Tag Archives: female author

Book Review: STEEL VICTORY and STEEL MAGIC by J.L. Gribble

28 Jul

This Sunday I featured Steel Blood for my first offering in the ‘A Book By Its Cover’ series of humorous fake reviews. I haven’t yet read this third volume in J.L. Gribble’s Steel Empires series, but I have read the first two novels, Steel Victory and Steel Magic. Seems the perfect time to write real reviews on them. Continue reading

Book Review: Cold-Forged Flame and Lightning in the Blood by Marie Brennan

26 Jul



A woman appears out of nowhere, with no memory of who she is.  She is bound to a task by a spell she cannot escape, as if she were a summoned demon (and perhaps she IS, she doesn’t know). The woman, even her name eluding her, makes her way on a perilous journey to obtain what is needed for a band of rebels to overthrow a tyranny. The woman remembers skills, certain very useful skills, even if things like her name and what she is elude her memory. She may not know who she is, but she can climb, travel through wilderness, and fight. Her story to find out what she is, who she is and what she was are intertwined with the quests she has been set, and later, undertakes on her own.

Cold-Forged Flame and Lightning in the Blood, Tor.com novellas, begin to tell the story of a summoned spirit, an Archon, an Archon who learns that her name, or at least part of it, is Ree. Continue reading

Book Review: The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

19 Jul


A pair of intriguing, antagonistic characters, steampunk airships, a dry sense of humor, and feats of derring-do are at the heart of The Guns Above, a debut novel by Robyn Bennis. The novel’s strong focus on the action beats as well as the main characters marry a sense of character along with large helpings of crunchy detail to a finely honed level. Continue reading

Guest Post: Religions on Mars, according to Me, by Mary Turzillo

7 Jun

I truly don’t know if human beings need religions or ideologies, but history seems to indicate that we do. Every time a culture attempts to base its social values on entirely non-spiritual things, that very agnostic value-system becomes a new religion.

People from England, France, Germany, etc. migrated to North and South America and to Australia in order to practice religions that were banned or looked down upon in Europe. Once they got to the New World, some of them started religions that did not harmonize with the social mores of their neighbors. Animal sacrifice, child marriage, and polygamy were three of the customs sanctioned by various religions that caused them to be ostracized. So the devotees moved further west, into less populated territory.

I think this will happen when humans begin to migrate to the moon and Mars. I don’t discuss this much in Mars Girls, although I’m building another novel (Isidis Rising) where dissidents sequester themselves in a Martian enclave. Continue reading

Book Review: Everfair by Nisi Shawl

26 May

Approximately nine years ago, while browsing a local library’s new release section, I came across Filter House. A short story collection by Nisi Shawl, its description and critical blurbs promised rich literary fantasy from a talented and distinctive voice that was new to me. Reading it, I realized that promise was no exaggeration. Filter House is significant in both its quality and its revelation of a culturally non-dominant perspective (particularly within the SFF community). Nominated for a World Fantasy Award and winning the James Tiptree Jr. Award, Shawl’s collection did not go unnoticed within the critical community.

Yet, I somehow felt unfulfilled after completing the collection. I had no regrets reading it; I appreciated it. But it still baffled me in its unfamiliarity and its thematic focus. Its Otherness required contemplation, attentive to the subtle graces of Shawl’s writing and listening to her viewpoint. For me, one read-through wasn’t sufficient to fully experience it. Continue reading

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