Stardust

By Neil Gaiman,

Book cover of Stardust

Book description

Now a major motion picture—this charming fairy tale by the #1 New York Times bestselling author, weaves a magical story set long ago in the tiny English village of Wall, a place where things are not quite what they seem.

Go and catch a falling star . . .

Tristran…

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Why read it?

8 authors picked Stardust as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Neil Gaiman’s ability to weave a huge fantasy world and tell an engaging tale with a beautiful love story at its heart is just what makes this book so special to me.

Enemies to lovers, Yvaine and Tristran’s love story gives me all the feels. I loved falling in love along with them! It was literally magical.

Gaiman knows how to pepper in cheeky humor exactly when necessary, and the simplicity of his writing magically transforms words into this epic fantasy world that lives rent-free in my head. I love this book.

Gaiman’s fairytale-like writing gives it a nostalgic feel I didn’t even know I was looking for, and the idea that stars aren’t just big balls of hot gas, but people? That lines up with the idea that every star is an attendant angel, for me—or older ideas of religions past, that the stars themselves were the “visible gods” of our world, watching over us from the cosmos.

All fiction comes from something someone said before, and it’s one of the things I love most about fantasy. Stardust is one of those books that really just gives you the old-school…

Stardust is, in essence, a modern fairy tale, with the concept of ‘the magical world next-door’ I always wished to discover as a child. As with my previous recommendations, it isn’t a secret to be stumbled upon, but a known world to venture into if you dare. 

What I love about these settings is how you go in thinking that they’d seem mundane and easier to navigate compared to stumbling into hidden worlds, but the catch is that the laws of everything—including reality—differ there. It heightens the excitement and how the plot can surprise you with those new twists!

Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

Book cover of Alpha Max

Mark A. Rayner Author Of Alpha Max

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Human shaped Pirate hearted Storytelling addict Creatively inclined

Mark's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers he’s the only human being who can prevent the end of the world, and not just on his planet! In the multiverse, infinite Earths will be destroyed.

Alpha Max

By Mark A. Rayner,

What is this book about?

★★★★★ "Funny, yet deep, this is definitely worth venturing into the multiverse for."

Amazing Stories says: "Snarky as Pratchet, insightful as Stephenson, as full of scathing social commentary as Swift or Voltaire, and weirdly reminiscent of LeGuin, Alpha Max is the only multiverse novel you need this month, or maybe ever."

Maximilian Tundra is about to have an existential crisis of cosmic proportions.

When a physical duplicate of him appears in his living room, wearing a tight-fitting silver lamé unitard and speaking with an English accent, Max knows something bad is about to happen. Bad doesn’t cover it. Max discovers…


Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced Neil Gaiman read in person, but every time I read the opening pages of Stardust, I hear it in Gaiman’s rich voice. You don’t even have to wait for the first line. That quintessential British storyteller voice comes out in the title of the first chapter itself: “In Which We Learn of the Village Wall, and of the Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years.” While the other fantasy novels in this list all take place in secondary fantasy worlds, Stardust is set on Earth and has all the charm and wonder that…

The simple idea of a rock wall hedge inspired Gaiman’s idea of a different world existing within our world; one where stars are not rock but living guardians watching over us, such is Yvain, the star broken away from the heavens and who fell to earth. This book captivated my fascination with wondering. I often dream about what kind of magic could be in other places. I find I search for magic everywhere, and this book made me believe there is magic out there waiting to be discovered.  

A modern fairytale, by the master storyteller Neil Gaiman, with one of my favourite evil witches. In Victorian England, Tristan Thorn sees a star fall and impulsively promises to bring it to the young woman who spurns his love. But he must cross into the world of Faerie to find his prize, and the star is not some cold, dead thing, but a living, breathing girl. Most of the story deals with Tristan and Yvain, the fallen star, but my favourite parts are those with the Witch Queen pursuing them, hunting after Yvain’s heart because eating it will restore her…

“That doesn't happen," she explained. "Stars fall. They don't go back up again." "You could be the first," he told her.” Neil Gaiman is a master of unusual stories such as Coraline and The Graveyard Book, and I had trouble choosing just one of his books. Stardust is the most fairy-tale of them all though. This story follows a young man who sets out from his humdrum village and enters the world of Faerie to recover a rare fallen star, but there are other characters with shady motives who share the same goal. A rich, magical feast of a…

This is a classic story (they made a movie out of it) by a classic author. To me, this was a wonderfully imaginative love story. Like my other choices, this book captures something intimate about the human condition. The humor here is much subtler than in my other choices but that makes it, for me, all the richer. The story is pure fantasy, not sci-fi, and has the feel of an old fairy tale. 

From Jay's list on funny sci/fi fantasy.

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