Sleeping Giants: Sci-fi thriller debut is one of the best of 2016


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel Sylvain Neuvel’s Sleeping Giants honorably borrows from notable films — Pacific Rim, The Iron Giant, and the Indiana Jones series — in this...

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Don’t Breathe A Word: Chilling and heartbreaking


Don’t Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon [In our Edge of the Universe column, we review mainstream authors that incorporate elements of speculative fiction into their...

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The Daylight War: Breeeeeeeeeetttt!


The Daylight War by Peter V. Brett OK, here’s the thing about The Daylight War, Peter Brett’s third book of the DEMON CYCLE, following The Warded Man and The Desert Spear. I...

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The Philosopher’s Stone: A great book by an evolutionary “throw forward”


The Philosopher’s Stone by Colin Wilson In her article on Colin Wilson in the May 30, 2004 Observer, reporter Lynn Barber mentioned that the author, then 73, had seemingly read...

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Recent Posts

WWWednesday: September 14, 2022

In honor of my birthday, one commenter will get a copy of T. Kingfisher's southern gothic horror novel, The Twisted Ones In this column I discuss my reaction to a re-read of a classic 1990s fantasy novel.

Published in 1998, Someplace to be Flying is not the first entry in Charles de Lint’s NEWFORD series. It’s the fifth book in publishing order, with several earlier works being story collections. In my opinion, it’s a fine place to start the series and get introduced to de Lint’s fictional midwestern Canadian city (probably modeled on Ottawa) and his blend of folk magic, folk music and just folks. The mag... Read More

Rise of the Vicious Princess: A smartly written YA princess novel

Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine

I get a big kick out of reading books not specifically for my demographic. Actually, let me rephrase that. I enjoy reading books that I assume are not written for my demographic. I’m a guy, so stories about princesses are off the table. Perhaps you’re a girl and that John Wick in Space book is not supposed to be your cup of tea. I beg to differ, and love to step outside my comfort zone and read material that is not necessarily written with me in mind. It was under that assumption that I picked up Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine.

The story follows Charis Willowthorn (pronounced Kaw-Ris), the teenage princess of the Fantasy Medieval-ish realm called Calera. Calera is a fairly prosperous country that shares a war-torn continent with a few other kingdoms. They have fancy balls filled with courtesans and fancy folk of one kind or another. Court poli... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 12, 2022

Marion: Right now I’m beta-reading a friend’s manuscript about a friendship between two women; one a resident of an assisted living facility and the other a volunteer there. I’m also more than halfway through Rosewater, Book One of the WORMWOOD trilogy by Tade Thompson, and wondering why I overlooked this one for so long!

Sandy: Moi? I am currently reading another top-notch supernatural horror novel that is available nowhere else today except Ramble House. The book in question this week is Walter S. Masterman’s Read More

Ithaca: An engrossing story

Ithaca by Claire North

Ithaca (2022), by Claire North, is another in a recent spate line of Greek myth retellings, with the source material here being The Odyssey and the House of Atreus storyline (Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Electra, Orestes). North greatly narrows the focus here in setting, time, and plot, lasering in what was happening at the periphery or in the gaps of those epic tales, giving voice especially though not solely to the women on the edges of those stories. It’s a wonderfully voiced, thoughtful reimagining story and a strong entry point into a new series.

That fantastically wry and sharp voice belongs to Hera, who narrates the book from her godly perch, able to see all and transport herself wherever necessary. The bite in her voice makes itself known immediately, as when she describes Ithaca as “a thoroughly backwards wretched place” and labels Athena a “priggish little mad... Read More

WWWednesday: September 7, 2022

The Hugo winners were announced on September 4. Arkady Martine took home Best Novel for A Desolation Called Peace, Becky Chambers gathered up the Best Novella award for A Psalm for the Wild-Built, and Sarah Pinsker won Best Short Story for “Where Oaken Hearts do Gather. Best Series went to Seanan McGuire for THE WAYWARD CHILDREN, and Read More

The Final Girl Support Group: Good thriller if you are adept at suspending disbelief

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

The title of Grady Hendrix’s 2021 novel might make you think it’s a horror story in the slasher-movie style, and there are plenty of nods to horror here. Actually, the book is a thriller, and as a thriller it works pretty well. Hendrix intersperses the thriller with some dark, zany humor, trauma-fueled angst, and toxic sisterhood rants, but the story’s at its best when our main character, Lynette, is on the run from, well, everybody.

The Final Girl Support Group opens with Lynette preparing to attend that very group. Lynette has turned her LA slum-neighborhood apartment into a bunker. She does self-defense drills before setting out, hyper-vigilant, to attend the group she participates in every week with five other women, all in their late thirties, who survived not one but two bl... Read More

Sunday Status Update: September 4, 2022

Kat: I’m so busy at the beginning of a new academic year. I’m teaching an extra class this semester, a large freshmen-level general education course, so that’s taking a lot of my time. But since you heard from me last (it’s been a while), I’ve read Octavia Butler’s XENOGENESIS series (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago), three of Terry Pratchett’s DISCWORLD Read More

Abe Sapien (Vol. 3): Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man: Two more dark, mid-apocalyptic stories

Abe Sapien (Vol. 3): Dark and Terrible and The New Race of Man by Mike Mignola (writer), Scott Allie (writer), John Arcudi (writer), Sebastian Fiumara (art), and Max Fiumara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)

“Dark and Terrible” starts with the discussion of the continuing developments around the world: the rise of the monsters. The B.P.R.D. discuss what to do about the monsters and talk about what has happened to Abe Sapien. Meanwhile, in a train car, hobos discuss the monsters while Abe, wrapped up in a disguise, listens in on their conspiracy theories. When one of the men abruptly takes off Abe’s disguise, a fight erupts only until the train stops and the B.P.R.D. start their search of the train cars for Abe. Abe, however, manages to escape into the woods and goes on the run again.

The question being explored in this story is the continuing one of what created Abe and his more recent changes and why h... Read More

Fandom, The Next Generation

Fandom, The Next Generation edited by Bridget Kies & Megan Connor

Fandom, The Next Generation
, edited by Bridget Kies and Megan Connor is a collection of essays exploring, unsurprisingly, fandom, but with a particular focus on transgenerational sources and fan communities. I.e., those fandoms centered around “rebooted or perpetually rebroadcast media texts” whose long-lived and/or resurrected nature maintains and creates several generations of fans — those who came to the text in its original form, those who discovered the text in later years, and those who came to the text as an adaptation or reboot. Think the many decades of the various Star Wars films or Dr. Who shows, the long-running but also rebooted Star Trek universe, but also non-SF/Fantasy works such as the multitude of Jane Austen adaptations over the past decades.

The collection is divided into three broad ... 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 is the best book you read in August 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