Top Ten Tuesday: authors I’d like to read

Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week we’re talking about authors whose work we are yet to explore.

When I was younger, I used to actively seek out authors with big back catalogues that could offer me the safety net that if I liked the first book I read, there’d be plenty more where that came from. These days, I’m just as excited to add a debut author to my TBR; so today’s list is a mixture of authors both well-established and new-minted.

Sarah Tolmie keeps catching my eye with dreamy novellas that promise mythical tales in gorgeous settings. She’s been on my TBR since (I think) Sarah at The Illustrated Page pointed me at The Stone Boatmen years ago. The Fourth Island and All The Horses of Iceland have only strengthened my interest. And one of these days, I’m going to sit down and start actually reading!

Book cover: All The Horses Of Iceland - Sarah Tolmie
Book cover: The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina - Zoraida Cordova

I became aware of Zoraida Córdova as a YA author writing intriguing scenarios (mermaids! bruja! memory thieves!) but it is her recent adult debut that has got me properly excited. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina promises family drama and magical realism – it is one of this year’s Subjective Chaos Kind of Nominees, so I’ll be getting to this soon.

Some tropes always ring my bell: space salvage crews are one of them. Stir in disaster and megafauna, and I’m a sure thing. Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s The Salvage Crew ticks all these boxes and got a thumbs up from trusted colleague C of The Middle Shelf; I’ve got it stashed away for next time I can indulge in some favourite trope-diving.

Julie E Czerneda is a regular recommendation from Wyrd & Wonder colleague Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story. With a back catalogue spanning fantasy and space opera (with shapeshifters!), there’s plenty to sink my teeth into – although I’ll likely start with recent Aurora award winner The Gossamer Mage.

I feel kind of guilty that Sofia Samatar is still on my TBR. I’m pretty sure I’ll love her literary fantasies: A Stranger In Olondria is all about that greatest of magical acts, reading, and I look forward to being immersed in Samatar’s poetic prose.

Book cover: Gibbons Decline and Fall - Sheri Tepper (a winged lizard / small dragon on a pale marbled field, changing its colour)

Sherri S Tepper stands in here for a pile of female SFF authors on my shelf. I’m tempted to add a feminist classic to my shelf every time I’m told I ‘must’ read a seminal sexist work (to me, “it was of it time” just means the author lacked imagination and interest) and Tepper’s eco and sociological themes mean I have a stack of her books to get to.

Emmi Itäranta writes lyrical dystopian novels – Memory of Water pinged my interest with its themes of eco-collapse (water scarcity vs tea making, hello); City of Woven Streets made dreaming a reason for exclusion from society. Her upcoming novel The Moonday Letters is an epistolary spacefaring eco-thriller, so odds on I finally read her work in 2022.

Book cover: No Gods No Monsters - Cadwell Turnbull

Cadwell Turnbull writes SFnal concepts I want to read. The Lesson studies colonial violence through the lens of first contact; No Gods, No Monsters satisfies all my half-buried World of Darkness by examining society’s responses to the Other when the supernatural steps out of the shadows.

Kage Baker is best-known for her SF series about the Company, but too many people have pointed me at The Anvil of the World for me not to start there. It collects the tales of Smith, a successful assassin who wants to retire quietly – but finds drama keeps seeking him out. I’m here for Smith’s attempts at being caravan master and innkeeper, and the colourful characters disturbing his peace.

Book cover: The Anvil Of The World - Kage Baker
Book cover: The Collarbound - Rebecca Zahabi

I’ll end with Rebecca Zahabi (who is actually next on my reading list, so I may be reading – or have read – by the time this post goes live). Her debut The Collarbound is a dark fantasy of rebellion against a strict hierarchy based on magic abilities – set in a city protected by the mages who benefit from it. Locked memories, dangerous secrets, friendship and conflicts of interest? I’m here for it.

What authors are you looking forward to reading?