Category: Fantasy

Sep 17 2019

Wonderland: An Anthology edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane

First of all, Titan Books just has the best speculative fiction short story anthologies. Between this and the recent Wastelands 3: The New Apocalypse alone, I feel entirely spoiled with exposure to some of the best minds working in fantastic fiction today. Wonderland collects 20 brand new short works (18 stories, plus two poems from …

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Sep 08 2019

The Incorruptibles by John Hornor Jacobs

The Incorruptibles

Romans and cowboys! A demon-powered steamboat! Saloon fights! Distressing damsels! Samuel Clemens! Now this is how you embrace the pulpy side of things and stay the heck out of the uncanny valley. Not least because very unfriendly immortals are likely to sweep down from the uncanny heights and leave you scalped or kilt ded. Fisk …

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Aug 25 2019

The Oracle Queen (Three Dark Crowns #0.1) by Kendare Blake

Wait, that’s it?! No fair! So this is the prequel novella to the Three Dark Crowns series, explaining why all oracle queens are now drowned at birth. Exquisitely written, as always, it also does a mean thing to us readers: it sets up a terrific protagonist then has everything go terribly wrong not only for …

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Aug 17 2019

Barry Hughart, 1934–2019

Bridge of Birds

“I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world “My surname is Lu and my personal name is Yu, but I am not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea. My family is quite undistinguished, and since I am the tenth of my father’s sons …

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Aug 14 2019

The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin

So on the one hand, this is some gorgeously written, truly imaginative sci-fi set in a world where the science seems like magic, so much so that the book reads like a terrific fantasy novel. It’s also a sharply drawn parable of slavery and gilded cages, based on inherent powers owned by people dubbed orogenes …

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Jul 24 2019

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Black God's Drums

“The night in New Orleans always got something going on, ma maman used to say—like this city don’t know how to sleep.” (p. 7) It doesn’t, and neither does P. Djèlí Clark’s splendid, exciting, enchanting novella The Black God’s Drums. Clark’s first-person narrator, a slightly feral young woman named Creeper, makes her own way in …

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Jul 22 2019

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning delivers perfectly cromulent action and adventure in the Navajo corner of a world that has suffered a partly supernatural climate apocalypse. Maggie, the book’s first-person narrator, is a badass. Trained by a near-god in the arts of combat, she adds magical powers of speed and killing prowess, powers drawn from her Navajo …

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Jul 10 2019

Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) by Kendare Blake

Finally, a book I picked for meeeeee! Nothing against the books sent to me for work, here or at CriminalElement.com, but dang, it’s nice to have free time again and the luxury of leisurely selecting from my back catalog, so to speak, what I’d like to read next. So, of course, I chose to enjoy …

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Jun 23 2019

Off to the Wabe

Dublin 2019

Perhaps to gyre and gimble. Back in mid-July. In the meantime, I have become a supporting member of Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon. I’m gutted that I won’t be able to attend in person, but what can ya do? I had an amazing time at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki, and enjoyed being a Hugo voter …

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Jun 15 2019

The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner

“No one sends for a niece they’ve never seen before just to annoy her family and ruin her life. That, at least, is what I thought. This was before I had ever been to the city. I had never been in a duel, or held a sword myself. I had never kissed anyone, or had …

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