The watch list

My weekly[-ish] list of speculative fiction novels that I think are worth looking out for. They are mainly – but not always! – new or forthcoming releases.

Sketch-Book-icon The watch list

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Sklyer White

Incrementalists Brust and WhiteThe Incrementalists–a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years.

They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better, just a little bit at a time.

Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste–and argued with her–for most of the last four hundred years.

But now Celeste, recently dead, embittered, and very unstable, has changed the rules–not incrementally, and not for the better.

Now the heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.

As John Scalzi wrote about this book: “Secret societies, immortality, murder mysteries and Las Vegas all in one book? Shut up and take my money.”

A free excerpt is online here: http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/08/the-incrementalists-excerpt

One Crow Alone by S D Crockett

One Crow Alone S D Crockett“They say it’s going to get worse. That it’s not going to end.”

The snow won’t stop falling in this dangerous-new-world prequel to “After The Snow“.The long, bitter winters are getting worse, and a state of emergency has been declared across Europe. In Poland, the villagers are subject to frequent power cuts and fuel shortages.

After the death of her grandmother and the evacuation of her village, fifteen-year-old Magda joins forces with the arrogant, handsome Ivan and smuggles her way onto a truck bound for London – where she hopes to find her mother. But London, when they reach it, is a nightmarish world, far from welcoming. Riots are commonplace and the growing chaos is exploited by criminals and terrorists alike. Magda’s mother is not to be found, and as the lost girl struggles to come to terms with her changing situation, she eventually becomes friends with a rag-tag group of travellers planning a new home and future.

Blood Red Road Moira YoungKnife-of-never-letting-goThey will need all the cunning and know-how they possess as they realise that the frozen wilderness of Britain has become just as lawless as the city.

I enjoyed the first in this series,  After The Snow, even though so many things about it invited comparison with other books that are simply better. Basic concepts, book design and even typography are very similar to Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking trilogy and Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

Thanks to Tor for the free expert: http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/09/one-crow-alone-excerpt

A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon

A thousand perfect things Kay KenyonIn this epic new work, the award-winning Kenyon creates an alternate 19th century with two warring continents on an alternate earth: the scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India).

Emboldened by her grandfather’s final whispered secret of a magical lotus, Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman and aspiring botanist, must journey to Bharata, with its magics, intrigues and ghosts, to claim her fate. There she will face a choice between two suitors and two irreconcilable realms. In a magic-infused world of silver tigers, demon birds and enduring gods, as a great native mutiny sweeps up the continent, Tori will find the thing she most desires, less perfect than she had hoped and stranger than she could have dreamed.

Science v magic–the heart of fantasy!

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