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Books Received, March 18 — March 24

25 Mar, 2023


New Eves: Science Fiction About the Extraordinary Women of Today and Tomorrow edited by Forrest J. Ackerman, Janrae Frank, and Jean Marie Stine (January 1994)

The New Eves, the brave and innovative women writers of science fiction, have been challenging their readers for more than half a century to postulate a different kind of society, one where visionary women are nourished with forbidden knowledge and become the
powerful leaders of a new kind of civilization.

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Books Received, March 11 — March 17

18 Mar, 2023


The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker (October 2023)

New from the author of The Keeper of Night comes a YA fantasy duology set in an alternate Tang Dynasty China, where a poor biracial girl with the ability to raise the dead gets caught up in the dangerous political games of the royal family. 

Zilan dreams of becoming a royal alchemist, of providing for her family by making alchemical gold and gems for the wealthy to eat in order to stay young forever. But for now, she’s trapped in her impoverished village in southern China, practicing an illegal form of alchemy to keep food on the table — resurrecting the dead, for a price. 

When Zilan finally has the chance to complete her imperial exams, she ventures to the capital to compete against the best alchemists in the country in tasks she’ll be lucky to survive, let alone pass. On top of that, her reputation for raising the dead has followed her to the capital, and the Crown Prince himself seeks out her help, suspecting a coming assassination attempt. 

The more Zilan succeeds in her alchemy, the more she gets caught in the dangerous political games of the royal family. There are monsters lurking within the palace walls, and it’s only a matter of time before they — and secrets of Zilan’s past — catch up with her. 

Don’t miss the Keeper of Night duology!The Keeper of NightThe Empress of Time 

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Books Received, March 4 — March 10

11 Mar, 2023


The Splinter in the Sky by Kemi Ashing-Giwa (July 2023)

The dust may have just settled in the failed war of conquest between the Holy Vaalbaran Empire and the Ominirish Republic, but the last Emperor’s surrender means little to a lowly scribe like Enitan. All she wants is to quit her day job and expand her fledgling tea business. But when her lover is assassinated and her sibling is abducted by Imperial soldiers, Enitan abandons her idyllic plans and weaves her tea tray up through the heart of the Vaalbaran capital. There, she will learn just how far she is willing to go to exact vengeance, free her sibling, and perhaps even secure her homeland’s freedom.

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Judith Merril’s The Year’s Greatest SF series

7 Mar, 2023


Between 1956 and 1968, Judith Merril edited twelve annual anthologies selecting what were in her option the best speculative fiction stories of the previous year. These were noteworthy for a number of reasons, one being the width of the net Merril cast to gather her material, and also the curious fact that while there have been many, many similar anthology series, Merril’s is the only example from the 20th century of which I am aware of a Best SF annual edited by a solitary woman. Since I’ve looked at examples from del Rey, Carr, and Dozois’ Best SF series, it seems only fair to balance it out with an exploration of Merril’s. 

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February 2023 in Review

1 Mar, 2023


February 2023

20 works reviewed. 11 by women (55%), 9 by men (45%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 0 by authors whose gender is unknown (0%), and 9 by POC (45%)

2023 to Date

42 works reviewed. 23 by women (55%), 18 by men (43%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 1 by authors whose gender is unknown (2%), and 17 by POC (40%).

Grand Total to Date

2310 works reviewed. 1290 by women (56%), 967 by men (42%), 34 by non-binary authors (1%), 19 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 693.75 by POC (30%).

Government Types February 2023

Total 20, Not Applicable 1 (5%), Unclear 1 (5%), Anarchy 0 (0%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 11 (55%), Oligarchy 6 (30%), Autocracy 1 (5%).

Government Type 2023 TD

Total 42, Not Applicable 3 (9%), Unclear 2 (5%), Anarchy 0 (0%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 16 (23%), Oligarchy 16 (45%), Autocracy 5 (18%).

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Books Received, February 18 — February 24

25 Feb, 2023


The Great Gods by Daniel Keys Moran (February 2023)

The long-anticipated first book about Camber Tremodian, who first appeared in Daniel Keys Moran’s classic SF novel The Long Run — one of the highest rated SF novel on Goodreads.

The keystone work of Moran’s Tales of the Continuing Time, The Great Gods kicks off the Time Wars” series. Young Camber doesn’t know who he is, or who his parents were. He’s a child in a small village, in a long post-Singularity universe with thousands of sentient races and over ten billion years of recorded history. He’s no one, as far as he knows, one of half a trillion humans alive in the year 3009.

But Camber will rise. 

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Books Received, February 11 — February 16

18 Feb, 2023


Thornhedge T. Kingfisher (August 2023)

There’s a princess trapped in a tower. This isn’t her story.

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right? 

If only.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He’s heard there’s a curse here that needs breaking, but it’s a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold…

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Books Received, February 4 — February 10

11 Feb, 2023


Flight & Anchor by Nicole Kornher-Stace (June 2023)

Young SecOps operatives 06 and 22 were about to be sent out for their first military engagement. Just a few years earlier, they were child refugees of a corporate civil war; Stellaxis modified them into supersoldiers. But 06 and 22 have escaped their prison barracks and entered a city they can barely remember. In the dead of winter, they sleep in an abandoned shipping container and scavenge for resources. 

The Director of the Stellaxis supersoldier program knows that 06 and 22 are gone, where they are, and that she has no easy way of retrieving them. The Director also knows that if she sends anyone after them, there will be a bloodbath — or at least a great deal of bad press. But all operatives’ days are numbered. 06 and 22 must make a terrible choice: their freedom or each other

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