the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Posted on: July 3, 2014

Due to unforeseen circumstances involving dayjobbery, I will be taking a short hiatus from posting book reviews.  Do I have a ton of books (and Hugo stuff) I’ve read and desperately want to write up reviews for? holy cow YES.  do I have the mental energy to do so? nope. all my mental energy is going elsewhere right now, and it’s made me unable to write intelligent content that meets my standards.


the Hubby and I are attending Anime Midwest in Chicago this weekend, so you can expect some goofy tweets over the weekend and fun photos posted next week, but other than that… well, we’ll just have to take it day by day and see what happens.


dude, it’s July 4th weekend!  if you’re in the US, go see some awesome fireworks!  but don’t set off any in your backyard, I don’t want anyone to accidentally set a fire or get hurt.





I had the fun job of asking “What were the best SF/F titles of the first half of 2014?” in my latest Mind Meld over at SFSignal.  So of course, I asked a ton of blogger buddies!

Head over to SFsignal to read the whole article, and to find out what bloggers like A Fantastical Librarian, Oh Magic Hour, Books Without Any PicturesLynnsBooks, Violin In a Void, There Were Books Involved, and others chose as their favorite reads of the first half of 2014!


so, what were your favorites?  Comment over at SFSignal or right here, and let’s make some TBRs explode!




pen palPen Pal, by Francesca Forrest

published Feb 2014

where I got it: Received review copy from the author














From the cover art, my husband thought this novel might be a romance. Personally, I had no idea what to expect. But I was hooked about 5 pages in. It was as if at the same moment, Em threw a fishing line into the ocean, and Kaya lowered a line into the lava lake, and they both caught me and reeled me in. Good thing this book has quality binding, otherwise my copy wouldn’t be in such good shape by now because I pretty much carried it around everywhere.


I very recently read Long Hidden, which features marginalized characters and stories. Everything in Long Hidden was historical fiction, stories and situations that should never be relegated to the margins, but still, are history. I didn’t plan to read the books concurrently, but while reading Pen Pal I watched marginalization in action, happening right in front of my eyes.  And it was shockingly sobering.  Due to adult content, Long Hidden probably isn’t appropriate for the under fifteen crowd. But Pen Pal is perfect for the YA crowd, and for any reader looking for stories from the margins.  And if you’re just looking for a damn good book with two empowering women, Pen Pal is that too.


On a lark, young Em puts a message in a bottle, and throws it into the ocean.

“If you find it, please write back to me at this address. Tell me what the world is like where you are”,

says the end of the note. From her home in a floating community in the Gulf of Mexico, the bottle finds it’s way to a tiny island nation near Malaysia and into the hands of Kaya, a political prisoner whose prison hangs over a volcano.


Written in an epistolary fashion, Pen Pal is the intersection of Em’s and Kaya’s life, and it is fantastic story. What could a twelve year old girl from a  floating community have in common with a suspected insurrectionist? More than you might think.

Read the rest of this entry »

Portal Cake (with recipe!), Klava, Stackfalter Sturton cheese, Romulan Ale* and more.  Have you got a favorite food or drink from a scifi or fantasy?  Check out the latest Mind Meld on SFSignal on our avorite science fiction foods and drinks to see who suggested which!

*Who provided the answer Romulan Ale? Vic Mignogna. The name might not ring a bell, but I bet you know who he is:

He’s the voice of Edward Elric. I spent about five years being more than a little obsessed with this manga and the first anime series.  Would still love to crossplay Edward sometime.




He plays Capt Kirk on Star Trek Continues. This project is just buckets of fun.


star trek continues



I muppet flailed when he e-mailed me back.


Shhhhh!!!  No one tell John at SFSignal that sometimes I invite people to MindMeld that I am totally fangirl crushing on.


I’ve been all over the place this week. Internet = awesomesauce. warning: clickbait has been shown to make some people’s TBR’s explode.

Head over to the Apex Publications blog for a nice little column I wrote about International Speculative Fiction that’s been translated into English (you know, Murakami, Lem, Tidbeck, etc). Whole bunch of links at the bottom to free translated short stories.

I was involved in a super fun Mind Meld over at SFSignal on our dream anthologies. This one was really fun to think about and play around with! Man, James comes up with the best damn MM ideas.  Some fabulous other bloggers on the panel as well, including My Bookish Ways, Dab of Darkness, Not Yet Read, and The Galaxy Express.

oh, and I was on TV.

Today Public Access tv, tomorrow the WORLD!

I was invited onto a local television show, Monday Night Live, to talk about historical fiction. Certainly not my area of expertise….. but I think I held my own pretty decently.  I totes name dropped Stephanie Saulter and Will McIntosh, whose last names I’m sure I mispronounced.  I may have also nearly given Keith, the show’s host, a near heart attack with all my talk of genetically modified people and psychic aliens.  Which of course have tons to do with historical fiction. ;)

Show is about an hour, click here to view.

Monday Night Live 5-12-14


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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00012]

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


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



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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.