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The trouble with outing myself as narrowly read is that almost immediately I have to turn around and admit that I'm not going to get much better any time soon. This year the situation is worse than usual, because, rightly or wrongly, I'm consciously reading with an eye to the fact that for the first time, I'm eligible to nominate and vote in the Hugo Awards. A couple of people have asked what I've been reading, and what I plan to read, so here's another list:
2004 novels I've read so far this year:
- Neal Asher, Cowl
- Gregory Benford, Beyond Infinity
- Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe
- Ken Macleod, Newton's Wake*
- David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas*
- Kim Stanley Robinson, Forty Signs of Rain*
- Steph Swainston, The Year of Our War*
- Gene Wolfe, The Knight

2004 novels published but that I've not yet read:
- Peter F Hamilton, Pandora's Star
- Richard Morgn, Market Forces
- Neal Stephenson, The Confusion
- Bruce Sterling, The Zenith Angle

2004 novels eligible for the BSFA Award but not the Hugo, due to previous US publication (I think):
- KJ Bishop, The Etched City*
- Audrey Niffenegger, The Time-Traveler's Wife
- Garth Nix, Mister Monday
- Charles Stross, Singularity Sky
- Jeff Vandermeer, City of Saints and Madmen*

Forthcoming 2004 novels I'm planning to read:
June
Ian McDonald, River of Gods*
July
Tony Ballantyne, Recursion*
Andrew Sean Greer, The Confessions of Max Tivoli
Charles Stross, Iron Sunrise
August
Ray Loriga, Tokyo Doesn't Love Us Anymore
Adam Roberts, The Snow*
September
Stephen Baxter, Exultant*
China Mieville, The Iron Council
October
Iain M Banks, Algebraist
Alastair Reynolds, Century Rain*
Neal Stephenson, The System of the World
November
Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Stamping Butterflies
Charles Stross, The Family Trade
December
Tricia Sullivan, Cookie Starfish*
Gene Wolfe, The Wizard

(An asterisk denotes a book that (if I've read it) I rate highly, or (if I haven't) I'm particularly looking forward to.)

Here's the audience participation part of the proceedings: If you can think of anything obvious I'm missing, say so! As a rough guide to how much reading space I've got left over I reckon that, taking into account magazine subscriptions, review committments and the instant_fanzine book group, I'll normally read five novels a month.

I should also mention that there are a number of new short story collections I'm planning to read, notably Ian R Macleod's Breathmoss & Other Exhalations, Jeff Vandermeer's Secret Life, Lucius Shepard's Trujillo, and Adam Roberts' Swiftly. Some stories in those collections may be eligible for the short fiction Hugos.

If you want to suggest older books that should fight for a place on the limited reading space left over, feel free to do that, too...but the list in that case is already even longer!
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you can think of anything obvious I'm missing, say so!

Isn't Matt Ruff's Set This House In Order out over here sometime this year? I know you're planning to read it, but I can't see it on the list.

I'm not going to get through anywhere near as many newly published books than you this year, partly because there are several on that list that I have no intention of reading because I already know I don't get on with the author's writing style. And I'm also inclined to want to prioritise short fiction over novels, though I'm not sure I'm going to be able to afford hardback copies of some of the collections you mention, so I might have to stick to the magazines.
Isn't Matt Ruff's Set This House In Order out over here sometime this year?

The paperback is out in september, but according to Amazon HarperCollins published a harback in February '03, so I don't think it's eligible for any awards now (except the OUSFG award. :). There are other paperbacks due that I'm going to read (for instance, lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub), and more than one short fiction collection from previous years (for instance, Stranger Things Happen, which arrived this morning, hurrah!), but squigglyruth was asking me for a list of the new books I'm going to read, so that's what the post is intended as.

The only book on the list that I'm going to read because I feel I should rather than because I want to is the Grimwood. He's on probation; if I don't enjoy this one significantly more than the Arabesks, I probably won't pick up any more of his work, but I feel I should at least try something different by him.

Oh, and obviously I'll be able to lend you any of the short fiction collections you don't get yourself. And I could feed you copies of TTA/IZ as well, if you like?
Ah, OK. Wasn't sure on the details for STHIO.

Oh, and obviously I'll be able to lend you any of the short fiction collections you don't get yourself. And I could feed you copies of TTA/IZ as well, if you like?

I feel I should probably buy my own subscriptions, as I do want to support short fiction mags, but I'm just not sure I can afford it right now. If you don't mind passing me stuff for now, that'd be great. :)
I'll try to remember to pick them up before I come along this evening.

I also thought of at least one new book that you'll probably be reading that I probably won't: the new Jasper Fforde.
the new Jasper Fforde

\O/

Must start dropping hints to parents about that one. If I play my cards right they'll buy it for themselves and then I'll be able to swipe it.
Since we seem to have considerable overlap in our tastes, I'll dare a suggestion despite brief acquaintance: I am very much looking forward to Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which is due out in September or October.
Ooh, yes, I heard good things about that one at Eastercon. (It was at one of the early morning panels, coalescent, I think it might have been John Clute who was speaking highly of it.)

Thanks for the reminder.
It wasn't one of the events I'd been to; all I'd heard about the book was that it was Bloomsbury's attempt to 'do an adult Harry Potter'. This is not a pitch likely to endear something to me, so it's good to know it's got a more reputable endorsment! ;-)

This may be one of the ones I get from the library rather than buy myself, though.
There is a big buzz about htis book all over the place and it may or may not be of interest that the author is Colin Greenland's other half.
Aha. I did wonder slightly how the BSFA had nabbed such a high-profile author for their monthly meeting (not until january, admittedly). That factoid helps to explain it - thanks.

Unrelated note to self: find out if Graham Joyce has a new novel out this yer.
He does, The Limits of Enchantment, out in July. I almost mentioned it further upthread. The Facts Of Life must be out in paperback as well.

Forthcoming books.

All wasted on me since I don't buy hardbacks. I've read two books published this year so far if it wasn't for ARCs I'd be on zero.
Yeah, I do remember talk about how it was being heavily marketed, but I'm fairly sure someone did say that it was worth a look despite the hype. (Might not have been Clute - I was sat behind tall people, so couldn't actually see who was speaking.)
Her first published story was related to the novel (it featured the title characters as antagonists); it's called "The Ladies of Grace Adieu," and it was in *Starlight 1* and in the Datlow & Windling's Year's Best for the appropriate year.

She is an extraordinary stylist and clearly knows a huge amount about fantasy and fairy tales; I was boggled by the idea that Bloomsbury was trying to sell her as the next Rowling, because I can't think of a writer more different, or more likely to appeal to different tastes. I hope it works, but I'm afraid it will be disaster.
*Starlight 1* and in the Datlow & Windling's Year's Best for the appropriate year.

Thanks. I'll see if I can lay my hands on one of those to read it.

because I can't think of a writer more different, or more likely to appeal to different tastes.

It sounds better all the time!