Authors to Watch Out For: 2017 Edition

Seeing as how MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape has shifted from book reviews to author interviews, it is very rare that I get write about books and authors that I have read recently (heck, I barely even get to read a book anymore).

Doing interviews with authors about their upcoming books in my way of helping spread the word, but I still feel that a review is more personal and can have a greater impact.

Because of this, I decided to do a “Authors to Watch Out For” list. It is one the same idea and many “Best Debut” lists, except this is going consist of authors that I have read since starting this blog (in 2014), up to now.

The only criteria is that their first novel be released somewhere between 2013 and 2016, or that they have finished their series somewhere in that time frame as well.

Without further ado, here is my list of Authors to Watch Out For!

Rachel Dunne

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Rachel’s debut novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was releasted in June of 2016; it was one of the best novels I read last year and was a novel that I personally thought had all the ingredients you need to make an epic fantasy trilogy that fans will devour.

Fun-fact: In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and was then picked by Harper Voyager.

Sarah Lotz

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I’m pretty sure Sarah has released a few novels before The Three, but that is only story I’ve read by her, and why I am putting her on this list.

The Three definitely creeped me out in many moments and gave me the heeby-jeebies quite a lot; and I read many great reviews for it follow-up, Day Four.

Her latest novel, The White Road, is being released this May.

Brian McClellan

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28811016This one of the names I feel very silly about as having putting down on my list.

Promise of Blood was released in 2013, and then the trilogy was wrapped up in 2015 with The Autumn Republic, but seeing as how he will be starting a new series (set in the same world), and I keep seeing the occasional review for Promise of Blood pop up, I felt the need to put him on this list for SF/F readers who haven’t had the privilege to read his work yet.


Katharine Addison

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Okay, this probably the biggest loop-hole exploit to my criteria for the list XD For those of you who don’t know, Katherine Addison is the pseudonym for author Sarah Monette, who has already published many many novels. The reason Katherine is on her is because her debut novel was The Goblin Emperor. One of my all-time favorite novels, and – in my opinion – if it weren’t for a couple of dogs running around, would have won the 2015 Hugo for Best Novel.

Jeff Salyards

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I’m willing to guess that a number of you haven’t heard of Jeff Salyard before – or if you have, it was only about how amazing his fighting scenes. Well, what they say about his fighting scenes is true, but I don’t nearly enough people talking about is how talented of writer Jeff is.

I don’t know what next project is or when it will be released, but after seeing his writing evolve over the Bloodsounder’s Arc trilogy, personally, I cannot wait.

So until that next book is announced, go look up Jeff!

Brain Staveley

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And here is the second author that I feel very silly even putting on this list. The first book of The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne  was released in 2014, and the trilogy was completed just last year with The Last Mortal Bond. This series had been nominated for a number of awards and has won the 2015 David Gemmell Morningstar Award.

Brian has a vocabulary that will make you incredibly jealous, and it have LOVED the first two books in his series, but regrettably (due to backlog of review books and then start of school) I am yet to start The Last Mortal Bond.

However, Brain has a new standalone for this series coming out in April this year, entitled, Skullsworn.

Marc Turner

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I’m not sure that is a more underrated and unrecognized author on this list than Marc Turner. I just check out Goodreads and the three book in his Chronicle of the Exile series only have 399, 155, and 63 reviews?!?! That, my friends, in a crime.

Admittedly, I’ve only read the second book, Dragon Hunters, but that book… I have yet to come across a book that has given the same feeling that A Game of Thrones did when I first read it, but Dragon Hunters is closest I have found.

Red Tide, the third book in the series, was release at the end of last year and I am telling you to go pick and read this series.

Marc Tuner will end up writing on hell of a series someday that will be on many “best of” lists for many years to come.

David Waid

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This is a name that I guarantee none of my readers will now or remember. David contacted me last year about reviewing his book, The Conjurers. I accept slim to nil independent author reviews request, but I read a preview for his novel, and David has some very good writing.

While in my review I did not end up loving the novel, I still believed that was a lot of potential with the plot David came up with and his prose.

He is an author that I could see having a fairly popular name in fantasy one day.

David Walton

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If I had an award for “Comeback Author of the Year,” this man would have won.

I first read Quintessence from David when it was released back in 2013. And well, wasn’t a huge fan to be honest, I was extremely impressed with the ideas he presented in that story and I thought that the novel had a lot of promise… but the execution of those ideas was lacking and the story fell off to me.

So, when I offered a review copies of his latest two novels, Superposition and Supersymmetry, in 2015, my initial reaction was no. However, I read the synopsis and because of how well he set up the alchemy and magic in that Quintessence, and I thought that if he could put things together,  he would write a great story.

Superposition and Supersymmetry proved to be the kind of story I knew Walton was able to write! And I am very eager to see what his next project shall be.

Timothy C. Ward

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Many will know Timothy as the former co-producer of the Hugo nominated podcast, Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. Some may not know though, that he is also a published author.

Timothy released Scavenger: Evolution in 2015, and its sequel, Scavenger: A.I. in 2016. These we both exciting sc-fi thrillers, with creative technology. It very evident from Timothy’s writing, and reading the progression of his writing with each new release (in short stories, as well), that he as spend many years interviewing authors and how they have fine-tuned their craft.

Timothy’s latest novel, Revolt, was released in 2016.

Andy Weir

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I don’t think there is anyone in SF/F, who is readers in general, or who enjoys movies, who hasn’t heard of Andy Weir’s The Martian.

One little hipster moment, that I like to be proud of, is that I read The Martian, before it was cool 😛 I actually picked it up the day it was released, and started reading it the following the day… and woke up in the middle of the night to finished it because it was that good.

The Martian is one of my favorites books of all-time, and I not alone in being extremely excited to read Andy’s next novel.

And did I mention he won the 2016 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer?

Isabel Yap


This is the only short-story author I have on my list (to my embarrassment).

The one and only story I had the pleasure to read by Isabel was The Oiran’s Song, published in Uncanny Magazine #6 in 2015. This was one of the best short-stories I read that year, and aside from putting it on my nominating ballot, and I also put Isabel on for the John W. Campbell Award

Isabel’s most recent story, Serenade, was apart of the Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow anthology published in November of 2016.


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18 thoughts on “Authors to Watch Out For: 2017 Edition

  1. S. C. Flynn says:

    I had not heard of some of these authors (the ones you anticipate that people have not heard of) but there are a lot of interesting ones on this list!


  2. Tammy says:

    Great list! I think I have a copy of The Goblin Emperor so I should try to read it if you think it’s that good:-) I also need to read Sarah Lotz.


  3. I have read most of these authors and I agree they are rising stars to watch!


  4. Huge honor to be included with these extremely talented authors!

    Jeff Salyards has an urban fantasy epic that is sure to be as great as his last series. I’ve had the pleasure of reading the first few chapters.

    How was your first semester?


    • Urban fantasy, huh? Very interesting! May not have time to read that, so you now for a fact he going to be getting an email about interview from me then 🙂

      The first term went great though! Thanks for asking! It was very very busy. And term 2 is proving to be even more work (which you can tell by how late this response is). And despite the lack of sleep some night and sudden drought in my pleasure reading, I truly am enjoying the journey.


  5. H.P. says:

    I really enjoyed Quintessence and need to pick up another book by Walton. I’m a big, big Brian McClellan fan.

    Goblin Emperor was…good. But it wasn’t in the same league as The Three-Body Problem. Why The Dark Forest didn’t more attention I’ll never understand.


    • Yeah, I’m not so sure dogs had to do with her not winning. The Three Body Problem was a phenomenal book, and not on the puppy slate, if I remember correctly. I read The Dark Forest and was still impressed, but while the science and cultural imagination is fascinating, the character interest is a lagging point. On the other hand, Addison’s characters and how she uses dialogue and scene splitting to highlight personality and world is a true work of art. Both are super talented, but in vastly different areas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Chaos Horizon, but I got that based of his information. Here is a link to the post I am specifically talking about:

        It is more toward the ends of the post, but in his analysis, he doe state, “So I think we can estimate that least 450 Puppy voters voted for Liu #1 in the Best Novel category. Since that novel beat Goblin Emperor by 200 for Best Novel, we can reaffirm that it was the Puppy voters who drove Liu to the win.”

        For the record, I have ZERO problem with Three Body Winning 🙂 I just feel Katharine, like many authors from the 2015 Hugo Awards and on, have been hurt due to slating.


    • I’d strongly strongly recommend looking at Walton’s Superposition series then. If you did like Quintessence, they you should love these. His storytelling was like night and day – for me, at least.

      I can’t comment on The Three-Body Problem, because I didn’t read it, but I too thought it was strange how I didn’t hear anything for the second and thirds books when they came out?


  6. Jimmy Poore says:

    I love Marc turner and Jeff salyards! When I’m over on reddit fantasy I try to bring them up any chance I get . Another author who s really under rated in my opinion is miles Cameron. His traitor son cycle is amazing!


  7. These are some interesting names. I will have to check them all one by one. Thanks.


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