Graham Edwards

SF & fantasy books I can’t wait to read in 2014

I have a staggeringly huge to-read list, yet thanks to my slowish reading speed, other things competing for my attention, and the fact that I’m in the second year of a PhD, I know I won’t get through too many books this year. In the last few years I managed around 45-50 books per year. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to list off some of the SF&F fiction I can’t wait to get stuck into this year. It’s not a comprehensive list, and I’ve left off non-genre fiction and nonfiction because that’s not what this blog is about. Here are my “can’t wait to read” genre fiction titles for 2014:

NEW BOOKS

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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer – I have, shamefully, never read a Jeff VanderMeer novel, so I intend to start with this new book before making my way through his back catalogue. He is often compared with China Miéville, and I find myself having a hankering for some New-Weirdness. This book sounds like an expedition into VanderMeer’s version of Miéville’s Cacotopic Stain: nightmarish and bizarre, and I am down for the ride!

A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias – A debut novel with hard-sf, alien contact and galactic politics? I’m there! This does sound rather similar to City of Pearl by Karen Traviss, only set underwater, but I’m a sucker for first contact stories (or any stories with well-realised alien races).

The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher – I haven’t read any Adam Christopher but the synopsis of this book (creepiness and suspense on a space station) makes it sound like he wrote it specifically for me!

Echopraxia by Peter Watts – Sequel to Blindsight, one of the scariest and smartest SF books I’ve ever read. Cannot wait.

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The Stone Trilogy by Graham Edwards

783097What do you do when a book you love, a book you want your friends and strangers on the internet alike to check out and enjoy, a book you need new copies of because your old ones are literally coming apart, is no longer available?

What does an author do when prospective readers email them complaining that no bookstore carries their work anymore and used bookstore websites are listing copies for $80 and up?

One of my favourite fantasy series is The Stone Trilogy by Graham Edwards, an underrated and obscure set that was published by Voyager from 1999 to 2001 and has never been given a reprint. I own a couple of copies of the first two books but only one precious, and now rather dog-eared, copy of the third book.

The books are Stone and Sky, Stone and Sea and Stone and Sun, and they are novels about memory and time and millions of permutations of the earth not existing alongside each other as alternate dimensions, but one after another in a continual flow of time going back infinitely. The world we live in carries geological evidence of extinctions and continental movements and so on, and its history as inferred by science is absolutely true, but so is another history full of dragons and faeries, and infinite other histories that all happened, but in succession: each world’s rules suddenly changing, our planet’s history rewritten with each so-called “Turning”. The latest Turning of the World, which sapped the magic and killed all the pretty cryptofauna, is actually chronicled in another trilogy Edwards wrote in the mid-90s (starting with Dragoncharm, the only of his books to be published States-side). I do love that series too, but to me it feels like just an optional prologue to the Stone Trilogy.

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