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]: 1992.01


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The Initiation: Classic YA paranormal romance

The Initiation by L.J. Smith

Cassie Blake is distraught when her mother decides to uproot to the small town of New Salem in order to take care of a grandmother who Cassie had never even met before. But that is only the start of her problems. Starting a new school, trying to make new friends — and discovering that some of the people she would most like to befriend are all part of some secret Club that Cassie is not permitted to join. Then a girl dies and Cassie is finally initiated into the Secret Circle,


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A Fire Upon the Deep: Big-canvas space opera with uninspired plot

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

A Fire Upon the Deep (1992) was the big breakout novel from Vernor Vinge, winner of the 1993 Hugo Award and nominated for the Nebula. It features a unique premise I haven’t encountered before: the universe has been separated into four separate Zones of Thought: the Unthinking Depths, Slow Zone, Beyond, and Transcend. Starting from the galactic core, the Zones demarcate differing levels of technological and biological advancement — but this doesn’t simply mean different stages of development.


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Red Mars: This is where we start again

Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

When the First Hundred arrive on Mars, they find a beautiful red planet that’s all but untouched by humanity. What should they paint on this amazing canvas?

The question turns out to be very political, and the discussion of politics in Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars perhaps begins with ecology. The relationship between people and their environment is introduced when the Martian settlers consider whether they should change the red planet to suit human needs.


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Sin City (Volume One): The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller

Sin City (Volume One): The Hard Goodbye by Frank Miller

Frank Miller’s SIN CITY hit the comic scene back in the early 1990s like multiple shots to the head and body. Readers were blown away with this hard-boiled story and its stark, iconic black-and-white artwork. In fact, Miller does all the writing, artwork and lettering for SIN CITY, which is pretty damn impressive. The stories tapped into that rich vein of crime noir pioneered by writers like Dashiell Hamett, Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain,


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Jaran: A truly charming tale

Jaran by Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott is best known as an epic fantasy writer. Her books are powerful and sprawling. Her characters are well developed and emotionally intense. Her writing pulls it all together so perfectly. She’s an author that, no matter what flaws I might find with her books, I always tend to enjoy. Jaran is no different. It’s not a perfect novel, but it’s mighty enjoyable, despite that.

Jaran is billed as a SciFi, but it’s really an epic fantasy book with hints of SciFi thrown in to make things interesting.


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A Taste of Blood Wine: Read it because it’s Freda Warrington

A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington

I’m pretty done with vampire novels. D-O-N-E. Done. It’s over. I never really liked them, but the whole genre is overblown and I’m finished with it. So why, might you be asking, did I read A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington? Because it’s Freda Freaking Warrington! I love her writing, and I couldn’t wait to experience it again, vampires or not.

A Taste of Blood Wine was first published in 1992, and is just now being re-released to the masses because we’ve finally discovered the absolute beauty of Warrington’s writing.


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Jumper: Lots of fun… and that’s about it

Jumper by Steven Gould

The first time Davy jumped was when his dad was beating him. The second time was when a trucker tried to rape him. Both times Davy ended up in his favorite place — the local public library. Soon Davy learned that he could control his teleportation, so he left home and started a new life in New York City. His new skill, the ability to instantly transport himself to any place he’s ever visited, helped him achieve the freedom he always desired. At first Davy lives for himself,


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The Meri: Readable but unspectacular

The Meri  by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

Meredydd is an orphan, and the only female student at the prestigious school Halig-liath. At Halig-liath, young men — and Meredydd — are trained to become Osraed, which are magician-priests something along the lines of Druids. Female magic is feared and distrusted in this world, and when Meredydd is falsely accused of witchcraft, the elders decide to send her on Pilgrimage to meet the Meri, a goddess-like figure who serves as a connection between humans and God. The Meri will be the final judge of whether Meredydd is fit to be an Osraed,


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The Skystone: What if there was enough to make a sword?

The Skystone by Jack Whyte

You’ll be forgiven for overlooking that Jack Whyte’s The Skystone is an adaptation of Arthurian legend. Believe it or not, Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table are nowhere to be found. Instead, Whyte’s story is about Roman general Caius Britannicus’ dream for Britain.

The Skystone is set amidst the Roman withdrawal from Britain. Britannicus’ legion has faced hard fighting along Hadrian’s Wall. They have retreated to Londinium, and the Romans are about to leave permanently.


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Mageworlds: One of the best!

MAGEWORLDS: The Price of the Stars, Starpilot’s Grave, By Honor Betray’d by Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald

Mageworlds is one of the best trilogies I’ve ever read. It’s categorized as Space Opera since there are spaceships and multiple planets involved, but trust me, this falls on the fantasy end of the spectrum. If you’ve never tried Space Opera, this is a wonderful place to get your feet wet. If you like Space Opera, jump on in!


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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