Bill chats with David Walton


David Walton is the author of Quintessence (which I highly recommend) and Terminal Mind, which won the 2008 Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback science-fiction novel that year....

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Egg and Spoon: Feels more like fabulist literary fiction than YA


Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire Gregory Maguire’s Egg and Spoon is being marketed as a YA novel, and I hope that designation doesn’t drive any readers away. This book...

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Olympus by Nathan Edmondson


Olympus by Nathan Edmondson (writer) and Christian Ward (artist) I am starting to be very impressed with this writer whose books I’ve just started reading. Nathan Edmondson...

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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

The Diamond Age: Nanotech, Neo-Victorians, Princess Nell’s Primer, and the Fists of Righteous Harmony – all we need now is the kitchen sink

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

I am a big Neal Stephenson fan based on his novels Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. He is frequently a brilliant writer, unafraid to explore new ideas in the most unexpected and entertaining ways. His sense of humor is more subtle and clever than most, and his world-building abilities are top-notch. However, he has a serious problem with endings, particularly in The Diamond Age.

This also happened in Snow Crash, where an amazing opening led to a fairly fascinating middle portion and then a dissolved into a flurry of confusing action and events that brought things to a less-than-perfect close. It makes it very hard on fans, who really WANT to like everything he writes.

I listened to this on audiobook narrat... Read More

Swallow: Action, romance, and some mystical elements, too

Swallow: A Tale of the Great Trek by H. Rider Haggard

No, this is not the Linda Lovelace biography. (Oops, sorry ... bad joke.) Rather, Swallow is yet another fine piece of adventure fantasy from the so-called "father of lost-race fiction," H. Rider Haggard. In addition to some 14 novels depicting the adventures of hunter Allan Quatermain, Haggard penned some dozen or so other books that were set in the wilds of Africa. Swallow, his 22nd novel, was written in 1896, but did not see publication until January 1899. It is a somewhat unique book in the Haggard canon, being narrated, as it is, by an old Boer woman, the Vrouw Botmar, who is anything but sympathetic to the cause of British imperialism. She tells her story of the Great Trek of 1836, and all the many incidents surrounding it. And what a tale thi... Read More

The Darkness That Comes Before: Incredible epic fantasy; not for the faint of heart

The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker

I believe it warrants mentioning in the beginning of this review that I find myself in a position where my own review might not be, well, very critical. I have been holding off having to review R. Scott Bakker's The Darkness That Comes Before because, to put it bluntly, I love it so much that I don't think any review I could write would serve its purpose qua review. However, after some insistence from the powers that be — that would be the inimitable Kat Hooper, FanLit's founder and savior — I decided that maybe I did have something borderline cogent to say about it.

The Darkness That Comes Before is the first book of R. Scott Bakker's THE PRINCE OF NOTHING trilogy, itself the first of his THE SECOND A... Read More

Sunday Status Update: May 3, 2015

This week, Captain America sinks deep into denial. Because there's some little arthouse film under the radar that I thought should be brought to everyone's attention.

Captain America: We have a new mission. Something about collecting Loki's scepter. Possibly there are robots involved. Fortunately, the team is prepared for trouble and I think it should be a good clean operation with nothing getting blown up and no cities getting demolished. Yes, our city-demolishing days are definitely behind us.

Jana: This week was a slow reading week for me. With the weather finally feeling spring-like, I've been working on landscaping/finishing up some home renovation projects in addition to my normal end-of-the-semester workload. I'm not complaining, though--I love all the sunshine and rain, and so do my flowers! For FanLit, I read Read More

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