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Reviews from August 2021 (22)

Foxes Hunt the Hounds


By Rem Wigmore  

31 Aug, 2021

Special Requests


Rem Wigmore’s 2021 Foxhunt is a stand-alone near-future science fiction novel.

Imbued by nanotech with abilities beyond baseline human (imbued = Blooded with a capital B, in this era’s vernacular), travelling entertainer Orfeus pursues many possible romantic connections with varying degrees of success. Life for Orfeus in the ecologically sensible world of tomorrow is sweet. 

Dealing with jealous spouses is well within Orfeus’ skillset. Bloodthirsty super-powered vigilantes are another matter.

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Prospector’s Blues

The Man Who Corrupted Earth

By G C Edmondson  

29 Aug, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


G. C. Edmondson’s 1980 The Man Who Corrupted Earth is a stand-alone near-future space industrialization novel.

Screwed over by government and his back-stabbing son-in-law, Gus Dampier lost control of his company. Gus is not content to be put out to pasture. He and an ambitious Arab named Mansour have a cunning scheme that may make them billions, upend the economy and save oil-dependent Arab nations1! If it screws over the WASP pricks who run the USA, all the better.

Their recipe for success begins first, steal three derelict shuttles.”

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Perfect Murder

Monkey Around

By Jadie Jang  

27 Aug, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Jadie Jang’s 2021 debut Monkey Around is an urban fantasy novel.

Maya MacQueen was left at a fire station when she was only two months old; she was raised by foster parents. She has no idea who her parents were nor any idea why she’s a shape-changer who is particularly good at turning into a monkey. All she knows is that she is both Asian-American and part of the Bay Area’s supernatural population. 

Now grown, she divides her time between serving coffee, running errands for occult expert and problem solver Dr. Ayo Espinoza, and serving activism and great justice in the Bay Area. With the Bay Area’s answer to Occupy Wall Street reaching its apex, there’s lots for her to do. A string of unsolved murders represents yet one more thing to do. It’s all too much.

[!!!Spoiler warning for something the ads give away!!!]

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Where Webs of Snow Are Drifting

Helliconia Winter  (Helliconia, volume 3)

By Brian W. Aldiss  

26 Aug, 2021

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1985’s Helliconia Winter is the third and final volume in Brian W. Aldiss’ Helliconia trilogy. 

General Luterin Shokerandit wins the battle of Isturiacha, crushing the forces of Campannlat. He returns to the capital to deliver news of his victory to the Oligarch of Sibornal, expecting a wondrous reward for his service.

His reward? Death.

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When Somebody Loved Me

The Devotion of The Surgery Room”  (Bond and Book:, volume 1)

By Mizuki Nomura  

25 Aug, 2021



2020’s Bond and Book: The Devotion of The Surgery Room” is the first volume of Mizuki Nomura’s Bond and Book series. The 2021 translation is by Nicole Wilder. 

Books speak to first year high school student Musubu Enoki and not metaphorically: he listens to conversations between books. This is a great power and, to quote an arachnid-themed character, with great power comes great responsibility.

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Lifeboat Earth!

The Sins of the Fathers  (Kyyra, volume 1)

By Stanley Schmidt  

22 Aug, 2021

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Stanley Schmidt’s The Sins of the Fathers is the first volume in his Kyyra duology. It was first published as an Analog serial in 1973 and came out in a mass-market paperback edition in 1976.

The starship Archaeopteryx is sent out with a three-man crew to a point 130 light-years from Earth, there to use modern astronomical equipment to intercept the wave front from the S Andromeda supernova. The ship returns with unexpected results. 

Things did not go well on the ship. Dr. Donald Lewiston went mad and murdered skipper Dirk Borowski before he was subdued by ship’s mate Jonel Turabian. This is a major disappointment to Henry Clark, Lieutenant Commissioner of Grants, since the expedition falls under his purview. 

Things will not go well for the Earth. Turabian informs his bosses that the core of the galaxy has exploded. A lethal wavefront of deadly radiation has spent 30,000 years creeping across the 30,000 light-years between the core and Earth. That wave front is at most twenty light-years from Earth.

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Turn And Face The Strange

I Am Not Starfire

By Mariko Tamaki & Yoshi Yoshitani  

20 Aug, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Mariko Tamaki’s 2021 I Am Not Starfire is a graphic novel set in the DC Universe. Illustrations are by Yoshi Yoshitani. 

Koriand’r, better known as Starfire of the Titans, is a statuesque alien woman imbued with marvelous superpowers. Starfire is as famous for her cheerful superheroic exploits as for her preference for skimpy costumes. As protagonists go, Starfire would be the perfect person around whom to construct a thrilling narrative. 

Starfire is not the protagonist of this story. Mandy, her teenage daughter, is. Mandy has no superpowers. Mandy is a grumpy, anti-social goth teen lesbian who would like people to stop comparing her to her mother or at least stop speculating about the carefully hidden identity of her father. As the novel starts, Mandy is dealing with the whole going-off-to-college thing. This is a welcome distraction from her angst at her non-existent love life.

Mandy has a scheme regarding college worthy of Kite Man himself! 

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Far From The World Below

The House of Styx  (Venus Ascendant, volume 1)

By Derek Künsken  

19 Aug, 2021

Special Requests


2020’s The House of Styx is the first volume in Derek Künsken’s Venus Ascendant series.

The floating colonies high in Venus’ dense atmosphere were intended to be a triumphant example of the strengths of independent Quebec. Triumphant is debatable; the colonies were definitely expensive. When the four thousand colonists agitated for independence, Quebec was happy to let the colonists go.

The colony is technologically advanced but resource constrained and debt-ridden. The colonists are extremely poor. To survive, they must pull together. 

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The Terrible Famine

Apprentice Shrine Maiden, volume 1

By Miya Kazuki  (Translated by Quof)

18 Aug, 2021



2015’s Apprentice Shrine Maiden, Volume 1 is the first installment in the second arc of Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookworm book series. Illustrations are by You Shiina. The 2019 English translation is by Quof.

Reborn into the body of a sickly peasant girl named Myne, a Japanese bookworm is determined to return to her life of reading. This requires the invention of books, publishing, and the tech that supports publishing. In this, the second story arc, she is sent to serve in the local church, as apprentice shrine maiden. Myne embraces this opportunity as she does all others: headlong, without bothering to do any research.

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