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]: 2015.01


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Herland: Marion’s thoughts

Charlotte Perkins Gilman is well-known in literary feminist circles for her novel The Yellow Wallpaper, and for her periodical, which she published in the early decades of the 20th century. I didn’t know about Herland, a feminist utopian novel, until a few years ago. She wrote two sequels; With her in Ourland and Moving the Mountain. Herland is worth reading for historical context, and also for a lot of laughs—because in addition to being a genuine feminist utopian,


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Joe Golem: Occult Detective (volume 1): A private detective confronts the supernatural

Joe Golem: Occult Detective (volume 1) by Mike Mignola (writer), Christopher Golden (writer), Patric Reynolds (artist), Clem Robins (letterer), and Dave Stewart (colorist)

In the first volume of Joe Golem: Occult Detective, we get two stories: a three-part tale called “The Rat Catcher” and a two-part one called “The Sunken Dead.” Taking place in an alternative 1965, these comics are situated in the “Drowned City,” a post-flood New York city, in which canals and make-shift bridges out of boards crisscross the city’s landscape.


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The October Faction (Volume one): A horror comic about a monster-hunting family

The October Faction (Volume one) by by Steve Niles (writer) and Damien Worm (art)

The October Faction is a family affair. Meet the Allans: goth girl and daughter Vivian who has just graduated from high school; Geoff, the son who is college-age but not in college; Frederick, the professor-husband and father and former monster hunter; and Deloris, the absentee and seemingly unfaithful wife and mother who used to assist her husband. Frederick ends his lecture on monsters and meets with an old friend, Lucas, with whom he used to fight monsters,


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Beasts of Tabat: Vivid worldbuilding delivers a world in political upheaval

Beasts of Tabat by Cat Rambo

Because I got an ARC of Hearts of Tabat, the second book in Cat Rambo’s TABAT QUARTET, in 2018, I read it before the first book. I thought that would have a negative impact on my reaction to Book One, Beasts of Tabat, but as I was reading, my brain reset itself, and when I got to the end I was almost as shocked as if I hadn’t had some inkling what was coming.


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Head Lopper (Vol. 1): The Island or a Plague of Beasts: Don’t miss this adventure series!

Head Lopper (Vol. 1): The Island or a Plague of Beasts by Andrew MacLean

Head Lopper (2016) by Andrew MacLean is about a master swordsman and his journeys. By his side is his trusty sword and his less trusty head in a sack. The head belongs to Agatha, the Blue Witch, and though we know the Head Lopper, Norgal, is the one responsible for cutting off her head, we do not know for what purpose he carries her head with him wherever he goes.


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Six of Crows: An exciting fantasy heist

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo, best known for her GRISHA young adult magical fantasy trilogy, explores a different corner of the Grisha world in her new young adult novel, Six of Crows. In the city of Ketterdam, an analog for Amsterdam, criminal gangs control the waterfront, and the surrounding area is a den of iniquity where everything can be bought and sold, including people. One of the gangs, appropriately called the Dregs, is led by 17 year old Kaz Brekker,


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Darth Vader: Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca

Darth Vader: Vader by Kieron Gillen (writer) and Salvador Larroca (artist)

Darth Vader (Volume One): Vader by Kieron Gillen is just as good, if not better than, Star Wars (Volume One): Skywalker Strikes by Jason Aaron, both of which came out recently from Marvel. Marvel now has the rights to the Star Wars comic books, and so they are reissuing quickly all the Star Wars comics that were put out over the years by Dark Horse. In addition to these reissues,


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Children of Time: Too long but fascinating

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time (2015), the first book in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s CHILDREN OF TIME series, is an expansive and visionary epic that speculates about the future of humanity.

In the first chapter, we meet a scientist who has managed to extend her life so that she can create her own world. Her plan is to drop monkeys on a terraformed planet, let loose a virus that will uplift them, wait until they evolve, and then introduce herself as their god.


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Star Wars: Kanan Vol. 1: The Last Padawan: Insight into a Star Wars favourite

Star Wars: Kanan Vol. 1: The Last Padawan by Greg Weisman

The secret backstory of Kanan Jarrus, one of the main characters in the animated television show Star Wars Rebels, was ripe for comic book expansion. As a former Jedi Padawan who was only a teenager when the rest of the Jedi Order was wiped out, his past provides plenty of scope for exciting and bittersweet stories. After all, as a survivor of the purge, he was one of the lucky ones.

During an otherwise straightforward supply-run to Lothal,


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Court of Fives: The dangers of imperialism, racism, and ambition

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott has a well-deserved reputation for writing excellent science-fiction and fantasy for adults. Her characters, world-building, and societies are not only entertaining but well-crafted. It seems only natural that, at some point in her career, she would try her hand at Young Adult fiction. The result is Court of Fives, the first in a planned fantasy trilogy which is sure to appeal to younger readers as well as Elliott’s established fan base. While I’ve seen the novel described as “YA meets Game of Thrones,” Elliott herself has said,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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