Tag Archives: reading list

The SF Bluestocking 2017 Summer Reading List

It’s that time again, where I list all the things I wish I could be more certain I would have time and energy to read over the coming months. July, August and September are full of exciting new releases, a little light on sci-fi and heavier on fantasy than my recent tastes have been, but exciting nonetheless. Here’s what’s on my radar for the rest of the summer.

Tor.com Publishing

As always, I plan to read most of what Tor.com will be publishing. I always enjoy their novellas, though I will be skipping a couple of novels that are sequels in series I haven’t read yet (unless I somehow manage to read the rest of their respective series). Probably the titles I’m most looking forward to from Tor.com right now are that pair of JY Yang novellas at the end of September, but I’m also really hoping to finally get around to reading Infomocracy so I can read Null States when it comes out. I am bummed that there’s not another Sin du Jour book until November, though.

  • The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray and J.S. Herbison – 7/11
    The concept on this one is a little ho hum, but I’m always down for another short space opera.
  • The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross – 7/11
    I won’t be reading this one because it’s about eight books deep into a series I haven’t read and am not interested in reading back that many books to get into.
  • The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo – 7/25
  • The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy – 8/15
    “…pits utopian anarchists against rogue demon deer” is relevant to all of my interests.
  • Starfire: A Red Peace by Spencer Ellsworth – 8/22
  • A Song for Quiet by Cassandra Khaw – 8/29
  • The Ruin of Angels by Max Gladstone – 9/5 
    I keep trying, anytime I have downtime, to get into the Craft Sequence, but I’ve been unsuccessful so far. I’m not sure if I want to just skip this one or give up on reading the earlier ones and just start here since my understanding is that The Ruin of Angels stands alone just fine.
  • Acadie by Dave Hutchinson – 9/5
  • Taste of Marrow by Sarah Gailey – 9/12
    We seem to be living in an age of sequels surpassing their predecessors, so I have high hopes for this title.
  • The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford – 9/12
  • Null States by Malka Older – 9/19
    will finish Infomocracy in time to read this before release.
  • The Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang – 9/26
  • The Black Tides of Heaven by JY Yang – 9/26

Magazines

  • FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 3, SUNDOWN TOWNS – 7/1
    Every issue of FIYAH is more beautiful than the one before. Just look at this gorgeous cover. I’m not familiar with any of the names on the table of contents for this one, but that only makes it more exciting.
  • Uncanny Magazine #17, July/August 2017
    I’ve already got my hands on Uncanny #17 because I’m a Kickstarter backer, and even though I haven’t dug into it yet, I can already tell it’s going to be a-MAZING. You can see the cover and table of contents at the Uncanny blog.
  • Uncanny Magazine #18, September/October 2017
  • POC Take Over Fantastic Stories
    This is, as far as I know, the final issue ever of Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, guest edited by Nisi Shawl and overflowing with stuff I am looking forward to reading.

Anthologies

2017 has been a year of trying to read more short fiction, and with that in mind I backed several anthologies on Kickstarter in the last year or so that should be coming out in the next couple of months.

  • Evil is a Matter of Perspective: An Anthology of Antagonists edited by Adrian Collins – Currently available.
    I backed this on Kickstarter because it sounded fun. The final product is a little white-dude-heavy, but I’m thinking it will work well for some light-ish reading at some point
  • Hath No Fury edited by Melanie R. Meadors and J.M. Martin – August?
    There’s not a firm release date for this Kickstarted anthology but I’m thinking mid-to-late summer.
  • Strange California edited by Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Blatt – August?
    Another kickstarted anthology with an interesting theme. I’m not from California, but my partner lived in the Bay Area for years and he was pretty interested in this book for that reason. I was excited because I’ve enjoyed stuff Jaym Gates has edited before and Strange California has a promising table of contents.
  • 2084: A Science Fiction Anthology from Unsung Stories – July?
    Another Kickstarted title with a great table of contents, although reading about dystopias gets less appealing all the time these days.
  • Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland – 8/29
    I cannot wait to find out what solarpunk and eco-speculation are all about. And look at that gorgeous cover art by Likhain!

Comics and Graphic Novels

  • Victor LaValle’s Destroyer
    I’ll be buying and reading issues more or less as they are released.
  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – 7/11
    Hands down the trade I’m most excited for this year.
  • Angel Catbird, Volume 3: The Catbird Roars by Margaret Atwood, Johnny Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain – 7/4
    I believe this will wrap up the series.

Books

  • An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner – 7/4
  • At the Table of Wolves by Kay Kenyon – 7/11
  • Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw – 7/18
    I will likely be reading all the novellas and short fiction the Book Smugglers publish this year.
  • The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – 7/18
    I’m not reading much YA these days, but this one sounds good.
  • Sovereign by April Daniels – 7/25
    I really enjoyed Dreadnought earlier this year, but I may have to be in the right mood for this one. I’ve gone off super heroes a bit lately.
  • Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw – 7/25
  • Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter – 8/1
  • The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin – 8/15
    The final book in Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy. Much anticipated.
  • The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente – 9/5
    This is a middle grade novel, which chills my interest in it a tiny bit, but I think I will always read literally everything Catherynne Valente publishes.
  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – 9/5
    I’m always down for retold fairy tales, and this one is getting some excellent early reviews from people I trust.
  • An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King – 9/12
  • Shadowhouse Fall by Daniel José Older 9/12
  • Autonomous by Annalee Newitz – 9/19
  • Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore – 9/19
    I’ve loved Kristin Cashore since I first read Graceling years ago, and it’s been far too long since I’ve gotten to read anything new by her. I’m still holding out hope for more Graceling Realm books, but this will definitely do in the meantime.
  • Provenance by Ann Leckie – 9/26
    New Ann Leckie. In the same universe as her Imperial Radch trilogy. I am stoked.
  • An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard – 9/26
    This might be my favorite book cover of the season.
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – 9/26

The SF Bluestocking Spring Reading List

I try to keep my reading lists realistic, but the next couple of months have a frustratingly uneven distribution of books I’d like to read. For one thing, I’m usually only getting through two books or magazines a week, and there are several weeks coming up that have four to six new releases that I’m looking forward to. While having access to advance copies lets me get a head start on things, the truth is that there’s just (always, natch) far more great fiction being produced and published than I’m physically capable of reading and writing about. So this is really more of a wishlist of all the fiction coming out in April, May and June that I would read if I could.

Tor.com Publishing

I generally make an effort to read all of Tor.com’s novellas because they’re inexpensive and the variety encourages me to read things I might not normally give a chance to. I’ve also really fallen in love with the novella length; it’s long enough to feel like a book, but short enough to make for quick reading. Here’s what they’ve got coming out over the next three months.

  • Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys (4/4)
    This is actually a short novel, and I’m sadly thinking of skipping it in spite of having been sitting on an eARC of it for months. While it’s been well-reviewed, it’s yet another Lovecraftian book, and, frankly, I’m just Lovecraft-ed out right now.
  • Proof of Concept by Gwyneth Jones (4/11)
  • Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus (4/25)
    I’m still slowly making my way through Broaddus’s recent short story collection, Voices of Martyrs, but I’m really looking forward to this title.
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells (5/2)
  • Killing Gravity by Corey J. White (5/9)
  • Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace (5/16)
    On the one hand, I’m thrilled about a new Sin du Jour book. On the other hand, I’m already sad that there’s only two more coming after this one.
  • River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey (5/23)
    This book had me at “bloodthirsty feral hippos” and “mercenary cowboys.”
  • Lightning in the Blood by Marie Brennan (5/30)
    A sequel to last year’s Cold-Forged Flame.
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire (6/13)
    A prequel companion to last year’s Every Heart a Doorway.
  • Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones (6/20)

Magazines

  • FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue Two, Sipping Tea (4/1)
    I loved the first issue of FIYAH, and I have every expectation that their second issue will be excellent as well.
  • Uncanny Magazine #16 (May/June 2017)
  • Lightspeed Magazine #82, #83, #84
    My free three month subscription runs out in May, and I still haven’t gotten around to reading the March issue, just for time-constraint reasons. It’s a great magazine, and I’m hoping to get around to it, but there’s just so much else out there that I want to read.
  • Fireside Fiction
    I highly recommend supporting Fireside on Patreon so you, too, can get a convenient digital format of what they publish each month.

Comics and Graphic Novels

I had a couple of things on my winter reading list that would have been nice to read but that I never got around to. However, these are must-reads.

  • Ladycastle #2 (3/29)
  • Saga, Volume 7 (4/4)
  • Bitch Planet, Volume 2: President Bitch (5/31)
    The publication date on this has moved several times, so I may just end up grabbing the single issues.
  • Monstress, Volume 2: The Blood (6/6)

Books

  • She-Wolf and Cub by Lilith Saintcrow (3/28)
    My current read.
  • The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard (4/4)
  • Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (4/4)
    I feel like Mark Lawrence’s work before now has been exactly the sort of thing I like to avoid, but this new series has a girl protagonist who has been compared to Arya Stark. That still puts it in the category of things I like to avoid, but Lawrence is a popular author and YOLO, so I’m thinking of trying this one out just in case I’m not going to hate it.
  • Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (4/11)
  • So You Want to Be a Robot and Other Stories by A. Merc Rustad (May)
    I just discovered Rustad’s work last year, and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite short fiction writers, so I’m super excited for this release. You can pre-order it from Lethe Press now.
  • Final Girls by Seanan McGuire
  • A Tyranny of Queens by Foz Meadows (5/2)
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (5/2)
  • Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages (5/2)
    Klages’ Tor.com novella, Passing Strange, was wonderful, so I’m looking forward to checking out more of her short fiction.
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (5/2)
    I don’t read nearly as much non-fiction as I ought or as I’d like, but I’m pretty excited about this book.
  • The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis (5/9)
  • Behind the Mask: A Superhero Anthology edited by Tricia Reeks and Kyle Richardson (5/16)
  • The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente (6/6)
    I would read a phone book if Catherynne M. Valente wrote it.
  • Raven Strategem by Yoon Ha Lee (6/13)
    Sequel to last year’s excellent Ninefox Gambit.
  • The Changeling by Victor LaValle (6/13)
  • The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett (6/13)
  • The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden (6/13)
    One of my most anticipated debuts of the year.
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss (6/20)
  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates (6/27)
  • Amatka by Karin Tidbeck (6/27)

The SF Bluestocking 2017 Winter Reading List

I know it’s a little bit past the actual beginning of winter, but I think from now on I’m just going to break these seasonal reading lists up into more or less three month time periods and name them for the closest corresponding season. It’s just not practical to try and do a full year’s worth of books that I’m excited about, even in January, especially when there are plenty of still-to-be-announced releases for later in the year that I don’t even know about yet. So, this list will get you (and me) through March.

Magazines
I’m starting this year off with magazine subscriptions for the first time in many years. (Like, now that I think about it, I think the last time I regularly read any magazine was Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine back in the early ’90s. Yikes.) Here’s what I’m definitely reading (and recommending, natch) in the first few months of 2017:

Tor.com Novellas and Short(-ish) Novels
I plan to continue reading all of these as they are published (or as ARCs if I am lucky and they show up on NetGalley). I know I’ve been full of praise for the last couple of years for Tor.com’s novellas, but I still basically love them. The novella length (and price!) is great for quick reading, and Tor.com publishes a great variety of new and established authors in a good mix of subgenres that offers plenty that I like and enough stuff outside my usual comfort zone to keep things interesting and challenging. After 2016, there are a couple of authors that I will be avoiding in the future because I just don’t care for their books at all, but other than that I expect to keep on reading these faithfully. The first quarter of 2017 has quite a lot to be excited for.

  • Dusk or Dawn or Dark or Day by Seanan McGuire – January 10
  • Sin du Jour: The First Course by Matt Wallace – January 10 (Contains books 1-3 of the series. I probably won’t be rereading it, but if you haven’t read it at least once, you should.)
  • The Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermott – January 17
  • Passing Strange by Ellen Klages – January 24
  • Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – January 31
  • Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace – February 7
  • An Impossible War by Andy Remic – February 14 (This is one I’ll be skipping, but it’s surely a better fit for someone.)
  • Cold Counsel by Chris Sharp – February 21
  • Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan – February 28
  • Standard Hollywood Depravity by Adam Christopher – March 7
  • Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman – March 14
  • Chalk by Paul Cornell – March 21

2017-winter-tor

Everything Else
Everything else obviously is the majority of what I’ve got on my TBR list. There are a handful of things here that I’m not 100% sure about, but in order to hit my Goodreads challenge numbers I’ll have to get through most of these. I hope I can, because there’s a ton of great stuff coming out over the next couple of months.

  • Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – January 3
  • Windwitch by Susan Dennard – January 10
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden – January 10
  • Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings (Illustrator), Damian Duffy (Adapted by) – January 10
  • Dreadnought by April Daniels – January 24
  • Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty – January 31
  • Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer – January 31
  • Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly – February 7
  • The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley – February 7
  • Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey – February 14
  • Angel Catbird Volume 2: To Castle Catula by Margaret Atwood and Johnny Christmas – February 14
  • Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer – February 21
  • Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells – March 7
  • The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin – March 14

2017-winter-novels

What to Read and Watch While Leaves Are Falling

Sure, I already published a fall reading list that should keep me very busy until 2017, but this is my favorite time of year. I just had a birthday (Thirty-four, eek!), the leaves are changing, the nights are getting slightly chilly (at least here in southwest Ohio), and I’m in the mood for comfort reading and watching some fall favorites. For me, that mostly means witches, obviously, though there are a few other things on here that are just more generally fall-feeling.

What are you reading and watching as the weather changes?

Stories to Pair With Pumpkin Spice Everything (Don’t Judge Me):

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell
I read this little gem when it came out last September, and I fell in love with it. It’s a nice, seasonally appropriate read, and Cornell has a sequel–the more wintry The Lost Child of Lychford–coming out November 1 from Tor.com. If you haven’t read Witches, now is a perfect time to enjoy it. If you have read it, it’s a perfect time to refamiliarize yourself with it ahead of its sequel.

Of Sorrow and Such by Angela Slatter
This is another of the 2015 Tor.com novellas; it’s another witch story; and it’s another great read. While you’re at it, check out her recent short story at Tor.com, “Finnegan’s Field,” which is a good, creepy changeling tale. I haven’t gotten around to reading Slatter’s couple of short story collections, yet, but her 2016 novel, Vigil, is definitely on my to-read list.

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
This is a book that I also read last September and really wished that I’d saved it for another month or so. It’s dark and funny and just a little scary, a great book if you’re like me and don’t usually like straight up horror but still want to get into the spirit of Halloween.

Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy World by Jonathan Barnes, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Emma Newman, Kate Heartfield, and Foz Meadows
It’s still the year of the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and this collection of novellas is a perfect way to celebrate. Foz Meadows’ Coral Bones is probably my favorite, and it can be read alone, but I enjoyed reading all five tales together. Highly recommended for reading outdoors with a cup of tea on a crisp fall evening.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
Hogarth has been celebrating Shakespeare differently–by having well-known authors re-envision the Bard’s plays in novel form. Obviously, you should read everything by Margaret Atwood, always, but her retelling of The Tempest is a really exceptional examination of its themes of prison, grief, vengeance, and the transformative value of literature.

Nightmare Magazine‘s Destroy Horror! Special Issues
This year we’ve got People of Colo(u)r Destroy Horror! which is well worth checking out. If you only read one story in the issue, make sure it’s Terence Taylor’s “Wet Pain.” It’s also not too late to pick up last year’s Queers Destroy Horror! and 2014’s Women Destroy Horror! This project just gets better and better, you guys.

The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe
This book is brand new (literally–it’s got a 10/18 pub date), but it might be my most anticipated anthology of the year. It’s got an absolutely to-die-for table of contents–with stories by ton of my favorite authors–and a gorgeous cover. I almost never get hardcover books unless I find them at the used bookstore, but this one is a must-have for my shelf.

The Lady and Her Monsters: A Tale of Dissections, Real-Life Dr. Frankensteins, and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s Masterpiece by Roseanne Montillo
Sometimes, reality is even better than fiction, and this 2013 examination of the genesis of Frankenstein is well-researched and highly readable. Even if you haven’t read the novel, The Lady and Her Monsters offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of Mary Shelley and how she came to write a classic of horrific science fiction.

Films and Television to Watch While Curled Up Under a Blanket:

Practical Magic (1998)
I cannot go a single October without watching Practical Magic at least once. I just watched it the other night with my thirteen-year-old daughter (her first time), and was struck again by how much I love it. It’s by no means a very good movie–there’s nothing like a critical watching of it to make one aware of every absurdity and plot hole–but I will always want to watch movies about women saving each other.

Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus is a Halloween classic that I’ve been watching for over twenty years now, and I can’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

Sleepy Hollow (1999), The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Corpse Bride (2005)
This trio of Tim Burton flicks are seasonal must-watches.

Ghostbusters (2016)
loved the new Ghostbusters, and I cannot wait to rewatch it in the lead-up to Halloween. I remember enjoying the original movies as a kid, but this reboot is more fun that those ever were.

Ash vs. Evil Dead (2015-now)
This show is definitely a problematic fave, but if you like artfully splattered gore, Bruce Campbell, and Lucy Lawless, Ash vs. Evil Dead is a ton of fun.

Lost Girl (2010-2016)
This show is basically Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s more diverse, sexier, more Canadian descendant. It definitely starts to fall apart a bit in later seasons, but the first three or four seasons are pretty solid.

Gilmore Girls (2000-2007, 2016)
With a Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls coming out on Thanksgiving, now is the perfect time to binge watch the show in preparation.

The SF Bluestocking Fall Reading List

I didn’t make it through my entire Summer Reading List, though I did better than I thought I would and even ended up reading a few things (albeit mostly comics) that weren’t on there. There’s not as much coming out over the next few months that I’m excited about, but I figure that just means more time to read some of what I missed this summer. Here’s what I have on my list:

fall2016tornovellsTor.com Novellas
I always read all of these when they come out, and I cannot recommend them enough. I love that they’re such a variety of stories, which helps me to read outside my normal genres and preferences pretty regularly (it’s good to try new things!), and the $2.99 price tag means I can buy one almost every week without breaking the bank. The only one slated to come out this fall that I may skip is Andy Remic’s The Iron Beast. I’ve read the first two books in that series and haven’t enjoyed either of them, so I think I could spend my time better elsewhere.

  • Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan – September 13
  • The Warren by Brian Evenson – September 20
  • Impersonations by Walter Jon Williams – October 4
  • Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw – October 11
  • Everything Belongs to the Future by Laurie Penny – October 18
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson – October 25
  • The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell – November 1
  • The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler – November 1
  • The Iron Beast by Andy Remic – November 8, if you’re interested.

fall2016magsMagazines
I backed the Kickstarter earlier this year for Lightspeed‘s POC Destroy SF project, and POC Destroy Horror and POC Destroy Fantasy will be coming out in October and December, respectively. I also backed Uncanny Magazine‘s Year Three, and I’m looking forward to that in addition to a couple of issues I haven’t gotten around to yet from Year Two. I also bought a subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction because it’s been on sale for $5, so I will surely be reading some issues of that as well.

Must-Read (Fiction) Books

  • Everfair by Nisi Shawl (already finished, actually)
  • The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (halfway through)
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu
  • Cloudbound by Fran Wilde
  • Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu
  • Goldenhand by Garth Nix
  • Infomocracy by Malka Older

fall2016books

Nice-to-Read-If-I-Have-Time (Fiction) Books

  • Borderline by Mishell Baker
  • Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
  • Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  • Black Wolves by Kate Elliot
  • Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older
  • Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel José Older
  • Prudence by Gail Carriger
  • Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee
  • Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

fall2016books2

Nonfiction That I Have No Idea How I’m Going to Fit in But That I Really Want to Read Before the End of the Year

  • How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ
  • Speculative Blackness: The Future of Race in Science Fiction by André M. Carrington
  • Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction edited by Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson
  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
  • Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

What are you reading this fall? Is there anything I’ve missed that I simply must check out?

The SF Bluestocking 2015 Summer Reading List

I feel like breaking my foot in May derailed everything I’d planned for the summer, and I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump ever since that wasn’t helped by dealing with Game of Thrones and a nice bout of straight up depression that has left me just constantly exhausted. However, I think that’s mostly over now. The cast should be coming off my foot soon, I’m mostly recovered from Game of Thrones, and I’m ready to get back to some of what I had planned to accomplish.

This is still a slightly tentative list that might change order or expand if I get through things faster than expected, but here’s what I’ve got in my queue right now.

Annihilation_by_jeff_vandermeerAnnihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
I finished this one today, so it’s not technically “in the queue” I suppose. A proper review will be incoming in the next day or two. Annihilation won the Nebula for Best Novel a few weeks ago, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you follow awards. I’m not sure exactly what I expected when I sat down to read it, but it’s definitely something special.

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
I just got approved for an ARC of The Heart Goes Last from NetGalley, and I’m super stoked about it. I love Margaret Atwood with a deep and abiding passion, but I never did get around to reading her Positron shorts on Byliner before it went bust. This is apparently those, but rewritten and with more. However, I’ve got til its release date (Sept 29) to read and review it, so I’m not in a huge rush. I figure it will end up filling in sometime this summer when I’m in between other things.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tabir
I’ve mostly gotten away from reading much YA stuff, but this book has gotten a good deal of positive buzz. It’s apparently a standalone novel, although I see that there is a sequel in the works. I’m hoping to burn through it in a day or two so I can move along to some of the more exciting new releases that are coming up.

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton
Jo Walton’s The Just City was one of the first books I read this year, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating its sequel since January. It comes out tomorrow, but I probably won’t reasonably get started on it until the weekend. Apparently there is also a third book planned in this series, which has me all aflutter, even though there’s no cover or release date for it yet.

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
This is the second of the very few YA works I intend to read this year, and it’s another book that has been getting a ton of advance praise. Urban fantasy isn’t my usual thing, and I’m a little skeptical of anything that is being so heavily compared to Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments, but I try not to put too much stock in that sort of thing. Promising Caribbean magic in Brooklyn and with an absolutely gorgeous cover, there’s basically no way that I ever wasn’t going to read this book. It comes out tomorrow along with The Philosopher Kings, which means I have a tough decision to make about which to read first.

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I had a hell of a time dealing with the ridiculous name of the heroine (“Kelsea”) in The Queen of the Tearling, but I ended up rather liking the book in the end. I won’t say I’m particularly excited to dive back into this series, but I have a hard time leaving any series unfinished. I figure this will also be a nice, easy read in between some of the more difficult stuff on this list.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Station Eleven won the Arthur C. Clarke and was a 2014 National Book Award finalist. It also comes highly recommended by George R.R. Martin. It’s got a ridiculously long description on Goodreads, which would normally make me think that it’s either going to be big and beautiful and complex or an overambitious mess. With its awards nominations and general critical success, though, my expectation is very much that it will be the former.

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
Speaking of Arthur C. Clarke, I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. As part of my general wanting to become more well read in the genre, I’ve begun sort of slowly working through the SF and Fantasy Masterworks collections. While my progress in this has really been very slow, Childhood’s End became a priority when SyFy announced their miniseries adaptation of it. While there’s no air date yet for the show, I want to be sure to finish the book before then, so I can’t put it off too much longer.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
I’ve been putting off reading this series for years, mostly because I, frankly, haven’t been that excited about it in spite of all the attention it’s gotten. It just sounds like a hipper, edgier Harry Potter for adults. I’m a little old to have ever really gotten into the Harry Potter phenomenon, so that’s always been more unappealing than otherwise to me. However, this is another book that’s being adapted for television (SyFy again!), and the first trailer looks pretty good.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
I liked Never Let Me Go quite a bit, and I find it fascinating when more mainstream literary authors dabble in genre fiction. As a longtime fan of Arthuriana, I’m also very interested in the post-Arthurian premise for the story.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I read this self-published gem earlier this year already, but I loved it so much that I’d like to reread it and give it a proper review in time for the hardcover release of it on August 13. I still can’t decide if I love or hate the new cover, though. It’s very pretty, but it looks so serious for a book that is actually quite funny. I really think I prefer the sort of pulpy charm of the original’s spaceship illustration, but the book is so great that I’m mostly just happy to see it getting a bigger release.

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán
This book has a knight riding a dinosaur on the cover, and it’s a medieval fantasy based on 14th century Europe. It’s a book by a man who is known for writing libertarian science fiction, which would normally be a huge turn off for me. However, there is no universe in which I’m not going to always read a medieval fantasy called The Dinosaur Lords with a dinosaur-riding knight on the cover, because that is rad as hell. If you agree about the total radness of this cover and the book’s premise, it comes out on July 28.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book forever, even though it’s probably only been a year. N.K. Jemisin has been one of my favorite authors since I first read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and I can’t wait to see what she’s got for us this time around. Just judging from the book description, it sounds pretty epic. The Fifth Season hits shelves on August 4.

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
I really liked The Three-Body Problem, so of course I will be reading the second book in the trilogy. I don’t read much translated fiction, and The Dark Forest has a different translator than the first book did so I’m curious to see how much difference that makes. I’m also looking forward to the promise of more action in The Dark Forest as that’s basically the one thing The Three-Body Problem could be said to lack. The Dark Forest will be available on August 11.

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
I think I read something that Aliette de Bodard wrote a couple of years ago, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. So I was thrilled to rediscover her this year when I read her fantastic On a Red Station Drifting. I followed that up with her Obsidian and Blood trilogy, a sort of noir detective story in 16th century Mexica, which was a ton of fun and a really refreshingly original setting. I’m very excited about The House of Shattered Wings, which will  be released on August 20.