Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Bill Capossere


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The Brides of High Hill: A well-crafted tale

The Brides of High Hill by Nghi Vo

The Brides of High Hill (2024) is the fifth installment in Nghi Vo’s SINGING HILLS series of novellas. I found it a solid enough of a story if a bit slight, though it’s possible that if, unlike me, you’ve read the others you might have a more positive response.

Cleric Chih is accompanying a young bride, Nhung, and her parents to the estate of Lord Guo, where Nhung is to be wed to her wealthy but far older husband-to-be.


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Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos

Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos by Lisa Kaltenegger

Alien Earths: The New Science of Planet Hunting in the Cosmos, by Lisa Kaltenegger is at times a fascinating book, is at times an inspiring book, is often an informative book, but also, unfortunately, is often a frustrating book. Or at least it was for me. It’s a worthy read, but one that feels like it could have been much more.

Kaltenegger is director of the Carl Sagan Institute to Search for Life in the Cosmos at Cornell University and as such is one of the best candidates for writing a book on exoplanets (those planets outside our own solar system),


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I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons: Quintessential Beagle

I’m Afraid You’ve Got Dragons by Peter S. Beagle

2023 was a good year for Peter Beagle fans (and who isn’t a Beagle fan?), with the publication of two retrospective short story collections — The Essential Peter S. Beagle Volumes I and II — and another book (The Way Home) combining two novellas, one a reprint and the other brand new. And now, just as the afterglow of all that may be starting to fade, 2024 says “hold my mead,” offering up a new novel,


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A House Like an Accordion: Not recommended

A House Like an Accordion by Audrey Burges 

A House Like an Accordion (2024) by Audrey Burges has an absolutely fantastic opening line: “I was brushing my teeth when my hand disappeared.” Talk about a hook. What is going on here? The author had me at the start. Unfortunately, the promise of that opening line was never realized and thanks to a number of issues, the novel ended up being one I had to push myself to finish and thus can’t recommend.


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Wicked Problems: Save the world, or fix the world?

Reposting to include Bill’s new review.

Wicked Problems by Max Gladstone

Save the world, or fix the world? Can we do either? These questions underlie the second book in Max Gladstone’s CRAFT WARS series, Wicked Problems. Other things are happening in this 2024 installment, too, and the ending, while anticipated, is a gamechanger for everyone involved.

In Book One, Dead Country, Craftswoman Tara Abernathy took on a student, the orphaned and traumatized Dawn.


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The Silverblood Promise: A highly enjoyable stew of fantasy

The Silverblood Promise by James Logan

If any novel can make the case that a cliché is just a poorly executed trope, it’s James Logan’s debut novel The Silverblood Promise, the first in his THE LAST LEGACY series. Rakish, roguish noble? Check. Ancient civilization done in by some sort of cataclysm? Check. Scrappy, sassy street rat? Check. Mysterious, legendary thief? Mysterious, notorious criminal underground? Mysterious ancient artifacts? Unctuous, corrupt, greedy merchant-princes? Check, check, check, check. Heck, we’ve even got dying last words scrawled in one’s own blood (mysterious words,


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Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life

Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life by Jason Roberts

Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life (2024), by Jason Roberts, is a fascinating and (for me at least) eye-opening book detailing the parallel exploration of the natural word by two 18th -century naturalists, one of whom is a (relatively) familiar household name and the other, at least in this household, is not. With these sorts of books, it probably comes as no surprise that it’s the latter who should be better know.


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The Book That Broke the World: Enjoyable throughout its entire length

The Book That Broke the World by Mark Lawrence

It’s funny that as I was reading Mark Lawrence’s The Book That Broke the World (2024), I kept thinking how it was much more action/plot oriented than its predecessor, The Book That Wouldn’t Burn, which in my head I recalled as far more character and theme-driven. Then, in preparation for writing this review, I went back and read my review of book one and saw that I’d noted how the action “quickens at a relentlessly breathless rate.” So maybe it’s a balance thing?


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The Morningside: A mostly successful mix of genres

The Morningside by Téa Obreht

The Morningside by Téa Obreht is set in a post-climate change near-future in a partial drowned city called Island City (maybe Manhattan?) that is accepting refugees to repopulate the city with promises of newly constructed/renovated homes for those who come to work. The novel is a mostly successful mix of genres, a sort of magical realist/cli-fi Harriet the Spy if Harriet were also a refugee.

Our main character is eleven-year-old Sylvia, who has arrived with her mother in the titular rundown high-rise where Sylvia’s Aunt Ena works as the super (there is a frame and the tale is told as a flashback from adult Sylvia’s perspective,


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System Collapse: Just as entertaining as all the rest of the series

Reposting to include Marion’s new review.

System Collapse by Martha Wells

The first thing to know about Martha Wells’ System Collapse is that if you can’t dredge up memories of its (chronological) predecessor, Network Effect, you’re going to want to refresh yourself either by a reread (fun enough) or skimming a few reviews, as System Collapse picks up directly afterward and really feels like it could have just been part of Network Effect (you know,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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