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Uhura’s Song

By Janet Kagan 

22 Dec, 2020

Illimitable Dominion

4 comments

Janet Kagan’s 1985 Uhura’s Song is a Star Trek: Original Series tie-in novel. 

The starship Enterprise has been dispatched to Eeiauo, whose inhabitants have very reluctantly asked for help dealing with a virulent and quite deadly pandemic. This is not the first time ADF Syndrome has washed across this world — the last outbreak killed twenty thousand people — but it is the first outbreak that has forced the Eeiauoians to swallow their pride and ask for Federation aid.

A medical crisis would seem to be Doctor McCoy’s bailiwick. As it turns out, it is actually communications officer Lieutenant Uhura’s.

SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THIRTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD NOVEL


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A Magic Web With Colours Gay

Sorcerer’s Son  (Book of Elementals, book 1)

By Phyllis Eisenstein 

20 Dec, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

4 comments


1979’s Sorcerer’s Son is the first volume of Phyllis Eisenstein’s secondary-universe fantasy series, Book of Elementals. Sorcerer’s Son is a coming-of-age novel. 

Sorcerer Smada Rezhyk proposes marriage to Sorcerer Detivev Ormoru; she declines with a simple no.” Rezhyk concludes that this must indicate hostility, indeed must show that she is bent on his destruction! Aware that his bitter enemy’s command of nature makes her a formidable enemy, Rezhyk dispatches his most trusted demon Gildrum to distract Detivev long enough for Rezhyk to forge invincible armour for himself.

A direct attack would invite a direct response. Therefore, Gildrum takes the guise of a handsome young man named Mellor, the better to seduce the sorceress. 

The demon is successful beyond their wildest dreams.


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I, Robot

Cog

By Greg van Eekhout 

18 Dec, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

0 comments

Greg van Eekhout’s 2019 Cog is a standalone young-adult SF novel. 

The untrained eye could mistake Cog for a twelve-year-old boy. In fact, he is a humanoid robot, designed as a tool for research on cognitive development. Like humans, Cog can learn from his experiences. 

Sometimes he learns the wrong thing. Assured by his parent-figure, uniMIND researcher Gina, that good judgment comes from experience, but experience comes from bad judgment,’ Cog sets out to optimize his learning environment by making some big mistakes.

Mission more than accomplished! 


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River Running Free

Voyage to the City of the Dead

By Alan Dean Foster 

17 Dec, 2020

Special Requests

0 comments

Alan Dean Foster’s 1984 Voyage to the City of the Dead is a standalone novel set in his Humanx Commonwealth setting.

Eager to explore the mysteries of Tslamaina — Horseye to off-worlders — scientists Etienne and Lyra Redowl have been waiting impatiently for permission from the native authorities to explore far up the Barshajagad canyon along the course of the spectacular river Skar. 

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Have You Brought Me Hope or Have You Paid My Fee

Wolf Hall  (Thomas Cromwell, book 1)

By Hilary Mantel 

15 Dec, 2020

Special Requests

2 comments

2009’s Wolf Hall is the first volume in Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell trilogy. 

Thomas Cromwell escaped a brutal childhood and rose by dint of great effort to be the highly educated right-hand man to Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor. It’s a lofty position for such a low-born man and as long as nothing happens to Wolsey, Cromwell’s position is utterly secure.

Vexed at Wolsey’s failure to deliver a divorce, Henry withdraws his favour. Stripped of wealth and position, Wolsey escapes possible execution (Henry likes to accuse people of treason) by dying of natural causes first.

Without his patron, Cromwell’s position is manifestly hopeless.


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Burn, Baby, Burn

Fire Time  (Gunnar Heim, book 2)

By Poul Anderson 

13 Dec, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

7 comments

1974’s Fire Time is the second book in Poul Anderson’s Gunnar Heim sequence. Be it noted that Heim makes an extremely brief appearance in this novel.

Three hundred parsecs from Sol, the Anubelea multiple star system offers humans a fascinating illustration of the impact of stellar evolution on planetary ecosystems. For the inhabitants of Ishtar, the peculiarities of their home system doom them to endless cycles of rise, fall, and recovery. 

But first! A lecture on stellar evolution.


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Darkest Day

These Violent Delights  (These Violent Delights, book 1)

By Chloe Gong 

11 Dec, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

2020’s These Violent Delights is the first volume in Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights series. 

Proud heir to leadership of the Scarlet Gang, Juliette Cai is determined to lead her father’s gangsters to total domination of Jazz-era Shanghai. There are but two small impediments to this scheme: firstly, that the Russian-run White Flowers do not care to admit defeat in the on-going blood feud between the gangs and secondly, that the current occupation of Shanghai by arrogant foreign powers appears to have tilted the balance in favour of the White Flowers.

There is also the almost inconsequential matter that White Flower heir Roma Montagov used to be Juliette’s lover. It’s an age-old story: two star-crossed teens meet and then part amid a flurry of bloody mutual assassination attempts facilitated by information clearly gleaned from each other. Their affair is the past. The only question now is who will kill whom.

A scattering of dead gangsters from both gangs, dumped on the waterfront, could be simply another bloody chapter in the gang war. It isn’t. Each of the dead men killed themself.


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Comfort in the Sound

Shadows of the Short Days

By Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson 

10 Dec, 2020

Special Requests

1 comment

2020’s Shadows of the Short Days is the English-language translation of Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson’s 2014 Icelandic fantasy Hrímland.

Hrímland (Iceland) has been occupied by the Kalmar Commonwealth. The inhabitants of Reykjavík chafe under a brutal police state. Political dissidents vanish into the Nine, never to be seen by their friends and family again. 

Dissident Garún was driven into political activism because she is Blendingur, half human and half … not.


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I’d Rather Stay Home and Read

Daughter of a Soldier, book 1

By Miya Kazuki 

9 Dec, 2020

Translation

0 comments

2015’s Daughter of a Soldier Volume 1 is the first of three Daughter of a Soldier instalments, which in turn form the first arc of Miya Kazuki’s Ascendance of a Bookworm. Ascendance of a Bookworm is an Isekai young-adult light novel series. Illustrations are by You Shiina. Daughter of a Soldier Volume 1 was translated into English by quof,

Urano Motosu loves books above all other things. Pallid skin, social isolation, parental disappointment, all are small prices to pay for a life spent glorying in books. 

Alas, Urano is so focused on her books that she steps into traffic without looking. Hello, Truck-Kun! Only the timely intervention by a friend saves Urano from decorating Truck-Kun’s grill.

Saved from an untimely demise, Urano returns home where she is killed by falling books during a minor earthquake. 

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