Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Jana Nyman


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Lexicon: You’ll never look at words the same way again

 Lexicon by Max Barry

Compare two commonly-used adages: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” versus “The pen is mightier than the sword.” In your own life, which saying have you found to be truer? It’s all well and good to claim that an intangible thought, either spoken or written, is less powerful than a physical object, but one can easily come up with several examples to the contrary: Discarded treaties between the United States government and various Native American tribal peoples; Chairman Mao’s infamous little red book;


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The Tropic of Serpents: A wonderfully beguiling voice

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

In my review of Marie Brennan’s A Natural History of Dragons, I wrote that Brenan had me immediately with Lady Trent’s “wry, rebellious, sardonic voice,” but that the novel lost its edge about 100 pages in and never quite fully recovered, leaving me somewhat dissatisfied. I’m happy to say that the sequel, The Tropic of Serpents, kept that wonderfully beguiling voice, but managed to smooth out the problems with pacing,


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Dreams of the Golden Age: Better than first book

Dreams of the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Dreams of the Golden Age is the follow up to Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age, to which I gave only a middling review thanks to issues of plotting and characterization. While the sequel suffers from some of the same problems, they crop up less frequently and are less problematic. The main character, meanwhile, is a more active and engaging voice and so I found Dreams of the Golden Age to be more successful and thus far more enjoyable.


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After the Golden Age: The perils of being human

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

After the Golden Age, by Carrie Vaughn, is a likable enough novel that takes the world of comic book superheroes and filters it through a more realistic prism, focusing more on a family and character, with the usual superhero action scenes playing more in the background. Unfortunately, what could have been a truly fun read is marred by issues of weak plotting and characterization, making After the Golden Age a somewhat pallid and on balance a slightly disappointing novel.


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A Natural History of Dragons: A great start to a great series

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent  by Marie Brennan

I’m not going to start at the beginning with A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan; I’m going to start before the beginning — at the cover. Why? Because it’s gorgeous: a beautifully drawn, silver and blue and grey hued dragon walking on all fours, its left front and right hind leg in the process of moving forward; its powerful legs, erect head,


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The Great Bazaar: More stories by Peter V. Brett

The Great Bazaar by Peter V. Brett

Shame on me for not having read Peter V. Brett’s The Warded Man and The Desert Spear yet. I have them on audio and I look forward to reading them — I just keep thinking that I’ll let Mr. Brett get further along in the series before I jump in (the series has been progressing slowly, but book 3, The Daylight War, comes out next February). Yet I’m attracted to Brett’s world and after reading his novella Brayan’s Gold,


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Brayan’s Gold: A perfect appetizer

Brayan’s Gold by Peter V. Brett

I’m really enjoying these little novellas that Sub Press puts out. Because they’re meant as stand-alone side-stories, they’re a great way for me to get a feel for an author’s world and writing style before jumping into a big series.

Peter V. Brett’s Brayan’s Gold is the story of how Arlen, one of the main characters in Brett’s Demon Cycle, goes on his first solo job and meets a snow demon. The episode is referred to in the story collection The Great Bazaar,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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