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]: 2004.01


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The Wizard Knight: A wonderful, deep, rewarding read

The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe

The Wizard Knight by Gene Wolfe is one of the best fantasy novels to appear in the last decade or so. The novel is split into two separate books, The Knight and The Wizard, but like Gene Wolfe’s classic BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, it’s really one big story split into separate volumes and best read back-to-back.

The Wizard Knight tells the story of Sir Able of the High Heart,


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Banewreaker: Beautiful but remote

Banewreaker by Jacqueline Carey

They say there are two sides to every story. In Banewreaker, the first book in Jacqueline Carey’s THE SUNDERING duology, we hear the story of the sundering of the world from the perspective of the dark side.

Satoris is one of the shapers of the world, seven sibling gods who crafted the creatures of the world and gave them their various gifts. When Satoris was too generous with the gifts he bestowed upon humans,


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The Atrocity Archives: A sysadmin saves the world

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

The Atrocity Archives contains the first two novellas in Charles Stross’ THE LAUNDRY FILES: The Atrocity Archive and The Concrete Jungle. The series is based on the premise that, before he died, Alan Turing solved a theorem that proved that mathematics could be used to gain access to other space-time dimensions. Unfortunately, what’s out there is exactly what H.P. Lovecraft said there was — sleeping tentacled horrors that might be inclined to enter our universe if gateways were opened.


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Forty Signs of Rain: A realistic look at environmentalism and politics

Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson

With the quality of special effects improved exponentially, the blockbuster disaster movie appeared in the 90s and hasn’t looked back. Tornadoes (Twister), meteors (Deep Impact and Armageddon), seismic activity (The Core), volcanoes (Dante’s Peak), massive weather events (The Perfect Storm), and, who can forget, Sharknado, have in one way or another tried to capitalize on the potential power of nature to earn a dollar.


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Raven’s Shadow: A fun, easy read with good worldbuilding

Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs’ novel Raven’s Shadow begins with a rescue and a romance. Tier, a Rederni ex-soldier, saves young Seraph, a Traveler girl, from murder at the hands of some ruffians in a tavern and a strange, dangerous man in the forest. Intrigued by this brave, foolhardy girl, Tier takes her home to his village to protect her from the forces that follow. Travelers are Briggs’ answer to Patrick Rothfuss’ Edema Ruh or Robert Jordan’s Tuatha’an…


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The Darkness That Comes Before: Intelligent fantasy

The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker

I believe it warrants mentioning in the beginning of this review that I find myself in a position where my own review might not be, well, very critical. I have been holding off having to review R. Scott Bakker‘s The Darkness That Comes Before because, to put it bluntly, I love it so much that I don’t think any review I could write would serve its purpose qua review. However, after some insistence from the powers that be — that would be the inimitable Kat Hooper,


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The Safe-Keeper’s Secret: Interesting idea, weak plot

The Safe-Keeper’s Secret by Sharon Shinn

Safe-Keepers can be trusted to never reveal a secret. So it’s no surprise that when a royal bastard needs to be hidden, a Safe-Keeper would be the logical place to hide the child. When the royal messenger who left the infant in the dark of night with the Safe-Keeper is found dead by his own hand a few miles away, the secret identity of the baby boy who was left behind becomes more of an open secret in the village. The Safe-Keeper decides to raise the child with her own daughter who was also born that night.


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Ghosts in the Snow: CSI set in the Dark Ages

Ghosts in the Snow by Tamara Siler Jones

The police procedural isn’t just for the mystery genre any more. Frequently, fantasy writers are combining mysteries with magic in order to produce hybrids that provide all the fun of both genres in a single novel. Tamara Siler Jones accomplishes this feat in her first DUBRIC BRYERLY novel, Ghosts in the Snow.

Bryerly is the head of security at Castle Faldorrah in a world that does not appear to be our own, though the milieu is vaguely medieval.


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Revenge of the Witch: Terrifying children’s fantasy

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son. Therefore, his mother has always planned to apprentice him to the Spook — the traveling exorcist who services the surrounding villages, ridding them of ghosts, witches, ghasts, boggarts, and other troublesome creatures. The Spook performs a nasty, dangerous, and necessary job for the community, and he’s well respected, but his line of work makes him an outsider — people just aren’t comfortable around him. Thomas doesn’t want to become the next Spook — the Spook’s life is hazardous and lonely — but as the seventh son,


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Seraphim: Did Not Finish

Seraphim by Michele Hauf

The year is 1433. Seraphim d’Ange is a young woman riding through France on a quest for revenge. The de Morte brothers attacked the d’Ange castle, killing Seraphim’s family. Seraphim was raped, wounded, and left for dead. Now she is disguised as “the Black Knight” and killing off the de Morte brothers one by one. Two down, three to go.

All of this takes place before Seraphim begins. Sera is now preparing to eradicate the third brother. She and her squire, Baldwin,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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