...With some exceptions. Sam Sykes, perhaps.
But leaving this disturbing image aside, where should newcomers start - based on what they already enjoy? Well, this is my brief - and very subjective! - attempt to tackle this problem: I've grouped my picks by the genre (outside SFF) you're reading now.
As always, tell me what you think, and what I've missed out, in the comments!
The first book, Sailing to Sarantium, can be found on Amazon here: Sailing to Sarantium: Book One of the Sarantine Mosaic
('...The hat isn't accurate? Damn' - second reaction of 85% of readers to the Dresden Files)
Put bluntly, the first few volumes of the Dresden Files pretty much transplant the noir PI into fantasy: and the character is familiar. Of course, Harry Dresden quickly develops beyond that, as does the series itself, but it's a great transition for anyone interested in crime and looking to get into the fantasy genre. It's also a lot funnier than most UF, which can only be in its favour.
Storm Front can be found on Amazon here: Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
I'm hesitant to call this a type of fiction - you can find literary qualities in any genre - but for those of you who enjoy a dominant theme, I'm definitely recommending China Mieville. And a good place is to start is with The City and the City (not-so-coincidentally one of my favourites as well): which also serves as a crime novel. The role of the fantastic is contained to one element, but aside from the talent of Mieville himself, The City and the City also has rather cutting insights into the nature of life today. Which, of course, I can't really say more about - it would ruin your chance to find out for yourselves!
Let's just say the speculative element won't disappoint. And that if you're wondering what on Earth is going on... Well, that's normal, too.
You can find it on Amazon here: The City & the City. China Miville
What are your suggestions, for these or other genres? Ever encouraged someone to try SFF yourself? Comment below and tell me!