Long ago I read some writing advice about putting one, and only one, strange element in a story. (I think it was in reference to Thurber’s once-ubiquitous “Unicorn in the Garden”; that it would have been ruined if there was <b>also</b> a flying saucer.) This glorious mess of a book feels like a defiant upthrustContinue reading “Light from Uncommon Stars – Ryka Aoki”
Hey! Usually I don’t do spoilers. Herein be spoilers! Although perhaps not completely unanticipated spoilers. Most of the way through I thought this was enjoyable space opera/caper novel, set in the gap between the original “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” that gives Luke Skywalker a chance to mature a little, both personally andContinue reading “Kevin Hearne – Heir to the Jedi”
“Glorious Day” takes some fairy-tale-ish elements – a wicked king and a scheming courtier, an innocent (at least in some ways) princess, a noble-hearted guard – adds a lot of realistic emotional complexity, gives it a futuristic veneer, queers it, and remixes it all into an unusual, slow burn FF romance (with just a dashContinue reading “Skye Kilaen – Glorious Day”
Gritty near-future sci-fi retelling of Puss in Boots with a queer MC and a rogue AI. I’d love to read more in this world, and will be looking out for more from Aysha U. Farah.
There was a lot I really liked about this novel and a few things I really didn’t. I avoided reading anything about it beforehand, but I’m guessing it’s dogged by comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s films (both “Memento” and “Inception,” particularly) and maybe to Kaufman/Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and really, if this isContinue reading “Blake Crouch: Recursion”
I loved this book so much it’s hard for me to write coherently about it. The language: dense, rich, vivid musical. The premise: yes, Eurovision in space, played for laughs, but not JUST for laughs, also a glorious, delirious refutation of “rare earth” and “habitable zones,” a dizzying celebration of near-infinite diversity. A plot twist,Continue reading “Catherynne M Valente: Space Opera”
Interesting, if not always compelling, alternate Tudor history tale. sometimes felt like Jenkins was more ingested in showing off research than telling a story, but I still had some problems maintaining suspension of disbelief. Narrator Henry’s voice convinced me, but he’s a bit dry.
I thought this started out very strong, but even though its episodic, aimless nature is explicitly part of the point, I was ready for it to be over well before it was.
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”
The handful of stories in Brody’s collection clearly have an agenda of raising consciousness of and concern about the implications of climate change. Socially or politically motivated art is tricky: it can succeed in communicating its objectives without necessarily exhibiting the general hallmarks of literary merit. In literary terms, I found Hot Mess a mixedContinue reading “Rachel Lynn Brody (ed.): Hot Mess – Speculative Fiction About Climate Change”