Top 10 Authors I want to try this year

I’ve done a lot of lists about what I did last year, but I’m always up up for an excuse to do another list and future plans are a great excuse to do a top 10. Or 11. There’s 11 peeps on my list of authors to try properly for the first time (i.e. more than a few pages of a sample). One a month for the rest of the year.

Melissa Caruso – One of my highlights from last year was reading Caruso’s craft tweets and that is why I want to try one of her books properly. I’m not sure which one yet, probably whichever I find cheapest of kindle to be honest, but I love the way she talks about writing and like what I’ve seen of her prose in samples and expect good times.

Tade Thompson – Anyone who really likes The Invisibles clearly has ideas I will like. Again, I’m not really sure which book I’ll go with. I have Rosewater but wonder if I’ll like Making Wolf better. In any case, I’m not sure how this’ll go as descriptions/Thompson’s words make his books sound confrontational and challenging and I’m more in the mood for wry and somewhat escapist, but I will give it a try and see what happens.

James Islington – I like old fashioned Epic Fantasy. James Islington and his Licanius trilogy is about the biggest name left that I haven’t tried. Has to be done, right? The Wheel of Time comparisons are a cautiously encouraging one for me to say the least.

Arkady Martine – I brought A Memory of Empire last year and never got round to reading it. Not even cracking the covers. I should really do so this year. I haven’t even read a kindle sample of her prose – this was very rash of me – so no idea how this will go.

AK Larkwood – A friend has been very high on this for a while as a big fun fantasy adventure (hi cupi if you’re reading), and that’s what I want more of, so onto the list it goes. Again, not a case where I’ve tested this against my prose pickiness, but fingers crossed.

Patricia McKillip – I’ve been meaning to give McKillip a real go for a while. To a certain extent, the issue of deciding which book to try is the biggest issue, as there’s so many of them with good reputations. I’ve

Noriko Ogiwara – I read about this author here – Japanese Mythology Recs: Ogiwara, Mononoke & Moribito | LEXLINGUA – and decided the book definitely sounded like something I wanted to give a go to.

Tim Powers – Powers is one of those slightly niche legacy authors that a lot of people have vaguely heard about but, if they’re under a certain age bracket, haven’t actually read. I’m looking forwards to correcting that for myself at least.

Ann Leckie – I remember reading a bit of Ancillary Justice and being impressed, but I’m not a big spaceships person so kinda forgot about it. Well, I hear good things about The Raven Tower and it’s meant to be a little experimental, so I’m in.

Kazuo Ishiguro – I read a review for The Buried Giant ages ago and was fascinated (despite my general jadedness with Arthurian retellings). It’s taken a while, but I’m gonna do it.

Jeff VanderMeer – The reason it went from ten to eleven – I remembered him late, but reading Wonderbook made me really want to take a punt on his fiction, particularly with it sounding a bit mental.

The second eleven: Of course, once I’d got this far, I kept having names pop into my head, and the idea of having an eleven just invites a second eleven, doesn’t it. Doesn’t it? The names above are the ones I’m committing to. The names below are those I’d like to give a shot to, and maybe will, maybe won’t.

Charles R. SandersImaro has great historic value and sounds interesting in its own right. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is too big a name to ignore, and I’m waiting for her S&S novella. Juliet McKenna’s The Green Man’s Heir has been on the kindle kinda looking like I should read it for a while. Antoine Bandele and Will Wright are self-pub authors who both sound like they could be right up my street. I hear a lot of good things about The Winged Histories of Olondria by Sofia Samatar. Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast is probably the biggest book in the genre I haven’t read. Andre Norton is a real big name S&S author of long ago who I should try. Brent Weeks is probably the biggest Epic author working at the moment I haven’t tried, so he might be on the list. I’ve had one of Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series for ages and should give it a try. Finally Jo Walton‘s Thessaly series remains something on my list but never quite the next in line.

So that’s a lot of my potential reading plans for the year – what about yours?

16 thoughts on “Top 10 Authors I want to try this year

  1. Also looking to try some Ann Leckie, but as I am very much a spaceships person I’m starting with Ancillary Justice. Jeff VanderMeer is fast becoming a favourite of mine, hope you enjoy his stuff!

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  2. AK Larkwood is also on my list – “Unspoken name” coming out in PB next month.
    I just bought the first one from Nick Martell, that’s another new writer for me.
    And Alex Myers’ “Story of silence”, PB out in March.
    Oh, Rebecca Roanhorse “Black sun” – I was getting it today but my indie bookshop didn’t have it, so I might use my Waterstone’s points for that one.

    Looking at the rest of my list, they’re all authors I’ve read before. I might get new ones, but for now, I haven’t checked enough.

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    1. I don’t think I’ve heard of Myers’ Story of Silence. What’s it about?

      So far Martell’s blurbs haven’t drawn me in, but I might take a closer look. Ditto Roanhorse.

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  3. I just heard it described as “LGBT knightly fairytale”, and that got me curious 🙂
    It might be like Gaiman’s “The sleeper and the spinner”

    “A knightly fairy tale of royalty and dragons, of midwives with secrets and dashing strangers in dark inns…
    There was once, long ago, a foolish king who decreed that women should not, and would not, inherit. Thus when a girl-child was born to Lord Cador – Merlin-enchanted fighter of dragons and Earl of Cornwall – he secreted her away: to be raised a boy so that the family land and honour would remain intact. That child’s name was Silence.
    Silence must find their own place in a medieval world that is determined to place the many restrictions of gender and class upon them. With dreams of knighthood and a lonely heart to answer, Silence sets out to define themselves. Soon their silence will be ended. What follows is a tale of knights and dragons, of bards, legends and dashing strangers with hidden secrets.”

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      1. Actually, I decided to use the “look inside” feature on amazon and I’m not that keen on it anymore. It’s got a few things that get on my nerves, both in style and in language.

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  4. Caruso is on my list as well. I’ve seen so much people make a fuss over her stuff. I’m curious to check her out.

    McKillip is one of my favorite authors. Her books provide a really specific type of experience, which I think can confuse people. But I enjoy them. I’ve read most of her stuff from the mid 90’s on, and it’s all standalones, which makes them easy to choose from. But if you’re looking for something in particular, let me know! It’s been so long since I’ve read some of them, but I can try to point you in the right direction.

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    1. Thanks Rin! I don’t think I’m looking for anything in particular but I guess I’d use the word accessibility – her prose can be pretty dense in places from what I’ve seen, and I’m probably not looking for that right now. Which of her books is your favourite?

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  5. I AM reading. 😀 And I find Larkwood’s prose absolutely delightful, just the right balance of clean and evocative, but then again, we share an agent so it probably makes sense that I’d like the way she writes…

    With Melissa Caruso, another author whose work I love, I might recommend trying to find The Tethered Mage over the newest one (The Obsidian Tower) partly because the trilogy is finished already (though she works pretty fast) and partly because it has a Venetian political flavour that I, personally, really love. (The new one is twisty in a different way, but given some other recent comments on FF I’m unsure how much trust I gave Caruso because I already knew and loved her work.)

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    1. We’re usually pretty close on prose I think, so that’s good news

      I think I already own The Tethered Mage (or its first book) on kindle, so it’s probably going to be that.

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