Living With The Writer: Michaela Deas


It occurs to me that there are very many interviews with fantasy authors to be found on the Internet – this very site conducts many of them, and I’ve enjoyed every one!...

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Heroine Complex: A fun beginning to an exciting new series


Readers’ average rating: Comment Reviews for this post are disabled. Please enable it first Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn Heroine Complex, Sarah Kuhn’s debut novel, is fun. I...

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Strangely Beautiful’s Uncanny Real-Life Magic


Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, playwright, artist and the award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker...

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Rate books, Win books!


We’re interested in your thoughts about the books we review, and we know this information will be helpful to other readers, so we’re asking YOU to rate books...

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Recent Posts

Thoughtful Thursday: The 2017 Hugos, Who Will Win? Who Ought To Win?

The WorldCon75 Committee announced that, when the Hugo voting closed, they had received 3319 ballots, the third highest turnout in the history of the award.

This year, in addition to the familiar categories, the Hugos added a Best Series category. I’m interested to see who wins, and what people even think of the category as a concept.

Best Novel finalists are: (click the links for our reviews)

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (winner of the Nebula for Best Novel and the Locus award for Best Fantasy Novel)
A Closed and Common Orbit by B... Read More

The Currents of Space: “It’s a rather complicated story”

Readers’ average rating:

The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov

The Currents of Space, the third entry in Isaac Asimov’s loosely linked GALACTIC EMPIRE trilogy, is a prequel of sorts to book 1, 1950’s Pebble in the Sky, and a sequel of sorts to book 2, 1951’s The Stars, Like Dust, and if you by any chance find that statement a tad confusing, trust me, that is the very least of the complexities that this book dishes out! The Currents of Space originally appeared serially in the October - December 1952 issues of Read More

Amatka: Defies conventions, with mixed results

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Bill's new review.
Amatka by Karin TidbeckKarin Tidbeck’s Amatka (2017) almost reads as a callback to the experimental and dystopian science fiction of the 1970s: a slim novel, packed with examination of the self as an individual unit within a larger social machine and the cost-benefit analysis thereof, with strange imagery and twisting narrative threads, and no easy answers to be found. Once, generations back, a group of people mysteriously found themselves in a new place, and were unable to make their way back home. They formed five colonies (though there are now only fou... Read More

WWWednesday; July 26, 2017

From Haggard Hawks, “to meet the Skerrymen” is to keep as a secret the identity of someone with whom you had a meeting.

Conventions:

San Diego Comic-Con kicked off last Thursday. Syfy Wire has some nice cosplay stills here.

WorldCon 75 Mascot in Space



You know who didn’t like Comic-Con? United Airlines, that’s who. They restricted the packing of comic books in checked luggage.  United assured passengers, via Twitter, that this was a TSA requirement. Read More

Magic for Nothing: The youngest Price child gets her own story

Readers’ average rating:

Magic for Nothing by Seanan McGuire

Magic for Nothing, (2017), Seanan McGuire’s sixth INCRYPTID novel, finally gives the youngest Price child, Antimony, a story of her own. The rebellious, roller-derby daughter has enough on her plate coming to grips with her newly manifested pyrokinetic abilities when she is thrown into a dangerous undercover assignment, and to her way of thinking, she has her sister Verity to blame for it.

I have only read the first two books in the series and one short story featuring Antimony, so I may commit inadvertent spoilers. In the prologue, we learn that Verity, on a live broadcast of a New York dance-competition show, revealed her cryptozoologist powers, and challenged the Covenant of St. George, a secret society, military ... Read More

Railhead: Imaginative and entertaining from beginning to end

Readers’ average rating:

Reposting to include Bill's new review.

Railhead by Philip Reeve

If the idea of a heist aboard a sentient train traveling at faster-than-light speeds appeals to you; if said heist involves assumed identities, the theft of a very old and valuable artifact, and a criminal thumbing his nose at a family-run corporation/empire; if you like believable romance and honest-to-goodness fun, then Philip Reeve’s latest YA novel, Railhead, is for you. (If none of that appeals to you, read on anyway: I may be able to change your mind.)

In a galaxy filled with novelties like sentient trains who travel at faster-than-light speeds on specially crafted rails through K-gates stationed on nearly a thousand worlds and moons, Zen Starling is a light-fingered teen who l... Read More

Killing is My Business: An improvement on the first book but still has issues (and a giveaway!)

Readers, we have a paperback copy of Made to Kill and a hardcover copy of Killing is My Business to give away to one lucky commenter! U.S. and Canada-based mailing addresses only, please.

Readers’ average rating:

Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher

I thought that the flaws in Adam Christopher’s first Chandler-esque robot PI novel, Made to Kill, outweighed the positives, and thus gave it a rating of only 2 ½ stars. The tougher-than-steel detective/hitman Raymond Electromatic is back in the sequel, Killing Is My Business (2017), and while it improves upon its predecessor in many ways, it never really breaks out of the gat... Read More

Wildfire: Sizzling romance, wrapped in a kidnapping mystery, inside a family enigma

Readers’ average rating:  

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Note: some spoilers for the previous books in this series, Burn for Me and White Hot.

The smoking hot adventures of Nevada Baylor and Connor "Mad" Rogan continue in Ilona AndrewsWildfire (2017), the third book of the HIDDEN LEGACY series, set in an alternate version of our world in which a serum has unleashed magical powers in a minority of people. The magical families are organized into Houses, and typically marry to preserve and intensify the right combination of genetics so that their children will have the strongest possible magic and t... Read More

SFM: Anders, Nagata, Howard, McGuire, Clarke

Short Fiction Monday: After a few weeks' vacation, SFM returns to continue exploring 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. 


“As Good as New” by Charlie Jane Anders (2014, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

Marisol Guzmán, a pre-med student who decided that being a doctor was a better career choice than a playwright, is saved from the end of the world only because she’s housecleaning a mansion when massive earthquakes b... Read More

The Man Who Used the Universe: Unlikable protagonist makes it hard to enjoy

Readers’ average rating: 

The Man Who Used the Universe by Alan Dean Foster

I picked up Alan Dean Foster’s The Man Who Used the Universe because it was just released in audio format. It’s a stand-alone science fiction novel, set in the far future, about a man named Kees vaan Loo-Macklin. Kees is a brilliant tactician who is building a career and an empire for himself. When we first meet him, he’s the lackey of a local crime boss, but we watch for years as he works his way up, gaining riches and power as he rises. He even forms a trading alliance with a hated alien species called the Nuel.

But there are two strange things about Kees vaan Loo-Macklin. One is that he seems to form no real bonds with any individual human or alien. He doesn’t seem to care about anyone. The other, perhaps mos... Read More