Lev Grossman on Day Jobs


When it comes to writing novels, there is no day job so great that a novelist won’t find a way, in his petty, miserly little heart, to bitterly resent it...

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente September’s father has gone off to war and her mother works all day building airplane...

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The Origin of Tarot? Madame Xanadu by Matt Wagner


Madame Xanadu (Vol 1): Disenchanted by Matt Wagner (author) and Amy Reeder Hadley (artist) A few months back, we had a discussion here at Fanlit about Tarot cards and literature. We...

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Recent Posts

Jupiter’s Legacy Volume 1, Issues 1-5

Jupiter’s Legacy Volume 1 by Mark Millar (author), Frank Quitely (artist), & Peter Doherty (colorer)

Jupiter’s Legacy Volume 1 collects the first five books in Image Comics storyline co-created by Mark Millar (writer) and Frank Quitely (art), and colored by Peter Doherty. The basic storyline and themes will be familiar to anyone who has read comics in the past decade or so, or has seen some of the more deconstructive movies such as Watchmen, Kick-Ass (written by Millar), Runaways, or even The Incredibles. But as is often the case with genre, it’s what you do with the usual tropes and themes that determines the quality of a work, and so far I’ve found Jupiter’s Legacy to be an entertaining take on the familiar,... Read More

Book Chat: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

This Book Chat we’re continuing with another classic Ray Bradbury title: Something Wicked This Way Comes, his 1962 novel that mixes fantasy, horror, and coming-of-age to tell the story of a sinister carnival that arrives in the town of two 13-year-old boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway.

Bill Capossere: I’ll start off by saying I loved this book when I read it the first time as a young teen, somewhere when I was probably just a year or two older than the two protagonists; I choked up and I think actually cried a bit when I read it to my own son about four or five years ago, and I loved it again on this re-read. Some of the reasons were the same, some of the reasons are different... Read More

Lois Lane: Fallout: Nancy Drew, eat your heart out!

Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Lois Lane: Fallout is the latest YA novel from Gwenda Bond and follows the adventures of Lois Lane, a sixteen-year-old army brat with a chip on her shoulder and a nose for trouble. She’s convinced that East Metropolis High will be a fresh start, unlike all those other schools she’s been to, where her efforts to help people in need always seem to end up adding black marks to her permanent record. Straighten up and fly right is her brand-new mantra, but this goes awry instantly when she overhears a young woman complaining about bullying to the principal, who brushes her concerns aside, and Lois takes it upon herself to intervene.

By speaking up for Anavi, Lois accidentally makes herself the target of the young woman’s bullies, a gang of students known as the Warheads. Luckily, she’s not alone — help is provided by Perry White, an editor at the Daily P... Read More

The Maracot Deep: What’s doing in Atlantis NOW?

The Maracot Deep by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Readers who know of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his Sherlock Holmes stories, his tales of Sir Nigel in the 14th century, the Napoleonic adventures of Brigadier Gerard or the sci-fi escapades of Professor Challenger might still be unfamiliar with The Maracot Deep. Published in 1929, only a year before the author's death, this short novel amply demonstrates that Doyle still retained all his great abilities as a spinner of riveting yarns, even in his twilight years. At a mere 140 pages, the novel(la) is a compact but densely written fantasy of the discovery of the remnants of Atlantis.

It seems that Professor Maracot (a kind of early 20th century cross between Jacques Cousteau and Robert Ballard), along with an American naturalist and an American engineer, had suffered a terrible accident while in his bathysphere off the... Read More

The Time Machine: An early masterpiece of science fiction

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The Time Machine (1895) is one of H.G. Wells’ most visionary and influential novels. It introduced the concept of time travel to a large readership, one of the most often-used conceits in SF. It also depicts a frightening and apocalyptic vision of a far future Dying Earth that has influenced countless genre practitioners including as Jack Vance and Gene Wolfe.

The book starts out with an unnamed Time Traveller describing, to a dinner party, his revolutionary time-travelling device and the adventures he has with it. His first stop is 800,000 years in the future, where he encounters the Eloi, a gentle and simple-minded people, and the darker, un... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Saturday is Free Comic Book Day!

Started in 2002, Free Comic Book Day — FCBD — is always the first Saturday of May. To get your free comics on Saturday, you’ll need to locate a local comic bookstore and, if in doubt, give them a call to see if they are participating. Chances are, if it’s an independent comic book store, they are offering free comics, because FCBD is designed to celebrate comics, to introduce comic books to new readers, to celebrate the unique independent comic book stores that sell them, and to support comic book stores by bringing in new customers in addition to the regular patrons.



If you are new to comics, FCBD is for you just as much as it is for those of us who can’t make it through a single day without reading comics. For me and others like me, it’s a day of celebration. But we also want to reach out to new readers.

So, if you have never been into a comic book store before, pl... Read More

The Shadow Master: Nice action, no fabric of reality

The Shadow Master by Craig Cormick

My low rating of this book reflects my disappointment in the gap between this concept and the execution, especially in the world-building. I also must say that many people on Goodreads loved The Shadow Master by Craig Cormick. Perhaps I’m just not the right reader for this book.

At first glance the book appears to be set in an alternate 15th century Italy with two warring families. There are the star-crossed lovers, Lucia and Lorenzo; each one an orphan, each one taken in by one of the feuding families … and deeply in love. There’s the Shadow Master leaping around, sword fighting, smiling a mocking smile from behind his mask. The name of the city is the Walled City.

The story of The Shadow Master involves a plague that kills everyone except the people inside the Walled City, who can slow the effects of the p... Read More

Soarer’s Choice: Satisfactorily concludes the second COREAN trilogy

Soarer’s Choice by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

The second trilogy in L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s COREAN CHRONICLES closes with Soarer’s Choice. While this book is better than the previous novel, Cadmian’s Choice, that’s mostly because (1) It closes out this overly-long trilogy and (2) It gives the background that helps explain the world Alucius lives in in the first three COREAN CHRONICLES books, LegaciesDarknesses, and Scepters. (The story of that first trilogy occurs generations after the events in the second trilogy, Alector’s Choice, Cadmian’s Choice and Soarer’s Choice).

Mykel and Dainyl continue to be noble and upright and, consequently, continue to be promoted up their respective ... Read More

Snow Crash: So much more than just “cyberpunk,” and funny as hell

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

This is probably my favorite cyberpunk novel of all time, but “cyberpunk” really doesn’t capture the book’s range. It runs the gamut of the Metaverse and avatars, skate punks, an anarcho-capitalist Balkanized United States, super-cool technology, neurolinguistic viruses, hacker communities, burbclaves, ancient Sumerian mythology, Aleutian harpoonist super assassins, the Church of Happyology, and last but not least, Uncle Enzo’s Cosa Nostra Pizza, where your pizza is delivered in less than 30 minutes or Uncle Enzo, the Mafia boss owner, will fly by helicopter to apologize to you in person. And the driver’s life is forfeit.

The opening chapters feature Hiro Protagonist, Last of the Freelance Hackers and Greatest Swordfighter in the World, as he strives to deliver a Pizza with 20 min already on the clock, in his black, kick-ass Deliverator vehicle, which sounds like the Batmobile customized f... Read More

WWWebsday: April 29, 2015

On this day in 1997, U.S. astronaut Jerry M. Linenger and Russian cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev completed the first-ever Russo-American space walk, a five-hour excursion from the Russian space station Mir.

Carina Nebula

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

The European Science Fiction Society award winners have been announced, with Brit China Mieville garnering an award for best author.

The Libertarian Futurist Society released the Prometheus award nominees, including Liu Cixin  and Terry Pratchett.

Seiun Awards finalists (the Japanese equivalent to the Hugo A... Read More