Off the beaten tracks recommends

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
more and more I see on forums (including here, sorry) the same old recommendations coming around.

I would love to hear recommendations for lesser known writers and works.

Now, obviously, I have a vested interest in this* - but we all do.

I read mostly anything if it sounds like it might interest me. Here are my recs of lesser known books I've enjoyed this year or so:

Naomi Foyle's Gaia series - clever thought-provoking social SF

Jodi Taylor's St Mary's Chronicles - huge, huge, huge fun. Great holiday reads (my husband and I are currently fighting over who gets first dibs on book 3 which arrives tomorrow with books 4-6 on order now)

Martin Owton's Nandor / experienced author rep'd by John Jarrold, nice epic fantasy series

Toby Frost's Space Captajn Smith's books - quite blokey humorous sf. Good fun.

Bryan Wigmore's The Goddess Project - pretty much anyone who has read it raves about it. Luckily the publisher has committed for the full series, so they obviously believe in it

Peadar O'Gullin's The Call. Dazzlingly good YA Celtic fantasy. Very very dark.

* the biggest single threat to authors making a living (and therefore providing books for readers!) is discoverability. There are now 4 million + books on Amazon. Debut and mid list authors find it hard to get their books seen.

For those who like the (dubious, imho ;)) quality control traditional publishing provides it is worth noting that debut authors with trad houses are the biggest shrinking market - which means all that breakout talent that we rely on to provide the classics of the future are lost, working 9-5 to eat and only writing when they have a spare minute. I think of all those lost books and weep a little :)


Journeyed there and back again
Vox Day's The Arts of Dark and Light series. Heavy duty fantasy.

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
Well said, Jo. Even with this year's SPFBO going on, and the last one still fresh, I haven't seen anyone mention the winners here. Just the same 20 well known authors mentioned again and again.

And since I haven't seen Peat around in a while, I'm going to mention one of his favorites (and one you mentioned now that I reread your original post): The Goddess Project. Free divers, mystics, an eponymous goddess, spirit animals and some pseudo steampunk if the previous stuff wasn't enough to wet your whistle. Good strong prose as well.


Journeyed there and back again
I would love to hear recommendations for lesser known writers and works.
Fairly sure I saw a similar thread a couple of months ago - but what the hell, this could be a valuable, much-needed resource. And the other thread might have been on Goodreads.
Sadly, I have been running a fairly random search routine for the last few months, and have come up with a few things so bad I switched to reading crime fiction instead! I have some recommendations in that genre, though this is probably the wrong thread . . .

But looking back through my Kindle . . .
Patrick LeClerc - only read two so far, but very impressed. My reviews here and here
And if I can veer off into something nearer to dystopian SF than Fantasy (and nearer to Crime than either), try Penny Deacon
And here's some Fantasy that might gain quite a following - though it is a bit away from the general trends nowadays! Max Gladstone

Now, obviously, I have a vested interest in this
Yes, of course - but apart from raising my own profile, I really do want to promote Patrick Leclerc - he's very good - and Penny Deacon - also very good, and I met her a while back. If you read that genre at all, she's worth trying!
And that reminds me - many readers here will also read SF, and some will read YA SF. Go check out Janet Edwards - someone I knew some years ago, before she started writing. Within her genre, she is good as well!

Matticus Primal

Journeyed there and back again
I can't even remember who won :(
Johnathan French with Grey Bastards, which is basically Sons of Anarchy except with half-orcs for the gang and giants hogs as their... well, hogs. Certainly not your usual fantasy fair, but it landed him a trad publishing deal, as did Selin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft, and I have a sneaky suspicion something's going on with Dyrk Ashton's Paternus after placing.

Anyways, I'm spearheading a July ebook giveaway through Fantasy Book Critic from this year's crop of SPFBO authors and we already have around 30 authors entered. So if anyone here wants to branch off from the beaten path for free, stay tuned.
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