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Ten Authors Who You Should Read

Sometimes you see something and you're like, "HOW did I not know about this thing before?" I hope that this list (like whatever the hell this critter is) shows you something that you hadn't known was out there, or hadn't tried yet.

Sometimes you see something and you’re like, “HOW did I not know about this thing before?” I hope that this list (like whatever the hell this critter is) shows you something that you hadn’t known was out there, or hadn’t tried yet.

On Tuesday, one of my favorite bloggers, Danielle over at Coffee and Characters posted a Top Ten Tuesday slot on the topic of ten authors who deserve more recognition. This is a fun idea, because it’s not just asking the usual impossible question, which is “Who Are Your Top Ten Favorite Authors,” or, worse, “Who Are The Top Ten SF/F Authors.” I can’t imagine writing those lists without defaulting to who is huge and established in speculative fiction. I think this prompt is fun because it spurs you to think of either who you’ve just been exposed to (even if they only have one book out) or who just doesn’t get the kind of credit and monstrous fame that they deserve. So here are my picks!

1. Django WexlerThe Thousand Names is an amazing debut – I think the trend toward flintlock fantasy is a really fun one (but I’m a history nerd, so I would), but I really think that Wexler’s is the standout among the recent releases.
2. Will McIntoshLove Minus Eighty was so wonderful and beautiful, I read it in a day. Incredible exploration of the intersection between technology and humanity, but also amazing characterization.
3. Sheri S. Tepper – Amazing, amazing ecofeminist sci-fi. Start with either Singer From The Sea, Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, or Grass. She’s written many incredible books, but I still often run into SF enthusiasts who have never even heard of her.
4. Teresa Frohock – Have you read her book Miserere: An Autumn Tale? YOU MUST READ IT NOW. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
5. Cassie Alexander – Her third Edie Spence book just came out — this is great urban fantasy about a human nurse who gets sucked into a shadowy underworld of supernaturals.
6. Nick Sagan – His Idlewild series completely blew my mind. The first book is just okay, but it’s necessary set-up for the following two, which are such a fascinating examination of character and human nature. Also, I’ve never seen a *less* idealized presentation of teenagers.
7. M. J. Scott – The trilogy starts with Shadow Kin, which I liked, but right now my very favorite is Blood Kin — fantastic romantic fantasy.
8. Margaret KilljoyWhat Lies Beneath The Clock Tower is an extremely fun variation on those old Choose Your Own Adventure books. He also works on Steampunk Magazine.
9. Emma BullWar For The Oaks was the first urban fantasy I ever read, and it has very fundamentally set the way I view the genre. It’s amazing, everyone should read it.
10. Sharon Shinn – Okay, so she’s crazy well-established, but I really love her stuff. I’m in love with her new Elemental Blessings series, and I just read an older book of hers called Jenna Starborn that was the BEST Jane Eyre remaster I’ve ever seen. She really focused on the themes, rather than just surface plating.

So that’s my list — who are some other good authors who YOU think should be getting more attention?