Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Rating: 5

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Wicked Problems: Save the world, or fix the world?

Wicked Problems by Max Gladstone

Save the world, or fix the world? Can we do either? These questions underlie the second book in Max Gladstone’s CRAFT WARS series, Wicked Problems. Other things are happening in this 2024 installment, too, and the ending, while anticipated, is a gamechanger for everyone involved.

In Book One, Dead Country, Craftswoman Tara Abernathy took on a student, the orphaned and traumatized Dawn. (Mild spoilers ahead.) While Tara tried to teach her about the Craft,


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Witch Hat Atelier: Volumes 1-3 (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 Mandy Sun.

Mandy Sun is a first-year student at Emory Oxford University and is considering majoring in Computer Science.


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Utterly Dark and the Heart of the Wild: A fantastic middle book in a captivating trilogy

Utterly Dark and the Heart of the Wild by Philip Reeve

In his review for Skye McKenna’s Hedgewitch, Reeve said: “there are only two sorts of fantasy story: the ones that feel fake and the ones that feel real. It’s hard to explain the difference but you know the real ones when you read them.”

I know exactly what he’s talking about, because he writes the real ones too. His depiction of Faerie – that ancient place where all the fairy tales come from – captures its mystery and danger and uncanny beauty as it also exists in books like Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and Lord Dunsany’s The King of Elfland’s Daughter and Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell,


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Neither Beg Nor Yield: Stories With S & S Attitude

Neither Beg Nor Yield: Stories With S&S Attitude by Jason M. Waltz (editor) & M.D. Jackson (illustrator)

I don’t know how aware SFF fandom is, but sword & sorcery has had a resurgence of late. Jason M. Waltz and most of the authors featured in Neither Beg Nor Yield have been champions of this subgenre, some for the past quarter century. Mr. Waltz first published sword & sorcery and other great heroic and weird fiction with Flashing Swords Press and later under his own micro-press, Rogue Blades Entertainment.


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The Haunted Stars: Fairlie awesome

The Haunted Stars by Edmond Hamilton

At the tail end of my review of Edmond Hamilton’s The Star of Life (1947), I mentioned that this was the finest novel that I’d read by the Ohio-born author so far, and added that I now looked forward to reading Hamilton’s The Haunted Stars, which seems to enjoy an even greater reputation. Take, for example, these two sources that I have always trusted: The Science Fiction Encyclopedia,


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System Collapse: Just as entertaining as all the rest of the series

Reposting to include Marion’s new review.

System Collapse by Martha Wells

The first thing to know about Martha Wells’ System Collapse is that if you can’t dredge up memories of its (chronological) predecessor, Network Effect, you’re going to want to refresh yourself either by a reread (fun enough) or skimming a few reviews, as System Collapse picks up directly afterward and really feels like it could have just been part of Network Effect (you know,


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The Asgardians 1: Odin

THE ASGARDIANS 1: Odin by George O’Connor

What do you do when you finish a 12-title series of graphic novels (THE OLYMPIANS) covering a huge chunk of Greek mythology, one that should be a required purchase for all parents, libraries, and schools? Well, if you’re George O’Connor, apparently you look around and go, “Who’s next?” The answer, it turns out, is THE ASGARDIANS. And thank the Norse gods for that.

O’Connor opens up his new series with Odin,


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The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles: Come for the mystery, stay for the great characters

Reposting to include Bill’s new review.

The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles by Malka Older

On Jupiter, known as Giant, Mossa, an Investigator, and Pleiti, scholar and instructor, are on a new case, involving the disappearance of a student. As Mossa explores, she finds not one, but seventeen university students, faculty and staff have gone missing. What the two sleuths will uncover in 2024’s The Imposition of Unnecessary Obstacles, by Malka Older, will destabilize Pleiti’s already-shaky faith in the university system,


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The Magic Order (Book 1): King Lear-inspired comic of magic and betrayal

The Magic Order (Book 1) by Mark Millar (writer), Oliver Coipel (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), and Peter Doherty (letterer)

The first book of The Magic Order by Mark Millar is an engaging story with gorgeous art by Oliver Coipel. The Magic Order is comprised of a group of magicians who protect the world from the threats of other magicians and supernatural dangers. However, this is no Harry Potter story for young readers. Even from the beginning, violent acts are depicted quite horrifically: In the very first scene,


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The Tainted Cup: Two wonderful new detectives take the stage

The Tainted Cup by Robert Jackson Bennett

With 2024’s The Tainted Cup, Robert Jackson Bennett introduces us to another beautiful, strange world, gives us a murder mystery, and brings on stage an engaging duo of detectives, against a backdrop of gargantuan creatures and weird botanical science. The first book of THE SHADOW OF THE LEVIATHAN is a satisfying mystery that leaves plenty of bigger questions unanswered, and I want the next book. Now.

Dinios Kol is a member of the Iudex,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8298 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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