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SFF Author: Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Nina Kiriki Hoffman(1955- )
Nina Kiriki Hoffman is an American fantasy, science fiction and horror writer. She started publishing short stories in 1975, her first nationally published short story appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine in 1985 and has since published over 200 in various anthologies and magazines. She lives in Eugene, Oregon with her cats. She is a member of the Wordos writers’ group.



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A Fistful of Sky: Too mature for YA, too shallow for adults

A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

A Fistful of Sky is the story of Gypsum LaZelle, who comes from a magical family. Each child goes through transition in their early teens and receives the ability to do magic. However, Gypsum doesn’t go through transition. After several years of adjusting to her life as the mundane member of her family, she unexpectedly goes through transition, and receives the power of cursing. The only magic she can do is to perform curses, and if she doesn’t use her power regularly,


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The FIREBIRDS Anthologies: Excellent short fiction for young adults

The FIREBIRDS anthologies edited by Sharyn November

Firebirds is the first of the three FIREBIRD anthologies edited by Sharyn November. Some people don’t like short stories, especially in anthologies where you are reading several different authors. I, however, almost always have a volume of short stories on my bedside table. Even if I manage to get no other reading done during a hectic day, it is a way for me to finish a whole story in 15-20 minutes. In an age where many authors seem incapable of writing anything other than multi-novel epics,


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Fall of Light: Reads like a cheesy horror movie

Fall of Light by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

(Note: Fall of Light is a “sideways sequel” to A Fistful of Sky. It refers back to some of the things that happened in A Fistful of Sky, but you could read Fall of Light on its own without any problem.)

Opal LaZelle (sister to Gypsum LaZelle of A Fistful of Sky) is a Hollywood makeup artist who specializes in making monsters for horror movies.


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Thresholds: A good read for middleschoolers

Thresholds by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

In Thresholds, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, we meet Maya. Maya’s best friend Stephanie died of cancer during the school year, so her parents, both school teachers, accept new jobs in a new state to give her a new start. Then, the night before the school year starts, a fairy flies in through her bedroom window and decides that Maya makes an excellent pillow. Maya wakes in the morning to find a pile of fairy dust. Though most people don’t notice anything different about her,


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Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror: Another wonderful collection from “The Unique Magazine”

Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror edited by John Betancourt & Robert Weinberg

This is the seventh anthology that I have reviewed that has been drawn from the pages of Weird Tales, one of the most famous pulp magazines in publishing history. Each of the previous collections had employed its own modus operandi in presenting its gathered stories. Weird Tales (1964) and Worlds of Weird (1965) had been slim paperbacks featuring previously uncollected stories. The Best of Weird Tales: 1923 (1997) had spotlighted tales solely from WT’s very first year.


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Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths by Jennifer Roberson

Out of Avalon: An Anthology of Old Magic and New Myths is an anthology for everyone who loves re-takes on the Arthurian legends, and especially those readers who loved The Mists of Avalon and are seeking more of the same sort of retellings, laced with gender politics, religious issues, and romance.

As in all anthologies, some of the stories are to my taste, some aren’t, and there is probably something for everyone.


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The Green Man: Read it slowly

The Green Man edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

In fairy tales, whenever someone journeys into the forest, you just know something strange is about to occur and that the protagonist’s life is going to be changed forever. The same is true of the stories and poems featured in The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest. With this collection, editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling kicked off a series of young adult anthologies, each devoted to a particular theme. Here, the theme is wild nature,


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Wings of Fire: I thought I didn’t like dragons

Wings of Fire edited by Jonathan Strahan & Marianne S. Jablon

I don’t like dragons.

This is probably not the first sentence you’d expect to find in a review of Wings of Fire, an anthology devoted exclusively to dragon stories, but I thought it best to get it out of the way right from the start.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with dragons. They’re just terribly overused, one of those tired genre mainstays that people who typically don’t read a lot of fantasy will expect in a fantasy novel because they were practically unavoidable for a long time.


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Next SFF Author: Paul Hoffman
Previous SFF Author: Mary Hoffman

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