Stephen chats with Rachel Vincent


Today, we are pleased to welcome fantasy author Rachel Vincent. Rachel is the author of two outstanding fantasy series: SHIFTERS and the YA series SOUL SCREAMERS. Shift, the latest...

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The Angel’s Game: Held me in thrall for a week


The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon I had intended to simply glance at the first page of The Angel’s Game and then set it aside to finish other books I was reading, but...

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Cleopatra In Space: Target Practice by Mike Maihack


Cleopatra In Space (Book 1): Target Practice by Mike Maihack If you’ve read the excellent Zita books and are looking for a similar title, Cleopatra in Space: Target Practice...

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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...

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Recent Posts

Low Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope (Issues #1-6)

Low Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender (author) & Greg Tocchini (artist)

Low Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope
, written by Rick Remender and drawn by Greg Tocchini has an intriguing concept whereby in our far, far future (it’s actually the deep past relative to the characters in the story) humanity has fled our burgeoning sun by setting up cities in the depths of the oceans, where they await the news from space probes sent out to seek inhabitable planets. Unfortunately, by the time of the storyline, no probes have returned, the air in what appears to be the only remaining city is turning toxic, and its citizens have turned to a nihilistic, hedonistic lifestyle of sex, drugs, and violence as a means of “dealing” with their impending doom.

The story focuses on a single family whose DNA allows them to work an integral “helm suit” and we meet them jus... Read More

The Next Species: Examining humanity’s past and potential future

The Next Species by Michael Tennesen

The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man, by Michael Tennesen, is an engaging, informative overview of the history of life on this planet and humanity’s impact on that life (mostly for ill), followed by a look into the future and what might happen were humanity to go extinct or diverge into a different species.

He begins with a trip to the rain forest in the Andes, cataloging the rich diversity of life in the relatively small area (“The tropical Andes contain about a sixth of the world’s plant life in less than 1 percent of its land area... more than 1,724 species of birds in an area the size of New Hampshire”) and segues from this richness to a discussion of the consensus belief that we are in the midst of a sixth great extinction.

Over the course of The Next Species, he details those other extinctions, ... Read More

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress: TANSTAAFL on the Moon

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein’s libertarian creed is TANSTAAFL ("There ain't no such thing as a free lunch"), and this book is probably the most complete expression of his political ideas about self-government, attempts to empower women while still being incredibly sexist and condescending, and some pretty good hard SF extrapolation of what a moon colony’s technology, politics and economy might be like. Oh yeah, and there happens to be an omniscient, all-powerful AI named Mike who helps the Loonies stage their revolution against the oppressive Lunar Authority (can you say DEUS EX MACHINA?). The outcome is never really in doubt, so what we are given instead is a 300-page lecture on what Heinlein’s ideal society would be.

Basically Heinlein thinks that most politicians are self-serving and cor... Read More

Tarzan of the Apes: A very fine introduction to the original swinger

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Three years ago, the character of Tarzan celebrated his 100th birthday. Making his initial appearance in the October 1912 issue of All-Story Magazine, in the original Tarzan novel Tarzan of the Apes, Edgar Rice Burroughs' creation proved to be so popular that the author went on to create 25 more novels featuring the jungle swinger. Released in book form two years later, the novel is a perfect introduction to the character who has been called the best-known fictional creation of the 20th century. Like many others, my only previous familiarity with Tarzan was via the Johnny Weissmuller films of the '30s and '40s — all dozen of them — and, to a lesser degree, those featuring Bruce Bennett, Buster Crabbe, Lex Barker and Gordon Scott (I have never gotten a chance to see the... Read More

Fledgling: Love and relationships examined through vampirism

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

In some ways there are superficial resemblances between Fledgling and the last vampire book I read, Let the Right One In: both books have as their star apparently pre-pubescent vampires who have ‘complicated’ relationships with their human companions. In John Ajvide Lindqvist’s case it was a Renfield-like adult who was enamoured of the vampire-child for whom he obtained blood and the young boy who becomes a part of her life. In the case of Butler’s book the vampire in question, Shori, isn’t even only apparently pre-pubescent… according to vampire physiology she is in fact still a child, though that still translates to her being much older than her appearance would suggest (around 52 years old in fact). Despite this fact the relationships she has with the humans around her bear all of the appearances of a pedophilic relationship, at least from the outside.... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Who’s Your Favorite Frenemy?

Urban Dictionary gives one definition of “frenemy” as “someone who is both friend and enemy, a relationship that is both mutually beneficial or dependent while being competitive and fraught with risk and mistrust.” This made me think of many of my favorite SFF heroes and their various relationships. A “frenemy” may be an old comrade who went over to the other side; it might be a former mentor, or a family member. It might be that dangerous romantic partner our main character just can’t stay away from. A frenemy is always good for cranking up the tension, and provides useful information to our protagonist when it is needed.

"The Deal" by Lowranzy6699 at Deviantart (used with permission)

Who is your favorite “frenemy” in SFF? Tell us who and why in the comments. One random commenter w... Read More

The Darkest Part of the Forest: A fairy-tale remix with a touch of realism

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Holly Black's latest book, The Darkest Part of the Forest, is a marvelous YA fairy-tale remix. It follows siblings Hazel and Ben as they work to unfold the mystery surrounding the sleeping prince in the forest outside of Fairfold, a town where humans live in close contact with the fairies the rest of the world doesn't believe in. As Hazel and Ben get closer to understanding the history of the town and the forest, they begin to hide secrets from each other and themselves. Only when all the secrets are told can they work to save the people they love.

Jana and I read this book at the same time. I listened to the audio version. Here are our thoughts.

Kate: The Darkest Part of the Forest combines the favorite themes of young adult fi... Read More

Voyage of the Basilisk: A step back but still an enjoyable journey

Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

Warning: Some inevitable spoilers for the previous novels, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, will follow.

Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent is the third in Marie Brennan’s series A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS, and I found it falling somewhere between books one and two in terms of the reading experiences (better than the first, but not quite as good as the second). As always in this series, the narrative voice is the strongest aspect and managed to (mostly) outweigh the book’s weaknesses.

Readers will most likely note the resemblance between the title of this work and Charles Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, wh... Read More

Tales of The Dying Earth: A perfect introduction to Jack Vance’s work

Tales of The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Note: This is a review of the omnibus edition of Vance's DYING EARTH series. The individual novels are The Dying Earth (1950), The Eyes of the Overworld (1966), Cugel’s Saga (1983) and Rhialto the Marvellous (1984).

There aren’t any other books in SF/Fantasy quite like Jack Vance’s Tales of The Dying Earth. They have had an enormous influence on writers ranging from Gene Wolfe and George R.R. Martin to Gary Gygax, the creator of Read More

WWWebsday: April 22, 2015

On this day in 1889, at high noon, thousands rushed to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie were formed with populations of at least 10,000.

By Jensine Eckwall

Writing, Editing, and Publishing:

In what might be the most surprising news of the week, the identity of fantasy author K.J. Parker has been revealed as Tom Holt, another genre author. For a truly surreal moment, read this, in which Holt interviews Parker ... er... hi... Read More