This has been a tough week for everyone. So much of the world is in quarantine, self-isolation, or participating in intense social distancing. Like a lot of people, I’m choosing to isolate myself while COVID-19 is so active. Lucky for us, there are some awesome authors in the science fiction/fantasy book community who are making some of their works free for all of us to enjoy. This list includes these free works from a lot of prolific writers, and also some other free SFF reads to enjoy right now.Continue reading “TEN FREE SFF BOOKS TO GET YOU THROUGH SELF-ISOLATION”
When I read the synopsis for Anthropocene Rag, months ago, I was so excited to get my hands on this book. Dystopian setting, roaming monsters, sentient AI, religious themes– these are things I love most in speculative fiction!Continue reading “Mini Review: Anthropocene Rag by Alexander C. Irvine”
Here’s where I have to admit something that’s embarrassing as a science fiction blogger and former English major: I had never actually read any Octavia Butler works before now, and I am honestly pretty ashamed of myself. I have known of Butler for years, but for one reason or another, hadn’t ever made time for her books. When I was given an eArc of Subterranean Press’s forthcoming collection, Unexpected Stories, by the one and only Octavia Butler, I knew it was time to finally dig into some of her work.Continue reading “Review: Unexpected Stories by Octavia E. Butler”
I usually gravitate towards Tor.com titles because, let’s be honest, it’s where you can find some of the best science fiction out there today. While I enjoy fantasy, my genre sweet spot is almost always “speculative” and light science fiction. Well, The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, changed my mind about fantasy novellas for good. This little novella packs such a punch, and is simultaneously heart-wrenching and heart-warming; it’s feminist as heck, and doesn’t hold back or apologize for it’s presence.Continue reading “The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo: A Fantasy Novella Full of Strength and Female Friendship”
Sea Change, a forthcoming novella by acclaimed writer Nancy Kress, is everything I love about speculative fiction. The story has a compelling near-future setting, is full of smart characters with sharply written dialogue, and is so thematically rich and progressive. It’s character driven, scarily close to reality, and covers topics often overlooked by other media.
Not unlike my previous review of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s upcoming novella, Firewalkers, Kress’s Sea Change also centers on our world following devastation caused, primarily, by climate change. However, whereas Firewalkers is set in a time that feels very distant and in a place that feels far from our present world, Sea Change is set in the 2030s in America and feels very true to a near-future picture of the country.Continue reading “Sea Change by Nancy Kress”
Hearts of Oak starts with a king, an architect, a magically growing city, and a talking cat, and, somehow, it manages to keep these pieces at it’s (oak) heart, even as the story itself expands and changes. What starts as a tender, character focused fantasy about an ever-growing city shifts into a very different story mid-way through. The result is a beautifully clever genre-bending experience, with a story that is part whimsical fantasy and part provocative science fiction.Continue reading “Hearts of Oak – Genre Bending Speculative Fiction at it’s Best”
Made to Order is a science fiction anthology with short works by some of the best SFF/speculative fiction authors currently writing today. Every story was thought-provoking and thematically compelling, even if I preferred some stories to others. Due to its breadth and scope, it’s an anthology that deserves to be an essential part of every sci-fi reader’s library. Not only did I enjoy every minute of this read, but I was always excited to begin the next story, which, to me, is the sign of an excellent anthology.Continue reading “A Review of Made to Order”
Firewalkers was a book I was extremely excited for, as it is a sci-fi/speculative novella written by the award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky, who I had heard really great things about, but haven’t made time to read yet.
The story is set on earth in a near/distant future where climate change has completely changed the landscape of the world. Population is much smaller and people have condensed into smaller communities, creating cities with extremely diverse cultures, languages, religions, and overall worldviews. In this world, the rich are able to buy their way off the planet and to a much easier life aboard the Grand Celeste, a giant space-cruiser city with all the luxuries the rich are accustomed to and none of the hardships of the nearly-destroyed earth. Back on earth, though, people are subjected to the extremely difficult living conditions of a world completely altered by climate change. Work is scarce, and water even more so. One of the only good jobs that exist is that of a firewalker.Continue reading “Firewalkers by Adrian Tchaikovsky”