After nearly 4 months on the back burner (mostly as a result of life), I'm back with the 4th set of spotlight authors from list of 25 Authors Worth Watching. If you haven't read (or don't remember) the first few installments (Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3) the basic format is as follows: 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.
- “The Church of Accelerated Redemption” (with Gareth L. Powell) - Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF - Solaris - March 2010
- “Butterfly, Falling at Dawn” Interzone 219 - November 2008
- BSFA award nominee
- Reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection (Gardner Dozois, ed.) - St. Martins Griffin - 6/23/09
- “The Lost Xuyan Bride”, Interzone 213 - November 2007
- Reprinted in The Apex Book of World SF (Lavie Tidhar, ed.) - World SF Anthology - Apex Publications - 2009
- “Obsidian Shards”, Writers of the Future XXIII – 2006 (Read Online)
- Reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fifth Annual Collection (Gardner Dozois, ed.) - St. Martins Griffin - 7/8/08
- Servant of the Underworld - Obsidian and Blood Trilogy, Book 1 - Angry Robot - January 2010 (UK) / September 2010 (US) - To be followed by Harbinger of the Storm and Untitled Book 3
- “The Jaguar House, in Shadow” - Asimov’s - July 2010
- “Desaparecidos” - Realms of Fantasy - June 2010
Greg Van Eekhout - A regular genre journeyman, Greg Van Eekhout refuses to fit nicely into a singular subgenre or category. He's written Ragnarocking Urban Fantasy in 2009's Norse Code. He's saved the people of Atlantis from serving as carnie folk in the outstanding middle grade novel Kid vs. Squid. He's assured me that I exist only because Santa Claus believes in me. Eekhout tackles the entire Superman mythos in fewer pages than a standard comic book and gives the character a much needed conclusion. If you can't tell from those four brief examples, each of his stories is about something remarkably different. At the same time, they all share the same playful tone and demonstrate a fondness for human mythology. If Van Eekhout continues his current writing trends, the only thing you can expect for sure is quality fiction.
- Norse Code - Urban Fantasy Novel - Ballantine Spectra - May 2009
- Show and Tell and Other Stories - Chapbook Collection - Tropism Press - August 2006
- "Last Son of Tomorrow" - Tor.com - May 2009
- “In the Late December” – Strange Horizons - December 2003
- “The Osteomancer’s Son” – Asimov’s Science Fiction – April/May 2006
- Reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 7 (David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer, ed.) - Tachyon Publications - June 2007
- Reprinted in Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2007 (Rich Horton, ed) - Leisure Books - July 3, 2007
- “Far As You Can Go” - Show and Tell and Other Stories - Tropism Press - August 2006
- The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection (Gardner Dozois, ed.) - St. Martins Griffin - July 2007
- Kid Vs. Squid - Middle Grade Fantasy - Bloomsbury Children's Book - May 11, 2010
- Last - Middle Grade Science Fiction - A futuristic adventure about the last boy on Earth, a young mammoth, and a broken robot. - Bloomsbury - Spring 2011
- The Osteomancer’s Son - Adult Fantasy Novel - The first of three novels for grownups based on my short story about an alternate version of Los Angeles founded on the magical bones of extinct creatures - Tor - TBD.
John Langan - Horror as a subgenre demands powerful prose and fiction dripping with sensory detail. As such, there are only a few authors who can write horror and manage to make it enjoyable without being campy or off-puttingly gory. John Langan is capable of maintaining that balance and one of the few developing horror writers to make this list. In addition to his focus on tone and character, Langan often imbues his work with a self-referential aspect, often criticizing the literary establishment or simply toying with the concept of story in general. Like so many of the authors on this list, Langan hasn't settled into a particular voice quite yet but he has demonstrated a talent for atmospheric horror well beyond his relatively short writing career.
- House of Windows - Horror - Night Shade Books - Nov 2009
- Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters - Short Fiction Collection - Prime Books - Dec 2008
- "Technicolor" - Poe: 19 New Tales Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (Ellen Datlow, ed.) - Solaris - Jan 2009
- Reprinted in The Best Horror of the Year Volume 2 (Ellen Datlow, ed.) - Night Shade Books - Mar 2010
- "How the Day Runs Down" - The Living Dead (John Joseph Adams, ed.) - Night Shade Books
- "The Wide, Carnivorous Sky" - By Blood We Live (John Joseph Adams, ed.) - Night Shade Books
- "The Revel" - The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - July/August 2010.
- "The Shallows" - Cthulhu's Reign (Martin Greenberg and Darrell Schweitzer, eds.) - DAW Books - April 2010
- "City of the Dog" - The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction - January-February, 2010
Leah Bobet - With the rapid growth of online publications over the past decade, it was only a matter of time before they gained respect as legitimate channels for genre fiction. Likewise, it was only a matter of time before new writers started to see the majority of their early sales go to electronic rather than print outlets. One of these writers is Leah Bobet, a author that should be familiar to anyone who follows Strange Horizons. Bobet likes to play with expectations in her fiction, often taking known quantities and using them to disguise the true purpose behind her work. The stories I sampled ranged from impressive social science fiction to deceptively simple fairy tale fantasy and for some reason or another reminded me of the diverse fiction of Jay Lake. A lot of Bobet's work has debuted online but I won't be surprised when it finds its way into the printed Best Of anthologies before long.
- "Six" - Clockwork Phoenix 2 (Mike Allen, ed.) - Norilana Books - July 2009
- "Three Days and Nights in Lord Darkdrake's Hall" - Strange Horizons - Jan 2007
- "Lost Wax" - Realms of Fantasy - Dec 2006
- Reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy (Mike Ashley, ed.) - Running Press - Aug 2008
- "The Girl With the Heart of Stone" - Strange Horizons - Jan 2006
- "Displaced Persons" - Strange Horizons - Aug 2004
- Reprinted in The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens: First Annual Collection (Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Jane Yolen, eds.) - Tor Teen - May 2005
- "Stay" - Chilling Tales: From the Great White North (Mike Kelly ed) - EDGE - March 2011 2011.
- "A Thousand" in On Spec - Spring 2010.
- "Mister Oak" - Realms of Fantasy - Feb 2010.
- Above - An Unconventional Urban Fantasy - Unsold Novel
- Saturnalia - A Clockwork Gothic - Unsold Novel
Rachel Swirsky - Having earned Nebula and Hugo nominations for her short fiction this past year, Swirsky is an author poised to graduate from this list of up-and-comers into the ranks of the genre giants. Swirsky's fiction is full of beautiful, evocative prose, capturing often tragic stories with seemingly little effort. Her work reminds me of fellow Author Worth Watching Mary Robinette Kowal. Like Kowal, Swirsky is able to craft heartbreaking stories in a surprisingly small number of pages. The stories I've read suggest Swirsky tends toward the fantasy side of the genre spectrum with a touch of magical realism on the side. Be on the lookout for her, she's going to be taking home one of those trophies sooner or later.
- "A Memory of Wind" - Tor.com - November 2009
- 2009 Nebula Nominee
- Read Online
- "Eros, Philia, Agape" - Tor.com - March 2009
- 2010 Hugo Nominee
- Read Online
- "A Monkey Will Never Be Rid of Its Black Hands" - Subterranean Magazine - Winter 2008
- "Marrying the Sun" - Fantasy Magazine - June 2008
- "Exodus" - Ideomancer - Volume 7, Issue 4
- Through the Drowsy Dark - Short Fiction & Poetry Collection - Aqueduct Press - May 2010
- Features original stories "Through the Drowsy Dark", "The Black Angel's Kiss", and "Defiled Imagination"
- "The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen's Window" - Subterranean Magazine - Summer 2010
- "The Stable Master's Tale" - Fantasy Magazine - July 2010
- "Again and Again and Again" - Interzone 226 - January/February 2010
5 left. Then the interviews. And the reviews. Can I stop yet? When I did my first interview series last year, I didn't delve into the authors nearly as much as I am this time around. It's taking a lot of work but I think the resulting interviews are going to be worth it.
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. I hope to have the final piece ready in the next week or two but part four took me several months so please keep bugging me on Twitter.