The next publisher to influence my 2016 reading landscape is Orion Publishing. Their imprints include Weidenfeld & Nicolson (W&N), Orion Fiction and Gollancz
Here are the titles that catch my eye. Just because I don’t go into details for a particular title doesn’t mean anything, just that I have to limit it somehow or else otherwise I may as well just post a link to the catalogue (ponders this idea…) (Also these are just the fiction titles, non-fiction could fill a whole other post)
January. So what should you save some of your sales spending money for. First up to catch my eye is Travelers Rest by Keith Lee Morris. The Addisons are on their way home from collecting Uncle Robbie from another Rehab stint. Caught in a snowstorm they take refuge in the Travelers Rest. But once there, they become separated and the hotel seems to cast a spell over the Addisons. Julia and Tonio get caught in the labarynthian series of corridors, son Dewey ventures outside and Uncle Robbie seems to relapse. But whilst trying to save each other they live the same day over and over again. Is Julia the key to breaking the spell or will they have to live the horrendous Groundhog Day for eternity? (W&N)
Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan is out this month. This SF book weaves together a woman with wings trapped in another dimension, a man trapped in his own body by a killer, a briefcase that leads to other dimensions and a conspiracy that could reach beyond our world. (Gollancz)
There’s a treat for James Lee Burke, Robert Crais and A.P.McCoy fans in January with the publication of House of the Rising Sun, The Promise and Narrowing the Field respectively. (Orion) Also out are The Beauty of Destruction by Gavin Smith (Gollancz), Den Patrick’s The Girl on the Liar’s Throne (Gollancz) and the first of two novels from Brandon Sanderson, January’s being The Bands of Mourning. (Gollancz)
February sees the paperback release of The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North. Described by Lena Durham has having ‘A totally unforgettable female anti-hero’ this is the story of Sophie Stark, as told by the six people who loved her most. What effect has her work as a life as a film-maker had on those closest to her? Also out this month is The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell. Clara, lives with Mr Crowe, who’s celebrated life has descended into a less salubrious state. Also in the large, rambling house is housekeeper Eustace, who isn’t all she seems. Clara spends her days wandering around the house, communicating only by way of notes. Then Mr Crowe commits an unforgivable crime and draws the attention of a secret society. However they are soon more interested in Clara. What gifts does she have that may her so desirable? (W&N) Erica James returns with The Song of the Skylark this month. Lizzie has had an unfortunate romantic incident and so has to give up her job and return home. Her mother gets her a role at a local care home. There she meets Mrs Dallimore. As Mrs Dallimore tells Lizzie of her past, travelling to England from the US during WWII, Lizzie becomes aware she isn’t the only one to make mistakes. (Orion) One that has been created a social media buzz so must be mentioned is Victoria Aveyard’s Glass Sword. Mare is a commoner but has the ability to control lightening, making her a weapon the Royal court wants. When she escapes she discovers she is not the only one of her kind. As the rebellion grows Mare is at risk of becoming the thing she is trying to beat. Will she succeed and be brought to ruin in the process? (Orion). Brooke Magnanti’s The Turning Tide opens with a body being found on a Hebridean Island. Miles away Erykah Macdonald is about to make a decision that will change her live. Secrets worse than her own could be revealed. What connects the two and who will do anything to protect their reputation, including murder? This is the first crime thriller from Brooke, better known as Belle de Jour. (Orion)
If you have been reading the Reckoners series from Brandon Sanderson you’ll be pleased to know the final book, Calamity, is published in February. (Gollancz)
Also out is 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough. Natasha is pretty, clever and popular. Until one morning she is found in the river by a dog walker. She was dead for 13 minutes. Someone tried to drown her. The police want to know why. (Gollancz)
Also out in February is The Glittering Art of Falling Apart by Ilana Fox (Orion), Down Station by Simon Morden (Gollancz), Empire V by Victor Pelevin (Gollancz), Runaway Vampire by Lynsay Sands (Gollancz), and The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter (Gollancz).
March and the last novel of Paul Torday, Death of an Owl, is published. Andrew Langford, next in line to be Prime Minister, is driving home when a barn owl flies into his windscreen and dies. Although an accident it is a crime to kill a barn owl. In the car with him is his political advisor, Charles Fryerne. Now they have to decide whether to come clean or hide the death of the owl.(W&N) Tami Hoag fans will be happy to hear that her latest novel, The Bitter Season, is out this month too. (Orion). March also brings with it The English Girl. Katherine Webb’s latest novel sees Joan Seabrook fulfil her dream of travelling to Muscat. Once there she meets her childhood hero; explorer Maude Vickery. Joan and Maude’s friendship grows and only when it is too late does Joan realise that Maude has used Joan in her own plans for revenge. Can Joan find a way to stop things before it is too late?(Orion)
2015 saw the birth of Eddie Flynn from the pen of Steve Cavanagh. March 2o16 sees more from the con-man turned lawyer. In The Plea the FBI want Flynn to secure David Child as a client. The catch? Child is accused of murder and is a big client of Harland & Sinton. The FBI want Child so that he can testify against them in a giant fraud case. Eddie doesn’t want to play ball but it seems the FBI aren’t above a bit of blackmail themselves…(Orion)
Also out in March is The End Game by Raymond Khoury (Orion), Into Everywhere by Paul McAuley (Gollancz), Midnight Marked by Chloe Neill (Gollancz), The Stealer’s War by Stephen Hunt (Gollancz), and The Mortal Tally by Sam Sykes (Gollancz).
April and a few as yet untitled novels. In Nicky Pellegrino’s new novel Stella swops her house with an old Italian villa. Can she really fall for the owner from meeting his friends, cooking his suggested meals and from his favourite places, without ever meeting him? Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn returns in a new novel from Becky Masterson. The Killing Lessons author Saul Black returns. Katherine Glass is beautiful and intelligent. She also happens to be a sadistic killer, behind bars and intent on getting revenge on the woman who put her there. When Homicide detective Valerie Hart investigates a murder she crosses paths with Glass. The outcome could be deadly. (Orion)
Shtum by Jim Lester is another book that is already garnering rave reviews. Described as both heart-breaking and funny, Shtum is the story of Ben and Emma and their struggle to cope with their autistic son, Jonah. Desperate for help they fake a separation and Ben and Jonah move in with Ben’s dad Georg. As Ben struggles with being a single dad, Jonah is unwittingly the one who untangles the complexity of family history, identity and misunderstanding. (Orion)
We can also expect a new novel from Linwood Barcley with Far From True (Orion). When four people are killed in an accident at a drive in cinema the daughter of one of the victims asks PI Cal Weaver to look into a break in at her father’s house. He discovers a secret room where incriminating sexual activities have taken place. And a DVD has been taken. As he investigates it appears there may be more on the DVD than first appears. As this is going on Detective Barry Duckworth in looking into two separate murders that he believes are connected. How are the murders and the missing DVD connected?(Orion)
Also out in April is Joe Abercrombie’s collection of short stories entitled Sharp Ends (Gollancz), The Veil by Chloe Neill (Gollancz) and Nemesis by Alex Lamb (Gollancz).
Next we have The Witches of New York by Ami McKay. Three women meet in a room on Fifth Avenue. They are there to peer into the future and talk to the dead… An intriguing sounding story of suffragettes and secrets that is published in May.(Orion).
May’s bumper book crop continues with Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop. Emilia Nightingale, owner of Nightingale Books is struggling to remain open. However for her customers the shop is a lifeline. There’s Gary who buys books to read to his coma-stricken girlfriend, Betty, who has a crush on a man she met and lost in the cookery section and Mrs Norris who routinely forgets to pay for her books. When Emilia meets Dexter, who wants to improve his English, they rediscover her favourite authors. Can Emilia fight to keep Nightingale Books open? (Orion)
Mason Cross’ third novel, Winterlong is out in May too. Years ago Carter Blake was part of Winterlong, a secret government operation. News reaches him that a former colleague has been murdered, a colleague who who had reached the same ‘agreement’ with the operation leaders as Blake in that he would keep quiet about what they were doing in return for being left alone. It appears that agreement is over and Blake realises his past is about to catch up with him. (Orion)
The Fireman by Joe Hill sees Harper discover she is pregnant on the same day she is told she has a terminal disease known as dragonscale. She is victim of an epidemic that is sweeping the country. She is determined to live long enough to give birth and so sets out to track down the man who may be the only means to save her: The Fireman. (Gollancz)
Also out in May is Wedding Bells for Nurse Connie by Jean Fullerton, (Orion), Eliza’s Make Do and Mend by Kitty Danton, (Orion), R.J. Ellory’s Kings of America (Orion), Stranger of Tempest by Tom Lloyd (Gollancz), The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski (Gollancz), the latest happenings in Midnight Texas in Charlaine Harris’ Night Shift (Gollancz) and a new novel for Kenstibec fans from Jon Wallace, Rig (Gollancz).
Onto June and Michel Bussi’s Black Waterlillies. Artist Jerome Morval has been murdered. Key to the mystery are three women, a painting prodigy, the local teacher and an old widow. What do they have to do with the murder and how is Monet’s painting of black waterlillies connected? (W&N)
Fans of PC Peter Grant will be pleased to hear that he returns in June in Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree. (Gollancz)
Liz Fenwick’s The Returning Tide is also out in June. When her marriage breaks down, Liz decides to go to the family home, a home she has only ever seen in photos. When she arrives she’s thrown head first into a wedding, a wedding which is cursed according to the best man. Is the house haunted by its past? (Orion)
Also published this month is Smoke by Dan Vyleta (W&N), A Hero in France by Alan Furst (W&N), Burning Angels by Bear Grylls (Orion), The Inheritance by Katie Agnew (Orion), Framed by Ronnie O’Sullivan, Angur’s Gambit and The King’s Justice by Stephen Donaldson (Gollancz), James Barclay’s Heart of Granite (Gollancz) and an as yet untitled novel from Harry Bingham. (Orion)
July and Lily Brooks-Dalton’s debut, Good Morning, Midnight, is published. Augustine is left in a remote Artic research station, after warning has come of a catastrophic event. She finds Iris, a child, has been left behind but cannot raise a connection to the outside world. Meanwhile, above the Earth, astronaut Sullivan is flying back to Earth after her trip to Jupiter. When her ship loses contact with Mission Control Sullivan and the rest of the crew must decide what to do. (W&N)
Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi is also published in July. It is 1958 and WWII has never happened. In the 1930s the world was conquered by an army from the afterlife. How can you overthrow rulers who can’t be escaped, even in death? (Gollancz)
Also out in July are Maureen Lee’s Violet’s Children (Orion), The Debutante by Lesley Lokko (Orion) and Waking Hell by Al Robertson (Gollancz).
Fantasy and Sci-Fi fans may also want to keep a look out for Gollancz’s masterworks that are due out throughout the year.
So there you have it, a plethora of novels to suit every literary palette. I know which ones I’ll be adding to the ever increasing wish list. What about you?