Feb 22, 2010

Authors Worth Watching, Spotlight 2 of 5


I present to you the 2nd group of spotlight authors from the large list of 25 Authors Worth Watching. Like last time, I'll give you a little background on the writer, where you can find early work to sample, and what you should watch for in the next year or two.
I originally planned on doing these on a MWF basis but it is taking a suprising long time to pull these posts together so I'm going to go to a Mon-Thurs schedule for the final 3 posts.

Anyway, on to the writers themselves...



Beth Bernobich - Beth Bernobich is one of the several authors on this list that I hadn't heard of prior to taking nominations. After reading some of her early work, Beth appears poised to become a regular name with fans of historical fantasy or alternate history stories, particularly those who enjoy a romantic subplot or two. That's not to say she's a one trick pony; her SF short "Marsdog" riffs on the timeless nature of a boy and his dog through a very peculiar set of eyes. Bernobich has quite a backlog of stories ranging from SF to fantasy and period pieces to alternate futures, even working some horror and erotica into the mix (I think one story was both). She seems to have settled on a fantasy world for her first mainstream novel. This year marks the release of Passion Play, the first book in the Erythandra Series. James Patrick Kelly blurbed the series as a novel that  "fills the senses with the gritty taste of ashes and the delicious shiver of silk, while the mysterious scent of magic is everywhere present." I'm eager to get more detail on this fantasy world from Beth if she's willing to answer a few of my questions. UPDATE: According to the Mad Hatter (who reviews Ars Memoriae here), Beth has signed a deal with Tor for two additional novels.

Early Work:
In the Future:
  • A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories - Short Story Anthology - Lethe Press - Spring 2010
  • Passion Play - Fantasy - Tor - October 2010 To be followed by Queen’s Hunt. Allegiance, and untitled fourth book [The Erythandra Series]
  • Fox and Phoenix - YA Fantasy - Viking - Summer 2011
  • The Time Roads - Collection of stories from her √Čireann world - Tor - TBD 
Website / Blog



Ian Tregillis - Ian Tregillis is another one of those authors who doesn't have a lot of dishes on the table yet but the smells from the kitchen are fantastic. Besides a fun short published on the now defunct Trabaco Road website, Tregillis's published work is limited to George R.R. Martin's superhero SF shared Wild Card's universe. That's about to change this spring with the publicaiton of Tregillis's first book in the Milkweed Triptych, Bitter Seeds. The Milkweed Triptych, at least from what I can gather, is an alternate history fantasy set during World War II. If Tregillis's tagline "It's 1939. The Nazis have supermen, the British have demons, and one perfectly ordinary man is caught in the middle." doesn't make you want to check out these books, I'd point you to some high praise from one of his fellow writers "It's pretty much the coolest structure for a trilogy I've ever seen" and "If he doesn't become a Name in the field, it'll be because he decides not to. Seriously, this is his game to lose." Also, check out his website. While not the most functional thing I've ever seen, it's visually impressive and fun to play with. Plus his bio says that he's a mammal...that's a good thing right?

Early Work:
In the Future:
  • Bitter Seeds - WWII Alternate History (Nazi Monsters vs British Demons) - Tor - 4/13/10 - To be followed  by The Coldest War (2010) and Necessary Evil (2011)
Website / Blog



Ken Scholes - So far, Ken Scholes appears to be the author my readers are most familiar with. That's probably because the first two volumes of his five volume fantasy series, The Psalms of Isaak, have been garnering rave-reviews accross the blogosphere (not to mention their beautiful covers). Despite authoring this well respected sequence, Scholes has also made a name for himself with a strong body of shorter work. When he's not creating immersive fantasy worlds, Scholes mixes the historical with the fictional. In one of his stories Hitler is a remarkable different man. In another, Edward the Bear must save a fleet of generation ships rapidly approaching disaster. Grasping the familar and twisting it, he creates something both familiar and hauntingly unique. Scholes emotionally evocative writing impresses at any length.

Early Work:
In the Future:
  • Antiphon (The Psalms of Isaak: Book 3) - High Fantasy - Tor - September 2010 - To be followed by the last two volumes of The Psalms of Isaak, Requiem and Hymn
Website / Blog



Meghan McCarron - Meghan McCarron might not be a household genre name at this point but the overwhelming consensus is that she will be. Alongside Alice Sola Kim and Greg Van Eekout, McCarron's name seemed to come up in every conversation about aspiring new writers. When I read some of her relatively small portfolio of work, it was easy to see why. McCarron possess a gift for prose that flows effortlessly regardless of how surreal the subject matter. McCarron has a grasp of language that would make a grocery list readable and it's easy to assume that she'll only get better as she writes more. Did I mention she's only 27? I don't know what McCarron's future work promises or if/when we will get to see a debut novel, but I do know that what I'll be waiting to read it.

Early Work:
  • "The Magician’s House" - Strange Horizons August 2008 (Read Online)
  • "Tetris Dooms Itself" - Clarkesworld Magazine - August 2008 (Read Online)
  • "The Flying Woman" - Strange Horizons - March 2006 (Read Online)
  • "Close To You" - Strange Horizons - May 2005 (Read Online)
In the Future:
  • "WE HEART VAMPIRES!!!!!!!" - Strange Horizons - Spring 2010 
Website / Blog / Twitter



Theodora Goss - While reading Goss's first collection, In The Forest of Forgetting, I was immediately reminded of Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things or Susanna Clarke's The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Goss write a deceptively simple story, almost fairytale-esque, foregoing intricate plots for more complex characters and emotional moments. Rather than transported to a fully-realized fantasy world like Robert Jordan or George R.R. Martin, I was transported back to my childhood, when a boundless imagination made the world was a more magical place. At the same time, Goss's fairly tales aren't exactly Grimm's. Paradoxically, her stories read as both timeless and modern, demonstrating a clear love for storytelling in today's largely unimaginative society.

Early Work:
In the Future:
  • Currently Unknown
Website / Blog



That's it for the Group 2 of the 5 Authors Worth Watching. You should really go check out their fiction where you can. I've been impressed by these authors time after time. Typically, I have a hard time reading a lot of short fiction in a short ammount of time because you have to switch voice and prose style so often. These stories are so well-written that you can't help but keep reading.

As always, Let me know if there are any other key pieces of info you would be interested in or if I somehow managed to get something incorrect.

3 comments:

  1. This is kind of an odd visual response, but what I found myself reacting to, maybe because my own writing interests lie far back in time (well, not that far!), was the contemplative-looking golden/sepia cover and the Latin of the title in Ars Memoriae.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Spotlight 2 looks like there are some great authors in there. I just started reading Lamentation by Scholes the other day, and I'm enjoying it. You managed to peak my interest in the other authors as well. Tregillis in particular...is the release date for Bitter Seeds a UK release date? If so, do you know if there aer plans for a US release?
    Thanks! Keep the blog rolling.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much for mentioning me and my work. And I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about my series.

    ReplyDelete

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