TBR & BEYOND: November 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

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For the first time since the start of the year, I’m free of reread and readthrough commitments. That puts me in a great position to clear up my TBR tower. last month I wrapped up a lot of ongoing series, and this month I hope to get through some of the standalone titles on my list. Cixin Liu and Chris Hadfield both fit that criteria, and I have high hopes for both of them.

Coming off the back of a lot of long series, I want to get some of my anthologies out of the way. I’ll be kicking off the month with the Lavie Tidhar-edited The Best of World SF Volume 1. I read a little bit of translated fiction (mostly Chinese) but I’m hoping to broaden my horizons a little bit. A quick flip through promises authors from across multiple continents, and a lot of the stories intrigue me by title alone. I’ve heard a of  a few authors in here (and have met one), but I’m hopeful to find new ones too.

Also on the anthology front are a trio of Warhammer Crime books. I really enjoy the Varangantua-set crime novels, and while some of these short stories are about characters from those books, there is plenty of new territory being covered too. Past Black Library anthologies have been a bit hit-and-miss for me, but the mix of new and established authors always provides a few gems. I’m hoping to get through all three of these over the month, but the other Black Library books on the TBR (Phil Kelly’s Farsight novels and Nate Crowley’s Ruin) will likely wait a bit longer.

Now that my big readthrough is out of the way, I’m going to take a break from Star Trek‘s Litverse. I’m going to read the Picard novel Rogue Elements this month, but Coda will wait until another book in that series is out.

The rest of my time will hopefully be spent reading some classics of the genre. That means Larry Niven’s Ringworld, Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep, and HG Wells’ The War in the Air are all at the top of the list for November. Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles follows close behind. The good thing about most of these classic novels (Vinge being the exception) is that they’re all fairly short, so I should be able to fit them all in with little problem.

I do want to get to some of the non-SF reading on my TBR as well, which means Peter V. Brett and Steven Erikson should soon be on the shelves rather than on my windowsill. I’ve taken a peak at S. and it looks like a formidable sort of book that will require full attention. With the number of loose paraphernalia tucked into its pages, I’m not sure when I’ll have time for it.

If I get the time, I’ll be starting one of the new (to me) series from the TBR tower, but there are no guarantees of that. I have a feeling December could be a month of wholly new authors.

AND BEYOND

Ongoing paper and printing issues worldwide mean that tracking book releases is an arduous task. the final two Star Trek: Coda books could well be out by the end of the month, but it appears there is a long delay for the UK release.

I’m hoping that Adrian Tchaikovsky’s science fantasy novella Elder Race is still on track for the 11th. The same goes for Brandon Sanderson’s third Skyward novel Cytonic which is currently due for the 25th.

Black Library continue to be secretive, but Steel Tread is supposed to be out at some point this month. Unusually for Black library, it’s going straight to paperback, and promises a hefty dose of tank-based action.

On the TV front, the big name is the return of Star Trek: Discovery on the 18th. Though I have a lot of issues with it, Discovery gets stronger with each series, and I’m confident it can continue this positive trajectory.

Though it came out last month, I’m hoping to catch Dune in the cinema in the next week or so. Fingers crossed for some interesting SF film trailers to catch my eye while I’m there.

What about you? What SF are you looking forward to reading in October? 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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