Book tag: the end of the year tag

A pair of burgundy boots rest on a bookshelf of fantasy novels

I’ve not done a blog tag in forever, but Avery of RedRocketPanda has come to my rescue with The End of the Year tag! What last things can I squeeze into 2018?

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I think the only book I have outstanding is The Owl Service, which I started for Spooktastic Reads but didn’t get finished before I went on holiday. Winter is a good time for spooky tales though, so I’ll return to it after SciFiMonth. It was properly hair-raising from the first page and my beloved leaves the country next weekend so I can scare myself silly!

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Not really! I rarely read to season – at this time of year my reading is channelled around SciFiMonth and then whatever takes my fancy until Christmas.

Is there a new release youโ€™re still waiting for?

Not this year. I had thought Tiamat’s Wrath would be out before Christmas, but it’s not until March! The next two books I’m really excited about (Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds and The Kingdom of Copper by S A Chakraborty) won’t hit the shelves until January, but I have scored cheeky advance copies so they’re on my Christmas reading list!

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I’ve got a bit of a volume to time problem that I need a time turner or a TARDIS to solve! If only there were only three…

I was going to cheat and say Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers, but this is a gimme as it’s already by my bed to start tonight and I’ve promised to lend it to my cousin in December! (yes I love and trust her with my favourite books)

Three others I definitely intend to get to:

  • Thin Air – Richard Morgan
  • To Kill A Kingdom – Alexandra Christo
  • A Big Ship At The End Of The Universe – Alex White

…and Lisa is tempting me to continue our Deverry read-along, so Darkspell by Katharine Kerr! Classic Celtic-infused epic fantasy.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Well, Record of a Spaceborn Few has a fair chance given how much I love Becky Chambers’s work, but I guess that wouldn’t be a shock!

Another less-than-shocking possibility is The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (I know, I know, it wasn’t on my list of three but I have a heap of novellas and a long flight in my future before the end of the year)

The one to watch is To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. It’s a brilliant concept (a dark feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid where our heroine collects princes’ hearts) which sounds right up my street.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2019?

Very yes. I’m once again on the Subjective Chaos panel, so the next few months will be dominated by catching up on 2018 releases and reading the shortlists (because while the panel has adjacent interests, our reading and tastes are also broad enough to ensure there will be lots of nominees I haven’t read!)

In addition to books already mentioned there are some egregious gaps in my 2018 reading (Trail of Lightning, The Calculating Stars, Murderbot!) so I’ve got my hands full playing catch up.

However, I’d also like to clear my conscience of ARCs. I’ll be reading the ones I have and I’ll not be requesting any more unless they’re from series/authors I’m committed to supporting (subtext: you just try to stop me getting my hands on copies of Fleet of Knives or The Poison Song at the earliest opportunity).

…that’s the intention anyway. And you know what they say about good intentions…