James Nicoll Reviews

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Books Received, August 26 to September 1

2 Sep, 2023


The Road to Afropantheology

The Road to Afropantheology edited by Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki & Joshua Uchenna Omenga (October 2023)

A captivating collection of original stories and essays by award-winning authors that celebrates the richness and complexity of African mysticism. 

African literary scholars struggle to reconcile African mysticism with literary labels. Between Dystopias: The Road to Afropantheology encapsulates the essence of African mysticism and dystopia through original stories. 

Afropantheology explores various aspects of African mysticism and dystopia. Mother’s Love, Father’s Place’ and 02 Arena’ are examples. It acknowledges Africa’s journey from its origins to the future. The Deification of Igodo’ and A Dance with the Ancestors’ are stories that showcase the complexity of African mysticism. Land of the Awaiting Birth’ explores the link between theborn and the unborn. .Between Dystopias: The Road to Afropantheology is a celebration of African mysticism. The collection highlights the richness and complexity of African culture and traditions. It is a must-read for anyone interested in African literature, culture, and history. . 

Little Nothing

Little Nothing by Dee Holloway (July 2023)

Two young women race to turn the tide in a Florida on the brink of civil war…Everyone knows that Jonnie trains and races the limerunners, the deadly water horses that live in the swamps and streams around the town of Sawgrass, and that she’s got a way with them that none of the local men can match. And everyone suspects that while Bess works at her family’s inn, The Nag’s Head, she sews her little nothings, magic in every stitch, to protect her beloved Jonnie and their family. What they don’t know is that Jonnie runs messages, stitched in code by Bess, for the Union Army. But now the Confederate forces have taken the nearby fort and they want to use Jonnie’s limerunners and Jonnie herself as weapons against the Union. And all of Bess’s magic won’t be enough to save them when they’re caught in a web of betrayal in a Florida being torn apart by burgeoning civil war. Only Ada Nuit, the Maroon’s ghost queen, knows what lies in store for them and she’s not telling… 


Cascor by Matthew Hughes (August 2023)

In a far-future world of wizards and walled cities, Cascor is a bitter cashiered policeman who has built a new career as a freelance discriminator who occasionally dabbles in magic and hopes the wizards’ Guild never finds out.

This collection brings together all the Cascor stories, including four that began with the discriminator as a supporting character in the series about Raffalon the unlucky thief. It includes three more that ran in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, plus two original novelettes and a short novella about the sorceress Margolyam, who became one of Cascor’s strange family” of operatives. 

Locus September 2023

Locus, September 2023 by Locus Publications (September 2023)

The Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field 

The Butcher of the Forest

The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed (February 2024)

At the northern edge of a land ruled by a merciless, foreign tyrant lies a wild, forbidden forest ruled by powerful magic. 

Veris Thorn — the only one to ever enter the forest and survive — is forced to go back inside to retrieve the missing children of the Tyrant. Inside await traps and trickery, ancient monsters, and hauntings of a painful past. 

One day is all Veris is afforded. One misstep will cost everything.