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]: 2001.01


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The Magicians’ Guild: A simple but engaging story of class conflict

The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan

The first installment of Trudi Canavan’s THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy, The Magicians’ Guild is the story of a young girl, Sonea, who discovers that she possesses magical abilities. As a lower class street girl living in the slums of the imaginary city of Imardin with her aunt and uncle, Sonea’s life has been one of destitution and hatred of the city’s snobbish upper class. Every year, the magicians of Imardin hold a Purge,


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Animal Man: One of the most important works in comics

Animal Man, Volume 1 (Issues 1-9) by Grant Morrison (writer), Chas Truog (artist, Issues 1-8) and Tom Grummett (artist, Issue 9)

The twenty-six issue run on Animal Man by Grant Morrison is one of the most important works in comics, but it must be understood in an historical and artistic context; otherwise, someone new to comics might just flip through it and see what looks like a slightly-dated comic with artwork that isn’t currently as exciting and flashy and polished and colorful as newer comics.


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Hardcase: Nothing special here

Hardcase by Dan Simmons

Readers of Dan Simmons have been spoiled by his numerous great works: THE HYPERION CANTOSSong of Kali, and The Terror, for example, which sold well around the world and in many languages. Hardcase, unfortunately, finds Simmons returning to earth from the heights of this success. Hardcase is run-of-the-mill action — well told, but still average.

Before buying the book, I noted that many reviewers enjoyed Simmons’s delving into detective noir to tell the story of hardened private eye Joe Kurtz,


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The Bone Doll’s Twin: Easy to like

The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling

I finished listening to the audio version of The Bone Doll’s Twin, the first in Lynn Flewelling’s fantasy epic THE TAMIR TRIAD, around midnight a few days ago. Instead of going to bed, like normal people might, I immediately downloaded book two, The Hidden Warrior, and listened for a couple more hours. That’s how much I was involved in this story about a young girl who doesn’t know she’s magically hidden in the body of a boy.


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Sweep Volume 1: Light YA supernatural romance

Sweep Volume 1 (an omnibus containing Book of Shadows, The Coven and Blood Witch) by Cate Tiernan

“She’s Here, and She Has Power…”

Ah, memories. I read Cate Tiernan’s collection of witch-related books back in high-school, and spotting the new editions (which include three instalments to a single book between an exceptionally attractive cover), I picked them up for a trip down memory lane. They were pretty much as I remember them: told in first-person account by sixteen year old Morgan Rowlands,


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The Stone Mage & The Sea: Unique setting

The Stone Mage & The Sea by Sean Williams

Sal and his father have been on the run from something for as long as Sal can remember. Now they’ve come to the seaside town of Fundelry and it seems like Sal’s father may finally be giving up. Sal doesn’t know what they’ve been running from, or what happened to his mother, who left them when he was young. Most of the townsfolk are suspicious of the newcomers, but Lodo the hermit and his young apprentice Shilly take an interest in Sal. Under their tutelage,


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The Golden Age: A worthy read

The Golden Age by John C. Wright

John C. Wright’s The Golden Age is a worthy read. Taking place in the far future, 10,000 years from now, it is a world where the transhuman ‘singularity’ has occurred long before and the population of the solar system is made up of humans of massive (and varied) intellects and powers as well as the “Sophotechs,” huge supercomputers of intellectual capacity to dwarf even their superhuman creators who make sure that the society of humanity does not lack for anything except perhaps risk and adventure,


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ARABESK: How to get the reader to suspend disbelief

ARABESK: Pashazade, Effendi and Felaheen
In this review, I’m going to write about the willing suspension of disbelief. Perhaps more precisely, I’m writing about the intersection of world-building and the willing suspension of disbelief. Enter Jon Courtenay Grimwood and the ARABESK trilogy: Pashazade, Effendi and Felaheen.

In Grimwood’s world, the Ottoman Empire never collapsed. Woodrow Wilson brokered peace between London and Berlin in 1915, World War II never happened, and the major world powers seem to be Germany,


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City of Saints and Madmen: A long strange trip

City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer

What a long strange trip City of Saints and Madmen is! Jeff VanderMeer’s first book about the city of Ambergris is a tour de force of imagination and style.

It’s a hard book to review, though. First of all, what is it? It’s not a novel. Is it a collection of short stories? Maybe, although some of the pieces included in City of Saints and Madmen are not stories, and in some cases,


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Pure Dead Magic: Silly with a streak of black humor

Pure Dead Magic by Deb Gliori

Titus and his sister Pandora have another new nanny. It’s hard to keep nannies around the Strega-Borgia mansion, but despite the siblings’ best efforts to scare off the latest applicant, Mrs. McLachlan is undaunted. She’ll be taking care of the kids and their scary pets because their dad, Signor Luciano Strega-Borgia, has abandoned the family and their mom, Signora Baci Strega-Borgia, has started witch school.

The Strega-Borgia kids soon turn their attention to more difficult issues when their baby sister Damp is accidentally shrunken and uploaded into the World Wide Web.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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