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Reviews from November 2022 (22)

In Search of a Hidden Truth

The Foreign Exchange  (Mambo Reina, volume 2)

By Veronica G. Henry  

30 Nov, 2022

Miscellaneous Reviews


The Foreign Exchange is the second volume in Veronica G. Henry’s Mambo Reina modern fantasy series.

Evangeline Vangie” Stiles discovers unexpected deposits in the family bank account. Vangie asks her husband Arthur for an explanation, but Arthur is cagey about the source and purpose of the money. Vangie is alarmed and turns to her hairdressing client Mambo Reina for help.

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Runnin’ Low on Faith And Gasoline


By Greg Bear  

27 Nov, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Greg Bear’s 1979 Hegira is a stand-alone far-future megastructure science fiction novel. Hegira was Bear’s debut novel.

A structure far larger than fabled Earth, Hegira is home to a multitude of human cultures. In other contexts, worlds of Hegira’s scale might have ensured that communities diverged radically from each other. Hegira has obelisks, which have made all the difference.

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Your Light in the Mist

The Night Tiger

By Yangsze Choo  

25 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Yangsze Choo’s 2019 The Night Tiger is a historical fantasy set in 1930s Malaya.

Before Dr. MacFarlane died, he charged his faithful servant Ren with a vital task. Locate MacFarlane’s finger and bury it with the doctor within forty-nine days of the doctor’s death. If Ren fails, MacFarlane’s spirit will be cursed to wander the earth.

Although MacFarlane has a good idea where his finger might be, it’s an absurd responsibility with which to saddle a thirteen-year-old servant. Ren lied about his age. He is actually eleven.

Meanwhile, in nearby Ipoh, dance-hall girl Ji Lin has gained an extra finger.

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A Ravenous Town

Gun, with Occasional Music

By Jonathan Lethem  

24 Nov, 2022

The End of History


Jonathan Lethem’s 1994 Gun, with Occasional Music is a near-future stand-alone noir novel. It was Lethem’s debut novel.

Drugs are free, television is entirely abstract, animals have been uplifted, and prison has been replaced by involuntary hibernation … but the life of a private dick is much the same as it was back in the days of Black Mask.

Former Inquisitor turned not particularly successful private inquisitor, Conrad Metcalf is offered a case that he can tell is a loser.

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To Dungeons Deep

Delicious in Dungeon, volume 7

By Ryōko Kui  

23 Nov, 2022



2019’s Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 7 is the seventh tankōbon of Ryoko Kui’s secondary-universe comedic ecological-fantasy manga. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta. Volume 7 was translated into English in 2019.

In this volume, Laios and his companions (half-elf mage Marcille, halfling security expert Chilchuck, dwarf fighter Senshi, and new party member beastkin-chimera-ninja Izutsumi) go deeper into the dungeon. Up on the surface, unwanted visitors arrive.

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Out From The Ghostly Freighter

The Red Scholar’s Wake

By Aliette de Bodard  

22 Nov, 2022

Space Opera That Doesn't Suck


Aliette de Bodard’s 2022 The Red Scholar’s Wake is a space opera set in de Bodard’s Xuya Universe.

Captured by Red Banner space pirates, scavenger Xích Si is painfully aware of a number of possible fates. She will probably have to choose between immediate death and involuntary indenture to the pirate fleet. Should she somehow survive capture without joining the fleet, she will forever be an outcast; her native An O Empire will assume that she bought her life with signing up as a pirate and will execute her for crimes against the state1. If Xích Si were to contact her relatives, they could be arrested and executed for abetting piracy.

To Xích Si’s astonishment, the recently widowed mindship Rice Fish comes to Xích Si with a proposition. Or rather, a proposal.

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Searching for Paradise

Under the Canopy

By Barbara Paul  

20 Nov, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Barbara Pauls 1980 Under the Canopy is a stand-alone science fiction novel.

Gaia is the Interplanetary Union’s outermost and least significant world. The only IU official on the whole planet is Margo Kemperer, who finds herself in that lonely position due to the death of her boss and a short-lived interstellar civil war that cut off communication for a time. Margo does her best to keep her little patch of Earth civilization functioning.

The insurrection having ended, colonial headquarters dispatches Stephanie Leeds to Gaia, there to assist Margo. What senior bureaucrat doesn’t want an underling or two? Had Margo suspected the problems that Stephanie would cause, she would probably have refused the reinforcement.

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Happier Than Ever

Walking in Two Worlds

By Wab Kinew  

18 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Wab Kinew’s 2022 Walking in Two Worlds is a near-future science fiction novel.

Recurring pandemics have forced North American society to embrace hitherto unknown or unpopular ways to cope with disruption. However, some fundamentals of North American1 life remain unchanged. There are still sequestered territories, Rez, for Indigenous people. Teens living on them are required to attend school, and school is for many teens an exercise in awkward discomfort.

Luckily for Anishinaabe teen Bagonegiizhigok Bugz” Holiday, she has another life, in the Floraverse.

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Sword & Sorcery

Swords of the Serpentine

By Kevin Kulp & Emily Dresner  

17 Nov, 2022

Roleplaying Games


Kevin Kulp and Emily Dresner’s Swords of the Serpentine1 is a fantasy roleplaying game (RPG) set in Venice Eversink, an entirely fictional secondary world fantasy city that is simultaneously a geological mystery, a thriving trade community, and the living embodiment of a goddess. Core mechanics are based on Robin Laws’ Gumshoe game engine. The game emulates the heroic fantasy of Howard, Leiber, Lackey, and Pratchett.

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