James Nicoll Reviews

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Books Received, October 17 — October 23

24 Oct, 2020


Her Magical Pet

Have a shot of concentrated joy, with fourteen stories of women in love… and their adorable magical pets! 

All proceeds from the collection will be donated to OutRight Action International, which fights for the rights of LGBTQIA people worldwide. 

In this enchanting collection, a flying cat transports love letters, a fox-dog and a pair of watercats help two lonely women launch a post-apocalyptic cat cafe, a baby griffin brings unexpected love to a runaway troll woman, and much, much more!

Includes all-new stories from Yoon Ha Lee, Pamela Dean, Zoe Chant, and more of your favorite authors.

Deep Spring Farm,” by Romana Clifton. Can Melanie and a friendly ghost dog help a beautiful farmer protect her lettuce from spirits that stomp in the night?

Lucky Day,” by Yoon Ha Lee. Which is harder, hiding a crush on the gorgeous woman in your role-playing game group, or hiding the unicorn figurine that just came to life?

Beach Dirt on Bare Feet,” by Louise Long. It’s hard to trust humans when you’re a selkie, especially when a beachside ice cream date could lead to so much more.

Cute as Hell,” by Caia Winter. You’d think two vampires would be a match for an adorable hellhound puppy, and yet…

Watercat Cafe,” by Rachel Manija Brown. Ruthie intends to open the first cat cafe in her post-apocalyptic world, but the mysterious, wounded stranger she rescues could doom her dream – or save it.

How to Get a Girlfriend (When You’re a Terrifying Monster),” by Marie Cardno. Trillin has no corporeal form, no mortal cultists ready to tear reality asunder in her name, and no girlfriend. It’s tough being an eldritch entity.

Pawprints in the Snow,” by Zoe Chant. A lost cat leaves a path to love for a lonely snow leopard shifter.

As if the Sun Came to Shine,” by Damkianna. An injured baby griffin catalyzes the relationship between a lovely changeling and a troll woman in hiding.

Uncontrolled Variable,” by Sara Joiner. It’s hard to investigate magical seagrass when your mischievous teleporting cat keeps becoming part of the data.

That Magic Touch,” by Hailey Thorne. Vanessa’s ex-BFF wants to tear a hole in reality, and it’s going to take all of Vanessa’s magic – and the help of a gorgeous Demi-Fae with a sword, not to mention a telepathic dog – to stop her.

Memories of Magic,” by Elva Birch. An emergency vet gets an unexpected visit from a Christmas elf (not really) with a living plastic toy pegasus (really!)

A Dog’s Chance,” by Celia Lake. Magician Anna keeps crossing paths with the mysterious dog-walking Una while investigating a case of magical hedgehogs on Hampstead Heath.

Five Quests and the Oracle,” by Pamela Dean. A new Liavek novelette. Dri’s first acting role in a children’s play is complicated by her obstreperous cat, a pair of menacing wizards, and another first-time actress who wants to do more together than just practice their lines.

The Mating Call of the Teleporting Warbler,” by Aster Glenn Gray. A winged cat flies love letters back and forth between a professor and a naturalist studying teleporting warblers. 

His Magical Pet Edited

Have a shot of concentrated joy, with nine stories of men in love… and their adorable magical pets! 

All proceeds from the collection will be donated to OutRight Action International, which fights for the rights of LGBTQIA people worldwide. 

In this enchanting collection, supervillain husbands apply to adopt a cat, a dog with wings helps old friends confess hidden desires, a tour guide for an island of magical New Zealand wildlife falls for a visiting naturalist, and much, much more!

Includes all-new stories from Tate Hallaway, Aster Glenn Gray, Liv Rider, and more of your favorite authors.

Chitter-Chatter,” by Riley Rivers. A chatty squirrel, accidentally given the power of speech through a spell gone wrong, tries to matchmake her two favorite humans — who unfortunately can’t stand each other. 

Catastrophe,” by Liv Rider. Matthew’s new protection spell needs some workshopping. Especially since it keeps making his cat suddenly appear in his hot new neighbor’s apartment.

Care and Feeding,” by Aster Glenn Gray. Gabriel and Dmitri seem stuck as platonic friends… unless Gabriel’s flying bichon frise Moppet can help them see each other in a new way.

Throw Me a Bone,” by Elva Birch. New werewolf Lucas is forced to masquerade as his own pet when he chases his runaway collie right into the yard of his neighbor crush. 

If Not for the Rat,” by Avery Vanderlyle. A Changeling and his human lover pick up a pet rat that is much more than it seems.

Fate and Your Average Supervillain,” by Tate Hallaway. Supervillain husbands try to craft the perfect application to adopt a cat from annoyingly picky agencies. 

Now You See Me,” by CJ Krome. A ghost bird brings a lonely ghost and a hot human together… but can they stay together?

In a Blink,” by Mona Midnight. Alec’s cabin getaway is just an excuse to work on his thesis – until a friendly cat and her sweet, gorgeous owner turn his trip into the perfect vacation.

Gulls and Snails and Quokka Tails,” by Harriet Bell. Nik wasn’t keen on guiding a bunch of visitors around his family’s island of magical New Zealand wildlife — but then he met the handsome naturalist who’d signed up. 

Sun Daughters Sea Daughters

Aimee Ogden’s Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters is a sweeping science fiction story that has all the wonder and romance of a classic sci-fi novel, with the timelessness of a beloved fairy tale.


Brittle Paper Presents Africanfuturism Anthology Featuring Nnedi Okorafor, TL Huchu, Dilman Dila, Rafeeat Aliyu, Tlotlo Tsamaase, Mame Bougouma Diene, Mazi Nwonwu, and Derek Lubangakene