How is it only Tuesday??? But the good thing about Tuesday is that it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The topic this week is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2013.
Prepare yo self – I’m about to fangirl all over the place.
1. Scott Lynch – SCOTT MOTHEREFFING LYNCH! You guys, I fell in love with a little book called The Lies of Locke Lamora, and it was the most awesome piece of fantasy that I’ve read in YEARS. I was a little hesitant when I started the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies, because what if it was a fluke? Second Book Syndrome is a bitch. But NOPE, the second book was just as freaking fantastic as the first, if not more so. And the third book, The Republic of Thieves, was big and some seriously epic shit happened and daaaaaamn I can’t wait for the fourth book. I’ll read anything this man writes.
2. Chris Wooding – My other favorite series that I discovered this year was the Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding. I picked up the first one, Retribution Falls, because someone said it was like a steampunk blend of Firefly and The Pirates of the Caribbean, and they were kind of right. I read all four books this year, and Captain Darian Frey and his crew will remain beloved characters. I’m really looking forward to re-reading them. Until then, I have another book by Chris Wooding, The Fade, waiting for me on the shelf.
3. Wesley Chu – One of the coolest sci-fi / fantasy books I tried this year was The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu. An ancient race of aliens, the Quasing, have been surviving on Earth since before humans were around, and once we came on the scene they started inhabiting us and trying to figure out a way to get back to their home. Eventually the Quasing split into two factions, the Genjix and the Prophus, and they’re at war. Enter a schlubby guy named Roen – overweight, lazy, and a serious underachiever. He wakes up one day to find a voice in his head, Tao, who tells him that he needs to shape up and join the war between these ancient aliens. These books are so FUN. They’re funny, and intelligent, and a little bit spy-thriller-y, and I SO SO SO hope that Angry Robot Books publishes a third book in the series.
4. G. Willow Wilson – Girrrrrrrl. You all need to read Alif the Unseen. You wouldn’t think that a blend of jinn, middle eastern politics, computer hackers, and young love would work out well, but Wilson is a GENIUS. Alif is a young computer hacker in a middle eastern security state, probably the best there is. One day a mysterious book falls in his lap, and all of a sudden he’s hiding from the government and being helped by a smart-talking jinn named Vikram. Just… if you love things both beautiful and nerdy, you NEED to read Alif the Unseen. Well done, Ms. Wilson.
5. Craig Thompson – I explored the world of graphic novels a bit more this year, and one of my new favorite graphic novel authors is Craig Thompson. He wrote the autobiographical Blankets, and the epic graphic novel Habibi, and both are just so damn GORGEOUS. Thompson has some amazing skill, and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
6. Gavin Extence – THIS young man is the author of one of the best debut novels I’ve EVER read. I gave The Universe Versus Alex Woods 5 to 6 stars, probably the highest rating ever on my blog. It was funny, and smart, and struck me with some serious emotions. You just need to take my word for it and read it. I’m going to be watching the internet like a hawk for news of his next book.
6. Neil deGrasse Tyson – This was the year that I finally exposed to myself to Neil deGrasse Tyson and his coolness. HOW I went so long without reading any of his books or listening to his podcasts, I’ll never know, but you should all go read Space Chronicles right now.
7. Robin Sloan – One of the first books I read in 2013 was Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, because come on, with a title like that how could I not? And I still smile every time I think about it. There was a mystery surrounding old, dusty books, and Google, and cute awkward flirting between geeky people, and references to gaming and adventure, and maaaaan I just loved it. Plus, the book glows in the dark. Which is just neat.
8. Brian Switek – You might not think that a non-fiction book about dinosaurs would be entertaining, but you would be WRONG. I read My Beloved Brontosaurus on a whim, and Switek’s enthusiasm for his subject is contagious, and his musings about how such large creatures like dinosaurs might have had sex will have you laughing out loud. AND I learned stuff. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he writes more dino-centric stuff.
9. Carol Rifka Brunt – One of the most talked-about books this year was Tell the Wolves I’m Home, and it was well-worth the praise. It was a really touching story about a young girl and her uncle that dies of AIDS, and how she connects with his boyfriend, a person she hadn’t even known existed. It was pretty great, and one of those books that I stayed up later than I should to read.
10. Isaac Marion – This dude gave us Warm Bodies, which most of us didn’t know about until the movie came out, but they’re both pretty awesome. It takes some really impressive skills to pull off of the thinking-zombie, zombie-romance thing, but he does it and he does it WELL. R was one of the best crafted characters I’ve read this year, and I’m seriously looking forward to Marion’s sequel to Warm Bodies.
There were probably more that I could add to this list, but I had to stop myself. Also, I’m aware that this list is a total sausage-fest. Apparently I didn’t read many new-to-me female authors this year… oops. I’ll try to correct that next year. I hope.
So what new authors did you discover this year? Tell me!