Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Order [book in series=yearoffirstbook.book# (eg 2014.01), stand-alone or one-author collection=3333.pubyear, multi-author anthology=5555.pubyear, SFM/MM=5000, interview=1111]: 1933


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He Arrived at Dusk: Roman holiday

He Arrived at Dusk by R.C. Ashby

Not for the first time, a novel resurrected by the fine folks at Valancourt Books has turned out to be one of my favorite reads of the year. Back in 2020, J. B. Priestley’s Benighted (1927), reissued by Valancourt in 2013, was one of my favorites, and just last month, Ernest G. Henham’s Tenebrae (1898), brought back to life by Valancourt in 2012, became one of my top picks for 2023.


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Skin and Bones: “I’m looking through you….”

Skin and Bones by Thorne Smith

Up until recent years, I could have counted on the fingers of one hand the books that have made this reader laugh out loud … and I still would have had a couple of fingers left over. Those three books – all of which make me chuckle today, just thinking about them – are, chronologically, Harry Harrison’s undeniably funny Bill, The Galactic Hero (1955), Eric Frank Russell’s hilarious sci-fi adventure The Great Explosion (1962),


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The Man From Tomorrow: Past shock

The Man From Tomorrow by Stanton A. Coblentz

In Robert Silverberg’s masterful 1968 novel The Masks of Time —just one of three novels that the author released that year, during one of his superhumanly productive periods — the Earth of 1998 is visited by a man name Vornan-19, who has arrived from the year 2999, and whose advent leads to all manner of upheaval and complications. But this, of course, was hardly the first time that an author had written about a visitor from the far future.


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Some Must Watch: Book vs. film

Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White

There is a word that film buffs like to use to describe a type of motion picture that, because of its tautness and high suspense quotient, almost seems as if it had been directed by the so-called “Master of Suspense” himself, Alfred Hitchcock. The word, naturally enough, is “Hitchcockian,” a term that might be fairly applied to such wonderful entertainments as Gaslight (both the 1940 and ’44 versions), Charade, The Prize and Arabesque. But of all the pictures that have been honored with the adjective “Hitchcockian” over the years,


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Golden Blood: Durand of Arabia

Golden Blood by Jack Williamson

I’d like to tell you about a terrific book that I have just finished reading. In it, a 2,000-year-old Arabian woman, living her immortal existence in the heart of an extinct volcano after being endowed by a mysterious force of nature, waits patiently for the reincarnation of her dead lover to reappear to her. “Hold on,” I can almost hear you saying. “I know that book … that’s She!” And if that is indeed your reaction, a gold star for you,


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After Worlds Collide: A near-perfect sequel that’s in need of a sequel itself

After Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

At the conclusion of Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer’s classic sci-fi novel When Worlds Collide (1933), the Earth is spectacularly destroyed in a collision with the rogue planet that had been dubbed Bronson Alpha. Only 103 people, it would seem, managed to get off our world safely, aboard American scientist Cole Hendron’s rocket ship, and land on the rogue planet’s sister world, Bronson Beta. It is a marvelous cliffhanger of an ending,


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When Worlds Collide: More than mere spectacle

When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer

To look at the astronomical statistics, you would think that planet Earth is a sitting duck. In our teensy immediate neighborhood of the galaxy alone, there are over 14,000 asteroids zipping about, not to mention over 100 near-Earth comets. Asteroids of over one kilometer in diameter have hit the Earth, it is approximated, twice every million years during the planet’s history; those of five kilometers, every 20 million years. Every 2,000 years, it has been said, a chunk of space matter collides with or explodes over the Earth causing a 10-megaton blast,


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The Werewolf of Paris: A terrific piece of writing from Mr. Endore

The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

I owe a debt of gratitude to writer Marvin Kaye, who selected Guy Endore‘s classic novel of lycanthropy, The Werewolf of Paris, for inclusion in Kim Newman and Stephen Jones‘s excellent overview volume Horror: 100 Best Books. If it hadn’t been for Kaye’s article on this masterful tale, who knows if I would have ever run across it. And that would have been a real shame,


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The Double Shadow: Spooky gothic tales

The Double Shadow by Clark Ashton Smith

Halloween is right around the corner, so I thought I’d get in the mood by reading a collection of spooky stories by Clark Ashton Smith, a writer and poet who’s known for his contributions to the pulp magazine Weird Tales. Smith was a friend of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard and an influence on many of the later pulp writers.

The Double Shadow collects six of Clark Ashton Smith’s excellent short stories.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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