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Reviews from November 2020 (18)

Streetwise Hercules

Kamigakari: God Hunters

By Rikizou  

25 Nov, 2020

Roleplaying Games

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Rikizou’s Kamigakari: God Hunters is a Japanese urban-fantasy table-top roleplaying game. The 2020 English-language edition was published by Serpent Sea Games.

Ever since the Japanese Synchronous Inferno1, malevolent beings known as Aramitama are invading our world in ever increasing numbers, corrupting mortals in a bid to bring about the apocalypse. Providentially, a handful of mortals, player characters included, are imbued with the attributes needed to hold back these supernatural menaces! These mortals can change the very laws of nature to fight evil! 

(Sometimes they end up incinerated after altering reality once too often. Aw shucks.)


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Paranoia is in Bloom

Command Decision  (Vatta’s War, book 4)

By Elizabeth Moon  

24 Nov, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

1 comment

2007’s Command Decision is the fourth volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War series. 

Having narrowly survived the previous adventure, Ky Vatta sets out to completely reshape interstellar politics. After all, if she does not do it, the Deepspace Benevolent Association — Team Evil! —most definitely will.

The various players split up so they can do more damage to the enemy. Because that alwaysworks.


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Leave Behind Your Heart

A Billion Days of Earth

By Doris Piserchia  

22 Nov, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Doris Piserchia’s 1976 A Billion Days of Earth is a standalone SF novel.

A billion days from now — which translates to some three million years — humanity has become a race of gods. Evolution (as well as genetic tinkering) has resulted in a world filled with super-capable humans and new non-human species … many of which are as smart as humans of our time, if not as smart as the godlike humans. These new species can also be as foolish as humans of our time (which, as we know to our sorrow, can be foolish indeed).

Into this world comes a new predator. 


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Happy Days Are Here Again

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

By Ernest J. Gaines  

21 Nov, 2020

Special Requests

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Ernest J. Gaines’ 1971 The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman is a standalone historical novel. 

The premise: an unnamed teacher interviews an ancient black woman, believing that she will provide a unique historical perspective.

Jane is a child slave still known as Ticey” when the first hint of change to come arrives in the form of Union troops chasing slaver soldiers. A Union officer named Brown takes a passing interest in Jane. He renames her Jane and then leaves. Although she will never see him again, the encounter transforms her life.

A couple of years later, the slaver state falls. The white slave-owning class is forced to submit to the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves like Jane are now free. Life will no doubt be wonderful.

Or not.

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Dark as Hell and Hard to Find

Son of a Trickster  (Trickster, book 1)

By Eden Robinson  

20 Nov, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

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2017’s Son of a Trickster is the first volume of Eden Robinson’s Trickster trilogy. 

Jared Martin might look like just another a drifting loser high-schooler. Look closer and you’ll see a First Nations kid who’s dealing with more than he should be expected to handle. Look even closer; if you have the sight, as his maternal grandmother does, you might have reason to think that he’s really Wee’git, the trickster. 

She’s not entirely right but she’s also not entirely wrong. 


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Life is Such a Chore

Terminal Boredom: Stories

By Izumi Suzuki  (Translated by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi & Helen O’Horan)

18 Nov, 2020

Translation

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2021’s Terminal Boredom: Stories is a collection of short stories by Izumi Suzuki (19491985).Translations are by Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, and Helen O’Horan. This is the first English-language publication of Izumi Suzuki’s work.


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Our Darkest Deeds

Engaging the Enemy  (Vatta’s War, book 3)

By Elizabeth Moon  

17 Nov, 2020

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

1 comment


2006’s Engaging the Enemy is the third (and middle) volume in Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War quintology. 

The book begins where the previous one left off. Ky Vatta is rebuilding her family business, which was laid waste in the previous book. She has managed to acquire her father’s implant, which gives her intimate knowledge of the company (as well as of her father’s final moments before his death). She has defeated her evil relative Osman and has seized his heavily armed ship as spoils of war.

Her troubles are not over, not least because many governments do not accept as legitimate the murder hobo creed I killed him and then took his stuff.”


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Smiles Awake You When You Rise

The Tenth Planet

By Edmund Cooper  

15 Nov, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Edmund Cooper’s 1973 The Tenth Planet is a standalone SF novel. 

Having challenged the Earth’s capacity to accommodate overpopulation and pollution (and lost), the bulk of humanity faces an inevitable demise due to rapid-onset climate change and the chaos that follows. Everyone on Earth, even the large-breasted women, will die. Only the colonies on the Moon and on Mars might survive what is to come. 

Under Idris Hamilton’s command, the Dag Hammarskjold sets off from Woomera, intent on delivering one last cargo of children slumbering away in cold sleep. Scarcely has the spacecraft set out than three explosive devices set by saboteurs, disgruntled at being left behind, blow the Dag Hammarskjoldapart, killing all aboard. 

Five thousand years later…


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