Things I wish I’d written in 2013

A shameless plug of other authors’ work, and why. These are things I read in 2013. They weren’t necessarily published in that year.

Plague YearOpening line

“They ate Jorgensen first.”

Jeff Carlson, Plague Year

I mean, what can you say to a story that starts like this?

Best cover

Brian McClellan’s Promise of Blood.

Promise of BloodAwesome cover, and I don’t normally notice covers on books. The tagline isn’t bad either.

“The Age of Kings is dead . . . and I have killed it.”

Best creature

Brandon Sanderson’s thunderclasts.

“The enormous stone beast lay on its side, riblike protrustions from its chest broken and cracked. … vaguely skeletal in shape, with unnaturally long limbs that sprouted from granite shoulders. The eyes were deep red spots on the arrowhead face … the beasts’s hand was as long as a man was tall.”

Way of the KingsThe story that makes you think long after you’ve finished the book

Brandon Sanderson, The Way of the Kings.

Awesome world building

Surprise, surprise.

Brandon Sanderson again, The Way of the Kings.

Emerald GreenThe book I waited for with the most anticipation

Emerald Green, by Kirstin Gier (translated by Anthea Bell).

Nowadays, I normally wait until books are out before I buy them, but I pre-ordered book two (Sappire Blue) and three (Emerald Green) in Gier’s Ruby Red series. I haven’t done that since Diana Wynne Jones’ House of Glass .

Best line I wish I’d written

Is actually one we did write.

Not saying which, because it doesn’t work out of context, but I like it. They do say, if you love your work like that, get rid of it. Not going to happen, not in this draft.

Goblin EmperorThe book I’m most looking forward to next year

Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor

Sarah Monette’s Mildmay—from the Melusine, The Mirador, Virtu and Corambis—is one of my favourite characters ever. (Felix, not so much.) I was disappointed when Monette’s publishers decided to not continue to publish her. But now she’s back, as Katherine Addison, with the Goblin Emperor. It feels like it’s been coming forever, but it’s out in 2014.

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