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Reviews from December 2016 (21)

Long-Forgotten Lonely Cairn of Stones

The Edge of Worlds  (Books of the Raksura, book 4)

By Martha Wells  

13 Dec, 2016

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Although her publisher is presenting it as the first volume of a new two-book arc, 2016’s The Edge of Worlds is also the fourth volume in Martha Wells Books of the Raksura series. It takes place in the same Three Worlds setting as her previous Raksura books.

Consort Moon and the other members of the Indigo Cloud court waken simultaneously, disturbed by a shared dream. The meaning of the dream is unclear. Is it merely a rare side effect of the Raksura mental gifts … or is it a portent of doom to come? The court does not have long to ponder this before groundling strangers appear, led by a someone they know: Gold Islander Delin. 

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Hope and a Little Courage

Memoirs of a Spacewoman

By Naomi Mitchison  

11 Dec, 2016

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Assessing Naomi Mitchison by her science fiction is a bit like assessing Charles Darwin by his golf game. But her 1962 standalone Memoirs of a Spacewoman is the only work of hers I have read, so … here we are. 

The humans who set out to explore the rest of universe are a far more mature lot than the explorers who landed on Mars and Venus. In its youth, humanity was aggressive and expansionist. Now humans and their Martian partners take a more enlightened and dispassionate view of the universe. 

That’s the theory, anyway. 

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All Things End

The Family Sea  (Piratica, book 3)

By Tanith Lee  

9 Dec, 2016

A Year of Tanith Lee

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2007’s Piratica III: The Family Sea is the third and final volume in Tanith Lee’s Piratica series.

Former pirate turned privateer turned national hero Art Blastside has it all: fame, wealth, and family. If only she could be happy on land. If only she could stop doubting her husband Felix. If only Art could understand why it is she doesn’t love her daughter Africa.

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Treachery and Treason

A Conspiracy of Kings  (Queen’s Thief, book 4)

By Megan Whalen Turner  

8 Dec, 2016

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2010’s A Conspiracy of Kings is the fourth and most recent (but not final!) volume in Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series.

The new alliance between Attolia and Eddis, sanctified by marriage between the Queen of Eddis’ Thief and the Queen of Attolia, put the neighbouring kingdom of Sounis in a very awkward position. Divided, Attolia and Eddis seemed no match for Sounis. United, they force the King of Sounis and his barons to choose between several unpalatable options: make peace with Eddis and Attolia or ally with the expansionist Mede Empire. One option is humiliating but the other may be national suicide. 

There is a third option: civil war. 

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See My Lightning, Hear My Thunder

Stay Crazy

By Erika L. Satifka  

6 Dec, 2016

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2016s urban fantasy Stay Crazy is Erika L. Satifka’s debut novel.

Emmeline Em” Kalberg has experienced a college-ending mental breakdown. She returns home to Clear Falls, Pennsylvania, where she struggles with what is diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenia. She must also deal with her disappointed mother and her newly devout, very judgmental sister Jackie. 

Clear Falls is the quintessential Rust Belt community: independent businesses a fading memory, giant soulless big-box stores offering shabby goods and shabbier jobs to the defeated inhabitants of a once-prosperous town. No big-box store is more soulless than Savertown USA. Of course, it’s at Savertown USA that Em’s mother finds the reluctant Em a job. 

It’s a crappy job that pays poorly, but at least Em has voices in her head to keep her company. Well, at least one voice.

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Silver light and shadows

The Spinner

By Doris Piserchia  

4 Dec, 2016

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Whenever people mention Doris Piserchia to me, I admit that I am aware of her but add that somehow I never got around to reading anything she published during her all-too-brief but prolific career . Had I but looked more closely at the P” section of my library, I would have seen that this was not true. I’ve had a copy of Piserchia’s 1980 The Spinner ever since I didn’t get around to sending back the Science Fiction Book Club’s monthly order card [1]. And I must have read it, because there was a bookmark tucked in the back. Too bad I remember nothing about this book. 

Reread time.

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