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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fantasy Book Critic’s 2008 Review/2009 Preview — Jaine Fenn


These days I don’t get anything like enough reading time—somehow it keeps transmuting into writing time. As a result I’m ashamed to say that I’m several years behind everyone else on my reading.

I managed a grand total of one 2008 book this year, which was
Greg Egan’sIncandescence”. In it he manages to combine the mind-expanding ideas of hard SF with characters who, despite being very alien, you can care about, and that’s quite a feat.

A book from last year I only got round to reading this year was
Richard Morgan’s excellent “Black Man” (published in the US as Thirteen). I love his stuff: he creates gripping, well-written SF thrillers with a whole lot of more subtle stuff going on in the background.

I’m still catching up on not-so-old favourites like
Charles Stross and Neal Asher. I’ve just finished Neal Asher’sVoyage of the Sable Keech” which, as well as being a rip-roaring romp, is unique in that the local ecology is almost a character in its own right.

On a friend’s recommendation I also read a largely forgotten Fantasy classic (I don’t read much fantasy, so I like to go on personal recommendations from people who know my tastes): “The Steerswoman’s Road” is a haunting and beautiful book; though it’s also not exactly fantasy.

And finally, I’m now hooked on
Liz Williams’ Inspector Chen books, which are easy to read but hard to categorise (though I’m at least one behind on those too).


Sorry—I’m afraid you’ll have to ask me that in another three or four years!

ON THE HORIZON: Early in 2009 I’ve got a story in “End of an Aeon”, the swansong anthology of
Aeon Speculative Magazine—it’s a shame to see that magazine go the way of too many others. The mass-market paperback of “Principles of Angels” will be out in the UK in February. The second book in the Hidden Empire series, “Consorts of Heaven”, will be out in the UK in May (Gollancz), and I’m hard at work on the third one, “Guardians of Paradise”.


Jaine Fenn is a British science fiction author with several short stories published in various magazines and anthologies. “Principles of Angels” is her debut novel. For more information, please visit the author’s
Official Website.

NOTE: For more author responses, please visit Fantasy Book Critic's 2008 Review/2009 Preview index



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