Jan 2012: Take note, my newer favourites can be found at Goodreads with 5 stars slapped on them. For example, When We Have Wings by Claire Corbett or The Dervish House by Ian McDonald.

My favourite books could fill a library, but I'll try and restrict myself to the ones that struck like lightning - and made me despair that I could ever write anything half as good.


Dune by Frank Herbert, has to be the best sci-fi novel ever written. Not only is the story compelling, the characters are fascinating and the world-building is meticulous. Dune is a real place. You can feel the sand scouring your face. Sink into it.

The Dispossessed, by Ursula LeGuin, is a book that hunts down the essense of humanity, exposing the horror of our flaws and the delicate beauty of our souls. It's about the individual and it's about community. Mostly, it's about an anarchist called Shevek who ships out to a capitalist world and tries to come to grips with what he finds there. Read it!

The Prophet by Kahil Gibran, is inspirational, poetic, concise and memorable. A wise man departing the shores of his adopted home gives advice to the people he is leaving behind. Brutally honest and yet full of hope.

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley, is lyrical, magical and heart-wrenching. Full of the power and mystery of women, I wish more men would read this book to better understand us, but I'm happy enough for the girls to get into it.

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is the story of Raskolnikov and his tortured soul. A totally sympathetic murderer in a world of poverty and desperation, this book will linger in your thoughts for days after you finish reading it.

Magician, by Raymond E. Feist, is one of the first fantasy books I ever read and fell in love with. Heroics, battles, coming-of-age, handsome princes and portals to other worlds. What's not to love? Magician's derivative nature was lost on me at the time; not having read The Lord Of The Rings, I was intrigued by the concept of tall, graceful elves in a tree city (as opposed to little ugly ones that fixed shoes in the middle of the night). Well, perhaps Feist didn't invent elves, but he invented Pug, Tomas, Arutha and Jimmy the Hand. Huzzah!

Looking for a picture of the front cover of The Hounds of the Morrigan, by Pat O'Shea, I was confused by the fact I didn't recognise any of them. Then I remembered: I bought this book, ripped in half and with no cover, at a garage sale with 20 cents Dad had given me. After realising it was not just a torn pile of pages but a portal to an incredible, living, breathing world of Irish legend, my childish hands bound the whole lot lovingly together with clear contact that my Mum had supplied to cover my schoolbooks. I still adore this story and read it once or twice a year.

Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder, is the only introduction to philosophy that the world needs. Exquisitely readable. Funny and sweet. Kick off from here in your search to understand everything.

Foxmask, by Juliet Marillier, draws you along with Creidhe on her journey to the Light Isles - a depiction of the Faroes that brought me to tears with its power and beauty - and her struggle to unweave the magic which murders newborn children. When I don't have money to travel, or I feel like the world is just too ordinary, I drown myself in a Juliet Marillier book.

The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is a classic that reminds us how important it is to dream. Try to get the hardcover version with the two different colours and the gorgeous illustrated capitals. And try to forget the films!

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow, by Peter Hoeg, is gritty, sharp, cold and clean. A murder-mystery page-turner, yet so full of piercing imagery that you can't resist underlining bits. Even when you've borrowed it from the library.

The Wheel of Time Series, by Robert Jordan, needs no introduction. How the man managed to hold all these plot threads together in his head, I'll never know, but he managed a marvel, even if we did lose him before he finished the series. The wheel of time turns, unfortunately. Yes, I am encouraging you to get sucked into an unfinished series. Trust Harriet. The last book is coming.




My favourite short story is Unaccompanied Sonata by Orson Scott Card. Moving, insightful, beautifully written. Absolute genius. I also really like Neil Gaiman's story about the cat that battles the devil every night. Very cool, though I forget its name.

My favourite anthology is Sprawl, "suburban" fantasy edited by Alisa Krasnostein. To use Australian suburban vernacular - it is bloody excellent!

 

     
 
 
 
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Published Work:

NOVELS:

2018:

Echoes of Understorey, (Book #2) A TITANS' FOREST novel - forthcoming - ed. Diana Pho, Tor Books, 13th February 2018

Available for preorder at:Amazon, Book Depository, your local bookshop of choice.

Add to your to-read pile at Goodreads!

2017:

Crossroads of Canopy, Book #1 of TITANS' FOREST - ed. Diana Pho, Tor Books, 31st January 2017

OUT NOW!

Here are many places for the purchasing of Crossroads of Canopy: Kindle, Kobo, hardcover from Book Depository, Booktopia, Kinokuniya, AbeBooks etc.

Oh, and of course hardbacks and used copies also at Amazon.

There are many reviews, both good and bad, at Goodreads and Amazon if you need help deciding whether or not to give it a go. But you should have an idea yourself if you've read the prologue or first chapter at Tor.com:Free Excerpts HERE.

Here are links to some of my favourite, very thoughtful, reviews, by Jacquelyn at Goodreads, This Girl Loves Books, Stephanie Gunn at The Forest of Books, Robin Elizabeth, SF Bluestocking, Paul at Skiffy and Fanty, and this in depth very fair YouTube review by The Reading Rhodes.

Pre-release reviews:

"I am majorly impressed with Thoraiya Dyer's Crossroads of Canopy. A unique, gorgeous, and dangerous world, a stubborn female hero, and a writer to watch!" - Tamora Pierce

"Crossroads of Canopy has everything you expect from a great epic - quests, fearless warriors, gods born again - but all is transmuted, through the rich and vivid original setting, into something entirely new." - Brian Staveley, author of The Last Mortal Bond

"Dyer presents a rich, brutal, fascinating world and an unforgettable heroine." - Ilana C. Myer, author of Last Song Before Night

"A remarkable debut. What a delight to read a fantasy so different from the mainstream and so beautifully realised." - Juliet Marillier, winner of the Aurealis Award and the Alex Award

"Imaginative, original, inclusive - and fast-paced and exciting. Go get it and read it. Maybe twice." - Pamela Freeman, author of The Castings Trilogy

"Dyer's writing seamlessly melds a lush and layered canopy setting and a complex magical culture to form a unique fantasy world, filled with memorable characters in constant jeopardy. Unar, a girl on the brink of womanhood, is at the heart of the tale. Feisty, opinionated, certain of her own destiny, she's a tough flawed heroine, one readers will not easily forget." - Glenda Larke, author of The Stormlord Trilogy and The Forsaken Lands Trilogy

"Dyer is a writer of immense talent. Her powerful, distinctive voice makes Crossroads of Canopy a fully immersive read, so well-written and believable it will have you checking to see if the realms of Canopy, Understorey and Floor really exist." - Kaaron Warren, author of Walking the Tree

"Thoraiya Dyer has woven a world of gods and magic, a merciless forest where the slightest misstep can send the unwary, the unworthy, or the simply unfortunate plunging to an unremarked doom. Guiding us through the heights of this remarkable place is a young woman, Unar. Scrappy, complex and surprisingly compassionate, she must fight to establish a place for herself among the trees. If Crossroads of Canopy explores the cost of caring, it also examines the even higher price of indifference. It is a riveting novel." - A.M. Dellamonica, author of A Daughter of No Nation

"A wonderful, magical, poetic, tragic novel...a major achievement." - Jenny Blackford, World Fantasy Award judge, author of The Priestess and the Slave

"The book is quite marvelous. Tons of cultural richness. Complex and casually cruel...Thoraiya Dyer is the writer I most want to infect people with." - Anna Tambour, World Fantasy Award-shortlisted author of Crandolin

Post-release reviews will surely appear in 2017 at Amazon and also Goodreads.

Floodwaters of Floor, Book #3 of TITANS' FOREST - forthcoming - Tor Books, TBA

 
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