Author’s Choice of 2012 – part 2
Posted by Dominick
And here’s the second part of my ‘Ending of the Year’-post. I present to you the choices of the final 6 authors and the winners of the titles of ‘Best book of 2012’ and ‘Most anticipated book of 2013’, according to authors. I hope you enjoyed this double post. I certainly have, putting it together. I want to thank the participating authors and I also want to give a special thanks to Stefan Fergus (Civilian Reader) for providing the answers from Django Wexler to me. Be sure to check out his interesting blog (you’ll find the link in the link section at the right side of my blog).
Rules of the game: Each author could give up to three titles and each book gets one point per mention. The book with the most mentions wins the title. Yes, it’s as simple as that .
I asked each author 3 questions. Below you’ll find the questions and the last 6 authors (I present them in alphabetical order):
* What was your favorite book of 2012?
* What books are you most looking forward to in 2013?
* Which book(s) of you can we expect to hit bookshelves in 2013?
At the end of the post you’ll find the winners of the first F.I. Author’s choice awards.
WILL MACMILLAN JONES
Unlike many of these authors, I’m a new author with a small publishing house. That means sales of my books will improve as I generate a catalogue of work – and so I am writing constantly to strict publishing deadlines. That reduces my reading time, sadly: almost as much as being a single parent does. Whilst I did run straight out and buy Snuff by Sir Terry Pratchett, the two books I most enjoyed reading were published earlier than last year (although both authors were new to me). I thoroughly enjoyed The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. There was a retro feel to this book that took me back to my teenage years: a feeling I enjoyed as much as the book, I suspect. The other series I read for the first time was Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. I have to admit I devoured most of the published offerings over a couple of months. Again, the writing was atmospheric and the worldbuilding utterly convincing.
For the coming year, I just don’t know. There is a big resurgence in fantasy, and so much to chose from, isn’t there? A good friend of mine has the sequel to her first high fantasy novel (White Mountain, by Sophie E Tallis) coming out towards the end of the year, and as I did enjoy the first I am looking forward to reading the sequel. Then there’s the next Jim Butcher, more Pratchett, and I want to start reading Mistborn as well. Yes I know I should have read that already, but I haven’t. So little time, so many books!
I have two more installments in my comic fantasy series due out, in the quest to achieve a catalogue. Bass Instinct is in editing and will be released on 15 April 2013, and The Satnav of Doom will follow on 15 November. I also have the first in a paranormal series about to be released. Memories is in final editing for Taylor Street Publishing (a small US based publisher) and I’m already feeling the cold wind of the publisher’s breath asking about the sequel…and a couple of anthologies want entries from me too.
This is a terribly hard question for me to answer, since I read a ton of excellent books this year. Three that spring to mind off the top of my head as being particularly impressive in terms of story, setting, or craft are:
Range of Ghosts (Elizabeth Bear)
The Killing Moon (N.K. Jemisin)
King of Thorns (Mark Lawrence)
I’m awful at keeping track of future release dates – I depend on twitter and book bloggers to keep me apprised of which cool books just hit the shelves – but here are a few I know are coming out in the near future that I’m looking forward to reading.
The Merchant of Dreams (Anne Lyle) – okay, this one’s technically a 2012 book since it comes out in late Dec, but the holidays are so busy I likely won’t get a chance to read a copy until after New Years, so I’m still calling it one to look forward to in 2013.
The Daylight War (Peter V. Brett) – this 3rd novel in Brett’s Demon Cycle releases in February.
Shattered Pillars (Elizabeth Bear) – sequel to Range of Ghosts, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so I’m counting down the days until the release of this one in March.
I’m certainly intending to finish writing the concluding novel to my Shattered Sigil trilogy, The Labyrinth of Flame, in 2013, but the book is unlikely to hit the shelves before the end of the year. Perhaps early 2014…we’ll see!
MICHAEL J SULLIVAN
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan – A great debut by a self-published author (recently signed to Penguin) that has it all characters, good plotting. I expect Ryan will become a “name” in the industry with the backing of a major publisher.
Mark Lawrence’s Emperor of Thorns – His debut novel Prince of Thorns surprised me by being a dark and gritty fantasy that I actually enjoyed (I tend to like more classic, traditional fare). Much of that speaks to the strength of Lawrence’s writing style.
Two books in a new series (The Riyria Chronicles) The Crown Tower (Aug 2013) , The Rose and the Thorn (Sep 2013) both to be released by Orbit. Plus a urban fantasy (standalone) Antithesis which current plans are to self-publish in March 2013.
I might be the wrong person to ask this. See, as a dude who is largely unaware of the world around him, I find myself just picking up books as I hear about them and then sticking with them for awhile. My utter inability to see the world beyond my own ego renders me incapable of looking forward to books that aren’t me.
But I’ll give it a shot!
In 2012, I think the most important book I read was Joseph Anton by Salman Rushdie. It’s his memoirs, taking us through his childhood, adult life, romantic misadventures and, most importantly, the years under which he hid from a fatwa issued by the ayatollah of Iran. It was a book that actually told me a lot about the importance of standing up to people who would silence you and just how important a message becomes when someone doesn’t want it heard.
I’m not really sure. I haven’t been paying attention too much. I imagine there’ll be some fantasy that truly blows my mind. Unless Scott Lynch comes out with something, though, my best bet is on Frances Hardinge. She’s quickly become one of my most watched authors.
You can hopefully look for my new project sometime in the spring! Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that. I’m pretty hush hush about it these days.
The Games, by Ted Kosmatka. This was a great debut; creepy and suspenseful, with one of the best monsters I’ve encountered.
Prophet of Bones, by Ted Kosmatka. Not surprisingly, I’m interested in this because I enjoyed The Games, but the blurb also caught my eye. Alternate paleontology and science/religious controversy: very cool.
Quintessence, which comes out on March 19 from Tor. It’s an alternate history/fantasy set in the Age of Exploration, full of arcane science, alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic.
Looking back over my lists, this year definitely picked up as we went along! Restricting myself to fiction, and to books that actually came out this year:
Railsea, China Mieville. I love China Mieville, even if I don’t always love all his books. His eagerness to jump from genre to genre trying out new stuff is inspiring. (Also sometimes intimidating.) I feel like he takes a lot of big swings, and when he connects he knocks it out of the park. This one worked like that for me, tight and well-crafted, with a neat voice, an interesting world, and just the right amount of message. (That is, thoughtful, but subtle.)
The Apocalypse Codex, Charles Stross. Hard to turn this one down. This series has always been good, but it’s worth applauding the way Stross has been filling it out as he goes along, giving us more detail on the way things work and the nature of his world without knocking down what came before. I’m not sure he quite topped “The Jennifer Morgue” here, but that’s a pretty high bar to be measured against.
Red Country, Joe Abercrombie. I may be biased, because I just finished this one, but this was great. I want to make Abercrombie required reading for fantasy authors, just for the occasional reminder that the glorious battles can get a little messy. And I love the way he hints at a larger ongoing story without forcing the plots to revolve around it.
Sharps, K.J. Parker. I couldn’t resist adding this one, even though I think it’s not for everyone. Parker is a very odd writer in some ways, and her(?) books have an interesting structure to them, with lots of interlocking parts and very visible central metaphors. At first I felt like she was repeating herself from book to book, but I’ve come to appreciate it as something more like variations on a form, and this one is probably the best one to date.
I’m very bad at this category, because my huge to-read pile keeps me perpetually half a year or so behind the times. I’m constantly checking “When does that book come out, anyway?” only to discover that it’s been out for months, or that I pre-ordered it and it has already arrived. So, my list for 2013 is only those books that are famous enough to have penetrated into my foggy brain, such as:
The Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch
Highprince of War, Brandon Sanderson (Assuming it exists in 2013. But he’s usually pretty punctual!)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Or anything else he cares to write, really.)
The Thousand Names will be out in July in the US and UK (knock on wood) and there’s some information here. My official website for it is still a-building, but you can watch my Twitter for details.
And now (drum rolls, please) I present to you the winners of the first F.I. AUTHOR’S CHOICE AWARDS:
* * * * * * * *
BEST BOOK OF 2012
* * * * * * * *
MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2013
For this award we have an ex-aequo between three books:
* * * * * * * *
Congratulations to the winners. Again, a big thank you for all the participating authors. It was fun doing this post.
A HAPPY 2013, EVERYONE !!!
About DominickHusband, father, author and fantasy-freak
Posted on 29/12/2012, in Books, Miscellaneous, Top 3 and tagged author's choice, Best books of 2012, Best fantasy of 2012, Most anticipated books of 2013, Most anticipated fantasy of 2013. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.