Making sense out of the current boom in fantastic literature
NOTE:Only MODERN AND NEW writers are included! (writers who started in 1990 or were active in the field and writing since 1990) The rest are covered in detail in our classic SF Writer's Directory at DRB SF Site
It is no secret that we live in the Golden Age of Fantastic Literature. With more books published in the genre than ever, plus an ever-increasing availability of obscure titles on the internet, a dedicated fan of science fiction and fantasy literature might think he died and went to heaven.
Not only are the pulp masterpieces of the 30's and 40's easily acquired (for the most part), but the whole history of the genre can be sampled and read in any order, and enjoyed as thoroughly as one likes - and on top of that more than 3,000 new books are published every year, with at least a hundred of utmost quality by new and promising writers. So, speaking of new writers...
Do you ever feel lost and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of noteworthy authors bursting onto the scene in the past decade? Top names are better known, of course, but the beauty of science fiction and fantasy is in the variety and full spectrum of the sub-genres, topics, and styles offered.
It was much easier to follow the development of the field in the 1980s: fewer books were published and one could follow the writers he chooses - and actually read them all. Starting in the 1991, as Locus magazine puts it, "more books were published that year than anybody could possibly read unless he makes a full-time job out of it." Since then, even if you read books all day, you still can not catch up on more than 10 books issued each day. One needs to have a guide, a directory, and recommendations to complement the offerings of your typical bookstore (just like in music, most good stuff is not even displayed and needs to be discovered by other means)
During last couple of years, Avi Abrams from Dark Roasted Blend has been compiling information about new and promising writers in science fiction, fantasy, horror and slipstream (magic realism). We decided to make this wealth of information available online as the
This monumental work includes more than 2,000 already established and upcoming writers, tagged by sub-genre, awards, recommendations, and year of achieving prominence in the field. For the first time, each writer's entry contains a link to a related site on the internet (for additional info and instant updates). This is a searchable database, allowing us to publish genre reviews based on this constantly updated data.
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Some notes about the structure and contents of this Guide:
We tried to include the full spectrum of genre writers: science fiction, fantasy, horror, young adult, paranormal romance (only highlights) and even slipstream "magic realism" authors. We arbitrarily drew the line at 1990, and only include writers who were active in the field and writing since that year (if a particular author stopped writing after 1990, he or she is not included, but can be checked out in our general Writer's Directory at DRB SF Site).
All pen names are listed inside the "Notes" field; for a complete list of SF&F pen names we refer you to this page.
1. "Read" simply means if I personally read the work of this writer - my time is limited, but I try to follow the most promising books and stories. Obviously, the color-coded recommendations will correspond to my own tastes (if I have read this writer), but also will reflect how this writer fares with critics and reviewers (based on information published in "year's best" and Locus, among other sources). A bright red square means highly recommended, a pink square means also recommended, a grey square is reserved for all other fiction, and it simply means "not rated yet".
Please note that while this compilation covers some 2000 writers from this genre we have not included every single writer since 1990. This work will be regularly updated as we investigate further archives and as the industry evolves.
2. "Link" should bring you to the writer's personal site or Wikipedia entry. However, the coding for this link is based on Google's top results for this name, so if the writer is not popular enough, or lacks a personal site, Google might choose some weird page - we are trying to weed out these occurrences, let us know if you find any.
3. "Genre" column: the abbreviations should be self-explanatory, with "h" meaning horror genre, though we are more inclined to call it "dark fantasy". If a writer wrote in many genres, we show only the ones that brought him the most popularity. All "magic realism" and slipstream is labeled as fantasy for simplicity.
4. "Disc." ("Discovered") column shows the year when this writer achieved some degree of popularity (either by inclusion in "year's best" or winning an award). The exception is every year before 1990 - we just put "90" to signify that this author was actively writing in the 1980s, and in rare cases in the 1970s as well.
5. "Awards" - this Guide does not intend to replace the excellent Locus' Guide to SF Awards, we only include the highlights of a writer's career, for the details you can check out Locus' database here. Winners are indicated by letter "W", otherwise all listed award references signify nominations ("r-up" also means "runner-up for this award") We will be updating the awards section per writer at least every other month, so check back often.
6. "From" shows the country of writer's citizenship, the default is U.S., "UK" means United Kingdom, "Can" means Canada, "Au" means Australia, "NZ" means New Zealand, all other countries are specified in Notes.
7. "Notes" field contains a very short description of writer's predominant style and sub-genre, plus most often-used pen names and "claims to fame".
We will be regularly updating this database, publish certain "slices" and overviews by sub-genre, or by year - and ultimately incorporate it with our "Wonder Timeline" of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Check back often, as we travel on the road of discovery of the most brilliant and life-enriching literature of the Fantastique.
Please contact us with your suggestions, thoughts and input.
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