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I Walk Alone

Ormeshadow

By Priya Sharma 

6 Dec, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

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Priya Sharma’s 2019 Ormeshadow is a standalone gothic fantasy novella.

Gideon Belman had a happy enough life in Bath. This ended when his father John uprooted the family to return to Ormeshadow, to once more take up running his half of Ormesleep Farm. 

In John’s absence, John’s brother Thomas has overseen the whole farm. Thomas has a clear vision of how his prodigal brother’s return should play out: as unpleasantly as possible.


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I Get By

Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, book 1

By Shinobu Ohtaka 

5 Dec, 2019

Translation

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Shinobu Ohtaka’s Arabian-Knights-themed Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from June 2009 to October 2017. Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Vol. 1 collects the first seven issues (or Nights) of the manga series.

Tween Aladdin seems an easy target, being tiny and half-starved. As one unlucky bandit clan discovers, appearances can be deceiving. Aladdin may be small, but Udo, the djinn who lives in his flute, is large and powerful indeed. 

If only Udo’s head were not still trapped in some other (unknown) container, the djinn would be even more impressive. Aladdin is determined to find and free his friend’s head.


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Secrets Stolen From Deep Inside

Pebble in the Sky  (Trantorian Empire, book 1)

By Isaac Asimov 

1 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Asimov’s 1950 Pebble in the Sky is either the first (by publication date) or the third (by internal chronology) of three standalone novels (The Stars, Like Dust, The Currents of Space, and Pebble in the Sky) set some millennia prior to the beginning of the Foundation trilogy. The three novels form a loose trilogy that has been dubbed the Empire novels or sometimes the Galactic Empirenovels.

The Stars, Like Dustis set long before Trantor began its rise to power; The Currents of Space is set during its rise. Pebble in the Sky is set at the height of the Galactic Empire’s power. 

The book opens with an Eisenhower-era tailor, Joseph Schwartz, who finds himself transported onto a desolate alien world. He later learns that he is still on Earth, an Earth of the far future. The plant has been scoured by nuclear war. Even though this happened some time ago, Earth is still radioactive in places and is largely sterile. 


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A Sign in the Wind

The River South  (Riders Guild, book 2)

By Marta Randall 

28 Nov, 2019

Special Requests

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2019’s The River South is the second volume of Marta Randall’s Riders Guild series.

Abandoned by her mother, Kieve Rider, as a baby, Shrug was left to the care of the Rider Guild in Koerstadt. The Guild was a careless guardian and Shrug a challenging ward. 

Someone else seems to have a keen interest in Shrug’s future. This unknown party would like Shrug’s future to be short. Shrug escapes the first assassin. 

One of the riders, Daenet, remembers Kieve fondly and tries to protect her daughter against further attempts. He takes Shrug with him on a river voyage, which gets the girl out of Koerstadt. Daenet is accompanying Lord Kyst, whom he serves as rider (and who is also his lover). 


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With a Little Help From My Friends

Sisters of The Vast Black

By Lina Rather 

27 Nov, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Lina Rather’s 2019 Sisters of The Vast Black is a standalone science fiction novella.

The living starship Our Lady of Impossible Constellations conveys the sisters of the Order of Saint Rita between several extrasolar systems, where they minister to scattered human colonies. Their spiritual ministry often takes a back seat to medical assistance. Forty years ago the colonies cast off the rule of the Earth Central Governance. Freedom from ECG comes bundled with freedom from all the medical resources ECG once provided. 

During the revolution, the rebels scourged the Earth, executing some ECG leaders and driving the others into exile, For some time the wounded ECG let the colonies to go their own way. Now the ECG is looking outward again. This will affect the sisters on board Our Lady of Impossible Constellations.


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Where I Can See It All

Catfishing on Catnet

By Naomi Kritzer 

25 Nov, 2019

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2019’s Catfishing on CatNet is the first volume of Naomi Kritzer’s new YA series.

Fleeing Steph’s abusive father, Steph’s mother has spent the better part of a decade moving from town to town. Denied time to put down roots and forbidden to stay in contact with any friends she might make during her brief stays, Steph has turned to the internet for companionship. CatNet, an online forum whose denizens share pictures of cats (and other animals), is the closest thing she has to a social circle.

One of her online friends is not like the others.


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Thank Heaven for Little Girls

The Door into Summer

By Robert A. Heinlein 

24 Nov, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

11 comments

Robert A. Heinlein’s 1957 The Door into Summeris a standalone SF novel. I am glad that it had no sequels and no prequels, as I am sure I would have grown to hate them as well. Why? Read on. 

It’s 1970 and Dan Davis has survived World War Three. He and his business partner have started a cutting-edge cybernetics company. The business is stolen from him by his conniving fiancée (Belle) and his equally traitorous partner (Miles). Who could have predicted that blindly signing business documents could turn out so badly?

The evil pair aren’t satisfied with bilking Dan out of his company. They want him gone; he might make trouble. Murder, they feel, is too risky. But drugging him and putting him into suspended animation … that’s different. 

Dan goes to sleep in the futuristic year 1970. He wakes in the even more futuristic year 2000.


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