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]: 1984.01


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Mythago Wood: Dreamy and strange

Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock

After his post-WWII convalescence in France, Steven Huxley is returning to his family’s home on the edge of Ryhope Wood, a patch of ancient forest, in Britain. For as long as Steven remembers, his father, who recently died, had been so obsessed with the forest that it destroyed their family.

Upon returning home, Steven finds that his brother Christian is quickly following in their father’s footsteps — both figuratively and literally — for he has also discovered that this is no ordinary forest! It resists intrusion from Outsiders,


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A Princess of the Chameln: A thoughtful and magical coming of age story

A Princess of the Chameln by Cherry Wilder

In A Princess of the Chameln, Cherry Wilder tells the story of Aidris Am Firn, whose parents, the king and queen of the Firn and one half of the rulership of the Chameln, are attacked in front of her. As her last living act, Aidris’s mother gives her a magical stone that will aid her in the future, and commands her not to let anyone else see it. Not long after, another assassination is attempted on her life and the life of her cousin,


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The Summer Tree: Not our favorite work by GGK

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay

I absolutely loved everything about Guy Gavriel Kay’s stand-alone novels Tigana and A Song for Arbonne, so it was with great excitement that I downloaded the newly released audio version of The Summer Tree, the first novel in his famous The Fionavar Tapestry.

In The Summer Tree we meet Loren Silvercloak, a wizard who has traveled from the world of Fionavar to Toronto to fetch five university students (three guys and two girls) who are needed to help fight an ancient evil force that has been bound under a mountain for centuries.


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The Wild Shore: Are you waiting for America’s rebirth?

The Wild Shore by Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson’s debut novel, The Wild Shore, was first published in 1984 but its story begins decades after nuclear bombs were set off in America’s cities. Now, in 2047, Californian survivors in San Onofre dedicate their days to gathering food and maintaining their shelters rather than filming movies and computer programming.

Hank Fletcher, our narrator, is angry at the world. Unlike some angst-ridden teenagers, Hank has good reason to resent the world as all the other countries of the United Nations have agreed to prevent the American survivors from rebuilding.


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The Digging Leviathan: Dreamy, peculiar, and sweet

The Digging Leviathan by James P. Blaylock

The Digging Leviathan is the first book in James P. Blaylock’s LANGDON ST. IVES/NARBONDO series. I’ve been reading these out of order, which doesn’t seem to matter. The books have some overlapping characters, settings, and/or concepts, but each stands alone. The Digging Leviathan features two teenage boys, Jim Hastings and Giles Peach, who are living on the coast of Southern California during the mid-20th century. Each is a dreamer and each has his own “issues” involving his father.


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Damiano: Historical fantasy set in Renaissance Italy

Damiano by R.A. MacAvoy

Young Damiano Delstrego is now the head of his house after his father, a witch, was killed when a spell went horribly wrong. Damiano is also a musician, an alchemist, and a witch, but he’s a good Christian, too, and he tries to use his powers only for good. That’s why he refused to help the army who came to take over his town, though they offered him riches. Instead, Damiano decides to follow the townsfolk who’ve fled for the hills. He wants to warn them that the army plans to find and plunder them.


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The Crystal Crown: The components are good, but…

The Crystal Crown by Brenda Clough

The Crystal Crown is basically a simple story. Liras-Ven, an unassuming and softspoken gardener, is chosen to be his nation’s next king, much to his horror. He makes a few bumbling attempts to extricate himself from the situation before settling down to endure a comical succession of royal duties and a military campaign that will test his resolve as leader as well as his ties to those he holds… he h….*snore*

Huh? What? Oh… right, yes. Anyway, The Crystal Crown measures in at about 230 pages in a pocket-size paperback,


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The Dragon Griaule: Collects all the Griaule stories

The Dragon Griaule by Lucius Shepard

His flesh has become one with the earth. He knows its every tremor and convulsion. His thoughts roam the plenum, his mind is a cloud that encompasses our world. His blood is the marrow of time. Centuries flow through him, leaving behind a residue that he incorporates into his being. Is it any wonder he controls our lives and knows our fates?

The Dragon Griaule collects Lucius Shepard’s six stories and novellas about Griaule, the mile-long 750-foot-high dragon that has been in a spellbound sleep for thousands of years.


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Moonheart: A truly satisfying read

Moonheart by Charles de Lint

Sara and her uncle Jamie live in Tamson House, the old family mansion that takes up a street block in Ottawa. While Sara runs their cluttered curiosity shop, Jamie spends his days studying the arcane and playing host to the eccentrics and homeless people who come and go through Tamson House. Sara and Jamie’s interests collide when Sara discovers an old gold ring that seems to draw her into an ancient past — a past where Welsh and Native American mythology comes alive. But not only does the ring pull Sara in,


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The Man of Gold: The living world of Tékumel

The Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker

The Man of Gold is a lush, richly written fantasy novel. M.A.R. Barker’s work is both strongly developed and highly detailed, at levels that few other authors ever attain. Barker spent decades building the living, breathing world of Tékumel. In the 1970s, Barker developed this world into a role-playing setting; later, in the 1980s, he wrote a series of novels set there. The Man of Gold, published in 1984,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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