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Book Review: Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts

28 Dec

 

Living up to the standards of your mother is no easy thing sometimes. Especially when you are Friday Valentina, daughter of Tina Valentina. Tina Valentina broke barriers as a girl reporter interviewing the Australian superhero Solar and breaking news about Australian superheroes for decades. To this day, Tina Valentina is THE Girl Reporter. That’s a lot to live up to.

Living in the 21st century, instead of writing for outfits like Women’s Weekly, Friday has a YouTube channel where she covers superheroes in her own way, like mother, like daughter. Hey, she’s just gotten one million hits on her channel. Friday’s huge! She’s also grown up in a world where superheroes are real and a thing, and she is possibly the daughter of one, or at least all the gossip and tabloids suggest so anyway. Her mother doesn’t talk about that either.  

So in a 21st century world where superheroes are a thing and you are trying to follow in your mother’s trailblazing path…and your mother suddenly disappears, then your course of action is clear: Use your skills and existing connections to Australia’s superheroes to go find her. Rescue Mom, get the story. Even if dimension hopping is involved. Even if secrets about your Mom’s history, and the history of Australian superheroes get exposed in the process. Continue reading

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Book Review: The Red Men by Matthew de Abaitua

22 Dec

About a third of the way through The Red Men, Matthew de Abaitua’s ravishing new-old (I’ll explain in a moment) cyberpunk nightmare, is very likely the creepiest scene I’ve ever encountered in literature. Not just in genre fiction. In literature. I’m not going to spoil it for you. You’ll know it when you hit it. And your brain will leap out of your skull and try to escape the building, flopping and squelching across the floor until it’s stuck hurling itself ineffectually against a door or gate or other obstacle. Help me.

You’ll want to chase after it so you can read the rest of the book.

Probably. Continue reading

Book Review: Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

17 Dec

Benjanun Sriduangkaew creates a fascinating and very loose retelling of The Snow Queen folktale with Winterglass, a high fantasy novella that infuses steampunk technology and an interesting form of magic.  With gorgeous prose and a refreshing perspective on fantasy in general, Sriduangkaew’s unique take on a classic tale creates a captivating narrative with twists, turns, and deadly secrets.  Sruduangkaew’s own-voices retelling features an entirely POC cast and lots of queer rep, set in Southeast Asia.  It’s a relatively quick read, and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon in the world of ice and intrigue. Continue reading

Paul Weimer’s Best of 2017 and Award Eligibility Post

13 Dec

The year 2017. What a year, huh?

Your humble correspondent was named the 2017 Down Under Fan Fund recipient. This means that I got to go on a subsidized trip to Lexicon, the 2017 New Zealand National SF convention, and Continuum, the 2017 Australia National SF convention. I’ve talked about it here, and on the podcast, and you can always still for a $7 donation get yourself a copy of the DUFF report. All donations go to the Fund so that in 2018, a NZ/AUS fan will come to the United States in a reciprocal trip to the one I took this year. Continue reading

Horror review: Penny Reeve on A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

10 Dec

Although she’s been a name within the young adult horror/fantasy scene for a while now, Frances Hardinge was recently projected into the mainstream public gaze when her novel The Lie Tree won the 2016 Costa Book of the Year Prize. After such a bar was set with her last novel, Hardinge’s fans waited with bated breath for her newest, A Skinful of Shadows. Luckily it is an intricate and masterfully told coming-of-age tale, full of intrigue and more than a little creepy, which lives up to expectations. Plus, it was nominated for the Waterstones Book of the Year Award 2017. Take that, Costa.

Continue reading

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