Stuart chats with Cixin Liu


Cixin Liu is the most popular SF writer in China, having won the Galaxy Award (the Chinese Hugo) nine times, but it wasn’t until 2014 that The Three-Body Problem, the first volume...

Read More
Madouc: Lyonesse is Pythonesque


Readers’ average rating: Madouc by Jack Vance Well, here’s the finale of Jack Vance’s Lyonesse, and I’m sorry to see it end. This novel was about Madouc, the...

Read More
Ten reviewers … Ten novels … One great bundle of books!


Blair MacGregor writes fantasy—adventurous, epic, and dark. She is a graduate of Viable Paradise, chairs SFWA’s Self-Publishing Committee, and runs a Patreon for...

Read More
Great SFF Deals!


We’re always looking for money-saving deals on books, comics, and audiobooks and we bet you are, too. Let’s use this page to alert each other about great deals. Just leave a...

Read More

Recent Posts

Black Light Express: A strong follow-up to its predecessor

Readers’ average rating:

Black Light Express by Philip Reeve

Black Light Express (2017) is Philip Reeve’s just-as-good-as-the-first-book follow up to Railhead, continuing the exhilarating romp while expanding the universe and its inhabitants, as well as digging a bit more deeply into the hidden history of the created world and offering up some more page time to some of the first book’s secondary characters. Warning: there will be some inevitable spoilers for book one (you can just stop here with the take-away that I recommend the duology). First spoiler begins in the very next line!

So at the end of Railhead, Nova and Zen had opened a gate to a whole other set of worlds, these i... Read More

Bannerless: A thoughtful detective story in a post-apocalyptic world

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Jana's new review.

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

In Bannerless (2017), Carrie Vaughn ― perhaps best known for her KITTY NORVILLE urban fantasy series inhabited by werewolves and vampires ― has created a reflective, deliberately paced post-apocalyptic tale with some detective fiction mixed in. It's about a hundred years in our world’s future and after an event simply called the Fall, when civilization collapsed worldwide. The cities are now ruins, abandoned by all but the most desperate people. Climate change has resulted in, among other things, deadly typhoons that periodically hit the California coast, the setting for our story. What's left of humanity is living a far simpler lifestyle than most of their twentieth centur... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Hugos, Who Will Win? Who Ought To Win?

The WorldCon75 Committee announced that, when the Hugo voting closed, they had received 3319 ballots, the third highest turnout in the history of the award.

This year, in addition to the familiar categories, the Hugos added a Best Series category. I’m interested to see who wins, and what people even think of the category as a concept.

Best Novel finalists are: (click the links for our reviews)

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (winner of the Nebula for Best Novel and the Locus award for Best Fantasy Novel)
A Closed and Common Orbit by B... Read More

The Currents of Space: “It’s a rather complicated story”

Readers’ average rating:

The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov

The Currents of Space, the third entry in Isaac Asimov’s loosely linked GALACTIC EMPIRE trilogy, is a prequel of sorts to book 1, 1950’s Pebble in the Sky, and a sequel of sorts to book 2, 1951’s The Stars, Like Dust, and if you by any chance find that statement a tad confusing, trust me, that is the very least of the complexities that this book dishes out! The Currents of Space originally appeared serially in the October - December 1952 issues of Read More

Amatka: Defies conventions, with mixed results

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Bill's new review.
Amatka by Karin Tidbeck

Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka (2017) almost reads as a callback to the experimental and dystopian science fiction of the 1970s: a slim novel, packed with examination of the self as an individual unit within a larger social machine and the cost-benefit analysis thereof, with strange imagery and twisting narrative threads, and no easy answers to be found. Once, generations back, a group of people mysteriously found themselves in a new place, and were unable to make their way back home. They formed five colonies (though there ... Read More

WWWednesday; July 26, 2017

From Haggard Hawks, “to meet the Skerrymen” is to keep as a secret the identity of someone with whom you had a meeting.

Conventions:

San Diego Comic-Con kicked off last Thursday. Syfy Wire has some nice cosplay stills here.

WorldCon 75 Mascot in Space



You know who didn’t like Comic-Con? United Airlines, that’s who. They restricted the packing of comic books in checked luggage.  United assured passengers, via Twitter, that this was a TSA requirement. Read More

Magic for Nothing: The youngest Price child gets her own story

Readers’ average rating:

Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire

Magic for Nothing, (2017), Seanan McGuire’s sixth INCRYPTID novel, finally gives the youngest Price child, Antimony, a story of her own. The rebellious, roller-derby daughter has enough on her plate coming to grips with her newly manifested pyrokinetic abilities when she is thrown into a dangerous undercover assignment, and to her way of thinking, she has her sister Verity to blame for it.

I have only read the first two books in the series and one short story featuring Antimony, so I may commit inadvertent spoilers. In the prologue, we learn that Verity, on a live broadcast of a New York dance-competition show, revealed her cryptozoologist powers, and challenged the Covenant of St. George, a secret society, military ... Read More

Railhead: Imaginative and entertaining from beginning to end

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Bill's new review.

Railhead by Philip Reeve

If the idea of a heist aboard a sentient train traveling at faster-than-light speeds appeals to you; if said heist involves assumed identities, the theft of a very old and valuable artifact, and a criminal thumbing his nose at a family-run corporation/empire; if you like believable romance and honest-to-goodness fun, then Philip Reeve’s latest YA novel, Railhead, is for you. (If none of that appeals to you, read on anyway: I may be able to change your mind.)

In a galaxy filled with novelties like sentient trains who travel at faster-than-light speeds on specially crafted rails through K-gates stationed on nearly a thousand worlds and moons, Zen Starling is a light-fingered teen who l... Read More

Killing is My Business: An improvement on the first book but still has issues (and a giveaway!)

Readers, we have a paperback copy of Made to Kill and a hardcover copy of Killing is My Business to give away to one lucky commenter! U.S. and Canada-based mailing addresses only, please.

Readers’ average rating:

Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher

I thought that the flaws in Adam Christopher’s first Chandler-esque robot PI novel, Made to Kill, outweighed the positives, and thus gave it a rating of only 2 ½ stars. The tougher-than-steel detective/hitman Raymond Electromatic is back in the sequel, Killing Is My Business (2017), and while it improves upon its predecessor in many ways, it never really breaks out of the gat... Read More

Wildfire: Sizzling romance, wrapped in a kidnapping mystery, inside a family enigma

Readers’ average rating:  

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Note: some spoilers for the previous books in this series, Burn for Me and White Hot.

The smoking hot adventures of Nevada Baylor and Connor "Mad" Rogan continue in Ilona AndrewsWildfire (2017), the third book of the HIDDEN LEGACY series, set in an alternate version of our world in which a serum has unleashed magical powers in a minority of people. The magical families are organized into Houses, and typically marry to preserve and intensify the right combination of genetics so that their children will have the strongest possible magic and t... Read More