In the first of this semi-regular series of posts, I’m taking a look at some of the books coming up that I’m most looking forward to. This is a slightly adapted post that originally appeared on my previous site, That Guy Reading, now featuring a recently announced book, as well as some updated dates.
Red Noise, by John P. Murphy (9th June 2020, Angry Robot
Described by the publisher as “Cowboy Bebop meets A Fistful of Dollars.” Well, that’s basically all I needed to hear, I am sold. An asteroid miner looking to sell her cargo gets stuck in the middle of all kinds of trouble between rival gangs and crooked cops, and, if that cover is anything to go by, goes full on hack n’ slash. Author John P. Murphy says on his blog “I read Transmetropolitan and First Blood, watched Cowboy Bebop. I formed some opinions, is what I’m trying to say.” This is very much my kind of book from the sounds of it, with characters who curse like it’s going out of fashion (it isn’t – keep cussing everyone) as the cherry on top. Excellent.
Devolution, by Max Brooks (16th June, Del Rey)
Yes, the author of the phenomenally popular World War Z and The Zombie Survival Handbook is back. This time he’s not focusing on battling the undead though, instead bringing Bigfoot to life. Once again, Brooks blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction, with a massacre in the wake of the eruption of Mount Rainier told through the journal entries of a witness, presumably fingering John Lithgow’s former co-star as the guilty party behind it all. I loved World War Z and The Zombie Survival Handbook, really taking the advice within them to heart, and my repeated suggestion to keep airtight barrels of rice in our loft just in case DOESN’T SEEM SO SILLY NOW, DOES IT DAD? How useful this will be for fending off Bigfoot remains to be seen, but I can’t wait either way.
Mordew, by Alex Pheby (6th August 2020, Galley Beggar Press)
Oh, Microsoft Word, I best teach you not to highlight the word “Mordew” as an error, because I am going to be typing it a lot pretty damn soon. The first in a planned trilogy, Mordew looks to be right up the alley of anyone who likes their fantasy grim and dark – a camp I most assuredly fall into. I mean, the publisher’s description opens with “God is dead, his corpse hidden in the catacombs beneath Mordew.” Fairy tale it ain’t. You can read an extract from Mordew here and will no doubt start to understand just why I’m looking forward to this one so much.
The House of Styx, by Derek Künsken (20th August 2020, Solaris)
Despite never having read either of the books that this is a prequel too, I have been reliably informed (by Mr. Künsken himself) that knowledge of those is not required before diving into this, which is handy! The House of Styx is the first part of a new series which will detail the rise of the Venusian Congregate. This means very little to me, but for fans of The Quantum Garden and The Quantum Magician, perhaps this will fill in some blanks. What drew me to it is the description of large, plant-like trawlers salvaging materials from the atmosphere of Venus, which put me in mind of the Roamers from Kevin J. Anderson’s Hidden Empire. Having heard a ridiculous amount of praise for Künsken’s prior works, I’m excited to get to grips with this one.
The Trials of Koli, by M.R. Carey (15th September 2020, Orbit)
Why, Mr. Carey, with these post-apocalyptic gems you’re really spoiling us! Yes, the second book in the Rampart trilogy is, somewhat incredibly, out in September. The Book of Koli was one of my most anticipated books of this year, and I was not disappointed. Dealing largely with the social climate of a small community in a post-apocalyptic UK, as seen through the eyes of Koli, and written in his unique narrative voice (an English language that has broken free of some of its rules), the first book established the world that Koli lives in. A world where nature has turned on us, completely and utterly, with those few surviving pieces of technology horded and bestowing status upon their wielders. The Trials of Koli will follow him as he ventures further afield. You can read my review of the first book on here to whet your appetite.
Well there we have it! That’s a brief overview of just some of the titles I’m looking forward to over the next few months. What’s everyone else waiting for? Let me know in the comments, I can always do with a bigger TBR!
Satellite photo by Tong Zhou on Unsplash