2013 books to look forward to, part one: familiar names

Hello, I’m back. As I usually do at this time of year, I’ve been browsing publishers’ spring catalogues for interesting new titles, and I thought I’d share some that I’m most looking forward to. Taking a leaf out of Jackie’s book, I’m going to split it into books by writers I already know, and debuts.

So, here are some of the 2013 titles by familiar authors which have caught my eye:

Adam Robots by Adam Roberts (January). Some of the best and most enjoyable novels I’ve read over the last few years have been by Roberts, so a comprehensive collection of his short fiction is going straight on my to-read list. What a great title and cover it has, too.

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (February). Lord’s canny debut, Redemption in Indigo, is on my “best reads of 2012” list. She turns to science fiction for her second novel, for which I have high hopes.

Orkney by Amy Sackville (February). I loved Sackville’s debut, The Still Point, for its sense of place and examination of relationships. This follow-up, about a couple living on an Orkney island, looks set to combine the two again.

The Humans by Matt Haig (May). Haig’s previous novel, The Radleys, stood out for what seemed to me a fresh take on a well-worn trope (vampires). The new novel sounds as though it balances grand cosmic themes with ordinary lives – count me interested in that.

Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux (June). I’d have given Theroux the Clarke Award for Far North, and it seems he may have returned to speculative territory for his new book. A tale of identity and a possible return from the dead… I’m fascinated to see what Theroux will do with that material.

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (June).  The tale of an Australian sheep farmer trying to rebuild his life on a remote British island, though still dwelling on his past. If Wyld’s debut, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, is anything to go by, this will be a treat.


Bubbling under: Nicholas Royle’s First Novel (January) is far from being its author’s first novel, but it sounds like great metafictional fun. Rupert Thomson returns with Secrecy (March), his first novel in six years. Also in March, Hassan Blasim follows up The Madman of Freedom Square with a new collection, The Iraqi ChristChaos Walking author Patrick Ness has a new adult novel out, The Crane Wife (May). I enjoyed The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter, so I’m intrigued to read his follow-up, Beautiful Ruins (May). Ever since I read Mr Chartwell, I’ve been wondering where Rebecca Hunt would go next; June sees my chance to find out, with the publication of Everland. June also sees a UK edition of Billy Lynn author Ben Fountain’s story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara. I’ve enjoyed Alison MacLeod’s short fiction in the past; in July, she’ll have a new novel out, Unexploded. Later in the year, I’ll also be looking forward to Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, Christopher Priest’s The Adjacent, and Katie Kitamura’s Gone to the Forest.

And those are just the authors I’ve read before. I’ll talk about the writers who are new to me in a few days.


  1. Strange Bodies and All the Birds, Singing are on my “lesser known” author list for next week! I’m a big fan of Theroux, especially Paperchase, so am looking forward to his new book. Glad you’re a fan too!

  2. I’m excited about Strange Bodies too, and the promise of *two* new Adam Roberts books. But everything else is being overshadowed by the prospect of Anne Carson’s sequel to Autobiography of Red, which is out in March.

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