FOGcon 2011: Your Favorite Book No One’s Ever Heard Of
moderated by Lisa Eckstein & Jesse the K
An enthusiastic group spent 75 minutes sharing recommendations for great books that haven't received great attention. We briefly discussed on-line searching strategies when seeking out-of-print books.
For searching library holdings, the Worldcat
union catalog is very handy. Create an account there, and the search results automatically show the nearest library holding that book. In addition to print books, Worldcat shows ebooks, net resources, non-English translations, braille and audio editions, and distinguishes among various publishers. It also provides Amazon and Alibris links and displays GoodReads comments. Alibris.com
both offer a marketplace for independent sellers, at lower prices than Amazon. Professional used-book sellers are more likely to be found there; on a quick check I saw almost no duplication of holdings between them.
On to the books!
♥ Lisa EcksteinMatt Ruff
You may be familiar with his Tiptree-winning Set This House in Order
, but his earlier works are worth finding:The Fool on the Hill
A fantasy set at Cornell University (Ithaca NY, USA), featuring a cast of humans, sprites, dogs and cats. Story is about storytelling and the battle against evil forces.Sewer Gas & Electric
While it's set in a future where a plague has killed off all Black people, it's somehow still a zany adventure about a Black father & daughter who somehow survived and now pilot a submarine with a motley crew of ecoterrorists.
♥ AnitaJack LondonCall of the Wild
Adventure story told from the dog's point-of-view, gives a new perspective about life.
Since it's in the public domain, it's available all over the net; there's this HTML version in chapters
as well as audio versions in a variety of file formats
.Christopher PaoliniEragon: the Inheritance Cycle
Hero finds a magic stone which enables him to catch dragons. The writer was only 15 when he published the books!
♥ Mike HigashiBarry HughartBridge of Birds
Fantasy set in ancient China, with lots of humor. Picaresque journey of #10 Ox (younger son) to find out what catastrophic fate awaits his village. Mike explained this series was cruelly unsupported by its publisher, but WorldCat shows there are indeed two other books, published with Birds
in an omnibus as The chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox
-- once in 1998 by Stars Our Destination Press and republished again in 2008 by Subterranean Press. Michaela Roessner
Two volumes: The Stars DisposeThe Stars Compel
Set in early 1500s Florence, this fantasy includes some historical characters (Catherine de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci). Central, fictional character is youngest of a long line of gifted cooks; he combines that learning with artistic urges to create edible art and navigate supernatural dangers. Includes recipes at the end!
♥ Lauren Schmidt Daniel Abraham
The Long Price Quartet, comprising:A Shadow in SummerA Betrayal in WinterAn Autumn WarThe Price of Spring
An epic fantasy series where poets are magicians, summoning things to into existence by mentioning them in poetry. Magic is not the principal focus: Lauren liked watching the complex character developments as they interact and age. Also handy to bridge the George R R Martin drought.John Christopher
Tripods series comprisingWhen the Tripods CameThe White MountainsThe City of Gold and LeadThe Pool of Fire
Alien/robots control the mind of everyone past puberty, leaving the kids to save the world in this young adult series from the 1960s.
♥ Micah JoelSid Jacobson & Ernie ColónThe 9/11 Commission Report: A Graphic Adaptation
It doesn't get more gripping or true-to-life than this. The Commission's report makes page-turning reading on its own; when combined with the informative graphics, it's a winner. A good way to remember (or be introduced to) the time Before.
♥ España SherriffKirsten BakisLives of the Monster Dogs
In a near-future, steampunkly New York, a tale of uplifted humanoid dogs. Told after the fact by a human, it evokes the societal changes Before & After 9/11. The human narrator is also a kind of liaison/PR agent for the dogs, whose origin is tragic and whose end is imminent.
♥ Mary HollandLeslie BarningerShy Leopardess
The final book of a 1940s trilogy, the first two are terrible
and not recommended. This volume follows a 12-year-old as she grows into the power of her Duchy, along the way falling in love with two of her squires in a setting somewhat like Medieval France.
♥ Naomi (Copperjet)Suzanne M Beck & Okasha Skat'skiThe Growing
Lesbian romance set in a post-apocalyptic South Dakota, with suspense, sex, Androids and Native Americans. Addresses issues of feminism and Native spirituality while evoking a beautiful landscape.
♥ Jesse the KWilliam HorwoodSkallagrigg
Two tales collide: indefinite past young boy fighting a horrific monster while present (1980s) girl programs a text adventure game about how to fight the monster. Book plays with memory, history, and legend as boy & girl meet in the present. Both have cerebral palsy; the past boy is institutionalized; the present girl is able to live at home thanks to improved attitudes & assistive technology. One of the few SFF books which explores the horrors of institutionalization; it captures the thrilling possibilities of early 1980s computers.