Great Bookstores: Bookends in Kailua, Hawaii


A.A. Attanasio wrote in to recommend Bookends in Kailua, Hawaii. Bookends doesn’t have a website at this time, but you can find it at 600 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734. Phone:...

Read More
Terror by Night: Classic Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce


Readers’ average rating: Terror by Night: Classic Ghost and Horror Stories by Ambrose Bierce Wordsworth Editions, published in London, has a wonderful thing going with its...

Read More
Against Speculative Poetry?


Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I’ll be featuring essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and...

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

SFM: Gregory, Roanhorse, Vernon, Mamatas & Pratt, Clarke, Lowachee

Short Fiction Monday: Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we've read recently that we wanted you to know about.

“Second Person, Present Tense” by Daryl Gregory (2005, free in print and audio at Clarkesworld, November 2017 issue; originally published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, September 2005 issue)

I love what Daryl Gregory does with drugs. “Second Person, Present Tense” is about the parents of a girl who died after overdosing on a drug called “Zen” or “Zombie.” Unable to cope with their loss, they latch on to a homeless girl (our narrator) who they hope will come live with them a... Read More

Hymn: Wraps up the series in solid fashion

Readers’ average rating:

Hymn by Ken Scholes

Ken Scholes brings his PSALMS OF ISAAK series to a close with Hymn (2017), a novel that satisfactorily ends the series, even if the novel is perhaps a bit weaker in comparison to its predecessors.

One of the series’ strengths has always been Scholes’ vibrant imagination, and Hymn retains that quality here, building on earlier concepts and adding new ones, which I won’t detail here so as to avoid spoilers. Another positive quality of the series has been its, well, positive quality. By that I mean that while some horrific things happen in this series (and this book) there always remains a sense of optimism and warmth arising from either plot or the characters. Rather than an unremitting catalog of the ills o... Read More

Oathbringer: Ambitious in scope and depth; often compelling if a bit over-long

Readers’ average rating:

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

So I’ve decided there’s so much to cover in Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer (1200+ pages), and there so much I can’t say so as to avoid spoilers, that I’m going to eschew the usual seamless essay structure for this review and just go with relating some brief and, at times, necessarily vague reactions to various aspects.

Structure: As with the other books (The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance), Sanderson offers up multiple POVs, with the flashback POV going to Dalinar this time around. Some of what we learn of his past won’t co... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 10, 2017

Character update on break this week.

Jana: This week's FanLit reading was yet again complicated by homeowner stress, and I did a lot more me-reading in an effort to keep myself sane. So that meant books like Murder at the Vicarage and Legends and Tales of the American West, and I leisurely made my way through Philip Pullman's  Read More

The Whymer Maze from Lamentation to Hymn (giveaway!)

Today we welcome Ken Scholes, author of the PSALMS OF ISAAK series, which began with Lamentation and concludes this month with the fifth volume, Hymn. I have enjoyed this series, especially its internal mythology and interesting characters.

One randomly chosen commenter will win a copy of Hymn!

The Whymer Maze from Lamentation to Hymn


I think sometime around Canticle or Antiphon Read More

Mandelbrot the Magnificent: An almost-mystical origin story

Readers’ average rating:

Mandelbrot the Magnificent by Liz Ziemska

Prior to reading this novella, what I knew about the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot would have fit into an embarrassingly small thimble (with plenty of room to spare). I identified fractal shapes simply as “tessellations on steroids” and my only reference point for a “mandelbrot” was a delicious cookie.

But thanks to Liz Ziemska, I have a much greater appreciation for Mandelbrot’s work in his field, as well as the passion and determination that sustained him through his years in Nazi-occupied France. Mandelbrot the Magnificent (2017) blends real and imagined history with high-level mathematical equations and principles, and the result is a lovely little “psuedobiography.”

In his ow... Read More

Daughter of the Empire: Life on the other side of the rift

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Kat's new review.

Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts

THE EMPIRE CYCLE is the second trilogy set in Raymond E. Feist’s (and in this case Janny Wurts’) Riftwar universe. Readers of the RIFTWAR SAGA (the first trilogy by publication date) will know all about the world of Midkemia and its war with the otherworldly Kelewan. Daughter of the Empire takes place entirely in Kelewan and so offers a new insight into the Riftwar universe, from the other side of the rift. Readers familiar with the earlier works will enjoy spotting the veiled references to familiar events... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means, 'cause we do this on the first Thursday of every month! Time to report!

What is the best book you read in November 2017 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, on... Read More

Stranger Magics: These are Faerie troubling times

Readers’ average rating: 

Stranger Magics by Ash Fitzsimmons

Colin Leffee (aka Lord Coileán le fae) is an immortal half-human, half-fae being, who's exiled himself from his mother Titania's court in Faerie for her various misdeeds. For approximately the last eight hundred years he's been whiling away his time on Earth, protecting humans from the terrors and mischiefs of less conscientious faeries, running an antique bookstore, and drinking far too much ― easy to do when you're magical and can make booze, money or anything else appear with a thought.

But one day his past comes back to haunt him: Colin finds a teenage changeling that Titania has tossed out of Faerie, practically on his doorstep. Colin realizes, with a great deal of alarm, that this girl, Moyna, has magical powers and, worse, that his past connects him to Moyna and her mother Meggy, the only woman Colin has truly loved in all his years on Earth. ... Read More

Null States: Great SF in the old-fashioned way, as technology pushes social change

Readers’ average rating:

Null States by Malka Older 

Null States (2017) is the sequel to Malka Older’s prescient Infomocracy and the second book in THE CENTENAL series. In Older’s universe, micro-democracies, governments with tracts of 100,000 people each, have taken hold over most of the globe. The mini-governments or centenals are designed so that minorities can participate in a democratic government. Governments are not bound by geographic borders; in this way people who hold a minority view in their physical home-town can join a like-minded government and be represented. Every ten years all the governments have an election and one government gets the Supermajority, a chance to set international policy. The entire process is overseen and helped by a powerful entity called Information, which is like Google on steroids. The agen... Read More