publishing House we are friendly with in turn and asking them: “Can you give us 5 books that you think readers should look out for this coming year?” (The two weeks it takes to put this article together should explain the references to Christmas and New Year – our Publishing Professionals aren’t in some kind of time loop!).
Just so you know: the reason we began this feature a few years back was because we believed that no-one quite knows the genre, its books or its authors as well as the people who work behind the scenes (especially not the titles still in production, obviously!). We readers of Fantasy are truly blessed by the fact that the people at the top of the food chain in Fantasy Literature are incredibly choosy about who they bring into the industry. The result is that the Publishing Houses are full of enthusiastic, passionate, talented genre fans that want nothing more than to deliver us incredible books… Just look at our Best of 2015 Post to see how they’re nailing it!
Anyway, before I swell too many heads or allow them to think they deserve a break (get back to work, we needz mawr b00ks!) lets move along and take a look at the five books that each of our 11 Publishers – Jo Fletcher Books, Gollancz, Voyager, Tor, Solaris, Orbit, Transworld, Angry Robot, Titan, Del Ray and Night Shade & Talos Press – have picked out for us:
Jo Fletcher Books
Yes, it’s that time of year again: I get to take ten minutes out from my mad panic to sing two concerts, read three deliveries and finish four edits (all of which are late late LATE!) to shout about some of my favourite books for next year (altogether now: ‘Five Gre-eat Books! Four final edits, three delivered books, two carol concerts and a spunnock in a mulberry tree’).
So I’m going to repeat what I said last year (and most likely the year before, and before that) and say this: I can only pick five books, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the rest just as much: I do.
In the end I decided the fairest way was to put all the new titles into my top hat (what? You don’t have a top hat? Honestly, what sort of a household is that?) and draw five out. So this does not mean that my paperback originals – the terrifyingly likely (if we don’t cumulatively get our act together) The Last Gasp by Trevor Hoyle, Sue Tingey’s sexy-as-hell Cursed, Markus Heitz’ bloodthirsty fun The Dark Paths and Vonda N. McIntyre’s absolute classic Dreamsnake are not worthy of your money, or that you should miss Lisa Tuttle’s hugely welcome return with The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief, Naomi Foyle’s moving The Blood of the Hoopoe or Tom Fletcher’s dank, dark, nightmare Idle Hands. It just means I haven’t the space to mention them here. And of course, there’re all my amazing paperbacks, from Horrorology to Ascendant’s Rite . . . Easiest if you just look for the JFB logo!
So as long as that’s understood . . .
First up in Jo Fletcher Books’ ‘awesome books of the year’, in order of pub date, is Robert Jackson Bennett’s CITY OF BLADES. This is the first time anyone’s managed to persuade Robert to write a sequel (to anything!) – but it’s well worth the wait, for we return to the Continent, where one of the long-dead gods is about to be resurrected . . . I asked Robert how he’s describe it in a sentence, and we settled on: It’s an espionage murder mystery set in a military fantasy environment, where old gods, ancient promises, recent war crimes and tribal feuds all affect a clandestine investigation into a spy who went mad and suddenly vanished in the field. So there you have it: don’t miss it!
Book Number Two in our Cabinet of Curiosities is Sebastien de Castell’s Saint’s Blood – and yes, I know that’s not the title it says at the end of Knight’s Shadow, but Sebastien’s tantrum was so all-consuming that in the end I gave in (no, absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it’s a much better title, oh no). And if you’ve been wondering what your favourite Greatcoats are up to now, you’re about to find out: Someone is intent on making Tristia a theocracy, and that means bringing back the Church Knights – and the Inquisitors. Falcio, Kest and Brasti’s attempts to put Aline on her father’s throne are looking increasingly unlikely . . .
I have been wooing Angela Slatter for years, so I’m thrilled she’s finally been lured away from her exquisite short stories to write some full-length novels for us. Verity Fassbinder is part human, part Weird, so she can walk between the worlds – which makes her the perfect choice whenever something Weird threatens to spill over into the human world. And when dead sirens start dropping out of the sky and someone starts hawking a very special vintage, made from the tears of children, Brisbane’s looking like a dangerous place to live. Vigil is the first of a series, so welcome her to JFB by making her a huge hit, please.
Since I bought Alison Littlewood’s first novel, telling her, ‘Horror doesn’t sell, but I love your writing so I’m offering you a pittance’, I’ve had the enormous pleasure of seeing her become a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller with A Cold Season, and watching her name appear on numerous award ballots and ‘best of the year’ listings. But I’m afraid The Hidden People is nothing like her previous books. At all. No, it’s even better! Step back into Victorian England, where a young man discovers the cousin he met once – and briefly considered might be his bride – has been killed most horribly by her husband, because she’d been taken by the Hidden People, who left a changeling in her place . . .
I promise you, this is a real treat.
And finally, I have to remind you of Evie Manieri – please don’t forget her just because she turned out (on account of having a young daughter and a full-time job) not to be a book-a-year writer. The first novel in this trilogy, Blood’s Pride, turned up on a lot of ‘best of the year’ lists (including Fantasy-Faction’s). Well, we’ve waited patiently, and at last we have Strife’s Bane, the culmination of the story that started with Blood’s Pride, and continued with Fortune’s Blight: The Shadar is free, no longer enslaved by the Norlanders, but life is far from settled – and now an old woman with unimaginable powers is sailing home, to claim the country and the people as her own.
So those are the only five I have space for, and every one is a cracker: you lot have got such an exciting year of reading coming up!
2016 is going to be an incredible year for Gollancz, and it’s packed with amazing books to watch out for: The Fireman by Joe Hill, The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone, Night Shift by Charlaine Harris, The Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch . . . there’s a brilliant new adventure called The Hanging Tree from Ben Aaronovitch, Joanne Harris is back with Runemarks and we have two sensational novels from Brandon Sanderson: Mistborn: Bands of Mourning and Calamity.
. . . but the lovely gang at Fantasy Faction asked us for a few favourites, so we thought we’d single out some brilliant novels which might not be on your radar (yet!). Happy reading – and wishing everyone a lovely holiday and New Year.
Occupy Me marks the genre-defining return to SF from a writer of exceedingly rare talent, Trisha Sullivan. The action-packed literary SF thriller follows an angel, Pearl, in her quest for the salvation of Earth, for the secrets of the Universe and for a sense of self. Marcus Gipps said: ‘It’s a complete pleasure to be working with Tricia. Particularly as we are able to welcome her back to the genre with a novel that is so purely enjoyable, so special, so well written. Tricia has long been regarded as one of the best writers in SF today and Occupy Me sees her at the top of her very considerable game’.
From Philip K. Dick Award-winning author Simon Morden, Down Station is a stunning science fantasy quest across London. Built on another, magical, world that bears uncanny links to London, Down Station is an out-of-the-ordinary novel with engaging characters, a gripping plot and a surprising take on London’s rich history and mythology. Gillian Redfearn writes: ‘It’s a real thrill to be publishing Simon Morden especially with a book that takes your expectations and plays with them in such an entertaining way. It’s been a long time since I read a novel that had such a unique feel and which kept me guessing as much as Down Station. It’s an absorbing step into a constantly surprising world. And Simon is full of more equally fascinating proposals. It’s wonderful that he’s joined Gollancz’.
Bestselling author of the Twilight Reign series Tom Lloyd will be launching a brand new series of commercial fantasy adventures in 2016! Stranger of Tempest follows a brilliantly likeable mercenary struggling to maintain his decency in a world turned upside-down by war. He reluctantly signs up with a new company, only to discover that they’re perhaps not as well-intentioned as he would like… Marcus Gipps said: ‘I am thrilled to be signing Tom up for another amazing new series. He’s been one of the most important names on our fantasy list for the last ten years, and this new series serves as a perfect place for readers to jump on to his writing’.
Following one robot’s search for meaning in a world where every human is long gone, Sea of Rust is the anticipated next novel from the author of the acclaimed Dreams and Shadows, screenwriter of hit film Sinister and co-screenwriter of the forthcoming Marvel film Doctor Strange, C. Robert Cargill. Echoing Chappie and The Martian but with a surprising twist, this moving SF story takes place thirty years after the humans lost their war with the artificial intelligences that were once their slaves. Gillian Redfearn said: ‘This story had me from the moment Cargill pitched it. It is such stirring stuff, from an exceptional writer who blends the modern with myths to create something new and absolutely gripping. A stirring – and timely – story, which should be on everyone’s 2016 wish-list’.
A highly talented and prolific writer of novels, computer games and comics, Dan Abnett’s shared world fictions have been set in many universes, including Doctor Who, Alien, Warhammer and Guardians of the Galaxy. Following an ancient and elite band of warriors, The Wield is a dynamic heroic fantasy adventure packed with vivid action and bloody battles. The flawed but engaging characters and the enthralling premise with a clever twist, will appeal to readers of Dan Abnett’s bestselling Black Library books, and fans of David Gemmell and dynamic heroic fantasy. Marcus Gipps said, ‘It’s been hard to miss Dan’s contribution to the genre over recent years. He has an amazing and proven knack for finding readers beyond the immediate genre markets so I am really thrilled that he’s joining Gollancz for this venture into his own world; a project where he can give his extraordinary imagination free rein’.
Well it’s that time again folks! We get to combine two of our favourite things – lists and books! What could be better?! Before we get to our top five for 2016 we absolutely must mention a few paperbacks for next year. THE SKULL THRONE by Peter V. Brett publishes in January! It is the fourth book it Peter’s incredible Demon Cycle and you haven’t read this series yet you absolutely must – start at THE PAINTED MAN and thank us later. We also have the second book in the Fitz and the Fool Trilogy by Robin Hobb coming in August. Fans of Fitz and the Fool have been on such a journey over the years and this book is no exception: beautiful, enchanting and utterly addictive, but don’t take our word for it! If you haven’t read anything of Robin yet start at the very first book ASSASSIN’S APPRENTICE. Fans may also have spotted that we released a special edition for the 20th anniversary featuring end papers by original cover artist John Howe – it’s a silvery blue delight. Joe Abercrombie and the paperback of the third book in his bestselling Shattered Sea series are back this spring. Thorn, Brand, Yarvi and a whole host of characters we’ve fallen in love with over the last few years return for the stunning conclusion. Once again if you haven’t started then seek out HALF A KING and read immediately (why are you still staring at your computer? GO GO GO). If you’re stuck for Christmas present ideas all of these books are still available in hardback (plus George R.R. Martin’s A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS is out in its illustrated glor- *Fantasy Faction have interrupted this broadcast for flagrant rule breaking*).
And we’re back. Sooooo after a stern talking to, here are five, just five, books for 2016 that’s we’re excited about…
Once again we join Prince Jalan and Snorri for the stunning conclusion of Mark’s Red Queen’s War trilogy. Book one, PRINCE OF FOOLS, tells the story of Prince Jalan Kendeth – a coward, a cheat and a womaniser; and tenth in line to the throne. While his grandmother, the dreaded Red Queen, shapes the destiny of millions, Prince Jalan pursues his many debauched pleasures. Until he gets entangled with Snorri ver Snagason, a huge Norse axeman, and dragged against his will to the icy north.
Mia has many names: The Pale Daughter, The Crow, or Kingmaker; she is the killer of killers and destroyer of empires; but her story begins when she is only ten years old and forced to watch her father hang as a traitor.
So you guys are getting a bit of an exclusive right now. We’re publishing the first book in what is planned to be a brand new trilogy by the brilliant Jay Kristoff. We don’t have a cover yet, but we’ll have one soon. Prepare to get excited folks: books like this don’t come along often.
A story of choices that ripple through time far beyond the moment they’re made and what happens when, just sometimes, bonds are so powerful they reach beyond this world and into another. Eleanor is achingly beautiful and hauntingly memorable. Do not miss this book.
Francesca Haig stormed into our lives with her incredible book THE FIRE SERMON last year; wrapping us in layers and layers of her perfectly flawed world of Alpha and Omega twins and fatal bonds. THE MAP OF BONES picks up where THE FIRE SERMON left off and is fricking awesome.
So if you haven’t read AN EMBER IN THE ASHES you’re forgiven because it’s not out in paperback until February, but at the same time you really have to because it is just SO GREAT. Seriously. So here’s the plan – follow the handy infographic below to work out if you should read it, buy it in February when it’s out (LOVE IT) and then tweet us about it. Book two comes out autumn 2016 so you have plenty of time to catch up.
When her crewmate Danny is murdered while on shore leave on the colony planet of Volhynia, Central Corps engineer Commander Elena Shaw will stop at nothing to find the murder. Retracing Danny’s last hours, she discovers his death may be tied to a tragedy from the past, one that the Central Gov is desperate to keep hidden…
Wait what do you mean we’ve already had five? No we haven’t, oh don’t bother counting, look at these shiny covers instead *HIDES SECOND FIVE*. Ok, ok, we’ll stop. But if you do want to hear about our third five, fourth five and even fifth five (we’ve confused ourselves by this point, it’s not just you) tune into the Voyager website and newsletter over HERE. Or follow Fantasy Faction – we tell them all of the juicy goss anyway.
Merry Christmas or non-denominational holiday period of your choice. We’re off to watch Elf and re play Uncharted in our pyjamas.
As we look forward to a veritable smorgasbord of fabulous 2016 genre titles, it’s a wonderful time of year. It’s also such a difficult time . . . when Fantast Faction MAKES US CHOOSE just five of our darling books for this round-up. To attempt to deal with this conundrum, we have decided to focus on debuts, series starters and book ones – in their first editions. So we barely dare mention that Uprooted by Naomi Novik, Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, Seth Dickinson’s The Traitor and Lucy Hounsom’s Starborn are out in paperback in 2016. We merely whisper that the mighty hardback of WRATH by John Gwynne is published in the autumn. And as it is ‘Fantasy’ Faction, it would be downright inappropriate to talk about releasing the thrilling and science fictional NIGHT WITHOUT STARS in hardback – also in the autumn. So let’s move swiftly on to our fabulous five.
Where to start with the gloriousness of Truthwitch? Perhaps with the fact that Robin Hobb (yes, you read that right) described it as ‘like a cake stuffed full of your favourite fantasy treats’. We can’t really top that as a description. Like a cake, this book is layered, delicious, and leaves you wanting more. Want a thoroughly interesting magic system, set in a vibrant new world? Check. Require intrigue, piracy, and a lot of swashbuckling? Check. Beautifully-drawn characters with real depth? Double check. This is the kind of fun, refreshing fantasy that will remind you why you love the genre, without ever feeling like you’ve read it all before.
Truthwitch is the first book in the Witchlands series, set in a world where some are born with magical abilities. Safi is one of our two main protagonists – the eponymous Truthwitch – who can discern truth from lies. Her best friend is Iseult, a Threadwitch who can see the invisible ties that bind the lives around her. Both are forced to flee from those who would use them for their powers, making them pawns in political games. War looms on the horizon, a magical contagion is sweeping the land, a deadly Bloodwitch is on their heels . . . and secrets from a lost age are about to resurface.
Excited? You should be! You can also check out The Witchlands website (thewitchlands.com), which is full of wonderful extra content from Susan Dennard.
A new book by Adrian Tchaikovsky is something to shout about and this latest is top-class. You may know him for his Shadows of the Apt series, his recent flintlock fantasy Guns of the Dawn, or his OTHER recent SF masterpiece, Children of Time. The Tiger and the Wolf is something else again. (I know, it’s rude isn’t it? SOME OF US CAN’T EVEN WRITE IN ONE GENRE, ADRIAN.) This is the first book in a new trilogy. It’s a sweeping fantasy, featuring warfare, shape-shifting and twisted politics. It’s also a great coming-of-age story. Think Game of Thrones‘s internecine rivalries meet Jean M. Auel’s epic tales of an earlier world in turmoil.
Here, Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan chieftain’s daughter, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger clan, these two tribes have been enemies for generations, and the wolves treat her with suspicion. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but she can take on both tiger and wolf shapes. Rather than disowning half her soul, Maniye flees her tribe to find her own place in the world . . . But it’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, a time of testing and broken laws.
John Gwynne has called The Tiger and the Wolf ’addictively brilliant’, it has a GORGEOUS cover and you’ll adore the world Adrian has created. Roll on February.
False Hearts is one of Pan Macmillan’s top adult fiction debuts for 2016. It’s a rollercoaster read featuring organized crime, a sinister cult and psychoactive drugs. And it’s set in a glamourous near-future San Francisco. There are thrills aplenty in this high suspense read.
In the book, one twin is imprisoned for a terrible crime and the other will do anything to set her free… One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information – then if she brings down the drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past. Once unable to keep secrets, the sisters will discover the true cost of lies.
False Hearts was acquired in a six-figure pre-emptive deal, with rights already sold in the US, Italy, France and Germany. This is one hot book with the glamour of Blade Runner and the cool of a Lauren Beukes novel. We can’t wait until others can discover its amazingness for themselves!
The Apartment is The Shining meets Z for the Air B ‘n’ B generation. For us, what’s so clever about this novel is the fact that you’re never sure if Mark is slowly turning mad, or if there is something more sinister at work.
They thought they were living a nightmare. Little did they realise, it hadn’t yet begun . . . Mark and Steph are struggling to move on with their lives after armed robbers break into their home and assault them. Shaken, they decide to participate in a house swap, and head off to spend a glorious few days in Paris eating good cheese, drinking fine wine and visiting the sights. Yet on arrival, the apartment is far from expected. It’s run down, possibly haunted, and the woman upstairs keeps telling them they must get out – as soon as possible. Then they receive word that the Petits, in whose apartment they are staying, never arrived at their own house . . .
S. L. Grey are, in our opinion, the most talented writing duo out there at the moment. As Lauren Beukes says, ‘Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg are pretty formidable writers on their own. Together, as S. L. Grey, they’re terrifying.’
Slavedays is an absolute firecracker of a novel – WHAT a read! With its charismatic characters, evocative British setting and a stand-out conceptual twist, we believe Vic James has come up with a truly winning formula. This Orwellian page-turner is designed to appeal to readers of all ages too.
The trilogy is set in a modern Britain, in an alternative-present where people must endure ten years of slavery in service to a magically gifted aristocracy. Here, a teenage boy dreams of rebellion. His sister yearns for love and knowledge. And – as political machinations clash with family intrigues – a dangerous young aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts. Phew. We are feeling the excitement all over again just thinking about it!
We are hoping fans of Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season will fall for Slavedays’ charms just as hard as devotees of the Game of Thrones series, with its compulsive personal and dynastic power struggles. We’ll be releasing Slavedays in ebook in December 2016, closely followed by the paperback release in January 2017. It will be worth the wait.
Solaris & Abaddon Books
Far be it from us to blow our own trumpet, but we’ve lined up an almighty 2016 line-up here at Rebellion. Epic tales of war on the high seas, fantastical Shakespearean storytelling, beguiling historical fantasies, the return of some old favourites, and the stand-out debut of the year – honestly, we’re spoiling you…
War! Heresy! Mermen! Has that got your attention? Good, because Clifford Beal’s The Guns Of Ivrea is the most epic of fantasies, a sea-faring adventure fusing the complex characters and political intrigues of George RR Martin with the battle-hardened authenticity and action of Patrick O’Brian.
It’s Beal’s first foray into full-blooded secondary world fantasy, and he has knocked this one out of the park. The first instalment of the Valdur Series, The Guns Of Ivrea is fast-paced, action-packed and gripping to the point of insomnia. A 2016 must-read for fantasy fans.
What pops into your head when you think of Shakespeare? If your answer was ‘war, magic, mischief, fairies, and heartbreak’ then congratulations! You have successfully imagined Monstrous Little Voices, our collection of five spanking new tales set in Shakespeare’s fantastical worlds, penned by some of the most talented authors working today.
Jonathan Barnes, Emma Newman, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Kate Heartfield and Foz Meadows expertly weave together tales of mysticism and mayhem that, if you ask us, are about as fitting a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death as you’re likely to find.
Anna is a Greek refugee in 1920s Oxford. Her mother and brother are dead, her father is distracted and she’s just witnessed a murder. When she’s saved by a boy with wild eyes and his mysterious gypsy tribe, Anna discovers a far stranger world right alongside the one she spends her days in…
Paul Kearney beautifully written The Wolf In The Attic is an enchanting, utterly charming read – oh, and Anna spends some time with JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Essential reading.
OK, so this is sci-fi rather than fantasy, but you’ll have to forgive us because we are wildly excited about Ninefox Gambit. Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel is an absolute cracker, and it’s set to be a real highlight of 2016.
It tells the story of Kel Cheris, a disgraced captain of the Hexarchate, as she sets out to redeem herself by recapturing the formidable Fortress of Scattered Needles from heretics. But there’s a catch: the only way to win is by enlisting the help of General Shios Jedao, the undefeated and near-immortal military genius who has already obliterated two armies – one of them his own.
Maths, madness, and massacres in outer space – this is post-Ann Leckie SF and it will blow your mind.
“Mind-blistering military space opera…. An unmissable debut.” Stephen Baxter
You know Chronicles Of The Necromancer, right? Of course you do, because you bought Gail Z Martin’s epic fantasy series in your droves. Well, we have good news for you: Gail is returned to the world of The Summoner in 2016 with The Shadowed Path, a short story collection featuring fan-favourite character Jonmarc Vahanian.
Gail Z Martin is mother fudging awesome, and The Shadowed Path is packed to bursting with fun, punchy fantasy tales that will remind you why you fell in love with the Chronicles Of The Necromancer series in the first place.
2016 is going to be an Epic (note the capital ‘E’) year for Orbit! We’ve got a great lineup of books by established stars and jaw-dropping new talent, and picking five titles from this stellar lineup is extremely hard. Since you guys love your epic fantasy though, we’ve decided to highlight some titles coming over the next few months from our upcoming and recent debut fantasy authors. Get ready to unleash the awesome!
The disbanded troop of mercenaries known as Kalian’s Twenty find themselves re-examining their past when an assassin starts picking them off one by one, in a race against time to discover the killer.
Told via a series of letters, diary entries, battle reports and other first-hand accounts, pick up Snakewood if you want to read an incredible story of revenge set in a completely unique new fantasy world.
Watchmen and spies, assassins and criminals will clash on the streets of a war-torn city in this magic-fuelled adventure from the author of Battlemage.
Pick up this series if you like the sound of mage-on-mage battles, and you’re ready to watch the fireballs fly.
Alex Marshall continues the story which began in A Crown For Cold Silver –a retired warrior returns to war to seek revenge for a terrible blow, old friends and old enemies will pay the price.
Pick up this trilogy if you want a sword-wielding and sorcerous adventure with a cast of cunning shamans, wish-granting demons, and truly badass warrior women.
One is a warrior. One is a thief. Together they are rebellion . . . This stand-out new adventure fantasy series features an unlikely allegiance between Bleak Hope – the sole survivor of her village’s massacre, trained to be an instrument of vengeance – and Red, an orphan raised as a con artist by a criminal mastermind. Fans of Brent Weeks and Scott Lynch will relish the blisteringly-paced action and intense, nuanced characters in this exhilarating tale from an author set to become a household name in the fantasy genre.
A ragtag group of adventurers plan a heist to steal a dragon’s gold… and accidentally start a revolution.
Read this if you want epic fantasy with an irresistible hook, Guardians of the Galaxy-style wisecracking and dragons who are scarier than Smaug.
“This title brings the story of The City (published last year) to a spectacular climax. This is a taut, nail-biting read is full of battles and corruption, charting the unfolding drama as the sprawling City is under siege. A terrific read and one to watch – The Immortal Throne once again shows Gemmell to be a master of the genre!”
Simon Taylor, Editorial Director, Transworld
“In April 2016 we’ve got Fall of Light by Steven Eriksen, the international bestselling author of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. With Fall of Light, Eriksen continues his new epic fantasy, The Kharkanas Trilogy, in this dark, enthralling, all-embracing new novel of war and betrayal, dark sorcery and ancient gods set in the world before the Malazan Empire.”
Simon Taylor, Editorial Director, Transworld
“Creation Machine by Andrew Banister is a stunning debut coming May 2016. The first in a space opera trilogy, Creation Machine is an epic intergalactic saga with a cracking heroine at its heart. Think Luke Skywalker meets Katniss Everdeen. It is set against the vast background of The Spin, an ancient artificial planetary cluster with a troubled past and a violent present, and follows the stories of four main characters through civil war, planetary conquest, political intrigue, love, betrayal and loss. This is ideal Iain M Banks, Peter F Hamilton and Alastair Reynolds territory at its very best, and has already been named one of SFX’s Essential Books of 2016. Definitely one to watch!”
Naomi Mantin, Senior Press Officer, Transworld
“Lament for the Fallen by Gavin Chait is our other big debut for this year, out July 2016. It’s a very different feel to Creation Machine – more reminiscent of David Mitchell, Michel Faber and J G Ballard. It tells a story that is bleak and brutal and yet also shot through with hope and a transcendent sense of wonder – unlike anything we’ve had in before!”
Simon Taylor, Editorial Director, Transworld
“This exciting new novel delves into the turbulent history of Malaz, before the formation of the Malazan Empire. This will be the first book in the new fantasy sequence, The Path to Ascendancy, set in a world whose vividness rivals that of Westeros! As a prequel, this is the perfect entryway for readers who are new to the Malazan series to discover its delights, and for hard-core followers to explore a different chapter.”
Lily Capewell, Transworld Publicity
“And of course, last but not least and one very close to our hearts, we have The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter coming July 2016. Completed by the authors some eighteen months before Terry Pratchett’s death, The Long Cosmos is the grand climax of the Long Earth series. Terry had always wanted to explore the question ‘what’s it all for?’ – and in this novel, we find an answer . . .”
Night Shade Books & Talos Press
Gez oh Pete’s! We’re excited about all the books coming up this year, but all right we’ll agree to five. We have a little bit of everything: high fantasy, a supervillain novel, hardcore sci-fi, debut dystopian, and urban fantasy. Let the anticipation begin!
Fantasy writer Martha Wells returns to the world of The Cloud Roads in the start of a brand new Three Worlds series. Wells has developed a devoted following for her acclaimed stories of the Raksura, shapeshifting creatures of flight who inhabit a complex world of danger, magic, and politics. I mean, winged creatures, boats flying through the air, a group that fights like family to protect one another—this high fantasy has everything.
Superheroes get the retribution they deserve in this hilariously tongue-in-check debut novel about a supervillain-in-training’s battle to reveal the façade behind our obsession with those who fight for good. Publishing in April, this supervillain novel can hold you over before the summer movie release of Suicide Squad.
British space opera master Neal Asher returns with the second installment of his new Polity series Transformations, as a soldier brought back from the dead hunts the insane AI that killed him a hundred years earlier in a break-necked paced thriller stuffed with futuristic technology and deadly alien races. But don’t just take our word about the series, here are some thumbs up for book one, Dark Intelligence:
“Projects the terror-haunted sensibility of our time into a future of limitless brutality . . . Asher displays great virtuosity.”—The New York Times
“Explosive sci-fi action of the best kind that will leave you anxiously awaiting the sequel.”—Buzzfeed, “Best Science Fiction Books of 2015”
“What Asher delivers here is state-of-the-art SF on so many levels . . . a compelling, smart read.”—Paul Di Filippo, Locus
“Dark Intelligence is a revenge story with plenty of meat on its bones. . .the multifaceted, complex storytelling rewards a dedicated reader with serious tension and mind-blowing sci-fi thrills.”—Manhattan Book Review
This is our debut book of the season and one of the most exciting dystopian concepts we’ve come across in awhile! In the wake of a global event that wipes out humanity’s memory, one man must travel a futuristic post-apocalyptic world, through jungles, over oceans, and across destroyed cities, as he searches for the only thing he can remember from his past life: his son.
New York Times-bestselling author Chris Roberson–co-creator of the comic book series iZombie, now a TV show on the CW–begins a brand new urban fantasy series set in a fictional west coast city named Recondito. In Firewalk, a police detective investigating a new street drug and a medical examiner tasked with analyzing the victims of a sword-wielding serial murderer realize they’re approaching the same mystery from two directions. Firewalk is Twin Peaks meets True Detective (Season 1!), a modern day supernatural crime thriller that mixes Polynesian, Mayan, and Louisiana Creole mythology with silver skull-masked killers.
Angry Robot Books
Ah, the new year. There’s always something exciting about unwrapping our 2016 titles and sharing the best of SF/F and WTF with our lovely readers.
It’s so hard to pick just a few titles to rave about, like picking between our own children. We want to tell you about The Copper Cat, Jen Williams’ amazing D&D infused epic fanasy being released in America, and Wesley Chu’s new series. Oh, and we can’t leave out the third novel in Rod Duncan’s amazing The Fall of The Gas-Lit Empire series, now can we? Wait. Sorry, we’re running away with ourselves, aren’t we? Pay us no mind, we just get excited.
Below is our pick of five titles that we’re super excited to be sharing with you in 2016.
A debut author of much talent, N.S Dolkart’s traditional ‘sword and sorcery’ tale is heaped with allegory and reminds us of C.S Lewis mixed with Diana Wynne Jones.
After their homeland is struck with a deadly plague, five refugees cross the continent searching for answers. Instead they find Psander, a wizard whose fortress is invisible to the gods, and who is willing to sacrifice anything – and anyone – to keep the knowledge of the wizards safe.
With Psander as their patron, the refugees cross the mountains, brave the territory of their sworn enemies, confront a hostile ocean and even traverse the world of the fairies in search of magic powerful enough to save themselves – and Psander’s library – from the wrath of the gods.
All they need to do is to rescue an imprisoned dragon and unleash a primordial monster upon the world.
This is a great young adult crossover and truly falls into the category of ‘epic’. Make sure to pick up a copy when Silent Hall hits the shelves, so you can tell people you knew of N.S Dolkart before he took his seat in the fantasy hall of fame.
Another book by a debut author. This time it’s Foz Meadows. You may have heard of Foz previously; she won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2014 and also writes for Black Gate, Huffington Post, Strange Horizons and Tor.com. Of course when we heard Foz had a novel ready for a publisher, we jumped at the chance.
When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.
There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.
Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.
Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?
Another great young adult crossover, An Accident of Stars has a gritty, progressive feel, with world-building reminiscent of our own Kameron Hurley.
Exciting titbit: Hugo Award-winning Julie Dillon is cover artist! We’d show you the cover right now, but we’d probably have to kill you.
A success story from our last Open Door period, Peter McLean has brought a dark, seedy underworld to life in this London-based urban fantasy, told from the criminals’ point of view. Imagine Rivers of London crossed with Lock, Stock… and you’ll get a good flavor of what Peter has to offer.
A demon-summoning hitman and a murderous, chainsmoking angel battle Furies and the Devil himself in a search for redemption.
Meet Don Drake. He’s a demon-summoning hit man who ‘s badly in debt. He doesn’t like his job. He’d rather have a drink and stay away from murder and the supernatural, but he’ll have no peace before he’s cleared his debt. So Drake takes on one last kill job – and things only get worse for him when he discovers his victim was just a kid.
Suddenly, Drake’s on everyone’s bad list. His only friends are an arch-demon trapped inside an ancient artefact, and Trixie, who smokes too much and happens to be as close to a fallen angel as you can get before you’re Lucifer himself. And unfortunately for Drake, Lucifer’s around too. And he’s mad as hell. If Drake’s going to find redemption, he’s going to have to fight.
The Burned Man has to be a new favourite antihero. He’s rude, vile and very, very funny. You don’t have to wake too long to get to know him either, as Drake is due for release at the start of January.
We are so, so excited about Peter Tieryas’ United State of Japan, billed as the spiritual sequel to Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle. However, why listen to us singing its praises, when you could hear what Ken Liu, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy award winning author of The Grace of Kings has to say, instead: “A searing vision of the persistence of hope in the face of brutality, The United States of Japan is utterly brilliant.”
Decades ago, Japan won the Second World War. Americans worship their infallible Emperor, and nobody believes that Japan’s conduct in the war was anything but exemplary. Nobody, that is, except the George Washingtons — a group of rebels fighting for freedom. Their latest terrorist tactic is to distribute an illegal video game that asks players to imagine what the world might be like if the United States had won the war instead.
Captain Beniko Ishimura’s job is to censor video games, and he’s tasked with getting to the bottom of this disturbing new development. But Ishimura’s hiding something…kind of. He’s slowly been discovering that the case of the George Washingtons is more complicated than it seems, and the subversive videogame’s origins are even more controversial and dangerous than the censors originally suspected.
There’s so much to love in this book, mechas, subversive videogames and rebel fighters who go by the name of The George Washingtons. However, if you look a little deeper you’ll see that there’s a sensitive portrayal of America and Japan’s troubled relationship to the past.
Billed as The Handmaid’s Tale crossed with The Fifth Element, but with extra limbs, Graft is a dark noir set in a future-Manchester and a fresh new take on people trafficking stories.
Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy. Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognises. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs.
Now Sol and Y are on the run from both Y’s traffickers and the organisation’s faithful products. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over. Not that there was much hope to start with.
A novel about the horror of exploitation and the weight of love, Graft imagines a country in which too many people are only worth what’s on their price tag.
Beautifully written and with a swathe of engaging characters, set against a grim dystopian Mantchester, we can’t get enough of Matt’s writing. We hope you feel the same.
Asking us to pick just five titles from our 2016 line-up is a cruel and unusual punishment, Mr Aplin. But never one to shy away from a challenge the Titan Books team have trawled through the long, long list that forms one of our strongest ever years for Fantasy (if we do say so ourselves) to bring you two exciting must-read debuts, the continuation of two of our favourite and bestselling series and the start of a brand new epic fantasy that’s been ten years in the making…
We are in LOVE with this debut from iO9.com’s Editor-in-Chief Charlie Jane Anders; a wonderful coming of age story about making sense of love, sex and adulthood on the brink of the apocalypse. Patricia is a witch who can talk to birds, Laurence the childhood inventor of the two-second time machine. As teenagers they gravitate towards one another, sharing in the horrors of growing up weird. Now as adults they reconnect as each takes sides in a cataclysmic war between science and magic. All the Birds in the Sky truly marks Charlie as one to watch in 2016 – don’t miss out.
From Tim Akers, an exciting new voice in epic fantasy, comes the start of a trilogy ten years in the making. Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage between the north and the south. Three heroes—Malcolm and Ian Blakeley and Gwendolyn Adair—must end the bloodshed before chaos is unleashed. Tim offers up a gripping mix of theology, adventure and Gemmell-esque creations in a world ripped apart by religion and politics.
In 2015 A Darker Shade of Magic stormed into the bestsellers lists and earned author V.E. Schwab comparisons to Neil Gaiman and the late Diane Wynne Jones for this daring adventure of thrilling power and parallel Londons, and Kell, the last of the Travelers to be able to move between them. Now in the second series instalment as Red London prepares for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic – Kell is plagued by guilt and dreams of ominous magical events. Another London is coming back to life, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning: Black London has risen again and so to keep magic’s balance another London must fall, as a certain pirate ship draws ever closer. With Titan also bringing out the start of Victoria’s new Monsters of Verity series with This Savage Song in June to we think 2016 is going to be another stellar year for her and her fans.
Launched in 2016 with the fantastic When the Heavens Fall, Dragon Hunters continues Marc Turner’s brilliant, gritty epic fantasy set in a world of deadly magic with a fantastical original cast of characters and meddlesome gods. In the first instalment of The Chronicles of the Exile necromancers and gods fought to gain control of the stolen Book of Lost Souls. Now it is time for the annual hunt, as once each year the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass from the Southern Wastes to the Sabian Sea. There it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule the empire of the Storm Isles. But this year someone forgot to tell the dragon which is the hunter and which the hunted. The series continues next year so now is a perfect jumping on point.
Jurassic Park meets Gladiator in this brilliant debut from Daniel Godfrey that will leave fans of Michael Crichton and Robert Harris crying out for more. Some time in the near future, energy giant NovusPart has developed technology to transport people from the past to the present day, and they have just moved the lost population of Pompeii to a replica city. Historian Nick Houghton is brought in to study the Romans, but he soon realises that NovusPart are underestimating their captives. The Romans may be ignorant of modern technology, but they once ruled an empire. The stage is set for the ultimate clash of cultures… A refreshing new take on the SF time travel theme with a solid historical twist – New Pompeii is one of the most original new titles going in 2016.
Del Rey has an exciting year ahead for 2016, and we’re publishing so many amazing authors it’s been a struggle to just name 5 here. For some authors (such as Django Wexler, Dave Bara and Rebecca Alexander) we have the next – or in some cases, concluding – books in their trilogies, which we’re sure fans can’t wait to get their hands on. And we also have some terrific debut authors for whom 2016 will see the launch of their novel, which is always a thrilling time. Safe to say, we have quite the selection here, so without further ado (and in publication order):
“When We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord was the first book I acquired for the Del Rey list – an absolute joy of a read, it will always be a special book for me. A gothic coming-of-age tale with a supernatural twist, this is a contemporary take on the werewolf novel (just without werewolves!) and it had me captivated from page one.
It’s set in a small American town which holds a terrifying secret: when the teenagers reach a certain age, they run wild. However, our hero of the story, Lumen Fowler, is determined that she will be different, that she won’t ‘breach’, as it is called. It’s a coming-of-age story like no other – a bold (and sometimes unnerving) depiction of adolescence, which questions whether you can choose who you will become or if fate really does have the upper hand.
The Del Rey team completely fell for this beautifully written yet provocative novel, and we cannot agree more with Library Journal who compared it to Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Sarah Lotz, who said it’s ‘superbly written, chilling, original and deeply affecting’.”
Emily Yau, Editor
“This fantastic novel starts with a really explosive opening and the pace just doesn’t let up the entire way through to what ends up being quite an emotional finale. Thrilling in every way, The End of the World Running Club tells the story of a man separated from his family in the wake of a colossal multi-asteroid strike, and has to run the length of the country in order to be reunited with them.
Not your average post-apocalyptic story, this is a tale of love, loss and ultimately what it is to be human. (And one man’s near-impossible run from Edinburgh to Cornwall in three weeks!) Hugely cinematic and pulse-raisingly thrilling, this is the book you should be reading after The Martian and is the perfect fix for those waiting for the next series of The Walking Dead.
It goes without saying we’re hugely excited about Adrian’s novel. He originally self-published it to some fantastic reviews, and we’re looking forward to launch officially in May.”
Emily Yau, Editor
“Simon Kurt Unsworth has fast become one of my favourite writers. In 2015 we published his critically acclaimed debut novel, The Devil’s Detective, the story of Thomas Fool, one of Hell’s Information Men. Trying to solve a serial murder spree in a place where everyone is a potential killer and violence against humans isn’t considered a crime might seem hopeless, but for Fool hope is a dream he can scarcely afford. Simon’s wonderful, dark and visceral prose captivates and draws you in to a world of both disturbingly recognisable and strange people and places, events and troubles.
In 2016 Simon returns with The Devil’s Evidence, re-joining Thomas Fool in Hell where new troubles are on the rise, but may be the least of his problems. In Heaven bodies are starting to appear but, in a place where no crimes are committed, how does one go about solving them? Asking for assistance of the one man who has the necessary experience may not bring the answers anyone expects as Fool investigates in a land where perfection may only be surface deep.
If you like crime along the lines of Ian Rankin and horror in the vein of Clive Barker, this is for you.”
Michael Rowley, Editorial Director
“Written in a style that reminds me of bestselling authors Joe Abercrombie and Peter V. Brett, I was instantly drawn to the character Stratus, an anti-hero set to take the genre by storm and break new ground. Like a magical blend of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher, he moves through the world like an unstoppable force of nature in this action-packed, dark and violent fantasy thriller.
Stratus wakes in an unfamiliar place, with nothing but the knowledge that he is not human, with no memories of his past but possessing great strength, a powerful sorcery and the burning instinct to survive at any cost. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he sets out across a landscape torn apart by the ten year war, now reaching new levels of savagery as a dark magic drives the world to the brink of destruction.
As his personality grows with each step, Stratus slowly uncovers the truth of what he has become and the unquenchable thirst for vengeance that has led him there.
We’re thrilled to have Mark on the list and are sure you’re going to love this one as much as we do.”
Michael Rowley, Editorial Director:
“One of my favourite novels of all time is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. So when I read a review of Laura van den Berg’s Find Me which compared it not only to Atwood but to Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, my interest was firmly piqued. For once you can believe the hype – Laura’s debut novel is beautifully written and is so much more than just a great dystopian novel. It’s also a powerful exploration of the human condition and of loneliness. Laura’s prose is hauntingly lovely and the praise for her writing just keeps on coming. (‘The best young writer in America’ is my personal favourite.)
This is also a novel that leaves you with questions – it’s the first time ever that Emily, our editor, and I have sat in my office having a mini – but in-depth – reading group about a book we’ve both loved. It’s also a book the whole Ebury Fiction team has fallen in love with – so much so that we crashed it into our schedules, bringing out the eBook 10 days after we bought the book, and now this year we’re publishing the paperback. So if like me you loved The Handmaid’s Tale – or Station Eleven – then I’d urge you to read Find Me.”
Gillian Green, Publishing Director
And that’s it for another year of Fantasy-Faction’s Publishers’ Choice. Do make sure you those that comment section there below… let us know which covers you liked, which novels you were already excited for, which authors/books you’d never heard of before but are now on your radar!