This week we move into the realms of science fiction for our next Why You Should Read… feature. Our guest is Mark Chitty, who runs Walker of Worlds and the unisphere (a fansite dedicated to Peter F Hamilton). He can also be found on Twitter as @markchitty. He is talking to us today about Eric Brown.

fantasy and science fiction book reviews

I love sci-fi books and many authors, but recently one author in particular has been at the forefront of my reading and enjoyment: Eric Brown. Eric Brown is an author who writes a different type of science fiction to the normal high-tech approach. Instead he focuses primarily on characters and relationships, the sci-fi element being relegated to the background and setting. It may sound as though this isn’t proper sci-fi, but the worlds he creates are equally as believable and in-depth as any you will read from other authors, and the story isn’t bogged down by any unnecessary world-building. His stories are often heartfelt and emotional, appealing to anyone who wants to read a damned good character-focused story.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSome recommendations I have regarding Eric Brown’s work come easily to mind. Kethani would be starting point for a look at how he can show a group of friends as they carry on their lives after a world changing event, in this case the arrival on Earth of aliens. Starship Summer and Starship Fall also have a similar group of friends at their core, and all three novels work by drawing you to the characters and caring about them and their stories. For something a little more sci-fi you could look to his BENGAL STATION trilogy (Necropath, Xenopath and Cosmopath), where the setting (a spaceport off the coast of India) is the kind of future sci-fi set piece worthy of the genre while the characters carry the story from strength to strength over the course of the trilogy.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his novels. The Fall of Tartarus, Helix, Meridian Days and Approaching Omega are all highly regarded by me, each for different reasons, but all fit the description of his work I outlined above.

Not only is Eric Brown an excellent storyteller, his books are the perfect stepping on point for those readers who don’t usually read sci-fi. Having a story that uses the characters to tell the story with a sci-fi backdrop bypasses many of the complaints I’ve heard on why sci-fi is a genre that puts a great deal of people off.

I may be a reviewer, but first and foremost I’m a fan and go out of my way to find and buy Eric Brown’s previous works. Pick up an Eric Brown novel and see for yourself. You won’t regret it.

With thanks to Mark for providing his thoughts on Eric Brown.

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  • Amanda Rutter (guest)

    AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....