Here are four books I think will be great for 2011.
You can read my teaser for next year on Almanac of forthcoming SF Books
War in Heaven (Veteran book 2) by Gavin G. Smith (Gollancz) July 2011
My review of Veteran.
The high-powered sequel to VETERAN sees an unlikely hero make an even more unlikely return to take the reader back into a vividly rendered bleak future. But a bleak future where there are still wonders: man travelling out into the universe, Bladerunneresque cities hanging from the ceilings of vast caverns, aliens that we can barely comprehend. Gavin Smith writes fast-moving, incredibly violent SF thrillers but behind the violence and the thrills lies a carefully thought out story and characters who have far more to them than first meets the eye. Never one to avoid controversy Gavin Smith nevertheless invites you to think beyond the initial shock of what you have just read. But in the meantime? Another fire-fight, another chase another flight of imagination.
Final Days (Final Days book 1) by Gary Gibson (Tor UK) April 2011
From Tor UK: Final Days by Gary Gibson follows the lives of a few key characters as a cataclysmic event is unleashed in Earth’s near future. This is a twenty-third-century thriller revolving around the slow uncovering of a conspiracy that irrevocably dooms the Earth, set against a backdrop of interstellar colonies. The story takes advantage of current cutting-edge ideas about the creation of artificial wormholes for interstellar travel, and their implications for practicable time travel. Action-packed and fast-paced, this is a thrilling SF adventure and a wonderful start to Gary’s new series.
Bringer of Light (The Hidden Empire book 4) by Jaine Fenn (Gollancz) July 2011
Jarek Reen is trying to save a lost world. He discovered the primitive theocracy of Serenein by accident, and now he wants it to take its place in human-space. To do this he needs a shiftspace beacon – without it, there is no way to find the planet again. The beacons were made by the Sidhe, the race that originally gave humanity access to the stars – and dominated human-space for millennia, before a coalition of human rebels and Sidhe males brought the evil Sidhe females down. Most people think the Sidhe are long dead, but Jarek knows better: a renegade female Sidhe is one of his companions, and a male Sidhe gave her and her lover the special powers that made them Angels, very unusual trained assassins. Jarek’s only hope is to find Aleph, the hidden system where the last Sidhe males are rumoured to live. But even if he can persuade these eccentric, introspective beings to put aside their interminable internal squabbles, he still has to persuade Serenein that joining the rest of humankind.
Sea of Ghosts (Sea of Ghosts book 1) by Alan Campbell (Tor UK) April 2011
I also found a very rough cover on Speculative Horizonts.
Sea of Ghosts is the terrific new novel from Deepgate Codex author Alan Campbell. Set in a world of entropic sorcerers, poisoned seas, the Drowned, drug-addicted dragons, Deadships and a powerful sisterhood of telepaths, and featuring ex-soldier Colonel Thomas Granger, this is an incredible novel of imaginative fantasy with strong characters, non-stop action and tremendous descriptive world-building. I’ve just finished editing it and have had to go back and read it again just for the sheer pleasure of it! We’ve got a terrific jacket design from artist Larry Rostant and this will be a lead fantasy hardback for Tor in 2011.
When the last of the Gravediggers, an elite imperial infiltration unit, are disbanded and hunted down by the emperor they once served, munitions expert Colonel Thomas Granger takes refuge in the unlikeliest of places. He becomes a jailer in Ethugra – a prison city of poison-flooded streets and gaols in which a million enemies of the empire are held captive. But when Granger takes possession of two new prisoners, he realises that he can’t escape his past so readily.
Ianthe is a young girl with an extraordinary psychic talent. A gift that makes her unique in a world held to ransom by the powerful Haurstaf – the sisterhood of telepaths who are all that stand between the Empire and the threat of the Unmer, the powerful civilization of entropic sorcerers and dragon-mounted warriors. In this war-torn land, she promises to make Granger an extremely wealthy man, if he can only keep her safe from harm.
This is what Granger is best at. But when other factions learn about Ianthe’s unique ability, even Granger’s skills of warfare are tested to their limits. While, Ianthe struggles to control the powers that are growing in ways no-one thought were possible. Another threat is surfacing: out there, beyond the bitter seas, an old and familiar enemy is rising – one who, if not stopped, will drown the world and all of humanity with it . .