3/20/18; 8:25pm CDT - Galen
I got a free e-book of Julia Whicker's Wonderblood from Net Galley. It is a dark, post-apocalyptic dystopia, the beginning of yet another multi-book saga. I doubt I'll be interested in continuing the journey in later books. YMMV.
Under the Pendulum Sun
3/16/18; 8:00pm CDT - Galen
Jeannette Ng's Under the Pendulum Sun is a remarkable debut. Quite different than I expected, more subtle in approach, as much a gothic romance as it is high fantasy, although there are plenty of fantastical elements. Tonight is the deadline for Hugo nominations, and I'll probably be struggling up to the last minute whether this one should bump one of the other five, very strong titles that were already on my list. It's that good. Highly recommended, and I don't even mind it's the first of a series, although no word yet on a second title. I'm anxious to travel to Arcadia again, very soon.
Brown Girl in the Ring
3/12/18; 1:00pm CDT - Galen
Nalo Hopkinson's debut novel, Brown Girl in the Ring, received a Locus Award for Best 1st Novel, and she also was awarded the John W. Campbell for Best New Writer in 1999. Both were well deserved.
2/23/18; 2:00pm CST - Galen
Annihilation is Alex Garland's adaptation of the first novel in Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy. I loved the books, love the movie, even with its changes. Highly recommended.
The Tensorate Series by JY Yang
2/18/18; 9:25pm CST - Galen
The Tensorate Series is, so far, two novellas released on the same day last year. Both are good, the author seeming to think the first is better, but I liked the second more, if only just a little bit. I suspect one or the other, if not both, with get a lot of Hugo nominations. There is already at least one more story in the sequence planned, to be released in July, but I suspect there will be several others. I hope so.
2/16/18; 1:55pm CST - Galen
I saw Black Panther in an advance screening last night. It's great, recommended.
2/5/18; 5:45pm CST - Galen
Roger Zelazny won his first of two Hugos for This Immortal, originally serialized in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction under the title "...And Call Me Conrad." It actually tied with Dune, which is a much better book.
The Philosopher's Flight
2/2/18; 7:50pm CST - Galen
The Philosopher's Flight is the debut novel from Tom Miller. It's a flight of fancy, an alt-history story with a magical touch. Highly recommended.
Blood Binds the Pack
1/29/18; 8:00pm CST - Galen
Blood Binds the Pack is a sequel to Alex Wells' Hunger Makes the Wolf so I've continued on that same page. If you haven't read the review of Hunger just scroll up to the top of that page. I think there will be at least one more book in the sequence, but it has not been announced yet.
The Only Harmless Great Thing
1/24/18; 6:25pm CST - Galen
The Only Harmless Great Thing is a novella by Brooke Bolander. It's well written, but emotionally devastating. I rate it highly in a literary sense, but it's difficult to know if I should recommend it. It may be too intense for some readers.
The Best of All Possible Worlds
1/23/18; 7:15pm CST - Galen
The Best of All Possible Worlds is Karen Lord's second novel. Quite different than her first, this is science fiction on a grand scale, highly sociological and psychological in nature. It's also a love story, although very different in that regard too. Recommended.
The Shape of Water
1/21/18; 1:50pm CST - Galen
Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water is good, while not up to the masterpiece level of Pan's Labyrinth, but still recommended. The performances of Sally Hawkins and Richard Jenkins outshine some of the cliche elements.
The Night Masquerade
1/17/18; 8:10pm CST - Galen
Nnedi Okorafor says The Night Masquerade completes the Binti trilogy, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who hopes she changes her mind one of these days.
Redemption in Indigo
1/15/18; 10:30pm CST - Galen
Karen Lord's debut novel, Redemption in Indigo, is at least partially a retelling of a Senagalese folktale, although it may also have influences from her native Barbados. It's an excellent book, and it would be so simple just to quote another review, from Booklist: "One of those literary works of which it can be said that not a word should be changed."
A Time of Changes
1/14/18; 7:00pm CST - Galen
Robert Silverberg's A Time of Changes won the Nebula Award for 1971. It is good, full of interesting characters and intricate world-building, but it does have a few flaws. Comparing it to other books nominated that year, including for the Hugo, I'd say it might have received my #3 vote.
1/10/18; 9:00pm CST - Galen
Shadowhouse Fall is a continuation of Daniel Josť Older's Shadowshaper Cypher. Still good, still exciting, still recommended.
1/1/18; 2:00pm CST - Galen
Silvia Moreno-Garcia has already become one of my current favorites, and she continues to fascinate with her novella, Prime Meridian, which she self-published via an Indiegogo campaign. It's copyright 2017 and eligible for current award consideration, but won't be in general release until July 10. I recommend you pre-order.
Happy New Year + 2017 in review
1/1/18; 1:45pm CST - Galen
I hope everyone's new year is starting off great. I'm trying to maintain a postive outlook for the future, but I want to also recognize what went on last year, the most productive year for the site so far. I read more than ever before, a total of sixty-two individual titles, although three of those were re-reads before going on to their sequels, and three non-SF titles I did not review. Also, five movie reivews, three for TV, and three pages on graphic novels covering six titles. Can I do even more this year?
All of 2017's updates have been moved to the Archives, and my first new review will be added shortly.
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