Wow, leave it to #SciFiMonth to just keep brining in the gut checks.
After barely cobbling together a list of five international (to me) authors last Friday, I looked ahead to the challenge list and saw this Friday’s challenge was to make recommendations from indie presses or self-published authors.
No problem at all. I’ve backed tons of kickstarters by small presses (Upside Down (Apex), and Temporally Out of Order (Zombies Need Brains) come to mind immediately). Looking back I was a particularly big fan of Jurassic London back in the day and my book shelves are probably sagging a bit from the weight of all the titles I’ve bought from them: The Builders, Jews Versus Omnibus, Speculative Fiction 2013, Speculative Fiction 2014, Unearthed (digital), The Good Shabti, and my pride and joy The Extinction Event!
This, you may say, is a pretty hardy list, and you would be right. The only issue is that . . . I haven’t actually fully read many of these, and also . . . as seems to be my issue quite often, there’s a lot of Fantasy here.
But this is Sci-Fi month not Fantasy month so let me dig through the Goodreads list and see what I can come up with . . .
I’ve found two sci-fi titles which I will heartily recommend. And that will have to be the way of it.
The first title I’ve chosen is Future Tense fiction: Stories of Tomorrow from Unnamed press. It’s a great anthology, which I’m kicking myself for not having reviewed here on the blog. The list of authors featured is quite long, and each one of them brought their A-game to this collection. Authors like Nnedi Okorafor, and Annalee Newitz immediately stood out to me, but others will likely recognize Charlie Jane Anders and Paolo Bacigalupi. The ones I didn’t know shined just as brightly as those I did. I think Newitz’s When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis was my favorite but I also enjoyed Okorafor’s Mother of Invention and Konstantinou’s Burned-Over Territory. I highly recommend this one to any near-future-thinking readers out there.
My second choice was a bit of a surprise, as this author usually publishes through Tor Books, but for Miniatures, it seems like goliath John Scalzi chose indie publisher Subterranean Press to create this fun little book. I won’t claim to know how any of the inner workings of Scalzi’s mind . . . well how they work, but this collection really puts some of his wackier ideas on display. There’s a story in which yogurt becomes sentient and takes over earth (I believe there is an episode of Netflix’s Sex, Love, & Robots that took it’s premise from this). It’s been a long enough time since I’ve read it that I’m having some trouble remembering the details, but I know that I enjoyed it immensely. Thankfully, I reviewed Miniatures back in back in 2017 so you can take a look at that.
Well . . . How’d I do?
Not to be too harsh a critic on myself but I’m gonna say not well. Even if we broaden the prompt to all speculative fiction, my list of indie titles is pretty old, and I didn’t include ANY self-pub’d authors on here, despite having self-pub’d my own work. I guess it seems that I’ve been in Hugo Land for quite a while now, and have not spent much time reading Indie Land.
But there’s always tomorrow! Why not dive in then.
I’m anxious to see what the other #SciFiMonth peeps have been reading that I’ve been neglecting. If you have recommendations for me please post them in the comments (if they’re blog posts that’s cool too just drop the link).
Until Next time!