Andrew’s recommended reads…
Cherie pulled the entire Steampunk genre up a notch when Boneshaker hit the bestseller lists, proving the viability of steam-powered action with top-notch plotting and ripping characters. Now she’s digging deeper into her “Clockwork” century with Ganymede and Dreadnought. Cherie is a powerhouse in the genre, and she’s just getting started.
If there was one constant in the universe it was that licensed fiction can be counted on to be terrible. Abnett has shattered that rule with Eisenhorn and Gaunt’s Ghosts series. These were the books so good that they rebuilt the Warhammer 40K franchise around them. Don’t miss out.
Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, steampunk, fashion, tea, etc. etc. etc. It should feel like a mash-up, and yet from the very first page she makes it all seem like it should all go perfectly together.
Yes it’s comic books. Ted has a purely unique vision of fantasy that feels brand new and Old Fashioned at the same time.
Brian Michael Bendis
When he took on the impossible challenge of re-inventing Spider-man back in 1999 Marvel was at the bottom of the barrel after a decade of big guns and art over story. His masterful storytelling and meta-plotting in the Ultimate Spider-Man books is a must read for anyone attempting to play with the fundamentals of genre while telling a solid, character-driven story.
Mary Robinette Kowal
While the rest of are telling gritty stories in a world of brass, her historical fantasy stories are delicious flights of fancy in a more genteel era. Her regency-era magic book Shades of Milk and Honey is not only a fun tale told in the style of that time, but a great insight into what makes historical fantasy work in any age.
Robert E. Howard
The real quality of what makes Conan a timeless character has never really managed to survive the transition to film, but with the release of a definitive three volume series that shed the posthumous corruption that plagued the stories in the 60s through the 80s, these books should be a must read by anyone looking to discover why Barbarians do it better.
George RR Martin
At this point it’s hard not to know about his epic fantasy series, “A song of Ice & Fire”. But it wasn’t always that way, and the first three books in the series are especially gripping as he weaves a world far bigger than you might think is possible to be contained by a single imagination.
Are his books steampunk? Are they science fiction? Are they “the new weird”? Or is what he really writing something else entirely? Yes, yes, yes, and no. Mieville isn’t always the easiest to get into, and he can sometimes be more concerned with the structure of his stories than he is with the content, especially in the early pages. But once he gets going there’s no stopping him. There’s a reason he considered a master of modern fiction, even if it isn’t always easy to describe.
I’ve seen few authors who deserve their success as much as this man does. He’s clearly a hardworking author, and you can see it in the detail and care that comes through in his books.
His first novel, the Windup Girl is a cyberpunk book for the new millennium, mixing up a heady dose of near future bio-science and ruined global politics, all delivered through characters that manage to capture the weary determination of modern humanity.
His next book was a young adult novel called ShipBreaker that created a near-future world of endless despair and managed to bring hope into it through the eyes of his teen protagonist.
Richard K. Morgan
Morgan exploded onto the scene a decade ago with “Altered Carbon”, a book that managed to blend science fiction and detective noir together so perfectly it seemed more like a sequel to a series we’ve never managed to read.
Since then he’s not only managed to tell three stories of the same character, and in each one show us an entirely different take on the same sci-fi universe Now he’s two books into a fantasy series that just may still be part of that same world…