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]: 1994.01


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Deathstalker: Too much like NIGHTSIDE

Deathstalker by Simon R. Green

The galactic empire is ruled by a brutal empress, a woman who terrorizes both the peasants and nobles who bow down to her. She’s the kind of ruler who decorates her palace with the tortured bodies of her dead enemies. Or she brainwashes them, augments their bodies and, as she sits on her Iron Throne, requires them to sit naked at her feet and protect her. Or, if she’s feeling merciful, she summons them to her throne room and, when they board her personal subway car to make the journey,


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Foreigner: A familiar culture with outstanding characters

Foreigner by C.J. Cherryh

“Sometimes the clothes do not make the man…” sang George Michael. Fortunately the cover of C.J. Cherryh’s literary sci-fi offering Foreigner can boast the same. The story contained within is (pun intended) light years from the throwback sci-fi cover. And the back cover is only slightly better than the front. The Publisher’s Weekly quote reads: “Cherryh’s gift for conjuring believable alien cultures is in full force here, and her characters… are brought to life with a sure, convincing hand.” Copy which is often overstated,


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The Invisibles (Vol. 1): Say You Want a Revolution by Grant Morrison

The Invisibles (Vol. 1): Say You Want a Revolution by Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison gained recognition in the United States for revamping the flagging title Animal Man. He’s now known also for some of his early, quirky Vertigo titles such as Doom Patrol and The Invisibles. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to sit down and start The Invisibles, but I’m glad I did. At the moment,


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Monster (Vol. 1): The Perfect Edition by Naoki Urasawa

Monster (Vol. 1): The Perfect Edition by Naoki Urasawa

Warning: This review is spoiler heavy, but I wanted to write a review of volume one that could let you know if you might want to read the entire series. You can read safely up to the first place I’ve marked for spoilers. There’s another place I warn of even more spoilers, so you have two places you might want to stop reading.

Monster by Naoki Urasawa is an award-winning manga that was written from 1994-2001, and once completed,


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The Fire Rose: A Beauty and the Beast retelling

The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey’s ELEMENTAL MASTERS is a series of ten (so far) novels that take place on an alternate Earth where some people are born with the ability to learn to control fire, water, air, or earth. Each book is also a fairytale retelling, though you may not notice that if you’re not looking for it in the story.

The first ELEMENTAL MASTERS novel, The Fire Rose, is based on “Beauty and the Beast” and is set in 1905-1906 San Francisco.


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Majestrum: An homage to Vance

Majestrum by Matthew Hughes

Majestrum is a relatively short science fantasy set in our own far-future universe which has been colonized far and wide by humans from Old Earth. The protagonist, Henghis Hapthorn, is a “discriminator” (“he unravels conundrums, picks apart puzzles, uncovers enigmas”) who uses his keen logical skills to solve mysteries.

But some strange stuff is going on: Mr Hapthorn’s integrator (a sentient computer which assists him in his work) has recently donned flesh and blood and become more like a familiar than a computer.


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Into the Land of Unicorns: Not rainbows and candy-floss

Into the Land of Unicorns by Bruce Coville

The wanderer is weary…

I had just finished reading THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy and was in search of something lighter to read — and what could be lighter than a book about unicorns, right? Well, Into the Land of the Unicorns is squarely aimed at a seven-to-ten year old reading range, but it manages to have a certain level of depth and darkness that certainly elevates it above the usual “rainbows and candy-floss” favour that usually surrounds the subject of unicorns.


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A Prince Among Men: Relentlessly ho-hum

A Prince Among Men by Robert N. Charrette

Aside from some rather grotesque cover art, there’s really not anything particularly wrong with A Prince Among Men. Unfortunately, it’s equally difficult to think of anything that it actually does right. It’s a relentlessly ho-hum sort of novel, reasonably diverting while it’s in front of you but always giving the lingering sensation that if an overenthusiastic friend or a speeding bicycle messenger were to come along and knock it flying from your hands into a storm drain,


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The Forbidden Game: A frantic and exciting story

The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith

Well, I do have to thank the Twilight phenomena for one thing at least, and that’s that the collected trilogies of Lisa Jane Smith have been pulled out of the Simon and Schuster publishing vault, given brand spanking new covers, and re-released for both a new reading audience, and old-time fans who are ready to fill in the gaps on their bookshelves.

Out of all Smith’s body of work, it was The Forbidden Game that I was least familiar with.


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Aurian: Fine popcorn entertainment

Aurian by Maggie Furey

Aurian is a highly entertaining story that, with a boundless sense of “sky’s the limit” confidence, unapologetically runs the gamut from heroic high adventure to bodice-ripper (which is, I’m told, a very pejorative term amongst the romance set, but hey). It’s a great guilty pleasure. Don’t think I’m belittling this book, people. Sure, it’s about as arch and melodramatic a novel as you’re likely to find without the Silhouette imprint on the cover. But Maggie Furey, in what was her debut novel,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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