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]: 1988.01


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Dragon Prince: Now on audio!

Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn

Melanie Rawn’s DRAGON PRINCE trilogy is finally being produced in audio format by Tantor Audio. The series begins with Dragon Prince (1985) and follows the inhabitants of a continent divided into several princedoms and ruled by a nasty and ruthless High Prince who has 17 bratty daughters but no male heir.

At the beginning of Dragon Prince, the prince of the desert region of the continent is killed while dragon-hunting and is succeeded by his son Rohan.


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The Dragonbone Chair: Tad Williams is a great story-teller

Note: This review has been updated after a re-read, but we’re keeping the old comments on the post.

The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams

Tad WilliamsMEMORY, SORROW, & THORN was one of the first epic fantasy trilogies I ever read and, two and a half decades ago, I absolutely loved everything about it. It’s one of the two series I recommend to new fantasy readers who ask me where to start (the other is Robin Hobb’s FARSEER saga).


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The Sandman (Vol. 1): Preludes and Nocturnes

The Sandman (Vol. 1): Preludes and Nocturnes (Issues 1-8): Neil Gaiman (author), Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, and Malcolm Jones III (artists), Todd Klein (letterer), Karen Berger (editor)

[This essay is the second in an ongoing series on THE SANDMAN: This lengthy essay-review is for those who want a more thorough introduction than is offered in our shorter overview of the entire series. I recommend reading that one first, particularly since it contains no spoilers and it gives a good sense of what THE SANDMAN is for those who don’t know what it’s about.


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The Last Coin: Read this if you love Fawlty Towers

The Last Coin by James P. Blaylock

Andrew and Rose Vanbergen have recently purchased a California inn which they are fixing up and getting ready for guests. They live in the inn along with aging Aunt Naomi, her numerous cats, and her companion, Mrs. Gummage. The Vanbergens have only one real guest so far — the mysterious Pepto-drinking Mr. Pennyman.

Andrew has grand plans for the inn. Unfortunately, he’s also a bit of a slacker and he’s always managing to find excuses for doing anything but the actual work that needs to get done.


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Welcome to The Dreaming: An Introduction to THE SANDMAN

THE SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman’s THE SANDMAN might just be my favorite work of art. To me, it’s better than any painting, any album, any symphony, any movie, any poem, any play, and possibly, just possibly, any novel, which to me, as an English Professor, is the greatest art form of them all. I might even like THE SANDMAN better than Pride and Prejudice just for the sheer scope of the thing. If I had to go to that hypothetical island I’m often asked about,


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Desolation Road: A science fiction fable

Desolation Road by Ian McDonald

I was reminded, while reading Desolation Road, of two authors in particular: John Crowley and Gene Wolfe. This is not to say that I think Ian McDonald was in any way aping them or merely writing some kind of amalgamated pastiche, but there were elements to his tale that made both author’s names spring to mind. I think the first one was Wolfe, largely because of the way in which McDonald made the magical seem almost commonplace (or was it that the commonplace was made to seem magical?) in a way that reminded me of the inversions of the various aspects of the world in both Wolfe’s NEW SUN and LONG SUN series,


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Neverness: Crazy-awesome ideas

Neverness by David Zindell

Nevernessis a really enjoyable “big idea” science fiction novel that takes place millennia in our future on the planet Icefall, also called Neverness. It’s kind of Frank Herbert’s Dune meets Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur with high-level mathematics, posthumanism, and trippy metaphysics thrown in.

The story follows the life of Mallory Ringess, a trainee enrolled at “the Academy,” which was founded by a pseudo-monastic order of truth-seekers called “the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame,” hoping to become a pilot.


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Castle Perilous: Never capitalizes on all of its potential

Castle Perilous by John DeChancie

Castle Perilous is a giant castle with 144,000 rooms that are portals to other worlds. These portals are constantly shifting in and out of other dimensions and occasionally they temporarily open up somewhere on Earth. At those times people may stumble into the castle and not be able to get back out. They become one of the permanent “guests” who have great food, luxurious accommodations, and servants to wait on them. Best of all, they get to explore some of the stable portals leading to exotic places.


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The Sandman: Surreal, often beautiful, sometimes twisted

THE SANDMAN by Neil Gaiman

THE SANDMAN series was originally released in comic form, later in trade paperback collections (above), and most lately in larger omnibus editions (the first one is shown here). It’s thus rather difficult (and time-consuming) to review the individual volumes, and so I’m going to review the series as a whole, noting as I do so that some volumes were better than others.

Despite some slight ups and downs, I overall found THE SANDMAN a remarkable work, well worthy of the praise it has received over the years.


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Sheepfarmer’s Daughter: Paks lives and breaths on the page

Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon

Brilliance Audio has recently been putting together some fine productions of many classic fantasy novels that deserve to be heard and I, as a reader, couldn’t be happier. I don’t have much free time these days, and most of my reading is now done by audio, so I was thrilled to find that I could finally listen to The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. The first novel, Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, has just been released,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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