Category Archives: Book Reviews

The Mercy of the Night by David Corbett

It’s impossible for me to talk about David Corbett’s The Mercy of the Night without talking about archetypes; not as the word is used currently in publishing and reviews, as in “a perfect example of a type,” but the psychological … Continue reading

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The Silkworm; The Second Cormoran Strike Novel

The Silkworm is the second mystery in the Cormoran Strike series by British writer Robert Galbraith. Galbraith is a pseudonym for a much better known fantasy writer, J.K. Rowling. Rowling’s nom de plume got leaked shortly after the first book came … Continue reading

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Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, 75th Anniversary Edition

Here’s a change of pace for me. Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, 75th Anniversary Edition is a recipe book for hundreds of cocktails. The book is a fixture with its red covers, a bit narrower and taller than a mass … Continue reading

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The Hugos, 2015, Chapter Six; Novelettes

Here are the five novelettes that are short-listed for the Hugo. Wikipedia gives the novelette word-count range as 7500-17,500. A couple of these read as longer than that. “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium”, Gray Rinehart (Orson … Continue reading

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The Hugos, 2015, Chapter Five: Big Boys Don’t Cry

Trigger warning; this post contains an explicit discussion of sadomasochism and sexual exploitation. Spoiler alert; I’m going to discuss the plot in detail. Whining alert; I made an offhanded comment about this story needing its own post. Scores of you … Continue reading

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The Hugos, 2015; Chapter One

The Hugo Awards, conferred by the World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon), are even more controversial this year than they were last year, and the odds are that they will be controversial next year too. Basically, a small but motivated … Continue reading

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Jane Eyre’s Sisters by Jody Gentian Bower; A New Model for the Woman’s Journey

Jane Eyre’s Sisters, by Jody Gentian Bower, takes a look at the old Hero’s Journey as delineated by William Campbell and analyzes it as a model for literature about women (and women’s own experiences). It’s no surprise to me that … Continue reading

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The Lady Trent Memoirs by Marie Brennan

While I had read reviews of The Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, they hadn’t really registered on my radar until I heard the author, Marie Brennan, speak on a couple of panels at FOGCon. She piqued … Continue reading

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Quote of the Week; From Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I just started reading this over lunch. On page 14, I came across this passage and laughed so loud over my Asian chicken salad that other cafe customers stared: “A precious performance, Blaine had called it, in that gently forebearing … Continue reading

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Stop the Presses! The Third Prester John Book, by Catherynne Valente

I spoke to Catherynne Valente while she signed some books for me at FOGCon, in Walnut Creek, CA, last weekend. With a bit of trepidation, I asked her about the third book in the Prester John series. I say “with … Continue reading

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