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]: 2000.01


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Revelation Space: Dark, dense, slow-burning space opera

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

I’ve been planning to read this series for many years, because Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross and Iain M. Banks are regularly mentioned at the forefront of the British Hard SF movement. Sure, there are many non-British well-known hard SF and space opera practitioners like Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Vernor Vinge,


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Storm Front: A series to live and grow with

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

It is hard to believe that Storm Front, the first book of the Dresden Files, came out more than a decade ago. Jim Butcher introduces his scrappy wizard-detective in this inaugural adventure. That was a more innocent time, and Harry was a more innocent character back then.

Harry is a working wizard in Chicago. He has an office with the word “Wizard” on the door and he advertizes in the yellow pages. (“No Children’s Parties;


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Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley

Note: if you’ve never stumbled your way into a Spiderman/Spider-Man movie, or even past the poster, there will be spoilers in this review. If you’re somewhat familiar with the Spider-Man story and/or the Marvel universe (particularly in New York) then nothing in here should surprise you.

Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 covers a huge amount of Spidey: from his humble beginnings as a simple high-school student in New York through a seemingly never-ending parade of villains.


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1632: The tale is dated but I loved its exuberance

1632 by Eric Flint

There’s something to be said for sheer audacity. 1632, the first book in Eric Flint’s RING OF FIRE series, published in February, 2000, has got audacity in container-ship-sized loads.

In the year 2000, a section of West Virginia disappears from our world during an event called the Ring of Fire. It reappears in Thuringia (northern Germany), in the year 1631. The residents of Grantsville, the biggest town in the affected area, led by the steely-eyed protagonist Mike Stearns,


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Shadowland: Appealing YA fantasy

Shadowland by Meg Cabot

Suze is a mediator — she can see the ghosts of people whose souls have not been able to move on. She helps them resolve their earthly issues so they can go wherever they’re supposed to go. She doesn’t know what happens to them after they go — just that it’s her job to facilitate their departure.

Because of her weird ability, Suze is not a normal teenager. People find her a little strange and she has trouble making friends and fitting in. Now she’s moving away from New York,


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Dark Sleeper: Delightful, debonair and decidedly Dickensian

Dark Sleeper by Jeffrey E. Barlough

Dark Sleeper is a delightful, debonair and decidedly Dickensian departure from dime-a-dozen fantasy. Jeffrey E. Barlough, who published the book in 2000, attempts and mostly succeeds in writing an entire fantasy novel in the style and form of Charles Dickens, with a dash of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle thrown in.

Let me be clear. This is not a steampunk novel, set in the nineteenth century while incorporating twentieth-century technology, winking at the sensibilities and conventions of the time.


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The Seer and the Sword: Standard medieval-adventure-fantasy

The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley

It’s hard to muster up any particularly strong feelings for The Seer and the Sword. It is your standard medieval-adventure-fantasy, with every plot development and character arc foreseeable far in advance, told in sparse and simple prose. It’s hard to be too enthusiastic about it, yet at the same time I can’t be too dismissive either.

The story revolves around two young royals: red-headed Princess Torina of Archeld, and Prince Landen, whose country of Bellandra has just been defeated by Torina’s father.


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Stormbreaker: What more can you want?

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

You’re never too young to die…

After a friend recommended the Alex Rider books, and the movie adaptation pricked my interest, I settled down with Stormbreaker, the first of what is (currently) a nine-book series. Alex is a fourteen year old English schoolboy who wakes early one morning to find that Ian Rider, his uncle and guardian since his parents’ deaths, has been killed in a car accident. It’s not long before the truth emerges: Ian wasn’t a banker at all,


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Perdido Street Station: Outstanding urban fantasy

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station is the first of three novels set in the Miéville’s Bas-Lag universe. First released in 2000, Perdido Street Station and its sequels have made China Miéville one of the most acclaimed fantasy writers of the 21st century. Perdido Street Station is an outstanding urban fantasy full of unconventional plot twists and the most unlikely of heroes.

Yagharek is a “Garuda,” or a humanoid bird. However,


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The Shamer’s Daughter: Recommended for the better sequel

The Shamer’s Daughter by Lene Kaaberbol

The Shamer’s Daughter is in itself a pleasant little story that moves along well and has at its core an extremely intriguing concept that here is unfortunately not fully explored, but the good news is that while The Shamer’s Daughter is an ok read, its sequel, The Shamer’s Signet, is a much stronger book, well-rewarding the reader who begins the series.

“Shamers” have the gift of, as one might guess, shaming. To look into a Shamer’s eyes is to look into a mirror of your soul,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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    Words fail. I can't imagine what else might offend you. Great series, bizarre and ridiculous review. Especially the 'Nazi sympathizer'…

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