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]: 1996


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The Between: Classic horror, scary as all get-out

The Between by Tananarive Due

The Between, first published in 1995, is Tananarive Due’s classic horror novel, about a man who must risk his life to save his family from malignant forces, both supernatural and all too human. In the mid-1990s, Hilton James suddenly starts experiencing the dreadful dreams he had before, early in his marriage. Time with a therapist and a hypnosis session seemed to help then, but now the episodes are worse, and he begins to have waking dreams, until sometimes he can’t tell when and where he is.


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The Wood Wife: A quiet, intimate novel

The Wood Wife by Terri Windling

Our heroine, Maggie, is reeling from her divorce and drifting rather aimlessly through life — she considers herself a poet but hasn’t written a poem in years.

Then, her mentor dies mysteriously — drowned in a dry creekbed — and inexplicably leaves her his house in the Southwestern desert. She moves there, hoping to research a biography of him. At first, Maggie doesn’t like the desert; it seems sterile, forbidding, devoid of charm. Then one night a pooka cuddles up to her in bed,


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The Parafaith War: Interesting premise, too many problems

The Parafaith War by L.E. Modesitt Jr

In our far future, a young man named Trystin Desoll is a soldier in the long war that his high-tech civilization has been fighting with the Revs, a society of religious zealots. The Revs, who are outgrowing their own planet, believe that the Eco-Techs are sinful because they use brain implants and other technology to improve their bodies. Therefore, the Revs think it’s permissible for them to wipe out Trystin’s civilization, and they’ve been trying to do this for decades.

Trystin is rising rapidly in the Eco-Tech military.


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The House of Secrets by Steven T. Seagle and by Teddy Kristiansen

The House of Secrets written by Steven T. Seagle and illustrated by Teddy Kristiansen

The House of Secrets is a twenty-five issue series that started in 1996 and is written by Steven T. Seagle and illustrated by Teddy Kristiansen. It features a lying, unreliable runaway named Rain Harper; a young girl she takes under her wing named Traci; and a group of musicians, one of whom, Ben Volk, becomes the third central character in the series. Right after Rain and Traci meet, Traci tells Rain a valuable secret: She knows a place to squat where they will be safe.


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Desperation: In these silences something may rise

Desperation by Stephen King

My only disappointment in Stephen King’s Desperation is that it isn’t longer. This book contains all that makes King so enjoyable to read: strong and believable character development; intuitive and subtle understanding of the childhood psyche; horror as defined by what’s creepy, intense, psychological and sometimes gothic; mythological back-story that superbly connects past and present; and the believably supernatural.

Several travelers, mostly strangers to each other, are abducted by a seemingly deranged Sherriff and taken to the dusty Nevada town of Desperation.


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Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

To understand Kingdom Come, you have to understand a few things about superhero comics. Now, if you have any sort of interest in the genre at all, I’m sure that sentence opens up nightmarish recollections of previous rabbit-holes down which you’ve ventured to try to understand some seemingly simple question like “what is the history of Supergirl?” or “why are there so many different people named Captain Marvel?” The history of superheroes and their comics is weird,


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Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus

Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card

Scenario: If you knew there was a bomb in a building, would you feel obliged to yell as loudly as possible to warn other people? The bomb explodes and the injuries are high and the death toll unimaginable. But let’s then suppose you have an opportunity to go back in time and prevent the bomb from ever being planted in the first place. Take things one step further… let’s say that you stop the bomber before he even places his bomb… what else might change?


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Clockwork: Bad things happen when you don’t finish a story

Clockwork: or All Wound Up by Philip Pullman

Clockwork: or All Wound Up (1996) is a very short (about 100 pages) children’s fairytale by Philip Pullman. It stars Karl and Fritz, two young Germans who have not finished a job that they were supposed to do and are worried about what will happen when the townspeople find out. Karl and Fritz meet one snowy evening in the local tavern. Karl, the clockmaker’s apprentice, is brooding because tomorrow is the day when he must unveil the mechanical project he’s supposed to have finished.


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Sacrifice of Fools: Aliens in Belfast

Sacrifice of Fools by Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald grew up in Belfast, a city known for the turmoil and unrest it has endured because of the conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Some of McDonald’s novels allegorically explore the causes and results of a divided city. In Sacrifice of Fools, McDonald presents a vivid and lively conflicted Belfast, and then he throws a third element into the mix: aliens.

The Shian are a peaceful alien species who, upon arrival on Earth, are allowed to settle in Belfast in exchange for sharing the secrets of their technological superiority.


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The Darkness: Origins, Volume 1

The Darkness: Origins, Volume 1 by Garth Ennis (writer) and Marc Silvestri (artist)

The Darkness: Origins, Volume 1 by Garth Ennis is an excellent series that features and is named after a spinoff character from The Witchblade. The Darkness made his first appearance in issue #10 of Witchblade and got his own title soon after. He’s essential to the mythic origins of the Witchblade, and in fact, along with the Angelus, predates the Witchblade. The Darkness is the elemental power of chaos;


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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