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Reviews in Project: Special Requests (287)

For the Birds and Bees

Son of a Liche  (Dark Profit Saga, book 2)

By J. Zachary Pike  

28 May, 2020

Special Requests

1 comment

2018’s Son of a Liche is the second installment in J. Zachary Pike’s Dark Profit Saga.

Dwarf adventurer Gorm’s quest in Orconomics: A Satire was something of a mixed success. Well, more of a catastrophic failure: the orcs of Guz’Varda Tribe befriended by Gorm and his friends dropped their guard and were massacred by gold-hungry humans; two of Gorm’s friends died; and the party was unjustly branded as criminals by the government of the Freedlands. 

The only up-note was that Gorm and company dealt the Liche Detarr Ur’Mayan a resounding defeat.

Well, less a resounding defeat and more a minor set-back. Cue the undead legions carving their way across the continent. 


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Clang clang clang went the trolley

Goldilocks

By Laura Lam  

19 May, 2020

Special Requests

1 comment

Laura Lam’s 2020 Goldilocks is a standalone science fiction novel.

Good news, bad news: Cavendish (an Earth-like, life-bearing world) is just ten and a half light years away and, thanks to the Alcubierre Drive, it is within humanity’s reach. Due to generations of poor choices, humanity needs Cavendish if it is to survive. The Earth is racing towards its final greenhouse doom.

Dr. Valerie Black, CEO of Hawthorne, believes that the Earth is doomed and that humanity must be saved. She has convinced the US government to construct the ship and the infrastructure needed for a voyage to Cavendish. At the last moment, however, a misogynistic administration has removed her from the project and replaced her handpicked crew with astronauts who were less trained but more acceptably male.

No worries! Black has vast cunning and even greater resources. The men stole the starship Atalanta from her. Black simply steals it back.

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That’s the Way the World Goes Round

The Search for Delicious

By Natalie Babbitt  

30 Apr, 2020

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Natalie Babbitt‘s 1969 The Search for Delicious is a standalone children’s fantasy.

Prime Minister DeCree’s dictionary seemed a harmless hobby, until the day he reached the word delicious.” The King was most displeased with the example DeCree selected. The Queen for her part agreed that DeCree’s example was poorly chosen, but disagreed with the King as to which food was the best choice for delicious.” No agreement was reached.

Further discussion disclosed that each person in the castle had their own favourite food. Nobody was willing to compromise. Not only was this conflict a significant roadblock in dictionary production … government meetings devolved into arguments re the best example for delicious.”

The proposed solution: a national poll.


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Lost at the End of the World

The Steel of Raithskar  (Gandalara, book 1)

By Randall Garrett & Vicki Ann Heydron  

28 Apr, 2020

Special Requests

5 comments

Vicki Ann Heydron and Randall Garrett’s 19811 The Steel of Raithskar is the first volume in their Gandalara sword and sorcery fantasy series2.

Aged Richard Carillo sets out on a cruise expecting to live only a few months before untreatable terminal illness kills him. The incandescent meteor falling from the sky comes as a surprise. 

Waking up after being hit by a bolide is also unexpected. The surprises keep coming.


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Smiling Faces

Growing Light

By Marta Randall  

21 Apr, 2020

Special Requests

5 comments

Marta Randall’s 1993 Growing Light is a murder mystery. It was published under the pen name Martha Conley

Life in a small California town seemed nearly idyllic until a fatal car accident left Anne Munroe a widowed single mother. She needs a job. The small community offers few opportunities for employment. But there is at least one: the local firm Growing Light needs her technical editing skills. 

The job does not come without problems. 


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Pennies from Heaven

Fair’s Point  (Astreiant, book 4)

By Melissa Scott  

18 Apr, 2020

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Melissa Scott’s 2014 Fair’s Point is the fourth volume in her on-going Astreiant series. 

When aristocrat Dandin de Calior went bankrupt, the debacle extended to his creditors. Protagonist Philip Eslingen lost a goodly sum and ended up with … a dog (his share of de Calior’s assets). 

Rather than sell the basket-terrier, Eslingen decides to enter it in the dog races. He hires a well-regarded dog trainer, Besetje Quentier, and hopes to recoup his losses. 


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Way Out West

Stardust County

By Nancy Louise Freeman  

16 Apr, 2020

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Nancy Louise Freeman’s 2007 Stardust County is a 2CD album of SFF-adjacent Western music. From the source website:

Cast: Lon Austin, Nancy Freeman, Larry Warner, Maya Bohnhoff, Jennifer Ashley, Tony Fabris, Tom Tuerff, Michelle Vixy” Dockrey, Forrest Ashley, and Decadent” Dave Clement.

Also featuring: Fiddler Cat Taylor (Avalon Rising); Karl Franzen (Broceliande) on harmonica; and the legendary Jeff Bohnhoff on pyrotechnic guitar, bass, and Every Other Damn Thing

All manner of folk travel along the Stardust County rail line, which runs the length of this eldritch version of the Old West: folk that include traders, travellers, and criminals on the run. Nigel of Ephesus and Nimue fall into the last class.


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Don’t Let It Show

Network Effect  (Murderbot Diaries, book 5)

By Martha Wells  

9 Apr, 2020

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Martha Wells’ 2020 Network Effect is the first novel and fifth installment in her ongoing series, Murderbot Diaries. 

Having escaped from the mercilessly exploitive Corporation Rim for the comparative safety of Preservation System (and more remarkably, having not lost any of its human associates in the process, despite said humans having the self-preservation instincts of day-old rabbits), Murderbot is finally free(ish) to find a new place in life that doesn’t involve being an expendable slave. 

This is quite the challenge. Rather conveniently, a real-world crisis intervenes before Murderbot gets too caught up in a crisis of self-definition for which it has few applicable tools. Space raiders! 

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