Aunt Maria: Would make a brilliant movie!

Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones Diana Wynne Jones once again combines eccentric characters, moral ambiguity, magic, time-traveling, shapeshifting and an uncanny ability to portray...

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The Sword of the Lictor: Captures the essence of excellent speculative fiction

The Sword of the Lictor by Gene Wolfe Gene Wolfe’s The Sword of the Lictor essentially contains no plot, but it’s the best plotless book I’ve ever read. It’s one of the best...

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The Devil Rides Out: An excellent source novel

The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley When I first saw the 1968 horror film “The Devil Rides Out” several years back at one of NYC’s numerous revival theatres, I...

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The Grey King: Newbery Medal winner

The Grey King by Susan Cooper Although it is not my personal favourite, The Grey King, the fourth book in The Dark is Rising sequence is generally considered the best in the series,...

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Recent Posts

A Neon Darkness: Lackluster

A Neon Darkness by Lauren Shippen

A Neon Darkness (2020), the second book in Lauren Shippen's THE BRIGHT SESSIONS trilogy, is only very tangentially related to the first book, The Infinite Noise. It centers on a group of atypicals (the in-world word for people with powers) a full decade before the first book occurs.

Robert Gorham is 18-going-on-19 when he arrives in L.A. for reasons unclear to the reader until much later. His power makes him able to effortlessly manipulate people into doing what he wants, and he’s used that power liberally to get where he is. When he falls in with a group of other atypicals, he starts to have to take a long hard look at the morality of his choices.

A Neon Da... Read More

WWWednesday: December 7, 2022

From 2020, National Geographic has put together an article tracing the origins of the Christmas tree. While many cultures used evergreen boughs and ornaments in their midwinter celebrations, the official ruling is that 16th century Germany is the point of origin for the tree tradition as it is now known.

Good Housekeeping offers up a list of the most popular classic holiday foods. I was going to skip this one and then I saw that it had recipes! So here it is.

Atlas Obscura offers their 2022 gift guide.

Sunday Morning Transport gives us Read More

City of Last Chances: An intellectual pleasure

City of Last Chances by Adrian Tchaikovsky

City of Last Chances (2022), by Adrian Tchaikovsky, is one of those novels that I completely admired all the way through but had a hard time connecting to many of the characters, so that while the reading experience was enjoyable, it was more an intellectual pleasure than an immersive, emotional one.

The novel is set in the titular city of Ilmar, suffering under the heavy boot of an occupation force left over from the city’s conquest three years earlier by the Palleseen, a people who seek “perfection” in themselves and others via “correct principles of law and thought.”  While the city seems stable on the surface, it seethes with anger, resentment, greed, and ambition as various factions have their own view of what resistance looks like and who should lead any eventual rebellion should one occur, as well as who should benefit from it.  These factions are not new-born from the ... Read More

The Hourglass Throne: Rune creates his court

The Hourglass Throne by K.D. Edwards

The Hourglass Throne, published in 2022, is the third book in K.D. Edwards’s THE TAROT SEQUENCE, following the adventures of Atlanteans transplanted to Nantucket Island. This review may contain spoilers for The Last Sun and The Hanged Man, the two previous books. I recommend reading both earlier books; at least read The Last Sun to better understand what is happening here.

Rune St. John was the sole survivor of the raid on Lord Sun’s court more than twenty years ago. His father, Lord Sun, was murdered. Rune was raped, tortured, impoverished, and left bereft of magic due to the loss of his family’s sigils, the items Atlanteans use to store... Read More

Sunday Status Update: December 4, 2022

Marion: I finished The Winter People, a supernatural thriller by Jennifer McMahon. I enjoyed it with only a few quibbles up until the last 25%, when it got so outlandish I could no longer suspend disbelief. Now I’m dipping into an abridged version of The Tale of Genji,  edited and translated by Royall Tyler. This is the 2001 version, Penguin edition. While I’m not loving it, it’s an interesting window into 10/11th century Japan, storytelling, and fan service.

Bill: These past two weeks (and the next one) I’ve mostly been reading student papers... Read More

The Infinite Noise: A delightfully cute teen drama

The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen

THE BRIGHT SESSIONS is a trilogy of spinoff novels set in the world of the podcast of the same name, both media written by Lauren Shippen. I am generally a fiction podcast fan, so when the third book in the trilogy – Some Faraway Place – hit my radar, something about it sounded familiar. Turns out, on a long road trip a few years ago, I had listened to several episodes of the podcast. I remembered liking it so I wanted to give the books a try.

The Infinite Noise (2019) centres on Caleb, the kind of all-American 16-year-old boy you only get in tooth-achingly sweet teen dramas (of which I am an occasional connoisseur; you can’t blame me for my taste when Hilary Duff was my idol as a tween). Caleb is trying – and largely succeeding – to navigate the high school experience... 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's the best book you read in November 2022 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: November 30, 2022

Lindsey Eagar serves up eight fantasy books featuring bread, bread-adjacent foods, and/or baking, on

Giveaway: One commenter chosen at random will win a copy of Even Though I Knew the End  by C.L. Polk.

Vulture has an overview of the life of the amazing Octavia Butler, written by E. Alex Jung.

We’re heading into nomination season for the 2023 awards, and Cora Buhlert is introducing podcasts. This column highlights Tales From the Trunk.

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The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories: Seven tales from a Weird-Menace pro

The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories by Wyatt Blassingame

A little while back, I was very pleased to read my first collection in the genre known as “weird-menace” fiction, which genre mainly dealt, back in the 1930s and early ‘40s, with lurid, violent, supernatural stories that usually turned out to have rather mundane – and often far-fetched – explanations. That collection was Food for the Fungus Lady and Other Stories by Ralston Shields, a 2014 release from the publisher Ramble House. I enjoyed my first weird-menace exposure so well that I determined to seek out some similar fare from Ramble House’s immense catalog, and happily picked another winner; namely, The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories: The Weird Tales of Wy... Read More

WWWednesday: November 23, 2022

Have a good day tomorrow everybody, if you celebrate the holiday or it you don’t.

Giveaway: One commenter chosen at random will get a copy of Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi.

Greg Bear, Nebula Award winner, passed away on November 20, 2022.

Snoopy is part of Project Artemis. At least, a stuffed Snoopy dog is on the lunar vehicle.

The Onion posted this satirical article about Meta, Mark Zuckerberg and his avatar. Oh, come on, they just wrote what we were all thinking.

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