Famous fantasy duos


Abbot and Costello. Woodward and Bernstein. Ben and Jerry. Siskel and Ebert (a moment of silence). Bert and Ernie. Thelma and Louise. Holmes and Watson. The world is rife with...

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The Orphan’s Tales: Each story is brilliant and brilliantly told


Readers’ average rating: THE ORPHAN’S TALES by Catherynne M. Valente I haven’t read any fantasy quite like Catherynne M. Valente’s The Orphan’s Tales...

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Elite Groups in SFF


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...

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Our rating system


We realize that we’re not professional literature critics — we’re just a group of readers who love to read and write about speculative fiction — but we...

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Recent Posts

Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt

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Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt

Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt is a six-volume series that is a demanding, but worthwhile comic about a secret group that, were conspiracy fans to learn of it, they would not sleep soundly ever again. The group, Mind Management, has offices all over the world, and they take in “gifted” children and train them to become agents, depending upon their talents. However, some of the adults who are gifted who run the group are able to erase and manipulate memories, so even the agents do not always remember that they were agents at one point. Some agents are sleeper agents and do not even know it until they a... Read More

Neuroscience and Fiction: Two Sides of the Same Coin (Giveaway!)

Today we welcome Livia Blackburne whose young adult novel Rosemarked has recently been released (here's my review). Livia is a neuroscientist and, since we have two neuroscientists on our team here at FanLit, we asked her how her background influences her writing. Livia says that she views neuroscience and fiction as two sides of the same coin.

One random commenter with a U.S. or Canadian address will win a copy of Rosemarked

 

NEUROSCIENCE AND FICTION: Two Sides of the Same Coin


People are often surprised when I tell them that I earned a PhD in neurosci... Read More

Servant of the Empire: Intense and exciting middle book

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

Note: May contain spoilers for the previous book, Daughter of the Empire.

Servant of the Empire (1990) is the second novel of the EMPIRE TRILOGY which is set in Raymond E. Feist’s RIFTWAR world and co-authored by Janny Wurts. This story takes place in the Tsurani empire which is an enemy to the Midkemian heroes of the RIFTWAR SAGA (e.g., Pug, Tomas, Prince Lyan). Some of the RIFTWAR characters appear, or are mentioned, in THE EMPIRE TRILOGY, but it’s not necessary t... Read More

The Woman in Black: A classic ghost story

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Rebecca's new review.

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

So what does a young actor do after starring in one of the most lucrative franchises in cinema history? That was the precise dilemma facing the 22-year-old Daniel Radcliffe in 2011, upon the completion of his 8th and final Harry Potter film. The Potter series had brought in a whopping $7.7 billion worldwide over its 10-year run, firmly establishing Radcliffe as an international star. And so, the question: What next? Wisely, the young actor’s follow-up project was another in the supernatural/fantasy vein, and one that was also based on an already well-loved source. The film was 2012’s The Woman In Black, another successful film for Radcliffe, having been produced for $15 million and bringing in almost $130 million at the box office. The film was based on English author Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Identify last month’s covers

Today’s covers all come from books we reviewed in November 2017. Once you identify a book cover, in the comment section list:

1. The number of the cover (1-16)
2. The author
3. The book title



Please identify just one cover that has not yet been identified correctly so that others will have a chance to play. If they're not all identified by next Thursday, you can come back and identify more.

Each of your correct entries enters you into a drawing to win a book of your choice from our stacks. Winners are notified in the comments, so make sure to check the notification box or remember to check back in about 10 days. If we don't choose a winner within 2 weeks, plea... Read More

Sign of the Labrys: Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered

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Sign of the Labrys by Margaret St. Clair

A pleasingly unique — indeed, possibly sui generis — combination of post-apocalyptic sci-fi and (of all things) Wiccan magic and craft, Sign of the Labrys initially appeared in 1963, as a Corgi paperback. Its author, Kansas-born Margaret St. Clair, was 52 at the time and had been writing short stories (well over 100 of them) since the late ‘40s. Sign of the Labrys was her fourth novel out of an eventual eight. And lest you think that the novel’s Wiccan elements were merely a passing fancy of its author, let me add here that St. Clair and her husband were indeed inducted into the Wiccan craft three years after this novel’s publication, when Margaret would adopt the Wiccan name Froniga.

Out of print in English since the year of its release, St. Clair’s truly bizarre nove... Read More

A Storm of Swords: Might be the best in the series

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Rebecca's new review.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

When George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords (2000) begins, the War of the Five Kings has just ended, and it looks like the Lannisters have won the realm. They control King’s Landing, Westeros’ capital city, as well as the fifteen-year-old King Joffrey. Stannis Baratheon is in retreat, and their remaining foes, the Starks and the Greyjoys, have turned on each other rather than allying against a common enemy. Basically, the bad guys have won, but A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE isn’t over.

Martin highlights that there are still perfectly legitimate threats to the realm, especially the wildlings, the Others, and the giants that are invading from beyond the Wall. Jon Snow is charged with infiltrating the wildling army, an excus... Read More

WWWednesday; December 13, 2017

Outdoor Christmas Tree in Istanbul, Turkey



This week’s word for Wednesday is Kirsmas-Glass, a noun meaning a drink made to toast a house or a family on Christmas day.

Awards:

The Game Awards were presented on December 7, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Flash fiction? Microfic? Nanofic? The London Independent Story Prize wants to see your 300 word story. Yes. 300 words. When I first read it I thought it was 3,000. There is an entry fee, and the deadline is 1/10/18. Good luck!

Books and Writing:

John Scalzi and Netflix Read More

The Bear and the Serpent: A battle for a throne; a war for survival

Readers’ average rating:

The Bear and the Serpent by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Bear and the Serpent (2017), an epic shapeshifter fantasy set in a Bronze Age type of era, is the sequel to 2016's The Tiger and the Wolf. It follows the continuing adventures of a young woman named Maniye, who has an unusual dual heritage that allows her to instantly shapeshift into Wolf (her father’s people) and Tiger (her mother’s). Now Maniye has been gifted a third form by the gods, called a Champion: a massive wolf/tiger/bear hybrid creature that's a serious threat in battle. Maniye has gathered a warband of Wolves around her, those who didn’t fit well in the rigid clan structure of their Wolf tribe. She and her Wolf group, along with a few other stray shapeshifters, are following Asmander of the River Lord (croc... Read More

Point Blank: Alex Rider is back (in more ways than one!)

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Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz

I read the first book in the ALEX RIDER series (Stormbreaker) several years ago, and since I enjoyed it so much, I've no idea why it's taken me this long to get to its sequel: Point Blank, named for the elite boarding school high in the French Alps. Here the troubled sons of millionaires are sent in order to be tutored in isolation, away from any bad influences, though MI5 is concerned when two of the students' fathers are found dead in unusual circumstances. Surely it can't be a coincidence?

They decide to send in Alex Rider, the nephew of deceased agent Ian Rider, who has previously been used to infiltrate an organization that only a teenager could explore without attracting undue attention. Trained by MI5 and given a ... Read More