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Reviews from March 2023 (23)

Mean Streets

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef  (Gods and Monsters, volume 1)

By Cassandra Khaw  

31 Mar, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


2015’s Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef is the first volume in Cassandra Khaw’s Gods and Monsters comic horror series.

Having blotted his copybook egregiously, Rupert Wong can look forward an unpleasant afterlife if he does not somehow earn enough karmic credit before dying to forestall his justly earned damnation. Thus, his current occupations as chef and liaison.

His clientele as a chef: Kuala Lumpur’s ghouls. Best not to ask what’s in the meals. As liaison, he assists Kuala Lumpur’s damned souls. Expect untoward complications, such as an offer he can neither refuse nor survive.

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A Beautiful Plan

Delicious in Dungeon, volume 10

By Ryōko Kui  

29 Mar, 2023



2021’s Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 10 is the tenth tankōbon in Ryoko Kui’s secondary-world fantasy manga series. Originally published as Danjon Meshi, Delicious in Dungeon appears in Enterbrain’s Harta. Volume 10 was translated into English in 2022.

Laios has a plan to save his monstrously transformed sister Falin. With the help of his companions (half-elf mage Marcille, halfling security expert Chilchuck, dwarf fighter Senshi, and cat-beastkin ninja Izutsumi), he is determined to put his scheme into action.

There are one or two minor impediments to the plan.

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Home Again and Feeling Right


By James Follett  

26 Mar, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


James Follett’s 1981 Earthsearch: A Ten-Part Adventure Serial in Time and Space is a ten-part science fiction adventure serial, first broadcast by BBC Radio 4.

Faced with the probability that the Sun would render the Solar System unlivable sometime in the next million years, humanity invested tremendous sums in Challenger and its sister generation explorer ships. Alas, Challengers search is disappointing. The second-generation crew decides to return to Earth.

Barely has the decision been announced, and the crew celebrating their impending return to Earth, when the Great Meteor Strike kills every human on board.

Almost every human.

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Shiver in My Bones

Mapping the Interior

By Stephen Graham Jones  

24 Mar, 2023

Doing the WFC's Homework


Stephen Graham Jones’ 2017 Mapping the Interior is a stand-alone horror novel.

Twelve-year-old Junior lives with his widowed mother and troubled younger brother Dino in a modular house. His hardworking mother’s income is marginal, her boyfriend is abusive, Junior sleepwalks, and Dino is a popular target for vicious bullying. It’s hard to see how life could get worse for the Indigenous family.

Of course it does.

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Lose Your Way

The Freedom Maze

By Delia Sherman  

23 Mar, 2023

Special Requests

1 comment

Delia Sherman’s 2011 The Freedom Maze is a stand-alone young-adult time travel novel.

1960: Young Sophie Martineau is dragged by her mother, fleeing the embarrassment of divorce, to Oak Cottage in Louisiana. Oak Cottage is a last remnant of lost Fairchild wealth, which has dramatically dwindled after a century of setbacks. Sophie is not pleased to be spending her summer there with her maternal relatives.

Seeking escape from her grandmother’s nostalgic tales of the good old days before the war of northern aggression,” uncomfortable hearing about adult disquiet over desegregated schools, Sophie explores the land around Oak Cottage. She makes a momentous discovery with extraordinary consequences.

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And The Darkness Fell All Over Town

The Summer Hikaru Died, volume 1

By Mokumokuren  (Translated by Ajani Oloye)

22 Mar, 2023


1 comment

The Summer Hikaru Died, Vol. 1 is the first tankōbon of Mokumokuren’s Hikaru ga Shinda Natsuhorror manga. Translation is by Ajani Oloye.

Gloomy Yoshiki yearns for the day when he can leave his backwater hometown behind. Until that day comes, Yoshiki’s primary connection is his close friend, the endlessly cheerful Hikaru.

It’s just too bad for Yoshiki that Hikaru died during a hike up a nearby mountain and that the supposed Hikaru currently attending school with Yoshiki is an eldritch abomination wearing Hikaru’s reanimated corpse.

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One Step From Earth

The Light Brigade

By Kameron Hurley  

21 Mar, 2023

Military Speculative Fiction That Doesn't Suck

1 comment

Kameron Hurley’s 2020 The Light Brigade is a stand-alone military science fiction novel.

Having been rescued from democracy and socialism, the dwindling population of the Earth prospers under the prudent guidance of their corporate rulers. Those who are useful are rewarded appropriately (but not excessively); the useless are discarded. All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

Dietz’ father was a criminal who was eventually disappeared. Dietz’ mother died of a terminal illness. Dietz’ brother vanished in the Blink, an attack that erased a swath of Sao Paulo. The attack inspires Dietz to join a corporate army to get revenge on the damn dirty Martians who attacked Earth.

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Make Room! Make Room!

The Population Bomb

By Paul R. Ehrlich  

19 Mar, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Paul R. Ehrlich’s1 1968 The Population Bomb is an alarmist text on the dangers of unchecked population growth.

The Population Bomb (or at least the 1970 edition I found at Dana Porter Arts Library) begins with this straight-forward assertion.

The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate.

What reasoning led Ehrlich to this conclusion and what solutions did he propose?

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