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Naomi Foyle’s Top Five Reading Recommendations

The much acclaimed author of The Gaia Chronicles, Naomi Foyle, very kindly shares with us her top five reading recommendations – just in case your TBR pile wasn’t quite big enough already . . .


Tea from an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan (1998). A cyberpunk classic, the title a Zen metaphor for Artificial Reality, in which human experience is reduced to ‘billable time’ and even death is an indefinite event. This bleak vision is infused, though, with Cadigan’s profound sense of empathy, while her prose is a brimming martini of dry humour. A drop more, please . . .

The Djinn Falls in Love, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (2017). A marvellous short story collection concerning the canny uncanny fire spirits of Islamic lore, with offerings from a host of supernatural talents including Nnedi Okorafor and Neil Gaiman, running the gamut from humour and magic realism to psychopolitical drama.

Cult of Chaos: An Anantya Tantrist Mystery by Shweta Taneja (2014). A paranormal detective story by a writer with a dynamite imagination. The tantrik heroine zings with one-liners, the monsters are magnificent, and the book’s fireworks are fuelled by a powerful emotional narrative that sparks off into cosmological dimensions. Ace!

Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfiq, translated by Chip Rossetti (2010). A harrowing lyric novel pitting the jaded youth of a gated community against a desperate urban underclass, Utopia is a brutal exploration of how wealth can fatally corrode our capacity to care for others. The late author, an Egyptian doctor, poet and philosopher, left us far too soon.

The Goddess Project by Bryan Wigmore (2015). A fantasy adventure novel grounded in a shamanic psychosphere spanning global cultures, this book also entices with its subtle prose and compelling central scenario – sexual tensions between two amnesiac protagonists who might just be twins. I loved it so much I blurbed the sequel!