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Sunday, August 29, 2010
Since there has been some recent discussion about this topic, I would like to highlight some titles I have read and reviewed as well as some titles I am currently reading or looking forward to. I also have a list of Top Small Press Reads in 2009.
Mihir and Cindy have reviewed quite a few titles that qualify, so hopefully we will follow with a Part 2 post with the small press/independent books they have reviewed or are planning to do so.
The main rule for consideration here is that the author's book-length work is essentially all small press/independent since of course there are many established authors that occasionally publish with smaller presses or more recently that even offer their work independently and the main focus for me here is to highlight newer, less well known authors.
A notable example of the above is Beth Bernobich's superb collection A Handful of Pearls from smaller specialized Lethe Press which does not really qualify for this post since her wonderful debut novel (review closer to publication date) Passion Play will soon come out from as-major-publisher-as-it-gets-in-sff Tor.
Currently I am reading four small press/independent books:
Ironroot by SJA Turney - standalone set in the Interregnum universe and one of those "drop everything I read" on arrival books; will be one of my next 3 reviews.
The Kinshield Legacy by KC May - originally published in 2005 by a small press and republished in 2010 by the author on rights reversion; standalone (I think) in a more traditional fantasy universe, but quite engaging so far - will finish and review soon, by mid-September most likely.
Roman Hell by Mark Mellon - a standalone short novel with a horror theme set in Roman times and involving the poet Martial; in this one I got stuck a bit when some werewolves (re)appeared since I kind of dislike that trope, but will resume, finish and review in September too since I like the author's writing style a lot and Escape from Byzantium is still one of my top short novels of last year.
Wicked Gentlemen by Ginn Hale - a standalone fantasy published by small specialized press Blind Eye Books; I got interested in this one a while ago but sort of forgot about it until I saw some reviews of the author's new series - a duology published in consecutive months - Lord of the White Hell and I remembered I had Wicked Gentlemen waiting... Quite interesting so far and another September read most likely.
Highly expected (and hopefully arriving soon) are the sequel to Field of Fire by Jon Connington and Wintertide by Michael Sullivan, both "drop everything I read" on arrival too...
And now for the 2010 reviews in chronological order:
Mellon, Mark, Napoleon Concerto - alt-history standalone from the author of Escape from Byzantium and Roman Hell
Smith, Douglas, Chimerascope - ChiZine Publications collection from the author of another superb collection Impossibilia from PS Publishing
Lalumiere, Claude, Objects of Worship - ChiZine Publications collection
Wisoker, Leona, The Secrets of the Sands (reviewed together with Cindy) - debut of an epic fantasy series from Mercury Retrograde Press
Sullivan, Michael, Nyphron Rising (reviewed together with Cindy) - adventure/epic fantasy #3/6
Sullivan, Michael, The Emerald Storm (same as above) - #4/6
Connington, Jon, Field of Fire - debut steampunk fantasy series; book 2 imminent
Davidson, Rjurik, The Library of Forgotten Books - PS collection of stories
Zarioiu, Dorin Cristian, The Labyrinth - standalone contemporary fantasy
Kornher-Stace, Nicole, To Seek Her Fortune (story from the Clockwork Phoenix 3 anthology) - story by the author of the superb Desideria which was one of my two top small press novels of 2009; we also have an online story from the anthology: Lineage by Kenneth Schneyer which you can judge yourself by reading it for free on FBC.
Hamerton, Greg, Second Sight: Second Tale of the Lifesong - traditional epic fantasy and sequel to The Riddler's Gift; both novels wrap up their main threads, while this one offers a very satisfying ending so while further Tales of the Lifesong may be published these two have enough completion to satisfy people wanting that. Check the author's post on FBC too.
Northern, Chris, The Last King's Amulet - series debut adventure/epic fantasy; together with immediate sequel The Key to the Grave the book forms a duology with complete resolution of all main threads; while further books featuring the main hero Sumto are planned, these two have enough completion to satisfy people wanting that.
12:01 AM | Posted by Liviu | | Edit Post