Avid Staff Top 10 Series: Trent


Welcome to the next installment of our staff top 10 series. 

This week we are featuring the top picks of Trent Jamieson. Trent is a science fiction and fantasy writer, and the author of Day Boy, The Death Works trilogy, and The Nightbound Land series. Trent is our go-to guy for all things sci-fi and fantasy, and here he has selected a wonderful range of novels within those genres, as well as some great classics.  

LUD-IN-THE-MIST by Hope Mirrlees

Lud-in-the-Mist is the capital city of Dorimare and a port at the confluence of two rivers, the Dapple and the Dawl. The Dapple has its origin in Fairyland. In the days of Duke Aubrey, some centuries earlier, fairy things had been looked upon with reverence, and fairy fruit was brought down the Dapple and enjoyed by the people of Dorimare. But after Duke Aubrey had been expelled from Dorimare by the burghers, the eating of fairy fruit came to be regarded as a crime, and anything related to Fairyland was unspeakable. Now, when his son Ranulph is believed to have eaten fairy fruit, Nathaniel Chanticleer, the mayor of Lud-in-the-Mist, finds himself looking into old mysteries in order to save his son and the people of his city. [Fantasy]

THE SCAR by China Miéville

Aboard a vast seafaring vessel, a band of prisoners and slaves, their bodies remade into grotesque biological oddities, is being transported to the fledgling colony of New Crobuzon. They are joined by a handful of travellers, each with a reason for fleeing the city. When the ship is besieged by pirates, the senior officers are summarily executed. The surviving passengers are brought to Armada, a city constructed from the hulls of pirated ships, a floating, landless mass ruled by the bizarre duality called the Lovers. On Armada, everyone is given work, and even Remades live as equals to humans, Cactae, and Cray. Yet no one may ever leave. [Fantasy/ Sci-Fi]


Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his live, concentrating on his shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. [Classic/ Sci-Fi]


At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England. When the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, he becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student and they join forces in the war against France. [Fantasy]


On his sixteenth birthday, churlish Drake Douay finds himself exiled from his homeland amid a treacherous crew of pirates on the open sea. Through battles with sea monsters, mysterious cults, weird technology of a bygone age, and the warring ganges of two pirate lords, Drake explores a world of dark fantasy and betrayal with his keen wit and a sharp sword. The Walrus and the Warwolf is the fourth book in the Chronicles of an Age of Darkness series. [Fantasy]


To Kill a Mockingbird is an unforgettable novel of childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much. [Classic]


Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth. Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance. [Fantasy]

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home. Then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly on his doorstep. They enlist his services - as a burglar - on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's life is never to be the same again. [Classic/ Fantasy]

AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner

As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in turns by each of the family members - including Addie herself - the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos. [Classic]

STEEPLECHASE by Krissy Kneen

Bec is recovering from surgery when her sister Emily calls, so naturally she thinks she is hallucinating. Emily, famous worldwide for her paintings, and also for her schizophrenia, lives in Beijing. But that's not why she hasn't spoken to Bec for so many years. Now she wants Bec to come and see her, which would mean revisiting the sinister games and shared delusions of their strange and damaged childhood. For Bec, fascinated and repelled by her impossible sister, it may be worth the risk. [Fiction]