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there's always room for one more…

A confession: due to work and not being well, I’ve not finished The Hydrogen Sonata yet, so the final foray into The Culture will not be appearing this week. However, I have had time to consider the question of What Next and I’ve plotted a course for the Space Age stories of Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe – here’s to a summer of bite-sized space opera.

The House of Binding Thorns: darkly delicious

Book cover: The House of Binding Thorns - Aliette de Bodard (silver thorns on a blue background)As one House falls, another rises. Notre Dame stands in ruins, while House Hawthorn seeks unlikely alliance with the dragon kingdom to reign supreme in Paris. But there are many who would like to see Asmodeus fall in well-earned ruin. Whose loyalties can be counted on in a House built on bloody rebellion?

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Bite-size Books: Welcome to the Medical Clinic…

“You take a shortcut through the hydroponics bay on your way to work, and notice that the tomato plants are covered in tiny crawling insects that look like miniature beetles.”

WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

Caroline M Yoachim’s entertaining response wins a Nebula nomination.

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Bite-size Books: This is Not a Wardrobe Door

Ellie and Zera are best friends from different worlds, separated by a wardrobe door that has closed without warning. Cut off by circumstance and by time streams that flow ever further apart, the friends realise that sometimes you must open your own doors. A Merc Rustad gives us a Nebula-nominated portal fantasy.

Awards season starts here

Top Ten Tuesday: unique reads

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which we all talk about a bookish topic and have fun making lists. This week, we’re looking at books that stand out from the crowd.

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Space Opera Sunday: Surface Detail

Book cover: Surface Detail - Iain M Banks (a dark skinned woman with patterned skin and even eyes stares over a flaring sun)There are rules governing how high tech civilisations engage with the up and coming. But there’s no stopping well-meaning meddling in a future where death need only be temporary. Now a girl who should never have been reincarnated will try to kill the most important man in her world; and a dead general must decide whether to bring a virtual War on Hell into the Real…

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Blood of Tyrants: are we nearly there yet?

Book cover: Blood of Tyrants - Naomi Novik (black dragon entwined around a glass bauble picturing the Moscow skyline)Shipwrecked en route back to China, Will loses not only Temeraire but his memory. Stranded in a land where foreigners are forbidden by law, how can he find a crew he can’t remember – or be the credible ambassador to China his country needs him to be?

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Bite-size Books: Proof of Concept

Book cover: Proof of Concept - Gwyneth Jones (a silhouette stands in a shaft of blue light)Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.

Apex spotlight: meet Jason Sizemore and Lesley Conner

I’ve mentioned my love for and entanglement with Apex Magazine before, so it’s with great pleasure that I’d like to introduce the editors: Big Chief Jason Sizemore and Comfortably In Control Lesley Conner (who has All the Answers AND a Production Spreadsheet of Doom – but we’ll get back to that). They joined me for a fun kaffeeklatsch in honour of the annual subscription drive.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Should Have Read By Now

Top Ten Tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, in which we all talk about a bookish topic and have fun making lists. This week, I’m going rogue. It happens.

Books glorious books…

Space Opera Sunday: Matter

Book cover: Matter by Iain M BanksInside a world of worlds within worlds, a wonder of the galaxy, evolved civilisations play out their conflicts through the bloody wars of lesser societies. When a warring king is murdered and his heir framed, the prince strikes out into space in search of his long-lost sister, a ward of the Culture. But will they intervene?

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Redux: March

March was always going to be largely defined by jetlag, as it saw the start of big project at that work that is turning me into a transatlantic yoyo. My grandiose plan to read ALL THE BOOKS on flights was replaced by a bleary-eyed reality of bad sleep and poor concentration… while I seem to have somehow got through more than I realised, it will some time to catch up on reviews!

Reading round-up, Stacking the shelves and goal progress

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