Rolling in the Deep: A horror novella by Mira Grant

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant Every now and then I happen upon a story that reminds me why I love science fiction so much. I love its imagination, the way an author...

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Power of Three: One of DWJ’s best novels

Power of Three by Diana Wynne Jones Combining the atmosphere of Celtic folklore with a plot reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, an intricate plot (including a huge twist...

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The Crowfield Curse: This book has it all

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh Once in a while, a book comes along that surprises you. I picked The Crowfield Curse up on a whim, being attracted to its stark cover art and...

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The Once and Future Witches: Rage, beauty, and sisterhood

Reposting to include Jana’s new review. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow Our Daddy never taught us shit, except what a fox teaches chickens — how to run, how to...

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

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

What's the best book you read in January 2023 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.

One commenter with a U.S. mailing address will choose one of these prizes:

a FanLit T-shirt (we have sizes M, L, XL)
a book from Read More

WWWednesday: February 1, 2023

From last year, here is an article for the feline that may have been the inspiration for Grumpy Cat—the Pallas’s, or Pallas cat, indigenous to the Central Asian Steppes.

Malice Domestic announced the finalists for the Agatha Christie Awards this year. The award recognizes excellence in contemporary “traditional” mysteries, or what I might call, from their description, “cozies.” (I love that one of the finalists is titled The Finalist.)

The Library of America announces an April release of a collection of Ursula LeGuin’s poetry, edited by Harold Bloom. I don’t know how I feel about that... Read More

The Big Jump: Another Gem From The Queen Of Space Opera

The Big Jump by Leigh Brackett

Toward the end of 2015, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the so-called “Queen of Space Opera,” Leigh Brackett, I decided to read (and, in several cases, reread) 10 of this great author’s works, both novels and short-story collections. One of Brackett’s books that I did not read at the time, for the simple reason that a reader’s copy was not then in my possession, was her fourth novel out of an eventual 10, an oversight that I was happy to rectify just this week. And I am so glad that I did, as the book in question, The Big Jump, has just revealed itself to me to be still another wonderful creation from this beloved writer.

The Big Jump initially appeared in the February 1953 issue of Space Stories, a short-lived, ... Read More

Shiver: Junji Ito’s best short story horror collection

Shiver by Junji Ito

Seventeen books by Junji Ito have now been translated into English, and while a few of them are graphic novels telling a single story, most are short story collections. Perhaps the best of them is Shiver. Shiver contains ten excellent tales and includes commentary by the author on every story as well as a final afterword. Each story also includes at the end samples of Ito’s notes (with translations). These notes, along with the commentary, give interesting insights into the stories.

Who is Junji Ito? Ito is a Japanese manga creator, writing and drawing in black-and-white all of his stories. All his work is in the horror genre, with a few dips into some science fiction elements. His writing varies from the sublime to the mediocre, so his storytelling is uneven; however, his art is always excellent, often characterized by body horror and other grotesque images... Read More

What Moves the Dead: A nifty horror story

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

Ursula Vernon, writing as T. Kingfisher, doesn’t try to out-Poe Edgar Allan in her 2022 novella What Moves the Dead. Instead, she flips “The Fall of the House of Usher” sideways, giving us a creepy, atmospheric, heroic and sometimes funny look at the doomed siblings Madeline and Roderick, the moldering mansion they’ve inherited as the last of the family, and the surreal, creepy mountain lake or tarn that laps at the walls of the house. While the house of Usher does fall, the steps that lead to that event are fresh, guided by a lively, plausible first-person narrator who breathes life — well, sort of — into the creepy old house and into the story itself.

It's 1890, somewhere in Europe, and Alex Easton, a soldier now out of the army, is on their way to visit old family friends, Roderick a... Read More

WWWednesday: January 25, 2023

The Academy Awards nominees were announced on Sunday.

John Scalzi was awarded the Heinlein Award.

The finalists for the Bram Stoker Award have been announced. Oh, I just realized. Award Season has been declared Open.

The Roger Ebert website reviews AMC’s serialization of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire. Jacob Anderson brings to undead life the brooding Louis. Here’s Read More

Fugitive Telemetry: Pitch-perfect narrative voice

Reposting to include new reviews by Skye and Bill.

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

Martha Wells continues her popular and highly-acclaimed MURDERBOT DIARIES series with another novella, Fugitive Telemetry (2021), which actually takes place before the only novel in the series so far, Network Effect. (So you could read this one before that novel, but you do need to read books 1-4 first.) At this point in time Murderbot, the introverted and snarky cyborg who is the narrator and the heart of this series, is a fairly new resident on Preservation, a planet outside of the callously capitalistic Corporate Rim. Murderbot is a companion to and protector of Dr. Mensah, one of the few humans Murderbot has gradually learned to... Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 22, 2023

Marion:  I’m currently reading Indelible City; Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, by journalist Louisa Lim. Lim grew up in Hong Kong. Her book is written in confessional journalism style where she centers herself in the story. Starting with the demonstrations for democracy in 2019, she traces the history of the city back to before the common era. Lim’s work is well-researched, and her prose is personal and immediate. I’m engrossed.

Bill: Since our last status I read Kelly Barnhill's dark The Crane Husband (lovely sparse language, strong narrative voice), Sara Rich's disappointing Mushroom (part of the mostly strong OBJECT LESSONS series), and Patricia Smith's solid and important poetry collecti...
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The Spare Man: Nick and Nora Charles in space

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

Uber-wealthy inventor and heiress Tesla Crane and her husband, retired detective Shalmaneser Steward, plan to enjoy their honeymoon on the interplanetary luxury liner Lindgren as it travels from Earth to Mars. Horribly, the trip is interrupted when a person is stabbed to death right outside their luxury suite, and to make matters worse, Shal is arrested for the crime. As the evidence against him mounts, will Tesla be able to prove he’s innocent? Will she and her gallant Westfield terrier service dog Gimlet discover the true killer? More importantly, will Shal be free in time for happy hour?

As the title and the cover of the trade paperback show us, 2022’s The Spare Man, by Mary Robinette Kowal, is an homage to Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man—Nick and Nora Charles in Space. For lovers of Hammett, there is an “Aster” easter... Read More

WWednesday: January 18, 2023

If you wanted to start a fan-fund to help pay the way for low-income fans to attend a convention, how would you do it? File770 lays out the basics as part of their discussion of a new European Fan Fund.

Everything Everywhere All At Once swept the Critics’ Choice awards this week.

Florida struggles to address the advance of blue-green algae in its estuaries and coastal waters. Here is a FAQ page about blue-green algae and its risks. (Florida is not the only state fighting this battle.)

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