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Searching for Paradise

Under the Canopy

By Barbara Paul 

20 Nov, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

2 comments

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

0 comments

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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Sailing Toward The Future

The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel

By Sosuke Natsukawa (Translated by Louise Heal Kawai)

16 Nov, 2022

Translation

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Sosuke Natsukawa’s 2017 The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel is a modern fable. The 2021 English translation is by Louise Heal Kawai.

Antisocial bookworm Rintaro Natsuki has been raised by his grandfather, a bookshop owner. After his grandfather dies, Rintaro finds himself the ward of his aunt, who doesn’t understand what the shop means to him. He is told to shut down the shop. 

That’s a good excuse for the boy to stop attending high school. He spends each day in the shop … but rather than shut it down, he attends to customers as though no deadline were bearing down on him. He doesn’t want to see his grandfather’s legacy dismantled, but he doesn’t know how to stop the process. (Don’t hate his aunt; she would be happy to accommodate him if he were to tell her what he wanted … but he’s too withdrawn and passive to speak up.)

Then the talking cat walks into the store.


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Found Family

Black Wine

By Candas Jane Dorsey 

15 Nov, 2022

The End of History

1 comment

Candas Jane Dorsey’s 1997 novel Black Wine is very hard to categorize. All I can confidently assert is that it is not set in the present. It was Dorsey’s debut novel.

A nameless waif fell from the sky into a predatory society, which enslaved her. Her life is one of hard labour and repeated rape. An encounter with a mysterious madwoman leaves the waif in possession of a book. There are consequences.


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Signs For All To See

The Silver Sun  (The Book of the Isle, volume 2)

By Nancy Springer 

13 Nov, 2022

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1980’s The Silver Sun is the second volume in Nancy Springer’s The Book of the Isle series. The Silver Sun is a heavily revised edition of 1977’s The Book of Suns.

The Isle was home to human folly but not willful malevolence. That changed when the Easterners attacked. Divided amongst themselves, the kingdoms of the Isle failed to unify against the existential threat posed by the invaders. Consequently, most of the Isle fell to the Easterners, whose rule is as deliberately cruel as it is unjust.

Seven generations after the invasion, hope appears in the form of a naked man running through a forest.


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Mon Amou

Bitter Medicine

By Mia Tsai 

11 Nov, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

2 comments

Mia Tsai’s 2023 Bitter Medicine is a stand-alone urban fantasy. 

Elle is a purveyor of arcane glyphs; her occupation brings her into contact with many members of the world’s diverse supernatural community. She herself is a descendant of Shénnóng, the Chinese god of medicine, and is comfortable rubbing shoulders with such entities. One customer, however, has caught her attention. He’s attractive.


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Sleight Of Hand

The Quantum Thief  (Jean le Flambeur, volume 1)

By Hannu Rajaniemi 

10 Nov, 2022

Special Requests

5 comments

2010’s The Quantum Thief is the first volume in Hannu Rajaniemi’s Jean le Flambeur science fiction series.

Jean le Flambeur is famous as a thief par excellence — famous across a quirky, post-human Solar System. As such, he has the right combination of audacity, skill, and luck to accomplish a daunting task for Mieli and her patron.

But … perhaps Jean falls slightly short on the luck front. After all, he is securely locked up in Dilemma Prison, from which escape is impossible. Cue one pre-caper caper.

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Darkness In Her Eyes

The Apothecary Diaries, volume 6

By Natsu Hyuuga (Translated by Kevin Steinbach)

9 Nov, 2022

Translation

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2016’s The Apothecary Diaries: Volume 6 is the sixth installment in Natsu Hyuuga’s secondary-but-mundane-universe mystery Light Novel series. It was illustrated by Touko Shino. The 2022 Anglophone edition was translated by Kevin Steinbach.

When last we encountered senior royal Jinshi and apothecary/consulting detective Maomao, they had finally given into their mutual attraction and had engaged in hot torrid sex. Having done so, the two smartest people in the empire manage their new status as only incredibly brilliant people can: awkwardly.

Frankly, a bride’s flamboyant public suicide comes as a welcome distraction.

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Friends of Mr. Cairo

Metrophage

By Richard Kadrey 

8 Nov, 2022

Terry Carr's Third Ace Science Fiction Specials

2 comments

Richard Kadrey’s 1988 Metrophage is a stand-alone cyberpunk dystopia. Metrophage was the ninth book in Terry Carr’s Third Ace Science Fiction Specials. Like the other Third Ace Science Fiction Specials novels1, Metrophage was Kadrey’s novel-length debut.

Jonny Qabbala sets out on a simple errand: locate fellow reprobate Easy Money at HoloWhores, Easy Money’s place of work, and shoot him in the head. This will be retribution for Easy Money’s murder of Jonny’s quasi-friend and drug source, Raquin.

Johnny will never realize most of his goals, including this one.

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