SFF Author: Steph Swainston


The Year of Our War: Cluttered plot, erratic execution

The Year of Our War by Steph Swainston

I’m always drawn to material that is described as “fresh,” “original” or “inventive.” So when I was introduced to Steph Swainston and her highly praised fantasy series, I was eager to delve into this fascinating new world starting with Ms. Swainston’s debut The Year of Our War. Unluckily for me, it wasn’t quite what I expected.

Set in The Fourlands, The Year of Our War focuses on three races (humans, winged yet flightless Awians,

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The New Weird: As terrifying as Kafka on LSD

The New Weird by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

It’s easy to imagine two different readers reacting in opposite ways to The New Weird. One might find it delightfully odd; the other might find it as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. And a third might find it delightfully odd because it’s as terrifying as Kafka on LSD. Certainly, no one is likely to find it boring.

The New Weird is a well-organized anthology, with a short, useful introduction; a section entitled “Stimuli,” containing older selections (though not very old;

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June 2023