Normally by this point in January I’d have a big list of books I’m waiting for. This year, that list is mostly continuations of series I’m already enjoying, with a few Tor.com novellas thrown in.
The first 2021 release I’ll get to is Seanan McGuire’s Across the Green Grass Fields, which came out on January 12. This is book six in the Wayward Children series, which is about kids who go to fantasy worlds, become heroes, and then end up forced back into the real world. Some of these stories and worlds I have really come to love. Across the Green Grass Fields features a new character and world, with no connection to the overall plot as far as I can tell. This story is about Regan, an intersex girl with a love of horses, finding herself in the Hooflands. Basically magical horseland. I am not a horse person, so I really have no idea what to expect from this book. By the time this post goes live though I will probably have started it, and since it has unicorns, and I need unicorns for my book bingo, I’ll be reviewing it later.
The book I am most looking forward to at the moment is Ada Palmer’s Perhaps the Stars, which comes out on August 5th. This is the long awaited conclusion of Palmer’s Terra Ignota series, the first three books of which (Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders, and The Will to Battle) all came out in 2016 and 2017. I plan to reread the first three books just before Perhaps the Stars comes out so that I marathon the whole series.
The Terra Ignota series is completely unlike anything else I have ever read. It features a utopian future society, dominated by nations without fixed locations called hives. Seeing a utopian future these days is rare enough, but there is just so much to this world; so many details about the technology and the laws and customs of this utopia that make it feel real. But of course, Utopias cannot last forever. Or if they do, we don’t get a book series about them. By the end of book three, all hope of peace is lost, and I have been wanting to read about this war that has been brewing for so long.
The Terra Ignota series is a unique blend of science fiction, fantasy, politics, and discussions on religion, gender, and philosophy. They way they are told is also really fun, with Palmer doing some very interesting things with the whole ‘the story you read was written by the narrator character’ idea. Out of all the modern science fiction and fantasy series I have read since starting this blog, this series is the one I have been most eager to re-read, and I look forward to doing so in July so I am ready for this long awaited conclusion.
Other series the are concluding or continuing in 2021 are:
Arkady Martin’s Teixcalaan series. Martin’s debute, A Memory Called Empire, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2020, and on March 2nd the space opera series continues with A Desolation Called Peace. I do not want to miss this one.
The Adventure Zone graphic novels by the McElroys and Carey Pietsch continue on July 13th, with book 4, The Crystal Kingdom. In the podcast this series is adapting, this is the point of the story where Griffen McElroy really started introducing some huge info on the overall plot, so it’ll be interesting to see how that is translated to graphic novel form.
Murderbot is also back on the 24th of April. After book 4 ended up being a full length novel, the Murderbot diaries resumes the novella format in Fugitive Telemetry. All I really know about this one is that Murderbot gets to solve a murder mystery. I am okay with only knowing that; I’d be buying the next Murderbot no matter what. Especially after the end of Network Effect shook a few things up for Murderbot and it’s world.
The Murderbot Diaries and the Wayward Children series are both published by Tor.com, which is one of my favourite publishers. They do a lot of novella length works, which is really good if you want a series with a lot of shorter entries. They also publish a lot of stories that I feel would be made worse if they had to drag out the word count to fit in with traditional novel publishing. Most of my list for this post were Tor.com novellas that I didn’t really know a lot about, but they had enough hook to make me add them to my To Read Pile.
Remote Control – Nnedi Okorafor. January 19: The adopted daughter of the Angel of Death wanders the world with her fox companion searching for answers.
Fireheart Tiger – Aliette de Bodard. February 9: A romantic fantasy about a princess who was sent away as a hostage to a far away country when she was little. Now she’s home after a mysterious fire burns down that faraway palace.
Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters – Aimee Ogden. February 23: The Little Mermaid IN SPACE
Hard Reboot – Django Wexler. May 25th: Giant Freakin’ Robots. That isn’t my joke either, that is the review quote they put on the cover of the story.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built – Becky Chambers. July 13: Centuries after robots gained sentience and wandered into the woods, a tea monk is visited by a robot who wants to know what people want. This is the start of a new series by the author of the Wayfarers series.
The Past is Red – Catherynn M. Valente. July 20: A girl on a trash island in a flooded future Earth makes a new friend and learns a terrible secret.
There are some other books I plan to check out, but at the moment these are my can’t miss titles. Are there any new releases this year that you are waiting for?