Top Five Tuesday: New Authors Found in 2021

How do all, tis time for a Top Five Tuesday. This week’s subject is Five Best New Authors This Year (which I’m reading as discovered by me this year, not debuted). I’ve had a great year on this front, so very excited to get into this. Top Five Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan over on Meeghan Reads; thanks to her for her hard work in creating these tags and encouraging the community around it. If you want to get involved, do your own and link back. If not, let’s crack on with the list.

1. Shelley Parker-Chan (She Who Became The Sun)

Figured I might as well start with someone who did debut this year. She Who Became The Sun impressed the fuck out of me with its slow burn storytelling, captivating characters, and elegantly powerful prose. It’s one of the more impressive debuts I’ve ever come across and my only criticism would be I wish there was more of a supernatural conceit to it. Still, if Parker-Chan wishes to give me riffs on Chinese history for ever more like this, then I’m fully behind it and here is my money.

2. Patricia McKillip (The Book of Atrix Wolfe)

I spent a lot of this year delving into the backlists of authors whose fame has faded a little and boy have I got some rewards. This piece of lyrical, liminal, downright trippy fantasy about magic, fae, and restitution was jawdroppingly good in places and deserves to be remembered much more than it is. A friend compared it to A Wizard of Earthsea and I agree, both thematically and in terms of quality.

3. Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates)

Another big backlist win. I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of this at the time but it’s a book that’s grown and grown for me thanks to the intriguing nature of its ideas, the clever time travel knot, and the emotional power of its ending. Tim Powers has a big old backlist, and I’m looking forwards to making its acquaintance even more based on the quality of this story.

4. Hope Mirrlees (Lud in the Mist)

This one is very backlist. And it is very slow to get going because some elements of its style is very dated. But oh my gods is this brilliant when it gets going, and it’s themes still feel very relevant today. Honestly, if I was looking to make fantasy TV today, this would be as good a shout as anything for its underlying narrative and strong visuals. I’ll be recommending this book to everyone who likes Gaiman; you can see just how much it must have influenced him.

5. Saad Z. Hossain (The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday)

I have become a little obsessed with this novella which has just grown and grown in my memory. There’s not many books this wickedly funny and this powerful about wickedness. The plotting is superb, the dialogue is superb, the characterisation is superb, the whole book is just su-bloody-perb. I am looking forwards to Kundo Wakes Up so damn much.

(HMs: Nghi Vo, John M. Ford)

That’s my five – although I could have easily done ten – let me know what you think in the comments.

4 thoughts on “Top Five Tuesday: New Authors Found in 2021

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