Andrea Beatriz Arango: Westwood Monster Patrol

I really enjoyed Andrea Beatriz Arango’s modernized take on “A Christmas Carol,” and I was eager to read anything else I could get my hands on, enough to read a little out of my comfort zone. And I’m glad I took a chance on this, it’s completely unlike any other supernatural-themed YA I’ve read. TheContinue reading “Andrea Beatriz Arango: Westwood Monster Patrol”

Apology; Ann Aguirre: Wanderlust

There’s been mess of foamy-mouthedness around the Science Fiction Writers of America association over the past couple weeks. I won’t link to the petition that jump-started it, but it basically asserts that for the the official bulletin of a professional organization to have editorial standards that avoid hostility to its constituency is an assault onContinue reading “Apology; Ann Aguirre: Wanderlust”

Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins: The Merciless Book of Metal Lists

The world of heavy metal music is broader than almost anyone who hasn’t spent time in it is likely to guess, so if you’re contemplating this book as a gift for a metalhead in your life and/or yourself it’s helpful to know the focus and bias. For Abrams and Jenkins the core of metal isContinue reading “Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins: The Merciless Book of Metal Lists”

Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler: The Future of Us

The Future of Us has a cool conceit: two teen friends in 1996, Emma and Josh, install a magical AOL CD-ROM that lets them log into Emma’s Facebook account from 15 years in the future. There’s a dash of social satire, some of which is executed with a heavy hand (I get that for muchContinue reading “Jay Asher, Carolyn Mackler: The Future of Us”

Sean Adams: Masters of Design – Logos and Identity

In this lavish, generously illustrated book, Sean Adams offers several prominent branding and identity consultants an opportunity to discuss their work and their approach to identity design. A few consistent themes emerge, most about managing client relationships, with “listen to your client,” and “make sure you’ve identified and are reaching the real decision makers,” perhapsContinue reading “Sean Adams: Masters of Design – Logos and Identity”

Lou Anders (ed.): Masked

Lou Anders’ anthology of original superhero-themed short fiction caught my eye not so much because I’m in love with the genre, but because I liked the idea of a contributor list including both writers from the comic book world (like Bill Willingham, Mike Baron, Peter David, Marjorie Liu, and Gail Simone) and prose sf authorsContinue reading “Lou Anders (ed.): Masked”

Ann Aguirre: Grimspace

Grimspace is a fast-moving space opera that melds an impressive array of tropes and plot devices — the emotionally damaged protagonist, the corrupt interstellar megacorporation, the incrementally revealed backstory, and a plethora of captures, escapes, and firefights among others — into a surprisingly cohesive whole. The overall vibe, with a small crew of misfits onContinue reading “Ann Aguirre: Grimspace”

David Addison: The Gargoyle

Like many of the plots of Jonathan Carroll — the novelist whom The Gargoyle most calls to mind — the plot of David Addison’s novel might seem precious or even silly when reduced to 25-words-or-less form: Addiction-prone man, hideously burned in car crash, meets beautiful sculptress who claims to have known him in 14th century,Continue reading “David Addison: The Gargoyle”

Mario Acevedo: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats

Several months ago, my eye was caught by an ad for the sequel to this vampire P.I. novel, X-rated Bloodsuckers. I thought it looked like trashy fun and I liked the implicit conceit of juxtaposing literal consumption of humans with the legendarily exploitive adult entertainment industry. When I looked up Acevedo’s name in the libraryContinue reading “Mario Acevedo: The Nymphos of Rocky Flats”