I just wanted to correct the dates I had earlier for the third Sword of Shadows book by J.V. Jones. She recently said on her journal that A Sword from Red Ice will be out in both the U.S. and the UK this October.

I realized that when I made the list of forthcoming books the other day, I forgot about a couple of books that are out in Canada and the UK that I’ve really been looking forward to seeing here in the U.S. since I’ve heard good things about both. It still makes me wish I were British sometimes – they even got Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb first when it came out and she’s an American author.

Winterbirth, #1 The Godless World by Brian Ruckley

Amazon US (available September 10)
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

The Blade Itself, #1 The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

Amazon US (available September 30 – although some copies are available through other sellers now)
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Here are some fantasy/scifi books that are fairly new or forthcoming this year. This is based only on what I’ve seen available on Amazon since I have no special insider knowledge about what is coming out, but Amazon is usually fairly reliable. Looking at this list makes me wish I were British, they get all the good books first!

New Books

Midnight Tides, #5 Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Note: This is new to the U.S. only, since we get these books later than everyone else. I’m hoping we’ll be caught up soon, though, since I noticed we’re getting the 6th book The Bonehunters in September of this year.

Flesh and Spirit, #1 The Lighthouse Duet by Carol Berg

Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Brasyl by Ian McDonald

Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Reaper’s Gale, #7 Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson

Amazon Canada (available June 26)
Amazon UK


Night of Knives: A Novel of the Malazan Empire by Ian Cameron Esslemont

Amazon Canada (available July 24)
Amazon UK (available June 4)

Black Man/Thirteen (U.S. title) by Richard Morgan

Amazon US (available June 26)
Amazon Canada (available July 1)
Amazon UK (available July 21)

Red Seas Under Red Skies, #2 Gentleman Bastards by Scott Lynch

Amazon US (available July 31)
Amazon Canada (available August 1)
Amazon UK (available June 21)

The Hanging Mountains, #3 Book of the Cataclysm by Sean Williams

Amazon US (available June 5, although seems to be in stock)
Amazon Canada (available July 10)
Amazon UK
(available June 5, although seems to be in stock)

Renegade’s Magic, #2 Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb

Amazon UK (available July 2)

Kushiel’s Justice, #5 Kushiel’s Legacy by Jacqueline Carey

Amazon US (available June 14)
Amazon Canada (available June 14)
Amazon UK (available June 14)

The Well of Ascension, #2 Mistborn by Brian Sanderson

Amazon US (available August 21)
Amazon Canada (available August 21)
Amazon UK (available August 21)

The Dreaming Void, #1 Void trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton

Amazon US (available March 25, 2008)
Amazon Canada (available August 3)
Amazon UK (available August 3)

Spook Country by William Gibson

Amazon US (available August 7)
Amazon Canada (available August 7)
Amazon UK (available August 2)

Making Money, Discworld by Terry Pratchett

Amazon US (available October 1)
Amazon Canada (available October 2)
Amazon UK (available September 24)

Empire of Ivory, #4 Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Amazon US
(available September 25)
Amazon Canada (available September 25)
Amazon UK (available November 25)

A Sword from Red Ice, #3 Sword of Shadows by J.V. Jones

Amazon UK (available October)

The Bonehunters, #6 Malazan Book of the Fallen

Amazon US (available September 18)
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

Scarlet, #2 King Raven trilogy by Stephen Lawhead

Amazon US (available September 4)
Amazon Canada (available September 4)
Amazon UK (available August 23)

Confessor, Chainfire Trilogy Part 3, #11 Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

Amazon US (available November 13)
Amazon Canada (available November 13)
Amazon UK (available November 19)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, #7 Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Amazon US (available July 21)
Amazon Canada (available July 21)
Amazon UK (available July 21)


Going Postal, one of the newer Discworld books by Terry Pratchett (the newest with the exception of Thud!), stars a new character by the (real) name of Moist von Lipwig. Moist, a con artist whose description reminded me a lot of Locke Lamora, is on death row under his assumed name of Alfred Spangler. To his surprise, Moist finds himself in Patrician Vetinari’s office instead of in Death’s domain after his hanging. Vetinari gives him a choice: he can either die or he can run Ankh-Morpork’s Post Office.

So Moist becomes the Postmaster, and he changes to the Post Office for the better with the invention of stamps. He finds himself in competition with the head of Ankh-Morporks clacks system, which is reminiscent of the modern email system – generally faster and better but also more technical and down for maintenance a lot.

As is the case with a lot of the newer Discworld books, Going Postal is more serious – which isn’t to say it’s completely serious but it’s a lot less zany than some of the older books. There has been a definite change of tone in the books, starting around Night Watch. Pratchett seems to be moving away from some of the older characters like Rincewind and the witches and focusing more on introducing newer characters and writing about the City Watch. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since the City Watch includes some of the better characters and the witches and Rincewind were not as interesting (although there are certain books about them that were quite good). I do miss some of the zaniness that I remember from older books such as Guards! Guards!, however.

Despite it’s somewhat more serious tone, Going Postal is still a very enjoyable book which introduces a very fun new character with Moist von Lipwig (who I hear Pratchett is going to use in his next book, Making Money, which comes out this fall).


I have a long weekend so hopefully I’ll be able to get some reading done and get some more posts up here. I’m currently reading Going Postal by Pratchett. Not sure what I’ll read after that, although I’m considering reading Patrick Rothfuss’s debut The Name of the Wind.

In the meantime, I wanted to add some books I wouldn’t recommend. A lot of people would probably disagree with some of these, but these are books I didn’t find worth reading. They’re not even horrible books (thank you Amazon for helping me to steer clear of a lot of crap) – just ones that I’d skip because there’s a lot of better stuff out there.

Deborah Chester’s The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice trilogy

The first book was extremely boring and I didn’t think I’d pick up the next one and then the very end was interesting enough to make me decide to finish the trilogy (particularly since I’m cursed with the need to know what happens once I start a series – along with the curse that makes me almost always finish a book once I start it no matter how much I’m not enjoying it). It did pick up after the first book, but it was still just ok. I also found it annoying that she had this almost elvish race – they seem like elves, the name is almost elf (eldin), just call them elves already since that’s obviously what they are.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time

Yeah, I know. These are much loved by many, and I have read all the books currently out other than the prequel, which is sitting on one of my bookshelves along with the rest of the series. They aren’t bad books, and they can be entertaining, and I can even see why a lot of people love them… but I don’t think they’re good enough to be worth the time it takes to slog through them. There’s too much detail and toward the end they get slow, and some of the characters are really annoying. Jordan does not write women very well at all. They’re all too bitchy too constantly. And I really didn’t find it to be particularly original – he mixed in a lot of mythology, which I generally like, but he wasn’t subtle enough about it for my taste but instead hits the reader over the head with very obvious comparisons. I didn’t start reading these until there were 10 books already, so I may have just gotten into fantasy too late to see the magic in them – especially since I had already read series like A Song of Ice and Fire, Robin Hobb’s Assassins/Liveship Traders/Tawny Man books, and Lord of the Rings. As I said, I did read through these, and I enjoyed some of them, but I’m not so sure they’re worth the trouble of reading, and the more books I read, the more I’m finding there’s a whole lot I like a lot better than this series.

That’s all I can think of at the moment that I’ve read in its entirety that I really wouldn’t recommend (in the speculative fiction category anyway). Then there are the books I haven’t read completely that I wouldn’t recommend based on what I have read.

If you didn’t already want to throw things at me for including Wheel of Time, you might for this one…

Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash

I heard so much about this book from so many people that I expected it to be spectacular. One of these people let me borrow the book, and I just couldn’t get into it at all. It may just be that it was so hyped for so long that there was no way it could live up to my expectations, but I found it really boring. My friend wanted her book back so she could lend it to another friend, and it was taking me forever to read it, so I gave it back to her before I could finish it and haven’t been inspired to pick it up again since then. I feel like I should give Stephenson another chance, maybe with another book, since I’ve heard a lot of good things about him. Maybe someday.

Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series

I have not read a single book in this series, so it may not be completely fair of me to put this on the anti-recommendation list. However, I have read excerpts from various books in the series and descriptions of the plot and it just looks really bad. The samples of writing I’ve seen includes things I remember being told to avoid when learning about writing in elementary school. It may be fun to read for the entertainment value (in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way), if you don’t mind reading a bunch of doorstopper books to get to that point. I have Wizard’s First Rule from when I didn’t know much about what was out there for fantasy (then I heard things that put it on the bottom of my list of reading priorities) and considered reading it for the pure entertainment value and read the first page or so. Then I decided I didn’t want to go through hundreds of pages of drivel just for a few entertaining moments. I have attempted to read through some of the main character’s speeches I’ve come across and I couldn’t do it. Way too long and dull. Maybe I’ll give it a try if I run out of books to read, but that will never happen.

Then there are the books I refuse to read based on the awful things I have heard about them:

The Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon (From what I hear, the main character Rhapsody is the worst Mary Sue character ever)

The Inheritance series by Christopher Paolini (supposed to be cliched)

Chronicles of Blood and Stone by Robert Newcomb (supposed to be generally horrible)

I just saw a trailer for this movie (based on the first book in the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman) and it looks really good!

Golden Compass Movie Trailer

It’s supposed to be coming to theaters on December 7th of this year. I’ve had the books for a couple of years but haven’t read them yet – I’d better read them fairly soon.