Great Bookstores: Village Books in Bellingham, WA


Alma Alexander wrote in to tell us about Village Books in Fairhaven, Bellingham, Washington: “It’s a big and wonderful indie bookstore which has a lot of cool stuff,...

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The Cats of Tanglewood Forest: A beautiful book to read with a child


The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint From its charming dustcover to the muted two-page illustration at the end, The Cats of Tanglewood Forest is a beautiful book that I...

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The Bigger Bang by D. J. Kirkbride and Vassilis Gogt


The Bigger Bang by D. J. Kirkbride and Vassilis Gogtzilas The Bigger Bang is a new IDW Publishing comic by D.J. Kirkbride (writer) and Vassilis Gogtzilas (art). As you can probably...

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T-shirts and bookmarks!


Get a T-shirt and bookmarks when you donate to FanLit. This soft white t-shirt features our dragon logo which was painted by author Janny Wurts. Underneath are the words...

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Recent Posts

State of Grace: Drugs, sex, and sunshine — what could go wrong?

State of Grace by Hilary Badger

State of Grace is Hilary Badger’s first Young Adult novel, and it is a doozy. If you put the Biblical concept of the Garden of Eden, Lord of the Flies, and 1984 in a blender, added teenagers with really heavy emotional baggage and a liberal sprinkling of futuristic pharmaceuticals, and turned it on, the result would be a fascinating examination of personal choice and free will (and a terrible smoothie).

State of Grace begins in media res: Wren lives with ninety-nine other teenagers in an apparent paradise, seven days away from the highly anticipated and mysterious Completion Night. They wear loose-fitting sungarb and play naked in a lagoon, sleeping with whomever they want (though never the same person two nights in a row, as per the Books of Dot, and the sex is hinted at rather... Read More

Hunter: Magical monster-hunting

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

In Mercedes Lackey’s new young adult novel Hunter, post-apocalyptic science fiction mixes with magical fantasy to produce an adventure in the tradition of The Hunger Games and Divergent. A series of catastrophes called the “Diseray” — a corruption of Dies Irae — has hit our world: a nuclear bomb (blamed on Christians) was set off in the near east, the North and South Poles switched, plagues killed countless people, and storms have permanently grounded most aircraft. These disasters culminated in the Breakthrough, a permanent rift in reality that allows deadly magical creatures to invade our world from the Otherside. Luckily, along with all of the hostile magical monsters have come some friendly ones, called Hounds by humans, even t... Read More

Servants of the Wankh: Still trying to get off that crazy planet

Servants of the Wankh by Jack Vance

Servants of the Wankh (1969) is the second of Jack Vance’s PLANET OF ADVENTURE stories. It’s a direct sequel to City of the Chasch, which you’ll want to read first, though Servants of the Wankh has a short but thorough recap of the story so far. Adam Reith was stranded on the planet Carina 4269 after his spaceship crashed there. He is now back to full health, has formed a couple of friendships and a romance, and is still trying to get off that crazy planet.

Audio version

First, though, he has agreed to escort Ylin Ylan, the damsel in distress that he saved in the previous book, back to her country. He’s secretly hoping that her wealthy... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 30, 2015

This week, Legolas gives us an insider's view of Helm's Deep.

Legolas: Journal Entry 3450023: Still in Helm's Deep. Morale is low, so Aragorn's been strutting around all day doing that thing he does where he suddenly comes over all kingly and every human in the vicinity trips over him- or herself to kowtow to him. Personally, I don't understand the reactions at all. He just sort of squints into the middle distance, sticks his chin in the air, and puffs his chest out. It's not really that impressive. But these yokels seem to love it, so whatever. Meanwhile, word has arrived that the army heading this way is even bigger than we expected, and Mithrandir has managed to cunningly slip out of harm's way by muttering vague and wizardly-sounding things about three days and dawn. The one spot of good news is that Gimli's similarly lily-livered efforts to  sneak off the battlements and "marve... Read More

Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso

Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso

Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso is a re-release of his first graphic novel, originally published in 1995, when Tommaso was twenty-three-year-old. I’ve never read anything quite like it. It’s a quick read — I think it took me all of forty-five minutes to read it — but I think it’s going to stay with me for some time to come. And I’m sure I’ll return to it. My initial impression is four stars, but I think with time I’d be willing to go higher. I suspect that the more time I spend with the book and thinking about it, the more it will grow on me.

Clover Honey is a black-and-white slice-of-life story that deals with the ... Read More

Last Man Volumes 1-3 by Balak, Sanlauille, and Uiues

Last Man Volumes 1-3 by Balak, Sanlauille, and Uiues

Usually the books I review here at fanlit are those I’ve either requested or because the publisher has noted I’ve reviewed earlier books by a particular author and so sends along that writer’s newest work. Thus, I’m already somewhat predisposed to enjoy most of what I review. But once you’re on the BLOOR (Big List of Online Reviewers), truth is you get sent a lot of books you never asked for (I know, I know — you bleed for me). Some you may wonder what the publisher is thinking (“Have I ever reviewed books on the undergarments of 14th century French monks?”), and you simply pass them on elsewhere. Others, though, you think, “I didn’t ask for this,” but then before you put it in the Not For Review pile, you have second thoughts: “It’s probably not a great idea, but who knows, I might like it.” So it goes in the Not for Immediate Review pile instead.
... Read More

The Expanded Universe: The Fairy-Tale Archetype of the Sexy Witch

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. This is a continuation of my series on fairy-tale archetypes. 

The Witch in Snow White

This past spring, I taught a class on fairy tales and fairy tale adaptations (you can see some of my student’s final projects here). I structured the class around archetypal characters or relationships, such as the Trickster or the Sibling Rivalry. One of the archetypes that I find the most fascinating, however, is that of the sexy witch[1] Read More

The Witching Hour: Imaginary genealogies are more fun than they sound

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of reader who revisits certain books every year. In practice… it doesn’t always happen. The Witching Hour by Anne Rice is an old favorite of mine — I first read it twenty years ago (wow) and have gone through, I think, four copies of it, and the fourth is looking a little haggard — and with its climactic action set around Christmastime, I always wanted it to be an annual winter reread for me. But like I said… it doesn’t always happen. It’s a busy time of year, and such a long book, and…

Last year, I actually did reread it over the holidays, and found myself feeling a little differently about it, and I think I’ve put my finger on why. I recently devoured Samantha Ellis’s memoir How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I’ve Learned... Read More

Damiano’s Lute: Failed to engage me

Damiano’s Lute by R.A. MacAvoy

Damiano’s Lute is the second book in R.A. MacAvoy’s DAMIANO trilogy, which takes place in Renaissance Italy. In the first book, Damiano, we met a young man named Damiano Delstrego who was feeling befuddled because he was both a witch and a Christian. He had left his village with his lute and his talking dog. He had several encounters with the archangel Rafael, who acts as a sort of patron to Damiano and taught him to play the lute. Satan also seems particularly interested in Damiano’s life. At the end of the first book, Damiano has renounced his magic and his talking dog has died, leaving the young man bereft and lonely.

In Damiano’s Lute, Damiano is roaming the French countryside with a young man named Gaspa... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Back to school! (giveaway)

It's that time of year again.

Children groan and parents cheer as another year of school begins!

In fact, at this very moment, as I'm writing this post, I'm trying to get the last of my kids off to school for the day before I leave for work.

Maybe if he went to Hogwarts, he'd be more enthusiastic about his education. They certainly had a better school lunch!

Did you ever fantasize about being a student at a fictional school? Which speculative fiction institution would you like to attend? Or is there a school you'd hope to be expelled from if you were a student there?

As always, one random commenter with a US address wins a book or audiobook from our stacks. Read More