The Fantasy Hive’s May TBR with WYRD AND WONDER
Pinch, punch, first of the month – congratulations for making it to May! And in the fantasy-book blogging sphere, May is the month for Wyrd and Wonder.
a quest to celebrate the best fantasy books, movies, audiobooks, games, art and whatever else tickles our fancy
We’ll be joining in with a couple of different features throughout the month, including reviving our Tough Travels feature; but to kick things off, some of the Hivers would like to share with you our May TBRs! If you’d like to take part, Imyril has some great suggestions in this post.
Let us know in the comments what you’ll be reading next, and if any of these tickle your fancy …
The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders.
Just started it, but I’m a slow reader and so it will mostly be a May read. Chosen because I liked All the Birds in the Sky when I read it a few years ago, and I wanted something shorter before I start Sword of Kaigen
The Sword of Kaigen, by M.L. Wang.
I chose this book because of its plentiful hype during the SPFBO, and because it’s been on my TBR way too long already. [Note: The Sword of Kaigen has now won SPFBO 5!]
City of Miracles, by Robert Jackson Bennett.
I finished City of Blades a couple of weeks ago, loved it, and want to finish the trilogy before too much time goes by and I start forgetting details.
Son of a Liche by J. Zachary Pike.
My audio book during quarantine walks, laundry folding, etc. Chosen because I loved Orconomics and so naturally want to listen to the sequel.
I’ve only planned to read two books this month as one of them *cough cough Sanderson* is a chunky one!
The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky. This is a brand new novel which I believe originally was due to be released by the end of May but may have been pushed back to August now. Anyhow, this is my first book by Tchaikovsky so I’m very excited as I’ve heard a lot of praise for his books! [Beth – LOVE his books Nils!]
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. This is the sequel to The Way of Kings which I read two years ago!! With the upcoming November release of the fourth book – Rhythm of War – I’m desperately trying to get caught up with books two and three before then.
I usually have three books on the go at once – an ebook for bed, and when out and about (so with lockdown at the moment usually only for bed), a paper book for on the couch, and an audio book for every minute my ears and brain are free but my hands or eyes aren’t!
I just started The Black Hawks by David Wragg as my current paper book – I picked it up purely because of the cover when I last was in the UK and in a Waterstones, and so far I really enjoy the tone!
My current Ebook is The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan – A friend has recommended it over and over to me and keeps poking me to read it. So after 2 years on my ereader I finally relented.
My current audio book is The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan because I loved the unique world and the wild mix of different ideas in book one.
As I usually burn through 2-3 audio books per month my next in line is The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson that’s due to come out on 28th! Because the cover looks awesome and I met the author at BristolCon and he was lovely. So I’m very much looking forward to try this one!
It goes without saying that it’s going to be an odd month for us all. Reading-wise, I shall have finished all the assignments for my Masters apart from the dissertation itself, which I am doing on James Tiptree Jr’s short stories, so I will be spending a lot of time with those.
I have been gearing up to reread ‘The Last Flight of Doctor Ain’ in Warm Worlds And Otherwise, which is a terrifyingly prescient story about a global pandemic that I could do without rereading now, but I shan’t be able to avoid it much longer.
For review purposes I shall be finally tackling M. T. Hill’s The Breach, which I have been looking forward to ever since reading his Zero Bomb last year.
Just in case that’s a reading list too biased towards pandemic and post apocalypse, I shall be rereading Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin, which is exactly the kind of thing I need to escape from reality right now.
And I shall be reading Michael Cisco’s The Divinity Student for more New Weird kicks. That’s the plan anyway.
Hey Jonathan – I didn’t realise you were doing a masters too! Snap. Like you, I’ve got a bit of a break coming up. Assignment and workshop reading, plus SPFBO has sort of dominated my reading lists for a while so it will be nice to get out into a little burst of some “free reading.”
I’ve had a look through my literal TBR pile stacked on my bedside table. My top three to go for will be:
Sixteen ways to defend a walled city by K.J.Parker – It’s got fantasy, engineers and humour. I’ve got an engineering degree and I always thought pragmatism and practicality was the hallmark of that profession (I’m an outlier here) so really looking forward to diving in.
Fools by Pat Cadigan – it’s one of the SF masterworks series and I’m always drawn to these acclaimed classics of speculative fiction from yesteryear. I think of it as part education but also substantially enjoyment.
Dark River by Rym Kechacha – which I’ve bought for kindle. (Ebooks are handy for when you want to read in bed but without a sidelight on – reminds me of the far off days of childhood and reading under the covers with a torch whose batteries never lasted.) I have been fascinated for a while by the concept of Doggerland – before the end of the last ice age when sea levels were hundreds of feet lower than today and the British Isles were connected to Europe by a broad plain (Doggerland) which is now drowned beneath the North Sea. It always struck me as a brilliant setting for a story. I am also interested in our current crisis of climate change and sea level rise. So the premise of Rym’s book – parallel lives of two women facing these different challenges – immediately appealed to me. I would have loved to do a Hive review of it but Jonathan got in early in that particular bidding war!
Multiple reviews of the same book are totes acceptable, Theo, so no worries on that count!
Over the past few months, SPFBO hath murdered “fun” reading for me, and there are a few titles I’m looking forward to finally getting stuck into:
Winter’s Breath (Tales of a Northblood #1) by Carrie Summers. I *loved* Summers’ Stonehaven League series and am really excited to delve into another of her LitRPG worlds.
The Girl and the Stars (Book of the Ice #1) by Mark Lawrence. I received a hardback copy from the author (though I’ll be reading it on my Kindle, as I do everything), and since I’ve loved most of Lawrence’s other stuff I think I’ll fly through this one. It’s set on Abeth – the same world as his Book of the Ancestor trilogy – and I’m looking forward to more of Lawrence’s excellent worldbuilding.
Shadows of Ivory (Godforged Chronicles #1) by T L Greylock and Bryce O’Connor. I had the pleasure of beta reading this a few months ago, and it’s honestly one of the best books I’ve read in recent years. Strong female protagonists, deadly archaeology and even deadlier family rivalries – it’s definitely worth checking out, and I can’t wait to re-read it this month in its final published form.
Paternus: War of Gods (Paternus #3) by Dyrk Ashton. I’m lucky enough to be proofreading this bad boy right now, and it’s blowing my mind. I’ve been completely sold on this series and its author since I first encountered Paternus #1 in SPFBO 2016, and it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to help midwife the grand finale into the world.
I’m really not sure what’s next after what I’m currently reading, but I’ll give it a shot
Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (finishing) – gorgeously written book I’ve been meaning to read for a while as it should be just up my street.
Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boord – as glowingly reviewed on this site. I went through everything on my kindle, then downloaded the sample of this instead, and now I’m hooked!
Artificial Condition (Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells – looking forward to continuing this SF novella series.
Chain’s of the Heretic (Bloodsounder’s Arc #3) by Jeff Salyards – I’ve been meaning to finish this trilogy for a while so maybe this will be my chanc
Between SPFBO and editing, it’s been some time since I’ve had the freedom to choose my next book on a whim. I had a whole bunch of amazing books for Christmas and my birthday (back in January) which I still haven’t got round to reading, as well as some amazing books that have been gifted from authors also, so narrowing it down to four books which I feasibly may be able to read this month was tough! But I’m going to go for…
God of Gnomes by… oh what’s her name again? Ha, our very own Demi Harper of course. Laura very generously gave me a signed copy when we last met up, and it’s frankly shameful I haven’t read it yet. It’s going to be my first proper foray into LitRPG, after the one or two entries we had in our first batch for SPFBO, and … I’m a little nervous? I’m still not sure what to expect of the genre! But it’s got a badger on the cover, so that gives me a little more confidence.
The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart. I was gifted this from Orbit just this week and it sounds fantastic, lots of things which tick my box (forbidden magic, strong female protagonist fighting oppression). It’s not out til September this year, so I thought I’d actually, for once, do that reviewer thing where you read and review a book before it comes out.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I know, I know, I’m way behind on this one! It’s been on my wish list for such a long time, and it was a birthday present – so I am really looking forward to diving into this dream-magic Mughal Empire-inspired epic.
Spellslinger by Sebestian de Castell. This (and its sequel) was one of my Christmas presents. Again, a series I’m late to, and actually I know very little about. It’s one of those ones that people keep telling me is brilliant, one of those books – series – that people are shocked I haven’t read yet. I’m hoping they haven’t all been lying to me.
Rosewater by Tade Thompson
Temptation won out. I was trying to hold out and get Tade’s crime thriller Making Wolf first, but I caved after reading a snippet of this book. This is my main book for May, very excited.
The Way of the Househusband by Kousuke Oono
I’ve been seeing snippets of this Manga online for months/years, and now I’m finally investing in a copy. The story of a hardened Yakuza turned homebody.
Phantasm Japan by Masumi Washington/Nick Mamatas
A short story collection that promises “The secret history of the most famous secret agent in the world. A bunny costume that reveals the truth in our souls. The unsettling notion that Japan itself may be a dream.” Sounds very much like the weird shit I like.
I’m a slow reader, so I may only get through one book.
Currently reading Penny For Your Soul by K.A. Ashcomb. I’ve been overdue for a comedy.
Lingeria by Daniel Kozuh. This is another promising-looking comedy.
A big thanks to Nils for the graphics!