Jan 15, 2010

Underread/Underrated Authors

Working on some pieces behind the scenes so nothing new tonight. I did want to point out an interesting discussion at Tor.com (as a result of a question posted by James Nicoll on his livejournal.

The basic question is:

It’s easy to moan about bestsellers you don’t like, but who are the authors that should be getting the sales and the attention and yet remain obscure?

If you head on over to Tor.com there are plenty of interesting names to check out. Not suprisingly I haven't heard of many of them.

If I had to put my own penny-penny into the mix, I would say Timothy Zahn. He's always been an SF favorite of mine whose science fiction is overlooked because of his tie-in work with the Star Wars sequence. His Conquerors' Saga is still one of the best space operas I've ever read. I think I finished 1000 pages in two days or something like that. And his Manta's Gift novel is Avatar set on a gas giant.

The same holds true for Karen Traviss. Her work in Star Wars exposed me to some of her other work, most notably the Wess'Har Books. It's very interesting space opera/military SF stuff if you're into that. Traviss is a bit of an odd duck, not doing interviews and not reading fiction (?!?) but her stuff is too good to let a little thing like that get in the way. I think that tie-in fiction turns a lot of people off from a lot of good authors but thats another conversation for another day.

There are some other names I could suggest like Mary Robinette KowalDaniel Abraham, or Daryl Gregory but they are all still fairly new to the game. Kowal is more underwritten than underread at this point in her career and I can't wait to see more. Abraham does have 6 novels out (that I can think of) so maybe he falls into the criminally underrated category. I have a feeling that once The Dagger and The Coin finally sees the light of day that a lot of people are going to take notice. Gregory only has two books but you have a responsibility to read them if you enjoy things that are supremely enjoyable. Or maybe thats just me.

Damn it. I guess I did have something to say after all.


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Timothy Zahn. I've read his short story, Cascade Point, and thought it was excellent, but never read any of his full novels. I've now added the Conquerors' Saga to my amazon wish list and will be picking it up as soon as money allows :)

  2. I first read Zahn while he was still publishing the Star Wars Thrawn trilogy, and loved it, so I was lucky enough to discover the Conqueror's Saga trilogy about a decade ago. It's one of my favorite series. I don't read a lot of Star Wars books, but Zahn does such a good job of hooking me whenever I read anything by him. I think I might end up reading the Conqueror's Saga trilogy again, now that you've brought it up. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...