With so many great books to read out there, some titles do not get the visibility they deserve. Our esteemed authors weigh in on their favorite underrated SF&F books.
Hugh Howey (author of Wool and Peace in Amber): “Pennsylvania by Michael Bunker. Pennsylvania is a brilliant tale of extra-planetary colonization. With parallels to the European settlement of the America's, Michael Bunker draws on his Amish roots and lifestyle to portray that tenuous balance between mankind and its machines. He also knows better than most the difficulty of surviving on civilization's frontier. I daresay the wait for the next great Amish science fiction author may be finally at an end.”
Richard Phillips (author ofImmune): “The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson. When Jim Eckert’s fiancée disappears during a college astral projection experiment, Jim attempts to find her by repeating the experiment but is simultaneously transported to a magical world and transformed into a dragon, a side effect that significantly limits his ongoing romantic aspirations. This novel serves as a fine old example of sorcerous romantic fantasy.”
Jeff Wheeler (author of Fireblood): “I love being surprised by new authors I haven’t tried before. Sometimes the themes, settings, or characters make a new twist on fantasy that grabs me—like Catherine Fisher’s prison world Incarceron, the dragon culture in Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina, and the wise-cracking djinni in Jonathon Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy.”
Jeff Carlson (author of Interrupt): “If you're looking for great sci fi adventure, I recently had the pleasure of discovering Joel Shepherd's Cassandra Kresnov series. She's a smart, complex heroine and these books are loaded with awesome battle tech, vast empires, and very real human drama."
J. Lincoln Fenn (author of Poe): "Since February is officially 'Women in Horror' month, I highly recommend everyone pick up a copy of the chilling horror novel Harrowgate by Kate Maruyama. It's the literary equivalent of walking past a mirror, seeing something odd, and looking closer just as a shadow darts out view. Mysterious, strange, and emotionally haunting, it will linger long after you've turned the last page."
Kate Danley (author of The Woodcutter): “Alan Lennon and the Temp Job of Doom by Brian Olsen. Fantastic end-of-the-world science fiction, which also perfectly captures the experience of living in NYC as a struggling 20-something-year-old. Think The Twilight Zone meets Friends...you know... if Phoebe was suddenly trying to kill you.”
Paul Antony Jones (author ofExtinction Point Series): “Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark is a classic fantasy novel that skillfully weaves together familiar fables and legends with the ancient art of brewing beer. Not only is it an exhilarating, fun read, it is also a great introduction to Powers' other works.”
Richard Ellis Preston Jr. (author of Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders): "Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh. McHugh brings us an unforgettable character in Nate Garrett, a sorcerer torn between two lives, one known and one unknown, one modern and one haunted by the past, and hurls him onto a dark, treacherous and fantastic voyage of self-discovery."
Steve McHugh (author of Born of Hatred): “The Echoes of Empire series by Mark T. Barnes. Mark has created a work full of intrigue and excitement, with characters that are complex and engaging. If you haven’t started reading this fantastic series yet, you really should.”
Robert Duperre (co-author of Dawn of Swords): "For inventive modern horror, you can't get better than Craig DiLouie. His ongoing post-apocalyptic series, which includes such epic books as The Infection and The Killing Floor, is an exciting mashup of horror and science fiction, served up with equal amounts of revulsion and heart."
Craig DeLancy (author of Gods of Earth): “Definitely Maybe by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. What if the universe tried to keep a secret from you? Definitely Maybe – part mystery, part comedy, and all science fiction – tells a tale that is new and strange and yet somehow as primordial as a fairy tale."
J.D. Horn (author of The Line): “Map of Thieves by Michael J. Karpovage. When Jake Tanunda, military historian, heads out on a deadly hunt for a legendary Cherokee Indian map, he learns the Raven Mocker witch who protects it is the least of his troubles…”