It’s Time To Discover The Next Great Fantasy Authors
It’s the time of year for pushing boundaries and embarking on new adventures. The Amazon Book Review asked Richard Kadrey, John Scalzi, Pierce Brown and Kevin Hearne to suggest talented new writers who have grabbed their attention—and whose books you should try, too.
John Scalzi on Ken Liu:
2015 has been a magnificent year for novel debuts in the SF/F genre—names like Seth Dickinson, Fran Wilde, Ilana Myer and Zen Cho, to name just a few, are ones you’ll be hearing from for years—but the debut that held the most interest to me this year was The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. Liu has already racked up major awards in the genre for his short fiction (and translated this year’s Hugo winner, The Three-Body Problem), so I was curious how he would handle the longer story format. Well, he stuck the landing, with an epic fantasy full of detail, intrigue and deep, crunchy thoughts. Liu is just ridiculously talented, basically, and this book is terrific. —John Scalzi
Kevin Hearne on C.A. Higgins:
It’s rare to find a tale penned by a physicist that avoids the lure of excessive math and focuses on strong storytelling. In Lightless, Higgins gives us the science in agreeable bites but doesn’t neglect the tensions between characters on the Ananke, an experimental spacecraft boarded by saboteurs with a political agenda. I was riveted by the tiny crew’s struggle to deal with the crisis, delighted that it’s set in our own solar system, and thrilled by the twist at the end. I’m an instant fan and looking forward to more from Ms. Higgins! —Kevin Hearne
Richard Kadrey on Daniel José Older:
Before becoming a full-time writer, Daniel José Older worked for a decade as a New York City paramedic, easily making him more interesting than 90 percent of the other writers you’ll find here (including me). Half-Resurrection Blues, the first book in his Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, follows Carlos Delacruz, a member of the New York Council of the Dead and an inbetweener: someone who walks the line between life and death. In the novel, Delacruz faces off against a sorcerer bent on killing earthly spirits and opening our world to the Underworld, but it’s Older’s prose and Delacruz’s voice that’s the real star here. Older writes like the city—its dirty concrete, its bodegas and bars, its mix of people and cultures, and the secrets that lie in an urban park.
His young adult novel, Shadowshaper, brings us Brooklyn through the eyes of Sierra Santiago, a young woman still working out her life and her art when she runs headlong into a supernatural world she’s not prepared for. Shadowshaper not only brings us a powerful young heroine, but shows us a fresh depiction of art-infused city-centric magic. It’s not surprising that the book was nominated for a Kirkus Prize.
Don’t say that Older is a promising new writer. He’s already moved way past that. He’s someone you ought to read and follow because wherever he decides to take us next, it’s going to be loud, beautiful, and a hell of a ride. And isn’t that what we’re here for? —Richard Kadrey
Pierce Brown on Indra Das:
Every now and again you read something that strikes the heart of you. Not, perhaps, in a romantic way, but in a manner that challenges your perception of reality. Indra Das’s powerful debut novel, The Devourers (July 2016), cuts deeper than it should. Dreamlike but haunting, beautiful but violent, Indra’s prose is lush, but more importantly, it is savage. It grips the reader and drags you on an unexpected journey through both contemporary and Mughal India. Its plot brims with intrigue, danger, and monsters, but its hidden depths are what stuck with me. It has something to say. Not just something to say about its characters or its themes, but the primal nature of humanity. —Pierce Brown
courtesy of Omnivoracious