James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Date

Reviews from March 2021 (22)

Everything I Wanted

Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction

By Inio Asano  

17 Mar, 2021



Inio Asano’s Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction (Japanese: Deddo Deddo Dēmonzu Dededededesutorakushon) is a science fiction manga. It has been serialized in Shogakukan’s seinen manga magazine Big Comic Spirits since April 2014

High schoolers Koyama Kadode and Nakagawa Ontan” Ouran are best friends. Being a high schooler cramming for university entrance exams is troublesome at the best of times, so the whole alien invasion thing is an unnecessary complication to already problematic adolescence. 

Read more ➤

Nothing’s Free

Bring Up the Bodies  (Wolf Hall, volume 2)

By Hilary Mantel  

16 Mar, 2021

Special Requests


Bring Up the Bodies is the second volume in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall historical fiction series. 

Anne Boleyn has triumphed. Despite the fact that Henry VIII’s wife Katherine is still alive and that current canon law offers few plausible legal paths to divorce, Anne is now Henry’s queen. Many of the authorities in European Christendom do not admit the legality of the arrangement. Thanks to the hard work of professional sycophants like Thomas Cromwell, and executioners eager to deal with naysayers, England’s do. That’s enough for Anne. 

At least for the moment. 

Read more ➤

Keep Me Company

Nothing but Blackened Teeth

By Cassandra Khaw  

12 Mar, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a standalone ghost story.

Phillip has money, lots and lots of money. When he decides to treat his friends to a lavish getaway, he doesn’t just book them into a five-star holiday resort. Instead, he pulls strings to get access to Heian-era mansion. 

Because Phillip has more money than he knows what to do with, the mansion he selects is, of course, haunted. Because what could go wrong with a quiet weekend out in the woods in a haunted mansion?

Read more ➤

Get Your Kicks

The First Omega

By Megan E. O’Keefe  

11 Mar, 2021

Miscellaneous Reviews


Megan E. O’Keefe’s 2021 The First Omega is a standalone dystopian novella. 

Unchecked climate change has transformed once verdant lands along Route 66 into parched deserts, driving refugees to the coasts and north to tropical Canada. But mere catastrophe can’t prevent multinational giant Pac-At from prospering. Its vehicles crisscross what’s left of formerly settled lands.

Bandit gangs once saw Pac-At transport vehicles as easy prey. No more. Pac-At has an cure for land pirates. The cure is called Riley.

Read more ➤

Bloom and Fade Away

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

By Hayao Miyazaki  

10 Mar, 2021



Hayao Miyazaki’s manga Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Kaze no Tani no Naushika) is a post-apocalyptic science fantasy. It was serialized in Animagefrom February 1982 to March 1994.

A thousand years after the Seven Days of Fire, declining human populations cling to existence in those few regions that are still habitable for humans. Much of the Earth’s land surface is covered in thriving ecosystems, but … all these systems — the so-called Sea of Corruption — feature miasma,” a toxic fog lethal to unprotected humans. 

The Valley of the Wind is lucky. Continual winds keep the miasma at bay, protecting the Valley’s inhabitants. Life is still harsh and short but compared to elsewhere, it is paradise. 

Unfortunately for the Valley of the Wind, it is a vassal state of the Vai Emperor of the Torumekians. 

Read more ➤

Drag You Down

Fugitive Telemetry  (Murderbot Diaries, volume 6)

By Martha Wells  

9 Mar, 2021

Special Requests


Martha Wells’ 2021 Fugitive Telemetry is the sixth volume in the Murderbot series.

Preservation Station has a very low murder rate. The corpse in Trans Lateral Bypass corridor is an anomaly — and also a mystery. Murderbot is informally consulted and discovers that the murdered human has been dead for about four hours, and … and that it (Murderbot) is going to get dragged into the investigation.

Read more ➤

I’ll Be Seeing You

The Monitor, the Miners, and the Shree

By Lee Killough  

7 Mar, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Lee Killough’s 1980 The Monitor, the Miners, and the Shree is a standalone hard SF novel. 

Unlike the Galactic Union, the Sodality that has replaced the Union has a strict no-contact rule where pre-spaceflight worlds are concerned. Thus, when the Sodality discovered that there was a previously unnoticed low-tech species on planet Nira, they forced the Megeyn mining company to shut down operations on Nira and leave the native Shree to develop in isolation.

The Sodality likes to keep an eye on developing worlds. Once every five hundred years, the Department of Surveys and Charters (DSC) dispatches a team of scientists to secretly monitor the Shree. Newly minted monitor Chemel Krar is in charge of the latest team. It is her task to ensure that the scientists hired by DSC do not violate the no-contact rule while spying on the natives. 

The expedition goes wrong surprisingly quickly.

Read more ➤


The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones  

5 Mar, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Stephen Graham Jones’ 2020 The Only Good Indians is a standalone horror novel.

Ricky, Lewis, Cass, and Gabe don’t talk about their last hunt together. The hunt in which they segued from triumphant success to horrific excess. Best never to mention their encounter with the elks. Easiest for Ricky, since he died under peculiar circumstances outside a North Dakota bar, but the others are pretty good at keeping mum as well. 

Ten years later, the surviving trio discover that while they’re done with old business, old business is not done with them.

Read more ➤