The Changeling: A rich dark fairy tale for the Information Age

The Changeling by Victor LaValle “How do we protect our children?” Cal said quietly. Apollo watched the soft little shape in his hand. “Obviously I don’t...

Read More
The Reapers Are the Angels: One of the oddest and best zombie novels

The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell What does the United States look like 25 years after zombies have led the nation into an apocalypse? What is life like for a teenager born...

Read More
MONSTRESS 3: Haven: Increasingly complex

MONSTRESS 3: Haven by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda It’s always an event when the next collection of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s MONSTRESS is released — I take a copy...

Read More
The Hobbit: Good clean fun

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit is just good clean fun, delightful for children and adults. If you’ve read LOTR and wondered how Bilbo got the ring, here’s the...

Read More

Recent Posts

Sunday Status Update: January 15, 2023

Marion:  I finished Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Nick and Nora Charles in Space” mystery, The Spare Man. It was fun. Continuing my William Gibson re-read, I’m about one-third of the way through Count Zero.

Sandy: Moi? I recently finished reading a book by Read More

Uzumaki: A town horrifically taken over by spirals

Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Junji Ito’s masterpiece is without a doubt Uzumaki. Junji Ito is a manga creator (writer and artist), and he is known for his horror graphic novels and story collections. The bulk of his work is made up of story collections such as the brilliant Shiver. Uzumaki, however, is a long six hundred-plus page single-story book. Yet, at the same time, it is still made up of discreet, individual stories. Each chapter, while featuring the same main characters, focuses on another aspect of this strange town, which is the true main character of Uzumaki. The town is characterized by the proliferation of the spiral (Uzumaki means “spiral” in Japanese). The reason the book is written as a series of discreet stories is that they were serialized from 1998-1999 in Big Spirit Comics, a manga magazine in Japan. Each story, ther... Read More

Legendborn: There’s much to like in this debut

Reposting to include Marion's new review.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn (2020), the first book in her LEGENDBORN CYCLE, wasn’t on my radar until I saw it on the Locus Awards finalists list for Best Young Adult novel. I grabbed the audiobook and one of the YAs that lives in my house (Tali, my 18-year-old daughter) and we listened to Legendborn together as we worked a jigsaw puzzle. We agreed to give Legendborn a rating of 3.5 which is quite a bit lower than the book currently rates at both Amazon and GoodReads, so keep that in mind (YMMV). The bottom line is that we found the story entertaining and wanted to know what happened, but there were too many issues for us to fully endorse Legendborn.

Bree Matthews is a young black high school student who is smart and succ... Read More

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