Sunday, May 16, 2010

Books Anticipated

Just a list I thought to share, of novels that will hopefully see the light before too long. Each remains an object of desire on my part.

A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin, the next (and theoretically next-to-last) novel in A Song of Ice and Fire, a fascinating epic among fantasy epics. Really. For one thing Martin is something of an expert on the real Middle Ages instead of the silly stuff you see in flicks like Willow or Camelot. Some inspirations include the Wars of the Roses as well as I, Claudius and Ivanhoe. I often dislike novels with more than one POV character, usually because the author rarely manages to maintain different voices. Martin pulls it off with aplomb, in the process trashing some cliches. A woman knight? Okay, but don't expect her to be beautiful a la Xena or some such. Likewise just because some politicos are masters of the scheme and the lie, it doesn't mean all have that style.

Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson, next in The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Experience tells me most readers love or hate Thomas Covenant--the Anti-Frodo in some ways. He's not cute. His flaws are not small. The wisdom he's learned is dark, hard-won and often disturbing. Likewise his world, or the world to which he was transported against his will, manages to be anything but simple or straightforward. In these last chronicles, more is afoot than merely the schemes of Lord Foul (the dark lord who makes Sauron look like a truant bully). As of the most recent novel, it would appear the destruction of the world has actually begun. Or has it? I cannot wait to find out! Well, yes I can but I don't want to...

CryoBurn by Lois McMaster Bujold, the first new book in The Vorkosigan Saga in a long, long time. Miles Vorkosigan is a great character--a space age Lord Peter Whimsy, born deformed in a warrior culture that loathes mutation, yet the fierce defender/servant of the world that seems intent on killing its most unlikely knight. Does he sound a tad insane? He is, but in a glorious way that makes fantastic reading. Mind you, I'm also a tad afraid because Bujold made clear some time ago what the next logical event in Miles' life would be--and I no more looking forward to that than he is (or Bujold herself).

A Method for Madness by David Gerrold, the next book in The War Against the Chtorr. Scheduled for July 2011, eighteen years since the last book in the series! Arrrgggghhhhh! Cannot tell you how much frustration Gerrold has inflicted, not only upon me but countless others! Notice how I don't even have a cover for this book? Why? Because it is too far in the future! And I cannot even be sure this isn't some elaborate practical joke on the part of the author, just a sadistic bit of teasing for those who long so to learn what else awaits the remnants of humanity following the Chtorr invasion...!

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