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Blog Posts from January 2019 (7)

Books Received, January 13 — 18

19 Jan, 2019


Some dreams become nightmares …

An invasion is headed for Crosspointe, but three friends will find themselves at war long before the first enemy touches the shore. 

One man will betray her.

Fairlie, a master metalsmith, is discovered to have a rare magical talent that could save Crosspointe from destruction. Against her will, she is forced to make a monstrous sacrifice. What happens next could tear the world apart. 

One man will risk everything to save her

The future hangs in the balance. Everything depends on Fairlie. Driven to the edge of sanity and endurance, she must choose who will live and who will die. 

One man will come face to face with his worst nightmare.

The enemy is coming to Crosspointe, but a worse one lurks within. As secrets get ripped open and truths are revealed, Crosspointe’s future looks ever bleaker. 

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Books Received, January 5 — 11

12 Jan, 2019


Deception Well is a world on the edge, home to an isolated remnant surviving at the farthest reach of human expansion. All across the frontier, other worlds have succumbed to the relentless attacks of robotic alien warships, while hundreds of light years away, the core of human civilization — those star systems closest to Earth, known as the Hallowed Vasties — have all fallen to ruins. Powerful telescopes can see only dust and debris where once there were orbital mega-structures so huge they eclipsed the light of their parent stars. 

No one knows for sure what caused the Hallowed Vasties to fail, but a hardened adventurer named Urban intends to find out. He has the resources to do it. He commands a captive alien starship fully capable of facing the dangers that lie beyond Deception Well. 

With a ship’s company of explorers and scientists, Urban is embarking on a voyage of re-discovery. They will be the first in centuries to confront the hazards of an inverted frontier as they venture back along the path of human migration. Their goal: to unravel the mystery of the Hallowed Vasties and to discover what monstrous life might have grown up among the ruins. 

Edges is a new entry point into the classic story world of Linda Nagata’s The Nanotech Succession. 

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Annual Hugo Nomination Self-Promotion

10 Jan, 2019


It is time to nominate works for the Hugo. 

I know what I have done that last year but as to what categories they fall into? You guess is as good as mine. I think my grasp of the boundaries is worse than it was last year.

James Nicoll Reviews and my pieces for Tor might be best related? Or fan, perhaps? My Dreamwidth account might be Best Fan Writer eligible. And the various projects on the Young People site may count as a fanzine. Or, again, best fan writing. 

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Big Hair, Big Guns!

10 Jan, 2019

1 comment

From time to time I consider reviewing an old favourite for my Because My Tears Are Delicious To You series, only to discover that the book in question was published after March 1981, too recent for Tears1. Pity, because there were a great many books published in the 1980s that were almost as formative for me as the ones I read as a teen. If only I had my own review site, I muse, I could indulge my whims. 

It turns out I do have a review site that is completely under my control! Bwahahaha! 

Welcome, therefore, to Big Hair, Big Guns, intermittent reviews of the best (or at least most notable) SF works of the 1980s. 

1: Tears covers those books I read as a teen. Thanks to math and the Julian calendar, I was only a teen from 1974 to 1981

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Books Received, December 29, 2018 to January 42019

5 Jan, 2019


HEAVEN IS A PRISON. HELL IS A PLAYGROUND.Ross Baker is an overworked scientist developing medical technology for corporate giant Neurosphere, but he’d rather be playing computer games than dealing with his nightmare boss or slacker co-workers.He volunteers as a test candidate for the new tech — anything to get out of the office for a few hours. But when he emerges from the scanner he discovers he’s not only escaped the office, but possibly escaped real life for good. He’s trapped in Starfire — a video game he played as a child — with no explanation, no backup and, most terrifyingly, no way out.

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Another year, another grand project for Fridays

4 Jan, 2019


As always, something happened to inspire me. This year it was this tweet by award-winning author Silvia Moreno-Garcia:

So I’ve been wondering if I should say something here because I am busy and tired and I don’t need the attention, but I think I must: the WFC guest of honor lineup for 2019 is sad. The con takes place in Los Angeles but all the GOHs are white. The theme is Fantasy Noir.

I could rebuke the WFC, but this might undermine my justly earned reputation for genial tolerance. Better that I should set aside any expressions of disappointment and irritation. Surely if the WFC could do better, they would be doing better. I shall embrace this problem as the inspiration for 2019’s major reviewing project, offered in the spirit of community-building and good will: 

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do, being an incomplete survey of POC currently active in speculative fiction. I will review 52 recent works by 52 different POC in 52 weeks. 

I don’t anticipate any particular difficulty in doing this. But then, I am not the WFC. 

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The very first work received in 2019

1 Jan, 2019



Prose –

THE ISHOLOGU // Jonathan Kincade

What truly separates good from evil? When a senseless act of violence unleashes an ancient evil on a community, it’s up to one bokor – an his undead accomplice – to make things right. 

GLOSS // Kola Heyward-Rotimi

For Ace and zeal, The Clipper is more than a glitch; it’s an escape, a refuge from reality. But when developers patch their refuge out of existence, Ace has to figure out how to break reality one more time. 


Saya is a talented wizard who has dreams of being a fighter, but there’s a problem: women aren’t allowed to fight. She makes a deal with a capricious deity who says that they can make her dreams real…but is Saya prepared to pay the cost? 

NOTES ON THE PLAGUE // Shamar Harriott

A mysterious plague is killing black people. Amidst this tragedy, a small group of hopeful survivors tries to figure out how to retain their will to survive without the ability to touch – or trust. 


A sweeping viral epidemic is changing the very fabric of humanity, and Alicia is one of the few unaffected humans remaining. In the midst of Humanity’s change, will she find a place to belong? 

Poetry –

NEST // B. Sharise Moore

THE BASKET WEAVER // Soonest Nathaniel

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