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]: 1983


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The Dragon Waiting: Stands up through nearly three decades

The Dragon Waiting by John M. Ford

Here is a fantasy novel that stands up through nearly three decades and still delivers. John M. Ford’s The Dragon Waiting won the World Fantasy Award in 1984, and 27 years later it still offers readers an intricate and compelling story with complex, believable characters.

Ford sets his alternate universe fantasy in what would have been our fifteenth-century Europe. Since Christianity never emerged as a world religion and the Byzantine Empire rules most of Europe and Asia,


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The Wind From a Burning Woman: Dated

The Wind From a Burning Woman by Greg Bear

I don’t think early Greg Bear and I are a good match. I did not finish The Wind From a Burning Woman, a collection of short stories from the late 1970s and early 1980s. That may be part of the problem. Maybe these stories are just dated.

Bear seems to be a “writer of ideas,” and several of these tales feature fascinating “what-ifs” or technological wonders, like an asteroid shaped into a deep-space vessel, a surrealistic cathedral in a world where God has definitively Died,


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Lammas Night: Magical smack down on the Führer

Lammas Night by Katherine Kurtz

Within neo-pagan circles, there is a persistent legend that numerous British witches and occultists banded together during World War II, using magic to keep Hitler from invading Britain. I’m not convinced there was a huge organized effort, but I’m sure there were occultists in Britain at the time, and it would surprise me more if no one had tried to lay the magical smack down on the Führer. Katharine Kurtz uses this legend as the basis for Lammas Night.


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The Complete Book of Swords: There’s much better stuff to read

The First Swords (The Complete Book of Swords) by Fred Saberhagen

The First Swords is an omnibus edition containing the first three volumes of Fred Saberhagen’s BOOK OF SWORDS series. This volume earns a generous 2-1/2 stars, mostly because of the very good premise with the Swords and the setup in the first few chapters of Book One (in which the writing is markedly better than in later chapters — deadline rush?). In essence, the god Vulcan forges 12 magical swords, each with distinctive powers,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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