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Let This Cup Pass From Me

He Walked Among Us

By Norman Spinrad 

21 May, 2024

What's The Worst That Could Happen?


Norman Spinrad’s 2002 He Walked Among Us is a science fiction messianic fable1 … or possibly an entirely mundane story about deranged people with overlapping manias and the people who exploit them.

The novel’s protagonist, Hugo Award winner Dexter Lampkin, was certain that Transformations was his Big Novel. But Transformations didn’t even earn out its advance. On the advice of Harlan Ellison, Dexter turned to cracking out television scripts. This did not produce the accolades that Dexter was sure should be his, but it did deliver the income he and his family needed.

Despite his Big Novel’s fate, Dexter does not turn his back on SF conventions. After all, SF conventions provide him with a steady stream of low-self-esteem unattractive fat women with whom he can cheat on his hot wife Ellie.

Fate hands Dexter the chance to save the world.

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The Chrysalids

By John Wyndham 

19 May, 2024

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


John Wyndham’s 1955 The Chrysalids is a stand-alone post-apocalyptic coming of age novel. The Chrysalids was also published under the title Re-Birth.

David Strorm lives in Waknuk, a thriving backwoods community in Labrador. The Tribulation that erased the Old People and their semi-mythical civilization left much of the world an uninhabitable desolation. Labrador and nearby Newf are exceptions, but even here the Tribulation left a legacy that has shaped the local culture.

Beware spoilers.

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Face The Truth

The Truth of the Aleke  (Forever Desert, volume 2)

By Moses Ose Utomi 

17 May, 2024

Doing the WFC's Homework

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The Truth of the Aleke is the second and apparently final volume of Moses Ose Utomi’s secondary-universe fantasy series, Forever Desert.

Thanks to its Peacekeepers and Truthseekers, The City of Truth has withstood the Cult of Tutu’s relentless attacks for centuries. Now, it falls to resolute teenage Junior Peacekeeper Osi to end the conflict.

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Every Single Game

Harriet the Invincible  (Hamster Princess, volume 1)

By Ursula Vernon 

16 May, 2024

Miscellaneous Reviews


2015’s Harriet the Invincible is the first volume in Ursula Vernon’s Hamster Princess secondary-universe fantasy middle-grade series.

Harriet is a hamster who is also a princess. Her parents, in particular her mother, have Expectations regarding proper behavior for Harriet, Expectations that are at odds with Harriet’s preferences.

When Harriet is ten, Harriet’s parents reveal delightful news: Harriet is cursed and most certainly doomed.

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Imposter Syndrome

Usotoki Rhetoric, volume 5

By Ritsu Miyako 

15 May, 2024



2015’s Usotoki Rhetoric Volume Five is the fifth tankōbon in Ritsu Miyako’s historical mystery manga series. Usotoki Rhetoric was published in Bessatsu Hana to Yume from June 26, 2012, to March 26, 2018. The English translation of Volume Five was published in 2024.

Kanako Urabe, a young woman who can tell when other people consciously lying, has partnered with private detective Iwai, a young man with a knack for solving mysteries. It’s a precarious life, but one that allows them to use their uncommon gifts.

Like Volume Four, Volume Five is episodic.

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Freedom Freedom

The Siren, the Song, and the Spy  (The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea)

By Maggie Tokuda-Hall 

10 May, 2024

Doing the WFC's Homework


2023’s The Siren, the Song, and the Spy is the second volume in Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea young-adult secondary-world fantasy series.

A survivor of a recent sea battle washes ashore on a Wariuta island beach. Koa and his sister Kaia do not know who the stranger is but they know what she is: one of the Colonizers with whom locals have had so much trouble. Prudent Kaia would prefer to kill the woman out of hand. Soft-hearted Koa dissuades Kaia. Instead, they haul the woman, Genevieve, back to Yunka.

There are consequences.

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Got Ways of Knowing

The Mimosa Tree Mystery  (Crown Colony, volume 4)

By Ovidia Yu 

9 May, 2024

Miscellaneous Reviews


2020’s The Mimosa Tree Mystery is the fourth volume in Ovidia Yu’s Crown Colony series.

1943: having survived the Fall of Singapore and the brutal massacres that followed, Su Lin and her family keep a low profile. The Sook Ching may be over, but the Japanese are still committing atrocities against anyone foolish enough to catch their attention.

Events transpire to focus the occupiers’ attention on Su Lin’s neighborhood and on her family.

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When They’re Starving

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 10

By Natsu Hyuuga (Translated by Kevin Steinbach)

8 May, 2024


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2021’s The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 10 is the tenth installment of Natsu Hyuuga’s ongoing Apothecary Diaries secondary-universe light-novel series. Illustrations are by Touko Shino. The 2024 English translation is by Kevin Steinbach.

Apothecary/gray-market physician Maomao joins an imperial mission to the capital of the empire’s western province of I‑Sei. Mysteries await, some obvious and some very obscure.

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