About Us

Who would be crazy enough to set out to read 150 odd books in under a year? That would be us. There are 11 of us here at SF&F Masterworks and if you care to know a little bit more about each of us, here you go.

Michael, The Mad Hatter, has been a voracious reader since childhood known for reading every Choose Your Own Adventure book and most recognizable as the guy always carrying around a book while wearing a hat. He has been running the blog Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf & Book Review for more than a year. He has read 18 of the Gollancz Masterworks with his favorite to date being Ken Grimwood’s Replay, which he considers the best time fantasy ever written. He lives with his wife, one cat, probably a thousand books, and a couple dozen hats none of which are baseball caps.

Larry Nolen is a history and English teacher who has taught for most of the past fifteen years in Tennessee and Florida, in both public and private school settings. Fascinated with languages from an early age, he devotes much of his spare time to reading and translating interviews and articles from Spanish and Portuguese into English, with his first published translation, of Leopoldo Lugones' "El escuerzo" appearing in October 2011 in the anthology ODD? and his second,  Augusto Monterroso's "Mister Taylor," appeared in November 2011 in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology The Weird:  A Compendium of Dark and Strange Fictions. Larry also has a very healthy fascination with squirrels and dreams to one day edit an anthology of squirrel SF, to be called Squirrelpunk. He blogs  at The OF Blog, Gogol's Overcoat, and World War I Literature, Art, and Cinema.  Several of his reviews are actually written by rabid Serbian squirrels.

Patrick (a.k.a YetiStomper) is a twenty something IT professional who complements his fairly monotonous day job with a sizeable helping of the fantastic. Unable to find readers who read the same type and quantity of books, he started his own blog, Stomping on Yeti, in an attempt to participate in the larger science fiction and fantasy community. A known bibliophile, he has tendency to buy books at a significantly faster rate than he can read them. This was one of the primary factors in his decision to help organize the SF&F Masterworks reread, as he owns all 83 SF Masterworks titles but has shamefully read only 8 of them.

Andrew Liptak has been a contributor for io9 and SF Signal, and writes regularly for his own site, Words In A Grain of Sand (http://andrewliptak.wordpress.com), on numerous topics, ranging from books, speculative fiction and literature to history, politics and current events. A double graduate from Norwich University with a B.A. in History and M.A. in Military History, he currently lives in Vermont with a growing library of books, and a girl who has to this point tolerated his excessive book buying.

Ken(neth) stumbled into the SFF blogging world in early 2006 and has successfully utilized it as a distraction from his day job ever since. By ‘day’ Ken is a family man in his mid-thirties working as an engineering geologist for an international engineering firm. By ‘night’ Neth spends his time sharing his opinions about the world of SFF books on his blog Neth Space, other blogs, Twitter, Facebook and various message boards. It is important to note that beyond a love of reading, the misguided need to share his opinions and a big keyboard, Ken has no actual qualifications for being the critic he is sometimes mistaken for.

Gavin C. Pugh is probably better known as the blogger NextRead. He blames Terry Pratchett and his Witches books for getting him addicted to the written word. He has a degree in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of Glamoran. Gavin made a controversial blog post earlier this year saying that SF is dying as all anyone every talks about is the classics of the genre. He’s here to be proved wrong and find out if the classics are worth the praise they keep receiving. He is also an advocate of the new shiny so this is going to be an odd but hopefully enjoyable experience for him talking about old things. 

Amanda Rutter reviews for her own blog, Floor to Ceiling Books, alongside contributing reviews to Fantasy Literature, Hub Magazine and Vector Reviews. She enjoys reading all forms of literature, but particularly loves speculative fiction. Despite this, she is woefully under-read in terms of the classics of the genre - in fact, The War of the Worlds is the only classic she has tackled in the past! Consequently she is very much looking forward to taking on her share of the SFF Masterwork list.

Mad, bad but not dangerous to know, Cara Murphy is a web developer by day and all round book geek. Originally from Northern Ireland, she lives in London with an extensive CD collection, 2 tarantulas and her books. Free time is spent reading, watching Sci-fi films and TV box sets, walking/hiking, and dreaming of spending time in Borneo in an orangutan sanctuary and learning to surf. She cooks a mean Thai Green Curry and is partial to a Mojito or two. 

Cara started writing book reviews in March 2010 but has been an avid reader of speculative fiction since discovering the Narnia Chronicles in childhood. She currently writes regular reviews for Speculative Book Review and Temple Library Reviews and has her own personal blog, Murf: more then meets the eye. She also contributes occasional guest posts on other book review sites. Her favorite authors include Sheri S. Tepper, Jacqueline Carey, Stephen Baxter, Mark Charan Newton and Marian Zimmer Bradley, and particularly enjoys reading alternate history and classic apocalyptic fiction. 

Adele Harrison started and runs the book site Un:Bound with the support of an awesome team of contributors, some of whom have compared it to a cult or a collective (Adele now sees herself as the Borg Queen). She has recently begun reviewing and interviewing local authors for Nottingham's Left Lion in print and online and will be appearing as a reviewer on leading Sci Fi podcast Escape Pod in the future. In a bid to assimilate the entire East Midlands she can often be found lurking at local events with a notepad or mic, or getting herself involved.

Adele lives in a village in the East Midlands, where she is a member of a book group for which she never finishes the books, she has a degree in Psychology and works in Sustainable Transport for a local council. She grew up under the impression that all walls were made of bookcases and is trying to recreate that illusion in her own home, against some resistance. Brian Lumley, Clive Barker and Douglas Adams get most of the credit for maintaining her love of reading into adult hood and having read so few of the Masterworks list she is delighted to have been nudged back towards them.

Niall Alexander was but a sparkle of a concept of a sproglet when an unfortunate run-in with a car door left him permanently disfigured. In those days, though, he didn't mind the scar so much as the unsightly swelling. Terrified to go back to school and suffer the wrath of his crueler comrades in education, Niall's mother made a bargain with her son: if he promised to read The Earthsea Quartet, such as it was in those days, he could have a week off. And thus, The Speculative Scotsman was bribed into existence. The erstwhile graphic designer has since completed a joint Honours degree in English and Film & Media, which is neither here nor there, particularly, "but it sounds pretty swell in bios, doesn't it?"

Harry Markov is a bit strange. A bit quiet. A bit curious. A bit of everything. He likes to read and enjoys speculative fiction in all its forms and mediums. Harry hails from the small, ninja-like country of Bulgaria [as it is always stealthy on the maps] and hunts for novels in all hours of the day in order to create a Babylon Tower from all the books he still hasn't read. You can easily find his ramblings on books at Temple Library Reviews. At the same time, you can trace his journey through the land of the unpublished at Through a Forest of Ideas.