Tag Archives: drugs

Giant Days Volume One by John Allison

I saw this reviewed somewhere and thought Mr. Curiosity might enjoy it. Luckily, our library had it so I requested it.

Published: 2016

Illustrator: Lissa Treiman

Genre: YA fiction graphic novel

Length: 128 pages

Setting: a British University, present day Continue reading

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Short Stories by M. Darusha Wehm

This is the next story included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology.

The Care and Feeding of Mammalian Bipeds, V. 2.1

Published: November, 2012 in EscapePod (you can either read or listen to the story at that link)

Genre: science fiction

Setting: someone’s home, near future

Summary: The story is told from the viewpoint of a robot that is just entering service into a family’s home. The family thinks it’s getting a house-bot, but the robot sees itself as caring for a herd of humans. It remarks on events happening within the home and thinks all is well with its herd.

Final thoughts: I remember hearing this story when it came out in EscapePod (it’s one of the short story podcasts I listen to regularly) and it enjoyed just as much now as then. It’s fun to try to figure out what the robot is referring to (the evening “chanting sessions” between the husband and wife, for example). The outsider view says everything is well with the family. The human view, which is able to interpret the situations correctly, realizes the parents are working toward a divorce and the kids are suffering as the parents constantly fight.

Title comes from: The robot is continually referring to a manual to interpret the actions of its human herd. The manual is called The Care and Feeding of Mammalian Bipeds, V. 2.1

Modern Love

Published: May 2012 in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (you can find an audio or print version of it here)

Genre: science fiction

Setting: a college town, near future

Summary: Marian is obsessed with Graeme, a barista at the coffee shop. She’s following him home after work, and watching him go to class. It’s totally creepy, until we flip to his point of view and find out he spiked one of her lattes with a custom pheromone and now she’s obsessed with him.

Final thoughts: As the story started, I thought it was just a gender-swapped version of a stalker story. Interesting to see it with the woman creeping on the guy, but not all that interesting. That thought changed when the perspective of the story changed to Graeme’s voice. He created the situation by surreptitiously drugging Marian and is happy to be the focus of an obsession. Now he’s the total creep and she’s the one being used. A totally unexpected twist that will keep me thinking about the story for a while.

Title comes from: Marian is totally in love with Graeme, but only because he got a custom pheromone created to cause the obsession.

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Caresaway by D. J. Cockburn

I was given an ARC of this book to review (but all my opinions are my own). It was published by a small press (Annorlunda Books) that focuses on books that help you “learn something you’ll feel good about knowing.” I’ve been an advance reader for several other books and novellas she’s published (see Unspotted, Lilies of the Dawn, Okay, So Look, and Academaze) and thought I’d do the same for the newest book.

Published: 2017 (it comes out today in ebook form)

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 86 pages

Setting: mostly England and Cape Town, present day Continue reading

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Valiant by Holly Black

I’m pulling books off my reading lists that fill letters I’m missing on my alphabet challenge. This book fit the bill. I originally put it on my reading list after reading a post about strong female characters in books at The Hub.

Subtitle: A Modern Faerie Tale (there’s a whole series of modern faerie tales by Holly Black)

Published: 2005

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 313 pages (although the book dimensions were small, so it read faster than usual)

Setting: NYC, present day Continue reading

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The Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Published: 2002 in Spanish, 2004 in English

Genre: fiction

Length: 436 pages

Setting: Mexico and Spain, 1980s (I think) to the present)

Interest: The book title started with a Q and was at the library when I was looking. Continue reading


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Born to Run by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Published: 1992

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 336 pages

Setting: A large Southern city (I can’t remember which one), 1990s

Interest: I was looking for a light book to read on my Kindle while I was on my biking trip. I enjoy Lackey’s writing, so this one was worth trying out. Continue reading

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Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

Published: 1992

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 480 pages

Setting: near future United States

Interest: It’s one of the Time top 100 books plus it was an audio book that StatsGuy listened to and enjoyed and shared with me.

Summary: Hiro Protagonist is an old school hacker that doesn’t really have a place in the Metaverse and the new corporate programming environment. YT is a 15-year old courier with an attitude who helps Hero out of a bind and decides to team up with Hero. They begin gathering intelligence for CIC, a for-profit agency that makes money selling data. YT and Hiro get involved with L. Bob Rife and his attempt to take over the U.S. by infecting all the programmers and hackers with a visual virus. He’s also using a drug to addict all of surburbia. Both the drug and the virus are called Snow Crash, and they tap into the brain and allow Rife to control everyone. Hiro and YT help to stop Rife’s plan.

Final thoughts: A long and complicated plot with a satisfactory resolution. There were lots of characters that all came together in the big conflict at the end, even the people I didn’t realize would come back. Lots of payback if you were paying attention, which I appreciated. Stephenson certainly knows how to weave a plot together. All the details are important, so you have to pay attention. Nice tension and resolution at the end.

Title comes from: It’s the name of the virus in the Metaverse and the drug used by L. Bob Rife.

Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was a review of a book from a previous year

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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