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]: 1980.01


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The Shadow of the Torturer: SFF’s greatest and most challenging epic

The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe

For those of you enjoy audiobooks, this is the perfect time to finally read (or to re-read) Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer. Audible Frontiers recently put it on audio and the excellent Jonathan Davis is the reader.

The Shadow of the Torturer introduces Severian, an orphan who grew up in the torturer’s guild. Severian is now sitting on a throne, but in this first installment of The Book of the New Sun,


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The Pride of Chanur: What does it mean to be an alien?

The Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh

Cherryh’s The Pride of Chanur combines space opera with some gritty “hard-ish” SF elements in the beginning of a saga that deals with the political and economic ramifications of first contact. In this first volume of the CHANUR SAGA we follow the exploits of a crew of Hani (lion-like aliens) on the eponymous merchant space freighter The Pride of Chanur. Expecting nothing more than a routine run across their trade routes, Pyanfar Chanur, captain of the Pride,


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Hawk of May: A beautifully written story about Sir Gawain

Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw

I thought I was tired of Arthurian Legend and I’ve avoided reading one for quite a while now, but Gillian Bradshaw’s beautifully written story about Sir Gawain has changed my mind. Hawk of May takes place early in Arthur’s career and is inspired by the Welsh legends of King Arthur, the Sidhe, and Cú Chulainn. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Bradshaw’s DOWN THE LONG WIND trilogy.

In Hawk of May,


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The Snow Queen: Won the Hugo?

The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

The Snow Queen, published in 1980, is Joan Vinge’s science fiction adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale of the same name. In Vinge’s version, Anderson’s love story takes place on the planet Tiamat which is located near a black hole. Tiamat is a convenient rest stop for interstellar travelers and they often go down to the planet for respite or trade, but Tiamat also has its own special commodity: the Water of Life. This youth-preserving substance is made by killing a marine species found only on Tiamat and is available to rich travelers who are willing to leave their money or their technology behind.


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The Clan of the Cave Bear: Something special

The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Set in prehistoric times, Jean M. Auel‘s EARTH’S CHILDREN series deals with the possible interaction between Neanderthals and our own species, among other things. They are renowned for their meticulously researched descriptions of prehistoric life as well as notorious for their sexual content and the Mary-Sue-like development of the main character. I’ve read the entire series and although I thought the books were entertaining, I do think the literary quality takes a nosedive after the first novel.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8298 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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