Marion Chats with Cherie Priest


Cherie Priest has written ghost stories, monster stories, tales of the Elder Gods, urban fantasy and steampunk, but she is probably best known for the EDEN MOORE series, and for...

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Vessel: One of the best of the year


Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst Once every hundred years, the desert clans’ gods come to walk among them. One young man or woman from each clan is chosen to serve as the vessel for...

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Paul Pope’s Battling Boy


Battling Boy by Paul Pope The more graphic novels I read from First Second publishers, the more impressed I am: Paul Pope’s fairly recent Battling Boy is yet another excellent...

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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

DragonCon Day 2: or, In which I chase Lev Grossman around Atlanta

The first panel on my Sunday list was “Modern-Day Magic,” with Jim Butcher and Lev Grossman at 10 am. I was pretty excited for this; on Saturday, I had a chance to see Lev in the Delphic Oracle panel but had thought “it’s fine, I’ll see him tomorrow,” and decided to go to the Writing Track panel instead. If only I had the powers of the Delphic oracle to see into the future . . .

I left for downtown at 9:15, and made it to the con with plenty of time to spare. However, I misjudged how popular this panel would be. When I got there, it was completely full, with a “waiting” line that wrapped around the hallway. So I went to “Real History of Science-Fiction: Aliens” instead, hosted by Diane Hughes, Jaym Gates, and Michael Z. Williamson. It was a fairly casual conversation between three SF enthusiasts about the... Read More

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit: A lovingly written ghost story

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce

It’s the end of August, a time when each day seems noticeably shorter than the one before, when kids are getting haircuts and school supplies and heading back to school, when Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be just around the corner. It’s a time for taking stock; for many of us, for those who loved the return to the classroom each fall with new resolutions to get good grades and excel at our extracurricular activities, it is more a time for such reevaluation of one’s life, hopes, goals and habits than is New Year’s Day. Perhaps that is why the coming-of-age novel is almost always set in the summer. Graham Joyce’s tale of a young man working at a summer resort, The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit,belongs on the same shelf as other great stories of haunted summers, like Read More

Blood and Iron: For lovers of Ander Offutt’s Conan pastiches

Blood and Iron by John Sprunk

My favorite part of Blood and Iron is when Mulcibar tells shipwreck-survivor-turned-slave-turned-super-wizard-turned-Queen’s-Protector Horace, in all sincerity, that Queen Byleth is a strict mistress, but not cruel. Sorry, dude, you’re just wrong. Turning the brother who betrayed you over to your crazy mad scientist to be tortured as part of his experiment might qualify as “strict.” Sashaying down to the torture chamber/secret lab in your tissue-thin designer gown and gloating over said brother during torture is cruel. That’s okay, though, because tall, voluptuous, raven-haired, contralto-voiced Queen Byleth is not one of the main characters of Jon Sprunk’s new book Blood and Iron. She’s a high-fashion plot device, like Kim Kardashian doing a guest stint on Spartacus.

Blood... Read More

Stealing Magic: Full of unmet potential

Stealing Magic by Marianne Malone

Stealing Magic is the second book in Marianne Malone’s SIXTY-EIGHT ROOMS adventure series for middle grade readers. When Bill and Kelly wrote about The Sixty-Eight Rooms, the first book in this series, four years ago, I was intrigued by the fascinating premise — two 6th grade kids find a way to explore the Thorne Rooms in the Art Institute of Chicago and discover that they can use the rooms to get into the world of the time period the rooms depict. This sounded wonderful to me, but Bill and Kelly were disappointed because there was too little time spent actually exploring the fantasy worlds (which would be the ... Read More

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014: An enjoyable collection

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014 edited by Rich Horton

I've been reading a lot of anthologies lately, including another of the several "Year's Best" collections (the Jonathan Strahan one). I was pleased to find that, unlike some of the others, this one matched my tastes fairly well for the most part.

I enjoy stories in which capable, likeable or sympathetic characters, confronted by challenges, confront them right back and bring the situation to some sort of meaningful conclusion. I was worried when I read the editor's introduction and saw him praising Lightspeed and Clarkesworld magazines, because they can often be the home of another kind of story, in which alienate... Read More

DragonCon: Cluster-Frak at the Marriott

Sre as Zero Moustapha

I began my first day at Dragon*Con 2014 on Atlanta’s metro system, MARTA, where I met Sre and Lena, a lovely couple headed downtown for the festivities. Sre was dressed as Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy and protagonist from Wes Anderson’s recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Lena was dressed as herself, as was I. We made our way downtown to watch the Dragon*Con parade together. (Sre and Lena even shared their water with me! What class acts . . . )

If you’ve never been to Dragon*Con, the Saturday parade has become a local event. Several streets in downtown Atlanta are shut down on Saturday morning, and Atlantans hang out of apartment windows and peep over the edge of parking garages to watch the spectacle. It’s like Mardi Gras for nerds. It's like a better, more fun Disney parade. If Dragon*Con were highschool, this parade would be Homecoming, ... Read More

Horrible Monday: The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell by Mira Grant

The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell by Mira Grant

Mira Grant created a fascinating world in her NEWSFLESH, is a masterful piece of hard science fiction, combining medical detail with political intrigue with intricate worldbuilding. Her characters were so real that the end of the first book in the trilogy, Feed, reduced me to tears.

Since completing the trilogy, Grant continues to write about the world she created. With the novella The Day the Dead Came to Show and Tell, she may finally have returned to the well once too often. It’s a solid story, detailing the day-to-day issues presented to schools when blood becomes a deadly substance. Grant skillfully builds suspense for those less familiar with her world as she tells of the consequences of one 6-year-old child’s tiny lie about skinning his hand at recess. But ultimately, she has so comp... Read More

World of Trouble: Science fiction for your friends who think SF is stupid

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters

We all have that friend, family member or co-worker who thinks speculative fiction is stupid. To be fair, they have a lot of ammunition for this short-sighted view; the Star Wars prequels, vampire-boyfriend sagas and numerous homogenized series with trashy covers. Ben H. Winters, however, is the secret defensive weapon in our arsenal, and the LAST POLICEMAN  series is the smart, thinking-person’s SF you can offer as a rebuttal.

World of Trouble is the final book in the trilogy. In The Last Policeman, we met Hank Palace, the titular character. The world is going to be struck by a large asteroid, and all the projections show the results will be the end of life on earth. Bruce Willis is not going to blow it up with a nuclear warhead; there is no technological or scientific way to deflect it. Scientists ... Read More

Sunday Status Update: August 31, 2014

This week, Sir Bors shares another legend of the noble Sir Lancelot (as with all other legends of Lancelot, this actually happened in Arthurian myth).

Bors: So Lancelot went hiking in the woods this week, and some woman shot him in the ass. There he was, probably looking for something to decapitate as per his usual preference, when some huntswoman came traipsing along the trail a ways back, mistook his behind for a simple hind, and let fly an arrow from her bow. And that great and noble knight hight Sir Lancelot was dealt a most doleful blow. In his ass. There's no real point to this story. It just makes me very happy.

BillThis week started off not so great with a few disappointing novels:  Frostborn b... Read More

Rebecca chats with Laini Taylor

Yesterday I was very lucky for the chance to meet with Laini Taylor and discuss her recently-completed DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy. Arriving in Christchurch, New Zealand for our biannual Writer’s Festival, Laini was kind enough to share some insights into her epic story. Involving a star-crossed romance, a perspective flip on angels and demons, and an upcoming film adaptation, her trilogy has ensnared thousands of readers -- and hopefully you as well.

Here are the New Zealand covers of Laini's books:



I hope you enjoy the interview! Special thanks to Ruby Mitchell, who not only set up the meeting, but handled the filming process with my trusty Tablet! Read More