Locally available or imports? I must admit I only know what I like, which may not be the same as what is considered 'hot'.
John Scalzi - start with Old Man's War and sequels.
I don't have as much time to read these days as I'd like, but I find Neal Asher satisfies space-opera meets space horror nicely. Charles Stross writes clever riffs on genre cliche - like Asimovs robots after the humans are gone, or "spy thriller set during the Lovecraft singularity". Hmm...who else is in my shame pile... Haven't read Scalzi yet, got a couple of local authors in there...Alison Goodman with a time travel first contact story set in Melbourne.
Suggest you contact somewhere like Science and Swords, and ask them what's selling, or look over the Hugo nominations.
For a bit of light steampunk/paranormal romance with bits of investigation type plots Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series is fun. (First book Soulless I got the first five chapters of as part of the voting package for the 2010 Hugos and got frustrated when I realised it was only the first 5).
I'm heavily into the Lee and Miller space opera Liaden series now being republished in omnibus from Baen, and with new books coming but realise that might not be locally distributed as I've only seen it over here in speciality stores.
Connie Willis and Lois McMaster Bujold still producing (apparently the latter is finally doing the Ivan book).
In YA The Hunger Games is being praised, but since I don't like dystopias myself I've avoided it.
It hardly needs to be said that his diagnosis doesn't seem to be slowing Pratchett down (yes I know some people don't get his stuff, but libraries all over the world with missing books know that lots do).
Patrick Rothfuss is another name I've heard mentioned a lot. Got The Name of the Wind as an ebook and enjoyed it. Been too busy to look further though.
you beat me to The Parasol Protectorate :-)
Personal favourites of the last few years: Catherynne M. Valente, Naomi Novik, Scott Lynch.
Steven Brust is a little-known perennial favourite too, although the earlier books in his series are probably hard to get hold of new these days.
You beat me to all three.
Might I add, Peter Beagle's latest short story collection, Sleight of hand? Or at least a copy or two of The Last Unicorn? He needs the money.
Ooh, I didn't know he had more fiction out.
Must. Seek. Beagle.
He's short of money? That's a tragedy, not to mention a travesty!
Timothy Zahn's done a bunch of good SF/mystery/adventure stuff, his 'Night Train to Rigel' and its sequels are a fun romp, as is 'The Icarus Hunt'. He reminds me a little of Harry Harrison's writing in style. (wow, how dodgy is the grammar in that sentence!)
Trudi Canavan's 'Age of Five' series is good. More fantasy than SF but a good read & quite complex.
Raymond E Fiest is always a favourite, again with the fantasy but a very involved universe.
Michael Stackpole's done some good stuff. I can't really help with the horror aspect, haven't been reading much of that lately.
I really like John Scalzi (particularly Old Man's War and The Android's Dream), Richard Morgan (Altered Carbon especially, though I think Woken Furies is actually better), Charles Stross (almost all of it, but especially especially the Laundry series), Elizabeth Bear (see By The Mountain Bound and A Companion To Wolves).
Cory Doctorow (Little Brother), Neal Stephenson (Anathem) and China Mieville (oh, so many to choose from...) are also continuing to release really good work.
Tanya Huff also does a really good military SF series that starts with A Confederation of Valor although she is far better known for her fantasy series. (Of both the epic and urban kinds.)
And I'll stop there before I get up to check the shelves for references and end up re-reading stuff. ;)
2011-11-10 10:28 am (UTC)
Another vote for Charles Stross. He ticks the SF and horror boxes with his Laundry series (The Atrocity Archives; Jennifer Morgue; and The Fuller Memorandum) - a funky blend of Lovecraft with spy novels and computer science. His "Merchant Princes" series starts out looking like fantasy, but gets put on a SF basis after two or three books. Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise are good, but unfortunately, Iron Sunrise ends on something of a cliffhanger that will never be resolved - he'll never write another book in that series. Halting State is fantastic, and the sequel, Rule 34, is wrong on so many levels, it's fantastic. Clicky
for the full gory details.
Timothy Zahn is a much lighter SF writer, but if that's what you want, it's good stuff for the most part.
Other than that, my comments would be around the standard fantasy suspects - Robin Hobb, Jennifer Fallon, Trudi Canavan, Tad Williams, etc.
2011-11-10 11:29 am (UTC)
Random selection of authors I've enjoyed lately* ...
Catherynne Valente - anything you can get your hands on :) Recent releases include Deathless, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, and Habitation of the Blessed.
Mira Grant : Feed, (zombies + US politics), and Deadline (sequel)
and she's actually Seanan McGuire, who has five books now out in the October Daye series, I guess they'd be classed as "urban fantasy".
Elizabeth Bear - she's done a range of SF and Fantasy, all good.
K J Parker - Mostly writes low-magic fantasy, often slightly grim.
Tansy Rayner Roberts - her latest series (Creature Court) is good fun.
Amanda Downum - fantasy/detective, the main character is a necromancer investigator.
Cory Doctorow - Little Brother, of course, and more that I haven't caught up withyet.
Jo Walton - the "Small Change" trilogy (Farthing, Ha'penny, Half a Crown), and Among Others
N K Jemisin - The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (and sequels)
Charles Stross - lots of stuff.
John Scalzi - Agent to the Stars, Lisa liked Fuzzy Nation, and of course Old Man's War and Zoe's Tale.
Julie Czerneda - has quite a few SF series out now, I've enjoyed the ones I've read (errr, something-something Trade series, can't remember exactly :-) )
* "lately" seems to be the last year and a half :)
2011-11-10 01:49 pm (UTC)
off-genre but stuff wot i have actually bought with my money :)
Haven't been reading much sci-fi lately, but my favourite paper books I've bought this in the last few years are:
- "Egg and Bird" by Alex Higlett - a kids picture-book about a father and child (son?), with some of the most delightful minimalist art I've seen in a book for a while.
- "30-second Economics" by Donald Marron - bought this in hard-cover; unusually it's more approachable than the inter webs for this subject.
- "Read This! - Business Writing that Works" by Robert Gentle. Lots of white space, short words, creative, concise. It teaches how to write in a way that suits my skim-reading.
- "Traffic: Why We Drive The Way We Do (and what it says about us" by Tom Vanderbilt. An approachable book, even though it cites a gazillion psych studies about how people make decisions. Which leads on to...
- "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions:" by Gary Klein. The author's an academic psychologist - the book's about his work studying decision-making in stressful jobs (eg. firefighter, neonatal nurse).
Fantasy: Another vote for Carriger's The Parasol Protectorate - good stuff.
Trent Jamieson's DeathWorks, and Glenda Larke's Watergivers trilogies are fantastic.
And another vote for Tansy Rayner Roberts.
Also, get her into some of the small press stuff. CSFG, Ticonderoga, Twelfth Planet Press, Coeur de Lion.
The Uglies series, by Scott Westerfield!
I read a lot more in YA these days - Disclaimer aside:
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins - politics, dystopia, adventure and some decent gender and race use.
Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landry is a modern day fantasy, with a skeletal detective and his apprentice.
Michael Pryor's Laws of Magic series is a brilliant take on the science of magic. Plus, I believe he's an Aussie.
The Bones of Faerie is set in a magical dystopian future. It's sequel is Faerie Winter.
The Secrets of the Immortal Nichaolas Flamel series, written by Michael Scott, does the whole secret world in modern times thing quite well.
For a bit more of a romantic feel, the Stonewylde series by Kit Berry has magic, mystery and romance though there should be a warning for fairly skeezy noncon situations.