Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed a lot of new fantasy authors. It occurred to me that a list of the best might be appreciated by those who are just starting to read the genre. Among the following you will find two male, three female, and one husband and wife team. I can highly recommend all of these tales.

Ilona Andrews

Ilona Andrews is actually a husband and wife team. Together, they have produced some of the best fantasy novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

We’ll start with the Kate Daniels series. Currently, there are eight novels available.

The chronological order of the series, including Kate Daniels World:

  1. MAGIC BITES
  2. MAGIC BURNS
  3. MAGIC STRIKES
  4. Magic Mourns (Raphael and Andrea novella)
  5. MAGIC BLEEDS
  6. Magic Dreams (Jim and Dali novella)
  7. MAGIC SLAYS
  8. GUNMETAL MAGIC (and Magic Gifts) – Andrea’s book – Kate Daniels World #1

They just released the last of four books in The Edge series. This is a truly classic fantasy adventure with many memorable characters. The Edge is not a place most would care to live, but it is a place that you’ll feel you’ve been there upon reading the books.

  1. On the Edge
  2. Bayou Moon
  3. Fate’s Edge
  4. Steel’s Edge

http://www.ilona-andrews.com/

Their website not only includes a blog, appearance schedule, and news articles, but also has the first couple of chapters of each tale. An added bonus is an ongoing free weekly serial that when finished, they have promised to release as an ebook.

Treat yourself to a visit.

Kim Harrison

The best thing I can say about The Hollows series of books is that I consider the characters to be old friends and would love to meet them for real. Of secondary interest is how each book seems to surprise the reader with a little more insight. All the characters grow and change from their experiences.

  1. Dead Witch Walking
  2. The Good, The Bad, and the Undead
  3. Every Which Way But Dead
  4. A Fistful of Charms
  5. For A Few Demons More
  6. The Outlaw Demon Wails
  7. White Witch, Black Curse
  8. Black Magic Sanction
  9. Pale Demon
  10. A Perfect Blood
  11. Ever After

http://www.kimharrison.net/

Patricia Briggs

Although the tropes of vampires, werewolves, fae, and others have been overdone in recent years, this series has a refreshing new feel to it with memorable characters.

Merchy Thompson is a female German auto mechanic. She drives older Volkswagon models that she has rebuilt herself.

Both the Mercy Thompson series and Alpha and Omega series take place in the same corner of the multiverse. Like most serials, I would read them in sequence.

Mercy Thompson Series

  1. Moon Called
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne
  6. River Marked
  7. Frost Burned

Alpha and Omega Series

On The Prowl [short story]

  1. Cry Wolf
  2. Hunting Ground
  3. Fair Game

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/

Kelly Armstrong

This is another series that should be read in sequence. The characters of Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld will become friends and the reader will get sucked into the overall storyline.

  1. Bitten
  2. Stolen
  3. Dime Store Magic
  4. Industrial Magic
  5. Haunted
  6. Broken
  7. No Humans Involved
  8. Personal Demon
  9. Living with the Dead
  10. Frostbitten
  11. Waking the Witch
  12. Spell Bound
  13. Thirteen
  14. Werewolves
  15. Spellcasters

Men of the Otherworld (Anthology)

Tales of the Otherworld (Anthology)

http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/

J.A. Pitts

More than a few authors have paid homage to the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). J.A. Pitts has managed a whole new viewpoint on Dragons and the Fae while wrapping an adventure tale around an unusual love story. Our heroine is a hiding-in-the-closet lesbian, trying to make a living as a blacksmith and prop manager for a movie production company. Anyone who has spent any time with SCAdians will recognize the cast of characters.

  1. Black Blade Blues
  2. Honeyed Words
  3. Forged in Fire

http://www.japitts.net

John Ringo

I think prolific sums it up. Since 2000, he has written or co-written with David Weber, Michael Z. Williamson, Julie Cochrane, Linda Evans, Travis Taylor, and Tom Kratman thirty three novels. These tales run the gamut from hard-core military science fiction to urban fantasy. Since this article is focused on fantasy, I’ll only point out two of his series that I believe qualify.

Special Circumstances Series

  1. Princess of Wands
  2. Queen of Wands

Council Wars Series

  1. There Will be Dragons
  2. Emerald Sea
  3. Against the Tide
  4. East of the Sun, West of the Moon

http://www.johnringo.net

Tanya Huff

She has written many, many novels, but these two gems stand out as something truly different.

http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?Tanya%20Huff

Enchantment Emporium

The Wild Ways

It is interesting to note that Tanya Huff is the only popular author I’m aware of that does not have her own webpage. You can find plenty of interviews and reviews of her work, but even when the Canadian Broadcasting Company turned her vampire books into a TV series called “Blood Ties”, she managed to avoid the limelight.

There you have it. Fifty six novels that if you’ve not read them, you really should add to your TBR pile.

Be sure to share your reviews after perusing each one.

Author: John Picha
Edited by: Matthew Davies and Suellen Picha
Rating: Five out of five stars
Chip is an idealistic young man who tends to get lost in daydreams from time to time. He and his fellow Skyracos are armored super-cops, thinly scattered on many worlds, in an imperfect future.
Destiny City is a remote colony owned by the Arkon Mining Company. Chip is a junior part of the Skyracos wing brought in to assist the company security forces in quelling a riot.
It doesn’t take long to discover there is much more to the story than the mining company would have them believe. Sheer greed quickly overcomes compassion and common sense as the Skyracos are ordered to betray their ideals.
A saucer-shaped blimp hovers over Destiny City. The Painwell Pharmacare laboratory team within this floating research facility scrambles to find a plague cure while the Arkon Mining security teams battle the terrified colonists below.
The reader is given a peek into the minds of each of the major characters as the situation reels out of control. Chip’s idealism is put to the ultimate test as John Picha weaves an exciting tale.
I must admit I expected a lightweight space opera. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Skyracos unfolds in a manner reminiscent of Kurt Vonnegut at his best. I found myself relating to Chip’s pain as he is tested under fire and learns some hard lessons. Skyracos is a dark story, well told.
You can find out more about this multi-talented author by visiting his website at: http://www.takejohn.com/
Pick up your own copy of Skyracos: The Mining Mess on Amazon.

Foreword by Tome Wilson

Tome is the founder of the web’s largest and most active dieselpunk community. The dieselpunks website provides a home for most anyone with an artistic bent that enjoy working the era between the world wars.

Tales of the Aether Age

by Grant Gardner

This is an all-too-short ride through an alternate history where the Great Depression triggered a rather nasty breakup of the United States. Rather than the simplicity of the civil war, a new series of alliances and power brokers established a half-dozen industrial city-states.
The tale is told from the viewpoint of a pair of minor gangster who run in a film noir Chicago of prohibition and flappers. It’s a fun ride and I’m looking forward to more from Mr. Gardner’s keyboard.

Pandora Driver: Who are the People in Your Neighborhood

Created by John Picha

A beautiful woman hiding behind a mask and driving an indestructable car. A midwestern city in nineteen forty provides the backdrop and John Picha’s knack of filling his tales with the speech and mannerisms of a forgotten time.
The world of Pandora Driver gets better with each new read.
Me? I love the cars.

The Troubleshooter: What the Wise Man Says

Created by Bard Constantine

“After the Cataclysm nearly wiped out humanity, the remnants of mankind survived in Havens: city-sized constructs built to reboot society and usher in a new age of mankind.”
That is how the Bard starts this tale. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to understand this isn’t so much a pre-WWII world as the current day, complete with computers and modern radios. The difference is the corruption and dark under belly of the Haven. Mick Trubble is a man who has lost his memory and becomes The Troubleshooter.
The World of Mañana: A Friend of Spirits

by Jack Philpott

Mr. Philpott has taken notes from various native American tribes as well as current political intrigue to weave a masterful tale of dedication and betrayal. This glimpse of the world of Mañana promises other dark tales. It is well worth the read.

The Dieselpunk Showcase can be downloaded for FREE.

BTS eMagazine

January 19, 2013

The first book in the Multiplarity Trilogy is featured in this month’s BTS eMagazine!

January 2013 Issue

This is one of those magazines that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It’s a really great place to find author interviews, excerpts, and cover art. Well laid out, each issue is a delight for the eye.

Review: Beginner Mind

November 30, 2012

ShortStoryThumbBeginner Mind is a collection of six short stories and some free-form poetry by a new author. It opens with a tale that leaves the reader with vivid imagery of a string of post-pubescent mistakes and just gets better.

The following story is called “Pistol Grip” and it blurs the line between murder and mistake.

I really enjoyed tale number three, “Evan’s Dilemma”, tale four, “Mending Fences”, and tale six, “The Unfiltered Spectra of the Deep”. Any one of them is well worth savouring and leaves the reader with some wonderful scenes.

And finally, I can’t help but think the poetry is like a fine desert offered after a satisfying meal.

Pick up a copy of this fine work. You’ll thank me.

Beginner Mind by Matthew Davies

Five stars

A Review for Omniphage!

November 10, 2012

I just found a review for Omniphage on the Barnes & Nobel ordering page.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omniphage-anthony-stevens/1113667210?ean=2940015893052

Check it out!

I was just told about a new review for Guardian Dawn.

You can read the review on Lucille’s Thoughts blog.

An excerpt as well as information on purchasing either the eBook or the trade paperback version can be found on the Red Rose Publishing website.

~OR~
Genesis of an Iron Angel
Book One of the Iron Angel Series
by Robert C. Roman

PROS:

A tightly written steampunk tale
Well-defined lead characters

CONS:

An occasional bit of head-hopping
I would prefer a bit more world-building

Review

I’m reading an action-packed television thriller! That thought occurred to me about half way into Bob Roman’s new tale.
Don’t get me wrong now, I know that a lot of stories start out with instant adrenaline and impossible situations, but very few are able to sustain the rush and still maintain the reader’s interest. The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones is one of them.
The first few paragraphs established an exciting scene with a strong female character. Then, the scene shifted to another classic lady. This time, she’s somewhere in the middle of the sort of first world war where legendary heroes fight alongside semi-autonomous mechanised warriors.
After reading The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones, I found myself going back the following day to reread some of the scenes just for the marvellous imagery. Steampunk, dieselpunk and alternate history cosplayers will find plenty of fodder for their creations in this series.
Don’t worry. I’ll not provide any spoilers, but this tale is pure steampunk crunchy with a side order of subtle horror. Read it. Roll in it. Relish the colours and textures and take heart that the sequel is already out. I’m treating myself to book two of the Iron Angel, this coming weekend.

Thank you Robert C. Roman, for a fine ride!

The Nuclear Method

July 8, 2011

The Nuclear Method might sound like an odd title for a how-to book, but once read, you will appreciate it.

The Nuclear Method by Emma Wayne Porter is only ninety nine cents at Smashwords, but if you are preparing a document to sell as an eBook, it will save a ton of time.

It’s written in a lighthearted style that is easy to follow and yet manages to cram a lot of useful information into a step-by-step guide for the eBook publisher. I had known a couple of things from earlier experience, but there were a lot of new tips and everything is laid out in an easy-to-read, logical, step-by-step process.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using an antique Windows XP, Windows7, a Mac or the latest Linux desktop, the tools, methods and reasoning are immediately understandable.

Go ahead! Spend less than a buck and learn from a pro.

Thank you, Emma!

Pandora Driver Review

May 29, 2011

Raw dieselpunk noire excitement and flavor! That is what comes to mind when I think of what I’ve just read.
Pandora Driver is a wonderful view of a vanished age that might have been.

Without spoilers, let me say John Picha delivers a tale of Betsy, a young woman tested at every turn and apparently doomed.

Detailed, vivid action sequences are balanced with bitter sweet episodes of torment and degradation. Through it all, our realistically portrayed heroine never surrenders.

Little touches, such as mentioning Converse Jack Purcell sneakers and a boxing gym, show research into the 1930s. The cover art and a snappy graphic at each chapter heading add to the flavor of this interesting volume.

If you’re a dieselpunk fan, there are scenes in Pandora Driver that will make you want to cheer.

Thanks, John. I’m looking forward to a sequel.

You can pick up your own copy at Apple iBookstore, Amazon or Lulu Press.