TBR & BEYOND: July 2021

Welcome to the latest edition of TBR & BEYOND, a new regular feature where I take a look at my TBR, run through my reading plans for the month ahead, and talk about science-fiction related things I’m excited about for the coming month. A fair bit of this is similar to the previous month, but I’ll do my best to keep repetition to a minimum. Without further ado, let’s get into that TBR.

TBR

tbr.jpg

Magnificent, isn’t it? The two stacks on the left are all Star Trek tie-ins, in a readalong that should take me through to the end of the year at the current rate. Last month I finished the Vanguard series, and as I write this I’ve started the sequel series SeekersSeekers is only four books, and their snappy little things. I’m planning to alternate Star Trek books with other reads in an even manner, which puts me on course to read the first few Riker-centric Titan novels, and I might just reach David Mack’s epic Destiny trilogy by the end of the month. That particular trilogy will be a reread, but a solid half of these stacks is new to me, and it’s been several years since I read the rest, so they’ll likely be just as fresh.

Also on the reread front is the ongoing Dune marathon. July’s reads will be Dune Messiah and The Winds of Dune. These are two of the shortest books in the saga, and for me mark the end of the series’ high point. more details in the reviews to come, but Dune Messiah is my favourite Frank Herbert novel, and I’m looking forward to revisiting it.

I had planned to get into Pierce Brown’s Red Rising during June, but only found time for the first book. Finishing that original trilogy is one of my priorities for July, but I’ll probably hold off on the sequel trilogy for a little while. I’m not expecting the final book out this year, but Iron Gold and Dark Age are going on the back-burner for the time being.

As you can probably tell from the formidable logos, I’ve got a fair few Warhammer 40,000 books in the mix too. Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s novels have impressed me so far, but I’ll not be reading his Night Lords omnibus this month. Instead I’ll be diving into the Imperium side of things. June brought the unexpected release two new Sabbat War books. One and anthology edited by Dan Abnett, the other the start of a new series by Matthew Farrer. Given how the Sabbat Worlds were left at the end of Anarch, I’m eager to see how the involvement of other authors will advance the setting. In addition to that, I’ve picked up the first two Warhammer Crime novels (Guy Haley’s Flesh and Steel and Chris Wraight’s Bloodlines). Dredge Runners was a superb audio drama, and crime SF hybrids are often very good, so Black Library could be onto a real winner with this new mini-setting.

Still on the TBR from June are Fallen DragonThe Best of World SF Volume 1, and The Recollection. It’s unlikely that I’ll have time for these with the month I have planned, but if I do find time, The Recollection is my priority. One book I planned to get into in June but didn’t is Shards of Earth. I ended up trading this one for the novella One Day All This Will Be Yours, a decision I don’t regret one bit, but now I really want to get back into Tchaikovsky’s longer offerings.

The new SF book in that stack is Stark Holborn’s Ten Low. I don’t know much about it, but a book marketed as a cross between Firefly and Dune was always going to get my attention. It looks fairly short, so I’m sure I can find space for it in my schedule.

On a non-SF front, S. has been joined by Stephen Aryan’s The Coward, which I intend to use as a breather between SF series at some point during the month. As an aside, this edition of the book was an exclusive from a new independent UK bookshop called The Broken Binding. If you want to get your hands on great limited editions and extra goodies, I thoroughly recommend them.

 

EDIT: On the last day of June I’ve added 2 books to my TBR. One is a Ben Aaronovitch novella, but the other is Jack Campbell’s new novel Boundless. I’m very excited about this one and will definitely get it read and reviewed in July.

AND BEYOND

Right now I’m in the process of wrapping up a lot of long series. I finished Person of Interest a few weeks ago, and filled the space with the final season of The 100. This is a show that has a real roller-coaster of quality over its seven year run. The final season has been one of the dips unfortunately, with far too much thrown into the mix. That said, I’ve never seen a man carry a show the way JR Bourne is by midway through the season. There’s chance the show can regain its footing in these last few episodes, but I’m not overly optimistic.

I’m also on the final season of Colony, as it makes its way to UK screens 3 years after finishing in the US. Season 3 is good stuff so far, with some real Falling Skies vibes. I believe it ends on an unresolved cliffhanger, but I’m just glad I’m finally able to view the whole series.

My enthusiasm for Loki has waned rather, and I’ll likely wait for the whole series to release before committing. Space: Above and Beyond is still on my watch-list, but aside from those 22 episodes, I’m at something of a loss for what to watch/rewatch next. Recommendations greatly appreciated!

Unless Black Library springs another surprise release, July is looking rather barren in terms of new releases. This sin’t all bad. I still have last month’s books to get hold of, and my TBR could do with shrinking for a change. I’m also part of something that should throw some more books my way in the near future, but I’m saving that announcement for a few more days. Keep your eyes peeled.

EDIT:  Sure enough, Black Library have sprung a surprise. The second Minka Lesk book, Traitor Rock is available to pre-order from the 3rd, and it looks like limited editions of a fair few books are coming sooner rather than later. Hopefully regular editions will be close behind for commoners like me.

What about you? What SF are you looking forward to reading in July? Let me know in the comments.

Published by Alex Hormann

I'm a writer, reader, and farmer, with an interest in all things speculative.

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