Tag Archives: fantasy

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

This is the second book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. The basic principle behind them is Victorian lady becomes a naturalist studying dragons. Pushes all my delight buttons right there!

Published: 2014

Genre: historical fantasy

Length: 331 pages

Setting: three years after the events of A Natural History of Dragons, mostly in Bayembe (which feels like an African country) Continue reading

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The Call of Chewing Gum by Russell Reed

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: July, 2016 in Mothership Zeta: Issue 4

Genre: fantasy

Setting: Darienburg, Connecticut, present day Continue reading

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Ravens of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson

This is the sixth book in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon series that started with The Mists of Avalon. I’ve always enjoyed Bradley’s writing and picked that book up a while ago. Paxson finished up the series when Bradley died. I happened to see this book at the library when it first came out and picked it up, even though I hadn’t read all the intervening books.

Published: 2007

Genre: historical fantasy

Length: 394 pages

Setting: first century Britain Continue reading

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Fire in the Mist by Holly Lisle

I picked a random book off my Kindle to read during our family bike trip. I checked to make sure this was at least the first book in a series, but knew nothing else about it when I started.

Published: 1992

Genre: fantasy

Length: 291 pages Continue reading

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Short Stories by John Zaharick

This is the last group of stories from the 2014 Campbellian Anthology. It’s only taken me three years to finish – so I’m a slow short story reader.

Dysmorphic

Published: April, 2013 in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review

Genre: science fiction

Setting: Earth, near future

Summary: Lisa is a sensory network array controller. She feels much more comfortable controlling the robot arrays than in her own skin. She finally feels comfortable in her body after returning her consciousness from an array in the Gulf of Mexico.

Final thoughts: I feel like I’m missing something in this story. We get flashbacks of Lisa’s life and how uncomfortable she is in her skin and then suddenly, she’s fine? What was so special about that particular assignment that allowed her to slip back into her skin and be happy in it for the first time ever? I don’t know, so I end the story unsatisfied.

Title comes from: The narrator was unhappy with her body shape, and the author used the term dysmorphic to describe her state of mind.

Ghost Gardening

Published: January, 2013 in Lost and Lonely

Genre: fantasy

Setting: generic location (felt like the U.S. but not really specific), present day

Summary: Our narrator plays a game with their significant other – find the strangest book you can in a used bookstore and buy it for your partner. They’ve found the best one yet – A Guide to Ghost Gardening. Alternating with snippets from the book, we learn the partner has died and the narrator has had a hard time getting over that death.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed the contrast of the crazy gardening book (if you’re trying to make a ghost garden, you need to get the proper energies in the ground to attract ghostly elements) with the more mundane reminisces of the narrator. For a bit, the narrator seems to have found a haunted house with a ghost garden already in existence (there are salamanders everywhere), but then they move on.

One interesting point I only noticed as I started writing up the review was the gender of the narrator and their partner is never mentioned. I read it as having a female narrator, but I think that’s only because I am female. I wonder if it would feel male to a male reader?

Title comes from: The title of the strange book the narrator found and was excerpted throughout the story.

 

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Wolf Speaker by Tamora Pierce

This is the second book in the Immortals series, that started with Wild Magic. Miss Adventure downloaded the audiobook and played it for me on the way to gymnastics practices. I ended up finishing it on my own.

Published: 1994

Genre: YA fantasy

Length: 182 pages

Setting: the province of Dunlath within Tortall, soon after the events of Wild Magic Continue reading

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The Penitent Damned by Django Wexler

This is the next story included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology. There’s only one author left to read on the anthology. Luckily, I found a 2017 collection of authors eligible for the 2017 Campbell Award for New Writers. It’s only available until July 17, 2017, so download it today if you’re interested.

Published: June, 2013 on io9, and you can also find it on Amazon

Genre: fantasy

Length: 20 pages

Setting: Vordan, a fantastical, medieval-style city Continue reading

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