Justin L. Anderson's Semi-Finalist SPFBO 7

Justin L. Anderson's Semi-Finalist SPFBO 7

Write on: Wed, 06 Oct 2021 by  in Blog Read 616

So after reading six of this year’s SPFBO contenders, I found myself considering three of them for my semi-finalist pick. Three extremely different books, which made it difficult to choose one as ‘the best’.

In order of reading, my contenders were:

Bitter Sky by Tim Stretton: This is a classically-written steampunk novel about morality in war, how quickly clear waters muddy and how the common people are used as pawns of the powerful, with a little demonic twist.

Empire’s Daughter by Marian L Thorpe: This low fantasy historical drama about a world where males and females have split into constrictive societal roles considers many complex questions as the two sexes come together to fend off invasion.

Daughter of Flood and Fury by Levi Jacobs: A YA revenge/coming of age story about a magically-gifted young woman driven to investigate and avenge her father’s death against a backdrop of religious dogma, global politics, corruption and, again, rigid expectations of men and women.

I enjoyed all three of these books in different ways, and their varying styles and content made it difficult to pick a ‘favourite’, in the way that asking anyone to name their favourite book with no context is just cruel and unusual.

So, in the end, I tried to just be objective about which one was the best-written book, taking into account the prose, worldbuilding, characters and plot.

And so, I came up with a winner.

My semi-finalist for SPFBO 7 is…

DUH DUH DUH…

Daughter of Flood and Fury by Levi Jacobs.

Congratulations and good luck in the next round to Levi, and I hope people will also check out Bitter Sky and Empire’s Daughter.

Justin

Justin was a professional writer and editor for 15 years before his debut novel, Carpet Diem, was published in 2015. He wrote restaurant and theatre reviews, edited magazines about football and trucks, published books about fishing and gold, wrote business articles and animation scripts, and spent four years as the writer editor, and photographer for an Edinburgh guide book.

Justin now writes full-time and is a partner in his own publishing company. He also writes scripts with his wife Juliet, who he met through the BBC Last Laugh scriptwriting competition.

His novel, The Lost War, won the sixth SPFBO.