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Reviews from December 2017 (21)

Now And Forever Till The End Of Time


29 Dec, 2017

A Year of Waterloo Region Speculative Fiction


To quote the FASS webpage:

What is FASS?
FASS (short for Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students) is an amateur theatre company at the University of Waterloo. Originally started as a variety show in 1962, FASS predates many of the modern organizations on campus, including the Federation of Students. In its current form, every year FASS produces an original script for its annual show in February. At the height of its existence in the 1980s, FASS was a major aspect of campus life, and tickets were hard to come by.
The FASS show is written every year from May through December, and then production kicks off in January with auditions held in the first week of classes. Throughout January and into February, the actors rehearse, the techies tech, and the production crew pulls their hair until, finally, everything is ready five weeks later. The shows are put on, many parties are held, and then everyone goes and collapses from exhaustion. It’s good fun. 

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Christmas at Ground Zero

The Green Glass Sea

By Ellen Klages  

28 Dec, 2017

Special Requests


Ellen Klages’ 2006 Scott O’Dell Award winner The Green Glass Sea is a young-adult historical fiction novel. 

Having been abandoned by her mother and left to the care of her aged grandmother by her hard-working father, Dewey Kerrigan’s life has achieved some stability and comfort. But this too ends. Her grandmother suffers a stroke and there’s no other choice for her but to leave her familiar surroundings for life with her father. In an obscure New Mexican town called Los Alamos. It’s 1943

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Sing, My Tongue, The Glorious Battle

Heroic Legend of Arslan, volume 1

By Yoshiki Tanaka & Hiromu Arakawa  

27 Dec, 2017



HeroicLegend of Arslan, Volume 1collects the first four issues of Yoshiki Tanaka and Hiromu Arakawa’s2013 manga adaptation of Yoshi Tanaka’s light-novel series, TheHeroic Legend of Arslan.

Whenwe first meet young Arslan, he seems unlikely to figure in anylegend, much less a heroic legend. Though he is the crown prince ofPars, he is timid and unsure of himself. He’s certainly not aself-assured, bold figure like his father, Andragoras III. Asconfident off the battlefield as he is on it, Andragoras III is theembodiment of Parsian virtue. 

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If Only In My Dreams

Twenty Palaces

By Harry Connolly  

26 Dec, 2017

Special Requests


2013’s Twenty Palaces is a prequel to Harry Connolly’s Twenty Palaces series.

Fresh out of prison, all Ray Lilly wants to do is find a legitimate job and rebuild his life. His uncle Karl, a cop, warns Ray that his future won’t be as straightforward as Ray hopes. Ray may think he’s paid his debt to society but society doesn’t agree. 

As it turns out, American unfamiliarity with mercy is the least of Ray’s problems. Some of Ray’s old friends have picked up a very interesting hobby: magic. 

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You’re My Mirror

The Man Who Folded Himself

By David Gerrold  

24 Dec, 2017

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


David Gerrold’s 1973 The Man Who Folded Himself is a standalone time-travel story.

Assured by his Uncle Jim that he will inherit a vast estate, Daniel Eakins is unpleasantly surprised to discover (after his uncle’s demise) that his legacy is not the hundred-million-plus dollars Daniel had expected. What he gets: the far smaller sum of six thousand dollars … and a belt.

It is a particularly fine belt. In fact, closer examination reveals that it is a fully functional time machine.

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Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Life and the Art of Lying

By Emily Schooley  

22 Dec, 2017

A Year of Waterloo Region Speculative Fiction


To quote her online bio:

Emily Schooley is a multi-passionate filmmaker who enjoys blending genres and pushing boundaries in her work. 
After graduating from the University of Waterloo with an Honours BA in Dramatic Arts, she quickly found herself immersed in the world of film alongside her work in theatre, first as an actor and then evolving to directing, writing, and producing. Now, she continues to work as an actor while simultaneously building her body of work and developing her voice as an emerging filmmaker. 
Her previous short film, Psyche, won Audience Choice at Festigious International Film Festival. Emily is a proud associate member of Film Fatales, and will be appearing in MJI Studios’ upcoming documentary about women in the film industry.

But I am not reviewing Psyche1. I am reviewing Life and the Art of Lying.

Ah, true love. The greatest impediment to true love: the people involved.

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Wicked Thrill

Blue Exorcist

By Kazue Kato  

20 Dec, 2017


1 comment

Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist (Ao no Ekusoshisuto) is an on-going supernatural manga series.

Father Fugimoto does his best to keep his adoptive son Rin Okumura on the straight and narrow. Alas, Rin has a talent for self-sabotage. He is a stark contrast with his fraternal twin Yukio, who exemplifies self-control and diligence. If they are twins, how is that they are so different? 

A supernatural encounter forces Father Fugimoto tell Rin what makes him special. Rin is the literal Son of Satan1, a potential gateway through which the evil lord could enter our world. Any other mortal host, even the purest of souls, would quickly be destroyed if Satan possessed them. Only Rin can provide a long-term home.

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Lingered in the Chambers of the Sea

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

By S L Huang  

19 Dec, 2017

Miscellaneous Reviews


S. L. Huang’s 2017 The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist is a standalone SF retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

Dr. Cadence Mbella specializes in piscianthropology, the study of atargati culture and society. Not much is known about the atargati, the so-called mermaids, except that they live in the abyssal depths of the world’s ocean and they are as intelligent as humans. 

As Mbella warns anyone reading her ongoing account, it is a mistake to allow the arbitrary terms that humans apply to the abyssals to shape human perceptions. The atargati are quite unlike humans or their myths. Exactly how unlike, Mbella is going to learn first-hand. 

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Memories They Can’t Be Boughten

A Matter of Oaths

By Helen S. Wright  

18 Dec, 2017

Space Opera That Doesn't Suck


Helen S. Wright’s 1988 A Matter of Oaths is a standalone (thus far) space opera.

Desperate for crew but short on qualified candidates, Commander Rallya of the patrolship Bhattya grudgingly hires Rafe. His service record is glowing, his professional qualifications are exemplary, but … Rafe has been mind-wiped, for reasons about which Rallya can only speculate.

Not having a choice really speeds up the decision making process. At least Commander Rallya can be sure that whatever Rafe’s past, identity erasure has made it completely irrelevant to his present. 


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