Will Chats with Janny Wurts at Capricon XXVIII


FanLit thanks Will Daniels for this contribution to our site! I enjoyed meeting and chatting with Janny Wurts at Capricon XXVIII. Janny is an amazing woman — a self-made artist...

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FanLit’s Favorite Books of 2008


Joe Abercrombie‘s The Last Argument of Kings and Brandon Sanderson‘s The Hero of Ages (both trilogy enders) top our list this year. In fact, those of us who read any...

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Welcome to the Jungle: Looks great, fun to read


Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher CLASSIFICATION: If you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, or the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter comic books, then The Dresden Files:...

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Recent Posts

The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means and MK Read

The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means and MK Read

The Cute Girl Network by Greg Means and MK Read is a text-book example of the old don’t-judge-a-book-by-its-cover warning. And in this case, I’d say it also serves as an additional warning not to judge a book by its title. I’m not sure how well this book sold in 2013, but however it did, I’m sure it missed its target audience because of the title and cover. I hope First Second, one of my favorite publishers, will re-release this book with a new title and new cover. It deserves republication and another chance as a newly marketed book.

I really like The Cute Girl Network, and I was surprised because I t... Read More

The Primate Directive by Scott and David Tipton

The Primate Directive written by Scott and David Tipton, illustrated by Rachael Stott, colored by Charlie Kirchoff

Really, I’ve got to say it’s shocking to me that there hasn’t been a Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover until now, with The Primate Directive, a joint graphic venture between IDW Comics and Boom! Studios. The five-volume story is written by Scott and David Tipton, illustrated by Rachael Stott, and colored by Charlie Kirchoff. As a mashup concept, it’s brilliant. As far as this particular execution goes, though, well, it has its ups and downs, with most of the former coming in the first half.

The story opens on an arms deal with one side pro... Read More

The Expanded Universe: When is Sci-Fi Really Fantasy, and Should We Care?

Welcome to another Expanded Universe column where I feature essays from authors and editors of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, as well as from established readers and reviewers. Our guest today is Gerrard Cowan, a writer and editor from Derry, in the North West of Ireland. His debut fantasy novel, The Machinery, will be published by HarperVoyager UK in September 2015. It is the first in a trilogy. His first known work was a collection of poems on monsters, written for Halloween when he was eight; it is sadly lost to civilisation.

One commenter gets a copy of The Machinery.

Gerrard Cowan

The fantasy and science fiction genres are closely related, so much so that they are often grouped together under one acronym: SFF. Many books and ... Read More

Dune: The greatest SF novel of all time, never to be matched by later sequels

Dune by Frank Herbert

What more can be said about Frank Herbert’s 1965 masterpiece? This massive epic of political intrigue, messianic heroes, vile villains, invincible desert fighters, telepathic witches, sandworms and spice, and guild pilots who fold space, has a relentless action-packed narrative that still has ample room for beautiful descriptive passages and copious philosophizing on the mythology of the messiah/savior. In short, Dune is a perfect SF novel that both entertains and engages the mind, a book frequently cited as the greatest single work of imagination produced in the genre, rivaled only by J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

And yet the book had a troubled birth, being rejected by over twenty publishers before being accepted by Chilton Books, better known for publi... Read More

The Eye of the Heron: A short but complex novel suitable for all ages

The Eye of the Heron by Ursula K. Le Guin

Starscape (Tom Doherty’s YA imprint) presents The Eye of the Heron as a book for ages 10 and above. While the story is straightforward enough, the philosophical ideas that underpin the story are quite complex, so The Eye of the Heron is quite an interesting read for the more mature reader as well. Le Guin does not waste any words in telling the story, she delivers a to-the-point but surprisingly complex novel. If you read it at age 10, you’ll probably see it in a different light now.

The Eye of the Heron is set on a planet that was fairly recently colonized. Le Guin doesn’t mention a year but sometime in the 22nd century seems reasonable. Two waves of colonists have settled a small area of the planet. One group consists of criminals from a nation that covers South America, sent on a one way trip to dispose ... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It's the first Thursday of the month. You know what that means. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in August 2015 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF. We just want to share some great reading material. Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

(And don't forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our Fanlit Faves page and our 5-Star SFF page. And we've also got a constantly updating list of new and forthcoming releases.)

As always, one commenter will choose a book from Read More

Messenger’s Legacy: Another DEMON CYCLE novella

Messenger’s Legacy by Peter V. Brett

There are a few reasons why I haven’t yet read the novels in Peter V. Brett’s DEMON CYCLE. First is that Bill’s been reviewing them, so there’s no urgent need for me to do so for this site. (I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s kind of what happens sometimes with a group blog.) Second is that they’re a huge time commitment — the last two were each 700 pages long! Third is that the series isn’t finished yet and I have so many unfinished series floating around in my head that I want to wrap up more of them before starting something new. However, I’ve been collecting the novels in audio format at Audible and I’ve been reading the spin-off novellas that Subterranean Press sends me. I really can’t wait to indulge myself in Brett’s world when the time is right. I know I’m goi... Read More

Persona: A novel with many strengths and virtually no weaknesses

Persona by Genevieve Valentine

Persona
 by Genevieve Valentine is an excellent novel. This probably will come as no surprise to those of you who have read the author’s two previous, critically acclaimed novels, Mechanique and The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, but as a newcomer to Valentine’s works I was quite blown away. (I should probably add that, based on feedback from friends and on those two books’ blurbs, Persona appears to be very different from her earlier work.)

Persona starts off in near-future Paris, where Suyana Sapaki is about to cast a vote in the International Assembly (IA). Suyana is the “Face” representing her country in the IA, which means she has virtually zero decision-making power: she is a figurehead, a glorified spokesperson who says what she is to... Read More

The Invisible Man Returns: A must-see

The Invisible Man Returns directed by Joe May

Following the release of Dracula's Daughter in May 1936, horror fans would have to wait almost three years before getting another fright picture from Universal Studios. With the opening of Son of Frankenstein in January 1939, however, the floodgates were opened for the second great wave of Universal horror. And in January 1940, still another sequel was released by the studio, The Invisible Man Returns. A fairly ingenious follow-up to The Invisible Man feature of 1933, which was itself based on H.G. Wells' classic "scientific romance" (as Wells preferred to call such tales) of 1897, the 1940 film was successful enough at the box office to spawn no less than three further sequels! The film is historically important today, of course, inasmuch as it was the very first horror picture to feature Vincent Price, the belo... Read More

WWWednesday: September 2, 2015

Last week, August 26, was Katherine Johnson’s birthday. Johnson was born in 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. She excelled at math from childhood, and eventually found a job with NASA. Johnson’s job was to calculate the routes for the USA’s manned space missions, including 1969’s lunar landing. In the 1950s, in her work at Langley Research Labs (which later became part of NASA), Johnson’s job title was actually “computer.” These short films show Johnson talking about her life in her own words.

(c) Lauren Dawson

Awards:

Really, there's more? Yes. Locus Magazine devoted a paragraph or two to the Alfie Awards, created and awarded by Read More