Thumbs up for Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. Literature/Humor/Science Fiction (sneakily—watch for it).
It’s always a dangerous business when you search out whichever classic it is that has almost the same plot as what you’re writing. Some authors refuse to read That Book (whatever it is for them), and I’ve sometimes fallen into that camp. This time, though, I don’t really care.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Spill Zone, Volume 1 by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland. Young adult sci-fi/horror graphic novel.
A young woman supports herself and her little sister by sneaking into the Spill Zone to take photographs. No one knows exactly what the Spill Zone is, but some bad, bad things live there. Nicely creepy, but not disgusting. Intriguing story but I can’t say I cared much for the art.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed. Science fiction tie-in.
I really liked the movie, okay? And I was sick over a long weekend. So. This is what I read.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth by Roger Zelazny. Science fiction/fantasy short stories.
First, let’s get this out of our way: if you can’t deal with dated gender roles or the fact that Zelazny’s characters all chain-smoke, move along. But you will be missing out on some of the most beautiful, strange, and unique science fiction ever written.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe. Science fiction.
One of those books during the reading of which I promise myself I will go in search of analysis to see if I have missed something. In this case, an afterword (by Pamela Sargent) is handily provided, reassuring me that no, I did not miss anything: the ambiguity of The Fifth Head is intentional and not due to my stupidity.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin. Science fiction.
I’m struggling to find the point in reviewing one of the most perfect science fiction novels ever written. Yeah, I’m not going to. Look, do you like science fiction? Have you, like me, somehow missed reading this one? Put down everything and go read it. It’s not even 200 pages—you can knock it out in an evening or two.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks. Science fiction.
My roommate described Banks’s Culture series perfectly: “Science fiction about spaceships who say ‘fuck’ a lot.” I hope, reader, that you’re okay with 900 pages in which said spaceships investigate a soon-to-be-completely-irrelevant point of record just because they’re curious? God, that sounds awful, doesn’t it? It’s not. In fact, I would read another 10,000 pages of Banks’s spaceships sending profane and snarky texts to each other.… >> Read more
Thumbs down for Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck. Science fiction/fantasy short stories.
I really wanted to like these stories; foremost I chose to read this anthology to explore some Swedish science fiction, but also, I won’t lie, the cover is just fantastic. The stories themselves made almost no impact on me. “Rebecka” had a nice frisson of a twist to it; “Aunts” was gross but interesting; but there was only one story that stuck in my head, “Augusta Prima.” It reminds me of Saki.… >> Read more