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Reviews from September 2020 (20)

Under a Golden Sun

Black Sun  (Between Earth and Sky, volume 1)

By Rebecca Roanhorse  

29 Sep, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews


2020’s Black Sun is the first volume of Rebecca Roanhorse’s projected secondary-universe fantasy trilogy, Between Earth and Sky. 

A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun

The Watchers decimated the Carrion Crow cultists on the Night of Knives, ensuring the ascendency of the Sun Priest: over the Meridian Continent, the city of Tova, and all other religions. A golden age of reason and order has begun, one that will last lifetimes.

Or so the Watchers believe. 

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If You Like Adventure

A Thunder of Stars  (Venturer 12, volume 1)

By Dan Morgan & John Kippax  

27 Sep, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1970’s A Thunder of Stars is the first volume in Dan Morgan and John Kippax’s Venturer science fiction series, which showcases the adventures of the Venturer 12 and its crew.

Humanity has spread out across thousands of the nearer stars. Vast, amoral corporations like the Excelsior Corporation have built and populated colonies — but it is up to the Space Corps to establish the rule of law1 and deal with crises. It’s responsible for a huge volume of space. Missions will last years. Crew must be dedicated and capable. But how to choose the crew?

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Living in the Garden of Evil

Darkest Light  (Half World, volume 2)

By Hiromi Goto  

25 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


2012’s Darkest Light is the second book in Hiromi Goto’s Half World series. 

Mr. Glueskin has been vanquished, allowing the age-old cycle of birth, reconciliation, rest, and rebirth to start once more. 

Mr. Glueskin has been reborn as sixteen-year-old Gee, an odd-looking outcast, haunted by a malevolent inner voice. The only person who can stand to be around him is his adopted grandmother Popo. He leads an odd, sad life. But it may be better than what’s coming. 

Mr. Glueskin’s followers cling to their pitiful existence in the Half World, preferring it to re-living past traumas (which is the only way to pass onto the Spirit World, after which one is reborn; lather, rinse, repeat), even though the only means to do so is to consume the souls of the dead Eel-armed Ilanna and bird-headed Karu, decide to drag their former boss back from the living world to glorious, sadistic, anthropophagy. 

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Dreams Stay Big

The Girl Who Owned a City

By O. T. Nelson  

24 Sep, 2020

Illimitable Dominion


O. T. Nelson’s 1975 (revised 1995) The Girl Who Owned a City is a standalone juvenile post-apocalyptic pandemic novel.

Weeks ago, ten-year-old Lisa was just another kid, dependent on her parents, her responsibilities those of a child. Then a terrible disease killed every person over the age of twelve. Now Lisa is the adult of her house, the sole guardian of her younger brother Todd. It’s a big responsibility.

Lisa not only accepts it. She sets out to rebuild the world she remembers.

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Til I’m Gathered Safely In

Mystic Pop-up Bar

By Ha Yoon-Ah & Jeon Chang-Geun  

23 Sep, 2020



Written by Ha Yoon-ah and directed by Jeon Chang-geun, 2020’s Mystic Pop-up Bar (Ssanggabpocha) is the South Korean television adaption of Bae Hye-soo’s webtoon Twin Tops Bar. It stars Hwang Jung-eum, Yook Sung-jae, and Choi Won-young.

Han Kang-bae (Yook Sung-jae) is, through no fault of his own, an outcast. Left in an orphanage as a child and rejected by every potential foster parent, he is a hard-working young man with few friends. His troubles are thanks to an unwanted gift: anyone who touches Kang-bae becomes embarrassingly frank about their inner thoughts. Unable to control this ability, Kang-bae assiduously avoids contact with other people. They in turn dismiss him as creepy. 

Weol-ju (Hwang Jung-eum) does not see Kang-bae as creepy. She sees him as a potentially valuable asset in her quest to settle 100,000 grudges lest she be consigned to the Hell of Extinction. 

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She Got the Power

The Scapegracers  (Scapegracers, volume 1)

By H. A. Clarke  

22 Sep, 2020

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

2020’s The Scapegracers is the first volume in H. A. Clarke’s projected Scapegracers series. 

Offered forty dollars to spice up a pre-Halloween party with magic, social outcast Eloise Sideways” Pike takes what turns out to be the first step towards forming her own coven. Sideways’ magic is no sleight of hand. It is very real. 

Real magic always has consequences.

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The Flame That’s in Her Eyes

The Universe Against Her  (Telzey Amberdon, volume 1)

By James H. Schmitz  

20 Sep, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


James H. Schmitz’s 1964 The Universe Against Her is a fix-up and expansion of the novelette Novice(1962) and the novella Undercurrents (1964).

Telzey Amberdon is a bright, fifteen-year-old second-year law student at the prestigious Pehanron College on Orado. Unfortunately for her, Telzey is not currently on Orado. She is on Jontarou, visiting her least-lovable aunt, Halet. Halet is full of saccharine spite; she has plans for her excessively intellectual niece. 

Halet is not the only person in whose schemes Telzey features.

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Thy Fearful Symmetry

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain  (Singing Hills Cycle, volume 2)

By Nghi Vo  

18 Sep, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Nghi Vo’s 2020 When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain is a secondary universe fantasy. It is the second volume in her Singing Hills Cycle.

Cleric Chih and their guide Si-yu ride on mammoth-back to an isolated way station. They hope to find a place to rest for the night. Instead, they find an unconscious man and three tigers. Tigers are generally bad news for travellers. These particular tigers are of the shape-shifting, talking variety, they are also very hungry tigers. 

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Time for a Holiday

How Much for Just the Planet?

By John M. Ford  

17 Sep, 2020

Special Requests


1987’s How Much for Just the Planet? is a standalone comic Star Trek tie-in novel by John M. Ford. 

The dilithium-rich world Direidi is too close to both the Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire. Inevitably, one great power or the other was bound to stumble across the potentially valuable world. As it happened, Klingon and Federation survey vessels discovered the world simultaneously.

Time for Direidi’s Plan C to be put into action.

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