Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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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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Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep: A great start to a brand-new trilogy

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve

Philip Reeve has been one of my favourite authors for a while now, even though most of his stories are slightly outside my preferred genres. I loved Railhead, which was science-fiction, and Mortal Engines, which was dystopian – so imagine the weird squeaky noise of excitement I made on discovering that his latest book was not only in my genre wheelhouse (fantasy, of course) but which bore the captivating title of Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep (2021).


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Starter Villain: You’ll want to get your cat a keyboard

Starter Villain by John Scalzi

“It’s easier to be a villain than a pub owner, I’ll tell you that much.”

I think most people know the plot of John Scalzi’s 2023 novel, Starter Villain. Our protagonist, Charlie, is divorced. He’s been downsized out of his job as a business journalist, and is eking out a living as a substitute math teacher. When the story opens, his best or only friend is his cat Hera. Then Charlie learns that his enigmatic Uncle Jake,


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In Utero: Exploring in an abandoned mall

In Utero by Chris Gooch (writer and artist)

Top Shelf recently published Australian Chris Gooch’s In Utero, a surprising coming-of-age graphic novel. The book starts with a preliminary event, twelve years before the main story begins: A mysterious explosion, right in the middle of the city, devastates a large section of the downtown area. In the twelve years that have passed, though the hole in the earth remains visible, roads have been built over it. Some businesses surrounding it, however, seem to be left in disrepair. The rest of the city’s population continues on as if nothing has happened.


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The Void Ascendant: Cosmic horror that leaves us with a breath of hope

The Void Ascendant by Premee Mohamed

The Void Ascendant (2022) follows Nick Prasad as he tries to reconcile himself to a universe dominated by the Ancient Ones. The book brings to a close Premee Mohamed’s magnificent VOID trilogy.

This review contains spoilers for the two previous books, Beneath the Rising and A Broken Darkness.

Seven years have passed since Earth was destroyed, and Nick escaped into another world, one ruled by the chaotic,


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Near Death (Volume One): A reformed assassin wrestles with his ethics

Near Death (Volume One) by Jay Faerber (writing), Simon Guglielmini (art), Ron Riley (colors), and Charles Pritchett (letters)

Near Death (Volume One) is a brilliant crime fiction story about an assassin named Markham who decides he must reform. At the beginning of the story, Markham, shot and dying, drives to his only friend’s place of work (which is also where she lives) late at night. Sutton, a veterinarian, seems to be used to sewing up Markham, but this time, she has got to save his life, because he briefly dies on her operating table.


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They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures

They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures edited by Jim Wynorski

It really was a splendid idea for an anthology: Select a dozen of the most famous, beloved and influential science fiction movies of all time and then gather together the 12 short stories and novellas that had served as their source material. And that is precisely what editor Jim Wynorski did, resulting in his 1980 collection They Came From Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures.


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Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas: Encyclopedia Brown grows up

Friday, Book One: The First Day of Christmas by Ed Brubaker (author), Marcos Martin (artist), and Muntsa Vicente (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s Friday is what he calls a post-YA book. It tells the story of eighteen-year-old Friday, who was once a kid detective with her friend, the young genius Lance. Friday was the Watson to Lance’s Sherlock Holmes. In the present of the story, Friday has just returned from her first semester at college, and she is apprehensive about seeing Lance for the first time since their disastrous meeting the night before she left for college.


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Where the Body Was: A re-readable murder mystery about the passing of time

Where the Body Was by Ed Brubaker (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), and Jacob Phillips (colorist)

Ed Brubaker’s new graphic novel Where the Body Was with Sean Phillips is another excellent work of crime fiction. These two creators, with Jacob Phillips on colors, turn out the most amazing stories, and this one is no exception. Where the Body Was is a little different from some of the more noir books that they have put out over the years. This graphic novel is ostensibly about a body that is found by a young girl as she skates around the neighborhood.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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