Occultation and Other Stories: A horror collection


Occultation and Other Stories by Laird Barron According to Webster’s, “occultation” means “the state of being hidden from view or lost to notice” or “the shutting off...

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Breath of Earth: Alt-history and magic in a high-stakes adventure


Reposting to include Marion’s new review. Breath of Earth by Beth Cato Breath of Earth begins a new fantastical alternative-history series from Beth Cato, in which...

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The Starless Sea: Visually spectacular


Reposting to include Jana’s new review. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern Given the success of her debut, it would be impossible to write about Erin Morgenstern‘s...

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In the Shadows of Men: The ghosts are the least horrific element here


In the Shadows of Men by Robert Jackson Bennett Robert Jackson Bennett has become one of my must-read authors, a view arising from his brilliant DIVINE CITIES trilogy and only...

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Recent Posts

Last Dragon Standing: The epic finale

Last Dragon Standing by Rachel Aaron

Last Dragon Standing (2018) is the epic finale of Rachel Aaron’s self-published HEARTSTRIKERS series. I’ve been listening to the audio edition of the HEARTSTRIKERS novels and can recommend them without reservation to readers interested in this fun and heart-warming saga. I listened to them with my 19-year-old daughter and we loved the narration by Vikas Adam. If you haven’t read the previous four books, Nice Dragons Finish Last, One Good Dragon Deserves Another, Read More

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

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What is the best book you read in December 2021 and why did you love it? It doesn't have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. 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.

As always, one commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose a book from our stacks. If you're outside the U.S., we'll s... Read More

Tales of the Greatcoats Vol. 1: A fond return to a warmly remembered world

Tales of the Greatcoats Volume 1 by Sebastian De Castell

“So I’m only in one of these nine Greatcoats stories?” Brasti asked, pausing his work.

“Yes,” De Castell replied. “Though to—”

“But Kest gets two?”

“The man knows talent when he sees it,” Kest said, skimming through the pages of Tales of the Greatcoats. “I especially like how you have me win a duel without actually fighting the duel. And … Hold on, I’m in only two?”

Brasti snorted. “The man knows talent.” He sighed. “I suppose Falcio is in all of ‘em.”

Falcio looked up from staring at the newborn daughter he cradled in his arms. “And deservedly so, given that—”

“Actually,” De Castell interrupted gently. “Falcio is also just... Read More

WWWednesday: January 5, 2022

Hogmanay is the Scottish New Year’s Eve celebration. Here are a few of the enduring traditions.

Tomorrow, January 6, is Epiphany, Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night, and has its own set of traditions. To wrap things up, I tracked down Mary Berry’s King’s Cake recipe on Pinterest. (It’s a super-deluxe fruit cake, but so much more British than ours.)

File770 highlighted the problems some authors are having with Amazon Kindle direct Publishing (KDP). Lexi Ostrow gives a blow-by-blow of Read More

Hawkeye: Consistently enjoyable

Hawkeye on Disney+

Not as ambitious in terms of creative storytelling or theme as WandaVision or as wildly fun as Loki or What If?, Hawkeye is equally good in a different way, though it’s not without its flaws and the ending had its own set of issues. Despite those problems, it may be the most consistently enjoyable of the Marvel shows to date. Spoilers to follow.

Hawkeye tells a much smaller, much more grounded story than its counterparts, with no superpowers, time traveling, or universe hopping, and with relatively low-key stakes focused more on a personal level and with a limited geography versus the world or universe-threatening stakes of other shows. In that way it’s a nice change of pace, catch-your-breath kind of show. Not everything needs to be world-shaking after all; it gets exhausting. After Loki and What If? Read More

Where the Drowned Girls Go: A weaker installment in an up and down series for me

Where the Drowned Girls Go by Seanan McGuire

I’ve been very hit and miss on Seanan McGuire’s WAYWARD CHILDREN series, with my rating on books ranging from two stars to four. Though the results have been more miss than hit overall, since the books’ novella lengths mean they aren’t a big time investment, I thought I’d give the latest, Where the Drowned Girls Go (2022), a shot in hopes it would be closer to the four than the two. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

While the book can, somewhat, be read independently of the others (I’d say McGuire offers up just enough exposition so someone new to the series wouldn’t be completely at sea), it will be more effective had one read the earlier installments. That being the case, I’m going to assume you’ve done so.

Unlike many of ... Read More

Leviathan Falls: Strong conclusion to one of the best sci-fi series in decades

Leviathan Falls by James S.A. Corey

THE EXPANSE has been my favorite science fiction series for many years now, so while I looked forward to Leviathan Falls (2021), the ninth and final book in the series, with eager anticipation, I’d be lying if I didn’t say it also came with a bit of pre-grieving. So maybe it was a bit of denial, combined with a hellish end-of-term, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and the general fk-you-ism of 2021 that had me completely miss the book’s release in late November. But after seeing a reference to its existence in the wild, I quickly rectified my oversight, and then, for various reasons, began reading it at about 4:30 in the morning. And, because it’s an EXPANSE book, didn’t put it down until I finished it. And yeah, it was as good a return and as bittersweet an ending as I’d assumed it would be. Sigh.

Honestly, from... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 2, 2022

Marion: I finished M. A. Carrick’s The Liar’s Knot, and enjoyed every minute of it. I sent off interview questions to the two writers who comprise that author, and look forward to providing that interview and a giveaway in the near future. I finished up Louise Erdrich’s The Sentence, a nice bit of metafiction about Tookie, who works in a bookstore owned by a writer named Louise. Tookie is haunted by a ghost of Flora, an annoying regular customer, who is now haunting it (she didn’t die there, just really likes the place). The book did not go to any of the places I would have expected a “g... Read More

A Dragon of a Different Color: Not the best, but an essential, installment

A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron

Rachel Aaron’s HEARTSTRIKERS series continues with the fourth novel, A Dragon of a Different Color (2017). It’s really no use to start this story here – you should first read Nice Dragons Finish Last, One Good Dragon Deserves Another, and No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished. At this point in the story, it’s hard to avoid a few spoilers for the previous books, but I’ll do my best.

In the prologue of A Dragon of a Different Color, we finally learn the history of the Detroit Free Zone (t... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: Our favorite books of 2021

Here are our favorite books published in 2021. Hover over the cover to see who recommends each book. Click on the cover to read our review.

Please keep in mind that we did not read every SFF book published this year, so we know we’ve missed some good ones!

Please add your comments — we’d love to hear your opinions about our list and to know which were YOUR favorite books of 2021. What did we miss?

One commenter chooses a Kindle version of one of our 2021 faves or a book from our stacks.

ADULT SFF



MIDDLE GRADE / YOUNG ADULT SFF



NON-FICTION Read More