the Little Red Reviewer

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While you’re patiently waiting for reviews that I’m writing (I’m writing them, I swear I am!), here’s some fun stuff from ’round the web!

at SFSignal a Mind Meld roundtable on The Intersection of SF/F Games and Genre Fiction, curated by Paul Weimer

Have you checked out the All Good Things podcast yet?

My Bookish Ways is looking to add Suspense and Mystery reviewers to her team

Far Beyond Reality reviews Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Over the Effing Rainbow reviews The Boy Who Wept Blood by Den Patrick

Lynn’s Book Blog shows some love for Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire trilogy and what makes it a future classic

Fantasy Review Barn has a nice review of Watersmeet by Rachel Cotterill

I’m loving these gloriously geeky Valentine’s over at Beamer Books

The Book Stop reviews The Martian by Andy Weir (a book I freakin’ LOVED)

Civilian Reader reviews The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes

The Guilded Earlobe reviews The World House by Guy Adams

and here’s a silly owl. or possibly it’s a muppet. i can’t tell.

owls13

Confusion ProgramA few weekends ago I was at Confusion, a fan run scifi convention in Detroit Michigan. This is my fourth year attending Confusion, and every year there are more “hey, great to see you!”’s, more hugs, more great conversations, more random meetings with people I was hoping to run into (but didn’t know what they looked like until now), and more happy surprises.  Long story short is that Confusion is a fan-freaking-tastic convention, and if you live within driving distance of Detroit, you should consider going.

 

this year’s Confusion was a whole new con for me, for two reasons:

 

I was on panels

and

People knew who I was

 

We arrived after dinner on Friday, just in time for Opening Ceremonies.  That event leads into the Dessert Reception, where you can get pastries and cookies and such and mingle with the special guests. I was hoping to introduce myself to Karen Lord, because I’d recently interviewed her at SFSignal. I caught up with her as she was finishing a conversation with someone else, and introduced myself. And she knew who I was! We had a very nice chat and I may have nearly passed out.

Karen Lord reading from The Best of All Possible Worlds

Karen Lord reading from The Best of All Possible Worlds

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wow, it’s the end of January already! How did that happen??

 

As it turned out, the majority of what I read for Vintage Month was published in the 60s and 70s.  I got a taste of New Wave, more psychology studies than I can shake a stick at, our fears of overpopulation, our hopeful expectations of future technology, and science fiction as written through the lens of the Vietnam War.  My focus on that time period was accidental, but i’m happy it worked out that way.
I want to thank everyone who participated in Vintage Science Fiction Month this year. Whether you wrote reviews, did a discussion or a guest post, or simply retweeted something tagged #VintageSciFi that looked interesting, it’s because of YOU that Vintage SciFi Month was a success.

A huge Thank You goes out to:

Vintage SF badgeDrunken Dragon Reviews

Book Haven

Lesley Conner

Uncertain Tales

The Broken  Bullhorn

Andrew Robins (for the guest post AND the loan of the DVDs!)

Antyphayes

Bruce Baugh

Battered, Tattered, Yellowed and Creased

Fate SF

Howling Frog Books

Tethyan Books

Dab of Darkness

this is how she fight start

Over the Effing Rainbow

Susan Hated Literature

The Bastard Title

Two Dudes in an Attic

My Reader’s Block

Stainless Steel Droppings

Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

Science Fiction Times

Lynn’s Book Blog

Nashville Book Worm

RedStar Reviews

The Finch and Pea

Bookishly Witty

 

 

Looking for some more Vintage SciFi goodies? I’ve got you covered!  Remember, it’ll be a lot easier for everyone to find your post if you link to it in the “Vintage SciFi Not-a-Challenge” tab up top, or tweet it with hashtag #VintageScifi

check these out!

 

Bruce Baugh reviewed Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow

Over at The Bastard Title is a fantastic review of Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree Jr.

Tethyan Books enjoyed the Retro Hugo Award winning Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein

Over the Effing Rainbow continues reading through Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Science Fiction Times reviews Isaac Asimov’s first published story, “The Callistan Menace”

Book Haven reviews StarMan’s Son by Andre Norton, and suggests this title as a great starting point for her work

Over at Dab of Darkness, Nlrymrtl reviews the audio books of Possible to Rue by Piers Anthony, and “The Book of Beasts”, which was written in 1900 by E. Nesbit

At The Finch and Pea is an in depth review of The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

Bookishly Witty reviews The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

My Reader’s Block reads the terrifying Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

Susan Hated Literature offers a review of Inverted World by Christopher Priest (also? gorgeous cover art!)

Pornokitch entertainingly discusses the History of the Hugo and Nebula awards

 

 

 

2014 has been a pretty good year for me.  Personally, I’m damn impressed with how many of these books were actually published in 2014. As a bonus, there’s even a few novellas and short stories in here. In no particular order, here are my favorite reads of 2014!

Favorite Novels:

city_of_stairs-cover1

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (2014) – that this book is on my list should surprise no one. And if you haven’t read it yet, seriously, get with the program. This is one of those amazing books that defies genre categorization, it just *is*.  To give you a big picture without spoiling anything, it’s about watching your worldview dissolve before your eyes, and understanding that games can be played with many sets of rules. Also? it’s simply fucking amazing.

gemsigns

Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter (2014) – This is probably the most important book I read in 2014. Remember when Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother took high school government classes by storm? I wish the same for this book.  Gemsigns touches on enforced marginalization, building (and breaking down) cultures of racism and classism and fear, and religiously and politically promoted hatred, and handles it in a blunt and emotional way. Also? fucking awesome. And for what it’s worth, I cried at the end.

vandermeer annihilation

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer  (2014) –  I’ve been a Vandermeer fan for a long, long time (yet somehow I can still eat mushrooms). Annihilation was strange, surreal, and seemed to be magnetically attuned to me. The words in the tunnel rang for me like a tuning fork. And there was just something about characters who don’t have names. I am a jerk, however, because I own but haven’t yet read the third book in the series.

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Stephen GeeToday I’m thrilled to be talking with Stephen Gee, who recently released his debut novel Wage Slave Rebellion.  I’ve known about Stephen for a while, I just didn’t realize I knew him. Lemme ‘splain.  My husband watches a lot of anime, reads a lot of anime reviews online, and talks about those reviewers whose reviews he follows and opinions he respects. The name “Stilts” kept coming up over and over again. So I started following Stilts on twitter, and we’d tweet back and forth from time to time (my anime preferences seem to be begin and end with Hiromu Arakawa, but whatever).

I eventually got a very nice e-mail from Stilts, and we chatted some more. Turns out his name is Stephen,  he’s really cool, and he’s got a novel out!

Wage Slave Rebellion is Stephen Gee‘s debut novel, and you can head over to Random Curiosity for the big reveal party.  Head over there, check it out, then come on back here for my interview with Stephen.

Ready? Let’s go!

wage slave rebellion cover

Little Red Reviewer: Congratulations on your debut novel Wage Slave Rebellion! What’s the quick elevator pitch for the book?

Stephen Gee: Here’s what I’ve been telling people: “Wage Slave Rebellion is an urban fantasy adventure set in a sword & sorcery world. It’s about three friends who hate their crappy jobs, so they decide to become monster-slaying adventurers instead. It’s like Terry Pratchett spliced with a badass action anime.”

It’s sort of an old-meets-new, a medieval-style fantasy setting (swords, spells, monsters, etc), but with modern themes such as job dissatisfaction, refusing to accept mediocrity, and living life to the fullest that many people grapple with today. Add in explosive action and plenty of funny banter, and it’s a lot of fun!

LRR: Who is your favorite character in the book? Who was the hardest to write?

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I’ve been looking for a new job lately.  no worries, it’s cool.  I’ve had some really good interviews, gone to some great networking events, and read about a bazillion websites on how to make your resume fricken’ awesome.  After looking through a bunch of sample resumes of different styles, I starting wondering what fictional characters’ resumes might look like. What would they highlight as their accomplishments? How would they make their mundane jobs look awesome? How would they “brand” themselves? What kind of e-mail address would they have? How much information about themselves would they put on their resumes?  Might I be competing against some of these people at my next interview?

generic image stolen from the interwebs

generic image stolen from the interwebs

 

I ended up making resumes for Paul Atreides, Miriam Black, and Locke Lamora.  Much fun and silliness was had. Observe!

 

Paul Atreides
The Keep
Arrakeen
Arrakis (Dune)
email: kwisatzhaderach@arakkis.com

Experience

 

Emperor
Proven track record of excellent leadership abilities by  completing complex projects by bringing multiple parties and departments together. Fostered team atmosphere that promoted diversity and respected environmental concerns.
– Relocated Imperial Capitol to Arrakis
– Exposed  inefficiencies in outgoing leadership.
– Organized the tribes towards a uniting goal
– Developed and implemented new system of power and currency

.
Duke’s Son (heir)
This position included extensive training in Mentat capabilities, weaponry, music, and diplomacy.
– Completed challenging training modules
– Promoted a self starting and enthusiastic attitude with associates
– Conscientiously observed Duke Leto to best understand the Landsraad

 

Education
Homeschooled, privately educated.

Additional Skills
Licensed on Ornithopters and Carryalls of most makes and models (VFR and IFR)
Highly proficient with crysknife and lasgun
Prescient

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2014 Hugo Awards

I reviewed some Hugo nominated stuff. Click here for the list.

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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.