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.
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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.
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For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, the prompt was “Single-Word Titles.” Because most of what I read is either Adult or YA sci fi and speculative fiction, I decided to make a list of my top ten SFF (Science Fiction/Fantasy) books with one-word titles! Oh, and I didn’t count the word “The” as a word because, well, I just decided I didn’t want to. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here they are:
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Since I started working full time, audiobooks have become an essential part of my reading. I typically read 2-5 audiobooks a week depending on the lengths of the books and how much I am physically reading that week. While I really love audiobooks, I am pretty picky on narrators, and will certainly DNF an audiobook if I don’t jive with the it.
My preferences for audiobooks tend to be 1) audiobooks narrated by the author, 2) audiobooks narrated by a highly accomplished actor/voice actor, or, of course, 3) audiobooks narrated by a full cast. I also think I really good audiobook is one that would be a great book on its own, but is made even better by the narration. The following books, I think, are ones that are made an even better reading experience when read in audio form.
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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.
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Every week the That Artsy Reader Girl blog has a Top Ten Tuesday topic for fellow book bloggers to take inspiration from and post about. Since I am, obviously, new to book blogging, this is my very first Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) and I am pumped for this one. This week’s topic is characters from books that I would follow on social media.
This topic is a funny one because I don’t really use social media much at all. I have an instagram and a twitter, but I rarely post to either. For me, social media is a way of keeping up with friends and of also following fun people who I think share interesting content. But, also, don’t we all have people we follow on social media for petty purposes? That can’t be just me. There are some characters on this list for each of these groups of people I follow IRL.
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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.
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This reading week was actually really strong! I finished five books this week, and mostly enjoyed all of them. Even better, though, I’m pretty sure I discovered a new favorite author, and it’s always so exciting when that happens. This list below goes in order of how much I enjoyed my read for each book.
- Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey – 5 big huge stars
It is hard for me to fully express how much I loved this story. This was not just an amazing five star book, but probably a favorite book of all time kind of book. This story is so queer and lovely and will make you want to grab a cowboy hat and ride a horse to Utah.
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I first heard about Zdrok’s Spectacle duology after I finished Kerri Maniscalco’s Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year. In the haze of my book hangover I searched Goodreads for anything that could be remotely similar to Maniscalco’s macabre Young Adult historical mystery/romance. Spectacle was one of the books that was recommended as similar to Stalking, but I didn’t pick it up at the time and instead engrossed myself in Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel trilogy.
I never forgot about Spectacle, though, and the premise continued to intrigue me. I love a good Young Adult historical mystery, and I love them even more when there is something ~magical~ going on.
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For my first real blog post, I want to share all the corners of the bookish landscape that I’ve recently discovered or rediscovered. There’s a definite theme around this list, and it’s not surprising given my reading mood lately. At the end of each month I plan a great list of books I want to read the next month, and then I promptly leave said list alone and mood-read my way through the month.
Here’s what I’ve been enjoying the past few months:
Continue reading “What I’m loving lately”