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Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (172)

Now He’s Dead

Hunting Monsters” &Fighting Demons.”

By S L Huang  

19 Mar, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


You may have read (or heard about) S. L. Huang’s 2020 novel Burning Roses. You probably haven’t heard about Huang’s two stories in the same setting, 2014’s Hunting Monsters” and 2015’s Fighting Demons.” They created a world; Burning Roses is a sequel. I read the novel first and enjoyed it enough to seek out the stories (which I also enjoyed). 

Both stories involve Xiao Hong, her mother Mei, and Mei’s lover Rosa. They are set in a secondary fantasy universe of the sort encountered in fairy tales, both European and Chinese. 

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Keep Me Company

Nothing but Blackened Teeth

By Cassandra Khaw  

12 Mar, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Cassandra Khaw’s Nothing but Blackened Teeth is a standalone ghost story.

Phillip has money, lots and lots of money. When he decides to treat his friends to a lavish getaway, he doesn’t just book them into a five-star holiday resort. Instead, he pulls strings to get access to Heian-era mansion. 

Because Phillip has more money than he knows what to do with, the mansion he selects is, of course, haunted. Because what could go wrong with a quiet weekend out in the woods in a haunted mansion?

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The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones  

5 Mar, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Stephen Graham Jones’ 2020 The Only Good Indians is a standalone horror novel.

Ricky, Lewis, Cass, and Gabe don’t talk about their last hunt together. The hunt in which they segued from triumphant success to horrific excess. Best never to mention their encounter with the elks. Easiest for Ricky, since he died under peculiar circumstances outside a North Dakota bar, but the others are pretty good at keeping mum as well. 

Ten years later, the surviving trio discover that while they’re done with old business, old business is not done with them.

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Out There in the Cold

Symbiosis  (Escaping Exodus, volume 2)

By Nicky Drayden  

26 Feb, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s Symbiosis is the second volume in Nicky Drayden’s Escaping Exodus series. 

Centuries ago, survivors of wrecked Earth enslaved great space faring beasts — Zenzee — to provide new, living, habitats. Exploiting the Zenzee for human convenience rather than sustainability, humans managed to reduce the Zenzee population to a mere handful. Any evidence that Zenzee were conscious beings was ignored. Faced with the choice between business as usual and extinction OR sustainable practices and survival, the crew of the Parados embraced the unthinkable and opted for change.

Under Doka Kaleigh’s leadership, the people of Parados 1 have reformed their ways. The cost? Many personal inconveniences. Unfortunately for Doka, who has been grudgingly allowed to lead by Parados 1’s matriarchy, the other members of the Senate are unconvinced the new ways are better. They are, in fact, playing a long game.

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Call Me Home

The Unbroken  (Magic of the Lost, volume 1)

By C. L. Clark  

19 Feb, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2021’s The Unbroken is the first volume in C. L. Clark’s Magic of the Lost series.

Touraine might have grown up an uncivilized believer in gods and magic had the Balladairans not taken her from her native Qazāl to educate her in Balladairian ways. She then sent to serve as a Sand, a conscript1 soldier. No other choices offered.

Balladair has enough faith in their training that they do not hesitate to send Touraine and her fellow Sands to El-Wast, in subjugated Qazāl. Back to her home country, to put down a rebellion. 

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Lookin’ For a Way to Become

The Apocalypse Ocean  (Xenowealth, volume 4)

By Tobias S. Buckell  

12 Feb, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2012’s The Apocalypse Ocean is the fourth volume in Tobias S. Buckell’s Xenowealth series1.

Bred by the alien Nesaru to manage other human slaves, Kay survived the slaughter that ensued when humans liberated Nesaru-dominated Okur. As the book opens, Kay has found her way through the wormhole network to backwater Placa del Fuego, where the determined sixteen-year-old set out to conquer the world. Or at least the underworld. 

There is a small sticking point: the Doaq.

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Like Thousand Eyes

Warchild  (Monstress, volume 5)

By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda  

29 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


2020’s Warchild (Monstress, Volume 5) collects issues 25 to 30 of Marjorie Liu’s ongoing cosmic-horror-fantasy-war comic series. Art is by Sana Takeda.

The previous war between the Federation of Man and the Arcanic Empire ended when the city of Constantine was annihilated, taking over a hundred thousand people with it. The Federation credited the weapon used to the Arcanics — inaccurately, although the Arcanics were in no hurry to correct the error — and lacking their own equivalent, backed down to regroup. 

When the Federation’s holy city of Aurum is obliterated by a seemingly similar weapon, the logical inference is that the Arcanic Empire is to blame. They are not but the war is back on regardless.

High on the Federation’s to-conquer list: the city of Ravenna.

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Shake Their Bony Hands


By Angela Mi Young Hur  

25 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Angela Mi Young Hur’s 2021 Folklorn is an up-coming contemporary fantasy novel.

Else Park splits her time between stalking the wild neutrino in desolate Antarctica and doing physics research in Sweden. She’s aiming at professional success — which will be hers if her hypothesis is supported by experimental evidence — and also at emotion management: putting thousands of kilometres between her and her family back in America. 

Turns out that this isn’t far enough.

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Another Day Older

The Salvage Crew

By Yudhanjaya Wijeratne  

15 Jan, 2021

Doing the WFC's Homework


Yudhanjaya Wijeratne’s 2020 The Salvage Crew is a standalone science fiction novel. 

Centuries in the future, the United Nations (UN) and its rival, the Outer Reaches Colonial Association (ORCA), are busily spreading humanity and its creations across the nearer stars. The distances are formidable, the challenges of alien worlds more so. Truly, shaping human destiny is the work of heroes!

Unfortunately for Overseer AMBER ROSE 348 and its salvage team, the cost-conscious UN opted to go with the lowest bidder. Thus, Planetary Crusade Services got the contract to check an ancient crash site for salvage. Thus, AMBER ROSE finds itself headed to an alien world with a crew the AI would not have selected had it had any say in the matter.

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