Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Book Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

31 Jul Aaron-NiceDragonsFinishLast_thumb1

Julius Heartstriker has a problem. Several, actually. He’s a dragon from a powerful and fecund dragon clan on a near-future Earth where the Magic Has Returned. Dragons are not trusted at all and are often actively hunted — for good reason — by anyone and anything else.  But it gets worse. Julius is not the heartless and ambitiously machiavellian dragon his brothers and sisters are, much to the disappointment of Mother. He’d rather play World of Warcraft.

So when Julius gets booted from the dragon’s lair to the center of magical activity on Earth — the ruins of Detroit — and trapped into his human form with a one month time limit to prove himself, Julius is under the gun to adapt or die. But a mage on the run from Las Vegas with secrets of her own might be as much the answer to his problems as he is to hers. Especially given given the rogue spirits, other dragons and the rest of the magical nastiness the former Motor City can throw at them. Oh, and some high powered mobsters following Marci from Sin City…

Do Nice Dragons Finish Last? If Julius is not careful, he’ll just be finished. Continue reading

Mining the Genre Asteroid: Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds

25 Jul 640px-Orson_Welles_1937

You’ve heard the story of the broadcast, I am sure. In 1938, Orson Welles put the US into a panic by doing a fake news broadcast about Martians landing in New Jersey and wreaking havoc.  That the broadcast was a trick on the populace, caused mass panic, and disrupted the entire United States one October night. But dig deeper, listen to the rhythms, the flow, the story of the radio play, and you will find a much richer text than the one imagined by your preconceptions. A story worth the attention of any and all genre fans.

Orson Welles’ The War of the Worlds radio play first aired on October 30,1938. The radio play itself was written by Howard Koch and Anne Froelick, with the production directed by Orson Welles, who stars in the play as Professor Richard Pierson, a fictional famous astronomer. Running about an hour long, the Radio Play is divided into several distinct parts: A Prologue/Introduction from Welles, a three act structure of the main story, and then a coda. Continue reading

210. Sarah Lotz (a.k.a. Planecrusher 1000) — The Three (An Interview)

23 Jul

Creepy children, fallen planes, and a world gone mad, oh my!  Author Sarah Lotz joins us for our World SF Tour bonanza to talk about her new book, The Three.  We talk about her fascination with plane crashes, horror and religion, writing multiple cultures, and much more!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 210 — Download (MP3)

The Three by Sarah Lotz

Show Notes:

You can also support this podcast by signing up for a one month free trial at Audible.  Doing so helps us, gives you a change to try out Audible’s service, and brings joy to everyone.

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

Book Review: The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

26 Jun TheDeathsOfTao-144dpi

After being bonded with the alien Tao, making good strides against the Genjix, and becoming a better man in the process, physically and otherwise, you’d think Roen Tan would have it made. Instead, several years after the events of The Lives of Tao, Roen and Tao have self-exiled themselves not only from Jill and their son, but also from the remainder of the Prophus. It’s a particularly painful separation.

And,  sidelined as they have made themselves out to be, Roen and Tao’s side are in a relatively weaker position now, and the stakes are higher than ever. The Genjix are winning their long secret war against the rebellious Prophus. More and more of the countries of the world are falling under covert Genjix control. It’s everything Jill (and her own Quasing Baji) can do to keep things from slipping too badly.

In The Deaths of Tao, though, that might not be enough, as the Genjix have a new rising star in their ranks and a seemingly tantalizing approach to an old, old dream. Not the ancient dream to escape Earth, but a different desire entirely… Continue reading

Listening To My Ancestors

24 Jun

Author’s note: This blog post will be a little bit different from the usual SFF in SEA variant.

Recently, I was rocked by a wonderful and startling revelation from my dad about his grandmother. My great grandmother was a herbalist and a travelling physician. From his tone, I could tell my dad admired her. She had “ben shi”, ability, talent. She could do stuff.

Yet, my grandmother, my great grandmother’s daughter, wasn’t that forthcoming. She let out her stories in weak spools. She didn’t talk about things that made her sad. According to my dad, she quarreled with her mother who forbade her to leave for Nanyang (the Chinese term for Southeast Asia). My grandmother left for Singapore soon after that. Imagine the wounds still unhealed, the words left unsaid, unvoiced. My grandmother passed away last year.

My paternal grandparents came from Hui’ An, Fujian. Isolated from the mainland, Hui’ An still retains characteristics of a minority group in China:  the women’s clothing are unique and more reminiscent of clothing from Indo-China. The Hui’ An people are nominally Han Chinese. They are a coastal people, fishing and harvesting/farming oysters as part of their livelihood. At the same time, the women folk work at granite mines. Still deeply patriarchal, Hui’An society has women working at the coast and at the workshops while men idle away at tea houses. As a result, the women are tough, resilient and innovative. Continue reading

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