the Little Red Reviewer

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While I’m enjoying Marie Brennan’s The Tropic of Serpents, you should go enjoy this interview I did with her at SFSignal. (enjoying is the understatement of the year, by the way)

and while you’re over at SFSignal, check out the podcast interview with Jeff Vandermeer.

There’s also a fun and funny Epic Geek Debates and Rants Mind Meld. I love those!

elsewhere in the blogosphere:

Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings is starting his 8th annual Once Upon A Time reading experience (wow. eight years? just WOW).

Remember the Tim Curry voiced adventure video game “Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father”? Squeee!!  They are releasing a 20th anniversary edition!

My Bookish Ways has a copy of Lockstep by Karl Schroeder up for grabs

Get ready to laugh your ass off with these YA mad-libs. According to mine, “Hippo’s Ovaries” is some kind of compliment?

 

those reviews I was working on at the beginning of the week? Yup, still working on them.  eh, it’s been one of those weeks.

hot damn that was a lot of responses to my post yesterday on how we decide what to read next!  just…. wow!  Thanks to everyone who responded, it’s going to take me a while to respond to everyone’s comments, please don’t hate me too much.

There was something that prompted that post.  I ordered a couple of titles I’ve been meaning to buy for a long time. I requested a few ARCs from publishers (I try to only request something that I KNOW I am going to read). I found some old stuff I wanted on paperback swap.

Everything showed up at the same time, nearly gave the poor mailman a coronary.  and this doesn’t include the three other ARCs I requested, which should show up any day.

Thanks to an Amazon giftcard I   purchased:

Miserere 3 parts dead

I did specifically request the Jon Sprunk, but the others were just happy surprises. Sent to me by very kind and friendly publishers:

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Open Discussion:

 

We all own a ton of books. And then we buy some more books. And then we borrow from the library or from friends. and then there is netgalley. you might have a few of ARCs sitting on the coffee table.

How do you decide what to read next?  How do you prioritize?

 

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While you are waiting with baited breath for the two book reviews I’m working on, check out these give aways. Because we all need more books, right?

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My Shelf Confessions is giving away a copy of The Book of Apex, Vol 4

And speaking of Apex Books, they are giving away a copy of Midnight, by Mari Adkins

Win a 5-pack of cozy mystery novels from My Bookish Ways, and while you’re over there, enter to win a copy of The Troop, by Nick Cutter

In celebration of World Book Day, Over the Effing Rainbow is giving away a limited edition, signed copy of Sebastien de Castell’s debut Traitor’s Blade.  an autographed, numbered copy? holy crap!

traitors blade

like Tad Williams? Tachyon Publications is giving away an ARC of The Very Best of Tad Williams

Win a copy of James. S.A. Corey’s Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist

There’s a copy of Hounded by Kevin Hearne up for grabs through Goodreads. While you’re over there, make sure to enter for a copy of Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Outherbound

Over at She Wolf Reads, you can win a copy of Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong!

intrigued by A Darkling Sea by James L. Cambias? I am.  Let’s go win a copy over at Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing

a copy of Jaime Lee Moyer’s debut novel Delia’s Shadow is being given away at Rainy Day Ramblings

 

 

You’re sick of hanging out here, I know.  So go check out some of these excellent posts elsewhere that touch on Vintage Science Fiction!

My Reader’s Block reviews THE POISON BELT by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and SHAKESPEARE’S PLANET by Clifford Simak

Books Without Any Pictures reviews ASSASSIN OF GOR by John Norman

AQ’s Reviews discussions the first issue of CAPTAIN FUTURE

Over on the Apex Books blog, M. Asher Cantrell shows us why it’s time for a  Rebirth of 1950s Sci-Fi and Sarah M. Harvey talks about connections between Modern Art and Science Fiction.

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations reviews  YESTERDAY’S CHILDREN (also published as Starhunt) by David Gerrold

This is How She Fight Start reviews THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL by Ira Levin

Omphaloskepsis reviews EYE IN THE SKY by Philip K. Dick

Steven M. Long asks Is there a Right Age to Recommend Older Science Fiction?

Two Dudes in an Attic reviews STORM OVER WARLOCK by Andre Norton

Wow, where did the beginning of December go?  Christmas is right around the corner, and then January. . .  and then, well, January is sort of the start of some explosions for me.  So in preparation for that, I won’t be doing much in the way of formal book reviews and expected blog posts for the rest of the year.  Sure, I’ve got another read along post (N.K. Jemisin is holy shit AMAZING btw), a “best of the year” post, and one more book review in the works, but I’m taking the rest of December easy.   Taking a breather to mentally prepare for January.

That said, let’s just have some fun discussions.   I’ll shamelessly steal discussion questions from i09,  Sunday Salon posts, and discussion memes, and we can just sit around and chat in the comments.

First random discussion question:

What’s your guilty pleasure in books?

this was on my mind recently, because I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that super hot sex scenes is a major guilty pleasure of mine.  No thanks to reading The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which for not having a ton of actual sex, has a ton of insanely steamy scenes.

I also have a major weakness for snarky, swear word filled dialog.  But that’s not so much a guilty pleasure, as I can find it just about anywhere.

 

Your turn!  Take it over in the comments!

The Lives of Tao, by Wesley Chu

published in April 2013

where I got it: purchased new

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What would you do if you started hearing voices in your head?  How about if those voices saved your life, and then helped you improve your life?  You’d listen to them. . .   right?

The Lives of Tao follows a sort of Hero’s Journey (which I have a major weakness for), and so often in tales like this the protagonist is already hero material – they’re in good physical condition from page one, perhaps already have weapons and or military training, it’s almost as if that person has been planning their entire life about one day being called up for a Hero’s Journey.  Not so with Roen Tan.   He’s lazy, unambitious, in terribly physical condition, and has self esteem issues. He firmly lives in the same real world you and I inhabit – crappy job, annoying boss, messy apartment, and he lives on frozen meals.  He’s the last guy in the world to buy into the fact that aliens have been among us for centuries, the last guy on Earth you’d want to invite on a Hero’s Journey.  Can I tell you how refreshing that was? It was really freaking refreshing.

Roen isn’t going crazy, but he is hearing voices. The alien Quasing have been among humanity for eons, riding along in our minds and bodies, helping to nudge humanity forward.  They only want to get back home, and to do that, we’ve got to become a space faring race.  Over the centuries though, factions have arisen, and the Quasing have split into the peaceful Prophus, and the more aggressive and warlike Genjix.   They’ve inhabited many of our famous leaders and innovators, such as Ghengis Khan, Shakespeare, Cardinal Richelieu,  how many people who influenced our culture and shaped history did so because they had a Quasing guiding them?

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Well, every month is scifi – fantasy month around here, isn’t it?  Yeah, but this month is soooper speshul, because I get to participate in Sci-Fi Month hosted by Rinn Reads!  What she’s put together is nothing short of amazing – fifty bloggers, over 20 authors, even publishers!  Go check it this incredible schedule she’s got going, there is everything from Doctor Who to H. G. Wells to e-book giveaways to Orphan Black discussions to Final Fantasy video games, really, just everything.  don’t tell io9 about this, they’ll be jealous.

And what have I got in store for you?

hmmm…. hows about some author interviews, a guest post, some Kage Baker awesomeness, a Cory Doctorow review, buckets of short fiction, and oh yeah, an announcement about everyone’s favorite January blogging activity hosted by yours truly.  Not to mention we’re up to our eyeballs in our read along of Scott Lynch’s The Republic of Thieves.

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Edited to add the answers to the questions Rinn put up on her intro post for SciFi Month:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

1. I’m in my 30s,  live in the Midwest of the US, and my apartment looks like a library threw up.  I just can’t stop getting and reading books!   In the last few years I started attended small science fiction and fantasy conventions, and have gotten hooked on that too. My  blog focuses mainly on SF/F book reviews, and I write the occasional column over at SFSignal.

 

2. How long have you been a fan of sci-fi?

Loved scifi as a kid, grew up watching Star Wars on VHS (ha! i just dated myself!).   Got out of it for a bit when I was in my 20s, and then fell back into hardcore around age 30. Once I finally learned that there is more to fantasy than Lord of the Rings (I’m not a fan. at all. it’s cool, you can boo me off the stage), I fell hard for fantasy too.

 

3. Why do you like sci-fi, and what is your favourite thing about it?

I love science fiction because everything is possible.  No one ever says “no, you can’t do that”.  I love that science fiction is a safe place to explore dangerous subjects.  I love that in science fiction I can be anyone, go anywhere, do everything. I open that book and I can leave my boring, unfulfilling dayjob behind.

4. Favourite books/games/films/TV shows in the genre?

Some of my favorite authors are Kage Baker, Catherynne Valente, Scott Lynch, Jeff Vandermeer, China Mieville, John Love, Steven Brust, Frank Herbert, and Iain Banks. I tend to enjoy space opera, and while I don’t usually go for violent or action heavy stories, I do love the darker stuff.   I’m a HUGE fan of the Alien movie franchise and old school Star Wars. my Doctor is number ten. ;)

5. What are your plans for Sci-Fi Month?

In the pipeline already, I’ve got an awesome interview with Gareth Powell, an interview with the editors and publisher of the upcoming War Stories military scifi anthology, a review of Makers by Cory Doctorow, a review of a collection of Kage Baker short stories put out by Tachyon publications, and hopefully I’ll have time to finish and review a Peter Watts short story collection too.

 

 

Yay November!  it’s got more than just pie and turkeys, you know. ;)

mmm.... PIE.

mmm…. PIE.

mmm.... tur-HOLY SHIT IS THAT WHAT A TURKEY LOOKS LIKE? WE EAT WEIRD LOOKING BIRD-THINGS?

mmm…. tur-HOLY SHIT IS THAT WHAT A TURKEY LOOKS LIKE? WE EAT WEIRD LOOKING BIRD-THINGS?

starship haikuStarship and Haiku, but Somtow Sucharitkul

published in 1981

where I got it: purchased used

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It’s been a week for weird fiction, that’s for sure. Starship And Haiku came home with me from the used bookstore because it looked oh so strange. And as far as strangeness, it didn’t disappoint. A post apocalyptic story, Starship and Haiku has something to say about clashing cultures, honor, communication, and survival. It succeeds grandly in the sense that it’s ambitious, unique, and strange. But does it succeed in being a good book?

When Josh was ten years old, the skies over his home in Hawaii exploded. People rushed to the shelters as fast as they could, and that was the night his brother Didi was born. Now an adult, and responsible for his brother’s welfare, Josh works at a hospice for plague victims. Called “stranges”, some plague victims suffer radiation poisoning, others have odder diseases that come with telekinesis or precognition. Even Didi is technically a strange – he’s never spoken a work, and has been diagnosed as being mentally retarded. Didi may not have the power of speech, but he’s the furthest thing from being retarded. In fact, if he could just learn to harness his inner voice and his telepathy, he could “talk” to Josh all he wanted.

One evening, Didi sees a dying beached whale, and he has a telepathic conversation with the whale. The whales are in love with death, and see death as the ultimate beautiful act. Didi doesn’t view death like that, but he respects the whale’s alien thoughts, and Didi starts understanding how to speak in the ideogram language of the whales.

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About this redhead, etc.

Redhead is a snarky, non-politically correct 30-something who reviews mostly science fiction and fantasy and talks about all sorts of other fun scifi and fantasy geekery. She once wrote a haiku that included the word triskaidekaphobia.

This blog contains adult language and strong opinions. The best way to contact her outside of this blog is twitter, where she is @redhead5318 .

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.