Audiobook Review: Infomocracy by Malka Older

21 Jul 61xsdlYecyL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_


A timely dive into the electoral politics and shenanigans of the future, Malka Older’s debut novel Infomocracy does a deep dive into a future where even with decentralized micro democracy, the problems of power and politics remain, even if they have altered their forms.

The monopolization of search engine technology by a company called Information has led to the atomization of society and nearly the entire world into  microdemocratic states with outposts throughout the world, or sometimes just regionally or locally.  Twenty years in, the next election, which has been previously globally dominated by one party, is being viewed with suspicion and alarm. If Heritage, the overall winner the last two election cycles, should win again, the microdemocratic trend might ossify and die on the vine. But governmental change is a scary thing, scary enough that people might take advantage of the election to push their own power plays. Continue reading

Book Review: STORIES FOR CHIP: A TRIBUTE TO SAMUEL R. DELANY, Edited by Nisi Shawl & Bill Campbell

19 Jul StoriesforChip

Publishing since the age of twenty, Samuel R. Delany is a highly respected novelist and literary critic alike. Familiarly known as “Chip”, Delany has written science fiction and fantasy (SFF) known for pushing boundaries, for challenging the notions of speculative genres, and experimenting with approaches to literature in general. Delany’s writing both subverts conventions and transcends fiction to explore social realities, most notably the existence of the Other. Indeed, as a man who could be described with terms such as academic, homosexual, polymath, African-American, and intelligent, Delany writes from the point of view of the Other, a spectrum of under-represented perspectives within SFF.

Both Delany’s fiction and nonfiction have been hugely influential, inspiring, and appreciated, partly due to this unique vision. However, his works have also resonated so strongly because Delany’s vision is not just unique, but uniquely brilliant, honest, and perceptive. With all of its challenges and transgressions against comfortable familiarity, Delany’s work strikes universal human chords, conveying both beauty and progressive encouragement. Continue reading

299. Sarah Kuhn (a.k.a. The Super Geek) — Heroine Complex (An Interview)

6 Jul HeroineComplex

Superheroes, and evil cupcakes, oh my!  Trish Matson and Mike Underwood join forces to explore Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine Complex. They discuss Kuhn’s approach to action and humor, the novel’s rich relationships, and even a little bit of Hamilton!

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): Continue reading

#03. The Last Command — Thrawn and On and On (A Star Wars Literary Podcast)

1 Jul The Last Command by Timothy Zahn

The trilogy ends, but the saga lives forever!  In our third episode, Kate, Rachael, and Shaun conclude the Thrawn Trilogy with a discussion of Timothy Zahn’s The Last Command and a side discussion about the origins of Rey and Rogue One (our hopes and our fears).  We discuss the politics of the narrative, explore the development of the characters, new and old, examine the politics and underlying meanings in the trilogy as a whole, the number of Ewoks found on Endor, and so much more!

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Now for a poll!  If you want to help us pick the next book or series to read in the Star Wars Legends/Expanded Universe, vote on the poll below (future polls for the New Canon/Expanded Universe will also go live in the future).  Hooray for choices!

Want to suggest a book?  Think we should add a feature?  Send us an email at skiffyandfanty[at]gmail[dot]com!

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): Continue reading

Book Review: Alice by Christina Henry

28 Jun Alice by Christina Henry

Alice by Christina Henry

(Ace Books, Paperback, 291 Pages, ISBN: 9780425266793)

“Her voice trailed off, her throat full of love and loss and pain. [He] said nothing, but she heard his breath go deep and even, and she let her eyes fall shut. She matched her breath to his, and it was almost like holding his hand as the night closed in.

Alice dreamed of blood. Blood on her hands and under her feet, blood in her mouth and pouring from her eyes. The room was filled with it. Outside the door [he] stood hand in hand with something dark and hideous, a thing crafted of shadow with flashing silver teeth…”

I haven’t read Lewis Carroll before. I’ve never even watched any of the Alice in Wonderland adaptations that have been animated or filmed. But the continual presence of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in the popular zeitgeist is sufficient familiarity for anyone to pick up Alice, an arresting novel by Christina Henry published last summer. More inspired by Carroll’s twisted characters and their world as opposed to being a point-by-point ‘retelling’, Christina Henry tweaks Carroll’s work into her own distinct plot and themes, with a marked shift to darkness. Continue reading


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