Looking for a new author
July 19, 2013 2:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an author who writes long books with engaging characters, intricate plots, preferably in first person.
posted by GnomeChompsky to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
How new is new? New to you, or new to being published?
posted by MoxieProxy at 2:50 PM on July 19, 2013

Iain (M.) Banks writes long books with intricate plots, mostly not in the first person. The M. ones are science fiction.

Assuming you mean new-to-you, this seems maybe very broad and unlikely to return well-filtered results, beyond stuff-what-Metafilter-likes.
posted by mumkin at 2:59 PM on July 19, 2013

What have yu read/loved in this way before?
posted by yoink at 3:01 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Three different narrators, each writing in the first person about the same set of events.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 3:15 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Joyce Carol Oates?
posted by lemerle at 4:02 PM on July 19, 2013

May I recommend (depending on what you like) Norman Rush's Mating? It's got one of the great first person narrators in contemporary fiction, an anthropologist working in Botswana, and the story is both the unfolding of an ambitious plot (the creation of a new kind of society in the Kalahari, as well as a complex, believable love affair) and the gradual way we come to understand the narrator through her own memories, her ferocious intelligence, and her unusual ways of looking at the world. It's a terrific novel and can be easily found in libraries and used bookstores as it's a couple decades old now.
posted by the brave tetra-pak at 4:09 PM on July 19, 2013

Response by poster: New to me. I've read the Dresdan Files. Joe Abercrombie's First Law books.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 4:12 PM on July 19, 2013

If you like Abercrombie, you might try some of the older original "gritty" fantasy, Glen Cook's Black Company series. Or, if you want to exchange the bloodshed for more intrigue and/or kinky sex, Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series.

I am not a notable fan of first-person narratives but both of those work very well.
posted by WidgetAlley at 4:32 PM on July 19, 2013

Austin Grossman's Soon I will Be Invincible is one of the best written and coolest books I've read in awhile. It's fiction but very comic-book-like (it's about super heroes/villains) and it really feels a lot like all the best parts of early Astro City. Engaging, very interesting and pretty deep characters and super well written.

Here's how it starts:
This morning on planet Earth, there are one thousand, six hundred, and eighty-six enhanced, gifted, or otherwise superpowered persons. Of these, one hundred and twenty-six are civilians leading normal lives. Thirty-eight are kept in research facilities funded by the Department of Defense, or foreign equivalents. Two hundred and twenty-six are aquatic, confined to the oceans. Twenty-nine are strictly localized--powerful trees and genii loci, the Great Sphinx, and the Pyramid of Giza. Twenty-five are microscopic (including the Infinitesimal Seven). Three are dogs; four are cats; one is a bird. Six are made of gas. One is a mobile electrical effect, more of a weather pattern than a person. Seventy-seven are alien visitors. Thirty-eight are missing. Forty-one are off-continuity, permanent emigres to Earth's alternate realities and branching timestreams.

"Six hundred and seventy-eight use their powers to fight crime, while four hundred and forty-one use their powers to commit them. Forty four are currently confined in Special Containment Facilities for enhanced criminals. Of these last, it is interesting to note that an unusually high proportion have IQs of 300 or more--eighteen to be exact. Including me.

"I don't know why it makes you evil. It's just what you find at the extreme right edge of the bell curve, the one you'd get if six billion minds took an intelligence test and you looked at the dozen highest scores. Picture yourself on that graph, sliding rightward and downslope toward the very brightest, down that gradually gentler hill, out over the top million, the top ten thousand--all far smarter than anyone most people ever meet--out to the top thousand--and now things are getting sparser--the last hundred, and it's not a slope at all now, just a dot every once in a while. Go out to the last few grains of sand, the smartest of the smartest of the smartest, times a thousand. It makes sense that people would be a little odd out here. But you really have to wonder why we all end up in jail."

posted by OnTheLastCastle at 4:40 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I assume you've read the classic Cryptonomicron and Snow Crash? If not, I recommend Neal Stephenson. He fits almost your criteria (not usually written in first person is the only one that doesn't fit).

I would start with one of his earlier books, though, like the two I linked above. I'm reading his latest book, REAMDE, right now, and it is a bit slow to get going.
posted by misha at 4:45 PM on July 19, 2013

I love the Dresden series, too. Wish there was more quality urban fantasy around.

Checking out your interests, you might like George R. R. Martin. Not in first person, either, but intricate plots, characters and epic length fit him to a tee.

Seconding the Kushiel series, provided that sexual content doesn't bother you. Also sado-masochism. Good characters, nice alternative history storyline, and lovely complex political maneuvering and backstabbing throughout.
posted by misha at 4:57 PM on July 19, 2013

If you don't mind time travel, Connie Willis' series of books Blackout, All Clear, and I think The Doomsday Book are very intricately plotted and enjoyable reads. I devoured them pretty thoroughly. And some of them (maybe all??) are in first person!
posted by hepta at 6:30 PM on July 19, 2013

So they're not super long, but I think they are comparable in length to the Dresden Files books: Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series fits the bill for first person POV with a tremendously engaging narrator and interesting mystery plots. The series so far consists of Rivers of London (called Midnight Riot in the US), Moon Over Soho, and Whispers Under Ground. The series is similar to the Dresden Files in that it involves a wizard solving crimes, but said wizard is a legitimate member of London's Metropolitan Police as part of their tiny weird magical shit division.
posted by yasaman at 6:43 PM on July 19, 2013

Why not try out John Barth's The Sot-weed Factor.
posted by dis_integration at 7:19 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jeffrey Eugenides
posted by illenion at 8:26 AM on July 20, 2013

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