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We are more than half way through November and I have not written a blog post. Life goes on as usual: Mondays and Tuesdays I teach dance. W...

About Me

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia. You might enjoy my books - The Dagger of Dresnia, the first book of the Talismans Trilogy, is available at all good online book shops. Book two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. Book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. I trained in piano and singing at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. I also trained in dance (Scully-Borovansky, WAAPA) and drama (NIDA). Since 1987 I have been writing reviews of performances in all genres for a variety of publications, including Music Maker, ArtsWest, Dance Australia, The Australian and others. Now semi-retired, I still write occasionally for the ArtsHub website, and I still teach dance at Trinity School for Seniors, an outreach program of the Uniting Church in Perth.

My books

The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as an e-book from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. Book one, The Dagger of Dresnia, is up on the usual bookselling web sites as an e-book, and I have a few hard copies to sell to those who prefer Real Paper. Book Two, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available soon. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

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Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've lived: High View, WV

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Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Sunday, 9 September 2007

Favourite Modern Authors and Books

OK, friends - here are my favourite modern authors and their books. This is not the definitive list, you understand. It's a list of my current faves in the fantasy and historical genres. I won't put them in order because that varies day-by-day, let alone week-by-week or month-by-month! Instead they are in order of author, by surname. Top ten? Hah! This is my top 25 + ring-ins and even so I'll bet I've left someone out.

Here and there I've had to include a series 'cos I just can't separate them. These are very subjective opinions so don't take them as required reading. Your taste might be quite different – as might mine, next week!

Anthony, Piers: Cthon and Prostho Plus. I was at one time a serious PA fan and these are the two I remember enjoying the most. Two more different works from one author would be hard to find. I must check them out again some time in light of my now advanced years and superior wisdom:-)

Carey, Jacqueline: Kushiel's Dart. Her others in that trilogy are nearly as good, and it's possible that her new trilogy, starting with Kushiel's Scion, is just as good or better. What do you think?

De Camp, L. Sprague and Pratt, Fletcher: The Incompleat Enchanter and other, related works. These have a complicated publishing history and have appeared under a variety of titles. All are very funny, but they are a bit dated now.

De Pierres, Marianne: The Parrish Plessis books. Incredibly original cyberpunk fantasy. Not normally my kind of thing, but I loved these.

Gaiman, Neil: American Gods and Anansi Boys. I mean to read more Gaiman as I suspect I'd enjoy all his work, as I love anything with a mythological basis. These two obviously come out of sound scholarship in that field.

Haynes, Simon: The Hal Spacejock series. These are really, really funny!

Hearn, Lian: Tales of the Otori series. I'm looking forward to reading her new prequel, Heaven's Net Is Wide.

Hobb, Robin: The Farseer Trilogy. I've actually liked all of this author's work to date, but I hope she goes back to the world of these early novels soon.

Jerome K. Jerome: Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog!) and Willis, Connie: To Say Nothing of the Dog. I had to pair these because I bought them together and read them sequentially. The original was my favourite book when I was twelve and revisiting it with Connie Willis's take on it to follow was a delight.

Kay, Guy Gavriel: The Sarantine Mosaic (2 books). I love all this man's work, especially A Song for Arbonne, Tigana and The Lions of Al Rassan. My admiration for this writer, as with Carey, Luckett and Marillier, is based not just on his excellent plots and easy-flowing style but on his scholarship in the fields of history and linguistics.

Kerr, Katherine, Daggerspell. This was one of the best fantasies I'd ever read but sadly, I couldn't learn to love the sequel and haven't read any of her others. That's my failing, not Kerr's, and I shall try again some time.

Larke, Glenda: The Isles of Glory Trilogy and The Mirage Makers Trilogy. One of the most original writers on my shelf. The Shadow of Tyr, book two of Larke's second trilogy, is one of the best reads I've had in the last ten years.

LeGuin, Ursula K.: The Left Hand of Darkness is a strong contender for my very favouritest book of all. I also love her Earthsea books, which are officially YA but I don't let that bother me!

Lewis, Ada: Jenny. A sentimental fave from my teen years. Like others of that era, Lewis's work is a tad dated now. Nevertheless, I re-read this one every few years.

Luckett, Dave: The Tenebra Trilogy. (Officially YA, but see above!) Luckett is meticulously correct with his history and linguistics, even though his books are set on another world.

Marillier, Juliet: Wildwood Dancing. Another YA book. I love all this author's books but this is my top fave. Her three series, Sevenwaters, The Bridei Chronicles and the Saga of the Light Isles are also top-notch in my book. Like all good historical fantasy writers, Marillier does her research thoroughly and as with Carey, Kay and Luckett, we can be sure than her history and linguistics are up to scratch. Watch out for my review of her new YA one, Cybele's Secret, coming soon!

Martin, George R.R. A Song of Ice and Fire (series) I can't separate these, and in fact one should not because they are one long story, broken into instalments. One day it must end, I shall grieve…

McIntyre, Vonda N. Dreamsnake. This is the only thing I've read by this author, one of the most highly acclaimed of the last 30 years, but her fans assure me all her stuff comes up to the mark.

Miller, Karen: Kingmaker, Kingbreaker (duology). These are hard to beat for intrigue and adventure. Miller is just one of the many wonderful female fantasy writers Australia has produced in recent years. If I included them all this blog would fill the page.

Seton, Anya: Katherine. Not as historically accurate as a purist might like, but a good read and a sentimental favourite from early teen years. In those days I devoured Elizabeth Goudge as well but her work is hard to come by now and I didn't keep any of them, more's the pity. Mary Stewart and Rosemary Sutcliff date from that era as well.

Stewart, Mary: The Crystal Cave Another contender for top favourite. I found the others in the series good reads, too. Another meticulous writer, whose research is second to none.

Sutcliff, Rosemary, The Eagle of the Ninth (OK, what is it with me and YA books?)

White, T.H. The Once and Future King. A classic, and rightly so.

Woolley, Persia: Child of the Northern Spring. Unfortunately I didn't catch this author until her famous King Arthur trilogy was O.P. and now the books command ridiculous prices second hand, so I haven't read the others:-(

Wyndham, John: The Chrysalids. I have all Wyndham's books and read them again every few years, but this is my favourite.

Zelazny, Roger: Nine Princes in Amber et seq – at least up to book five, when I thought they started to fall off. Funny thing; I haven't really liked anything else of his.

So there you have it! Do we share any favourites? Please tell me yours!

9 comments:

Patty said...

You forgot my favourite: the Darkfall series by Isobelle Carmody!

Although Wildwood Dancing is great, too. I find I'm enjoying Ian Irvine for his worldbuilding. If you want to keep it Australian, I enjoyed Maxine MacArthur. If you talk about YA, you can't go past Tamora Pierce.

Satima Flavell said...

I must sadly admit that I haven't read Carmody, Irvine or MacArthur. Too many good writers, not enough time:-( Because I came to this stuff through my love of history and mythology, I tend to stick with historical fantasy and there are so many good writers just within that one sub-genre that one could read 24-7 and still not keep up.

But one of these days...

Carol Ryles said...

Vonda N McIntyre is a favourite of mine too. Have you read her novel, "The Exile Awaiting" circa 1970s I think?

juliet said...

I'm pretty happy to be on your list and in such great company!

Have you read Little, Big by John Crowley? It's one of my all-time, all-genres top ten and I think you'd like it. It's available in a series called 'Fantasy Masterworks'.

Satima Flavell said...

Oh dear, everyone is making such tempting suggestions! I can see that I'm going to have to lash out and do a bit of extra reading. Carol, it was you who introduced me to Vonda N.McIntyre and so far Dreamsnake is the only one of hers I've read.

Juliet, I regret to admit that I've never heard of John Crowley. The Fantasy Masterworks series is readily available, though, so I shall look out for "Little, Big".

simon petrie said...

I definitely agree on LeGuin and Wyndham (though I'd add, respectively, 'The Lathe of Heaven' and 'Trouble with Lichen'). A lot of my other personal favourites are hard SF - Larry Niven's 'The Integral Trees' and Fred Pohl's 'Gateway' are standouts, and I'm also a fan of Jack McDevitt and Iain M. Banks. My other favourite authors are Tove Jansson (I've never outgrown her Moomin books, and I also like such of her adult fiction as has been translated into English) and P.G. Wodehouse, especially the 'Bertie Wooster' novels. A bit of a mixed bag, all up, but I think that's what makes life interesting ...

Satima Flavell said...

I used to read quite a bit of hard SF at one time, Simon, but I seem to have lost my taste for it. No doubt my tastes will change again before I die:-)

Good old Jeeves - Wodehouse was another fave when I was a teenager. Must read him again.

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence ;-) An interesting list indeed.

Did you know there's a second book following on from Three Men in a Boat? It's called Three Men on the Bummel and you can get it from Gutenberg. The fire hose scene is a corker. They also have most of Jerome K. Jerome's other works, and he was one funny guy.

Satima Flavell said...

Good old Guttenberg Project - thanks for the tip, Simon.

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