Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. Fantasy.

A novella that was pleasing to read but left me disappointed because it could have been so much more. (Even while remaining a novella, yes: I’ve read some incredibly evocative novellas and short stories.) The prose is aesthetic, but lacking in any unexpected detail and self-contradiction which would make the setting and the characters feel real.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Sisters of the Vast Black by Lina Rather. Science Fiction.

In this quick novella, the Sisters (as in nuns) who crew the Our Lady of Impossible Constellations provide ministry to the outer systems. Unfortunately, their Mother Superior is suffering cognitive decline, and their liveship has fixated on a mate. The situation gets vastly (*pun intended*) more complicated as they are pulled into larger events.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast by Eugie Foster. Fantasy.

It’s an unfortunate fact that sometimes great writers come to one’s attention only because they have died. If this work is any indication, the world has indeed lost a great writer. There is absolutely nothing nice in this novella about a society in which identity is, let’s say, flexible—but it is exquisite.… >> Read more