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No Dark Sarcasm

Witch Hat Atelier, volume 3

By Kamome Shirahama 

6 Jul, 2022

Translation

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2018’s Witch Hat Atelier, Volume Three is the third tankōbon of Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier fantasy manga series. Witch Hat Atelier (Tongari Bōshi no Atorie in the original Japanese) has been serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Morning Two magazine since July 2016. The English translation of Volume One appeared in 2019.

When last we saw magic-obsessed Coco, she was about to be summarily mindwiped by a passing Witches’ Council member. She is accused of being suspiciously adjacent to a magical anomaly. 


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There’ll Be Happy Times

Cascade  (The Sleep of Reason, volume 1)

By Rachel A. Rosen 

5 Jul, 2022

Special Requests

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2022’s Cascade is the first volume in Rachel A. Rosen’s The Sleep of Reason near-future fantasy apocalypse series.

Everyone with even a rudimentary education knew about climate change, ocean acidification, and sea level rise. However, the sudden outburst of actual magic twenty years ago (the Cascade) came as a total surprise. Reactions varied from country to country, region to region. Vasai Singh saved Indian cities by elevating them above the flood waters, while the US collapsed into a patchwork of smaller nations unpleasant in various ways. Canada? Canada continued on with business as normally as possible, under the circumstances.

At least for the moment.


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The Children Prayed

The Library of the Dead  (Edinburgh Nights, volume 1)

By T. L. Huchu 

1 Jul, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

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2021’s The Library of the Dead is the first volume in T. L. Huchu’s Edinburgh Nights near-future fantasy series.

The troubles are long over; that is, the people of Scotland are no longer troubled by freedom. The king, his oligarch allies, and their well-armed servants have everything well in hand. The little people of Scotland can look forward to serving their betters. If no betters want them, they can try eke out a meagre living in a collapsed economy. If they fail, they will experience homelessness and starvation. If they tire of that, they can annoy a cop and be beaten to death. Ah, sweet death.

Ropafadzo Ropa” Moyo spends her days desperately trying to make enough money for her gran’s medications, also for rent and food, while also mothering her younger sister and trying to educate herself with audiobooks. Her desperate situation is clearly due to her poor lifestyle choices: being young, female, Black, and Scottish. 

She is not entirely without resources. She has one rare gift: she can speak with the dead. She makes her meagre living delivering messages from the recently deceased. 

The distance between messenger and informal private detective turns out to be quite small.

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Bad Influence

Nimona

By ND Stevenson 

30 Jun, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Nimona is a stand-alone science-fantasy graphic novel by author/artist ND Stevenson. First serialized online between 2012 and 2014, Nimona was published in book form in 2015

Lord Ballister Blackheart dreamed of becoming one of the kingdom’s heroes. After he lost an arm during a joust with Ambrosius Goldenloin, he also lost all hope of becoming a duly appointed hero. The Institution that rules the kingdom (de facto, but powerful nonetheless) used the injury as a pretext to eject him. 

Blackheart believes his maiming to be no accident and has devoted himself to opposing the Institution. Thus far, his schemes have been marvelous in every respect … save that of actual success.

Enter Nimona, aspiring sidekick. 

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A Brotherhood of Man

Limbo

By Bernard Wolfe 

28 Jun, 2022

Special Requests

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Bernard Wolfe’s 1952 Limbo is a science fiction satire.

In 1972, Dr. Martine fled from a computer-directed World War Three. The African medical facility at which he had worked was obliterated in a rain of hydrogen bombs. As far as the world knows, Dr. Martine is dead. 

Having found refuge on a particularly obscure island of pacifists, Martine has no interest in ever returning to the world. Inconveniently for Martine, his bucolic life spent performing lobotomies for the locals1 comes to a sudden end in 1990 when the world comes to him.

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Hey Tomorrow

Pillars of Salt

By Barbara Paul 

26 Jun, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Barbara Paul’s 1979 Pillars of Salt is a time travel novel. 

Transporting physical matter into the past is, of course, impossible. However, projecting consciousness into the bodies of past humans merely requires the correct technology. Mid-21st-century America (and presumably the rest of the planet) possesses the means and uses it freely. 

Angie Patterson believes she is quite familiar with the mechanics of time travel. A foray into Elizabethan England reveals to her something of which she (and most other travelers) had been utterly unaware.


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Rock Always Wins

A Drowned Kingdom  (Drowned Kingdom, volume 1)

By P. L. Stuart 

24 Jun, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

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2021’s A Drowned Kingdom is the first volume of P. L. Stuart’s secondary-universe sword-and-sorcery Drowned Kingdom Saga

The kingdom of Atalantyx is the greatest nation in the world. If you doubt this, simply ask Atalantyx’s Second Prince Othrun. He belongs to the kingdom’s royal family so must be an unimpeachable source. An inflexible, devout follower of the One God, Othrun holds his convictions without any trace of doubt or reflection. Having been placed by birth near the top of the kingdom’s pecking order, Othrun is confident that the world is as it should be; reform or deviation is therefore unthinkable.

However, Othrun is not the heir to the throne. His older half-brother Erthal is. Erthal is quite different from his brother.


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