Fifty Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels to Look Forward to in 2013

I think we can all agree that 2012 was a pretty great year for fans of speculative fiction. Well, we’re here to tell you that 2013 will be even better. No, seriously, it will be! If you don’t believe us, just look at the list below.

Next year will have it all: sequels in wonderful series, new books by contemporary masters, promising debuts, and even the conclusion of an age. Whether you’re looking for adult or teenage fiction, and whether you enjoy science fiction, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, weird tales, dragons, or aliens, there will be a book for you on this list.

This list of fifty speculative novels to look out for in 2013 was created by Ranting Dragon staff writers Stephan, Ashik, and Rebecca—the all-star editor who occasionally comes out of hiding to write—with a dash of help from Garrett. Thus, the list is a combination of many flavors and genres, as we all enjoy different books. The result is a very thorough enumeration of fifty great books.

Here are our top fifty anticipated 2013 releases:

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1. A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But this is an ending. After 23 years, Brandon Sanderson concludes The Wheel of Time with the 14th book of Robert Jordan’s epic series. Not only is A Memory of Light the most anticipated fantasy novel of the year, it may be the most anticipated fantasy novel of all time. In her spoiler-free Tor.com review, Leigh Butler feels “pretty confident in saying that this book knocked it out of the park.” For long-time Wheel of Time fans, she concludes, “you owe it to yourself to enjoy this as much as humanly possible. And don’t worry. You will. This I Foretell.” The Last Battle is upon us. Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time!
Published by Tor on Jan 8.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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2. Fortress Frontier by Myke Cole
While A Memory of Light is our most anticipated book of the year for sheer impact of its release, Fortress Frontier is a great number two because it doesn’t yet bear that weight of stardom. Myke Cole’s second novel merits high anticipation on its own. His debut novel, Control Point, first in the Shadow Ops series, was amazing… except for that horrible protagonist who sucked a lot of the fun out of reading. Well, let me tell you, I’ve read Fortress Frontier and there’s an awesome new protagonist. On top of that, the story is even more amazing than that of Control Point. Thus, I can only tell you: anticipate this military fantasy novel, and read Control Point if you haven’t yet!
Published by Ace on Jan 29.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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3. The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett
Can you believe it’s been less than four years since Peter V. Brett’s debut novel The Warded Man was released? Since then, Brett’s star has risen ever higher; and with The Desert Spear, a breath-taking sequel, The Demon Cycle quickly became one of the more popular epic fantasy series. This February, the long wait for the third volume will finally be over. The Daylight War promises to be everything its predecessors were: a coming-of-age epic, huge in both scope and page-count, brimful of mind-blowing action, magic old and new, and demons. What’s more, the title, The Daylight War, indicates that we’ll finally see the war so heavily hinted at in The Desert Spear. Bring it on!
Published by Del Rey on Feb 12.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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4. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Young adult gearpunk? Epic fantasy? Alternative history? Just what is this book, anyway? Does it matter? It’s by Brandon Sanderson! This exciting novel follows 14-year-old Joel, an ordinary student at the magical Armedius Academy. Joel has no magical ability to become a Rithmatist, but when his fellow students start disappearing, he and a friend must investigate, possibly uncovering secrets that will shake their world.
Published by Tor Teen on May 14.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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5. Sworn in Steel by Douglas Hulick
As the newest Gray Prince in Ildreca, Drothe has gone from being a small-time crook to being one of the criminal elite without any time between. Now he’s outmanned and outmaneuvered, with the elements of plot, politics, and murder stacking up against him in typical fashion. Sworn in Steel is a sequel to Douglas Hulick’s first Tale of the Kin, Among Thieves, which has the bones of an urban fantasy detective story—that is, if the story was set in a renaissance-esque Constantinople with magic, imperial intrigue, and a protagonist on the opposite side of the law. There were some issues with the expected publication date of 2012, so Sworn in Steel is now set to release in 2013.
Published by Roc. Date TBA.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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6. Emperor of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
Only eighteen months ago, Mark Lawrence took the world of fantasy by storm. His detailed, bloody, and violent first person narrative, combined with his epic world filled with mysterious magic, brought something new to fantasy literature. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Lawrence’s debut, Prince of Thorns, and its sequel, King of Thorns, were much discussed and well-loved. In 2013, Emperor of Thorns promises to conclude the Broken Empire trilogy in similarly epic and gritty fashion.
Published by Ace on Aug 8.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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7. Hunted by Kevin Hearne
After the massive time jump in Trapped, the revised apocalypse is rapidly approaching; and Atticus’s usual tools that allow him to run and hide are cut off, though he’s got a second druid to watch his back now. On top of that, two goddesses of the hunt are after him, there is an insane trickster god on the loose, and he has also pissed off the dark elves/vampires/everybody. The sixth book in Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles promises explosive amounts of wit, hound, and action, with a bonus of gratuitous pop culture references.
Published by Del Rey on Jun 25.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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8. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Like every other Neil Gaiman story I’ve seen, the synopsis alone comes across as mystical and poetic. Gaiman carries such an air of fabled storytelling that even the bizarre seems more magical and beautiful than it would without his name accompanying it. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story about a man, the awakened forces of darkness, and the three women who live in a house at the end of the lane; “the youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.”
Published by William Morrow, Jun 18.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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9. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
Another young adult novel by Brandon Sanderson this year, Steelheart is a post-apocalyptic superhero dystopian book about David, a teenager searching for revenge against the seemingly invincible Epic who killed his father. He teams up with the Reckoners, ordinary humans who have dedicated their lives to taking down the Epics. I’ve heard it described as “very deconstructed comic book” and “a reversal of the powerful guy protecting the humble.”
Published by Delacorte on Sep 24.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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10. The Human Division by John Scalzi
The Human Division takes place in the Old Man’s War universe, but “is not, strictly speaking, a novel.” This innovative new narrative is what happens when you do a book like a television show, with thirteen episodes released as ebooks before the entire collection comes out in hardcover. Not quite a serialized novel, as each episode can stand on its own, yet not a short story collection either, as each episode builds an overall narrative arc, The Human Division is Tor and Scalzi experimenting with something different. Details of the story itself have not been released yet, but I can hardly wait!
Published by Tor on May 14.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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11. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
Quentin Coldwater really can’t catch a break. The third book in Grossman’s New York Times bestselling series that started with The Magicians, The Magician’s Land, will hopefully continue the poetic and often depressing tale of the world’s least fulfilled magician. After matriculating at America’s best and only magical college, reigning briefly as a king of Fillory, and ultimately losing nearly everything he held dear, Quentin returns for the third and possibly last time to the world(s) of magic. According to Grossman himself, The Magician’s Land is “not like anything I’ve ever written before. But it’s not completely new either. There are a lot of old friends to visit, and a lot of loose ends to tie up. We may never come back here again.”
Published by Plume. Date TBA.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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12. Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik
Fans of the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik will be delighted to hear that she has finished the first draft of the eighth book, and it is tentatively scheduled for US release in August. This alternative history follows the adventures and misadventures of the dragon Temeraire and his ex-Navy captain, Laurence, during the Napoleonic Wars.
Published by Del Rey on Aug 13.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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13. Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
I openly admit that I’m a Star Wars fangirl, and especially a Timothy Zahn fangirl; I’ve read Star Wars books I didn’t love, but never by Zahn. And despite its groan-worthy pun tagline (“Even [Han] can’t do this job solo”), Star Wars: Scoundrels promises to be another fantastic entry into the Expanded Universe by the mastermind who gave us Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mara Jade, and the noghri. Actually, this may be the first Star Wars book by Zahn that doesn’t feature Thrawn, Mara, or both. Between the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, Han must infiltrate a Black Sun stronghold with his crew, including Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, and pull off the heist of the century. (And if “Black Sun” doesn’t mean anything to you, might I recommend that you also read Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry?)
Published by LucasBooks on Jan 1.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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14. Cormorant by Chuck Wendig
“Violently descriptive, incredibly crass, and horrifyingly addictive” would be the quickest way to describe Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black series. Urban fantasy with more than a touch of horror, this series is about the titular Miriam Black, a woman who sees with a touch when and how people die, in all the gratuitous and fetid details a reader could want. While there has yet to be an official synopsis, we can surmise that people will die spectacularly and Miriam will curse in ways so prolific, you’ll want to take notes.
Published by Angry Robot. Date TBA.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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15. The Grim Company by Luke Scull
Luke Scull’s debut, The Grim Company, seems to follow one of the best trends of contemporary fantasy: making the city a major character. From Camorr to Luthadel, the cities of fantasy are microcosms of the world at large, packing in the magic, intrigue, and tone of the story. The Grim Company tells the tale of Dorminia in a time of corruption and tyranny, where unlikely companions form the titular company to resist the brutality of the regime and strive to fix what has happened to the once great city. Amoral mercenaries, crippled turncoats, and self-righteous outlaws form the cast of what will hopefully be an excellent addition to contemporary dark fantasy.
Published by Head of Zeus on Mar 1.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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16. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons promises to give us something we haven’t read before. First in a new series, this is the memoir of Lady Trent, a naturalist and adventurer with a passion for dragons. Her search, told from her own perspective, promises an epic tale of a strong woman protagonist out in the world. And hopefully, there will be lots of dragons. I sure can’t wait to find out what direction this novel is going to take. If the prose is as gorgeous as its cover, A Natural History of Dragons will be a wondrous novel.
Published by Tor on Feb 5.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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17. The Flames of Shadam Khoreh by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Set nearly two years after the events in The Straights of Galahesh, Bradley P. Beaulieu’s third novel will be the conclusion of the Lays of Anuskaya trilogy that began almost two years ago with The Winds of Khalakovo. This Russian-inspired epic fantasy series is known for its wonderful prose, strong characters, and intriguing magic. The Flames of Shadam Khoreh will hopefully continue that trend. If you’re a fan of epic fantasy and haven’t read Beaulieu’s work yet, 2013 is a good year to do so!
Published by Night Shade in April.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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18. The Thousand Names by Django Wexler
It would seem that 2013 will be an awesome year for debuts. The second debut on the list is Django Wexler’s The Thousand Names. It definitely looks interesting, with an epic cover and an equally epic premise. This work of high fantasy with military influences will be the first novel in Wexler’s new series, The Shadow Campaigns. This is the story of two soldiers, who have put their hearts and souls in the war, and their new commander. The odds are against them, however, as they battle superior numbers and an enemy with dark magic at its disposal.
Published by Roc on Jul 2.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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19. The Age Atomic by Adam Christopher
Adam Christopher’s debut exactly one year ago, Empire State, successfully combined science fiction, Prohibition-era detective noir, comic book superheroes, and nearly endless plot twists to create a fast-paced and unique saga of surprises. Since then, Christopher has released the equally spectacular superhero novel Seven Wonders. In 2013, Christopher will again release two books: Hang Wire, about ancient gods and serial killers, and more importantly, the return to his alternate universe, The Age Atomic, which promises to be even more intense and amazing than Empire State.
Published by Angry Robot on Mar 26.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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20. The Tower Broken by Mazarkis Williams
Mazarkis Williams’s debut, The Emperor’s Knife, put her on the radar of fantasy fans world wide. This intriguing, Arabian-inspired work of high fantasy full of politics and mysterious magic was followed by the equally well-written Knife Sworn. With The Tower Broken, Williams sets out to conclude the amazing Tower and Knife trilogy. And what’s more, she promises that, when The Tower Broken is published, we will finally find out who is behind the pseudonym she writes under. There’s so much intrigue packed into one book release, it simply has to be on our anticipation list.
Published by Night Shade in late 2013.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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21. Codex Born by Jim C. Hines
Libriomancer blew my mind. The first book in the Magic ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines introduced us to libriomancy, the amazing magical ability to reach into books and pull things into the real world—things like ray guns, healing potions, and lightsabers. While I couldn’t find an official blurb for the second book, Codex Born, yet (or even an unofficial one), I did find something well worth a read: Hines talking about the lovely cover art.
Published by DAW on Aug 6.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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22. The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
From the author of The Riyria Revelations (and Ranting Dragon guest author of this indie book list) comes The Crown Tower, the first book in The Riyria Chronicles. This new series is much more loosely connected, designed to be read as stand-alone stories in any order, independent of each other and of the previous series. In The Crown Tower, a warrior with nothing to fight for and an assassin with nothing to lose must team up to steal an unreachable treasure for an old wizard.
Published by Orbit on Aug 1.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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23. Midnight Blue-Light Special by Seanan McGuire
This March, Seanan McGuire will once again hit shelves with a bang at the release of the second installment in her InCryptid urban fantasy series, Midnight Blue-Light Special. The fate of New York is at stake, and since pretty much everyone she loves lives in Manhattan, it’s a great excuse for badass protagonist Verity Price to kick a lot of behinds! Midnight Blue-Light Special promises to be just as witty, twisty, and full of fun as its predecessor. Allies and alliances may be tested and questioned. Lives may be lost. But there is one sure thing: the talking Aeslin mice in Verity’s apartment will immortalize everything as holy writ. That is, if anything is left when all is said and done.
Published by DAW on Mar 5.
Blurb written by Garrett and Stephan.
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24. Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
The life of coyote shapeshifter and mechanic Mercy Thompson seems to be calming down in Frost Burned, the seventh volume in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. That is, until her mate disappears while werewolves are fighting a political war for public acceptance. The Mercy Thompson series is widely regarded as one of the most addictive urban fantasy series out there, and fans worldwide will be dying to get their hands on this next installment. It sure promises to be another fine example of Briggs’s wonderful writing.
Published by Ace on Mar 5.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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25. River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
Guy Gavriel Kay is famous for his ability to take a time and a place in our history and create a fantastical story around it. Whether it is Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid, he transports the reader into a scene not so different to our own world, but still markedly fantasy. Following in the footsteps of Under Heaven, Kay takes the reader through a version of China four hundred years after the Tang Dynasty. River of Stars tells the tale of Ren Daiyan, a murderer and an outlaw, whose life spirals towards the Imperial Court where Lin Shan, daughter of a scholar, lives. It is a story of culture, war, and power that is highly anticipated for fans of general fantasy and Oriental culture alike.
Published by Roc on Apr 2.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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26. The Tyrant’s Law by Daniel Abraham
Daniel Abraham’s widely acclaimed Dagger and Coin series launched in 2011, with the second book following a year later. The third book in this political fantasy series, The Tyrant’s Law, releases in May, returning to a world of bankers, soldiers, and noble feuding. With Geder Palliako’s tyrannical rule expanding dangerously, Cithrin bel Sarcour, Clara Kalliam, Marcus Wester, and Master Kit all work towards undermining or defying the tyrant whose rule could change the world entirely.
Published by Orbit on May 14.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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27. The Dark Defiles by Richard K. Morgan
While Richard K. Morgan has yet to confirm whether or not The Dark Defiles will be split in two to create A Land Fit for Heroes quartet, we do know it has one of the most imposing covers of 2013, which is fitting for his dark and dirty epic fantasy series. While there has yet to be an official synopsis, we can surmise that Ringil Eskiath and Egar the Dragonsbane are returning to what will hopefully be one of the best no-holds-barred dark fantasy novels of 2013.
Published by Del Rey. Date TBA
Blurb written by Ashik.
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28. Walking in the Midst of Fire by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Our reviewer, Garrett, has the incredible honor of being a beta reader of Tom Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler series. When he finished the sixth volume in the series, Walking in the Midst of Fire, he couldn’t speak for several hours. His brain was thoroughly broken. Now, mind you, it doesn’t take much to break Garrett’s brain. Yet, it speaks well for Walking in the Midst of Fire, the newest volume in Sniegoski’s funny, unsettling, and heartbreaking urban fantasy series about angel P.I. Remy Chandler.
Published by Roc on Aug 6.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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29. The Last Dark by Stephen R. Donaldson
What fan of fantasy hasn’t at least heard of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant? Stephen R. Donaldson published two Thomas Covenant trilogies from 1977 to 1983, and a concluding tetralogy started in 2004. Now the tenth and final volume, The Last Dark, is expected in 2013. The series follows the titular Thomas Covenant, a leprous writer who, though embittered, cynical, and shunned, is destined to be the savior of The Land.
Published by Ace in fall 2013.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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30. A Tale of Tales by David Farland
A Tale of Tales, the ninth book in David Farland’s epic series The Runelords, promises to tie all the loose ends together, bringing the story to a thrilling conclusion. The Runelords is set in a world with a unique magic system, where attributes can be removed from one person and given to another; wit, brawn, speed, beauty, and even basic senses such as sight or smell, can be bought and sold—or stolen. Receiving an attribute from another is called an endowment; mighty lords who have many endowments, gaining almost superhuman power, are titled Runelords.
Published by Orbit on Apr 1.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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31. Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
Another debut on this list is Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan. McClellan is a former student of Brandon Sanderson’s at Brigham Young University in Utah, and judging by the synopsis of Promise of Blood, that’s showing. This is an epic novel of war and revolution with an original magic system at its core, in which so-called powder mages can manipulate gunpowder. They can make themselves stronger and faster than anyone else and shoot a man’s eye out from a great distance, making them perfect assassins. Promise of Blood is a hugely promising debut that seems to combine guns, swords, and an intriguing magic system.
Published by Orbit on Apr 16.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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32. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
South African author Lauren Beukes received much praise for her debut novel Moxyland, and even more for Zoo City. Thus, it should come as no surprise that her newest novel, The Shining Girls, was sold to British publisher HarperCollins in a five-way auction, landing Beukes a six-figure deal. If that doesn’t spark your interest in this novel, perhaps this will: this is a story of a time-traveling serial killer who is impossible to trace—until one of his victims survives. The Shining Girl promises a masterful twist on the classic serial killer tale and is intriguingly marketed as The Time Traveler’s Wife meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Published by Mulholland on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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33. Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman
Emma Newman, author of post-dystopian young adult novel Twenty Years Later, has signed a three book deal with Angry Robot to publish her new series. The Split Worlds is an urban fantasy series with gritty noir, fantastical magic, evil faeries and people just trying to drink their tea in peace. The first novel in the series is Between Two Thorns and, if its gorgeous cover is any indication, it will be a wonderful new addition to the urban fantasy genre.
Published by Anrgy Robot on Feb 26.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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34. Hammer of Angels by G.T. Almasi
For me, G.T. Almasi’s Blades of Winter was the book that got away in 2012. From the moment I saw the map of the alternate universe in the Shadowstorm series, I was sold. Hammer of Angels is the second volume in this series, which offers a thrilling alternate reality where the United States, the USSR, and the Republic of China share a fragile balance of power with Greater Germany, which emerged from World War II in control of Europe and half of the Middle East. I’ll definitely check both books out in 2013, and based on the raving reviews Blades of Winter received, I suggest you do the same!
Published by Del Rey on Mar 26.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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35. Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Glamourist Histories series by Mary Robinette Kowal is the sort of work we could expect from Jane Austen… that is, if she lived in a world with magic! Book three, Without a Summer, continues the Regency England fantasy in what Kowal describes as “Emma against the Luddite Uprising set in the Year Without a Summer.” (And don’t forget to keep an eye out for book four, where “Jane Austen writes Oceans Eleven.”)
Published by Tor on Apr 2.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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36. Shattered Pillars by Elizabeth Bear
Shattered Pillars is the second book of Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky trilogy and the sequel to Range of Ghosts. This epic trilogy features and a story of magic, politics, and war, set in a world much like our own Asian steppes. So basically, it promises to be everything a fan of epic fantasy needs. Range of Ghosts was well-received and Shattered Pillars promises to be equally good. With Bear’s gorgeous prose and wonderfully strange world building, as well as the amazing covers of these books, the Eternal Sky trilogy seems to be growing in popularity rapidly.
Published by Tor on Mar 19.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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37. Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill
With his fiction debut Dreams and Shadows, screenwriter and acclaimed film critic C. Robert Cargill takes beloved fantasy tropes and gives them a twist, creating what looks to be a wonderful, witty, and wry novel about a clash between the fairy world and our own. It will be a dark novel of magic and monsters. Dreams and Shadows is marketed as a novel with “well-crafted characters and an absorbing, intricate plot that will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Lev Grossman.”
Published by Harper Voyager, Feb 26.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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38. Drakenfeld by Mark Charan Newton
Mark Charan Newton is known for his Legends of the Red Sun series, in which he combines his interesting prose with wonderful dystopian world building. In 2013, his newest book, Drakenfeld, comes out. It’s about an investigator, Lucan Drakenfeld, thrown into the investigation of a royal death. Drakenfeld will be the first volume in a new series that, while set in a fantasy world, promises to appeal to fans of historical mysteries. According to Newton, it is “very much a fantasy novel, but equally a crime novel, with a locked-room mystery at the heart of it.”
Published by Tor UK in Oct 2013.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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39. Abaddon’s Gate by James S. A. Corey
James S. A. Corey is the pseudonym for the collaboration of Daniel Abraham (who also features on this list independently) and Ty Franck, who have created the highly acclaimed science fiction series Expanse. In Abaddon’s Gate, the third installment in the series, humanity’s space frontier faces the possibility of expansion through an alien artifact. With a complex plot, interplanetary politics, and classic space opera action, Abaddon’s Gate looks to be one of the year’s most promising science fiction titles.
Published by Orbit on Jun 4.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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40. The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
If Chuck Wendig’s The Blue Blazes packs half the mad pace, dialogue, and humor of his Miriam Black series, The Blue Blazes should be quite the read. Mookie Pearl, an unfortunately named fellow, is a crime lord, supernatural badass, and loving father. The problem is that his daughter has now taken up arms against him, there’s a drug circulating that turns the invisible visible, and I’m assuming people will also be trying to kill him, which is never fun.
Published by Anrgy Robot on May 28
Blurb written by Ashik.
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41. The Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire
While there is currently no official synopsis for The Chimes at Midnight, you can bet that after the events of Ashes of Honor, October “Toby” Daye has found herself in a position she’s not entirely used to anymore. There’s been some resolution in her life as of late, but knowing Toby’s luck—and knowing McGuire’s writing habits—it won’t hold. There will be a mystery, there will be action. There will be Tybalt kicking ass and Toby taking names. And, with McGuire at the helm, the plot promises to be a roller coaster ride that will keep readers on their toes.
Published by DAW on Sep 6.
Blurb written by Garrett.
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42. Alien in the House by Gini Koch
Alien in the House is the seventh volume in Gini Koch’s sexy, present-day science fiction Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series. Protagonists Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini have been through a lot by this point, and there’s more on its way when murder and mayhem are served up at an important diplomatic dinner party. Like the previous volumes in Koch’s series, Alien in the House should be an entertaining read, with a likeable and relatively relatable protagonist leading the reader on a whirlwind of an adventure that is engaging, sexy, and heaps of fun for anyone who enjoys a healthy dose of snark with their aliens.
Published by DAW on May 7.
Blurb written by Garrett and Stephan.
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43. Blood of Dragons by Robin Hobb
The dragons’ survival hangs in the balance in this thrilling fourth and final volume in the acclaimed River Wilds Chronicles epic fantasy series by bestselling author Robin Hobb. The Rain Wilds Chronicles are set in The Realm of the Elderlings, the world she first visited with her acclaimed Assassin’s Apprentice back in 1995. Blood of Dragons, the newest novel in the series, will hopefully be just as epic and dragon-filled as the previous volumes.
Published by Harper Voyager on Apr 9.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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44. Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore
Appreciated for his polished, assured writing and smooth prose, Stephen Blackmoore, author of City of the Lost, is a new star on the urban fantasy scene. With his second novel, Dead Things, he looks set to establish that fact once more. In this paranormal fantasy, protagonist Eric Carter is a necromancer: he sees ghosts and talks to the dead. Dead Things promises to incorporate a hard-boiled sense of urban despair into a paranormal plot, all topped with witty humor.
Published by DAW on Feb 5.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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45. You by Austin Grossman
In You, Austin Grossman’s second novel, what starts as a simple investigation into a video game software glitch turns into much more. Russell discovers clues in a mystery leading back twenty years. You, by the author of superhero bestseller Soon I Will Be Invincible, is a thrilling, hilarious novel of mystery, video games, and the people who make them. Learning to play can save your life.
Published by Mulholland on Mar 26.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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46. American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
From the author of the wonderful literary fantasy The Troupe comes a new stand-alone story that adds an alien invasion to the idealized image of the American dream. American Elsewhere promises to be a captivating novel brimful of morally ambiguous characters and horrific detail. This supernatural fantasy will definitely be one to watch. It may well be another gem of literary fantasy.
Published by Orbit on Feb 12.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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47. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
Finishing School, a new young adult series by steampunk favorite Gail Carriger, sounds far more readable to an adult audience than most young adult novels do. The series starts with Etiquette & Espionage, following the teenaged Sophronia, whose frazzled mother desperately enrolls her in finishing school—where she learns not only typical ladylike etiquette, but also the fine arts of espionage, weaponry, and deceit. Finishing School is set in the same universe as the Parasol Protectorate, twenty-five years earlier.
Published by Little Brown on Apr 5.
Blurb written by Rebecca.
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48. Imager’s Battalion & Antiagon’s Fire by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
L.E. Modesitt Jr. is an old hand at fantasy. With over two dozen novels under his belt, some of them New York Times bestsellers, he has vast experience in crafting sweeping and complex stories with intricate and clever magic systems. Imager’s Battalion and, later in the year, Antiagon’s Fire are two of the latest installments in The Imager’s Portfolio, following the second character arc of Quaeryt and set several centuries before the plot of the first three novels. War, magic, and politics intertwine to create two of fantasy’s most anticipated novels of 2013, as Quaeryt prepares to lead the first ever army of Imagers to war with Bovaria in retaliation for its attempted annexation of Quaeryt’s homeland, Telaryn.
Published by Tor on Jan 22.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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49. Wisp of a Thing by Alex Bledsoe
Alex Bledsoe’s 2011 novel The Hum and the Shiver is best described as rural, rather than urban, fantasy. It’s a quiet, contemplative novel for the most part, and the air of mystery that even the synopsis builds about the mysterious Tufa, inhabitants of the Appalachians even before it was colonized, is palpable. In Wisp of a Thing, Bledsoe shifts the focus away from Bronwyn Hyatt, the Tufa protagonist of the first novel, and instead focuses on Rob Quillen, an outsider seeking solace after a public tragedy. It’s a musical series, the Tufa themselves being an inherently music-oriented people, but it also features subtle power struggles and a sense of wildness that most contemporary fantasy does not hold.
Published by Tor on Jun 18.
Blurb written by Ashik.
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50. The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
Karen Lord’s debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, won many awards and announced the emergence of a new star on the speculative scene. The Best of All Possible Worlds is Lord’s second novel, and it promises to be equally amazing. It looks to not only be a stunning science fiction epic, but also a beautifully wrought, deeply moving love story. This is the story of an alien society destroyed by an unprovoked attack and of the survivors trying to live together with another race.
Published by Del Rey on Feb 12.
Blurb written by Stephan.
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Fifty books, but that’s not all. Like every year, there’s that elusive list of books that, deep in our hearts, we know won’t be released, but man, how we want them to be. For 2013, our “Oh, please, give us that book!” list consists of six titles.

First and foremost, we are hoping for the second volume in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. In this series of epic proportions, the second volume and sequel to The Way of Kings is currently being written, but with Sanderson having fallen behind his goal of getting half-way there by January 1st and his A Memory of Light book tour taking up the better part of the start of 2013, it seems unlikely we’ll get to read this epic before 2014.

In the same category is Brent Weeks’s The Blood Mirrors, sequel to The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife and the conclusion of his epic Lightbringer series. It might come in 2013, but with Weeks’ penchant for releasing one epic volume every two years, it seems unlikely.

Two books in a completely different category are George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter and Patrick Rothfuss’s Doors of Stone. These two epics are from authors that aren’t known to be particularly fast writers, and thus, we can be pretty sure they won’t come in 2013, and are even unlikely to come in 2014… But hey, we can dream, right?

Last but not least are two books that we know are coming, and 2013 might well be the year we get to see them, if all goes well. Of course, there is Republic of Thieves, the third book by Scott Lynch. For the last couple of years, Republic of Thieves has always made these anticipation lists. Will 2013 finally be the year it’s released? There’s a release date, of course, but then, this book has had several release dates in the past, and we’re still waiting for it.

The other book, our last mention, seems even more likely to come in late 2013, though it doesn’t appear to have the backing of a publisher yet. Its title is The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Its author? Jim Butcher. The Aeronaut’s Windlass will be the first in Butcher’s long-awaited steampunk series, and I have it on good authority that it’s better than anything Butcher has written before!

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So there you have it; that’s our long, long list. What say you? Will 2013 be awesome or what? As always, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments what books you are particularly looking forward to. Did we miss any good books you’re anticipating?

About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 29 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he’s busy being a total geek for fantasy. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing too. Most of all, though, Stephan is just a crazy Dutch guy who enjoys doing things that people don’t expect.

View all articles written by Stephan van Velzen.

12 comments

  1. Have you read Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher? It’s pretty awesome. Checking out some of these. Thanks!

  2. These are great but I’d add Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Necessity’s Child

    http://www.amazon.com/Necessitys-Child-Liaden-Universe-Sharon/dp/1451638876

  3. Awesome! There are so many books to read :) I’m so happy that

    The Tyrant’s Law is coming out early this year, yay!

  4. RandomActsOfReason

    No mention of the upcoming conclusion of Patrick Rothfuss’ the Kingkiller Chronicles? Really?

    • RandomActsOfReason

      Arrgh, I’m an idiot – missed the 2nd half of the sentence after the R.R. Martin anticipation. Great list. [hides head in paper bag]

  5. You forgot to mention the Kate Daniels series book Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews. Terrific world and character buliding building and kick butt action.

  6. The list fails to inspire me, perhaps because an article which uses the word “magic” 30 times and the words “space opera” once fails to offer enough variety to hold my interest. I am glad to learn of the new Stephen Donaldson.

  7. Gollancz just made the announcement Republic of Thieves will be out in 2013!!!

    The Orion Publishing Group (UK & Commonwealth) and the Random House Publishing Group (US) are thrilled to announce the publication of the third instalment in Scott Lynch’s popular fantasy series that began with The Lies of Locke Lamora. THE REPUBLIC OF THIEVES will release on October 10, 2013 in the UK and Commonwealth and October 8, 2013 in the US.
    http://www.gollancz.co.uk/

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