Fiction Feature Friday: Reaching for Others

I have mentioned this Asimov quote before: we write because, like breathing, we need to in order to survive. In other words, we write for ourselves, first, and would do so even if no one else ever read it. But if writing is actually a kind of communal activity (which I believe it is), then we also must reach beyond ourselves–stretch out with nerve and fiber, filament and heart-string–to other people. Who hasn’t read a book, looked up to the heavens and though finally, someone who understands? Who hasn’t laughed and cried with a character, yearned with their longing or felt their heart beating? Alternatively, who hasn’t stood on the wandering, far-off shores of distant countries and looked through the eyes of a non-fiction author with the freshness of really and truly seeing? Writing is a kind of “reaching for others” that we should celebrate, and on today’s Fiction Reboot, I will be featuring new releases–as well as a few debut novels by new authors.


Marissa Meyer’s Cinder:

A cyborg’s Cinderella story, this is book one of the Lunar Chronicles. Intergalactic battle, the future of earth a gifted girl-cyborg… and a handsome prince. Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends, it is an interesting read. Who doesn’t love a fairy-tale’s retelling?


Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone:

Book one of the Grisha Trilogy, the novel tells the story of a once-great nation, Ravka, torn in two by the Shadow Fold (darkness crawling with monsters who eat humans. Nom-Nom, zombie fans!) The fate of this world rests on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.


Nova Ren Suma’s, Imaginary Girls:

Described as “a surreal little nightmare in book form” by Nancy Werlin, this novel tracks death, denial, secrets and sisterly love. Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks up to and longs for, but a night with Ruby goes wrong, and Chloe discovers the body of a classmate floating in the reservoir…


First, the title of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making,almost doesn’t require one to say more.Catherynne M. Valente began the heroine’s adventures in instalments on the Web. While this is unconventional; the project won legions of fans as well as awards! This is Valente’s children’s book debut (she also writes adult fiction).


And for debut novels, I am going to reference Waterstone‘s top selections:

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Shelter by Frances Greenslade

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Absolution by Patrick Flanery

The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen

The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan


These are just a few of the many, many new voices out there–and we have not begun to brush the surface of even my personal favorites (many of which are mystery novels!) But, as this blog is also a community endeavor, also reaching out to find the “others,” let me start by asking you. Do you have recommendations for the Fiction Feature Friday? Contact me or send them by blog post comment. And who knows, maybe someday I will be featuring YOU!


For more new voices in the book industry, check out the “Recent Deals” of the Knight Agency, which represents a number of fantastic authors and books (like THE ANATOMIST’S APPRENTICE, for instance–18th century historical mystery involving medicine? Am I in heaven??).

5 Replies to “Fiction Feature Friday: Reaching for Others”

  1. Thanks so much for your mention of my debut novel, set in 18th century England and featuring an American surgeon, called The Anatomist’s Apprentice. It’s the first of a series, with #2 out in December. I finished #3 just yesterday!

    1. You are welcome! I tweeted about it, too. As I am featuring new authors, would you like to be interviewed on the blog? I hosted Anne Greenwood Brown last Thursday and will have poet K Roberts soon; I would love to do an exclusive feature of your work. I am a medical humanist, and so are a number of my followers. You would have an interested audience!

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