Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: 4.5

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So Bright The Vision: Brownies and milk

So Bright The Vision by Clifford D. Simak

I have been on something of a kick this past year as regards Clifford D. Simak and his shorter fiction of the 1950s. All the Traps of Earth (1962), The Worlds of Clifford Simak (1961) and Other Worlds of Clifford Simak (1962) had all proved to be truly wonderful – or perhaps I should say “wonder-filled” – collections,


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How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying: If at first you don’t succeed, change sides

How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying by Django Wexler

I’ll admit I got Wexler’s 2024 fantasy novel, first in the DARK LORD DAVI series, mostly because of the title, How to Become the Dark Lord and Die Trying. I couldn’t help noticing that blurbs and reviews both take delight in describing this book as funny and raunchy. I don’t see “raunchy” as a description that much anymore—in this case it is accurate. Davi, our first-person narrator,


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Berserk (Volume 1) by Kentaro Miura (An Oxford College Student Review!)

In this column, I feature comic book reviews written by my students at Oxford College of Emory University. Oxford College is a small liberal arts school just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. I challenge students to read and interpret comics because I believe sequential art and visual literacy are essential parts of education at any level (see my Manifesto!). I post the best of my students’ reviews in this column. Today, I am proud to present a review by Adra Curington.

Adra Curington is a first-year student at Emory Oxford College majoring in philosophy.


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Other Worlds of Clifford Simak: From zebra charms to walking vines

Other Worlds of Clifford Simak by Clifford D. Simak

Other Worlds of Clifford Simak is the companion volume to the 1961 Avon paperback The Worlds of Clifford Simak, a collection that had recently impressed me very favorably. As I mentioned in my review of that earlier volume, The Worlds of Clifford Simak was originally released as a Simon & Schuster hardcover in 1960; a rather generous-sized, 378-page affair containing a dozen of the future Grand Master’s stories.


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The Worlds of Clifford Simak: Finely wrought tales from a future grand master

The Worlds of Clifford Simak by Clifford D. Simak

A recent perusal of Clifford D. Simak’s wonderful collection All the Traps of Earth (from 1962) served to remind this reader of how very excellent the beloved Wisconsin-born novelist could be with the shorter form, and I resolved to read more of his stories in the near future. Thus, when I spotted a rather beat-up copy of his collection The Worlds of Clifford Simak (no middle initial here,


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Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life

Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life by Jason Roberts

Every Living Thing: The Great and Deadly Race to Know All Life (2024), by Jason Roberts, is a fascinating and (for me at least) eye-opening book detailing the parallel exploration of the natural word by two 18th -century naturalists, one of whom is a (relatively) familiar household name and the other, at least in this household, is not. With these sorts of books, it probably comes as no surprise that it’s the latter who should be better know.


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Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands: Complications abound and danger stalks our heroes

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett

This review of Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands contains spoilers for Book One, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries. Heather Fawcett’s second book, published in 2024, advances the adventures of scholars Emily Wilde and Wendell Bamblely as they prepare to embark on a perilous quest. It also introduces some new characters to the mix, and I’ll be interested to see if they appear again in the third book of the series.


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Giants In The Dust: Oliver shines in his final sci-fi novel

Giants In The Dust by Chad Oliver

At this late date, the authors who have penned works in the fields of science fiction and fantasy must number well into the multiple thousands, but the ones with an actual background in science, who have used their education and scientific training to both inform and add veracity to their stories … ah, they are indeed amongst a much more limited crew. Let’s see … Isaac Asimov was, of course, an associate professor of biochemistry. Hal Clement had degrees in both chemistry and astronomy,


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Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries: A roller-coaster of a romantic romp

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

The first book in the EMILY WILDE series is a lively, lovely romp through an alternate Europe, with faeries, magic, lost kingdoms, irascible scholars and their irritating colleagues. Though completely different in tone and subject matter, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (2023), by Heather Fawcett, reminded me a bit of Marie Brennan’s LADY TRENT series. Both series feature a woman scientist and a story transmitted via reports or journal entries. There the similarities end,


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Someone You Can Build a Nest In: Can a monster and a monster hunter find love?

Someone You Can Build a Nest In by John Wiswell

Relationships are hard. They may be even harder when one person’s definition of love is implanting their eggs in the beloved, so that the hatchlings eat their way out of their parent. For Shesheshen, the protagonist of John Wiswell’s Someone You Can Build a Nest In (2024), this is how her species defines it. Now that she’s fallen in love with Homily, a human woman, the egg-implantation issue isn’t the only obstacle on their road to happiness.

Shesheshen is a protoplasmic creature,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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