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Reviews in Project: Doing What the WFC Cannot Do (63)

Sky, Don’t Let the Sun Go

Dread Nation

By Justina Ireland  

27 Mar, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Justina Ireland’s 2018 Dread Nation is a zombie apocalypse novel.

The American Civil War ground to a halt as soon as the dead began clambering from their graves. The cost of Grant’s march south against the undead was the South’s surrender and the freeing of the slaves. People once born in chains are now free.

There is, of course, one small catch, which is that entrenched white supremacy didn’t vanish when legal slavery did. As a consequence…

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War Paint

Phoenix Extravagant

By Yoon Ha Lee  

23 Mar, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Yoon Ha Lee’s 2020 Phoenix Extravagant is a (thus far) standalone fantasy. It’s also a mecha adventure. It’s genre-fluid.

Six years ago, the Empire of Razan invaded and conquered Hwaguk, which then became the drab Administrative Territory Fourteen, Artist Jebi is a survivor. They apply for a name change (a Razan-acceptable name) and a job as an artist for the new administration. Jebi’s sister, a Hwaguk nationalist, disapproves but hey … Jebi is a realist.

Jebi does not get the position for which they applied. They get a job offer they cannot refuse. 

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Way Out in the Country


By Malinda Lo  

21 Feb, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

Malinda Lo’s 2011 secondary-world fantasy Huntress shares a setting with the author’s 2009 Ash.

The seasons are out of balance and the economy is suffering. Several of the Kingdom’s provinces are on the verge of rebellion. Keeping rebellious lords in line requires all the king’s attention. When the queen of the Xi (fairies) requests that he visit and confer, the king declines to go.

He sends an embassy in his place. The personnel: Kaede (the daughter of the king’s closest advisor), Taisin (a young sage), Con (the king’s son), and a host of expendable extras. 

Don’t get too attached to the extras.

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The Burning Hopes

Empress of All Seasons

By Emiko Jean  

14 Feb, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Emiko Jean’s 2018 Empress of All Seasons is a standalone secondary universe fantasy.

Animal Women have a simple lifestyle: find a gullible human man, seduce him, marry him, take his possessions, and leave. Any girl children who result from the union are raised, while the useless boys are discarded. 

Mari is an Animal Woman to whom fate has been unkind. Almost every Animal Woman is incredibly beautiful. Mari is not. Faced with a daughter unable to befuddle men with her looks, Mari’s mother decided to set her daughter on the path to the loftiest husband of all: an emperor.

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Kinda Outta Luck

Untamed Shore

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia  

31 Jan, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s 2020 Untamed Shore is a standalone thriller.

Viridiana is determined to escape her small Baja California town. Much to her mother’s displeasure, Viridiana turned down her boyfriend’s proposal and the secure but tedious domesticity that marriage offers her. As soon as the first opportunity to leave appears, Viridiana will take it. The only problem is, such opportunities are uncommon in Desengaño.

Then three rich Americans come to town.

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A Certified Genius at the Age of Five

Beneath the Rising

By Premee Mohamed  

24 Jan, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Premee Mohamed’s 2020 Beneath the Rising is a standalone cosmic horror novel.

Nick Prasad is poor and brown. Even though he’s quite bright, he can’t even consider going to university; he has family obligations. His friend Joanna Johnny” Chambers is wealthy, white, and a world-famous super-genius scientist. Despite the vast gulf between them, the two teens have been friends since childhood. Nick is madly smitten with Johnny. Johnny is fond of Nick. But there’s this vast gulf between them …

Having cured HIV and Alzheimer’s, Johnny turns her attention to solving climate change. Solution: replace fossil fuels with an inter-dimensional reactor. Too bad that Johnny has saved the world from climate change by creating a gateway to something much worse.

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Keep Changing the World

Riot Baby

By Tochi Onyebuchi  

18 Jan, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Tochi Onyebuchi’s 2020 Riot Baby is a standalone science fiction novella. 

Fleeing LA following the King riots, Ella and her brother Kev are destined for typical American childhoods — that is, typical for African Americans. Frequently unpleasant, subject to violence and injustice. Ella is a precog, which in this case isn’t all that great. She sees what’s coming at her and often it isn’t good. 

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Hide and Seek

Djinn City

By Saad Z. Hossain  

10 Jan, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do

1 comment

Saad Z. Hossain’s 2017 Djinn City is a contemporary fantasy. It may share a setting with Hossain’s The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday.

Blamed by his father for his mother’s death in childbirth, Indelbed has been raised in isolation and genteel poverty. Indelbed is a surprisingly good-natured kid, given his circumstances. His cousin Rais is quite fond of him. When Rais discovers that Indelbed has never been sent to school, Rais tries to fix what he sees as a problem. 

Rais doesn’t expect that his efforts will ruin Indelbed’s life.

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A Bird Without a Song

Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight

By Aliette de Bodard  

3 Jan, 2020

Doing What the WFC Cannot Do


Aliette de Bodard’s 2019 Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight is a collection of science fiction and fantasy stories. The science fiction stories are set in her alternate history, the Universe of Xuya (in which North American colonization was first settled by Asians), while the fantasies are set in her Dominion of the Fallen, in which Paris is recovering from a war between fallen angels. 

The title is apt.

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