Perhaps with two weeks still remaining in 2004, it may be a bit early to start the best of prognostications. However, since I know what my reading plate will be filled with for the next couple of weeks, I think I can spout one mini-list: Best Newly Discovered Writer(s) – 2004, that is the author whom I first read this year (even if their debut novel was years ago) and look forward to reading in the future. I’ll post some today and the rest tomorrow.
Without further ado, here goes:
Karen Traviss – Her debut novel, City of Pearl, (click title for my review) published last year, but I read it this year. I thought it was one of the most impressive SF debuts I’ve read in some time and was enthralled by the hard questions her novel raised. I’m currently reading the follow-up, Crossing the Line and the third book in this series publishes next year, The World Before. Ms. Traviss also published a Star Wars novel this year, Republic Commando, and signed to write three more SW books, so there will be no shortage of her work in the future. Based on the two books I’ve read by her, this is a very good thing indeed. While the story takes place hundreds of years into the future, echoes of today are quite present – like conflicting world views, the power of the media, and genetic engineering. And she has created some really cool, interesting aliens.
E.E. Knight – Again, his debut novel, Way of the Wolf published last year, but I read it this year and very much enjoyed it. Way of the Wolf was the first in the sprawling saga entitled The Vampire Earth. His work has a pulpish feel to it, and is very entertaining. In the not-so-distant future, Earth has been taken over by Vampire Aliens, well Vampires have always been here on Earth, but they are actually a race of Ancient Ones, they’ve finally risen up to take over the planet. On the surface, this may seem a somewhat cheesy concept, but Knight makes it work, with engaging characters and stories told with great pace. I also read the second novel in the saga, Choice of the Cat, this year and I’m really looking forward to the third, Way of the Thunderbolt, next year. Mr. Knight has also written a Lara Croft novel and is under contract to write another series of books. Mr. Knight's Way of the Wolf won Compton Crook award for best first novel in science fiction, fantasy, or horror earilier this year.
Juliet Marillier – She’s been publishing fantasy for a few years now, most notably her Sevenwaters Trilogy. A couple of months ago the first novel in the series, Daughter of the Forest, was the SFFWorld Fantasy Book Club selection of the month and this gave me the opportunity to read her work. Ms. Marillier plays with a Celtic folk tale in the novel and spins out an entrancing story of a strong female character. I plan on reading the remaining books in the saga.
Not much else today.