This list of upcoming sf and fantasy from most of the big sf publishers includes precisely two (maybe three or four) of the books I’m interested in reading next year. No Baen books at all, though. Also, most of them have covers that seem to invite you to slit your wrists or turn into gray goo. Gah. Clearly their idea of “essential” is not mine.
On the bright side, the Westerly Gales series by E.C. Williams is a fast-moving tale of post-Holocaust steampunk/Napoleonic warfare at sea. Also about ten times cheaper than most of the single volume hardcovers listed in the “essential” list.
Tom Simon has two incredible fantasies available: the standalone Lord Talon’s Revenge, and the first book of a series, The End of Earth and Sky.
Elizabeth Moon is going to be releasing the next book of her Paksenarrion fantasy sequence, and David Drake has both sf and fantasy books coming out this year.
And so on… Plenty of good books to read. Just not ones listed by boring ol’ io9.