Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Author: Terry Lago


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The Book of Lost Tales 2: Framework for Tolkien’s fantasy epic

The Book of Lost Tales 2 by J.R.R.Tolkien

In volumes one and two of The Book of Lost Tales, we have a more or less full picture of the earliest work J.R.R. Tolkien did in the development of his personal mythology which later grew into the tales of Middle Earth. It was a mythology meant to provide England with something he felt it sorely needed: a foundation myth. Also, it was a vehicle which allowed him to explore and expand upon his own fascination with the world and stories of Faery,


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Angel with the Sword: An immersive introduction to a larger universe

Angel with the Sword by C.J. Cherryh

C.J. Cherryh has penned both science fiction and fantasy tomes (as well as the blended Science Fantasy that partakes of both) and much of her significant sci-fi output has been in multiple series that span time, space, and in some ways even genre. And yet all of her works are part of a much larger future history of mankind amongst the stars: Angel with the Sword is the first book of the eight-book MEROVINGEN NIGHTS series,


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Pandemonium: Demon possession and Jungian archetypes

Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory

I’m going to say something that sounds unkind, but really it’s a compliment from me: for a long time now I’ve kind of thought of Daryl Gregory as something of a poor man’s Sean Stewart. I must first admit that this happened before I actually read any of his books (this one is my first), and was based on what I could glean of them from the jacket blurbs and comments/reviews. It probably also comes from the fact that I once ran across a posting made by Gregory on a message board or blog somewhere where he bemoaned the fact that Sean Stewart was no longer writing and wished that he could still look forward to more books by him (a desire which I have ardently shared ever since Stewart decided to move on from writing into online game design) and so I thought maybe he was taking the bull by the horns and writing his own in the Stewart mould.


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Supreme Power: Powers and Principalities by J. Michael Straczynski

Supreme Power (Vol. 2): Powers and Principalities by J. Michael Straczynski

In this volume, the shinola hits the fanola. Turns out alien superbeings don’t like being lied to or manipulated in the way they were raised . . . Who knew?! In Powers and Principalities, the second volume of Supreme Power, Hyperion now knows that the government sponsored fiasco that he calls his childhood was all just a scam so the U.S. of A. could have a super-weapon in its back pocket.


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Supreme Power: Contact by J. Michael Straczynski

Supreme Power (Vol. 1): Contact by J. Michael Straczynski

I guess you could consider J. Michael Straczynski’s Supreme Power the bastard child (or perhaps grandchild) of books like Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in which the four-colour superheroes of old get a more ‘realistic’ make-over and are shown for the dangerous psychopaths they would all-too-likely be in our world. In this case we have Marvel’s Squadron Supreme coming under the deconstructive microscope.


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Lone Wolf and Cub: Black Wind by Kazuo Koike

Lone Wolf and Cub (Vol. 5): Black Wind by Kazuo Koike

Black Wind, Volume 5 of the Lone Wolf and Cub, series does some good work in moving forward the main story arc by giving us further insights into the events that brought about the downfall of the Ogami clan especially in regards to the motivations of the insidious Yagyu clan. It’s always interesting in these stories to see how Ogami is both something of a selfless hero and at the same time a remorseless killer truly willing to follow the ‘demon’s road’ of Meifumado and abjure normal human feelings and values no matter their cost to himself and others.


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Lone Wolf and Cub: The Bell Warden by Kazuo Koike

Lone Wolf and Cub (Vol. 4): The Bell Warden by Kazuo Koike

The Bell Warden, Volume 4 of Lone Wolf and Cub, is still obviously chock full of action and bloodshed as Ogami continues cutting a swath through Tokugawa-era Japan on his path of vengeance. The main story arc doesn’t get a significant push forward here, hence the slightly lower rating from previous volumes, though we do get a lot of details on Tokugawa-era Japan and more than a few interesting things in the stories Koike &


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Exit Kingdom: More of Alden Bell’s zombie apocalypse

Exit Kingdom by Alden Bell

Ok, first of all, what the hell is up with that cover? In what world is Moses Todd supposed to look like a refugee from a paranormal romance series airing on the CW? Not in mine, that’s for sure.

Alright, now that that’s off my chest we can continue. What we have here is the sequel/prequel to Alden Bell’s initial foray into the zombie apocalypse, The Reapers Are the Angels. This time around we follow former secondary characters Moses Todd and his brother in their rambles across a ravaged America prior to their meeting with Temple from the first book.


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Star Well: A light SF comedy of manners

Star Well by Alexei Panshin

Star Well, by Alexei Panshin, is an entertaining comedy of manners in the SF mode with a hint of the demimonde thrown in for flavour. Our protagonist is Anthony Villiers, Viscount Charteris, an aristocrat and fop whose life seems to be a perpetual Grand Tour of the Nashuite Empire, chasing the stipend afforded him by his father from port to port and resorting to what might, in impolite circles, be considered illicit means to gain funds when he is unable to catch up with it.


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The January Dancer: A very good space opera

The January Dancer by Michael Flynn

The January Dancer is a very good space opera… I wish it had tipped over into great. There is a lot going on here to love: a sufficiently deep future history created through the liberal use of allusion that references any number of existing earth cultures (heavily relying on Celtic and cultures from the Indian subcontinent) along with some pretty swell creations of Flynn’s own (the Hounds, ‘those of Name’, the Terran Corners, the Rift, the People of Sand & Iron, etc.) in which the diaspora of humanity has settled across the cosmos,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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