Category: Science Fiction

Aug 21 2019

Yikes

Sometimes speculative fiction is just a little too on the nose: The Republicans, coming to power …, wanted to do away with free trade. In a frenzy of nationalist rhetoric, they sought to replace globalization with protectionist tariffs. They wanted to pull up the economic drawbridge, just as their predecessors had after the Wall Street …

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Aug 20 2019

The Warehouse by Rob Hart

Oh gosh, this was one of those deeply affecting cautionary tales that you finish and need to put down and just sort of sit and recover from for a while. Set in a near-future where the trajectory of global (but especially American) capitalism has come to its merciless inevitability, the largest employer in the country …

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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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Aug 11 2019

Hexarchate Stories by Yoon Ha Lee

Hexarchate Stories

My review of Revenant Gun, the third in Yoon Ha Lee’s Machineries of Empire series, ended “In short, I would greatly enjoy reading more stories set within Lee’s hexarchate, or indeed either the heptarchate that preceded it or the successor states that are trying to succeed it… And no more Jedao for a while, please. …

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Aug 10 2019

An Informal History of the Hugos by Jo Walton

An Informal History of the Hugos

I remember enjoying these assessments of the Hugo Awards when they first appeared as columns on Tor.com, and I am glad to see them collected in book form with the addition of selected comments that appeared in the discussion that followed each column. The subtitle of this collection — A Personal Look Back at the Hugo …

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Aug 09 2019

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach

For the epigraph to Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Robson riffs on the old saying about the past being a foreign country. Instead of “they do things differently there” she has “we want to colonize it.” That’s the first indication that her novella will eventually be a time-travel story. The next is the abrupt …

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Aug 09 2019

An Anatomy of Beasts (Faloiv #2) by Olivia A Cole

Hurray, work finally calmed down enough again for me to read a library book! After the events of the first book in the series (that you should really read before picking up this one,) our heroine Octavia is on the run from the rest of the humans of N’Terra. She finds refuge with the Faloii, …

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Aug 04 2019

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells

One of the things that science fiction can do better than many other genres of literature is to take an abstract philosophical or metaphorical problem and make it very, very literal. “Am I forever defined by my past?” is a popular introspective question. “How do I deal with all of these other beings around me?” …

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Aug 03 2019

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: The Night Masquerade

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Binti: The Night Masquerade without discussing elements of Binti and Binti: Home, so I am not even going to try. And to be honest, the best thing that happens in Binti: The Night Masquerade, from a storytelling perspective, is a plot surprise a bit more than halfway through the …

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Jul 29 2019

The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

The Tea Master and the Detective

The Tea Master and the Detective introduced me to Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe, an interstellar setting that sprang from an alternate Earth history in which East Asian powers and cultures dominated the age of discovery and thus also the leap into space. Her web site says that the more recent stories are influenced by …

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