Do you know what the Hugo Awards are? They’re the annual award for best sci-fi and fantasy writing and this year they were full of controversy because they were sort of hijacked. The people voting had the opportunity to vote for “no award” in each category and I suspected that might be the case since it was one of the only ways to show their displeasure at the hijacking, and so last night as the awards began I tweeted this:
And by my logic that means that I won a shit-ton of Hugo Awards last night. And so did you if you are a nobody in the sci-fi world! WE WON! And we also lost. Because I use those award lists to find new things to read and they’re also helpful to get publishing houses to invest money into buying sci-fi books and finding new authors and then we all win when we have new stuff to read.
So instead of gloating about my well-deserved *cough* awards I’m going to instead accept them in the names of a few sci-fi/fantasy authors I’ve enjoyed recently and if they’re new to you then you can check them out. And then you do the same for me and tell me the sci-fi/fantasy authors I need to check out. And then we all win again!
Here are a few of my favorites off the top of a my head:
John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless collection, Sydney Padua (Seriously, go read The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage RIGHT THIS SECOND. Then give it to your young daughter because she’ll love it too.)
Your turn. Who should I be reading? Bonus points if I’ve never heard of them before.
And now, the weekly wrap-up…
Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):
- As requested, #WheresRory shirts to confuse everyone around you.
- Tinder in Brooklyn. I’ve never been so glad to be married.
- Have you checked out #WheresRory lately? Because it just keeps getting more fantastic.
- My new favorite song:
This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, the third book by award-winning New York Times best-selling author Kathleen Flinn. It’s a fabulous memoir about Kathleen’s sweet, but quirky family having sweet, but quirky adventures. They’re like The Waltons but in Michigan, and were poor, grew vegetables and they all read encyclopedias for fun. As an added bonus, you’ll find recipes, plus bigamy and bootlegging. Her first book was The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry about attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and falling in love with her husband. You should check it out here.
376 thoughts on “I WON 5 HUGO AWARDS. And we all lost.”
Read comments below or add one.
Not sure if the genre is okay for you but a book I read a few years ago and adored was called “The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen.
(I haven’t read Franzen but I heard he’s a little insane. Isn’t he the guy whose editor had to talk him out of adopting an Iraqi orphan as a tool to help him understand why American youth was cynical? Not that insane means you can’t be a good author though. ~ Jenny)
I am having a room built for my Hugos.
Darn! I could have brought Rory to accept your Hugos on your behalf, but I went out to drink wine instead. Also, it didn’t occur to me last night.
Congratulations! Although if you don’t ever add a bookstore in CT to your book tour I will have to take it back…. LOL. I kid. But not really. Please visit soon!
I know it’s gotten a ton of hype and there will soon be a movie about it, but The Martian by Andy Weir is fab.
Read Hugo and Rose by Bridget Foley. The cover looks like a romance novel, but it is NOT. It is AWESOME!
I’m reading the second James S A Corey Expanse novel – Caliban’s War. The first one is called Leviathan Wakes. If you’re interested in space opera, people who try to do the right thing and little guys v big guys, you’ll like them.
Also, Ann Leckie rules.
Orson Scott Card, Robert Jordan, and Brandon Sanderson to name a few. 🙂
Guy Gavriel Kay… Starting with The Lions of Al-Rassan
Richard Hugo’s “Death and the Good Life.” It’s a crazy Montana murder mystery written by a poet.
Mira Grant, Seanan Mcguire, Michael Kube-McDowell. Lois McMaster Bujold
I love Catherynne Valente and her Fairyland series is amazing. The first is called The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland Ina Ship of Her Own Making.
Scott Sigler’s newest “Alive” is an entertaining YA sci-fi novel, and the start of a trilogy.
As a teen I was introduced to Anne McAffery. She does a pretty terrific job at creating worlds and characters that sucked me right out of reality.
I won! I won! You Like ME! You REALLY like ME! (and I wrote a sci-fi short story once. It was two pages long. It was very terse.
Tobias Buckell created a list of what the Hugo nominees might’ve looked like without the slates. Pretty good place to start reading.
Kristin Cashore (and share her Graceling books with your daughter), Emily Croy Barker, William Gibson, Spider Robinson to name a few. Thank you for the Hugos….my family will be so proud!
I’m giving my Hugo to Erin Claiborne for “A Hero at the End of the World” in the category “books both for people who hated and loved Harry Potter.
I don’t like Franzen (mentioned in earlier comment) as a person so I’m not likely to get his books either. If I sound petty, keep in mind that people I like and who are good people and who have talent don’t get to win big awards because asshats like Franzen win them. I feel I should help correct that sorry state of affairs in any way i can.
Jo Taylor, Chronicles of St. Mary’s, first book: “Just One Damned Thing After Another.”
Try Jeff Wheeler, he’s written two trilogies and the third one is on the way (the first book in that trilogy just came out). The trilogies are: The Legends of Muirwood, Whispers From Mirrowen, and the new one is Covenant of Muirwood. I absolutely LOVE these books!!
This is quite an honour. I wasn’t expecting this. I would like to thank The Bloggess, for highlighting the fact that we have all achieved this honor. We did everyone! We achieved the impossible. We won ALL the awards without doing anything! I don’t have any sic-fi books for you to read right now but you SHOULD read “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Better” by Monica Heisley. It is fantastic. Highly Recommend.
I admit that I rarely read science fiction but I love everything written by Dana Stabenow. So I gave her science fiction trilogy a try and loved it. Check out her Star Svensdotter series.
Loving these recommendations. Adding to my reading list.
we have the same taste in speculative fiction. fistbump
(Scalzi is mah boo. If he weren’t a married man I’d make a total fool of myself over him)
You want to read Jasper Fforde. Start with The Eyre Affair. It’s bizarre and funny – perfect for you.
That Tinder article made me cry like a baby this week. I never had trouble meeting guys until this past year, when my 5-year relationship ended. Every. Single. Guy. I have talked to has been distracted and distant. Some have asked me to “Netflix and chill” (aka come over to have sex) before we’ve even kissed.
I’ve asked all of my friends and family to set me up with their friends/coworkers/distant cousins that I am not related to, but everyone is coming up short. So, hey, Bloggess-ville — if anyone is interested in an independent 32-year-old in central CT, let me know! 😉
Gini Koch’s Alien series, Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. Love, love, love.
I know it’s not at all recent but I’ve only just gotten around to reading “Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence”, my most recent re-read-a-favourite book was “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden.
I’ve really enjoyed The Travelers Gate Trilogy by Will Wight. It’s an original idea with great characters.
Robin LaFever’s “His Fair Assassin” series was amazing. Technically YA, but it didn’t have the usual YA feel. I don’t really know how to describe it, but all three were really good!
Check out Ben Aaronovitch. His Rivers of London/Peter Grant series is fantastic.
Ernest Cline–Ready Player One is outstanding, and his new book Armada is a close second.
You should check out Rachel Aaron. Her Eli Monpress saga is amazing, and I suspect her sci-fi stuff is equally good, though I haven’t read it because life is crazy busy and my library doesn’t have them. Yet.
I second Corey’s “Expanse” series. The first trilogy starts off merely good and becomes frickin’ amazing. I haven’t read the latest book (the fifth, and second in the second trilogy) but that’s only because I got sucked into The Wheel of Time series.
You have probably already read it but Magonia is really good. I really think you would like it.
Once you start reading Sheri S Tepper, you’ll never want to stop.
Connie Willis is a one woman Hugo winning machine but she is excellent if you have never read her. 🙂
I’m reading “Seveneves” by Neal Stephenson right now and I’m really liking it! Also, if you haven’t read “The Last Policeman” (and it’s sequels) by Ben H. Winters, you guys are missing out! (Both of these are “end of the world sci-fi—so you know)
Love to you Jenny and all of the Tribe/Blogessarians/Where’s Rory photographers!
Anything by Patricia McKillip. Her use of words is always amazing. I just finished reading Lilith Saintcrow’s “Trailer Park Fae” which is fabulous, and I’m partway through Daniel O’Malley’s “The Rook”. Kat Richardson’s “Harper Blaine” series is phenomenal. Anne Bishop’s “Others” series is amazing. Guy Gavriel Kay’s “Fionavar” trilogy is not to be missed. And it’s old, but Roger Zelazny’s “Amber” series is one of my all-time faves.
Jasper Fforde isn’t sci-fi and is closer to fantasy but is really his own genre. I think it would be good to start with The Eyre Affair. The main character is Thursday Next and she’s a literary detective. Sometimes she attends participatory Richard III plays that are reminiscent of the experience at a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She also has a pet Dodo. None of this is outlandish in context because Mr. Fforde is wickedly clever.
There’s no way you’re a nobody so sadly no awards for you Jenny 🙁
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. There’s a ton of books out. Very good. I can’t recommend enough.
Mercy Thompson series is my favorite but pretty much anything by Patricia Briggs rocks. An old one that a lot of people haven’t heard of (in my circle) are the myth books by Robert asprin
Also, M.T. Anderson’s Pals in Peril series. You can enjoy them with your daughter.
What I think everyone should be reading is the “Peter and the Monsters” series by Darren Pillsbury. I think they are hilarious and scary at the same time. If I had an older child to share them with, I’d definitely share these books. They don’t cost that much and are available for Kindle on Amazon. I cannot believe someone who writes something as entertaining as this series is struggling to find time to write because he’s having to work so hard to support himself and his family, at least according to his website. I should think by now he’d be as famous as J.K. Rowling.
I read this recently and it made me sad. I devoured sci-fi books as a kid and loved them (escape from a crappy hick town). But when I went back to read them as an adult, I wondered how I could have missed all of these things that are noted in this article. I need to find new good authors whose books I can lose myself in. I’ll look up your lists.
I come recommending the books of Ernest Cline (Ready Player One and Armada) and the books of Peter Clines (Ex-Hereos books & 14/The Fold series). The two are not releated, FYI, just similar last names.
Heh, I’m a bookseller by profession AND avocation, so my enthusiasm may be a little…cheerleadery. But my heart is in the right place. At least according to all recent X-rays!
Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files are wonderful. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is good as well. Time travel makes them science fiction, right? I’m also a Nora Roberts fan – love her trilogies & um, quadrupalies? The ones with a slight paranormal twist are groovy.
The Tinder thing… oh my God… tears… so funny… literally laughed like an insane person. I’m coming up on my 21st wedding anniversary and I guess I can never divorce (not that I want to) because there’s NO WAY IN HELL I’d ever want to date in this age of social media. Now way, no how…
I’ve read a fun book by fellow tweeter @partlyrobot. He self published a book called Larry the Horrible Time Traveler. It’s got a few minor typos, but it had me laughing and reading several passages about loud. I picked up 2 more copies to add to my free-to-a-good-home book shelf at my shop.
Congratulations to you and all of us Hugo Award Winners!
I would like to thank my cats, Stella and Edgar, my mother and, of course, that mannequin up the road that has been mechanized to spin and “OPEN” sign.
As for notable sci-fi books I’ve read recently (as most of the fantasy I’ve read of late has been re-reads of Rothfuss and Gaiman) here are a few that come to mind:
Santiago: A Myth from the Far Future by Mike Resnik
Ready Play One by Ernest Cline (of course)
Positive by David Wellington
Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson
Pathfinder (also fantasy-ish) by Orson Scott Card*
*one commenter mentioned not reading books by asshats and I tend to agree, however, I am a big fan of Card’s writing and its messages (which tend to go against his jerkface actions IRL.) That being said, whenever possible I buy his books used from a local indie bookshop so as to not put more money in his pockets. Passive aggressive? Perhaps.
N K Jemisin, Kate Elliott, Rosemary Kirstein, Garth Nix, Robin Hobb!!, Judith Tarr, Juliet McKenna, Sarah J. Maas, Seannan McGuire, Wen Spencer I could go on endlessly. Raymond Feist. David Eddings. Weis & Hickman. Anne McCaffrey yes but her son Todd NO. Mercedes Lackey!
Also, Kate Elliott and NK Jemisin are great to follow on Twitter particularly for feminist issues. Kate Elliott also is like the best book matchmaker, she gives great book recs.
I think you might enjoy Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. Here’s a review from Locus Magazine: http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2015/08/colleen-mondor-reviews-daniel-jose-older/
CJ Cherryh’s “Foreigner” series, and if you haven’t read Jasper Fforde, you’re really missing out – read him now!
Also, Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series. For you, I’d recommend starting with “Wyrd Sisters” because you don’t have to start with the first book and I think you’d like Granny and Nanny.
I second Jasper Fforde. I met him and he signed my book. He’s the most fun and super cool. My mom apologized for her book being old and worn, so he took it and threw it one the floor and said, “there you go. Now it’s a little more worn.” He also did a book talk and I learned so much about how his brain works and not at all enough at the same time. Fangirl!!
All books by Matt Ruff. Best to read them in the order he wrote them, but it is not really important. He is funny and brilliant.
Chuck Wendig and Jeremy C Shipp
I see that Orson Scott Card has been mentioned, but I am mentioning him again because his books deserve it.
I love everything by N. K. Jemisin, but her latest book (The Fifth Element) is a pretty good place to start.
I’m a little biased, since I’m one of the editors, but http://www.DevilfishReview.com has excellent taste in the short stories they publish. =D
Most, but not all, of these are dystopian, with a young, female heroine:
Victoria Aveyard, The Red Queen, first in trilogy, others not out yet
Rae Carson, Girl of Fire and Thorns series
Veronica Roth, Divergent series
Lauren Oliver, Delerium series
Ally Condie, Matched series
Scott Westerfeld, Uglies series
Susan Kaye Quinn, Mindjack series
Justine Larbalestier, How to Ditch Your Fairy
A.G. Henley, The Scourge series
Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth series (post-apocalyptic zombies!)
Not for kids:
H.P. Mallory, Jolie Wilkins series (trashy, fun, paranormal romance, smut, lol!)
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander series (with bonus TV series!)
I should add, the Jolie Wilkins and Outlander series should have trigger warnings. Outlander has some pretty graphic sexual assault across the series, and plenty of violence. The Jolie Wilkins books have some situations where consent is given, but there’s deception involved that makes the consent not truly given, as well as some attempted sexual assault. Tread with care if those are triggers for you.
I actually read The Three-Body Problem (this year’s Hugo Award for Best Novel) and it made me feel stabby and peevish.
I also didn’t like Ms. Marvel (Hugo’s Best Graphic Representation) for reasons.
I’m glad the rest of us won an award, though. That makes me feel a tad better about this year’s Hugo selections.
Congratulations, all of us! And thank you, Bloggess, for realizing that we’re the real winners, here!
For grown up sci-fi, I like China Mieville. He’s good with a story and throws in wry humor, which is always a bonus in my book (pun intended) Some above mentioned Lois McMaster Bujold. She is a delight, both in person and in words.
Oh! Oh! Have you read Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga series? The compendiums are only up to volume 4 with 5 coming out in October, so there is waiting involved but it’s just so good!
I’m just finishing Elizabeth Bear’s Eternal Sky series. It’s fantasy, but I’ve got her sci-fi All the Windwracked Stars on my to-read-next shelf because she is a phenomenal writer. She loves to play with words, which can be painful while reading, but by the time you make it to the end of the story, all that reading was worth the effort.
For younger ages sci-fi, I’ve found Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack to be fun and engaging. Similarly, Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl series is also fun and engaging. I keep hearing about Jorge Aguirre’s Chronicles of Claudette (Giants Beware! and Dragons Beware!) but have yet to read them, myself.
A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka. The sequel’s out – A Girl Undone – but I haven’t gotten there yet.
And if you’re into dragons and military history turned on its head (though I guess not specifically Sci-Fi) Naomi Novak’s Temeraire series is excellent.
James Morrow (start with the Towing Jehovah Trilogy)
Second a previous mention for Jasper Fforde. The Eyre Affair books were great, as were the nursery crimes division books and the YA series the Last Dragonslayer
Robert J. Sawyer (start with The Neanderthal Parallax). He writes my favourite sci-fi.
I just read The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. So good.
You’ve got to read The Laundry Files series by Charles Stross. I also love James P. Blaylock, particularly his Langston St. Ives series. You and your daughter might enjoy his book Zeuglodon!
Brandon Sanderson’s “Stormlight Archive”. Amazing books. Vol 1 – The Way of Kings; Vol 2 – Words of Radiance.
The Paper Magician series by Charlie N. Holmberg.
I have nothing to offer as I’ve been on a mystery and suspense kick lately. But I’m stealing every one of these recommendations.
Read Hugh Howey. Start with Beacon 23 – a series of 5 stories about an interstellar war vet with PTSD who runs a beacon alone hoping to put himself back together. It’s awesome.
Kim Harrison – Hollows series (autocorrect tried to change that to Kim Kardashian… no. Just, no.)
Patricia Briggs – I’ve read everything she’s ever written because I love her!! Slightly les than I love you, of course.)
I am just about finished with Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and it has been awesome so far. Also, I second Guy Gavriel Kay. Amazing amazing fantasy.
Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, and Downbelow Station, Cyteen, and Regenesis by C.J.Cherryh. And anything at all by Guy Gavriel Kay.
You’ve probably read him, but my all time favorite author is Harlan Ellison. Speculative fiction, 99% short stories. You can’t go wrong with any of his writings (fiction, essays, reviews, screenplays, etc.)
io9 always compiles a list of the Best Sci Fi and Fantasy books from each year. It’s usually my go-to source for interesting new book recommendations:
If you’re not reading the Jonathan L. Howard series about Johannes Cabal, you are robbing yourself of delight, and who deserves delight more than you? Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is your jumping off point. http://www.amazon.com/Johannes-Cabal-Necromancer-Jonathan-Howard/dp/0767930762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440360997&sr=8-1&keywords=johannes+cabal
This summer I read two excellent books:
The Martian by Andy Weir (tons of language but so so so worth it)
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (I have never read anything quite like this and I think I loved it. Waiting for more is going to be tough.)
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 🙂
The new Ms. Marvel comic (even though it represents one of your few defeats last night) is awesome. I also love Rat Queens, Lumberjanes, Saga, The Wicked + The Divine, Sex Criminals, and Nimona. Fictionally, I enjoyed Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings, James Morrow’s Shambling Towards Hiroshima, Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine, and Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, & Acceptance). I’ll second (or at this point, probably third or fourth) Charles Stross’s Laundry Files books, which started out as humorous spy pastiche mixed with Lovecraftian horror pastiche and has deepened into something more without losing the humor.
Anything by Brandon Sanderson – though I’d suggest The Stormlight Archives(only 2 books so far), Mistborn(complete trilogy), The Reckoners (awesome young adult books 2 of 3 books released). Or for some one shots there is Elantris, Warbreaker, or The Emperor’s Soul (Novella)
Terry Pratchett is really a genre into himself, but often lumped in with sci-fi and fantasy. His characters are wonderfully, hilariously flawed; he really understands people but likes them anyway. Mort or Small Gods or Guards, Guards are good ones to start with. He also co-wrote a book with Neil Gaiman about Armageddon, Good Omens, that is absolutely fantastic.
Oh man, there are so many! I’m sure you’ve heard of them all, but I can’t help myself when it comes to discussing books.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, audiobook by Wil Wheaton is the best way to experience
Wool by Hugh Howey, I also liked Sand by him, but not quite as well
I just got into Shirley Jackson, who is incredible. You must have read her though, it seems like your style
Shades of Grey by Jasper FForde NOT BY TWILGHT FANFIC LADY, also his Chronicles of Kazam
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber I read it awhile ago, but I still think about it often.
Haven’t read yet, but come highly recommended(by Liberty Hardy of All the Books podcast and Book Riot)
The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McKracken (and anything else by her)
Heap House by Edward Carey
Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
Blue Girl by Laurie Foos
A Planet for Rent by Yoss
There are a ton of comics too, but I feel I’m overdoing just a tinch. Sorry, I love books.
Another author/book recommendation: Nick Harkaway. I would have recommended “Angelmaker” and “Tigerman” first, but if you like Scalzi, you might like “The Gone Away World”, too.
You should absolutely read Anne Lecke’s Ancillary series. The viewpoint character is a genderless artificial intelligence who used to run a ship as well as hundreds of ancillary bodies, but is now stuck in a single body, and trying to save the galaxy from a ruler who still has lots of ancillary bodies but they’re all fighting each other. Really. They’re WONDERFUL books.
Anything by Spider Robinson, but especially the Callahan’s crosstime saloon stories (beware industrial strength puns) and the Stardance trilogy which he wrote with his wife Jeanne who was a professional dancer and choreographer. (NASA reserved a place for her on the shuttle to practice zero gravity dance before the Challenger disaster caused the end of the civilian-in-space program)
Another author/book recommendation: Nick Harkaway. I would have recommended “Angelmaker” and “Tigerman” first, but if you like Scalzi, you might like “The Gone Away World”, too. His books are wonderfully whimsical and really hard to put into established categories.
Congratulations to all of us. 🙂 And yay for all the suggestions! All I can think of right now are Erich Kastner’s kids books, including the 35th of May. Bizarre and highly entertaining.
Jenn Thorson is currently editing the third book of THIS TRILOGY
Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children
By: Ransom Riggs
Totally fell into this peculiar world.
First of a Trilogy.
Iain Banks – “Look to Windward” affected me profoundly, but all his stories will grab you by the balls and twist them.
Alistair Reynolds – Fellow Everest enthusiast of mine! I started with “Century Rain” and it’s still my favorite, but I really love the Revelation:Space series.
C.S. Friedman – Awesome space-operaish writer who also makes lovely jewelry – you can find her on Facebook and she’s good to her fans. “This Alien Shore” is my favorite, though I started with “The Madness Season” (also great).
Jack McDevitt – Detective work in outer space! Best – Seeker, Polaris
James White – Hospital series. Bit dated, but amusing and engaging. I own them all;)
As for Connie Willis, read “To Say Nothing of the Dog” and “The Domesday Book”.
OK for teens:
Emma Bull – Borderland series. (She also cowrote the most awesome “Freedom and Necessity” with Steven Brust, but that’s for grownups.)
Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials
Keep in mind also Neal Stephenson, Roger Zelazney, Nalo Hopkinson, John M. Ford, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frederick Pohl, Larry Niven, Vonda McIntyre… Well, the list does go on and on, doesn’t it?
I have the strange feeling we did this for you a while back (last year?), but I don’t mind doing it again because I get great tips from the other commenters 🙂
A friend of mine–one who lives in the computer–is Heather Clitheroe, writes SciFi and Fantasy. A link to some of her work is http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/cuts-both-ways/. She’s been nominated for a Pushcart award and is currently working on a novel.
Who is this Noah Ward I keep hearing about?
I enthusiastically recommend Forsaken by JD Barker. I first became aware of the Princess Burlap blog when she sponsored an ad on your blog and I have been a fan ever since. She and her husband are both writers, JD was recently asked to co-author a prequel to Dracula by the Stoker family. I usually don’t read much sci-fi or horror, but I will be adding many of these recommendations to my reading list, after I finish Furiously Happy. I know I will be reading your book as soon as it arrives. You deserve every success and I hope you continue to write. Reading your blog and books makes me furiously happy.
For adult reading pleasure in narrative, I really like Eric Larson – I loved The Devil in the White City and I’m hoping to start Dead Wake soon. In sci-fi, I find a great deal of comfort in Piers Anthony (my favorite is a stand alone work called If I Pay Thee Not in Gold – the Xanith series is a lot of fun, but something brings me back to this earlier work) and I enjoy Peter David (wrote for Star Trek and the Marvels Universe, but has a lovely title called Sir Apropos of Nothing that I like). I read a lot of non-fiction for fun and for work, but for pleasure it’s most often fiction (or something biography…sigh, I just really like reading…)
And when you are looking for something else to read and do with your daughter, Re-read childhood favorites before giving them to your daughter – it’s amazing what you’ll see that you missed when you were younger AND what she’ll see hat you never noticed…
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.
Jim C. Hines, either of his series. Chuck Wendig’s Miriam Black books–oh so dark and oh so good. His YA Heartland series is outright AWESOME. The Vorkosigan series by Lois McMasters Bujold. If you like zombies, then the Feed trilogy by Mira Grant was outstanding. And every single word written by Terry Pratchett (RIP) in his Discworld series is absolute magic and a tonic for everything that ails you.
I enjoyed all of Sara King’s books – The Zero stories & the Alaska stories.
Try A.G. Riddle’s Atlantis Gene series, I am not a super space nut Sci Fi fan, but they’re great story and he’s a fairly new author. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series improved drmatically after he died, because Brandon Sanderson would listen to an editor and stopeed yammering on and on about Nynaeve’s man-hate and braid yanking. In other decent recent discovery, for supernatural type stuff, Melissa Olson delivers in her cross-referencing series about witches and werewolves and vampires, kinda semi based on the same or similar rules as you found in True Blood. If you like the supernatural SMUTTY stuff, them Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series wil keep you occupado for quite awhile. Back into semi normal sci fi fantasy stuff, go back in time to Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber. At least the first seven books are fantastic, and it’s a totally new world, new kind of magic, really unique interdimensional stuff. Something to get Hailey’s whistle wet is A Wrinkle in Time… SUPER worth it!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, but I also agree about Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have not heard the audio version, and I confess it was a little hard for me to get into, but yowza, I really got caught up in it!
Butchers Dresden Files!!! Start with Storm Front and keep on going…
I am about to embark on reading Ursula K. LeGuin, an author who started in Sci-Fi (I think) but has expanded her horizons and become one of my (s)heroes for her stand on so many issues. I haven’t read any of her work but she has quite a reputation in the literary world. And I am also a fan of the Griffin and Sabine series.
Looking forward to your visit to Minneapolis in early November.
Barb in Minnesota
You have definitely never heard of M.H. Van Keuren, but he is awesome and you would love his stuff. Start with “Legitimacy.”
Guy Gavriel Kay, Robin Hobb, Terry Pratchett
Magnus Flyte (who is actually two women co-authors); I just read “City of Dark Magic” (best quarter I ever spent at a thrift store!) & am halfway through the second, “City of Lost Dreams”. Intelligent, funny, & sexy with an immortal dwarf, a hot prince, & an evil US senator.
I’m also reading John Connolly’s Samuel Johnson Stories for Young Adults; “The Gates”, “The Infernals”, and “The Creeps”. Reminds me of Terry Pratchett & Douglas Adams with a dash if Madeleine L’Engle.
One of last night’s nominees for best novel is a book I want to give to pretty much everyone: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. It’s because it’s sweet and beautifully written. In that same vein, pretty much anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, Charles de Lint and Patricia Mckillip. I also love Elizabeth Hand, Kelley Armstrong’s Cainsville books, Tanya Huff and Mira Grant’s Newsflesh works. Then, because I could pretty much keep doing this for days, Kevin Hearne and another of my favorite books, Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro.
The Scribes of Medeisia series by R.K. Ryals. Well, anything by R.K. Ryals really. She’s never written a book I didn’t like. Also, the Celia’s Journey series by Melissa Gunther. It’s like Harry Potter, but more girl power.
My TBR list just doubled in the past 32 seconds. Thanks for giving me more of a reason to stay in bed and read as much as possible! (Now off to start writing all of these recommendations into my TBR journal).
You’ve read everything by Terry Pratchett, right?
Be careful with things under the name “Patricia Briggs”; THERE ARE THREE AUTHORS BY THIS NAME. One did “Giant book(s) of Dogs/Horses”, fact. One is writing drek with terrible proofreading. You want the ones with author pictures. (She’s camping with fans next weekend, how cool is that? – I get to be there!!)
Also going with Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, C.J. Cherryh, James Tiptree, Connie Willis in general.
Newer to the field/list: Wen Spencer (Half aliens in Ukiah Oregon Series, ELVES! in the “Tinker” books, and then there are “Brother’s Price” with gender reversal, and Eight Million Gods, and Endless blue.) If you like military SF, the Honor Harrington books by David Weber, or there is the fantasy series… Waiting as patiently as I can (and re-re-re-guess how many re- reading the first three) for 4th book by Lorna Freeman about Rabbit the farmboy/soldier/mage/king’s heir.
Ursula Vernon (She’s already won a Hugo, and a Nebula, and a Mytheopic Society award, and now an Alfie) – but don’t give “Black Dogs” to Hailey yet.
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe(Registered Trademark) books… a little caution on anything not under that mantle; the Daunifrey duology is reputedly too dark fro 8 -12 year old. Te Carousel trilogy by Ms. Lee without (theoretically) her husband also ripping good mystery Fantasy.
Spider Robinson, P.G. Hodgsell, Susan Dexter, Barbara Hambly, Joanna Bertin(Last Dragonlord & sequels) DIANNA WYNNE JONES!! The alternate Regency England books by Patricia C. Wrede & Carolyn Stevermer(sic); Ms. Wrede’s or Ms. Stevermer’s fictions written on their own (You HAVE to get “The Book of Enchantments” – you & Hailey can try making Quick After Battle Triple Chocolate Cake together.) Lynne Abbey, Andre Norton, Nancy Springer, James H. Schmidt, Thorne Smith, Esther Freisner. Find a copy of “The Interior Life” for the love of heaven.
Sarah Hoyt may be associated with the Puppies, but she writes some good stuff; I like her “Shifter” series, and under various pen names she’s done some mysteries and a series on the Four (after D’Artangian(sic) was added) Musketeers solving mysteries they got involved in later.
Diane Duane, Elizabeth Moon . .
Well, here: http://www.hurog.com/forum/index.php?topic=2850.0
You and Hailey should read the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. Not Sci-Fi, but there are children raised by wolves and mysterious howlings…five books in the series so far and they are all delightful (the audio books are especially well done). Also, I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest is my newest fav…so good.
Anything by Ursula Vernon. “Jackalope Wives” won the Nebula but was elbowed off of the Hugo ballot. Check out her LJ http://ursulav.livejournal.com/ for her totally whacked fairy tales. And of course you know about Digger http://diggercomic.com/blog/2007/02/01/wombat1-gnorf/. (if not, go read it right now.)
Anything by Nnedi Okorafor. You want a different viewpoint? Got it for you right here!
Sorry about the typos…
Stephen Donaldson, Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Jacqueline Carey….didn’t read allll the comments so don’t know if there are duplications. 🙂
Django Wexler, Brent Weeks, Sam Sykes, Marie Brennan, Naomi Novik, and of course Robin Hobb 🙂
Kevin Hearne , Richard Kadrey, Paul Cornell.
I saw a few Jasper Fforde recommendations… agree. Very funny and clever (Tuesday Next Series)
Lev Grossman’s – Magician’s Trilogy (adult or older teen), so good (Harry Potter, Narnia mashup) Main character battles depression AND mythical beasts.
Debra Harkness – All Souls Triology (magic, vampires, witches, time travel, awesomeness)
Claire North – The Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Touch (clever, well woven)
And just in case you missed it (not likely) Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Beautiful and captivating)
For Non-fiction, anything by Eric Larson (Devil in White City, In the Gardens of Beasts favorites)
OK, I just need to stop now.
I adore Sharon Jones! My personal favorite is Retreat.
I saw someone had mentioned Ben Aaronovitch but Imma mention him again. Also Ilona Andrews (who just happens to be a husband / wife combo and I am pretty sure they also live in Texas so w00t for us!)
Patrick Rothfuss, Jim Butcher (The Dresden Files) Francis Hardinge (A face like glass especially) Patrick Ness
Well, ahem. I wrote a book this year. I quite liked it, but I’m probably biased. It’s a paranormal/time-travel/fantasy kind of a thing. It may even possibly qualify as Interstitial, which would be cool. It’s called “Chasing Demons” and I wrote it under the pseudo-pseudonym of M. E. Layton. I say pseudo-pseudonym because it’s just my first, middle, and last names, as opposed to a totally different name altogether, like.
Does that mean I get extra points, since you’ve probably never heard of me? ;D
Seriously, though – I must second the ones you mentioned, Jenny, and add Chuck Wendig (totally agree with partlowspool’s sentiments, there), David Mitchell, and China Mieville! So many good recommendations in this comments thread – I’m already adding to my reading list!
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler: http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780142180822-4
Lavinia, Ursula Le Guin: http://www.powells.com/biblio/7-9780156033688-11
ERNEST CLINE!!! Both of his books are AMAZING (especially when you go into “Armada” knowing it’s not a sequel to “Ready Player One”)! He’s such an amazing storyteller that Steven f-ing Speilberg has agreed to direct the movie version of “Ready Player One,” and Will Wheaton narrated the audiobook. AND Will has a credit in “Armada” for technical help with the story! I have been singing this man’s praises to everyone who will listen (and many who just give me blank stares and try to back away) for almost 2 years now. Read now, sleep later! Because, trust me, you will give up your sleep to finish these books.
I was going to recommend Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters, too! 😀 I love the Downside series by Stacia Kane. The series is beautifully written, unique, and very dark, probably my favorite supernatural/scifi/fantasy series. If you don’t like dark, steer clear, and it is definitely grown ups only. As much as I love the series, I usually follow with a cozy mystery so I don’t get too much “dark.” My favorite cozy mystery series (that just happens to have ghosts in it) is the Country Cooking School series by Paige Shelton.
Philip Reeve is a good sci-fi author; the Mortal Engines series, and the Larklight trilogy.
Lisa Mantchev, Ticker.
“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel is an amazing read. Just came out last year. Great plot, wonderful characters, beautifully written. Here’s the first bit of the synopsis from Goodreads: “An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.”
I have been reading Steven Brust since I was in high school, and I’m consistently just blown away by his skill in creating amazing plots and writing in a strong, consistent voice – if you’re a fan of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, the Khaavren romances are adventure stories in that style, but SO much more fun to read. Not only that, but the women are AWWWEESOME!! They are warriors and generals and rulers and strategists and adventurers and bandits artists and they do literally all the things.
The Vlad Taltos books are set in the same world, but much much later. They are a bit of an easier read (the Khaavren books use a lot LOT of flowery language), and are about an assassin and the criminal organization for which he works.
I’m reading the Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger and highly recommend it.
I’m also buying copies of your first book wherever I find one and distributing them to my friends. 🙂
Patricia Briggs, Julie Czerneda, Storm Constantine, Clive Barker, Mary Gentle, FM Busby, Michelle West, Erika Burdan, Sosha Ruark, Barb & JC Hendee, EE Knight, Tanya Huff, and Mickey Zucker Reichert to name a few.
Joan D Vinge
I just started reading a couple of stories by Zen Cho, a London-based writer and I love them so far! There are a few stories for free download online. I found her because she was featured in a blog about authors who should have been nominated for the Hugo. Happy reading!
I see I’m not the only one recommending Daniel Jose Older’s Shadowshaper! http://www.amazon.com/Shadowshaper-Daniel-Jos%C3%A9-Older/dp/0545591619 . “Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.”
~~~Congrats on ALL your achievements, darling.
I’m jealous as hell. Just sayin’
My fave. books of the summer have been **Girl on a Train, Wild, Night… & have you read any books by Elizabeth Berg? ( she’s my hot fudge sundae author )
If you want a bit of humor, The Rosie Project.
xx kiss from MN
I like Sara Fine’s Guards of the Shadiwlands, kind of YA post apocalyptic fantasy. But I’m a Hunger Games, Divergent fan.
Kevin Hearnes Iron Druid Chronicles, Patrick Elliot’s Charming Series, Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher of course, Seanna McGuire.
If you have not read NK Jemison’s Inheritance Trilogy (or her latest, The Fifth Season), you should stop reading this and go read them. Right now. I’ll wait.
Thank you for this. I’m getting so many great ideas to fulfill my sci fi/fantasy cravings.
Everything by Seanan McGuire and her pseudonym Mira Grant. She also sings!
Tananarive Due, who presented at the Hugos, is amazing! I’m currently reading my way through all of her books.
Laini Taylor – her Daughter of Smoke and Bones series is AMAZING!
Just finished Alden Bell’s The Reapers are the Angels – if William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy teamed up to write a book about the Zombie apocalypse, it would have been this one.
I really liked The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, though I can’t remember much about it since it’s been so long.
ooh, and also seconding the recommendation for Frances Hardinge and recommending for your daughter, too. The Fly by Night series is marvelous and features a mayhem causing goose!
I like Jim Butcher’s the Dresden Files series very much. There are fourteen of them I think, and some are better than others, but they are witty and plausible so I never get tired of them; plus the supporting cast is fantastic. Two YA series that I highly recommended are Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy and Scott Westerfield’s Uglies series. They’re both dystopian type series, but very very different. And of course if you haven’t read Ready Player One, you really should for all of it’s pop culture references?
I have just discovered Robin Hobb. I totally loved Dragon Keeper and and very much looking forward to the next Rain Wilds book Dragon Haven. She has been writing for a little while but I just found her.
Love Mark Henwick’s bite back center.
Everything by Genevieve Valentine. As well as SFF she’s done a jazz-era retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses that is stunningly beautiful.
Aliette De Bodard for her fantastic world-building.
Seconding Catherynne Valente and Emily St John Mantel, they’re fantastic.
Finally, Margaret Atwood, for ever and always.
Lois McMaster Bujold – The Vorkosigan Saga (several books, my fave being Memory); Paladin of Souls (second of the 3 Chalion books); the Sharing Knife series.
Sheri S. Tepper’s earlier books.
The Liaden books. I just finished re-reading Fledgling, Saltation, Ghost Ship and Dragon Ship.
Agree on the Patricia Wrede/Caroline Stevermer books. Wonderful stories!
Some of the earlier Modesitt books are good tales.
C.S.Forester – Horatio Hornblower’s maritime stories, set in the Napoleonic Wars in England.
Arthur Ransome – Swallows and Amazons. There’s a whole series, set in the Lake District, northern England, in the 1930s.
Georgetter Heyer – invented the genre of Regency romance, and is the ONLY one worth reading. Seriously. Regard it as social satire (which is what it is).
I am overwhelmed by these recommendations! I have to second The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde (i also loved his Nursery Crimes series).
However, the series I really wanted to mention is Locke Lamora – (the series is actually titled Gentleman Bastards) by Scott Lynch. There are three books in the series and they are almost heist novels in a fantasy world. The first one was blurbed by George RR Martin and that makes sense because Lynch is just as willing to kill off characters. Still, totally worth the read.
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. First in a series with only two out, second one is The Mime Order.
I haven’t had time to read through all the comments, so pardon me if someone else has recommended this writer, but I love, LOVE Kage Baker- who, sadly, died a few years ago, but her books, thankfully, live on. “Mendoza in Hollywood” was my introduction and I raced through all the previous ones, then HATED waiting for the next one to come out.. The Company books are absolutely wonderful and, for fantasy, pretty believable (and they are funny!!).
Ken MacLeod, a close friend of both Iain Banks and Iain M Banks with a similar dry humour and genius. Start with the first of the Engines of Light series, Cosmonaut’s Keep about a very peculiar first contact,
Mitch Benn, Terra. A deceptively simple tale. Suitable for all ages.
Samit Basu, The Simoqin Prophecies. Mashes a dozen fantasy genres/mythologies in a story that leaves you boggled.
Lois McMasters Bujold, fifthed. All the characters are great but Cordelia and her son Miles will steal your heart.
Bridgett, I discovered Kage Baker very shortly before her death. I have tried to get every book she wrote and they are wonderful.
I second your recommendation for Butler & Scalzi; they’re both very good.
Why would anyone vote for an author for who they are and not what they create? I mean, really. Or the minor details in their books (sex/race) instead of the freaking whole story. If the book is mostly focused on the sex and race of a sci-fi book well… it better be an alien race and like a 6th gender or something. Not something boring-normal.
I know it’s been mentioned, but “The Girl in the Road” by Monica Byrne is ridiculously good, especially for a debut novel. Someone also mentioned Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, and I second that recommendation, and also recommend her adult novels “Deathless” and “Palimpsest.” “Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures” by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater is fantastic for younger readers. I’ve also heard great things about Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series, but haven’t read any of it yet.
Terry Pratchett. You’re guaranteed to laugh no matter how deep the pit of depression you happen to be in at the time.
She is, most unfortunately, no longer with us, but I still reread everything Kage Baker wrote. If you don’t know her, please find her books.
Terry Pratchett- a guaranteed laugh no matter how deep the pit of depression.
Guy Gavriel Kay is a must. I adore Ellen Kushner. Neal Stephenson, China Mieville. Ursula le guin. Robert Holdstock’s Lavondyss is a favorite. Andy Weir’s the Martian is fun. Jacqueline Carey (hm most of these are fantasy…. But not all). David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was fascinating. Susanna Clark (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel), Erin Morgenstern (Night Circus). There’s too many!
The Hugos were sad and confusing last night. So many people cheering for “No Award”- looking at the lists, there were quite a few women and minorities that were excluded because people didn’t like their politics, or their fans, or whatever. I really felt physically ill for those poor authors who had to sit there in the audience and listen to those cheers and the mockery from people in the pre-award show. I don’t understand why people can’t just read books and vote on the quality of the work. But everything has to be political these days, I guess.
If you’re interested in some good Sci Fi, I’d seek out some of the people who were nominated but pushed aside for “No Award” instead: Kary English, Jason Cordova, Jim Butcher (omg, I LOVE his Dresden files series!), Kevin J Anderson and others that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Not nominated, but still really good sci-fi:
Mark Tufo’s zombie apocalypse series
Larry Correia’s Grimnoire chronicles series
D. B. Jackson’s Thieftaker series
Brian McClellen’s Powdermage series
… yea, I got a thing for series. 😀 Still, solid authors there.
I echo all those who have recommended Connie Willis.
I didn’t see anyone else mention Nancy Kress, whose Beggars in Spain/Sleepless series had a big impact on me long ago.
In a different genre, I highly recommend the Meg Langslow mystery series by Donna Andrews. I think it hit its stride with Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, which has a hilarious denouement that I shall not reveal.
Thanks for all the recommendations!
Sort of a horror/sci-fi cross, but David Wong’s books are pretty awesome. Glen Cook for fantasy, William Gibson for cyberpunk, I say Guy Gavriel Kay up there earlier but I’ll add weight to that one as well. Ooh, and Ransom Riggs’ Peculiar Children books sucked me right in as well.
I’ve always wanted to win a Hugo Award, but not this way. NOT THIS WAY, JENNY.
Maggie Stiefvater is probably my favorite fantasy author right now. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll be C.S. Lewis or Neil Gaiman or Erin Morgenstern probably, but Stiefvater wins today. She writes about homicidal fairies, people-eating water horses, and lovelorn werewolves. She’d be right up your alley, I bet.
Karen Lord. She’s from Barbados and writes scifi and fantasy. I hopes she writes lots more.
Terry Pratchett. His Discworld books are wonderful fun. And The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a great story to share with your daughter. Then she can read the Tiffany Aching books he wrote!
Please go read The Martian by Andy Weir before they ruin it with the movie. I have never loved a Sci-Fi book more than this book. SO deliciously good!
Also second Jasper Fforde and Ransom Riggs. Miss Peregrine (maybe not sci-fi) books are such great reads… couldn’t put any of them down.
I know I should be giving you book recommendations, but I have to applaud your appreciation of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. They are wonderful. They have a holiday album coming out at the end of October; in addition to Christmas classics done soulfully, they have also written a song called “The Eight Days of Hanukkah.” I cannot WAIT to hear Sharon Jones sing about Hanukkah.
Book/authors you may not have heard of:
The Goblin Emperor by Sarah Monette
The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer (Annihilation, Authority, & Acceptance)
Paradox series by Rachel Bach (Fortune’s Pawn, Honor’s Knight, & Heaven’s Queen)
Of course I absolutely love Terry Pratchett for someone who’s been around a while.
To be completely honest, your book was the only one I’ve read cover to cover in many years (excluding some nerdy Microsoft training guides). Back when I did read, I really enjoyed C. J. Cherryh. I found her writing to be very detailed and immersive.
Scott Westerfield’s Afterworlds is two amazing books in one. I loved every moment of it.
I really loved Jen Well’s book Fluency: https://www.amazon.com/Fluency-Confluence-Jennifer-Foehner-Wells-ebook/dp/B00L3U9OCG It’s a good bit of Space Opera, that seems to effortlessly strike a balance between hard and soft scifi (though being of the latter type), a good start to a series and an amazingly well written début.
I’m 66% through The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, and I can already say I recommend it. This is a time travel murder mystery kinda thing with incredibly well written characters. I’ll be looking forward to her next book while I go back and read her previous works as soon as I finish this one.
Robert Jackson Bennett’s “City of Stairs” is fantastic (strong female protagonist is a bonus). Stephen Blackmoore writes great, gritty urban fantasy. I think Christopher Moore’s “Bloodsucking Fiends” and his other titles along those lines count as fantasy. And, yeah, I reread Terry Pratchett’s books about once every twelve months.
So how many bonus points do my baby and I get for showing up a month early to your book signing in Austin? Because that may have just happened tonight. Also, the store clerk guy said one other poor soul before me had made the same mistake this evening, so I’d like to think that me and this other guy are just really dedicated fans! See you in a month!
A. Lee Martinez – “Gil’s All Fright Diner” “Helen & Troy’s Epic Road Quest” are the 1st two I read & I’m now hooked for ANYTHING he writes. “Monster” “A Nameless Witch” – all great stuff!!
Terry Ptatchett (unfortunately recently deceased), Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
Buy all of Merrie Haskell’s books for Hailey, and then steal them and read them yourself. They’re aimed at her age group, but I loved them too.
I’ll second Kim Harrison, Terry Pratchett, Scott Lynch. Pratchett’s okay for kids, Harrison and Lynch are not.
Pamela Dean’s trilogy – The Secret Country, The Hidden Land, and The Whim of the Dragon. They’re about a group of children who get together every summer to play a game – basically a role-playing game where they pretend to be kings, princes, lords, wizards, etc. Every year they continue the story. Then one summer they stumble INTO the world they thought they only created in their heads and find out all the “characters” they thought they made up are real people.
Discworld, my recommendation is start with Tiffany Aching (special place in my heart for her, and a tattoo on my leg), the last book in the series 🙁 comes out very soon. After Tiffany start on the witches books. I use this guide from IO9 to determine reading order
The Amazing Maurice is also an excellent one shot novel
The Dresden series, it’s like crack, seriously
John Scalzi’s Redshirts and Lock in, if you have an Audible account you can listen wo Wil Wheaton read them to you
Another recommendation for Ready Player One
This is an old one, and more fantasy, but Tailchaser’s Song is a great book
Yes on Saga and Ms. Marvel, very glad Ms. Marvel won last night
Jasper Fforde Chronicles of Kazam are pretty good, I’ve had a difficult time getting into his Thursday Next series, with the exception of One of our Thursdays is missing, that one I devoured
The Divergent series. It has some flaws particularly in the last book, but I enjoyed it
Another yes for Cleopatra in Space and Nimona
Recently listed to the first Temeraire, great book
Anything Ursala Vernon, anything
In spite of the mess at Gen Con, I still recommend the comic Fable
The Courtney Crumrin graphic novels
and this probably doesn’t count, but it is set in the future, the In Death series by JD Robb / Nora Roberts
I heartily agree with the readers endorsing Terry Pratchett. Read now if you haven’t started already!
Yes to Pratchett-I think you’d like Granny’s method of headology. I saw many people recommend Briggs-I love her stuff but in some books small children are directly harmed. That’s a trigger for me so just in case I thought I’d mention it. I’ve only read one of Cherie Priest’s books but I enjoyed it, very steampunkish. And then I really enjoyed Elizabeth Haydon’s series (more fantasy) about an unlikely trio of time-travelers (very heavy on musical terminology, I believe Haydon is a musician).
All of my other faves have already been mentioned. My mother loves the Dune series, my husband adored the Three Body Problem (couldn’t stop talking about it). I worked in a bookstore for years so there are others I could mention but darn it if I can’t remember titles … The cover was blue?
AND I particularly love Ursula K LeGuin’s Earthsea Trilogy. I think your daughter would like it, too!
Ah! thanks Patti for reminding me – ANYTHING by Dianna Wynne Jones. Howl’s Moving Castle and the Dark Lord of Derkholm is a great twist on the fantasy genre.
headslap, now I remember Neil Gaiman, how could I have forgotten. Ocean at the end of the Lane, Stardust, Anazi Boys, American Gods, M is for Magic, Graveyard Book, I can’t recommend enough his book Instructions. Beautifully illustrated and a lovely short story
I don’t think my comment posted so I’ll try again. Yes to Pratchett and Granny’s headology😊 also Cherie Priest, steampunkish and fun. I also enjoyed Elizabeth Haydon’s series; three unlikely time travelers with a heavy emphasis on music (I believe Haydon is a musician). My mom adores the Dune series, my husband the Three Body Problem. And I worked in a bookstore for years so I have other faves but I can’t remember titles … The cover was blue? 😉
So many names on here get a resounding second from me, and many others I’m scribbling down to go hunt for at the library tomorrow.
Let me add Mary Robinette Kowal. Her Glamourist Histories series is Jane Austen with magic. And “Lady Astronaut of Mars” is a fantastic short story.
And two others, both gone too soon: Jay Lake and Tanith Lee.
C.E. Murphy Urban shaman and the rest of the series
I third Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series (starts with “The Lies of Locke Lamora”). Also “Karen Memory” by Elizabeth Bear. Anything Kevin Hearne writes. And Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid series (her other series, Toby Daye, is good too).
Jacqueline Carey. She’s fantasy not sci-fi. Her Kushiel’s Dart books are amazing. She has other fantastic series, as well.
I tend to read literature I like. I know that GRRM and Scalzi have differences of opinion politically but they wrote an enjoyable story and I’ll keep reading them.
I third the recommendation of Stross’ Laundry Files books. Excellent geeky fiction.
In the Fantasy/Sci-fi world, read Jim Hines! His fairy tale books (Stepsister Scheme, Red Hood’s Revenge, others I can’t be bothered to look up but you get the picture) are excellent and I LOVE Libriomancer (and whatever the sequel is because again I cannot remember). Libriomancer is like, there’s magic in books-there are people who can tap into the collective magic of imagination and like, books, and reach INTO a book and remove stuff. Like, a sword. Or a fire-spider. Etc. It has to fit through the actual book-you can’t pull a car from your book. You can, however, remove a small part of, say, Christine (Steven King, maniacal car) and graft it onto your car, and turn your own vehicle sentient! Or you can pull out pieces of a vehicle and put it together yourself. You get the picture. It’s EXCELLENT.
Also, Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books are some of my favorite books in existence and I don’t even know how to describe them. There’s BookWorld- Thursday’s trainer is Miss Havisham. Yes, the main character’s name is Thursday Next. Her mom is Mrs. Next, there’s a Granny Next, one of her daughters is Tuesday Next and her son is Friday Next. Her job is to track down literary crimes. A forged Shakespeare’ll get you a stint in prison (there’s also cheese rationing, and an ounce of Stilton can get you some serious cash and also prison time if you’re caught smuggling it). It’s SO GOOD.
Glad to see that someone mentioned Jim C. Hines. With your love of all that is library, you really need to check out the Libriomancer series. And the Princess books are fun too.
Terry Pratchett! You MUST read Terry Pratchett. Because he was insane, but in a really, really good way.
There are a lot of great recs here–I’d add Hild by Nicola Griffith, it’s kind of a heavy tome but it tells a lovely story about the harsh life of the past, and an exceptional woman. Would also mention the Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne, River of Gods by Ian McDonald, and all of Lauren Beukes’s work.
UK-based James Brogden. Three books: The Narrows, Tourmaline, and The Realt.
I second (at least, it may have been mentioned more than once) “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel. I found the story absorbing and the writing lovely.
Scalzi? I knew I loved it.
I love Pat Rothfuss and Neil Gaimann. They both make me so happy.
I also love me some
Kristen Britain (Green rider series)
Elizabeth Moon (Divided Allegiance the second in her Deed of Paksenarrion series makes me cry every time I’ve read it cough-6 times-cough)
Peter Clines 14 and The Fold are both great IMO
I want M.R, Carey to write another book that captured me as much as The Girl With All the Gifts. SIGH so good.
Jim C. Hines (and I love his blog too)
I don’t know what to classify The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes as but it included some science fiction and time travel aspects so I’m including it on the list because it was full of cool IMO.
Congrats to us! On the sci-fi / fantasy lite side (ie Paranormal Romance) Jayne Castle has a series with DustBunny Companions that I really recommend. I kid you not, they’re cuddly and fierce, and maybe, probably, psychic. Amazingly fluffy reads in all senses of the term! The series starts with “After Dark”. Enjoy 🙂 (linked the website for her books, it’s listed with most recent on top, so scroll to the bottom of page 2 to begin.)
I ADORE this book:
… Written by an Aussie but has a very European, ancient and gothic feel about it. It’s very dark in places but you can literally imagine it as part of our history. One hell of a story 🙂
You should read Sherri Tepper. Start with “Raising the Stones” followed by “The Gate to Woman’s Country.”
Erika Johansen’s Queen of the Tearling and Invasion of the Tearling are amazing. I’m currently working through Uprooted by Naomi Novik and it’s fantastic. In YA books, I loved Rosamund Hodge’s books, Cruel Beauty and Crimson Bound. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley was really great.
Oh, The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman is one of my favorite, that and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
I have to echo the votes for Andy Weir’s “The Martian”. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. And echo the votes for Ernest Cline’s books. I’ve only read “Ready Player One” so far, but loved it. Saving “Armada” as a gift to myself sometime down the road. Loved the movie “The Last Starfighter”, and can’t help but think Cline is going to tie into that in the new book.
Love so many of the recommendations already here, but I have to add Max Gladstone-start with Three Parts Dead, a bit of detective work in a fully described world of magic. Also, Lexicon by Max Barry (words are very important!). If you are ever in the San Francisco airport, go to the Compass bookstore and pick up anything recommended by Chris H.
A few of my favorites, although a bit older: For fantasy little beats Raymond E. Feist’s “Magician” (“Magician: Apprentice” & “Magician: Master” often if in paperback) – many more follow if you like this first one. For science fiction I love Lois McMasters Bujold’s “Shards of Honor” (Vorkosigan Saga #1) and following related books. I also love Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Dispossessed” and Walter A. Miller, Jr.’s “A Canticle for Leibowitz”. Happy reading!!
None really sci-fi, and sorry for repeats since I haven’t read all of the comments, but:
Hope Mirrlees “Lud-in-the-Mist”
Marge Percy, “Woman on the Edge of Time” and “He, She, It”
Sylvia Townsend Warner, “Lolly Willowes”
Anne Ursu, “Spilling Clarence”
John Connolly’s YA books: “The Book of Lost Things,” and the Samuel Johnson books
Another vote for Jasper Fforde
I’m guessing someone already suggested something by Cherie Priest
I feel like I’m forgetting things I shouldn’t be, but my brain went to bed a couple of hours ago without the rest of me.
Authors Currently on my Auto-Purchase List:
Terry Pratchett: Just started re-reading Wee Free Men. His books will teach you how to people.
Seanan McGuire: Or Mira Grant. Light at first glance, but surprisingly deep once she’s suckered you in.
Cat Valente: Fairyland should be required reading. But Palimpsest is comfort food.
Ilona Andrews: HEA candy that is funny and heartfelt.
Sarah J Maas: The Assassin series is YA GoT without the body count or the worst of the off-putting brutality. New fairyland series shows promise
Christopher Moore: Funny, smart, dark. Serpent of Venice, Dirty Jobs, Sacre Bleu, or Bloodsucking Fiends to start.
Cherie Priest: The Lizzie Borden meets Cthulu series is satisfyingly creeptastic.
Sarah Reese Brennan: The Unspoken trilogy was just the best thing. I gave it to three separate friends for the holidays.
Jonathan Carrol: Everyone should read The Land of Laughs. He struggles with endings, but the writing is beyond fantastic.
Holly Black: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown for ALL the awards! Or at least into the hands of anyone who actually liked Twilight as a medicinal cold shower.
Bonus people who are dead or just never publish:
Graham Joyce: Smoking Poppy and Dark Sister. The later of which STILL makes me shiver.
John Crowley: Little Big. Possibly the greatest fairy story ever.
Amanda Downum: Dreams of Shreds and Tatters was amazeballs.
Tim Pratt: Little Gods and Strange Adventures of Rangergirl are favs.
I accidentally left off Jasper Fforde. I will whateverduple the suggestion of his Thursday Next series. Also read his book Shades of Grey. OMG wonderful fantasy and social satire. By the way do NOT confuse Shades of Grey with Fifty Shades of Grey you will be getting an entirely different reading experience of you confuse the two.
Claire North, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August.
Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy.
Lev Grossman, The Magicians trilogy.
Neil Gaiman (although I can’t imagine you aren’t already)
Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire
Monica Byrne, The Girl in the Road
Anne Leckie, Ancillary Justice etc.
Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor
Raina Telgemeier (if you can get them away from Hailey)
Emily Carroll, Through the Woods
Andy Weir, The Martian
Tamiko Maraki, This One Summer
Tamora Pierce, the Beka Cooper trilogy
Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Djinn
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Robert Reed, An Exhaltation of Larks
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina
Mary Lawson, Crow Lake
Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
Karen Healey, Guardian of the Dead
Ryan North, Machine of Death and This is How You Die
Charlie Huston, Sleepless
Mike Jay, The Air-Loom Gang
Lauren Beukes, anything you can get your hands on
Gillian Bradshaw, same
That’s far too many from me.
Not sure if they qualify for the sci-fi/fantasy category, but Daniel Quinn’s “Ishmael” books are the best philosophy you can get taught by a telepathic gorilla. They changed the way I think about a lot of things, and I found them very entertaining reads (especially the third one “My Ishmael”).
And just for the hell of it, here is a short film (under 7 minutes) called “The Magic Mile” that makes me think of you every time I watch it, which is a lot:
yes, super yes, for Kate Elliott: all her stuff but especially her recent Cold Magic Trilogy. Naomi Novak’s recent Uprooted was fun. I also read City of Dark Magic but did not enjoy it that much…
then the classics: anything by Anne McCaffrey, Ursula Le Guin, DIANNA WYNNE JONES, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper’s the Dark is Rising series.
I’m so excited about all the recommendations on here!
Hugh Howey’s the Silo Series — Wool, Shift and Dust. Post apocalyptic, but not the same-old same-old. Female heroine. Great stories.
Melissa Scott, Jordan Hawk, Grace Draven, Intisar Khanani, Elizabeth Moon, Rachel Aaron/Bach, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jodi Taylor, the Pratchett/Baxter Long Earth series, Marie Brennan, Kristen Cashore, Rosemary Kirstein, NK Jemisin, Ann Leckie, Lish McBride, a Seanan McGuire, Naomi Novik, Diana Peterfreund, SM Stirling, Brandon Sanderson, Jo Walton (tooth and claw). Bookmarking this post for all the recommendations!
Orson Scott Card is a mysognistic, homophobic asshat. Please don’t give him any of your money. It’s unfortunate that he’s a good writer and can plot a mean story, but that doesnt, IMO, offset his totally AWFUL personal opinions.
Not sure if your interest in sci-fi spills over into fantasy but Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel” series is amazing. Has a Game of Thrones feel to it in terms of the political intrigue and characters (and tons of sex) without quite the amount of bloodshed. No red weddings! I also love anything by Sharon Shinn or Anne Bishop (especially her Dark Jewels series).
If your love of good sci-fi spills over into the fantasy genre, you should give Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Legacy” series. Has a Game of Thrones feel to it in terms of the politics, geographic expanse and TONS of sex. Really good sex. Really good, kinky sex. But all the good people don’t get killed off in the first few pages. I also like anything by Sharon Shinn and Anne Bishop (especially her Dark Jewels series).
I really loved The Coldfire Trilogy by Celia (C.S.) Friedman.
Nalo Hopkinson “Midnight Robber”
Minister Faust “Coyote Kings”
Jay Lake the Green trilogy
The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. Saw it described as “Buffy joins the Ghostbusters,” which doesn’t quite fit but gives you a sense of the fun/funny/ass-kicking-ness of it.
Some seriously awesome ones:
Jean Johnson – her Theirs Not To Reason Why series is utterly fantastic crunchy military sci-fi with an amazing heroine. She’s got the First Salik War in the same universe started as well. She also has some nicely racy fantasy books. The Sons of Destiny and the Guardians of Destiny, as well as a couple of others in that universe. (I think she follows you on Twitter, too. @JeanJAuthor, she’s hilarious there).
Mike Shepherd (who also writes as Mike Moscoe) has a great heroine in Kris Longknife, and has branched out a bit with Vicky Peterwald.
If you can find them, the Mageworlds books by Debra Doyle and her husband James D. MacDonald are also amazing. I think they’re more or less out of print, but you can still find them through marketplace sellers on BN.com and Amazon. And probably in used book stores. One of my favorite bits about it is that it features a planetary princess of a destroyed planet, but other than being badass, is really nothing like Leia.
Diverting into non sci-fi territory, C.E. Murphy has a couple of downright ridiculously awesome urban fantasy series – the Old Races trilogy and the Walker Papers series. LOVE them both so very very very much.
Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series (sci-fi), Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (sci-fi), and The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman (fantasy). All pretty good reads.
I also recommend Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. They are a lot of fun. I’d also add the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik (starts with His Majesty’s Dragon), and the Sholan Alliance books by Lisanne Norman (the first few books make me want to bitch slap the female lead, but she gets better. Really. 🙂 I’d also recommend the trilogy of the Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor and Threshold by Sara Douglass. Also the Troy Game Trilogy by Sara Douglass. Those three are long and convoluted, but it is a really interesting take on mythology and history and reincarnation and stuff.
I’m saving this whole page of suggestions so that I can start getting some of these books from my library!
I have to mention Robin McKinley, because she’s awesome and her “Hero and the Crown” about a young woman learning to ride a horse and brandish a sword and (spoiler) kill the dragon was monumental for me as a 13 year old.
Absolutely anything by Catherynne Valente.
Anything (everything!) by Lois McMaster Bujold. But I’d recommend starting with Cordelia’s Honor (first of the Vorkosigan Saga). I think you’ll really like Cordelia.
And anything by Guy Gavriel Kay (his books are fantasy & historical fantasy, not SF); my favorites are Tigana; A Song for Arbonne; The Fionavar Trilogy; and The Lions of Al-Rassan.
There are too numerous to count authors on my must read sci-fi list. (One tends to accumulate a few after 60 years.) I highly recommend all sci-fi books by Julie Czerneda. Start with the Trade Pact series, “A Thousand Words For Stranger”. Czerneda is one of the few authors whom I will buy without ever reading a review.
One of my favorite sci-fi books of all time is “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell. Probably one of 5 books that I have ever re-read. She later wrote a WWII novel, “A Thread of Grace”, that was nominated for a Pulitzer – not too shabby.
Eoin Colfer, Tanya Huff, Ilona Andrews and Scott Westerfeld
You readers are full of good taste. On the read-more-than-once scale I must endorse those who endorsed:
Sir Terry Pratchett – I’ll give NATION a plug as no one else has yet, but all Discworld novels will make your life better
Jasper Fforde – Thursday is a Jenny Lawson kind of girl
Nick Harkaway – THE GONE AWAY WORLD is a kaleidoscope of clever, funny, deep and cool. – kind of Monty Python meets Fight Club
Tamora Pierce, The song of the lioness series. They were the first books I ever really fell in love with, and they have had such a marked impact on my life 🙂
I’m currently reading a book called Linesman, by S.K. Dunstall, which was actually recommended by a favorite author of mine, and it’s fantastic. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi (I tend more towards the fantasy side of things), but the premise sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot. There’s a free sample chapter out, and it completely hooked me; I started reading it and couldn’t put it down for 5 hours. Sample chapter is here: http://www.skdunstall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/LinesmanSampleChapter1.pdf
The Touchstone series by Andrea K Höst. There are four of them. Psychic Monster Fighting Space Ninjas? YES!! Seriously though. Sci-fi, fantasy, action, a little YA romance. Excellent storytelling that really makes you feel connected to the characters and immersed in the places.
I was going to second authors that I also recommend but I ran out of fingers and toes. But I will say that The Blue Sword was way better than hero and the crown :p.
Okay, so I don’t think I saw Carrie Vaughn on here. She’s best known for her Kitty books, but she has a lot of great stuff. H.Beam Paper’s Little Fuzzy series is fantastic (and I’m still working on forgiving Scalzi for his bastardized reboot, sorry) and classic. The Hoka series by Anderson and Dickinson (also, the right to arm bears is funny in a different way). The Pyramid books by Flint and Freer. Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel. Weirdos of the Universe Unite by Pamela F Service. The SongkillerSaga by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. James H Schmitz. Keith Laumer. Edward Eager. Gail Carson Levine. Alexis Hall. The Others books by Anne Bishop (I’m not done with the trilogy I started, but enjoying it thus far). Doranna Durgan (it’s been a long time, the last name might be misspelled).In Fury Born by David Weber. Susan Cooper. Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross. The Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. The Finishing School series by Gail Carriger, it’s a YA prequel series to The Parasol Protectorate and is fantastic. Sargasso of Space by Andre Norton.
Linnea Sinclair’s An Accidental Goddess, The Down Home Zombie Blues, Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter’s International, David Weber and John Ringo’s Prince Roger series (starts with March Upcountry). All just genuinely fun to read.
I’m sure you’ve heard of him, but my fav scifi author of all time is Alfred Bester. Check out The Demolished Man or The Stars My Destination if you haven’t already.
Lois McMaster Bujold, Jo Walton, Barbara Hambly, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Ann Aguirre, Sara Creasy, Grace Draven, Marie Brennan, Robin McKinley, Beth Cato, Patricia C. Wrede, Gail Carriger, Maria V. Snyder, Patricia Briggs, Naomi Novik, Katherine Addison, Martha Wells, N.K. Jemison, Jacqueline Carey, Alethea Kontis, Kylie Chan, Ilona Andrews, G.A. Aiken, Anne Bishop…
Jessica Meats, for fun sci-fi action adventures.
headdesk It’s N.K. Jemisin
The Meratis trilogy (fantasy) by Krista Walsh is so much fun. An author gets pulled into the fantasy world he created, and then scolded by his characters for screwing up their lives. Epic adventure ensues! The books are Evensong, Eventide, and Evenlight.
older- The White Hart- Nancy Springer
newer- A Touch of Magic- Gregory Mahan
If you read french, you can try Yal Ayerdhal latest called “Bastards”, which just received a (not hijacked) french award (Prix Rosmy ainé 2015). If you don’t read french, you can also try it but the result might be different^^
RIVERS OF LONDON
Okay I only saw one person recommending Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series. This is an obvious for you if you haven’t already read it. So much so that I’m sure you have. NERD COP FANTASY NOVELS!!!! Seriously funny, with all sorts of in-jokes about Monty Python, Doctor Who (Aaronovitch used to write for Doctor Who), Harry Potter, etc.
It’s wonderfully inclusive — the main character is black, there are lots of really good female characters, including the “Rivers” — river spirits for all the rivers that wind up in the Thames. It’s all a love letter to London, with lots of history, architecture, character. If you can, listen to it. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is amazing. Not only does he have a million voices, but his Peter Grant is so appealing he winds up feeling like your best damned friend.
These were made for you!!!!!
Still more in the fantasy, or ‘hard to classify’, direction:
Kelly Link and Shelley Jackson, “Magic for Beginners”
I had no idea Graham Joyce died :(. Time to dust off Crowley’s “Little Big” and (finally) read it.
Butcher’s “Dresden files”, Orson Scott Card and Paul S Kemp. Kemp is also probably one of the coolest authors on Facebook.
Congrats on the No Award Hugo! 🙂 And here are a few of my favorites:
Jim Butcher, Roger Zelazney, Terry Goodkind, Anne Bishop, Deborah Harkness, Jana Oliver – just to name a few. Enjoy!
The Omnibus Edition (trilogy, I had to look up what that word meant) of The Northern Star by Mike Gullickson is fascinating and terrifying. I loved it.
Wildwood (by Colin Meloy) … it’s a trilogy (YAY for series) and it’s definitely for 12 year olds, but it’s beautiful and adventurous and amazing and such a lovely read. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Cannot believe no one has suggested Michael J. Sullivan. His work is less intense than Rothfuss (I swear I lose track of my life when a Rothfuss book comes out), but it is welcoming, well-planned, and you quickly come to love the characters. He writes the way fantasy is supposed to be written.
Start with “Theft of Swords.” Even better, you want a taste? Check out his website under ‘extras’ and download short story “The Viscount and the Witch” for free to meet his two main characters. http://riyria.blogspot.com/p/extras.html
If you’re more into sci-fi at the moment, he has a stand-alone called “Hollow World” that is also absolutely amazing.
I’ve never read a book where I considered the main characters ‘friends’ so quickly. Sometimes reading stresses me out because I get too caught up in the action/emotions of the characters. MJS’s books have always been deeply entertaining but stress-free. He has many books out now and he always finishes a series BEFORE publishing so the wait time isn’t horrible.
Michael and his wife are also extremely kind and VERY supportive of new writers and big on writing posts about writing, editing, and the publishing business to benefit those just getting started.
Anything by Simon Green, for adults. His books are Sci fi and fantasy and mythology and present day mystery with dark humor and hard knocks and reluctant heroes and very British. As in, people frequently have a slap in their pocket for anyone who annoys them. Diane Duane Star Trek novels for adults. She writes the definitive characterizations of the Vulcans
and Romulans and gets the Kirk/Spock/McCoy dynamic so very right. And her So You Want To Be A Wizard series for YA is amazing and one of my faves as a kid. I still have them all. Plus Tamora Pierce.
Oh, and J.D.Robb. Her detective series is technically Sci fi bc its set in the future in New York with lots of new tech like murderous holograms and illegal cloning. Plus Eve Dallas is a serious kick ass smart female lead character.
You should read Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (because awesome; it’s either urban fantasy or not fantasy at all but that wish vial disappeared so I’m opting for fantasy);
The Chimes by Anna Smaill;
The Awesome by Eva Darrow (it’s a hilarious story about a teenager who has to have The Sex so she can become a journeyman monster hunter; if she doesn’t have The Sex, vamps will go nuts over her virginal scent. Also, parental coitus interuptus is HILARIOUS);
Haterz by James Goss (a roman à clef of the SFF community and the broader interwebs. Satire.)
Heir of Night by Helen Lowe (award-winning fantasy);
Winter be my Shield by Jo Spurrier (fantasy)
Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty (hilarious chick-lit/fantasy)
and I could name many more but this’ll do.
Techbitch (aka The Knockoff) by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (think Starship Troopers converted to a YA story)
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer (The Bell Jar legitimately interwoven into a YA fantasy novel)
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (because AWESOME)
And I’ll stop here. I will. I must restrain myself.
Thanks for the shout-out to Octavia Butler. Her death was such a shame. She had so much more to say.
Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Air, by Dianne Wynne Jones. And Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, some of the books are better than others (anything with the the witches or Death in it, or Sam, or…okay they’re all great). The Indian in the Cupboard – book and movie. The Borrowers – books, not movie. Are these all passé?
I’m not sure if anyone else mentioned her, because she’s awesome and I didn’t read through all the comments. Nnedi Okorafor, I love her work and I read Kabu Kabu first, her short story collection but Zahrah the Windseeker was also really great.
Also Ascension by Jacueline Koyanagi is one of the awesome books I got out of my last World Builders box.
Christopher Moore for sure! The Stupidest Angel, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, and the vampire love story books…. among sooo many others…. SO good.
James Morrow is GREAT. Love Only Begotten Daughter and Towing Jehova…
Robert Rankin – Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse… Purchased solely for it’s name and then REALLY enjoyed
The Griffin and Sabine Triology by Nick Bantock – Beatiful books that are super fun because there are letters and notes that you take out of envelopes in the book and read and it’s really a great story. (There is a second trilogy too, but I can’t think what it’s called right now…. It’s more Griffin and Sabine though and that ain’t bad.)
You listed some great authors! And I just finished reading one of them (Name of the Wind series – Patrick Rothfuss).
Right now I’m reading the Undying Mercenaries series – B.V. Larson. It’s very SciFi, rather than Fantasy. I’m on book 2. My husband and my father have both finished book 5. (We all have the same tastes and share books a lot; dad had recommended Name of the Wind to us.)
The book summary doesn’t do it justice. It’s action/adventure with sprinkled humor.
You absolutely need to read Lauren Beukes. “Shining Girls” is fabulous but I think “Broken Monsters” is of particular interest for you since there is little bit of weird taxidermy in the book. I could have sworn she’d been inspired by you and your first book but when I tweeted her about the coincidence she was unaware of you. Too bad because the similarity is uncanny!
Piers Anthony’s Incarnation of Immortality series was very good. The Skylark Series by E.E. Doc Smith is also awesome. When you read it it will seem like so much rehashing of soooo many stories you have already read. Then you will check the dates on the books and realize these are the books those others acquired their ideas from.
I’ve never ready any of Scalzi’s books, but I do enjoy his blog quite a bit.
Some years the judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets has been known to pass on all entries. I don’t know if that’s happened recently, but if it does then you can say you’ve won that award too. You’ll be a Hugo Award winner and a Yale Younger Poet! Bookstores are going to have to order more copies of your books to stock you in every single section.
Dude. Check out John Booth (Not the murdering bastard, but the sci-fi rockstar) http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Decembers-John-Booth/dp/1411691814/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
His stuff is awesome.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children…Don’t know if this qualifies as sci-fi, but it’s definitely fantasy. ADDED BONUS: It’s written for the young adult set, so it’s an easy read. AND it’s quite fascinating and entertaining (I bought it for myself.)
Someone already mentioned Connie Willis (Doomsday Book is a favorite.) And Cory Doctorow. Cory’s books are mostly free, though everyone is encouraged to buy a copy to be sent to your local library or school. That’s a win-win-win …
Glad to get so many recommendations!
I am in the Lois McMaster Bujold and Connie Willis camp, but the best book I have read by a new author this year is Rational Arrangement by L Rowyn. Some graphic sex, so not for youngsters. Can’t recommend this highly enough.
I love Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings! Here’s her upbeat version of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” We could all use some Christmas spirit right now, what with all the ugliness being “Trumped” around. Amirite?
First off, I love seeing a new post from you pop up in my feed, I know it’ll make my day 🙂 When you asked for book recommendations, I couldn’t resist! Mercedes Lackey is my absolute favorite!! The Valdemar series is highly addictive & safe to share with a young-ish daugher 🙂 Also check out: Elizabeth C. Mock, Jodie McIssac, Elizabeth Hunter, J.D. Horn, David Estes, Sarah Fine, Michael G. Manning, & Toby Neighbors series, you’ve probably heard of Jim Butcher’s Dresden series but have you read the Codex Alera series? Love it! Containment by Christian Cantrell is a great plot twist sci-fi but I’m not as crazy about the sequel. If you’re an Alice in Wonderland fan, Daniel Coleman & Jason G Anderson both have fun new takes on the classic. Abigail Hilton’s Panamindorah series has an adult & a kid friendly version, both are great but be sure you only pass the PG version on to the kiddo! Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms books are my go-to when I want something I can relax into after a long week, I’ll reread those over & over & still appreciate the intricate beauty of the world she created. I could go on but I’m fairly certain there are at least a few of these that will be new to you & will keep you busy for quite a bit!! Happy reading!
All the science fiction writers I like — Philip K Dick, Brian Aldiss, Christopher Priest, and so on — are so old, their works are now found in the ancient history section of bookstores. Perhaps you’d better ask somebody else.
I’m pretty psyched about my Hugo award, incidentally, the first thing I’ve won for my writing since I got a small cloth badge for my schoolbag at elementary school.
I’ve read and re-read all of the “Devices” books, by Shelley Adina. They are fabulously steampunk.
Also, my daughter is madly in love with the the Finishing School series, by Gail Carriger; a sci-fi/steampunk series for younger ladies.
Neither of those are brand-new, but they are pretty fabulous.
Wool, by Hugh Dowey. There’s a series of books (5, I think) that he wrote, and then a whole host of fan fic books that he encouraged. I guess that’s a recommendation as well as a warning: plan to get sucked into the rabbit hole of the original plus all the fan fic….
Neal Stephenson – Seveneves. Warning: it’s over 800 pages long. But worth the committment
Robert Rankin’s ‘The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse’ is my fave book ever, but I recommend all his work.
OK, so we were just discussing this (all of it: the Hugo awards, etc.) in the back office at Parnassus. We think you’d really like FISHBOWL by Bradley Somer. Give it a shot: http://parnassusmusing.net/2015/08/10/bradley-somers-fishbowl-delights-us-and-maybe-saves-earth/
My all-time fav is Fool on the Hill by Matt Ruff. There are storylines from various genre all happening at the same time, and the book is about what happens when they all collide. It is an AMAZING read!!!!
Love all responses!
I have read SciFi/Fantasy since the 1970s and now (in my late 50s) I still love it. Dpon’t care about the eyerolls anymore — I owe this love.
Here are my favorite authors:
Stephen R. Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas the Unbeliever). Final book of his trilogy of trilogies was just released last year. I read his first book in the late 1970s when I was in college!
Frank Herbert (Dune trilogy)
Robert Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
Jim Butcher (I am so in love in with Harry Copperfield Blackstone Dresden. need the next book now!)
JRR Tolkien (first gift from a boyfriend was the The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
CJ Cherryh (love everything of her)
Orson Scott Card (read the comments and agree, but what a phenomenal writer — speaker for Dead is incredibly good)
Dean Koontz (the Odd Thomas series is so unexpected — love Oddy!)
Sure I will be adding more as I think about it.
Touching Paradise by Cleo Peitsche, because its seriously SHARK PORN! SHARK PORN, PEOPLE! You should totally check it out, hilariously awesome!
I just finished a book called Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley and it was easily one of the best books I’ve read this year. It would be great for your daughter to read too. It’s kind of like “The Night Circus” for kids.
So I love the age group of 9-12 (in Chapters that’s where they are located anyways). My favourite is Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Beyonders is pretty good too). However I did actually read an adult book recently that totally blew me out of the water. The Name of the wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Probably the best book I have ever read. Of course there are the classics such as A Wrinkle in Time, Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings. And Harry Potter. Of course. Although I’m not sure if these all fall under the appropriate categories but they are the ones that haunt me, in a good way of course. But seriously, you need to read The Name of the Wind.
I don’t know if its mentioned cuz as much as I’d love to read all the comments…. that’s a lot of comments! But you should read any and all books by Wen Spencer… particularly Haley might enjoy the Tinker series… which is very empowering for girls, particularly any with a science fascination and the main character is a hidden science genius. Spencer brings an intensely original level of imagination to her SciFi/Fantasy.
I love Sharon Jones! I got to see her years ago at an Austin City Limits taping (in the old studio on the UT campus). She is amazing.
Will Reichard – He’s got two books – This Album Full of Angles and Evertime. They’re very different and quite fascinating. http://www.amazon.com/William-C-Reichard/e/B00FEF00MO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440440743&sr=8-1
Sherrie S Tepper, but would have to say that her earlier works are waaay better (The Gate to Women’s Country, Grass, Raising the Stones, Sideshow, Beauty, The True Game)
I recently finished Margaret Attwood’s Mad Addam trillogy ( Oryx & Crake, The Year of the Flood, Mad Addam). Very near apocalyptic and post apocalyptic, no zombies though, just genetically modified pigs and such…
I know that my recommendations are the least original in this whole thread, but hand to Krishna, I don’t know how I could endure this life without Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series and George R.R. Martins “Ice and Fire” series.
Also William Gibson and Walter Jon Williams and Arthur C. Clarke and Neil Stephenson and Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton and Frank Herbert and Simon Green (esp. “Nightside” series) and I’m stopping now because I’ve been reading SF since I was 6 and that was over 60 years ago so I have a LOT of authors I like.
I’d like to thank the members of the Hugo Awards committee for my non-award. Thank you.
I recommend any of the Matt Turner novels by Michael Siemsen (http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Siemsen/e/B006UORIIW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1440441526&sr=1-2-ent). I’m currently reading his novel Exigency and it’s really good. I’ve also enjoyed the novels of A. G. Riddle (http://www.amazon.com/A.G.-Riddle/e/B00C32LQBK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1440441643&sr=1-2-ent).
Totally agree with the Gail Carriger series recommendations, and would add that checking out her blog and monthly recommended reading selection is also a great way to find new and old writers in the genre.
Christopher Healy’s “Hero’s Guide” series. A friend’s 11 year old recommended this– she’s read the whole series: http://www.amazon.com/Heros-Guide-Saving-Your-Kingdom-ebook/dp/B00655H6T2/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0EVNHQ40HY12RMWVZH5T
I’m trying desperately right now to get a sci-fi book published (that I wrote, obvs.), so I can’t accept that award, sadly. But it is a damned good book, populated with diverse characters and fantastic worldbuilding for any literary agents who are reading your comments. =D
I have no original suggestions, but I will second a few that have already been made:
1. Station Eleven (Emily St. John Mandel): not “traditional” science fiction, but beautifully written end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-type story. The sort of book that so convincingly creates its world that when you are done, you feel like the real world isn’t real. As soon as I finished, I went back to the beginning and started over.
2. The Book of Strange New Things (Michel Faber): also not “traditional” science fiction, and very odd. I really wasn’t sure that I liked it after I read it, but it has stayed with me.
3. Pretty much anything by Weis & Hickman. Old school science fiction/fantasy, with dragons, etc. Resulted in my parents getting warning letters from my school about the evils of Dungeons & Dragons, and how I would almost certainly become a devil worshiper and/or kill myself. In response to which my mother promptly went out and bought me the D&D box set. Make of that what you will.
Jim Butcher, Jim C. Hines, Alex Bledsoe, Lois McMaster Bujold
This is kind of a duh but Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash is a classic and one of my all time favorite sci-fi books.
You SERIOUSLY need to read The Martian. Here’s a link to the Goodreads Review:
My wife just finished it and she gives it 5 Rockets. I get to read it now 🙂
if you like neil gaiman neverwhere and scalzi –> The Rook, Daniel O’Malley. if you like books that are awesome –> Abarat, Clive Barker. if you want to feel paranoid about the future (ina good way) –> m.t. anderson
Nk Jemisin Brent Weeks. And Pat Rothfuss for sure!
Ditto on the Rook recommendation, especially if you like Neverwhere and Scalzi. Abarat is pure magic amazingness. Feed by MT Anderson if you like Brave New World. Re-reading the phantom toolbooth.
Feed by MT Anderson if you like Brave New World (note:not the zombie book series of similar name); ditto the Rook, especially if you liked Neverwhere; Abarat by Clive Barker and re-reading the Phantom Tollbooth if you like good books and were ever a child.
Terry Pratchett – if you have never read a Discworld book, Shame on you and on the librarians who didn’t get you hooked! You might also like Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds or Christopher Stasheff’s A Wizard in Rhyme series.
Mary Robinette Kowal
Dang it my extremely well-worded comment got lost in the cosmos. Julie Czerneda is an author whom I will buy without reading a review. “The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell is one of my favorite sci-fi books in my over $%#% years of reading. (Her Pulitzer WWII novel was not very shabby either.)
I can’t believe nobody mentioned David Weber and the Honor Harrington series! Though his earlier books are better, IMHO, I still really enjoy his wonderful super heroine, the inimitable Honor Harrington. I also enjoy anything by C.J. Cherryh, Lois McMaster Bujold, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller Liaden universe. And love Georgette Heyer, I’m glad she is mentioned, though not a SF writer. I will read anyone who is a terrific author. And here’s to The Borrowers, a delight. I recently read all of them on my kindle and the illustrations were included, thank goodness, they are charming. Tales of ‘little people’ who ‘borrow’ from the household. Wonderful stories. Hailey would love them – and so would you.
Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson, and Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster.
I LOVED Anna Dressed in Blood, a ya horror novel by Kendare Blake. Phenomenal. A really refreshing take on classic ghost story tropes, with the most kick ass ghost ever. The main character is a ghost hunter who “kills” violent ghosts.
I just read Strangelets, another ya horror by Michelle Gagnon. It was a really good book with a disappointing ending. I still recommend it, since I couldn’t put it down. Just be prepared to keep saying, “damn, that ending pissed me off!” 6 teenagers wake up in a strange hospital after near death experiences without any idea of how they got there. And they are locked in. Chilling and awesome, with an unearned tacked on ending. Still totally worth reading.
Joe Abercrombie does really great dark, cynical fantasy. Start with ‘The First Law’ series.
Red Rising is amazing! Highly recommended!
Have you ever read S. by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst? Codes and mysteries and secrets, oh, my!
more fantasy than sci-fi but..
Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series (2 trilogies)
David Eddings Belgariad series (there are more series that are just as good but start with this one, if your daughter enjoys fantasy she’d probably like them as well)
I am thrilled by the “No Award” as it was the only way left to deal with the hijacking by the “Puppies”. Critics of the Puppies in the science fiction community pointed out that their leaders were promoting unrepentantly sexist, racist and homophobic views.
Lately I’ve been really into Brent Weeks and Peter Brett. I love that everyone is recommending Terry Pratchett (my favorite!) and Jasper Fforde! Read those first.
EVERY Jasper Fforde. Seriously. From Thursday Next, to Nursery Crime, to The Chronicles of Kazam. All of them. Then give the Kazam books to Hailey (“A Quarkbeast is one tenth Labrador, six tenths velociraptor, and three tenths kitchen food blender.”) I preordered his sequel to “Shades of Grey” (no, not THAT one) when I preordered Furiously Happy. I’ve been waiting 5 years for it! Plus the Oryx and Crake trilogy by Margaret Atwood. I love her dystopian futures. Lev Grossman’s Magicians series too!
You may not have heard of these. Super fantastic. I need re-read them as a matter of fact. They are by: Author Roby James. Titles Commitment and Commencement (a duology)
Barry Hughart “Bridge of Birds” a novel of an ancient China that never was. The adventures of Number Ten Ox and master Li Kao, a wise holy man with a slight flaw in his character.
Terry Pratchett, absolutely.
Charles De Lint, Especially his collections of short stories and Memory and Dream.
I read The Night Circus recently and it’s beautiful.
Those are all more fantasy than sci-fi… my sci-fi reading is a bit rusty.
You should totally read Cherie Priest if you haven’t already. She has some amazing steampunk books and her most recent series is Lizzie Borden mixed with Lovecraft.
Lois McMaster Bujold, after Heinlein she leads history in number of Hugo wins! Her Vorkosigan books have awesome characters, humour, and deal interestingly with the issues of disability and medical ethics. Plus lasers and sarcasm!
I have been addicted to Kelly Armstrong the last couple of months. She is fantastic and local to my area.
I encourage anyone who likes a mystery with some supernatural tossed in to give her a try.
Okay so this is probably crazy. But when I was 8 or 9, my mother started reading me The Eye of the Dragon every night before bed. Yes it’s a Stephen King novel, and yes as an adult I re-read it and…meh.
But as an 8 year old girl? I LIVED for bedtime when I got to hear two more pages of dragons and kings and wizards and potions and sibling rivalry (I hated my sister for being perfect).
It made me want to read every book in the world.
All fabulous suggestions; I can’t wait to read those new to me. BUT I did not see Dan Simmons Illium series (2 books), and his older classic scifi Hyperion series. Plus there was only a brief mention of Iain M Banks Culture series which are top of my favorites list. But they dont make me laugh like you do! I had to read your 1st book 1 chapter at a time b/c my diaphram (stomach! ) was so weak from laughing! We also had bread bag boots… yikes.
Catherine Asaro. Hard science fiction and (also hard) bodice ripping romance in equal measure.
Most memorable favorites: The Martian by Andy Weir (think Macgyver stuck on Mars with 186 days worth of supplies that need to last 1460 days, with a gallows sense of humor saying statements like “nothing can stop a determined arsonist!”).
Incryptid series – by Seanan Mcguire (start with Discount Armageddon) it has talking mice that worship the main characters! – crypto-zoologists
Samuil Petrovich series by Simon Morden (first book is Equations of Life, starts a little slow about 30-50 pgs or so, but once it speeds up it doesn’t stop!) Was a trilogy, but now has a fourth – is post-apocalyptic
The Clockwork Century by Cherie Priest (start with Boneshaker) – zombies
Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen (couple in therapy shows up to session only to find their therapist is now a Zombie)
Favorite as a child: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, by Patricia Wrede (not your typical princess/dragon story!!)
I am bookmarking this list so I can read all the things, but also, do you know about the Literature Map? It’s here http://www.literature-map.com/, and it is a super-nifty toy because you can tell it a writer you like and then it will tell you about other writers that people who also like your writer also like. There may be a better way to say that. Anyway, if you’re looking for a new writer to fall in love with, this’ll help you find one.
congrats on your erm…awards… by the way I enjoy looking at #wheresrory, he’s taking over the world!!!
Vanessa up there noted David Weber’s Honor Harrington series which I loudly second (start with On Basilisk Station). I still want to be Honor when I grow up. He also has a great fantasy series (starting with Oath of Swords).
Also re: Kritsin’s recommendation of Michael Manning- I haven’t read him but he’s been highly recommended to me, AND he’s a Texas author. He’s done book signings in Huntsville.
Usually don’t read Sci-Fi, but loved “Station 11.” You’ll never look at your life the same way. It actually scared me. We take so much of our world for granted.
Voyage From Yesteryear by James P. Hogan.
My favorite fantasy author is Charles de Lint. I love the worlds he creates, and I feel like his characters are my friends. Also on my list of must-reads, besides the ones you’ve already listed, are Jane Yolen, Garth Nix, Sarah J. Maas’ “Court of Thorns and Roses,” Holly Black, Robert Holdstock, Robin McKinley,Emma Bull, Patricia C. Wrede, C. Helen Oyeyemi’s “Boy, Snow, Bird,” Nicola Griffith’s “Hild,” anything by Catherynne M. Velente, Melissa Marr… Okay, I should probably stop now, because I could go on all day. Though, I am just starting Naomi Novik’s “Uprooted” because it came highly recommended. I really am stopping now.
Oooh, oh yes, I agree with those above — read Abarat. I love it so! Okay, this is like a sickness. I’m done.
A new author I suggest you check out is C.Anthony Jones. The first two books in his series Magical Certainty are available as e-downloads for just $3 each at http://www.magicalcertainty.com – and book 3 will be out this fall. A fun adventure starring a librarian/tatoo artist who gets hired by a mysterious old man whose goal is to return magic to humanity.
Gail Carriger 🙂
A new author I suggest you check out is C.Anthony Jones. The first two books in his series Magical Certainty are available as e-downloads for just $3 each at http://www.magicalcertainty.com – and book 3 will be out this fall. A fun adventure starring a librarian/tatoo artist who gets hired by a mysterious old man whose goal is to return magic to humanity.
Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy and Maggie Steifvater’s Raven Boys cycle are two of my favorite series to make people read.
Are you reading Ursula Vernon who publishes her kid books under that name and her fantasy fairytale stuff as T. Kingfisher? She did win a Hugo once, for her graphic novel Digger.
Also I’ve been reading and re-reading The Chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. Time-traveling historians.
And…um, The Windup Girl by Paulo Bacigalupi was not at all what I was expecting. But better. Ao good.
I adore Gregory Maguire. Some books are harder reads but if you love your childhood fairy tales then you need to read some. Also Orson Scott Card!!!
I second all those who said the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.
Also Red Rising and Golden Son by Pierce Brown. Best sci-fi I’ve read in years.
Everyone keeps telling you to read Terry Pratchett, and for some reason I think you already do, because I think you have something relating to him in your haunted dollhouse, but I can’t remember what.
Everyone also keeps recommending fantasy, when you asked for sci-fi. I’m probably not going to do much better, but….
I’ll second Patricia McKillip, whose writing is luminous, I have no other real word for it — try “The Book of Atrix Wolfe” or “Song for the Basilisk” and I’ll also second Steven Brust, who is one of my two favorite authors. Nothing else I’ve read in the fantasy genre is quite like him — the Vlad Taltos series has a lot of book, the main character is an successful assassin — basically a hitman for the mob — and a human in a world were the dominant race is not, the humans are a minority class, and there’s plenty of swordplay and magic. He’s also a witch. Oh, and he cooks.
I’ll also second the person who recommended Kim Harrison, I think her books fall into the subgenre of urban fantasy? I’ve never been quite sure where to place them (which always makes me unsure where to look in a bookstore) — they’ve witches and vampires and werewolves and demons, and some really badass pixies all walking around modern day Cincinnati. (Trust me, you’ll love the pixie! He swears up a storm, and rigs security cameras so they loop.) Think film noir mysteries mixed with romance, and a dollop of sex thrown in (enough to make them unsuitable for your daughter till she’s older), overlaid with magic and fantasy creatures, all with a very awesome, strong female protagonist. Read them in order, there’s an overall story that’ll make more sense that way.
“Tea with the Black Dragon” by R. A. MacAvoy. I can’t tell you about this book without starting to tell you about plot, and that starts to get into spoilers. So instead, from Wikipedia: “It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1983, the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1984, and won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1983 and the Locus Award for best first novel in 1984. It also found a place in David Pringle’s Modern Fantasy: The Hundred Best Novels (1988).” I can tell you it’s set in modern day San Francisco.
Finally something that really is sci-fi — I think she’s usually classified under cyberpunk — Lisa Mason, and anything by her is good, but the one that initially introduced me to her, and completely blew me away was “Summer of Love” which is (weirdly) set in San Francisco’s 1967 Haight-Ashbury, because it’s a time travel novel. The female protagonist is a runaway who joined the other flower children that summer because the Hashbury was the place to be, the male is the offspring of a privileged family from a dystopian future. It’s an overloooked book that occasionally rearranges your thinking. You can find used copies dirt cheap on Amazon.
My other favorite writer, who again is fantasy, but somehow not quite like anyone else I’ve encountered, is P.C. Hodgell. I really don’t know how to describe these, but where so much fantasy is derivative of Tolkien, this is not. You need to read these novels in order, because each one builds on the last, they involve everything from high heroics and mysticism to occasional humor. The first starts when the female protagonist stumbles out of a haunted land with no memory of recent years, this gap and random memories from it will occasionally crop up throughout the series as important plot points. Later in the series she is reunited with her twin, who, because of her lost years, is now older since time moved differently in the place she disappeared into. Time slippages are a recurring theme, but so occasionally are those of land, or even between worlds. And none of this does justice to any of the stories. Hodgell is the only author I know of who interacts with her readership regularly — she posts on LiveJournal telling how the new novel is coming along, giving snippets of the writing, and occasionally asking for advice, from the practical (what could go wrong with bread-baking, which included magical things), to the philosophical (how could the main character demonstrate leadership, which became a discussion of what qualities make a good leader). She also depends on her readers to keep her sorted out on what she has already established in her canon. It’s best to look for the newer Baen editions since her first few novels got reprinted in omnibus editions under various titles and it’s difficult to sort out what is included under what title otherwise.
Wow …. I didn’t mean to write this much. O__O
Have you seen the 5 Gatekeeper books by Anthony Horowitz? I didn’t like his Alex Rider series but this set kicked butt. The first one is called Raven’s Gate. and I just got the Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage onto my library account list….
Anything by Kevin Brockmeier…anything… but definitely The Illumination and A Brief History of the Dead
If you’re looking for fantasy that both young girls and adult women will love: Tamora Pierce and Patricia C. Wrede.
wow, what a great idea – so many great authors i’ve read and already love, and many i’ve never heard of and have added to my to-read list.
my recommendations (i’m trying not to duplicate any of the excellent names above):
ilona andrews (LOVE kate and curran), kelley armstrong, ben aaronovitch (and funny, too!), daniel abraham, barbara hambly, naomi novik (with my favorite dragon of all time, temeraire!), philip pullman, martha wells.
That Sharon Jones song was damn fine. Also, thank you for the wired link. No link back.
Well, I Command-Effed, and ALL my favorites came up multiple times. We are a well-read buncha folks. I look forward to combing through the list for authors I haven’t yet discovered. Once again, thank you for the interesting, USEFUL, questions you ask us.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds…and then a friend recently shared Steven Erikson’s Gardens of the Moon.
Do you like suspense? If so, I recommend JD Barker! http://jdbarker.com
The comments need an up vote button!!
Sci-fi I love… Greg Bear (the Eon series is one I always go back to), Dan Simmons (Hyperion/Endymion), I’ve just finished reading Jonh Scalzi Lock In and LOVED it waiting till I can afford more of his stuff so at the mo just started reading Orson Scott Cards Enders Game
also The Martian!!
Oh Jenny, you did it again. Thanks for the right-on pov re. books and the publishing of them. Lev Grossman’s the Magicians is fun, but Jon Courtenay Grimwood is genius.
Hi there. Yep, what happened to the Hugos this year sucked. At least GRR Martin held a party and gave out his own awards. Have you read “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline yet? Awesome book. So is “The Martian” by Andy Weir. Also really liked “The Mechanical” by Ian Tregillis this year.
Well it looks like you have a shit ton of books to read now, but might I suggest reading Robin Hobb as well? She is pretty freaking awesome- the liveship trader series was my fav!
Totally late to the party, but…
Also, Naomi Novik. And Glen Cook (specifically the Garrett books).
Definitely Ready Player One!! And definitely Sarah J Maas!
I have no book recommendations but I wouldn’t know Hugo from Jack if not for the writings (FB and blog) of Jim Wright (stonekettle.com) and David Gerrod (sci-fi author). Not likely part of the Bloggess family of blogs except for being damn funny. More politics, so there’s that. Jim is also a wood crafter and made the infamous asterisks given/sold at Worldcon.
I posted this on the wrong thread before, because I am awesome. You should read Little, Big by John Crowley. It will make you feel so tiny and so giant at the exact same time. It’s a feeling that I think everyone should experience in their life because it makes the world seem magical even in sadness. Hopefully this is the right thread, otherwise I give up.
If nothing else, read “Wee Free Men”, because “somebody has to speak for them as have no voices.”
An oldie but a goodie – “Bellweather” by Connie Willis. It’s got sheep! And duct tape! (It’s not what you think…)
Anne MaCaffrey!! The Dragons of Pern series is technically Sci-fi but feels more fantasy(becasue dragons)
The Ship Who Sings series is a glorious sci fi about ships run by humans bred and raised for the purpose, and they become the brain of the ship.
David Eddings – The Belgariad and the Malloreon (a 10 book total series); and The Elenium and The Tamuli (a 6 book total series). Though look out for the fantastic 1980’s cover art.
Really believable characters – believable worlds – I like to call it “no-nonsense fantasy”
My last name is Lovelace. I’ve been told I am a descendant of Ada Lovelace although I’ve never seen any proof of that. I think my childhood love of the TI-994A and Commodore 64 computer is proof enough though.
Jeff Duntemann’s The Cunning Blood. Now available on Kindle Unlimited (or buy for $2.99–a steal at twice the price!)
Also another vote for Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series. It’s kind of “World of Darkness meets Ghostbusters” in concept.
Marissa Meyer!!! You have to read the Lunar Chronicles!
I came down here to solely to reiterate “Spider Robinson” because he’s only been mentioned by like, three people. What a crime.
Rosemary Kirstein’s Steerswoman novels; Martha Wells, Tales of the Raksura; Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness and Always Coming Home (and pick up the Catwings stories for Hailey!); Diane Duane’s Star Trek novels and the Young Wizards series — but I’d read those before handing them to Hailey: I found the subject matter of some of them upsetting, particularly The Wizard’s Dilemma, but YMMV. (If you do try Young Wizards, be sure that you get the Millennium editions: the timeline in the first editions was so thoroughly borked that Duane went back and edited the entire series to correct it.)
I’m late to the party because I’ve been out of the country, but here are a few of my SF/fantasy faves
Pratchett and Gaiman GOOD OMENS
Guy Gavriel Kay: THE FIONAVAR TAPESTRY (basically, anything he writes is terrific)
Jaspe Fforde THE TUESDAY NEXT series
Robin McKinley SUNSHINE (and all her fairy tale retellings, gentle, interesting reads. Often catalogued as YA, but I’ve always liked them)
Laura Resnick’s earlier epic fantasy work
Diane Wynne Jones
Orson Scott Card, tho he’s a bit of a creep in his personal views, sure can spin a tale. Loved the Tales of Alvin Maker. Lately he’s just been milking Ender’s Game with new points of View, but his writing is very thoughtful. LOVELOCK, written with Kathryn Kidd, had a very interesting: protagonist– an enslaved sentient monkey.
Robin Hobb! And she keeps writing them, somehow!
Totally check out – Sarah J Maas The Throne of Glass series (so awesome), also worth reading: Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series, Rick Riordian’s Percy Jackson series, anything by Anne Bishop (but particularly The Others series and The Black Jewels series), anything by Charles DeLint (Newford series is great), Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles, Rae Carson’s Fire and Thorns series, and Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is another really good one
A Red Heart of Memories by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The books about the Moomin familiy written by Tove Jansson. They are supposed to be childrens books, but I almost enjoy them more as a grown up. The Moomin family also remind me of my family at the times I love them the most, which might explain why I love the books. (There is also a series of comics aimed for a more adult audience, which is also totally awesome)
Patrick Weekes. Fantasy caper books – lots of fun.
Anne Bishop – I am so sad that she was only mentioned once as she is amazing. Adults only for sure. Start with the Dark Jewels Trilogy.
Brandon Sanderson – Anything he writes is amazing. Less adulty 🙂
Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl is a lot of fun to share with even young children.
Please read Anne Bishop, she is awesome and I love other people to get the chance to experience her awesomeness (do not start with the Others series, that is a fans only one as it takes awhile to fall for the characters this time)
my favorite webcomic: http://www.schlockmercenary.com/
Check out Uprooted by Naomi Novik. PHENOMENAL.
Anything by Guy Gavriel Kay. He’s hands down my favorite author.
Hugh Howey is awesome, The Silo Saga.
China Meiville, Robin Hobb, Patric Rothfuss
…andWilliam Browning Spencer, and Richard Kadrey