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Tyrant’s Delight

A Crane Among Wolves

By June Hur 

7 Jun, 2024

Doing the WFC's Homework


June Hur’s 2024 A Crane Among Wolves is a stand-alone historical thriller.

Iseul didn’t appreciate her sister Suyeon until Suyeon was kidnapped; now she wants her back. Finding Suyeon is easy enough. Getting her back? King Yeonsan’s legions stand between Iseul and Suyeon. Suyeon was kidnapped by the king and is being held prisoner in his harem.

Let me explain.

[Spoilers for Korean history, which by the way is impressively documented in the book.]

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Friends and Neighbors Too

When the Wind Blows

By Jimmy Murakami & Raymond Briggs 

6 Jun, 2024

Big Hair, Big Guns!


1986’s When the Wind Blows is a Jimmy-Murakami-directed animated film of the Raymond Briggs nuclear war graphic novel of the same title. The score is by Roger Waters.

Retirees Jim (voiced by John Mills) and Hilda (voiced by Peggy Ashcroft) live in a picturesque cottage in rural England. Presumably, their marriage vows included the traditional promise of life-long partnership. Thanks to the rapidly warming Cold War, that promise will be fulfilled.

Note: this is not a feel-good movie.

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Might Be Omens

The Book of Perilous Dishes

By Doina Ruşti (Translated by James Christian Brown)

5 Jun, 2024



Doina Ruşti’s 2017 The Book of Perilous Dishes is a stand-alone historical fantasy. It was originally published as Mâţa Vinerii. The James Christian Brown English translation came out in 2022.

In 18th century Braşov, accusation is followed by swift punishment. Accused of witchcraft, Maxima Tutilina does not waste her time trying to save herself; after all, the accusation is true. Instead, she orders her fourteen-year-old granddaughter Pâtca to flee to her grand-uncle Zăval.

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Mysterious Ways

Now You See It/Him/Them…  (Joe Karns, volume 1)

By Robert Coulson & Gene DeWeese 

2 Jun, 2024

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1975’s Now You See It/Him/Them… is the first book in a series by Robert Coulson and Gene DeWeese, the Joe Karns SF mysteries.

Summoned by a vaguely worded letter to the hotel room of professional debunker Silas Tucker, Joe Karns arrives just in time to hear Silas being murdered. Breaking in, Joe catches a glimpse of … something? A shimmering image Joe is hard-pressed to describe.

The police aren’t surprised to learn that Joe has somehow gotten entangled in a murder or that his eyewitness account borders on the unbelievable. Joe’s life has been a series of peculiar and alarming events.

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Ain’t a Saint

Ocean’s Godori

By Elaine U. Cho 

31 May, 2024

Doing the WFC's Homework


Elaine U. Cho’s 2024 Ocean’s Godori is a thus-far stand-alone near-future science fiction novel.

Ocean Yoon saved Teophilus Teo” Anand, lesser son of the vast Anand Tech commercial empire, from a violent death. Her employers should have rewarded her; instead, they assigned her to their worst ships. But the highly skilled and determined Ocean has made the best of her circumstances and her career is reviving. Teo? He’s doing OK, living his rich kid life.

Fate brings Ocean and Teo back together.

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School Days

We Speak Through the Mountain  (Reid Graham, volume 2)

By Premee Mohamed 

30 May, 2024

Illimitable Dominion


2024’s We Speak Through the Mountain, a sequel to Premee Mohamed’s The Annual Migration of Clouds, is a near-future science fiction novella.

Nineteen-year-old Reid Graham was one of the lucky few invited to attend university at Howse University. Reid was also one of the lucky fewer who survived her trip across the post-collapse hellscape between her tiny home community and Howse, which is sheltered in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains.

Having reached Howse, Reid can put her troubles behind her. Will she?

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Insomniacs After School, volume 6

By Makoto Ojiro 

29 May, 2024



Insomniacs After School, Volume 6 is the sixth tankōbon in Makoto Ojiro’s contemporary manga series. Serialized in Shogakukan’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Big Comic Spirits, Insomniacs After School has been ongoing since May 2019. The English translation of Volume 6 came out in 2024.

Fellow insomniacs turned belated astronomers Ganta Nakami and Isaki Magari are pursuing their hobby in Isaki’s grandmother’s rural home. The teens were, of course, provided with a chaperone in the form of Isaki’s older sister Haya. Haya has better things to do with her time than keep an eye on two teenagers. When opportunity presented itself, Haya departed, leaving Ganta and Isaki alone.

However will two unsupervised teens fill the time?

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Hello Again


By John Brunner 

28 May, 2024

Shockwave Reader


John Brunner’s 1982 Manshape is a stand-alone science fiction novel.

Jorgen Thorkild oversees the Bridge System, which allows people to step from one world to another, provided only that both worlds are spliced into the interstellar transportation network. Physical challenges now solved, that leaves only cultural impediments standing between all the human worlds and a single, unified society.

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Strange Alchemy

Alchemy and Academe

Edited by Anne McCaffrey 

26 May, 2024

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Anne McCaffrey’s 1970 Alchemy and Academe is (to quote an inside page) A Collection of Original Stories Concerning Themselves with Transmutations, Mental and Elemental, Alchemical and Academic.”

Or rather, it’s an anthology etc. Ah, well, still less misleading than the cover, which claims that Alchemy and Academe is Enchanting tales of some sorcerers and their apprentices,” which it isn’t, not really. As far as I can tell, Alchemy and Academe is one of two anthologies edited by McCaffrey.

Of all the editors I would have expected to compare McCaffrey to, it would not have been…

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