Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Month: August 2023


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WWWednesday: August 30, 2023

The annual T-Rex race in Washington State ended in a photo finish, but the winner was sorted out eventually.

The venerable and respected print Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction has spent the last few weeks in very choppy waters. First came reports of excessive delays—like, months/years—in sending contracts. Last week, a new controversy popped up when David A. Riley, a British writer, announced he’d sold a sword and sorcery story to the magazine. Riley was previously associated with Britain’s National Front organization, well known for its racist rhetoric and central role in various incidents of community violence.


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Searching for the Fleet: A book full of booby traps

Searching for the Fleet by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Searching for the Fleet (2018) is the seventh full-length novel in Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s DIVING series. It focuses on Coop, commander of the Ivoire, and Yash, one of his officers (chief engineer) who has expertise in anaconda drives. We don’t see Boss in this installment.

As has been common for the last few novels, Searching for the Fleet jumps around in time. The first long section shows us an event we’ve known about (and have been wondering about) for a while now – the suicide of Dix,


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Batman: One Bad Day: The Riddler #1: Dreadful Reins

Batman: One Bad Day: The Riddler #1: Dreadful Reins

In Batman: One Bad Day: The Riddler #1, “Dreadful Reins,” Tom King and Mitch Gerads create a wonderful one-shot, a stand-alone story told in just a little over sixty pages. This story won an Eisner in 2023, and certainly deserves recognition. In this comic book, the Riddler is introduced as a man who is very powerful, though his power over others is never fully explained. One day he walks up to a random businessman, pulls out his gun, and shoots him in the head point-blank.


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WWWednesday: August 23, 2023

Here’s the teaser for Percy Jackson and the Olympians, the series, from Disney.

Peach Momoko will be the first with a set of one-shot comics based on Star Wars, coming soon.

The Con-Com from the Chengdu WorldCon provides a few video-updates at their 60-day-out mark.

An original Doctor Who episode, long lost in live action, will be animated and available on Blu-Ray and DVD. (Thanks to File770.)

Over at Nerds of a Feather, Clara Cohen reviewed R.J.


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What Dreams May Come: Dead on arrival

What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson

It’s the big question; one that has been weighing on mankind for millennia now … namely, what happens to us when we buy the farm? You know … croak, kick the bucket, breathe one’s last, check out, cash in one’s chips, bite the dust, ride into the sunset, pass on, pass away, give up the ghost, meet one’s maker, pass over, perish … in a word, die. It’s a conundrum that many people have wondered about once or twice – or 10,000 times – during their stay here on Earth;


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House of Odysseus: Leaves me eager for the final book

House of Odysseus by Claire North

Claire North’s THE SONGS OF PENELOPE trilogy of Greek reworkings offers up three queens (Clytemnestra, Helen, and Penelope) and three goddesses (Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena). The first book, Ithaca, centered on Penelope and Clytemnestra, and was narrated by Hera in a fiercely, sharply wry voice. House of Odysseus (2023) picks up shortly after the close of book one and (wholly unnecessary spoiler alert for the old as dirt storyline) the death of Clytemnestra at her son Orestes’ hands.


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The Sinister Booksellers of Bath: Entertaining but I wanted more magic

The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix

Garth Nix’s The Sinister Booksellers of Bath (2023) is the follow-up to 2020’s fantasy novel, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London. Both books are set in the 1980s, or, as Nix calls it, “a somewhat alternative 1980s.”

We reunite with familiar characters; siblings Merlin and Vivien St. Jacques, both of whom have magic, and Susan, the young art student whose father is an Ancient Sovereign, an old and powerfully magical being.


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Sunday Status Update: August 13, 2023

Marion: Currently I’m reading Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest, the noir horror novel Silver Nitrate. She set it in the 1990s, with a woman sound editor MC, and is already mining the dark and creepy world of classic horror films, from the 1930s forward.

Bill:   Not a lot of reading this week as I was busy finishing off a 9000-mile road trip. But I did finish The Bone Orchardby Sara A. Mueller, a work that despite some small issues was truly fascinating.


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Skin and Bones: “I’m looking through you….”

Skin and Bones by Thorne Smith

Up until recent years, I could have counted on the fingers of one hand the books that have made this reader laugh out loud … and I still would have had a couple of fingers left over. Those three books – all of which make me chuckle today, just thinking about them – are, chronologically, Harry Harrison’s undeniably funny Bill, The Galactic Hero (1955), Eric Frank Russell’s hilarious sci-fi adventure The Great Explosion (1962),


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WWWednesday: August 9, 2023

This long column is my reaction to one panel at this year’s excellent in-person ReaderCon. It contains spoilers for the STEERSWOMAN series and several books that were published forty or fifty years ago.

ReaderCon was a chocolate layer-cake of delight, and I enjoyed myself immensely. As with any conference that has multiple panels, some delighted more than others, and one, “Cross-Genre Surprise,” discussing books that seem to be one genre (eg, fantasy or realist) but are revealed to be something else entirely, (science fiction, horror), was slightly less delightful than most.

Panel members included Ruthanna Emrys,


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

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