Jim Butcher's Dresden books are some of the highest selling, most highly regarded novels in the fantasy genre. With a narrative style reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's, the protagonist of the novels - Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard - makes a living as a Private Detective. The stories are popular for their consistent humour and the author's ability to seamlessly merge the fantastical with reality. Other than George R.R. Martin I don't think there is an author who fans have so consistently told me they 'always buy the hardback' of.
Well, following the release of the 16th book this year - Peace Talks
- which will make 16 books in 15 years, we may see the release schedule of the Dresden Files slow down a little. Roc Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, have announced this that they've signed Jim Butcher up for a brand new steampunk / fantasy / sci-fi hybrid called The Cinder Spires
. The first novel of which will be called THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS
and isn't actually too far away: it'll be with us on September 29, 2015
(oh yeah, and that's a hardback too!).
Editor, Anne Sowards, describes The Cinder Spires as, “Horatio Hornblower meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen—it’s a fantastic, creative new series of airships, privateers, warrior monks, and mad sorcerers. Honestly, it’s like Jim put all my favorite things in one book!”
Early reports tell us that the novel is set in a fascinating new world, where an ancient evil has awoken, plunging the world into a shroud of mists filled with monstrous and fantastic creatures. The fate of humanity will rest on the loyalty and courage of a single airship’s crew. And, early reviews seem positive too, New York Times bestselling author David Weber has said, “This is Jim Butcher at his best… It’s steampunk meets magic with a dose of sci-fi for seasoning.”
Of course, this isn't Butcher's first series away from Harry Dresden. He penned the Codex Alera series of epic fantasy novels that were released between 2004 and 2009. In a pretty remarkable achievement for a fantasy author a number of the books made the New York Times Bestseller list (peaking at number 13). However, the most favourable reviews for Butcher's work have come in over the past 5 years (all 5 of his last books have hit number 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list), so I anticipate readers will be expecting even better things from Butcher with this one.
If all goes well THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS
could be a huge hit. With George R.R. Martin having brought mainstream attention to the fantasy genre over the last few years, another New York Times bestseller moving into more traditional fantasy could sell huge amounts of copies to 'floating readers'. When you add that to his already huge fan-base it could be, as his publishers predict, one of the fall’s biggest genre releases.
Those who can't wait to see what kind of thing they've got to look forward to can check out the following videos by Youtube user Anteru:
You can also find a good Q&A session here from Phoenix Comicon where he speaks a bit about the book:
We will bring you a review as soon as we get our hands on a copy!