My top six most anticipated releases of 2015-2016

As one year now ends and another begins I will take the opportunity to think about the good things that will happen, or that I hope will happen, this year. More precisely I will list the releases in literature and television that I am most looking forward to in 2015. Since a couple of things that may perhaps be released next year, instead of this year that now starts, eclipse the 2015 releases I’m gonna stray into 2016 territory as well.

I’m not entirely sure of course that all things on this list will be released this year or the next, if you hear something else from the authors, producers etc you may perhaps end up disappointed if you go by what I say and not they. Hedging about dates aside, here goes:

1. The Winds of Winter, by George RR Martin

Well this is of course the big one. This will be the sixth book in the best fantasy series I have ever read, and I have read a lot of fantasy. I am picking up rumors here and there that we might get this book as early as this year or the next. The author is of course careful about saying anything but the consensus among any fans seems to be that it’s not unrealistic to expect the whole thing not to go down like A Dance with Dragons.

This book is however spoken of to the extent that I don’t need to say much else, I am far from the only one who’s impatient about this release. So without further ado, let’s agree that it would be great if it came out this summer and go on to the next item.

2. The Doors of Stone, by patrick Rothfuss

This is book three in the Kingkiller Chronicles, a fantasy series that started with The Name of the Wind in 2007. For you who haven’t read it, the story follows the traditional meme of a young man starting at the bottom and working his way up to great things, but it is not as as cliche-ridden as other fantasy novels that follow the same script. Or let’s put it like this, it’s not written by one of those fantasy authors who is trying to reinvent The Lord of the Rings, it focuses much more on dialog and character interaction than kingdom of the elves here, kingdom of the goblins there.  The whole story is told in the shape of an interview, where the main character sits in a tavern and retells what has happened to a scribe, further introducing the element of an unreliable narrator which makes the whole thing more interesting.

Like I said, the first book was released in 2007, and the second in 2011. The reasons for believing the third installment is due soon is thus rather obvious. And I just read this on the series Wikipedia page:

“On July 18, 2013, Twentieth Century Fox announced that the Kingkiller Chronicle was optioned for a TV series. The production team includes Eric Heisserer, Arnon Milchan, Andrew Plotkin, Brad Weston, and Robert Lawrence.”

I don’t know if that idea has been canned or is still up for consideration, but wouldn’t that, with the right actors, just be awesome?

3. True Detective, Season 2

HBO seems to have a thing for naming a show True X, and then letting it take place in Louisiana and deal with whatever X is. True  Blood was about vampires in Louisiana, True Detective about detectives in Louisiana so if whatever deity is listening is good we will at some point get True Battlestar, a re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica in Louisiana. Or not.

I like the first season of True Detective a lot and apparently there is another season coming this summer. The seasons, if what I have read isn’t bullshit, will have nothing to do with each other, the word on the street seems to be that season 2 will take place in California and be about completely different people. This means that for the show to stay strong they have to from scratch come up with a story as brilliant as the first one.

The first season took a rather small-scale event and built a whole plot around it, it didn’t deal with the machinations of kings or an alien invasion but just a couple of local murders. This wasn’t in itself the most interesting setting, murder mysteries are hardly new. What made this show great is the not necessarily the plot but the sheer quality of it all, every single scene was masterfully crafted. For those of you who have already watched it, take a look at this clip of one of the best scenes ever made to relive part of what I’m talking about. To those who haven’t  already watched this show, repent and do better.

4. Game of Thrones, SEASON 5

This show has attained such mainstream popularity that I don’t really have to explain myself here, most people reading a blog such as this are bound to have seen or at least heard of it. I will watch and review the entire season episode by episode as soon as it is released, much like I did with The Newsroom a couple of months ago. I will also soon publish a post here about my predictions for the coming season, I’m watching this show from the perspective of someone who has read the books and have a thing or two to say to others who have read them to, but such a discussion warrants its own post.

5. Prometheus 2

I happen to belong to the group of people who actually did like the first Prometheus. A lot. It may be because I was never a die-hard alien fan and thus didn’t nerd-rage over certain details as I suspect I am going to do when watching the next season of GoT, or it may be for some other reasons, but in either case I say it and I say it proudly. Compare it to other recent science fiction productions within an established universe coming out of Hollywood , like the newer Star Treck and Star Wars movies, and Prometheus comes out on top.

That may be damning it with faint praise but what I mean is that I watched Prometheus like other people watched  Interstellar, and I view those two in much the same way. Good, well-produced science fiction that deals with difficult matters while also showcasing space exploration. Both movies had both suspense and the kind of character depth that makes a movie rewatchable. I don’t mind more of that.

6. Sherlock, season 4

This one I worry about a little. I loved the first two seasons of Sherlock, and I did not dislike the third. But the way that the last episode ended makes me suspect that things may spiral out of control.

What I liked about the early installment of Sherlock was the small-scale stuff, the dialog between the main characters and the actual solving of cases Sherlock-style. That’s how I preferred the show to go on, with Sherlock solving different mysteries while doing his thing and not becoming to famous or involved with geopolitics, assassinations, supervillains or the like. My favorite episode was perhaps the first one , although I did to be honest also really like the first episode of the second season, the one with Irene Adler.

Nevertheless, even the episodes of Sherlock that focus on things I’d prefer they didn’t tend to include great moments here and there, quite a lot of them actually, and so I wouldn’t ever consider skipping the coming forth season.

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