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Reviews in Project: Doing the WFC's Homework (99)

Who Will Be The Witness

The Red Palace

By June Hur  

22 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


June Hur’s 2022 The Red Palace is a stand-alone mystery novel. 

Hyeon is the child of a high-ranked official and his peasant mistress; she cannot be legally acknowledged. Her prospects in 18th century Joseon-dynasty Korea would seem to be limited. But she’s bright and hard-working and has managed to train as a nurse. She’s even achieved a position as a palace nurse. 

Posts of honor can be perilous. 

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Give Them Shelter

The Bruising of Qilwa

By Naseem Jamnia  

15 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Naseem Jamnia’s 2022 The Bruising of Qilwa is a stand-alone secondary universe fantasy novel. 

Having fled their birthland of Dilmun for the comparative safety of the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, Firuz must find some way to turn their skills into income. They believe Kofi’s Clinic may be key. After all, Firuz may not be fully credentialled, but their healer training is legitimate. Firuz would be a useful staff member at the clinic, particularly in this time of plague. 

Despite needing the job, Firuz is very careful not to list all of their medical assets. It’s important that Kofi know Firuz is a healer and that they were trained in structuralist magic. They don’t want Kofi to know about the blood magic. 

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Mind Gone Silicon

Ion Curtain

By Anya Ow  

8 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Anya Ow’s 2022 Ion Curtain is a space opera. 

The setting is centuries in the future, but the conflicts facing humanity are depressingly familiar. 

  • One side: the Chinese-dominated UN, a large, diverse polity whose common feature might be described as chaos.”
  • The other side: the Russian-dominated Federation, which provides its citizens with carefully curated news, firm guidance, and a plethora of political functionaries. True power is doled out behind the scenes in ruthless, endless competition between the Federation’s various factions. 

War would serve nobody; however, endless rumours of war ensure that military contractors can thrive. Military funding runs in ratchetting cycles: one side improves its standing and the other side reacts. 

As the Federation is about to discover, some creations are inherently destabilizing.

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Secrets From A Girl

Braking Day

By Adam Oyebanji  

1 Apr, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Adam Oyebanji’s 2022 debut Braking Day is that rare bird, a stand-alone science fiction novel1.

Seven generations ago, three vast generation ships—Archimedes, Bohr, and Chandrasekar—fled the soft tyranny of AI-run nanny-state Earth for the freedom of whatever waited in the Tau Ceti system. Generations of sacrifice have paid off. The fleet is approaching Tau Ceti, where a sufficiently Earthlike world awaits human settlement. The promised day looms! 

As Midshipman Ravi MacLeod will discover, the above is true but it is hardly the full truth. What was left out of the official history may be enough to kill everyone on Archimedes, Bohr, and Chandrasekar.

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Ocean Deep

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

By Axie Oh  

25 Mar, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

Axie Oh’s 2022 The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is a stand-alone fantasy novel. 

Each year, a different beauty is chosen as the Sea God’s bride. Perhaps the chosen ones enjoy lives of unparalleled luxury under the sea; perhaps their bones are moldering on the sea floor. What is clear is that the sacrifices are in vain. No matter how many brides set out in their lonely boats, annual storms still batter the kingdom. The Sea God has turned his back on his people.

Shim Cheong is the latest bride. Joon, who is in love with Shim, is determined to save her from whatever fate waits in the sea. Joon’s sister Mina is determined to save both. Thus, when the Sea King’s dragon appears to collect its living tribute, it finds a boat with three passengers, not one. Quick-thinking Mina volunteers first and is carried off. 

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Happiness is a Warm Gun

Rio Adopts a Puppy & Ladies’ Day Out

By S L Huang  

18 Mar, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework

1 comment

A Neurological Study on the Effects of Canine Appeal on Psychopathy, or Rio Adopts a Puppy” and An Examination of Collegial Dynamics as Expressed Through Marksmanship, or Ladies’ Day Out” are stories set in the universe of S. L. Huang’s Cas Russell novels. 

This is a world in which semi-plausible superpowers exist. Superheroes? Supervillains? This world is grey rather than white and black. Neither Cas Russell nor her mentor Rio are heroic. Terrifying monsters” may be closer to the mark. 

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Heavy Weather

A Snake Falls to Earth

By Darcie Little Badger  

11 Mar, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


Darcie Little Badger’s 2021 A Snake Falls to Earth is a contemporary fantasy.

Nina’s great-great-grandmother Rosita dies at an advanced age, leaving Rosita’s grieving descendants with questions that the ancient Lipan Apache woman can no longer answer. For example, how is it that Rosita turns out to have been at least 150 years old, if not older? Modern medicine is good, but not that good. 

Rosita was a rare survivor of Texas’ campaign of Lipan genocide1. Her descendants are therefore cautious of any involvement with officialdom and don’t investigate this anomaly in any way that would attract official attention. 

Nina thinks there might be an answer in the Lipan lore that Rosita shared before dying. Surely a little private investigation won’t attract unwelcome attention. But it does.

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Wrapped Up World

Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances  (Dragons and Blades, volume 2)

By Aliette de Bodard  

7 Mar, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2022’s Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances is the second entry in Aliette de Bodard’s Dragons and Blades series. 

Visiting his shape-shifting relatives in their kingdom under the Seine, Prince Thuan ventures to babysit, on the entirely correct assumption that his bloodthirsty husband Asmodeus is poorly suited for the task. 

A family outing to a nearby ruined shrine takes an unexpected turn when a ghost appears.

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Saints Will Tremble

Fevered Star  (Between Earth and Sky, volume 2)

By Rebecca Roanhorse  

25 Feb, 2022

Doing the WFC's Homework


2022’s Fevered Star is the second book in Rebecca Roanhorse’s Between Earth and Sky secondary-world fantasy.

It was such a simple plan: train Serapio in fanatical devotion to his Crow God, dispatch him to distant Tova, and have him manifest as the avatar of his deity, whereupon he would slaughter the Watchers, whose ruthless enforcement of law has become oppressive, then die himself. The old guard would be gone, the god-in-flesh would be gone, leaving room for the new order to establish itself. 

Pity it all went so wrong.

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