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January 2022 in Review

31 Jan, 2022

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January 2022

21 works reviewed. 11 by women (52% ), 10 by men (48%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 0 by authors whose genders are unknown (0%), and by 8 POC (38%).

Year to Date

21 works reviewed. 11 by women (52% ), 10 by men (48%), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 0 by authors whose genders are unknown (0%), and by 8 POC (38%).

Grand Total to Date

2029 works reviewed. 1135 by women (56%), 850 by men (42%), 26 by non-binary authors (1%), 18 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), 582.75 by POC (29%).

Off to a great start on my resolve to read more non-binary authors, not having managed to find space for even one in January.

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Books Received, January 22 — January 28

29 Jan, 2022

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The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah

Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land — at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything — her enemy, her magic, even her own past — is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality. 

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Books Received, January 15 — January 21

22 Jan, 2022

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What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

From T. Kingfisher, the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones, comes What Moves the Dead, a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.“When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all. 

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Nominations Open for Hugo Award, Astounding Award, and Lodestar Award!

17 Jan, 2022

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To reprise my previous post on the matter: 

James Nicoll Reviews falls under Best Fan Writer, as do my Dreamwidth and USENET posts. 2021’s Hugo Award data revealed that I was just five votes away from being a finalist again. So close! I hope my 2021 reviews were slightly more appealing than 2020’s. 

My 90 or so 2021 Tor essays fall under Best Related. 

Young People Read Old SFF (now in its 5th year and busily working its way through old Hugo finalists) is a fanzine. 

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Books Received, January 8 — January 14

15 Jan, 2022

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The Bladed Faith by David Dalglish

A usurped prince prepares to take up the mantel of a deadly assassin and reclaim his kingdom, his people, and his slain gods in this epic fantasy from a USA Today bestselling author.Cyrus was only twelve years old when his gods were slain, his country invaded, and his parents — the king and queen — beheaded in front of him. Held prisoner in the invader’s court for years, Cyrus is suddenly given a chance to escape and claim his revenge when a mysterious group of revolutionaries comes looking for a figurehead. They need a hero to strike fear into the hearts of the imperial and to inspire and unite the people. They need someone to take up the skull mask and swords and to become the legendary Vagrant” — an unparalleled hero and assassin of otherworldly skill. But all is not as it seems. Creating the illusion of a hero is the work of many, and Cyrus will soon discover the true price of his vengeance. 

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Books Received, January 1 — January 7

8 Jan, 2022

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Sweep of Stars by Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus’s Sweep of Stars is the first in a trilogy that explores the end of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire – a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from O.E. (original earth) to Titan – as it faces an escalating series of threats.“The past, the present, and the future often collide with each other.” —Stacia Chikeke, research captain of the star vessel CipherWhat happens when a peaceful utopia has to gear up for war? New leaders rise up vying to be the voice of the people. Scientists discover truths that could rock the foundations of the empire. Soldiers uncover a terrible secret and an alien plot against their alliance. Everyone must sacrifice for the love of their dream. 

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December 2021 and 2021 in Review

31 Dec, 2021

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December 2021

23 works reviewed. 13 by women (57% ), 10 by men (43 %), 0 by a non-binary author (0%), 0 by authors whose genders are unknown (0%), and by 8 POC (35%)

Year to Date

260 works reviewed. 141.5 by women (54%), 110.5 by men (43%), 5 by non-binary authors (2%), 3 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), and 103 by POC (40%)

Grand Total to Date

2008 works reviewed. 1,124 by women (56%), 840 by men (42%), 26 by non-binary authors (1%), 18 by authors whose gender is unknown (1%), 574.75 by POC (29%).

Chart after cut. Short version, total numbers up slightly over previous years (save for 2015, which is an outlier), hit most of my goals for this year (in particular, reaching Review 2000), but I am a little disappointed I didn’t find time for more works by non-binary authors. That can be a goal for 2022.

I also didn’t quite get enough votes to be a Hugo finalist, falling short by five. That too can be a goal for 2022

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Merry Christmas 2021!

25 Dec, 2021

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Thanks to my editor Karen Lofstrom for turning my word-salad into sentences and paragraphs and to my web person Adrienne L. Travis for giving me a place to post my reviews. All 2000 plus of them. 

Thank you to my audience of seven plus years! Thank you to all my patrons, on Patreon and here. And a big thank you to the creators everywhere who give me something to review..

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Book Received, Jólabókaflóðið 2021!

24 Dec, 2021

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(What is Jólabókaflóðið?)

The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles C. Mann (2019)

In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups – Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative,
nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way can everyone win!

Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces – food, water, energy, climate change – grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author’s insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth. 

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Hugo nomination season is nearly upon us

21 Dec, 2021

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Time for the annual round of Hugo categories for which I am eligible. 

James Nicoll Reviews fall under Best Fan Writer, as do my Dreamwidth posts. 2021’s Hugo Award data was just released — it turned out I was just five votes away from being a finalist again. So close!

Still, I was rather low energy in 2020. 2021 was different. Today marks my 2000threview on James Nicoll Reviews. The journey is its own reward. That said, Hugo nominations are also a reward and one for which I would be quite grateful.

My 90 or so 2021 Tor essays fall under Best Related. 

Young People Read Old SFF (now in its 5th year) is a fanzine. Last year, it was nominated for an Aurora. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was deemed worthy of a Hugo nomination in the year in which my Young People were reading their way through old Hugo Award finalists? 

Another way in which to encourage my reviews is to join my Patreon or directly commission reviews. With omicron sweeping the world (and our Provincial premier having apparently vanished to his cottage to wait the crisis out), it seems likely the theatres will close again. This means I will once again be dependent on writing income. Ah, well. At least I got to stand in a theatre again.

Onward to Review 3000


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