Marion Deeds

Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

WWWednesday: May 18, 2022

Writer David B. Coe blogs about clueless writing advice. There’s not any actual writing advice but it’s an entertaining column, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all had some version of this experience.

You can be famous a number of ways. YA SFF writer Kass Morgan, (aka Mallory Kass) author of The 100, competed on Jeopardy last week.

From last week, fantasy writer Patricia A. McKillip Read More

Siren Queen: Another five-star read from Vo

Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

2022’s Siren Queen by Nghi Vo is another 5-star read. Set in the same world as The Chosen and the Beautiful, Siren Queen looks at the magic of movies, and the exploitative studio system of the medium’s early days. In Vo’s world, the magic of movies is real magic, and that magic is often hungry.

Our main character is a Chinese American girl in Los Angeles who becomes enthralled with the magic of moving pictures. Soon, a director picks her up as an extra, and he starts using her more and more frequently. Her father disapproves, but her mother sees that the family needs the money. When our protagonist is given a line to speak in a film, she feels the magic envelope her as she speaks, and knows this is what she wants to do with her life. The question is, can she do it on her own terms? The entire system is arrayed against her. Read More

WWWednesday: May 11, 2022

The podcast Tales From the Trunk hosted me last week on a Book Tour segment. I had a lot of fun; Hilary, the host of Tales from the Trunk, is a witty and welcoming host.

File 770 rounds up Hugo nominees and other anime in this article.

SWFA’s silent auction, fundraising in partnership with Worldbuilders, continues through next week.

John Palisano discusses Jewish heritage in horror.

Nerds of a Feather takes a look at the Read More

WWWednesday: May 5, 2022

Marshal Zeringue has several blogs, and one of them is the “Page 69 Test.” The premise is this; would a reader, opening a book at random and reading page 69, have an understanding of what the book’s about? Interesting test! Here’s a recent column.

File 770 offers an excerpt from Tear Down the Throne by Jennifer Estep.

J.D. Evans’s Reign and Ruin is the winner of the Seventh Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off , in what I’d describe as a photo finish (just one-tenth of a point ahead of the runner-up).

ChiCon 8 has updated Read More

WWWednesday: April 27, 2022

Nisi Shawl

Don’t forget about FOGCon’s reading April 30, 2022, with Nisi Shawl and Karen Joy Fowler. The signup for the link is in the article.

File770 shares news about Martha Jones and the Tenth Doctor in comics.

Uncanny Magazine will open submissions for novellas from May 1 thru May 15, and short fiction from May 16 through May 30. Haven’t they won a Hugo? Maybe your story will be the next winner.

Read More

The Dark Archive: One for the fans

The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman

Fans of THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY series will enjoy 2020’s The Dark Archive. Cogman’s intrepid librarian Irene bounds from one adventure to another, armed with her wits, magical knowledge and the power of the Library’s Language. This story adds important information to the conspiracy that is bubbling in the background, while serving up a comfortable, familiar set of adventures for Irene and her team. Along the way, we get to know some secondary characters a bit better.

When Irene’s detective friend Peregrine Vale takes Irene through a suboceanic tunnel to retrieve a vitally important letter, the two realize almost immediately that they’ve been lured into a trap, fighting zombiefied sailors who are being compelled by mechanical cerebral controllers. Escaping them, Irene co... Read More

Noor: Okorafor weaves another stunning imaginary world

Noor by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor’s 2021 Noor is a short, fast-paced science fiction novel. The futuristic energy delivery system called Noor, and the “Red Spot” dust storm are innovative, made plausible by Okorafor’s grounded writing and her fine eye for detail.

Anwuli calls herself AO for Artificial Organism. Considered “wrong” even before birth, AO was seriously injured in a car accident when she was a young adult. An experimental process gave her prosthetic limbs and cerebral implants. She is an outsider, tolerated, barely, because of her useful skills. Her peaceful life in a small Nigerian town ends when, on a trip to the market, a group of men attack her with no provocation. AO’s instinctive reaction leaves dead people in her wake, and her on the run, heading into the desert.

While she is es... Read More

WWWednesday: April 20, 2022

The British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) awards were announced last weekend. Best YA novel went to The Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhou; Best novel, Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky, best shorter fiction Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard. Congratulations to all the winners. 

File 770 has an article about Ukrainian art of resistance. (This column will have a couple of Ukrainian topics included.)... Read More

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak: Space Princesses as only Anders can do them

Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak by Charlie Jane Anders

“Knowledge is ugly, and that’s why we wear cute dresses and eat cake.”

As with most second books in a trilogy, things are bad, teetering on the precipice, by the end of Charlie Jane Anders’s second YA SF book Dreams Bigger Than Heartbreak (2022). Our stalwart band of earthlings are not giving up, however, even in the face of injury, doubt, and a devastating loss.

In Victories Greater Than Death, Rachael, the artist, used her talent to activate an ancient weapon and stop Marrant, the military leader of the Compassion, from completing genocide. As a result, Rachael has now lost the ability to draw. Tina, raised as a human but in fact a cl... Read More

WWWednesday: March 13, 2022

I don’t think I posted the Hugo Award finalists for this year. Here they are. This list shows me how behind I got in my reading last year.

The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association announced the finalists for the Aurora Awards.

Spock’s first name has been revealed! Oh, wait, no it hasn’t. (Thanks to File 770.)

To no one’s surprise, there’s been a spike in book-banning. There’s been a spike in voter s... Read More

The Circus Infinite: A night at the circus

The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong

I’ll start off with a list of things I liked from 2022’s The Circus Infinite, a science fiction novel by Khan Wong:

Wonderful, occasionally psychedelic visuals
Interesting world building
Unusual non-human characters
“What happens on Persephone-9 stays on Persephone-9”
A brisk start that balances action with exposition
The circus!

The Circus Infinite introduces us to Jes, who is on the lam from an evil Institute when the story opens. Jes lays down a false trail at a spaceport, and leaves the planet of Indra for Persephone-9, a moon orbiting the planet of Persephone. The pleasure moon is the Las Vegas of this star system, and Jes hopes he can keep his head down, that he and his extraordinary ability can avoid detection.

Well, that doesn’t happen.
Read More

WWWednesday: April 6, 2022

Silver Shamrock, an indie publisher specializing in “hard-hitting horror,” courted some controversy on the internet with its “edgy” marketing copy for an upcoming novel. When social media reacted predictably, Silver Shamrock shut down its website, released the rights to all upcoming works to its authors, and shuttered. And all that took three days. It’s item 4.

This 21-minute-long video post-mortem of Shamrock’s demise is entertaining.

Joe Abercrombie sold a new trilogy, Read More

WWWednesday: March 30, 2022

It's a single-topic column today. In honor of Women's History Month, I'm sharing my interview with a writer, friend and mentor I've known and admired for years.

As a writer, editor, teacher and activist, Marta Randall has a long and influential career in the SFF world. A leading voice in the New Wave movement, Randall saw her 1976 novel Islands nominated for a Nebula. She went on to write several novels, including THE KENNERIN SAGA and, most recently,  Mapping Winter and Read More

WWWednesday: March 23, 2022

Claudia Lee Black is an Australian actress who came to science fiction fame playing Aeryn Sun in the series Farscape. Black started her acting career in an Australian soap opera City Life, and was introduced to audiences in the USA with the role of Shazza in Pitch Black. After Farscape she worked in two Stargate series. Black has done voice work for animation and video games. Most recently she appeared as Stripe in the HBO series The Nevers.

Thanks to Paul Connelly for this update from last week! George R.R. Martin announced a new “Game of Thrones” book (not the next book in the series though).

Two new Captain America stories are coming out! Read More

Inheritors of Power: The truth of the broken trust is revealed

Inheritors of Power by Juliette Wade

“…A single executive, when chosen by vote of the general population, is not at all the same as a king.”

Inheritors of Power (2022) is like a magic trick, exploding everything I thought I understood about the Varin society from the first two books in the BROKEN TRUST series. I had assumed that the political system in place in Varin’s underground cities had started off basically good and jiggled off-track over time. With Book Three, I have to re-examine that conclusion, and I’m not the only one. Revelations in this book upend belief systems for in-world characters as well as the reader.

To take care of the trivial issues first: I also assumed that the series title, “The Broken Trust” was meant metaphorically. This book sets me straight, revealing the meaning of the series name. It also continues the family saga of V... Read More

WWWednesday: March 16, 2022

Giveaways: This is an announcement. The “Notify Me of Follow Up Comments” button began causing some problem on the site. At this time it is disabled. I generally announce Giveaway winners on Sundays, so please check back each Sunday to see if you’ve won.

Because I categorized this as a Giveaway, one commenter will get a hardcover Copy of Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist.

UPDATE:  It seems the feature has been reactivated. If you use it, I recommend checking back on Sundays anyway, at least for a week or two.

Catherine Lucille Moore, often using the pseudonym C.L. Moore, published science fiction since the 1930s. Much but not all of her work was a collaboration with her husband Henry Kuttner. She also wrote for television in the early 1960s.

File770 has a very lo... Read More

Tripping Arcadia: Kit Mayquist is a writer to watch

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist

The cover of 2022’s Tripping Arcadia reads, “A Gothic Novel,” and the book certainly meets that definition. Lena, our brooding first-person narrator, warns us on the first few pages that she’s “confessing,” and her story drips with confusion, secrets, hidden pain, sexual longing, shadows, and death.

This book is filled with things I loved; plants, herbal poisons, interrupted conversations that seethe with secrets, an old, creepy mansion; secret passages, old books, a beautiful young man hellbent on self-destruction, dangerous parties, crushes that reveal themselves in yearning moments of physical descriptions of skin, lips and body heat. Mayquist nails the gothic tone nearly perfectly. The book doesn’t scream “gothic,” it speaks the word in a hoarse whisper from behind a bottle of blood-red wine.

The plot doesn’t satisfy as much as the pr... Read More

The Quarter Storm: An engaging hero helms this new contemporary fantasy series

The Quarter Storm by Veronica G. Henry

Mambo Reina Dumond is a Vodou practitioner, a servant of the lwa Erzulie, whose domain comprises river waters, healing and love. Born in Haiti, Reina moved with her family to the USA when she was a child, and now she lives and practices her tradition in New Orleans. Reina’s life is beset by mundane struggles—like getting paid for her sessions or having a bad hair day—until a brutal mutilation-murder in the French Quarter seems to point to a fellow vodouisant, Mambo Salimah. When Reina starts to investigate, she faces wall after wall of obstacles, some of which threaten her safety and her life.

The Quarter Storm (2022), by Veronica G. Henry is Book One of the MAMBO REINA series. I really enjoyed this protagonist. Reina is a little older than the average “urban fantasy... Read More

WWWednesday: March 9, 2022

Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved Black woman in Massachusetts, won her freedom in court, 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. She effectively ended slavery in the state. She’s finally getting a statue.

Just want to get away? You can buy this picturesque Canadian town, which is completely abandoned. It’s on top of a mountain, hard to get supplies or emergency vehicles to, but so picturesque. What could possibly go wrong?

Brandon Sanderson has made Kickstarter history. As of this writing, I think the amount pledged has exceeded $20 milli... Read More

WWWednesday: March 2, 2022

A VERY short column this week.

In 1925, a group of women explorers founded the Society of Women Geographers, after two of them were denied admission to the Explorers Club because they were women.

File 770 shared a link to the 10 best Science Fiction board games.

The 1632 universe is celebrating the 100th issue of The Grantville Gazette.

Nerds of a Feather reviews Spelunking Through Hell, Se... Read More

WWWednesday: February 23, 2022

Josephine Baker was born in the United States but was hounded out of the country by racism and Jim Crow laws during the Jazz Era. She went to France, where she had equality, and became, according to some, “the most famous woman in France,” known for her singing and dancing. As a celebrity, she seems like a bad choice for a spy, but she was part of the French Resistance during WWII, and a top-notch spy, probably because no one would suspect such a high-profile performer. (“When they ask me for papers, they generally mean autographs,” she is quoted as saying.) Part of her passion to help her adopted country came from her hatred of fascism and discrimination.

I don’t know who the Thunderbolts were because I never read this comic,... Read More

Marion chats with M.A. Carrick (Giveaway!)

M.A. Carrick (Alyc is on the left, Marie is on the right)

M.A. Carrick is the pseudonym of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, who write THE ROOK AND ROSE trilogy. Both writers are well-known individually, Brennan most recently for the LADY TRENT series, and Helms for her urban fantasy/dragon/superhero MISSY MASTERS books.

Alyc and Marie set aside some time to talk to me about their second book in the series, The Liar’s Knot, upcoming projects, and the nami... Read More

Mestiza Blood: Castro is a brutal, surgical high priestess of horror

Mestiza Blood by V. Castro 

2022’s Mestiza Blood is a horror story collection by V. Castro. As the title tells us, all of the protagonists of these dreamlike, horrifying tales are Latina women, grappling with horrors that are futuristic, mythic or just plain everyday.

A disclaimer: This book is filled with body horror, splatter horror, graphic violence and graphic sex. The women in these stories are filled with rage and fear as they battle appalling horrors with nothing but their strength, their will and their heritage. In some cases, they are the appalling horrors. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Table of Contents lists:
“Night of the Living Dead Chola:” A murdered woman dumped in the Rio Grande returns to exact justice on her killer.

“The Demon in... Read More

WWWednesday: February 16, 2022

Jewel Plumber Cobb was a leading researcher in the field of skin cells and cancer, and she crusaded for more women in science. During her academic career she was dean of science at both Connecticut College and Douglass Residential College at Rutgers University, and was the president of University of California at Fullerton. President Carter appointed her to the Fulbright Scholarship board in 1978.

John Scalzi is embarking on a book tour for The Kaiju Preservation Society. He provides his itinerary on his blog.

Uncanny Magazine unveils the results of its Readers’ Favorites survey... Read More

WWWednesday: February 9, 2022

The Mary Sue graciously provides a character list for the upcoming Death on the Nile movie.

Also from The Mary Sue, a profile of the short documentary Shades of Cosplay and an interview with the director.

The Self-Published Science Fiction Competition was inspired (at least) by the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. The newer contest focuses on science fiction. File770 shares the list of semi-finalists.

Do you wan... Read More

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