Culling this list was quite difficult compared to the anthology edition and the Fantasy list. For the purposes of this list I've put any Zombie related titles under Urban Fantasy. Be forewarned spoilers do exist in these descriptions if it is a long running series. Everything is listed in publication order by category.
Urban Fantasy is definitely top-loaded for the first few months of 2010 with many major releases for long-established series with a new Dresden Files and Nightside. We've got some big guns with Mieville checking in with Kraken, which is a standalone. Amelia Beamer's debut The Loving Dead sounds like a great twist on zombies. One theme I noticed was very few Sci-Fi books piqued my interest that weren't from either small houses such a Powell's Silversands and Jason Stoddard's Winning Mars or those that only have a UK publication scheduled as with Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. In the Steampunk area we've got Lavie Tidhar's debut novel The Bookman, which is also the start of a trilogy. George Mann is treating us to two helpings of his Steampunk world with Ghosts of Manhattan and The Osiris Ritual while we should see the next two volumes of Gail Carriger's series this year as well. All in all this should be a jam-packed year and this only comprises releases up to September for the most part.
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (Nightside 10) by Simon R. Green
Release Date: January 5 | Publisher: Ace
Things were going so well for P.I. John Taylor, that it was only a matter of time before everything hit the fan. Walker, the powerful, ever-present, never to-be-trusted agent who runs the Nightside on behalf of The Authorities, is dying. And he wants John to be his successor-a job that comes with more baggage, and more enemies, than anyone can possibly imagine.
Seek the Light! Embrace the Heartland! Markham returns to Paris where he lost his love - and nearly his life! The ancient order of manipulative magicians that once cast him out is now in turmoil... a turmoil made all the greater by the swaths of destruction that Markham tried to avert in the Pacific Northwest. Teamed with an unlikely partner, Markham seeks to overturn the corrupt remains of an order no longer able to police its own practitioners. Yet, he can't escape the feeling that he's still just a pawn in a larger game. The second novel of the Codex of Souls further explores the strange occult world first introduced in Lightbreaker. Mark Teppo's vision of a magical underworld is a non-stop adventure that continues to bring new light to the occult origins of our history.
Where Angels Fear to Tread (Remy Chandler 3) by Thomas E.Sniegoski
Release Date: March 2 | Publisher: Roc
Six year-old Zoe York has been taken and her mother has come to Remy for help. She shows him crude, childlike drawings that she claims are Zoe's visions of the future, everything leading up to her abduction, and some beyond. Like the picture of a man with wings who would come and save her-a man who is an angel.
Zoe's preternatural gifts have made her a target for those who wish to exploit her power to their own destructive ends. The search will take Remy to dark places he would rather avoid. But to save an innocent, Remy will ally himself with a variety of lesser evils-and his soul may pay the price...
Release Date: April 6 | Publisher: Roc
Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.
Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...
He's fighting to save his child.
Release Date: June 29 | Publisher: Del Rey
Kraken is a standalone with a very Lovecraftian twist. Deep in the research wing of the Natural History Museum is a prize specimen, something that comes along much less often than once in a lifetime: a perfect, and perfectly preserved, giant squid. But what does it mean when the creature suddenly and impossibly disappears?
For curator Billy Harrow it's the start of a headlong pitch into a London of warring cults, surreal magic, apostates and assassins. It might just be that the creature he's been preserving is more than a biological rarity: there are those who are sure it's a god.
A god that someone is hoping will end the world.
Sedia is always mixing things up from book to book and this description is no different.
Vimbai moves into a dilapidated house in the dunes, trying to escape her embarrassing immigrant mother, and discovers that one of her new roommates has a pocket universe instead of hair, there is a psychic energy baby living in the telephone wires, and her dead Zimbabwean grandmother is now doing dishes in the kitchen. When the house gets lost at sea and creatures of African urban legends all but take it over, Vimbai has to turn to horseshoe crabs in the ocean, to ask for their help in getting home to New Jersey.
Release Date: July | Publisher Tor
When Evie Walker goes home to spend time with her dying father, she discovers that his creaky old house in Hope’s Fort, Colorado, is not the only legacy she stands to inherit. Hidden behind the old basement door is a secret and magical storeroom, a place where wondrous treasures from myth and legend are kept safe until they are needed again.
The magic of the storeroom prevents access to any who are not intended to use the items. But just because it has never been done does not mean it cannot be done. And there are certainly those who will give anything to find a way in. Evie must guard the storeroom against ancient and malicious forces, protecting the past and the future even as the present unravels around them. Old heroes and notorious villains alike will rise to fight on her side or to undermine her most desperate gambits. At stake is the fate of the world, and the prevention of nothing less than the apocalypse.
Release Date: July 15 | Publisher: Night Shade Books
Girls! Zombies! Zeppelins!
Locus Editor Beamer's debut has been pitched as if Shaun of the Dead and Garden State had a love child living in San Francisco, you'd have this sexy novel, set at the outbreak of a zombie plague.
Kate and Michael are roommates living in the Oakland hills, working at the same Trader Joes supermarket. A night of drunken revelry changes their lives forever, but not in the way that anyone would expect. A slow-spreading plague of zombie-ism breaks out at their house party, spreading amongst their circle of friends, and simultaneously through the Bay Area. This zombie plague - an STD of sorts - is spread through sex and kissing, turning its victims into mindless, horny, voracious killers. Thrust into extremes by this slow- motion tragedy, Kate and Michael are forced to confront the choices they've made in their lives, and their fears of commitment, while trying to stay alive and reunite in the one place in the Bay Area that's likely to be safe and secure from the zombie hoards: Alcatraz.
Pariah by Bob Fingerman
Release Date: August 3 | Publisher: Tor
A frightening, darkly comedic look at people surviving a zombie onslaught, from award-winning comics sensation and novelist Bob Fingerman.
The world is in chaos. A zombie plague has devoured every nation on the planet. New York City is no exception. Imagine eight million zombies. Shoulder to shoulder. Walking the streets, looking for their next meal. The residents of one apartment building have bonded to keep themselves safe from the onslaught, but their inevitable demise lurks right outside their window, a constant reminder of the doom that awaits them. Forced to remain in the safety of the building, the tenants find themselves at each others’ throats. When they spy a lone teenage girl who walks among the hordes, unattacked by the undead, their world opens up.
Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll - Series Debut
Release Date: August | Publisher: Tor
When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, asks her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to Garet by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening.…The precious silver box is stolen from Garet’s home. When she investigates, Garet learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old. Opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?
The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar - Debut / Series Debut
Release Date: January UK/June US| Publishers: Angry Robot
Tidhar has been making a name for himself in short form for many years now and with his first novel being the start of a steampunk series it is a must. With his first novel length work being a Steampunk book I just have to try it. A masked terrorist has brought London to its knees - there are bombs inside books, and nobody knows which ones. On the day of the launch of the first expedition to Mars, by giant cannon, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack. For young poet Orphan, trapped in the screaming audience, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, but how? Like a steam-powered take on V for Vendetta, rich with satire and slashed through with automatons, giant lizards, pirates, airships and wild adventure, The Bookman is the first of a series.
Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate 2) by Gail Carriger
Release Date: March 30 | Publisher: Orbit
Soulless was one of the most fun I've had all year. So Changeless will be a must for me to check out. Plus I think this will have less of the romance angle that was a bit strong for me in the first book.
Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Maccon, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears - leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.
But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. Even when her investigations take her into the backwaters of ugly waistcoats, Scotland, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only A soulless can.
She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.
The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee
Release Date: March 30 | Publisher: Orbit
A steampunkish tale with a Inuit protagonist is what caught me here. At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.
A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.
From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.
Release Date: March 30 | Publisher: Tor
The final book in Lake's clockpunk series following the events of Mainspring and Escapement.
Release Date: April 27 | Publisher: Pyr
Ghosts of Manhattan is a spin off of sorts to Mann's Newbury & Hobbes series only placed in the US and pushed forward in time, which should make for a very interesting setting. Lou Anders has also mention it should harken to something close to The Shadow.
1926. New York. The Roaring Twenties. Jazz. Flappers. Prohibition. Coal-powered cars. A cold war with a British Empire that still covers half of the globe. Yet things have developed differently to established history. America is in the midst of a cold war with a British Empire that has only just buried Queen Victoria, her life artificially preserved to the age of 107. Coal-powered cars roar along roads thick with pedestrians, biplanes take off from standing with primitive rocket boosters, and monsters lurk behind closed doors and around every corner. This is a time in need of heroes. It is a time for The Ghost. A series of targeted murders are occurring all over the city, the victims found with ancient Roman coins placed on their eyelids after death. The trail appears to lead to a group of Italian American gangsters and their boss, who the mobsters have dubbed "The Roman." However, as The Ghost soon discovers, there is more to The Roman than at first appears, and more bizarre happenings that he soon links to the man, including moss-golems posing as mobsters and a plot to bring an ancient pagan god into the physical world in a cavern beneath the city. As The Ghost draws nearer to The Roman and the center of his dangerous web, he must battle with foes both physical and supernatural and call on help from the most unexpected of quarters if he is to stop The Roman and halt the imminent destruction of the city.
Release Date: August 3 | Publisher: Tor
Sir Maurice Newbury, Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, imagines life can be a little quieter from now on after his dual success in solving The Affinity Bridge affair. But he hasn't banked on his villainous predecessor, Knox, hell bent on achieving immortality, not to mention a secret agent who isn't quite as he seems...So continues an adventure quite unlike any other, a thrilling steampunk mystery and the second in the series of "Newbury & Hobbes" investigations.
Follow-up to the wondrous Boneshaker, Cherie has thus far described the alterna-world Civil War era Steampunk adventure Dreadnought as more gruesome than the first. The Clockwork Century books are meant to be standalone so it wouldn't be inappropriate to read them out of order.
Release Date: October | Publisher: Simon Pulse
Follow-up to Leviathan.
Release Date: February | Publisher: Gollancz
The universe is dark. And it is alive.
People across the universe are glimpsing shards of darkness moving at the edge of their vision; hearing echoes of a dark, disturbing musical chord; and dreaming of becoming crystal, and joining the Ragnarok Council. Absorption is the first of a new space opera trilogy packed with space warfare and mindblowing rationale for Norse mythology. This is SF to rival Peter F. Hamilton.
Jason Stoddard - Debut
Release Date: March 1 | Publisher: Prime Books
Jere Gutierrez is bucking the trend at the dying art of "linear" entertainment - what we know today as TV shows. His combination of astounding stories, captured in the moment, are captivating millions. Of course, every one of his stories are fabricated and engineered and orchestrated, even though they're sold as "real." Unfortunately for Jere, his backers have begun to see through his tricks. Desperate for another story, one large enough to capture the attention of the world, he teams up with a retired TV executive to create an ad-supported mission to Mars, complete with corporate sponsors and extreme sports events. What Jere doesn't know is just how captivating his Winning Mars will be.
Release Date: February | Gollancz
No announced US publication as of yet, but the interesting description and setting has piqued my interest greatly. Also a video game is planned based around the book which is slated to be released on Xbox and for the PC in 2010.
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boundaries, they say, lie endless burned-out deserts and the remains of splintered forests. Survivors still remember the past greatness of humankind. But the last remains of civilisation have already become a distant memory, the stuff of myth and legend. More than 20 years have passed since the last plane took off from the earth. Rusted railways lead into emptiness. The ether is void and the airwaves echo to a soulless howling where previously the frequencies were full of news from Tokyo, New York, Buenos Aires. Man has handed over stewardship of the earth to new life-forms. Mutated by radiation, they are better adapted to the new world. Man's time is over. A few score thousand survivors live on, not knowing whether they are the only ones left on earth. They live in the Moscow Metro - the biggest air-raid shelter ever built. It is humanity's last refuge. Stations have become mini-statelets, their people uniting around ideas, religions, water-filters - or the simple need to repulse an enemy incursion. It is a world without a tomorrow, with no room for dreams, plans, hopes. Feelings have given way to instinct - the most important of which is survival. Survival at any price. VDNKh is the northernmost inhabited station on its line. It was one of the Metro's best stations and still remains secure. But now a new and terrible threat has appeared. Artyom, a young man living in VDNKh, is given the task of penetrating to the heart of the Metro, to the legendary Polis, to alert everyone to the awful danger and to get help. He holds the future of his native station in his hands, the whole Metro - and maybe the whole of humanity.
Release Date: March 23 | Publisher: Pyr
The Quiet War is over. The city states of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have fallen to the Three Powers Alliance of Greater Brazil, the European Union and the Pacific Community. A century of enlightenment, rational utopianism and exploration of new ways of being human has fallen dark. Outers are herded into prison camps and forced to collaborate in the systematic plundering of their great archives of scientific and technical knowledge, while Earth's forces loot their cities, settlements and ships, and plan a final solution to the 'Outer problem'. But Earth's victory is fragile, and riven by vicious internal politics. While seeking out and trying to anatomise the strange gardens abandoned in place by Avernus, the Outers' greatest genius, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her. The diplomat Loc Ifrahim soon discovers that profiting from victory isn't as easy as he thought. And in Greater Brazil, the Outers' democratic traditions have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them. After a conflict fought to contain the expansionist, posthuman ambitions of the Outers, the future is as uncertain as ever. Only one thing is clear. No one can escape the consequences of war - especially the victors.
Release Date: June 1 | Publisher: Ace
Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains ...Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels - and with the dying body comes bad news. If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality - and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability.
Sleepless by Charlie Huston
Release Date: January 12 | Publisher Ballantiine
A gripping and imaginative work of speculative fiction about an epidemic of sleeplessness from the bestselling author who Stephen King calls "one of the most remarkable prose stylists to emerge from the noir tradition in this century," for fans of William Gibson and Chuck Palahniuk.
The world is in the grip of an epidemic of sleeplessness. In L.A., a cop named Parker Haas is working undercover to stop black market trade of a drug called Dreamer, the only thing that helps the sleepless. But his interest in the drug is more than professional. His wife is sleepless, and they don't know yet if their infant daughter is also sick. Then Park discovers that the black market he's trying to stop is the creation of the very company that makes the drug. But how can a lowly cop go after the son of one of the world's richest and most powerful men?
Trapped by these things--a dying wife, an infant daughter, a truth that could unravel his career--Park risks all for one chance to do his part in repairing a broken world.
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Release Date: March 4 | Publisher: Putnam
Sebastian Prendergast lives in a geodesic dome with his eccentric grandmother, who homeschooled him in the teachings of futurist philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller. But when his grandmother has a stroke, Sebastian is forced to leave the dome and make his own way in town.
Jared Whitcomb is a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart-transplant recipient who befriends Sebastian, and begins to teach him about all the things he has been missing, including grape soda, girls, and Sid Vicious. They form a punk band called The Rash, and it's clear that the upcoming Methodist Church talent show has never seen the likes of them. Wholly original, The House of Tomorrow is the story of a young man's self-discovery, a dying woman's last wish, and a band of misfits trying desperately to be heard.
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LOOKING FORWARD | Fantasy Books to Watch for in 2010
LOOKING FORWARD | Collection & Anthologies Coming in 2010
RECOMMENDATIONS | Best Books of 2009 (That I've read)