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Where Are You Going, My Little One, Little One

Kiki’s Delivery Service

By Eiko Kadono (Translated by Emily Balistrieri)

19 Jan, 2021

Translation

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Eiko Kadono 1985 Kiki’s Delivery Service is a coming-of-age fantasy novel, the first of a series featuring the eponymous Kiki. Illustrations are by Yuta Onoda. Translation is by Emily Balistrieri.

Kiki is half-witch: her mother Kokiri is a witch while her father, folklorist Okiro, is human. She has the choice of two heritages but can embrace only one. She chooses witch but … to her mother’s disappointment has mastered but a single witchy talent: flying her broom.

Nevertheless, Kiki is thirteen. For witches that means leaving home to find their destiny out in the world. Accompanied by her cat, Jiji, and her parents’ best wishes, Kiki flies away from her former home and heads off to her new one. 


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In Peace May You Slumber

Children of the Dust

By Louise Lawrence 

18 Jan, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

Louise Lawrence’s 1985 Children of the Dust is a standalone young-adult nuclear war novel.

It’s nuclear war time and a full-scale nuclear attack on the UK is imminent. Young Sarah’s school can do little for her and her classmates but to send them home. With Sarah’s father Bill still at work and unlikely to return in time, Sarah helps her stepmother Veronica prepare as best they can for the apocalypse. Then Sarah, Veronica, and Sarah’s siblings William and Catherine wait for the inevitable.


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Born to Run

Beyond Earth’s Gates

By Henry Kuttner & C L Moore 

17 Jan, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

3 comments

Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore’s 1949 Beyond Earth’s Gates is a standalone SF novel1.

Eddie Burton is a rising actor with a promising career ahead of him. Would-be actress Lorna Maxwell would like to have a promising career ahead of her as well. Convinced without proof that Eddie can provide her promising career, Lorna is carrying out a campaign to attach herself to Eddie with all the determination of a school of piranhas surrounding a succulent child. No man of action, Eddie’s countermeasures are limited to hiding in his apartment with the lights off whenever Lorna comes to call. 

When Lorna vanishes, Eddie is the logical suspect.


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Another Day Older

The Salvage Crew

By Yudhanjaya Wijeratne 

15 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

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Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s 2020 The Salvage Crew is a standalone science fiction novel. 

Centuries in the future, the United Nations (UN) and its rival, the Outer Reaches Colonial Association (ORCA), are busily spreading humanity and its creations across the nearer stars. The distances are formidable, the challenges of alien worlds more so. Truly, shaping human destiny is the work of heroes!

Unfortunately for Overseer AMBER ROSE 348 and its salvage team, the cost-conscious UN opted to go with the lowest bidder. Thus, Planetary Crusade Services got the contract to check an ancient crash site for salvage. Thus, AMBER ROSE finds itself headed to an alien world with a crew the AI would not have selected had it had any say in the matter.


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Fifty Ways

Talentless Nana, book 1

By Looseboy & Iori Furuya 

13 Jan, 2021

Translation

3 comments

Looseboy’s Talentless Nana (Japanese: 無能なナナ, Hepburn: Munō na Nana ) is a superhuman manga series. It is illustrated by Iori Furuya. Talentless Nana has been serialized in Square Enix’s shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Gangan since May 2016. Volume One covers the first four chapters. 

Plagued by the monstrous Enemies of Humanity, humanity elects to send children with special Talents — telekinesis, pyrokinesis, time travel, and more — to an elite teaching facility on an isolated island to prepare them for their role in humanity’s future. Alas, not all of the students are inherently heroic. Some of them are downright bullies, gleeful at the licence granted by their superhuman powers.

[spoilers abound]


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Echoes From the Past I Hear

RuneQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha

By Greg Stafford, Steve Perrin, Jeff Richard & Jason Durall 

12 Jan, 2021

Roleplaying Games

7 comments

Greg Stafford, Steven Perrin, Jeff Richard, Jason Durall, and friends12018 RuneQuest – Roleplaying in Glorantha (RQG) is the latest2edition of the venerable roleplaying game, RuneQuest (RQ). My review of the 2nd edition can be found here.

And how does this version of the pioneering game stand up, forty years after the first edition saw print?

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From Fortune He Did Sail

Gallagher’s Glacier

By Walt Richmond & Leigh Richmond 

10 Jan, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

7 comments

Walt Richmond & Leigh Richmond’s 1970 Gallagher’s Glacier is a standalone science fiction novel.

Humourless, by-the-book Captain Harald Dundee isn’t keen on hiring free-wheeling space engineer N. N. Dublin” Gallagher, but circumstances give Dundee no choice. Their association is short. Gallagher only wants the gig so that he can strong-arm young Dundee into dropping Gallagher and some equipment on an unremarkable ice asteroid. 

His curiosity piqued, Dundee checks in on Gallagher to see what the Space Irishman is doing. It’s straightforward enough: the iceteroid + an obsolete space drive = the first successful non-corporation-owned free trader: Gallagher’s Glacier .


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End This World of Slavery

Soulstar  (Kingston Cycle, book 3)

By C. L. Polk 

8 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework

0 comments

2021’s Soulstar is the third book in C. L. Polk’s Kingston Cycle.

Newly crowned King Severin of Aeland inaugurates his ambitious reign by abolishing the misleadingly named Witchcraft Protection Act. Witches will no longer be dragged off to asylums for brutal (often lethal) exploitation and those in asylums will be permitted to leave. All across Aeland, people are reunited with loved ones they had had no hope of ever seeing again. It’s a happy end to a tragic era.

As Robin Thorpe, recently reunited with her witch spouse Zelind, could tell Severin, the situation cannot be resolved with a quick decree.

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Like a Mighty Stream

Hench

By Natalie Zina Walschots 

7 Jan, 2021

Jolabokaflod

1 comment

Natalie Zina Walschots’ 2020 Hench is a standalone superhero novel. Well, superhuman novel. 

Professional henchperson Anna Tromedlov office temps for supervillains. It’s a living of sorts. At least she’s not working for someone like Jeff Bezos. 

It’s a job of the sort that passes for normal in our times: meager pay and kvetching with coworkers re inept bosses. It’s normal until Electric Eel, Anna’s latest employer, drags her along to the scene of his latest zany crime. Which places Anna in the same room as superhero Supercollider. 

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