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Paul Weimer’s Best of 2017 and Award Eligibility Post

13 Dec

The year 2017. What a year, huh?

Your humble correspondent was named the 2017 Down Under Fan Fund recipient. This means that I got to go on a subsidized trip to Lexicon, the 2017 New Zealand National SF convention, and Continuum, the 2017 Australia National SF convention. I’ve talked about it here, and on the podcast, and you can always still for a $7 donation get yourself a copy of the DUFF report. All donations go to the Fund so that in 2018, a NZ/AUS fan will come to the United States in a reciprocal trip to the one I took this year. Continue reading

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Horror review: Penny Reeve on A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

10 Dec

Although she’s been a name within the young adult horror/fantasy scene for a while now, Frances Hardinge was recently projected into the mainstream public gaze when her novel The Lie Tree won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year Prize. After such a bar was set with her last novel, Hardinge’s fans waited with bated breath for her newest, A Skinful of Shadows. Luckily it is an intricate and masterfully told coming-of-age tale, full of intrigue and more than a little creepy, which lives up to expectations. Plus, it was nominated for the Waterstones Book of the Year Award 2017. Take that, Costa.

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Book Review: Windhome by Kristin Landon

6 Dec

 

An expedition to an alien planet goes horribly wrong, and the survivors try and find their way amongst a most alien culture in Windhome, by Kristin Landon. Forced quickly to survive with reduced numbers and a fear of what has occurred, the expedition’s goal to make contact with the locals and find evidence of aliens who have ravaged worlds, including the very world they have landed on, is the core of the plot. Continue reading

Book Review: The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

2 Dec

If you ever thought Jane Austen needed more demon hunting, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman is the book for you.

In Regency London, Lady Helen Wrexhall is preparing for her presentation to the queen. Her parents died under mysterious circumstances no one talks about except to mention the shame Lady Helen’s mother brought to the family. This means that Lady Helen must be a paragon in order to avoid the stain of such an association and marry well.

Which makes it very inconvenient when she starts to manifest unusual abilities. Having grown up being able to read the tiniest signs of emotion in people’s faces, she starts to find herself filled with a restless energy. When one of her family’s housemaids goes missing, Lady Helen sets out to investigate. She finds herself drawn into a shadowy side of the world she never knew existed and to the Earl of Carleston. Through him she learns the truth of her abilities and must choose between her duty to her country and her desire to lead a normal life. Continue reading

Book Review: Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

29 Nov

Artificial Intelligences, Gods and Goddesses, tailored viruses gone wrong, mind-expanding drugs, political and social turmoil and more, all in a near-future South Africa, is the matrix where Nicky Drayden embeds an assortment of disparate and diverse characters in her debut novel Prey of Gods. The author’s penchant for mixing a variety of characters and a variety of genre elements that do not seem to match together or work together at first makes the novel one of the most intriguing and unpredictably diverse novels I have read in 2017. Continue reading

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