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Blog Posts from May 2023 (6)

How to Save the World Without Really Doing Anything At All

27 May, 2023


(Tor declined this Earth Day piece because it didn’t suit the mood they were aiming for)

Climate change! Most folks would prefer not to suffer through freaky weather, crop-collapse-driven famine, and the inexorable loss of coastal cities to sea level rise. On the other hand, reducing the amount of greenhouse gases humans release (by shifting to proven low-CO2 emission energy sources) might involve transient inconvenience and could well cost some very wealthy people trifling sums they will never miss. Surely there are ways to tackle the issue that don’t require doing anything right now?

Long-time readers of these essays should know that I will not ask leading questions without providing answers.

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Books Received, May 20 — May 26

27 May, 2023


Calamity by Constance Fay (November 2023)

Bramble’s inaugural debut is equal parts steamy interstellar romance and sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Firefly and Ilona Andrews.

She’s got a ramshackle spaceship, a misfit crew, and a big problem with its sexy newest member…Temperance Reed, banished from the wealthy and dangerous Fifteen Families, just wants to keep her crew together after their feckless captain ran off with the intern. But she’s drowning in debt and revolutionary new engine technology is about to make her beloved ship obsolete. Enter Arcadio Escajeda. Second child of the terrifying Escajeda Family, he’s the thorn in Temper’s side as they’re sent off on a scouting mission on the backwater desert planet of Herschel 2. They throw sparks every time they meet but Temper’s suspicions of his ulterior motives only serve to fuel the flames between them. 

Despite volcanic eruptions, secret cultists, and deadly galactic fighters, the greatest threat on this mission may be to Temper’s heart. 

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Books Received, May 13 — May 19

20 May, 2023


A Stranger in the Citadel by Tobias Buckell (October 2023)

From the powerful storyteller Tobias Buckell (Crystal Rain, The Tangled Lands), a complex novel of humanity’s passion for the written word. At the revolutionary crossroads of magic, betrayal, and long-forgotten truths, a naïve, compassionate royal and a determined, hunted librarian discover a dangerous world of mortal and ancient menaces. Lilith has heard an oblique warning all of her life: Thou shall not suffer a librarian to live. The life of the youngest musketress of Ninetha has been one of hard training. But Lilith’s days have also contained many pleasures, the royal privileges of her family’s guardianship of the Cornucopia, a mystical source of limitless bounty. Lilith has never seen a book, and she never expects to encounter one within in the safety of the citadel. When Ishmael, an outcast librarian, shows up outside the Afriq Gate, Lilith saves him from immediate execution by her father’s second-in-command, the zealot Kira. As Lilith’s curiosity draws her to the Ishmael, she lets slip her family’s most dangerous secret to Kira, sparking a deadly rebellion and an unexpected journey full of stunning revelations. 

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Books Received, April 29 — May 5

6 May, 2023


Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (September 2023)

Long ago, the world was destroyed by gods. Only nine cities were spared. Separated by vast wilderness teeming with monsters and unimaginable dangers, each city is now ruled by a guardian―royalty who feed on mortal pleasure. 

Born with an intuition that never fails, Calista knows her talents are of great value to the power-hungry of the world, so she lives hidden as a courtesan of the Baron of Archwood. In exchange for his protection, she grants him information. 

When her intuition leads her to save a traveling prince in dire trouble, the voice inside her blazes with warning―and promise. Today he’ll bring her joy. One day he’ll be her doom. 

When the Baron takes an interest in the traveling prince and the prince takes an interest in Calista, she becomes the prince’s temporary companion. But the city simmers with rebellion, and with knights and monsters at her city gates and a hungry prince in her bed, intuition may not be enough to keep her safe. 

Calista must choose: follow her intuition to safety or follow her heart to her downfall. 

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April 2023 in Review

1 May, 2023


April 2023

21 works reviewed1. 11 by women (52%), 10 by men (47%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 0 by authors whose gender is unknown (0%), and 8 by POC (38%)

2023 to Date

86 works reviewed. 48 by women (57%), 37 by men (42%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 1 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 34 by POC (40%).

Grand Total to Date

2354 works reviewed. 1315 by women (56%), 986 by men (42%), 34 by non-binary authors (1%), 19 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 710.75 by POC (30%).

1: Not counting the April 1 spoof.

Government Types March 2023

Total 21, Not Applicable 3 (14%), Unclear 2 (10%), Anarchy 0 (0%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 9 (43%), Oligarchy 7 (33%), Autocracy 0 (0%).

Government Type 2023 TD

Total 86, Not Applicable 17 (14%), Unclear 5 (3%), Anarchy 0 (0%), Pure democracy 0 (0%), Representative democracy 24 (37%), Oligarchy 27 (42%), Autocracy 5 (8%).

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May 2023 Patreon Boost

1 May, 2023


Another month, another 21 reviews, and another Patreon boost! This one is the first composed on my brand new Framework laptop, Brazen Head.

It is very square and quite functional. Thank you to the contributors who made possible to acquire Brazen Head. 

All thanks to commissioned reviews and my legion of patrons, for whose support I am grateful. If you’d like to join my patreon, the link is here. If you would prefer to commission an individual review, the link is here.

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