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Reviews from February 2019 (21)

My Soul To Take

Gutter Prayer  (Black Iron Legacy)

By Gareth Hanrahan  

11 Feb, 2019

Special Requests


2019’s The Gutter Prayer is the first volume in Gareth Hanrahan’s planned Black Iron Legacy series. It is Hanrahan’s debut novel. 

Rat, Carillon, and Spar: the ghoul, the runaway, and the Stone Man. Each have their special talents; together they make a splendid team of thieves. Master thief Heinreil seems to think so; he selected the trio to steal valuable documents from the city of Guerdon’s House of Law. 

Some missions are more challenging than others. When we meet our heroes, the House of Law is in flames thanks to the wild success of another team’s alchemical explosives. Guerdon’s protectors are well aware that something untoward is up. Rat escapes capture, but Carillon and Spar do not. 

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Fly Me To The Moon

Operation Columbus  (Chris Godfrey of U.N.E.X.A. series, volume 3)

By Hugh Walters  

10 Feb, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1960’s Operation Columbus (AKA First on the Moon) is the third volume in the Hugh Walters series ’ Chris Godfrey of U.N.E.X.A.

The mysterious Domes of Pico have been smashed with atomic weapons, ending the immediate threat to the Earth. The next obvious step is to send a manned mission to the Moon to examine the remains and, it is hoped, determine what sort of being built the Domes. 

The end of the lunar threat brought with it the end of human unity. Instead of cooperating on the mission, the West and the Soviets are in a race to the Moon. Chris Godfrey hopes to be the West’s man on the moon. Who his Soviet rival be? Nobody in the West can say. 

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Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Four Hundred Billion Stars  (Four Hundred Billion Stars, volume 1)

By Paul McAuley  

9 Feb, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1988’s Four Hundred Billion Stars was Paul J. McAuley’s debut novel. It was followed by 1989’s Of the Fall (US title: Secret Harmonies), a prequel set some centuries earlier than Four Hundred Billion Stars. In 1991 McAuley published Eternal Light, a direct sequel to this novel. 

The invention of the phase graffle re-opened contact between the Earth and its abandoned colonies. A few decades later, the Federation for Co-Prosperity of Worlds stumbled across an alien civilization living on and among the asteroids orbiting the red dwarf BD+20o 2465. The aliens are unrelentingly hostile; they are known as the enemy. Ever since contact was made, the Federation and the enemy have been locked in war. 

Astronomer Dorthy Yoshida has no interest in matters military, but her telepathic gift makes her an intelligence asset too precious to the Navy to squander on pure research. The asocial scientist is drafted into the war effort. 

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Set Fire to the Rain

Fate of Flames  (Effigies, volume 1)

By Sarah Raughley  

8 Feb, 2019

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


2016’s Fate of Flames is the first volume in Sarah Raughley’s Effigies series. 

Maia is an Effigy, imbued with powers beyond mortal ken. On the plus side, awesome powers yay. On the minus side, Maia only gained her new fire-based powers because the previous fire Effigy, Natalya, died. The lifespan of an Effigy is measured in years … if they are lucky. 

Maia can expect to spend the rest of her short life fighting monsters. 

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I Know You Can Hear Me

Dark Orbit

By Carolyn Ives Gilman  

7 Feb, 2019

Special Requests


Carolyn Ives Gilmans 2015 Dark Orbit is a standalone SF novel set in her Twenty Worlds universe. 

Researcher Saraswati Callicot transmits home to Capella Two only to find that during the years she spent in transit, she was sued for and lost the intellectual property from which she had expected riches. The same light-speed delay involved in matter transmission means that by the time she is reconstituted into a living human, the period during which she could have appealed is long over. Not to worry! Director Gossup wants to recruit Sara for a very important mission. 

The known worlds (linked to each other by superluminal communication and light-speed matter transmission) were founded by sub-light probes sent out in the era of the great diaspora. They’re all human-friendly, thanks to terraforming. One of the ancient probes, long since written off, has called home unexpectedly. It has found something quite new. 

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Tailor Made

Noragami, volume 10

By Adachitoka  

5 Feb, 2019


1 comment

Adachitoka’s Noragami Volume 10 collects issues 35 to 39 of the adventures of the stray god Yato. The manga was first published in 2014; the English translation was published in 2016. Included in the volume are 

  • 36. Binding Curse” (呪縛 Jubaku”)

  • 37. The Sound of You Calling My Name” (君の呼ぶ声 Kimi no Yobu Koe”) 

  • 38. Because I Promised” (約束したから Yakusoku Shitakara”) 

  • 39. Until Now and From Now On” (コレマデとコレカラ Koremade to Korekara”)

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Lookin’ For Love

After Doomsday

By Poul Anderson  

3 Feb, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

1 comment

Poul Anderson’s 1962 After Doomsday is a standalone science fiction novel. 

Twenty years after first contact with galactic civilization, humanity has assimilated much off-world technology. The Americans send a mission of exploration, the USS Benjamin Franklin, to the core of the galaxy and back. The Franklin returns to an Earth scoured clean of life, orbited by alien missiles. 

At least three hundred humans have survived the apocalypse: the three hundred on board the Franklin. Thanks to American views on staffing potentially dangerous missions, all three hundred are men. 

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