Much to my own surprise, I seem to be down to between 1 and 7 books left to read for the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards shortlists (depending on how many series I finish). I’ve now finished reading the novella nominees, so time for a quick round-up of the last two and a muse over where that leaves me…
I’ve been making steady progress on my Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards shortlists, thanks in part to traveling a lot this past month. There’s nothing quite like the enforced downtime of flying to motivate me to inhale books I’ve been looking forward to or bull through ones I haven’t. Today I’m looking back at the fantasy novellas in a Wyrd and Wonder cross-over.
Thanh is the Empress’s youngest daughter: the expendable one sent to powerful Ephteria as a ‘guest’; the forgotten foreigner they left to burn when their palace caught fire. But Thanh survived to go home, although she has found less herself welcome than she could wish. Now, the arrival of Ephterian envoys is her chance to prove her worth to the Empire… or see her home burn to the ground.
I was drawn into Paul Cornell’s ever-so-English rural fantasy after hearing him read from The Lost Child of Lychford at Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. With the series now complete – and in lieu of reviewing the last two novellas, natch – let’s take a look at why it makes my heart sing.
My snarky fave is back with a new self-appointed mission. It’s not that Murderbot needs something to do, you understand, nor that it gets over-involved with its humans; it would just like to stop worrying about Dr Mensah. She looks tired.
Wherever there are people, there are secrets. Even aboard a space slug crewed by itinerant nuns on a mercy mission. In the face of lies and betrayal, what is the truest service one can render to God?
When Tobias Finch offers new landowner Henry Silver shelter from the rain, they strike up an unlikely friendship. But Greenhollow holds an irresistible attraction for a folklorist – and so does the Wild Man who lives there.
Cete was a clan general until he killed his berserk lord, earning acclaim and exile at one stroke. Now he’s drawn to cast in his lot with a new settlement aspiring to independence – even though he’s certain it’s doomed…
The Belmans have farmed in Ormeshadow for generations. Returning home after a failed attempt to build a life elsewhere, John Belman binds his son Gideon to the land with ancient legends – and enduring hope.
Creeper wants to fly the skies in an air ship, but first she needs to earn a place on a crew. When she overhears conspirators plotting to unleash the Black God’s Drums, she might have found the leverage she needs… if she can save her city from the natural disaster about to overtake it.
A people in need summon a woman by magic, binding her to their cause. She must fight her way across an enchanted landscape to win her freedom. She doesn’t know who – or even what – she is except strength and fury, so she has nothing left to lose …or does she?
Desmond Coke fled Jamaica with his former comrades hot on his heels. He must cross an alternate America, where the Free Republic of Tejas, the Albion Empire and the Five Civilized Tribes may all offer sanctuary – or may seek to take advantage of the rare opportunity Desmond’s young ward Lij represents…
San Francisco, 1939. Treasure Island glows in the Bay, a beacon for Man’s perseverance and ingenuity. The vibrant City itself is full of immigrants and free spirits, shielded from the shadows of war. Anything can happen in San Francisco: forbidden love, illegal shifts in gender, and maybe – when you really need it – some actual magic.
As Binti struggles to adjust to the zinariya, she is overwhelmed by visions of her family in mortal danger. With no sign of Okwu, she and Mwinyi rush back. Can the master harmonizer who sits at the nexus of so many cultures bring peace, or is her legacy to be only conflict?