Tag Archives: Fantasy

Book Review: CUCKOO SONG by Frances Hardinge

22 May CuckooSong

It is England during the reign of King George V. The Machine Age is at its peak, and human society is in flux, becoming increasingly urbanized, secular. The Great War has come to a close, but the traumatic devastation it has wrought echoes on in family’s lives. Nations struggle to recover and political/economic turmoil presages greater conflicts and changes to come. What the future holds is not only a concern for humanity, but also for The Besiders, a race that has lived alongside us in the margins, driven further into the isolated shadows as human civilization spreads.

Eleven-year-old Triss Crescent awakens in a bed surrounded by her parents and a doctor, her memory fragmented and incomplete. She gradually recalls that the family is together on vacation, and that she has had an accident, coming close to drowning in the Grimmer, a local millpond. But she has difficulty remembering the details of how she fell in, or how she managed to get out. Triss’ younger sister Pen was there to witness the accident, but Pen sulks in the corner of the room, far from Triss, and won’t say more than angrily proclaim that Triss is lying, pretending; that Triss is not who she claims to be. Continue reading

Book Review: The End of the Sentence by Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard

21 May The_End_of_the_Sentence_by_Maria_Dahvana_Headley_and_Kat_Howard

Malcolm Mays has been running from a tragic event in his past. His flight has taken him to the tiny community of Ione, Oregon. There, he has bought an old, abandoned house to make his own, sight unseen. Much to his surprise, the town knows all about the House, and its reputation casts a long shadow indeed. Worse, Malcolm is getting impossible letters from a prisoner, Dusha, in the Oregon state prison who should be long dead. A prisoner that tells Malcolm that the house will “welcome him” but that Malcolm must prepare for Dusha’s release from the prison at the end of the sentence.

Impossible letters, a haunted house, dark secrets, the dread coming of Dusha, and Malcolm’s own tragic past come together in The End of the Sentence, a Subterranean Press novella, a collaboration between  Maria Dahvana Headley and Kat Howard. Continue reading

“Ten Post-Apocalyptic Novels Written by Women” by Nicolette Stewart

20 May

There are 1000 ways to end the world, and fictional explorations of those possibilities have been popular (more so whenever disaster seems near at hand) for going on 200 years. But why do we love to watch the world burn?  Is it a desire to start over?  A catharsis for our fears about things out of our control? Or just a fun thought experiment in which we can examine the actions and reactions of humans put in the most extreme of situations? Continue reading

My Superpower: Heather Rose Jones (The Mystic Marriage)

18 May The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Heather Rose Jones to talk about how the power of root cause analysis relates to The Mystic Marriage.

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You might not think that the same superpower would come in handy both as a fantasy novelist and as an industrial root cause investigator. But I have a preternatural ability to maintain multiple competing unfinished causal structures in my mind, feeding facts into them bit by bit until a pattern emerges from the swirling chaos, the contradictions fall away, and what remains is—if not the only truth—then at least one possible truth that is consistent with the facts. Continue reading

Book Review: The Copper Promise by Jen Williams

14 May the-copper-promise

Sebastian and Wydrin are mercenaries and adventurers, longtime friends and partners, doing jobs for coin in a way and manner familiar to a lot of sword and sorcery fiction. Sebastian is the big guy, a defrocked paladin of a mountain god. Wydrin is an infamous rogue of the port city of Crosshaven known as the Copper Cat, deadly with two blades. The opening of the book starts off straightforwardly enough, with the pair hired by a deposed noble to break into a magical vault. A magical vault that contains a long imprisoned scaly God and followers that the pair inadvertently free.

Oops. Continue reading

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