Tag Archives: speculative fiction

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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Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

This is the third book in The Reckoners series. You’ll want to start at the beginning of the series (Steelheart and then Firefight) if you’re interested in the books. I successfully convinced Mr. Curiosity to read the series, so I read this book after he finished it. Bonus, it was published this year so it counts toward my new books challenge

Published: 2016

Genre: post-apocalyptic YA

Length: 421 pages

Font: Apollo

Setting: mostly Ildithia, in the U.S. southwest, soon after the events the events of Firefight Continue reading

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Take a Left at the Cretaceous by Mark Finn

Continuing my Monday short fiction reviews, it’s time for another story from Rayguns Over Texas

Published: 2013 in Rayguns Over Texas.

Genre: speculative fiction

Setting: the Texas-Mexico border, near future Continue reading

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At the Earth’s Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Published: 1914 in serial form, 1922 in novel form

Genre: classic speculative fiction (I don’t know if hollow Earth fiction is fantasy or science fiction, so I’m just going to go generic with speculative fiction). It is old enough you can read it for free from Project Gutenberg.

Length: 277 pages

Setting: mostly Pellucidar, the kingdom at the center of the Earth, early 1900s

Interest: A random book chosen off my Kindle because my Kindle was lighter to carry around Chicago than the other book I was reading. Continue reading

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The Grande Complication by Christopher Reynaga

Published: in Writers of the Future Volume 29

Genre: speculative fiction – you could make a case for steampunk possibly, since it has the right setting

Length: 22 pages

Setting: London, probably early 1900s/late 1800s

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology Continue reading

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The Cave by Sean F. Lynch

cov1303lg-250Published: March/April edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 23 pages

Setting: mostly inside a cave, near a small village in a temperate region of Earth

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: A boy and his father are trapped in cave, but there’s more to this cave than meets the eye. You seem to age much more quickly within the cave than you should. Also, it seems to affect your ability to make good choices that would lead you out of the cave. The boy is able to escape the cave, and he promises to send help back for his father, but weather prevents their return. The boy goes on to live an itinerant life, eventually ending back in his home village where he’s drawn to the cave.

Final thoughts: This is a creepy story. What is it about the cave that draws you in and then keeps you there? There’s rumbling within the cave that’s never explained, and the two always seems to find supplies when they need it. Where do they come from? And why does the father make choices that keep him in the cave when they’re so close to escape? And then it cycles all around again and the boy is the father? So many questions, but they don’t ruin the story. They just make me wonder and try to figure out the answers.

Title comes from: The setting of the story

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Athlete’s Foot by Bill Ferris

Published: February 2013 in Crowded Magazine

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 12 pages

Setting: Mostly around Minsk, present day

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: The narrator is a basketball player in a the Baltic Basketball League. He played one season for the pros, but wasn’t very successful. Things aren’t too bad in Minsk until LaWilliam Morris joins his team. Morris was on the Milwaukee Bucks with the narrator, and decided the narrator would be the perfect gopher then and now. Needless to say, the narrator isn’t too pleased to have Morris on his team again. Things go south with Morris, quickly, and it seems to be tied to his feet. Morris can’t stop itching them. Turns out, they’ve been eaten away by a fungus until there’s only bones left.

Final thoughts: A highly appropriate time to read this story, considering the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be decided tonight. Nothing special, or too science fiction-y about the story, beyond the gross fungus on his feet. The narrator worries he’s caught it, since he touched Morris’ feet to see what was wrong with them.

Title comes from: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the feet that causes itchiness. This was the worst case of athlete’s foot ever.

 

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