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Books Received, Feb 8 — 14

15 Feb, 2020


Women disappear from streets, clubs, and rooftops leaving the police dazed and confused. The mystical Soothsayer Task Force must use their special skills to divine the truth and solve the mystery. 

Detectives Simantov and Bitton, along with their team of mystic agents, try to make sense of the weird crime scenes and even weirder forensic findings. The victims are seemingly unconnected and the only clues to their disappearances are the small objects they leave behind; a whip, a feather, a lock of hair… 

Together with Mazzy’s instincts and Yariv’s stubbornness, they realise that these abductions signal the start of an apocalypse — a war between opposing hosts of angels, the daughters of Lilith and the Nephilim. The battle for access to heaven is underway and humans are caught in the middle. But strong as they may be, angels will always underestimate the power and weight in human free will. 

This is the English translation from the original Hebrew text, translated by Marganit Weinberger-Rotman. 

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Books Received, January 25 — 31

1 Feb, 2020


Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed, and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance — and one woman can tip it over.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this — to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi begins to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared …

Goldilocks is The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Martian — a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller.

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January 2020 in Review

31 Jan, 2020


January 2020

23 books read. 11.5 by women (50%), 10 by men (43%), 1 by a non-binary author (4%), 0.5 by unknown (2%), 9 works by POC (39%)

Year to Date

23 books read. 11.5 by women (50%), 10 by men (43%), 1 by a non-binary author (4%), 0.5 by unknown (2%), 9 works by POC (39%)

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Books Received, January 18 — 24

25 Jan, 2020


Pleo Tanza is an outcast, even among the struggling masses on Chatoyance, the once-great space colony she calls home. 

When Pleo is unjustly accused of murdering the only daughter of a powerful industrial family, she’s thrown into a desperate race to clear her name. 

After decades of intrigues and treachery, and facing a resurgent threat from a shadowy alien enemy, Chatoyance is ready to explode — and this could be the spark that triggers it.

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Books Received, January 11 — 17

18 Jan, 2020


The first in the Witchlands series, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is a brilliantly imagined coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Robin Hobb, Victoria Aveyard and Trudi Canavan. In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands. Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home. Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden — lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself. In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. **

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Books Received, January 4 — 10

11 Jan, 2020


Golden Geek RPG of the Year 2012! Combining high-action dungeon crawling with cutting-edge rules, Dungeon World is a roleplaying game of fantasy adventure. You and your friends will explore a land of magic and danger in the roles of adventurers searching for fame, gold, and glory. 

Dungeon World’s rules are easy to learn and always drive the action forward in unexpected ways. A missed roll is never a dead end- failure introduces new complexities and complications. Life as an adventurer is hard and dangerous but it’s never boring! Designed to be ready for you to hack, remix, and build new content, Dungeon World includes systems for changing everything to suit your group including creating new races, classes, and monsters. To play, you’ll need this rulebook, 3 – 5 players, some polyhedral dice, and 2 – 4 hours. Explore fantasy adventure roleplaying in a whole new way with Dungeon World!

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Annual Hugo Eligibility Post

4 Jan, 2020


(pictured: the author as a young world-builder)

Hugo nominations are open! More details at the other end of this link.

I know what potentially Hugo-worthy works I created in the last year. I am unsure what pieces qualify for what category. In fact, I am even more baffled than I was in January 2019. Here are my bestguesses.

My Tor essays almost certainly fall under Best Related.

James Nicoll Reviews may also be Best Related but I think last year’s Worldcon counted them towards Best Fan Writer.

My Dreamwidth posts (links to James Nicoll Reviews aside) fall under Best Fan Writer.

Young People site may count as a fanzine. Or, again, best fan writer. 

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Books Received, December 28 — January 3

4 Jan, 2020


Tankar Holroy, Lieutenant in the Stellar Guard of earth’s Empire, floats in space after his spaceship is sabotaged. Rescued by an enormous, unknown ship, he awakes to discover himself saved by the People of the Stars who are born and live in space with minimal contact with planets and their occupants whom they call, with contempt, planetaries.

The chilly welcome he receives from the ship’s leader, the Teknor, is followed by overt hostility from the other inhabitants of the Tilsin. Only a woman named Orena reaches out to him.

Tankar soon realizes that he was rescued for his knowledge of tracers, the technology that allows Empire ships to track others through hyperspace, a technology the People of the Stars lack. Out of spite, he refuses to deliver the one piece of knowledge that can protect the people who saved but now spurn him — and the consequences will be catastrophic. 

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December 2019 in review and 2019 in review

3 Jan, 2020



20 books read. 12 by women (60%), 8 by men (40%)

Works by POC: 8 (40%)

Year to Date

244 books read. 135.5 by women (56%). 105 by men (43%). 2 by non-binary authors (1%) and 1.5 by an author whose gender is unknown (1%).

Works by POC: 100.75 (41%).

In pretty much every parameter save books by POC, this is pretty disappointing compared to past years, except for the discovery I am eight reviews short of 1500 for this site. 

2018: 259 books read. 144 by women (56%), 105 by men (41%), 3 by NB (1%). 7 by persons whose gender is unknown (3%). Works by POC: 82.5 (32%)

2017: 255 works reviewed. 138.5 by women (54%). 109.5 by men (43%). 5 by non-binary authors (2%). 2 by N/A (1%). Works by POC: 75.5 (30%)

2016: 255 books read. 161.5 by women (0.63), 91.5 by men (0.36), 2 by authors who identifies as neither (0.01). 62.5 by POC (0.25).

2015: 329 books read. 195 by women (59%). 45 by POC (14%)

2014: I don’t seem to have kept my numbers from 2014. I know I reviewed 150 books, though.

And now for the extremely obsolete chart.

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