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SFF Author: Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee is the award-winning author of the YA science fiction novels Zeroboxer and Exo and the gangster fantasy Green Bone Saga, beginning with Jade City. Fonda is a black belt martial artist, a former corporate strategist, a foodie, and an action movie aficionado. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. Learn more online at www.fondalee.com and on Twitter @fondajlee.



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Zeroboxer: The truth will set you free

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

Carr “The Raptor” Luka has been rising in the ranks of zeroboxers — men and women who fight in zero gravity. He’s just signed with an agent, been assigned a brandhelm (publicity manager), procured a sponsor, and he hopes to be able to compete for the championship title. As political tensions rise between the residents of Earth and Mars, Carr’s success becomes a point of pride and an inspiration for Earth, “the old dirt ball.”

While on a publicity tour, Carr discovers some information about a crime that someone close to him has committed.


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Jade City: Methodical, complex plotting

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Fonda Lee brings her experience with martial arts to Jade City (2017), her first novel for adults and a sprawling tale of family, power, and an intangible but all-too-important element: control. Whether it concerns finances, emotions, or a person’s mobility through the world and their social station, control is at the heart of this novel, and informs every single moment.

Jade City is chiefly concerned with the Kaul clan of No Peak: adult siblings Lan,


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Jade War: An Asian-inspired mob drama

Jade War by Fonda Lee

Jade War (2019) is the second book in Fonda Lee’s GREEN BONE SAGA series and a finalist for the 2020 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel. It follows Jade City, which won the World Fantasy Award, and which you’ll need to read first (this review will contain some mild spoilers for that novel).

Jade War picks up a year after the dramatic events of Jade City.


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Exo: An exciting YA SF thriller

Exo by Fonda Lee

A hundred years ago aliens defeated and colonized Earth. For the most part, humans now live in peace with the aliens. A minority of humans have been chosen to go through the aliens’ hardening process when they are young. This gives them a type of exoskeleton that makes them very hard to kill. These Exos constitute a military upper class and they look down on “squishies” — those humans who can’t be, or refuse to be, hardened.

Donovan Reyes, the son of the Prime Liaison to the aliens,


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Untethered Sky: Enjoyable but doesn’t reach its full potential

Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee

Untethered Sky
is a mostly enjoyable fantasy novella by Fonda Lee, but one whose brevity I felt prevented it from reaching its full emotive potential. This is, however, something I often feel upon reading novellas (though not always as per my 5-star review of The Lies of the Ajungo), so readers of this review should keep that in mind. Some of us, it appears, are just generally not built for the form, though exceptions can always break through.


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SHORTS: McGuire, Link, Chiang, Leckie, Lee

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week’s post reviews several of the current crop of Locus Award nominees. 

Phantoms of the Midway by Seanan McGuire (2019, anthologized in The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe). 2020 Locus award finalist (novelette).

Most kids dream of running away to join the carnival. Seventeen-year-old Aracely dreams of running away from the carnival. Her mother, Daisy, is the boss and the tattoo artist of the traveling fair,


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SHORTS: Roanhorse, Liu, Lee, Goss, Kingfisher, Bear

SHORTS: Our column exploring free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. This week’s post reviews several more of the current crop of Locus Award nominees in the short fiction categories.

“A Brief Lesson in Native American Astronomy” by Rebecca Roanhorse (2019, anthologized in The Mythic Dream, edited by Dominik Parisien and Navah Wolfe). 2020 Locus award finalist (short story).

In the future, people’s memories can be stored and preserved even after they’ve died, and other people can inject them like drugs.


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Next SFF Author: J.M. Lee
Previous SFF Author: Chang-rae Lee

We have reviewed 8263 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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