Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection: Indispensable

Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection by Jay Lake Jay Lake died in June of 2014. It was a tragic loss but not a surprise, since Lake had made his experiences with cancer...

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The Emperor Mage: Couldn’t put it down

The Emperor Mage by Tamora Pierce The Emperor Mage is the third book in Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals Quartet, and by this stage if you haven’t read the previous...

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The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Four

The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Four edited by Ellen Datlow Anything Ellen Datlow edits automatically finds a place on my list of books to read. For many years, this included...

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The Hollow Places: I read it in one sitting because I was afraid to put it down

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher  … and we watched the willow branches bow outward from the passing, and it was invisible except that invisible was not the right word, because...

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Recent Posts

WWWednesday: January 11, 2023

Caroline Herschel was the sister of 18th-century astronomer William Herschel. An accomplished singer herself, Caroline helped her brother chart the heavens, and identified nebulae. Philip Henry and Hannah Martin wrote and performed this song about her back in 2005.

LitHub compiled some exceptionally vicious book reviews from 2022. Several of these read like reviewers who saw a chance to practice their writing skills, and several cross over into ad hominem comments… but a lot of them are funny.

The Washington Post explores why it took 43 years to get Octavia Butler’s Kindred to the small screen. (Thanks to File770.)

My husband stumbled across a Read More

Conan: Blood of the Serpent: Conan is back, Baby!!!

Conan: Blood of the Serpent by S.M. Stirling

To say I was thrilled to discover a new Conan novel is the understatement of my year or maybe even decade. Conan of Cimmeria, barbarian, thief, warrior, outlaw, mercenary, reaver, king, Robert E. Howard’s legendary hero, the one who made him the father of Sword and Sorcery has returned. Conan is back, Baby!

Conan, and REH, not to mention ERB’s Tarzan, are not only what made me into a bookworm, but transformed me into the total fantasy geek I am today. I literally get chills when I read the line “Know ye O’ Prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis....”

So, Blood of the Serpent (2022) is a struggle for me to review objectively but, seeing as how Conan s... Read More

Battle of the Linguist Mages: Might make a fun video game

Battle of the Linguist Mages by Scotto Moore

My low rating of 2022’s Battle of the Linguist Mages comes from the distance between my anticipation of this book based on its excellent title, and the reality of reading it. I think people who like watching other people play video games will enjoy this book. I don’t, and so I didn’t. Your mileage, as we say, may vary.

Battle of the Linguist Mages is filled with awesome ideas. Here are a few:

a “battle language” that changes reality
extraterrestrials who live in human consciousness as punctuation marks
a powerful, high-tech cult
a dictatorial governor of California with a plan of conquest
1980s tropes and dance-offs

Moore’s book is filled with cool visuals and snappy dialogue, with villains who know they’re villains, and snark back with great glee at our ... Read More

House of the Restless Dead and Other Stories: Spelunking

House of the Restless Dead and Other Stories by Hugh B. Cave

In my ongoing quest to read every one of the selections spotlighted in Jones & Newman’s excellent overview volume Horror: 100 Best Books, I have come to the realization that some of those books are a lot harder to obtain than others. Oh, sure, with the search tools available on the Interwebs, pretty much any title is easy to find today, but getting it at a decent price … ah, that can be more problematic. For example, I despair of ever being able to find E. H. Visiak’s Medusa (1929) at a price that I can afford, and ditto for Marjorie Bowen’s The Last Bouquet (1933). All of which brings me to Hugh B. Cave’s  Murgunstrumm and Others, chosen for inclusion by British horro... Read More

Little Eve: Best gothic horror book I read in 2022

Little Eve by Catriona Ward

Little Eve is the best gothic horror book I read last year. Originally published in the United Kingdom in 2018, it won the Shirley Jackson award and the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel. It’s a book saturated with atmosphere, filled with clues, puzzles, masks and secret identities. Ultimately, it’s about cults, serpents, sisters, lies, and love.

The book starts in the 1920s, when a local man in a remote Scottish village discovers the bodies of everyone who lives in the rotting castle on the bluff. All are dead except one. Dinah, a young woman his age, has survived. Her story is strange, but the group—the “family”—who lived at the castle were strange to begin with. The mystery remains as the story shifts; to an earlier death in 1917, and forward to the aftermath of the mass death at the castle.

The story is told among shifting points of view... Read More

Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month/year?

It's the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What's the best book you read in December 2022 and why did you love it? If you like, you can also tell us about your favorite book of 2022.

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

WWWednesday: January 4, 2023

Happy 2023. I hope it goes well for all of you.

Brandon Sanderson ended last year with an update about his successful Kickstarter campaign, the state of his various series, and some new projects.

On New Year’s Day, Avengers and Hawkeye star Jeremy Renner was hospitalized, in critical but stable condition, after a snowplow accident.

Darusha Wehm, Nebula-nominated game developer, discusses six books with Nerds of a Feather.

Victor LaValle is Read More

Sunday Status Update: January 1, 2023

Marion: I reread Robert Jackson Bennett’s DIVINE CITIES series, and it was as good as I remembered. The day before Christmas a friend lent me Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, a YA fantasy adventure. I enjoyed it, although I think a young reader would enjoy it far more. While I liked the sixteen-year-old MC, it reminded me that one of things I’d especially enjoyed about the Bennett books was mature protagonists!

Bill: Read More

Mistress of Terror and Other Stories: Alabama Getaway

Mistress of Terror and Other Stories by Wyatt Blassingame

By the time a reader gets to the fourth and final volume in Ramble House’s series of books dedicated to Wyatt Blassingame, he/she will almost inevitably have come to the realization that the Alabama-born author surely was a master of that peculiar horror subgenre known as “weird-menace” fiction. And indeed, those first three volumes – The Tongueless Horror and Other Stories: The Weird Tales of Wyatt Blassingame, Volume One, Lady of the Yellow De... Read More

Network Effect: Complex connections

Reposting to include Bill's new review.

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Martha Wells’ Murderbot has been gathering enthusiastic fans (which would be certain to have Murderbot hiding behind its opaque armored faceplate), along with multiple Nebula, Hugo and other awards and nominations, as each of the first four novellas in the MURDERBOT DIARIES series has been published over the last three years. In Network Effect (2020), the first full-length novel in this series, Wells is able to explore a more complex plot and to more fully develop Murderbot’s character and its relationships with others.

Murderbot is now with Dr. Mensah and the other Preservation Station characters who Murderbot was protecting in the first book, Read More