Things I'm looking forward to, summer 2012 edition:
Redshirts, Scalzi's new one that looks like it's back to his style for The Android's Dream, a/k/a Christopher Moore decides to try his hand at true sci-fi.
Caliban's War, by James S.A. Corey, the follow-up to Leviathan's Wake, which was total awesome sauce. If you like Arthur C. Clarke-style high concept sci-fi mixed mil sf, a monster story, and a detective noir-style personal journey, Leviathan's Wake is totally your thing. If you don't want that, I don't want to be friends with you. Anyway, yeah, Caliban's War, looking forward to it.
Blackout, by Mira Grant. I can't tell you how much I loved Feed and Deadline. I've talked about them before, though. Anyway, Deadline ended on one hell of a cliffhanger. Wait, no, two hells of a cliffhanger. Three, maybe, if you count the overall story behind the two cliffhangers.
Meanwhile, between now and then, there's a prequel-ish short story to Leviathan Wakes and a prequel novella to Feed. I'm actually planning on re-reading the books during the month of May, too, which is pretty unprecedented for me.
Also, too, there's new Lost Immigrants on the way. And the new Scott Lucas & the Married Men stuff is set for June 5.
RCPM are doing their Wisconsin swing at the end of June. That means Madison, Milwaukee, New Glaurus beer, and Fuzzy's Tacos for this guy. Hell, yeah.
Oh, and did I mention I bought a house? I'm hoping it will be move-in ready in three weeks. So that'll be nice. The stuff I thought would take a long time is way ahead of schedule. The stuff I didn't realize was a problem, though, is going to delay things just a bit.
I'm still a not-fan of the whole zombie apocalypse thing. I enjoyed Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead because they were hilarious. As for the main trope, meh. But I still can't get enough of Mira Grant's stuff. I also strongly recommend Colson Whitehead's Zone One. Both are post-zombie apocalypse and both use the idea in the standard sci-fi "meditation on life as we know it in a very different world" concept. Grant goes for a systemic look at how we build society and disseminate information. Whitehead uses a stream-of-consciousness approach and uses the zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for how we create walls around ourselves and settle for mediocrity. Whitehead actually gets really low marks on Goodreads, but the stuff he gets marked down for is exactly the stuff that I think he does really well: it's a more-or-less emotionless, stream-of-consciousness meditation on life as we know it set in a zombie apocalypse. If you want Left 4 Dead, this isn't for you. If you want something with substance and a totally immersive setting, this is an amazing book, especially since there's one totally crazy reveal at the end that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of the book but is a kind of, "Holy shit," moment that wouldn't exist if the book was written any other way.
I think we're hitting a critical mass for books in the same way we hit a critical mass for music about five to ten years ago. The eBook platform is allowing authors to release a lot of interesting background material in the form of short stories and novellas directly to people who can then get it immediately and without, say, having to find it in a random copy of a magazine somewhere. That, plus the ability to self-publish and actually get the material out to a wide audience, is going to rock the publishing industry in the same way that the internet, mp3 players, and iTunes/Amazon have brought the traditional recording industry to its knees. Long-term I think it will be good. Short-term it's going to hurt a lot of people but bring success to a lot of people who were otherwise kept out of the game.