Stephen Chats with Mike Resnick


We have with us today Mike Resnick. Mike  is one of the most acclaimed speculative fiction writers of all time and the author of hundreds of novels and short stories, most of...

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The Speed of Dark: Stays with you forever


The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon In The Speed of Dark, Elizabeth Moon blends science fiction, neuroscience, and her own experience to speculate about a future in which scientists...

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Mister X: Condemned


Mister X: Condemned by Dean Motter (writer and artist) The City of Dreams had become The City of Nightmares . . . was it too late to awaken it? Mister X: Condemned makes for a...

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Recent Posts

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

Led Astray: A collection of Kelley Armstrong short stories

Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelly Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has published several series of urban fantasy and paranormal novels, including her WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD contemporary fantasy series, in which werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural creatures live alongside humans, and the CAINSVILLE series, focusing on the lives in and around a town with mysterious supernatural elements. Her latest book, Led Astray, is a collection of twenty-three short stories, many of them set in the worlds created in her series, although several stories are stand-alone. This is an eclectic collection, primarily urban fantasy, but running the gamut from high fantasy to ghost stories to horror, with a few non-fantasy tales thrown in for good measure.

Some of the standout stor... Read More

Fourth Mansions: Thanks, Jen!

Fourth Mansions by R.A. Lafferty

Despite it having been given pride of place in Scottish critic David Pringle’s Modern Fantasy: The 100 Best Novels, and despite the fact that it has been sitting on my bookshelf for many years, it was only last week that I finally got around to reading R.A. Lafferty’s 1969 cult item Fourth Mansions. The author’s reputation for eccentricity, both in terms of subject matter as well as writing style, had long intimidated me, I suppose. But just recently, Jen, one of the managers of NYC sci-fi bookstore extraordinaire Singularity, was enthusing to me about her recent acquisition of a first edition of Lafferty’s 1970 short story collection Nine Hundred Grandmothers for only $40, and I suppose that her enthusiasm proved contagious in my case, as I manfully dove into Fourth Mansions Read More

The Invasion of the Tearling: I’m not warming up to this series

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Erika Johansen’s The Invasion of the Tearling is the second book in a planned trilogy, the sequel to The Queen of the Tearling. Often, the second book in a trilogy reads like a bridge between the set-up and the thrilling climax. The Invasion of the Tearling is no bridge book. Johansen adds characters and drama while filling in some important back-story, most particularly the origin of the three kingdoms we see in this adventure. This book also has its own dramatic arc, even though it ends on a cliffhanger.

Kelsea Raleigh was an insecure young woman in Book One, filled with self-doubt and constantly worrying that she wasn’t pretty. She managed to assume the throne of the Tear and win the loyalty of her subjects. She ended the horrific tribute of slaves that her nation paid to the powerful... Read More

Kevin chats with Seth Dickinson (and gives away a book he loves)

We’re very excited to have novelist and short story writer Seth Dickinson here with us today. Most recently, Seth is the author of the short stories Kumara, Anna Saves Them All, and Sekhmet the Dying Gnosis: A Computation and the novel The Traitor Baru Cormorant (my review here), set to be published September 15th by Tor. Seth writes humorous and intriguing posts... Read More

The Traitor Baru Cormorant: One of my new all-time favorites

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

(Foreword: actual rating: 5.5/5 stars. Do not read Dickinson’s short story of the same title; it’s a spoiler for the novel’s ending. Consider yourself forewarned. Also, please see my interview with Seth Dickinson which I'll be posting later today. It will include a giveaway of The Traitor Baru Cormorant.)

Breathtakingly original and carefully crafted, The Traitor Baru Cormorant by debut novelist Seth Dickinson is one of those very few works that straddle the line between “genre” and “literary” fiction. It’s the story of a girl: a lover, a traitor, a savant, an accountant, and above all, a daughter of a huntress, a smith, and a shield-bearer, but it’s also a story of oppression, of resistance, of identity, and of politics.  With a novel years in the making, Seth Dickinson brings us the heart-... Read More