Bite-size books will be a regular weekly feature, as I have accumulated a healthy pile of them that I’m very excited about (plus several short story collections). This week: The Fox’s Tower and other tales is flash fiction that made my soul sing.
Elinor and Con are about to be reminded that corruption is a way of life in the Marches. Already in disgrace, Elinor will have to choose between risking the lives of her engineers or leaving another Reaper’s squad in the hands of a murderous upstart. When honour is for sale, how can she determine what is right?
In a galaxy far, far away, a young director created an epic that dominated the imaginations of generations. But what if Star Wars were based on earlier literary traditions? This week, I’m taking a look at the Tattoine Cycle: A New Hope re-imagined as an Irish epic.
In a galaxy far, far away, a young director created an epic that dominated the imaginations of generations. But what if Star Wars were based on earlier literary traditions? This week, I’m taking a look at the Tattúínárdøla saga: all six Lucas films as Old Norse saga.
If the goal of a short story is to leave you wanting more, A Reaper of Stone is a stunning success.
Elinor is the King’s Reaper, duty-bound to demolish the ancient keeps of the marches to prevent them falling into hostile hands. When the Lady of Timberline dies, Elinor is sucked into the vicious politics of Resa’s grasping nobility. Will she confirm the new Lord who seeks the title, or investigate the Lady’s unexpected death?
I received this as a LibraryThing Early Reviewer title – it’s the latest in a series of collections of speculative / science fiction shorts from around the world. I took it as a great opportunity to broaden my horizons and get to know the works of non-Anglo/American authors, many of whom I hadn’t previously heard of. And generally, the quality here is very good – even the stories that weren’t to my taste were well-written and accomplished.
Young Binti is a genius, a daughter of a Namibian tribe that is isolated by choice. When she is invited – first of her people – to take a place at Oomza Uni, the foremost place of learning in the galaxy, she sneaks away to accept it. But she’s about to learn there’s more to be feared in the galaxy than her people’s disapproval…
Ajax Penumbra and Aliette de Bodard have really driven home to me the extent to which I’m enjoying The Ultimate Time Traveler’s Almanac (i.e. not as much), which I’ve been slowly reading since February. The time travel stories are good, they’re fine, but I’m not relishing or affected by the stories or characters.
My brain is sufficiently scrambled (headache is back and biting this week) that the best I can muster is very nearly ‘that was interesting’ (in a good way).
Cat Valente has a gift for myth. She is inspired by it, she works with it, she weaves into new and strange configurations and leaves the reader to work out where they’ve got to and how they feel about it.
I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this anywhere near as much as The Lady Astronaut of Mars. There are good ingredients in this Hugo-winning short story (and it is short), but it didn’t pack the emotional resonance of Lady Astronaut.
It took me a long time to read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors. I picked it up, put it down; read the table of contents, put it down. Eventually I got round to reading the Introduction, and then I was pretty much committed. And when I finally devoured the treasures within, I found I enjoyed them a lot. Much of it was dark, true, but that’s always suited me; much of it was also magical.
So there was no real doubt I would acquire and read Fragile Things.