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Reviews from July 2022 (22)

You’ll Get The Message By The Time I’m Through

Before the Golden Age

 Edited by Isaac Asimov 

17 Jul, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Isaac Asimov’s massive 1974 Before the Golden Age is, as its cover subtitle promises, a Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930s.” In one sense, the subtitle is accurate: the stories predate the supposed golden age of SF, that period between 1938 and 1950, after John W. Campbell, Jr. became editor of Astounding and before Galaxy and The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy offered a broader vision than that offered by Campbell and his idiosyncratic tastes. 

In another sense, the subtitle is quite false. 

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Could’ve Been a Nightmare

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia  

15 Jul, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2022 The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is a stand-alone historical SF novel. 

Hernando Lizalde provided the visionary Dr. Moreau with funding and a secluded research facility in Yaxaktun. All Lizalde asked in return was that Moreau uplift animals and create a legion of docile workers, workers who could replace the rebellious Maya who had refused to work for bad wages under bad conditions (oh and the Italians1 who very inconsiderately succumbed to fatal disease). 

But by 1877 Moreau has managed many failures and a few successes: some human-animal servants.

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Some Bright-Eyed Kid

Delicious in Dungeon, volume 3

By Ryōko Kui  

13 Jul, 2022



2016’s Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 3 is the third tankōbon that collects Ryoko Kui’s secondary-world comic ecological fantasy manga. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta magazine. Volume 3 was translated into English in 2017.

When last seen, human fighter Laios and his allies (halfling lock expert Chilchuck, half-elf mage Marcille, and dwarven warrior gourmand Shenshi) were racing deep into the dungeon, hoping to reach Laios’ sister Falin before the dragon that ate her fully digests her remains. The entirety of this volume is spent doing the same. It’s a very deep dungeon. 

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Time in a Bottle


By Carter Scholz & Glenn Harcourt  

12 Jul, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

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Carter Scholz and Glenn Harcourt’s 1984 Palimpsests is a stand-alone science fiction novel. It was the fourth novel in the Third Ace Specials series, which was edited by Terry Carr. 

Professor Frederick Warner’s dig in the Neander Valley should have turned up a few ancient hominin bones (if they were lucky), bones filling in a few of the empty spaces in humanity’s pre-history. Indeed, particularly fine bones were discovered. However, sharp-eyed anthropologist Hans Camus spotted something else in the dirt, something that would up-end his career.

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In the Middle of the Night

Black Star Series

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor, Nisi Shawl, C. T. Rwizi, Nalo Hopkinson & Victor LaValle  

8 Jul, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021 Amazon’s Black Star series offers six short science fiction pieces by six different Black authors. To quote:

The sky is not the limit. From an alley in New York to an interstellar wormhole, the path to the future looks different for everyone. These cosmic short stories from some of today’s most influential Black authors reveal a universe of possibilities. 

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A New Life

Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes

By Travis Baldree  

7 Jul, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews

1 comment

Travis Baldree’s 2022 Legends & Lattes: A Novel of High Fantasy and Low Stakes is a secondary-world fantasy novel. 

Life for orc barbarians like Viv is a sequence of small wounds leading up to the final, fatal blow. Viv rejects this time-honored career path. Having successfully held up her end of the Old Final Job, she takes her share of the wealth — a Scalvert Stone — and walks away from the dungeoneering life. 

New adventures await in the thriving field of food services. 

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No Dark Sarcasm

Witch Hat Atelier, volume 3

By Kamome Shirahama  

6 Jul, 2022



2018’s Witch Hat Atelier, Volume Three is the third tankōbon of Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier fantasy manga series. Witch Hat Atelier (Tongari Bōshi no Atorie in the original Japanese) has been serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Morning Twomagazine since July 2016. The English translation of Volume One appeared in 2019.

When last we saw magic-obsessed Coco, she was about to be summarily mindwiped by a passing Witches’ Council member. She is accused of being suspiciously adjacent to a magical anomaly. 

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There’ll Be Happy Times

Cascade  (The Sleep of Reason, volume 1)

By Rachel A. Rosen  

5 Jul, 2022

Special Requests


2022’s Cascade is the first volume in Rachel A. Rosen’s The Sleep of Reason near-future fantasy apocalypse series.

Everyone with even a rudimentary education knew about climate change, ocean acidification, and sea level rise. However, the sudden outburst of actual magic twenty years ago (the Cascade) came as a total surprise. Reactions varied from country to country, region to region. Vasai Singh saved Indian cities by elevating them above the flood waters, while the US collapsed into a patchwork of smaller nations unpleasant in various ways. Canada? Canada continued on with business as normally as possible, under the circumstances.

At least for the moment.

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