Welcome to the first in a new series of posts entitled TBR and beyond. On the last of the year, I make a list of all the science fiction material coming out in the year ahead. You can find the 2021 version by clicking on this link. The problem is that publication dates shift around a lot (especially in these pandemic times) and there’s always stuff I forget and new announcements made during the year. So I thought it would be a good idea to make these updates monthly. Don’t worry, the annual updates will still happen, but these monthly ones will let me go into a little more death, a lot more accurately. In these posts I’ll also keep you updated about the physical TBR that I keep, so you can get an idea of what reviews you can expect to see coming up in the month ahead. So without further ado, let’s talk about June 2021.
As you can see, I’ve got a pretty sizeable TBR going at the moment. As you can see poking over the back, most of these books are Star Trek tie-ins. With the Litverse coming to an end this year, I’ve decided to get up to speed. obviously there’s too much to read in a single year, so I’ve focused on the voyages of the USS Titan. This includes the main series, Destiny, Typhon Pact, The Fall and a couple of novels that crossover with Riker’s continued adventures. But before I get to those I need to get through the Vanguard series that I’ve had sitting there for a few months now. I’m two books in (my review of Book #1: Harbinger is here) and I’m hoping to get through at least Vanguard this month, and maybe start on the follow-up Seekers quartet.
In other tie-in fiction, I’ve got a handful of Warhammer 40,000 books hanging around after WarhamMarch. That’s the first two Black Legion books and the omnibus of Night Lords, all by Aaron Dembski Bowden. I’d like to get one of those checked off by the end of the month, but at least one will still be there in July.
In non tie-in news, I have another big series sitting on the TBR, which is Pierce Brown’s Red Rising saga. I’ve heard a lot of good things about these from sources I trust (Mike’s Book Reviews and Fantasy Faction) so I grabbed a set of the first five (number six is not yet available). Ideally I’d get a start on this too, as the first three are fairly short books, but only time will tell.
With the series out of the way, things get rather messier. John Birmingham’s The Cruel Stars has been on my TBR basically all year, so that’s how I’m going to kick of the month. It’s the first in a series, but I know virtually nothing about it. Another book #1 I’m in the dark about is Adrian Tchaikovsky’s new space opera Shards of Earth. Though his last releases have been a bit bumpy, I trust Tchaikovsky to deliver, so i’m going into this one as blind as I can.
An author I have a slightly more bumpy history with is Peter F. Hamilton, whose massive Fallen Dragon is a TBR tower all by itself. This is one of my second-chance authors, and it’s pretty big, so I doubt I’ll get around to it this month. Andy Weir is another author whose last book didn’t completely thrill me, but Project Hail Mary has been getting some great reviews, and it sounds like more of The Martian than Artemis so I have high hopes. Weir’s writing is very direct, so I’ll probably squeeze this one in between other reads if I can.
Gareth L. Powell’s most recent trilogy was great reading, so I’ve picked up a tenth anniversary edition of his debut. I don’t know much about this one, but it’s looking like a July read rather than a June one. Though as it’s fairly short, I might make time. The last science fiction book in the TBR is The Best of World SF: Volume 1. Like many others, I’ve discovered a lot of great translated works in the past few years, so I’m hoping for more great stories from this anthology.
The only non-SF read here is the enigmatic S., devised by JJ Abrams and written by Doug Dorst. I’m keeping myself ignorant on this one, but it promises to be quite an experience. if it turns out to have more of an SF angle than I currently believe, I’ll be sure to review it here, but that probably won’t be for a while yet.
In addition to all this, my Dune reread continues on schedule, and June is a big month. With Dune and Paul of Dune coming up in June, we have both the original classic and my favourite entry in the canon, so I’m excited to talk about these.
On the book front, June is a bit thin on the ground. The second Star Wars: The High Republic book is out towards the end of the month (29th) but I haven’t yet read the first book in that series. The big June release for me is Jack Campbell’s return to John Geary in Boundless, which launches a new trilogy in the Lost Fleet universe. I’ll be reading that as soon as I can, so be sure to keep an eye out for that review. The book is out on the 15th if you want to grab a copy too.
In terms of TV, the headline is of course Disney+’s Loki. It looks like a bigger budget Doctor Who, so of course I’m, even though the MCU has been very mixed quality of late. Loki is available to stream from the 9th.
Most of my TV viewing these days comes from boxsets, and June is set to be no different. I’m one season into Colony as I rewatch the first two now that season 3 has finally made its way to UK screens. I’ll also be finishing my full rewatch of the spectacular Person of Interest. I’m hoping to get another boxset started during the month, and that’s looking likely to be the one season wonder Space: Above and Beyond, about which i have only heard good things.
And that’s your lot. More than enough for one month, and I’m sure my schedule will shift around as I get into the meat of it. How about you? Let me know in the comments what you plan to read and watch this month.