Saturday, 11 July 2020

The Write Stuff with... Ellan Aldryc

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Ellan Aldryc to the blog with her suggestions of  '5 Easy Genre Starters for Those Who Want a Taste of Something New'.

As readers, we all have our favourite genres, but every once in a while, it’s good to read out of your comfort zone. The world of literature is humungous, and who knows—you might find a new favourite in an unlikely place. But dipping your toes into a new genre can be a little intimidating, especially when you don’t know what to look for. Here’s a few light genre starters that might help you discover new horizons.

Science Fiction

You might be aware that Space Opera is a sub-genre of science fiction that roughly corresponds to epic tales in the embrace of outer space, but today, I want to talk about ‘Space Opera’ - the novel. Catherynne M. Valente is a superbly funny literary mind that used her talent to ask a most important question: what if Eurosong happened in space and humanity’s survival depended on our performance?

This novel doesn’t alienate the reader with fancy technological terms and places the emphasis on real connections, exploring what it means to be sentient in a hilarious way. Beware, Space Opera might spark a real interest in the genre, and set your standards quite high. ebook/dp/B0786NTJDV

Epic Fantasy

Reading about vast imaginary worlds is a worthy whole pursuit, but when a whole Tolkien-verse sounds a bit too ambitious to start with (no shame in that), it’s good to pick up a lighter fantasy read to see what kinds of characters and plots you most enjoy. My pick for a nice starter read is ‘The Innocent Mage’ by Kate Millen. It follows a young fisherman Asher as he leaves home and his family that doesn’t take him seriously to find a better life in the big city. His world, however, is ruled by a noble class of magic-wielding people who don’t really appreciate the ordinary folk like Asher, but somehow, he makes friends with the gloomy prince Gar, starting a whole lot of mysterious trouble. The characters in this two-part series are wonderfully presented and truly relatable, the plot is well-paced, and the world is beautiful and effortlessly presented. Mage ebook/dpB0053YQN3Q

Urban Fantasy

Urban Fantasy is a large genre of books where the magical mixes with the everyday, resulting in awesome adventures. These books are often a lighter read, but some of the best ones feel like a genre mashup for the ages, and the book I’d recommend if you’re curious to start reading in the genre is a fan favourite. Rivers of London is a police procedural detective story where the unsuspecting protagonist stumbles upon an underbelly of gods and ghosts (and other things that are much harder to describe without spoilers). This kicks off a tremendous series that gets better and better with each book, and you’ll especially love it if you like London. With rumours of a TV adaptation, this might be a good time to jump on the bandwagon. of London ebook/dp/B004K1EC1S

Historical Fiction

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir every time I recommend Philippa Gregory. Her prose is brilliant, and she proves that time is no obstacle in portraying real human experiences throughout history. If historical fiction sounds boring or demanding, her books—especially ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ put the important human factor in the forefront rather than flex her knowledge of historical details. The tale of two sisters vying for the attention of one man who could change their life forever is appealing as is, but considering we all know the terrible ending of their illustrious affair gives this tale a particularly dark dimension. Even if you’ve seen the movie, the book offers a bit more action, while sticking to the stunning portrayals of the two sisters.


I feel like there are two types of people in the world—those who adore memoirs and those who simply don’t get what the hype is about. If you belong in the second group, a metafictional brilliant tale like ‘A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius’ by Dave Eggers might open a whole new world for you. Rightfully celebrated as one of the finest memoirs of the 21st century (so far), this book is self-critical, self-reflective and fun, even though it describes a sad tale of children who need to grow up quickly when their parents both die. ‘A Heartbreaking Work’ won’t just teach you how to appreciate memoirs, it will also confront you with the idea of self-reflective narratives where the distance between the reader and the author is diminished and you get to see a story that makes fun of the conventions of storytelling as well as finding humour in dark experiences.

I hope you enjoyed this selection, I’d love to see if you liked any of these books. Do you know of a good genre starter? Comment your suggestions below!

Ellan Aldryc

E. L. Aldryc came to the UK to be a literary star fit for the new age, which turned out to be a harder job than she imagined. Foreign, broke, and too anxious to write, she was thrown out of several London Book Fairs - but that's what happens when you try to steal microphones and talk about foreign lands, exotic worlds, and fragile timelines.

Slovenia wouldn't take her back, Spain kicked her out after only four months, and if you really want to know what happened in Cuba, she'll tell you over a drink. E.L. began her prolific collaboration with the Infinite Library in 2018, but she's still on a journey to hone her voice. As their primary narrator on this world, she works with a wide array of voices that have never been heard on Earth before, adapting them for a variety of audiences. When she's not writing, you can spot her in the background of various DJ sets around the world.

Medium: the-infinite-library

What would you sacrifice to become extraordinary?

Elodie Marchand struggles to stand out at the Sight Institute. With so many brilliant minds pushing the limits of AI, alchemy, and nanotechnology, it feels impossible to compete.A stark contrast to her best friend, and the Institute’s unrivalled favourite - Soraya Gourrami.

Soraya’s firm encouragement curbs Elodie’s impatience, and in turn, she helps keep Soraya’s temper in check. A perfect symbiosis.

But all that is about to change with one simple meeting.

When the Institute’s psychic organisation mandates a thorough search for new gifted blood, Elodie jumps at the opportunity to finally reach for greatness. 

Even if she may not survive the test, or the process that follows.

Elodie will need all the help she can get to keep her life and sanity through the test that will establish her suitability for a life of duty and prestige. But Soraya’s friendship suddenly comes with a single new rule. 

Elodie can never look into her past or future.

But accidents happen. And some secrets are too big and dangerous to keep.

It’s time to choose. Friendship or a chance to claim her true self at any cost?

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