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]: 1998.02


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This Virtual Night: An entertaining SF thriller

This Virtual Night by C.S. Friedman

C.S. Friedman’s This Virtual Night (2020) is billed as book two in her OUTWORLDS/ALIEN SHORES series but these novels are, so far, stand-alone stories set in the same universe. Thus, you don’t need to have read the first book, This Alien Shore (1998), though I’d recommend doing so anyway because it was fabulous. All you need to know about Friedman’s world is that, long ago, the humans who left Earth to colonize other galaxies evolved in ways that their fellow humans who remained on Earth find repulsive.


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Year of the Griffin: A sweet boarding school fantasy

Year of the Griffin by Diana Wynne Jones

Year of the Griffin (2000) is a sequel (of sorts) to Diana Wynne JonesDark Lord of Derkholm, a satirical fantasy aimed at children and young adults, but just as enjoyable for grown-ups. Year of the Griffin is different — it’s not a satire and, for that reason, probably isn’t as appealing to adults, but I still enjoyed it. It’s what I like to call a boarding school fantasy,


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The Second Summoning: Some great characters, but a little too silly

The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff

Note: This review will contain mild spoilers for the previous book, Summon the Keeper.

I was entertained by Tanya Huff’s first KEEPER’S CHRONICLES novels, Summon the Keeper, about a woman named Claire whose job, as a Keeper, is to travel around closing evil holes in the fabric of the universe when they pop up around Canada and the US. In Summon the Keeper,


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Planetary: The Fourth Man, Volume 2

Planetary: The Fourth Man, Volume 2 by Warren Ellis & John Cassaday

Having just written a review of Volume 1 of Planetary by Warren Ellis, I didn’t think I’d feel any need to write a review of Volume 2; however, I just finished reading Planetary: The Fourth Man, Volume 2 again and feel that it certainly deserves a review of its own. Please read my first review to get a full picture of the complex nature of this profound yet quickly-paced comic book.


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Lord of Emperors: So much drama and passion

Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay

Lord of Emperors is the second (and final) novel in Guy Gavriel Kay’s THE SARANTINE MOSAIC duology. The story, set in a pseudo-Byzantine Empire, mostly centers on Crispin, a mosaicist from a neighboring kingdom who’s been commissioned to decorate the ceiling of a new chapel the emperor is building. Against his wishes, Crispin has been drawn into the Sarantine court’s political intrigue. In this second installment, the political turmoil finally comes to a head and Crispin’s life is, once again,


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First Rider’s Call: High epic fantasy with a strong heroine

First Rider’s Call by Kristen Britain

After impressing King Zachary with her courage in Green Rider, Karigan G’ladheon has been sent north on a diplomatic mission. When her companions make the bad decision to camp in a magical place, a dark supernatural force is inadvertently loosed upon the world. It seems to be linked to Mornhavon the Black, who used evil magic to try to conquer Sacoridia a thousand years ago. Back then he was captured and walled into the Blackveil Forest, but now he is working his way free through a breach in the wall.


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The Lost Heiress: Doesn’t quite match the excellence of the first book

The Lost Heiress by Catherine Fisher

The Lost Heiress, Catherine Fisher’s follow-up to The Dark City, picks up the action a short while after the close of the first book. Galen, Raffi, and the Sekoi have left the city of Tasceron behind, while Carys has returned to the Watch. The book opens with a bang when Raffi and the others steal back the blue box relic from Alberic, the dwarf thief-lord who had stolen it from them in book one.


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Blade of Tyshalle: Heavy with philosophical and psychological themes

Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Woodring Stover

Several years after the events in Heroes Die, Hari Michaelson, known as Caine on the fantastical inter-dimensional planet called Overworld, is now wheelchair bound. Despite this he still holds onto administrator status in the martially enforced caste system of Earth’s grimly overpopulated and ultra-corporate controlled future. When Hari/Caine discovers a plot to gain control of Overworld’s desperately scarce natural resources by infesting its people with a deadly virus, all hell breaks loose. Caine’s many enemies take the opportunity to strike at him,


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Divided Allegiance: Make sure you have the next book!

Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon

I have previously reviewed Elizabeth Moon’s entire The Deed of Paksennarion, the trilogy of which Divided Allegiance is the middle book. Brilliance Audio sent us a copy of their audio book version of the story, and I was planning on listening to the first CD or two to review the quality of the production since I have read the whole series probably ten times now. But that is not what happened. Not only did I listen to the whole book,


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Dragon and Phoenix: Slow To Begin, But Well Done Overall

Dragon and Phoenix by Joanne Bertin

Joanne Bertin’s Dragonlord plot has been rather weak overall. However, Dragon and Phoenix is a huge improvement on The Last DragonLord.

The Dragonlords are no longer the sole concern and in fact, they are hardly mentioned for a good deal of the novel. They’re much less overbearing this time around and while the whole “soultwin” bit is still silly, it isn’t quite as absurd as it was throughout The Last DragonLord.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Maybe in the next couple months I'll get the DVDs of the two "Dune" SyFy productions from 2000 and 2003.…

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