Which Swycaffer Book Should You Read First?

The most prolific writer of the Emerald Cove authors is also one of my oldest friends. Jefferson Swycaffer and I first met while I was visiting his sister back in the late 1970’s. The next day after our first meeting (or a couple of days later), we happened to run into each other again while walking across the San Diego State campus. All right…we did not literally run into each other, but when you consider how many thousands of students attended SDSU at that time, it was still a pretty amazing feat. We’ve been friends ever since. We’ve been reading and critiquing each other’s writing for years, we’ve used each other as the basis for characters in our respective novels, played rpgs together, and even dated for a few months way back in the 1980’s.

Jefferson has always been one of my favorite authors. I love the way he uses words. He can paint a scene in a paragraph that many writers could not match in a whole page. His stories are fun and imaginative. It was no surprise that his first books were professionally published when he was in his 20’s, and he is still writing and self-publishing books today.

Through the wonders of Amazon, all of Jefferson’s early books are now available on Kindle. But with so many of his books to choose from, where do you start? Of course, you could always begin with his recent books, but if you are interested in the earlier novels, here are my suggestions.

His very first book was a light-hearted collection of short stories called At the Sign of the Brass Breast. The stories focus around a couple of lovable ne’er-do-wells who stumble their way into adventure in a fantasy version of Renaissance Italy (where magic is common). And yes, they are the same characters featured in Jefferson’s short story The Quality of Larceny in Emerald Cove’s Stolen! anthology.

If you prefer more serious science-fiction, his second and third books Become the Hunted and Not in Our Stars are classic, spacefaring/adventure stories set in the Concordat of Archive, a universe based on the Traveller role-playing game. As I recall, Not in our Stars was published first, but Become the Hunted was actually the initial book written and establishes the chronology for all the later Concordat books. You can start with either book, but I recommend Become the Hunted first. As Glinda said in the Wizard of Oz, “It’s always best to start at the beginning….”

Anyway, I hope all of you are doing well. Talk to you next Friday!

Susan 2/12/2021

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