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Confusion is Nothing New

Doomsday Book

By Connie Willis 

6 Dec, 2021

Special Requests

3 comments

Connie Willis’ 1992 Doomsday Book takes place in the same continuity as Firewatch (1982), To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998), and Blackout/All Clear (2010).

A time-travel apparatus provides mid-21st century Oxford University scholars with access to the past, an unparalleled opportunity that the scholars use with all the acumen previously demonstrated by the R‑101, the de Havilland DH.106 Comet, and the UK’s rapid deployment of thalidomide.

In another novel, the combination of time travel with hapless nincompoopery could have led to zany hijinks. Unfortunately for aspiring historian Kivrin Engle, she is not a character in madcap comedy. She’s found herself in a tragedy.

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Ghost of You

Mem

By Bethany C. Morrow 

3 Dec, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Bethany C. Morrow’s 2018 Mem is a stand-alone historical science fiction novel. 

Professor Toutant’s marvelous invention liberated the wealthy from the burden of unpleasant memories. A simple visit to the professor’s Montreal facility — the Vault — and one’s trauma can be off-loaded to an another being. Now relieved of the memory, the rich can go their way, while their Mem remains in the Vault. 

Despite appearances, Mems are not people. They are automatons, who will reenacting a moment in time over and over until entropy claims them. The single exception is Dolores Extract No. 1

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My Baby Shot Me Down

Our Violent Ends  (These Violent Delights, volume 2)

By Chloe Gong 

29 Nov, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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2021’s Our Violent Ends is the second and final volume in Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights duology. 

To paraphrase the Bard:

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Shanghai, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers (…) 

The two households in question are the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers, the two gangs that hold Shanghai in their grip. The two star-cross’d loves are the Scarlet Gang’s Juliette Cai and the White Flower’s Roma Montagov, both as smitten with each other as they are high in the councils of their respective families’ gangs. 

When last we saw our leads, their rekindled love affair hit a minor road bump. As far as Roma knows, Juliette murdered the White Flower’s Marshall Seo in cold blood. Outraged, his love turns to hate. Now Roma is determined to kill Juliette as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

At least, that’s what he tells himself.

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Years Go By

The Doonesbury Chronicles

By G. B. Trudeau 

28 Nov, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

2 comments

G. B. Trudeau’s 1975 The Doonesbury Chronicles collects 501 daily Doonesbury strips first published between Oct. 26, 1970, and Dec. 20, 1974, as well as seventy-nine Sunday strips from Dec. 27, 1970, to Dec. 221974

October 26, 1970: crudely drawn football quarterback B.D.” meets equally poorly drawn roommate Mike Doonesbury for the first time.

It is an unpromising beginning of more than a half-century of daily and Sunday weekly cartoons ranging from slice of life to political commentary.

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O Death

Apprentice Shrine Maiden, volume 4

By Miya Kazuki (Translated by Quof)

24 Nov, 2021

Translation

1 comment

2016’s Apprentice Shrine Maiden, Volume 4 is the fourth and final volume in the second arc of Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookworm secondary fantasy world series. The 2020 English translation is by Quof.

Urano has built — well, more stumbled into — as comfortable a life as she could expect under the circumstances. Reborn after a fatal book-related accident into the body of a sickly peasant girl named Myne living in the city-state of Ehrenfest, she has used her memories of a wide variety of arts and crafts to enrich herself by upending the local economy. The malady that threatens her health also makes her a prodigious source of valuable mana; this has earned her a position as a shrine maiden despite the social impediment presented by her adopted family’s low status. 

She is about to get a pointed lesson about power and law in the archaic society in which she is living.

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All Your Dreams of The Future

We Are Legion (We Are Bob)  (Bobiverse, volume 1)

By Dennis E. Taylor 

23 Nov, 2021

Special Requests

4 comments

We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is the first volume in Dennis E. Taylor’s Bobiverse hard science fiction series. 

Having made a bundle selling his company, InterGator Software, Bob Johansson arranges for his head to be cryogenically preserved in the event of his untimely death. This proves incredibly prudent because having signed the contract, he is almost immediately struck and killed by truck-kun.

One hundred and seventeen years later, Bob regains consciousness. At least, an artificial intelligence that thinks of itself as Bob is activated by researcher Dr. Landers.

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