Posts tagged "fantasy"

This Census-Taker – China Miéville

In past posts, I’ve alluded to the divide within the speculative fiction world, wherein on one side stands the group that wants to elevate unheard voices, shine a light on different stories, and push the boundaries of our boundless universes just a bit farther. From the other side wafts a miasma, that same stench that has consumed U.S. politics which, in this case, wants to make science fiction “Great Again.” That group calls itself the “sad puppies,” which isn’t a… Continue reading

Penric and the Shaman – Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold, who won the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Series (for the Vorkosigan Saga), is a fantastically decorated writer. Among her many accolades are six Hugos, three Nebulas, three Locuses, and as of 2010 (according to wikipedia), has sold over two million books. And because I’ve been derelict in my studies of speculative fiction, I hadn’t heard of her until I saw Penric and the Shaman on the list of nominated novellas for the 2017 Hugos. It’s tough… Continue reading

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe – Kij Johnson

A strange and delightful congruity connects The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe with the last Hugo-nominated book I reviewed, The Ballad of Black Tom. Both reach back toward Lovecraft, grab hearty handfuls of story, and mold it into works that manage the requisite respect for the author of such incredible tales while openly challenging his prejudices. You can refresh your memory about how Victor LaValle elegantly reframes Lovecraft into a tale of loss and revenge in last month’s review. We’re here… Continue reading

The Divine Comedy – Dante

This is another one of those cases where I feel that a book I aim to review is out of my league. The Divine Comedy is absolutely beyond the scope of my review blog.  So I will attempt to not review it for its contents. But what I feel is within my purview is a discussion of the performance of the audiobook, since that was how I made it through the somewhat difficult text. The first time I tried to… Continue reading

Summerlong – Peter S. Beagle

Peter S. Beagle is best known for writing The Last Unicorn, which I haven’t read but heard of time and again as childhood-defining. For what it’s worth, I tried watching the animated feature but was vetoed by the other denizens of my household. I shall try another time, and crack open the copy of The Last Unicorn currently sitting on my shelf in due time. Knowing only about Unicorn was insufficient preparation for reading Beagle’s recent novel, Summerlong, published by… Continue reading

The Echoes of Sin – Chris Philbrook

(Beware of spoilers, for they be plentiful below.) The concluding entry in Chris Philbrook’s Kinless trilogy, The Echoes of Sin, does a massive amount of worldbuilding. It reminds me a bit of Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire series, wherein after being taken on a wild journey through a fantastical world, we learn that it’s actually some kind of post-apocalyptic vision of Europe. Whereas Lawrence loosely explains it as a result of science growing too powerful for its own quantum britches, Philbrook… Continue reading

It’s All Fun and Games – Dave Barrett

I watched Dave Barrett’s It’s All Fun and Games climb the charts of the Nerdist Collection contest on Inkshares with a mixture of admiration and curiosity. The premise—a Live-Action Role Play game come to life—seemed pretty basic. I decided it would be made or broken by the quality of the prose and characterization, since the plot could not possibly be that interesting. Right? Not quite. Turns out that It’s All Fun and Games was a fabulous read. The writing was… Continue reading

Motive For Massacre – Chris Philbrook

The sequel to Wrath of the Orphans is, incidentally, much less wrathful than its predecessor. Motive for Massacre might sound like it gets hairy—and it certainly does—the plot of Motive follows the Everwalk twins along the path to discovering who orchestrated the destruction of their home and the slaughter of its two hundred-or-so citizens, and why. It’s a much tighter story than Wrath, owing to the fact that it didn’t have to do much world building, allowing Chris Philbrook to… Continue reading

WarblerChat — An Interview with G. Derek Adams

When I read G. Derek Adams’s Asteroid Made of Dragons, I became infected with a new love of fantasy. You can read all about how much I loved Asteroid as well as his first novel, Spell/Sword, in the linked reviews. What I’m sharing below is the content of our delightful conversation last weekend. Talking with Derek was a delight, and I hope to interview him again when he has a fantasy novel empire.

Dreams of Distant Shores – Patricia McKillip

Tachyon Publications has a knack for putting out excellent collections of short stories—in fact, it seems to be their specialty. This week’s “flavor” is Patricia Mckillip’s Dreams of Distant Shores, an excellent anthology that spans modern fiction, slipstream, and urban fantasy. Dreams of Distant Shores contains five short stories and two novellas, and while you should certainly read the whole collection, I’d like to focus on the novellas in this review. The first, The Gorgon in the Cupboard, is emblematic… Continue reading