the Little Red Reviewer

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We have a bottle of champagne still sitting around from New Years, and we’re waiting for a particular special occasion to open it.


Do you ever do that with a book?  Save reading it for a special occasion or a certain time, maybe when you’re on vacation, or early Sunday morning when the house is quiet, or maybe you’re waiting until the author announces the release date for the next book in the series, or you want to see the movie or the tv show first.


I’m curious – if you wait for a certain occasion or event to read a book, what is the book and why are you waiting for that particular event before you read it?


I have a third book in a trilogy that I haven’t read yet. It is a completed trilogy, and I’ve been a fan of this author for many years.  At first, I told myself I was waiting for the author to announce the release date for their next stand alone novel before I finished the trilogy. Well, that has come and gone, and the new book is getting rave reviews. I still haven’t picked up that third book. Now my excuse is that I want to find time to read books 1 and 2 back to back so I can binge read all three over the course of a week or two.  Well, I have the time, and I haven’t done it.


I think the real reason I haven’t read the third book is because once I finish the trilogy it will be over. All the lines will have been drawn on the map, the character’s story arcs will come to an end, there won’t be any more exploring to do. If I stay at the end of the 2nd book, I feel like I’m still on the frontier. I can see the end, but it’s a long way off in the distance yet.


Next weekend I should really just binge read all three, shouldn’t I?

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It’s time for another installment of five books 50 pages!  This is where I grab 5 books that I’m kinda sorta intrigued by reading just the first 50 or so pages.  The goal is that hopefully at least two will really stand out as something I want to keep reading. I’m going into these books knowing barely anything beyond them other than the back cover blurb. But I have high hopes! Last time I did five books 50 pages I discovered a book that ended up being one of my top reads for 2016.

The contestants this week are:

Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Nine Fox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

Cold Iron by Stina Leicht

Dear Sweet Filthy World by Caitlin R. Kiernan

What was YAY,  what was NAY, and what was MEH. Let’s find out!

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It’s the best,  to read  a book and love it, and seek out more by the same author, and love those books too.


It’s the best, to meet an author at a convention or a book signing, or some other event, and find out they are just the nicest person in the world.


Thanks to the internet, us fans can find out everything about the authors we read – what their early non-writing jobs were, if they did any special writing workshops, if they teach at a university anywhere, what bookstores they might be doing book signings at, what their pets look like, if they have a cool new hairstyle,  their favorite sports teams,  if they like to play videogames, if they like to garden, their family cheesecake recipe.  You get the idea. Yay internet!


Thanks to the internet, us fans can find out everything about the authors we read – their political views, if they really really like something or really really dislike it, their lifestyle, how they raise their kids, and many very personal details about their private life.   Yay internet?


Here’s where I’m going with all of this.


you read a book.  You love the book. you seek out titles by that same author that you also enjoy.


You then find out the author’s political views are the complete opposite of yours. Or they live a type of lifestyle that you don’t agree with. Or they do something regrettable at a public event and they aren’t embarrassed by what happened (or maybe are quite embarrassed, but can’t turn back the clock), or they were involved with a project that ended up being controversial, or even worse, that they don’t like cheesecake.


So, what do you do?   Do you continue to enjoy their fiction (because you liked it just find before you found out they didn’t like cheesecake, right?)?  Do you stop reading their stuff?  I guess the same could be said for artists of any kind – musicians, composers, painters, fashion designers, architects, etc.


I am not going to name names, and if you comment to this post, I do not want you to name names either.  This isn’t about any particular author, or any particular anything.   I’m just curious to know if us as readers, fans, reviewers, and critics, give a shit about the personal lives of the authors whose works we enjoy.  Or to be more specific, how much of shit do we give. Should we give a shit?   If yes, how much?



by they way? Cheesecake is awesome, and if you like cheesecake you should totally go eat some. If you don’t like cheesecake, you should go eat something that you do like.  Maybe, apple pie? or cherry pie? or pumpkin pie? or lemon meringue pie? or key lime pie? If you don’t like any of those things, umm…..  i guess that means more for me!

You guys, I can’t wait to be 80 years old.  I’ll be there in about 45 years, and by then we’ll have flying driverless cars,  our smartphones will be embedded in our skulls, we’ll have androids and robots, and we’ll be flying all over the inner solar system.


But besides all that, I can’t wait to see what “Vintage Science Fiction” will look like in 30 years. includes the following in their definition of the adjective Vintage:

representing the high quality of a past time:  vintage cars; vintage movies.


old-fashioned or obsolete: vintage jokes.


being the best of its kind: They praised the play as vintage O’Neill.


When used as an adjective, there is no specific year or time period attached to the word vintage. It’s fluid. Personally, I define “Vintage science fiction” as anything published before 1979.  The year is arbitrary, and if someone else defines Vintage science fiction differently, their definition is just as correct as mine.


Which means. . .   when I am 80 years old, someone somewhere will be defining Vintage Science Fiction as anything written before 2016.  And they’ll be discovering for the first time authors like Robert Jackson Bennett, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Iain M Banks, Julie Czerneda, and Will McIntosh.
Talk about something to celebrate!!

well, you’re month doesn’t need to be interrupted, but mine is going to be!

As I always do in mid January, this weekend I’m headed to ConFusion, a science fiction and fantasy convention held in the suburbs just outside Detroit.  If you find yourself over there, head on over to the Sheraton at 8 Mile and I-275 to hang with 900 (or more?) of your closest friends.   If your comment gets stuck in moderation, it’s because wifi will be iffy.

I’ve even got some panels!

Friday: 6pm – Panel on Alternate History

Sunday 10am:  Scifi Fantasy All Stars! Draft a team and beat the existential crisis!

Sunday 11am: How the F*** do I make this?  Answering your cosplay prop questions!

For a few hours on Saturday, I will be walking around the hotel cosplaying a My Little Pony.   Making papercraft ears is fun!


Lessons I’ve learned from attending previous conventions:

dress in layers. one panel room will be freezing, the next will be boiling.

haven’t worn high heels in a year? Probably not a good idea to wear them to a convention.

drink as much water as you can. the humidity in convention hotels is approximately minus a million percent.

bring snacks to stash in your hotel room, and to have in your tote bag. snacks are your friend.

People watching is THE BEST.



It’s time for another Blind Date with a Book give away!  but this time, they are all Vintage science fiction books!

I’ll tell you a little about the book, but not the title or the author, and you get to decide if the book is worth a blind date! Here’s how the give away works:

  •  put in the comments what number book(s) you’re interested in. put #1, #2, etc. You can enter for more than one.
  • if WordPress doesn’t prompt you to enter your e-mail address, please give me some way to get a hold of you, such as twitter, e-mail, facebook, or to use  a contact page on your website
  • Give away ends on Friday Jan 27th, with winners being announced shortly thereafter
  • due to the costs of international shipping, unfortunately this is a US only give away. I love you everyone else, I just can’t afford to mail things to you!


Ermagerd I’m such a nerd, I typed up the descriptions on my circa 1940 typewriter.


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The first week of Vintage SciFi Month has flown by, and the reviews and photos and instagrams and comments and twitter conversations are flying in!  Here’s an incomplete round up of blog posts, reviews, give aways, read alongs, and other goodies from the first week of Vintage month:

a review of Transfinite – The Essential A.E. Van Vogt  at Tip the Wink

The Tritonian Ring by L. Sprague de Camp review posted at Castalia House

Mervi’s Book Reviews discusses End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov

Join and catch up with the Dorsai! read along at Red Star Reviews

While you’re over at Red Star Reviews, learn how you can win a copy of The Book of Frank Herbert, a fantastic little collection of Herbert short stories

Ian Sales has a really excellent guest post at Science Fiction and other Suspect Ruminations about scifi writers Leslie Perri, Alice Eleanor Jones, and Sonya Dorman.


Have I missed you?   Click the “Vintage Science Fiction” tab at the top of the screen and ad your link in the comments!

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FTC Stuff

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.