The Binding by Bridget Collins
Release Date:  Early Jan
A young farmer gets the unexpected opportunity to become a bookbinder, not just one that makes books but as one who also knows the deeper craft of binding a memory into a book and freeing the person of it forever. The offer is unexpected, but too good an opportunity to decline. Then, deep in the Bookbinders basement he finds a book of bound memories with his name on it.
A Bond Undone by Jin Yong
Release Date:  Late Jan
This is the second part of the Chinese fantasy classic, Legends of the Condor Heroes. We return to Guo Jing who finds himself living under an alias in his invaded homeland, betrothed to two women against his will and caught up in the struggle for the supreme martial text. Chinese history, kung-fu and fantasy collide in this epic series.


The Severed Moon by Leigh Bardugo
Release Date:  Late Jan
This is more of a side-line than a book as such, but we’ve got such a lot of Leigh Bardugo fans that I thought I should probably mention it. Basically it’s a journal with writing prompts, quotes and other tidbits from her Grishaverse books. Beautifully presented, it’s a book you can scribble your own thoughts, ideas or prose in, or if that sounds a bit intimidating you can just read Leigh‘s contributions and ponder the possibilities.
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond
Release Date:  Early Feb
The Netflix series Stranger Things began screening in 2016, but there seems to have been a surge of attention over the last year or so and a variety of tie-in books released. This month we get the first actual novel set in the Stranger Things world. It’s a prequel set in 1969 where a young student investigating secret government drug experiments gets much more that she bargained for. As do the experimenters, when their work has unexpected and deadly consequences.


Reckoning of Fallen Gods by R A Salvatore
Release Date:  Late Jan
The second in Salvatore‘s original new series returns to Fireach spur, and in the aftermath of the first book Aoelyn must face the price she paid to kill a god and save the trader Talmadge. There is not long to mourn however since other forces now stir and danger is far from passed. This is not a Forgotten Realms series, but if you’re fans of the Drizzt Do’Urden books, then this is still one for you and you’ll enjoy seeing what Salvatore does when he’s allowed to create his own world. For everyone else, it’s high magic, adventure fantasy and loads of fun.
Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds
Release Date:  Early Jan
I loved Alastair Reynolds 2016 book Revenger. It was a swashbuckling tale of space-pirates and adventure and my only complaint at the time was that there were no plans for a sequel. I guess I wasn’t the only one because with Shadow CaptainReynolds returns to that shattered far future solar system and sisters Adrana and Fura Ness, free and together but still it seems bound to some strange destiny. I’ve not read this yet, so I can’t tell you what it’s about but I’m confident that it’s another glorious serve of science fiction adventure.


The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
Release Date:  Late Feb
After winning a bunch of awards for her science fiction, I wasn’t expecting her new book to be fantasy. It is though, and to my shame I’m only a short way into my preview copy as I write this. It’s a fantasy world that seems heavily populated by interventionist gods, one of whom seems to be a second person narrator of the story and possibly interacts with the characters. I also suspect that one of the characters is trans, though as far as I’ve read it’s only been hinted. So far I’m enjoying it, though I should add that I like it when a writer experiments with style and structure. It’s the first in a series and for anyone who is up for a different sort of fantasy read.
Tides of The Titans by Thoraiya Dyer
Release Date:  Late Jan
This is the third book in Dyer‘s Titan’s Forest series, and while we return to the world of massive trees that cradle whole cities in their canopy, we do so with a new cast of characters. At the centre is Leaper.  A courtier, explorer and sometime scoundrel. He’s also in love with the Queen of Airakland. When she is murdered he sets out to find those responsible, to find a list of suspects that include political rivals, neighbouring rulers or even the god of thunder who rules over them all. His journey will take him from one end of his world to another. From the tops of the trees to the vast floodplains and through places of legend and myth across one of the most stunningly original worlds in fantasy. This is high fantasy at its best.


Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Release Date:  Mid Feb
On the 20th of October 2017 the British Library opened a very special exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. It featured displays of original material from J K Rowling and her publisher’s archives as well historic documents and artefacts which trace the real-world origins of many of the elements from the books. How much of the Potterverse is pure invention and how much is inspired by history and folk-lore? You’ll be surprised at the answer. This is the companion book to the exhibition, now in paperback. It contains lots of photos from the exhibit as well as extensive and fascinating commentary.
Blackfish City by Sam J Miller
Release Date:  Late Jan
This is this is the paperback version of a 2018 title that got a bit overlooked at the time. With the release in this format, I’m hoping to put it back on people’s radar. It’s set in a future post climate-change apocalypse where the suffering remnants of humanity live on slowly failing floating city in the Arctic Circle. Then a stranger arrives with an orca and a bear and there are whispers of people who can talk to animals and revolution in the air. It’s a clever blend of environmental fiction and an unusual take on post-humanism and well worth a look.


If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
Release Date:  Mid Feb
This is a new crime novel with an unusual protagonist. It’s told from the perspective of Alex, a patient in coma ward. Despite how he appears he is in fact aware of his surroundings and can hear the discussions as his family tries to decide what to do about him. Despite his best efforts he can’t manage any sort of response that would alert the doctors and nurses around him that he is conscious and aware. The tests they run all tell them the same thing. That Alex is gone and what remains is just a body performing ordinary autonomic activities. Resigned to this, he waits and hopes for death. Then he hears something that leads him to suspect that the accident that left him like this may have been deliberate and that others may also be in danger. He begins to sift through his memories moment by moment looking for answers but even if he figures it out what can he do?
Doctor Who: Scratchman by Tom Baker
Release Date:  Early Feb
Every Doctor Who fan has their favourite Doctor, and mine is the fourth, played by Tom Baker. He’s done some audio work as The Doctor since leaving the show, but this is his first novel. It’s written in an unusual, conversational style, like The Doctor is sitting there and telling you the story like an old friend. I imagine there will be others beside me who hear Tom’s voice in their heads as they read. It’s set on a remote Scottish island where the Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane have stopped for a relaxing rest. Of course that never happens, and they soon discover the island is plagued by hideous scarecrows that are only the forerunners of something infinitely more evil and dangerous. A Doctor Who adventure in the style of the Tom Baker years. Joyful nostalgia for some and whole new experience for others.