Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells. ★★★★
I’m not sure how I found this book, but I’m so glad that I did. It’s a kick ass science fiction story with a great world and two female leads who are both strong in their own way.
Tanegawa’s World is a company planet, controlled by TransRifts Inc, which has a monopoly on interstellar travel. Those blacklisted by the corporation tend to wind up dead. Yet some resist the might of TransRifts. Hob’s a Ghost Wolf, a mercenary biker troop that does what TransRifts won’t. They’ve run under the radar of the corporation, never directly challenging them. Then Hob finds the body of her adopted uncle out in the desert, shot in the back. The reasons are unknown, but the culprit is clear. And worse than that, his daughter and Hob’s best friend, Mags, is missing.
City of Strife by Claudie Arseneault. ★★★1/2
Trigger warning: abuse
I picked up City of Strife because I heard it was a second world fantasy that had a lot of aro and ace characters. Turns out the entire main cast is queer!
In the city of Isandor, merchant families vie for power. But a new threat looms… The Myrian Empire aims to expand, and the first step is to conquer the city-state of Isandor. Yet the merchant families will not recognize the threat the Myrian enclave poses. The only one willing to fight the Myrians are the House Dathirii, led by an idealistic young lord. People throughout the city — from the noble’s towers to the slums of the lower city — will find themselves charting the course for Isandor’s future.
Welcome back to the Leviathan Wakes read along! For prior posts, please check the tag “The Expanse Read Along.” For the other book bloggers in this read along, head over to our Goodreads group. This week covers Chapters 29 to 43, and the questions are provided by Imyril at There’s Always Room For One More.
As always, beware of spoilers!
River of Teeth by Sarah Gaiely. ★★★★
River of Teeth is more awesomeness than I thought could ever be packed into one novella. This little book is sheer fun!
I’ve been wanting to read this novella ever since I saw Sarah Gailey’s tweets about the history behind it. Basically, in 1909, America was facing two problems: a meat shortage and invasive plants in the Mississippi. Well, one U.S. congressman had a bright idea. We could import hippos to live in the Mississippi. They’d eat the invasive plants and provide a source of meat. Brilliant, right? The rest of Congress certainly thought so. The motion failed by only one vote. Presumably because someone finally pointed out that hippos are the most dangerous African mega-fauna. But if the vote had gone another way, what would America have been like? River of Teeth is a story of the American Hippo, although set earlier than the real world history that inspired it.
I’m still working on all the queer SFF short story recs! Oh my goodness, there are so many of them. But all the stories I’ve read thus far have been really great. At this point it’s likely going to be more than one list. Most likely I’ll sort stories into groups of ten for a regular column.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. ★★★★
In The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss mixes together some popular literature of the 19th century (particularly science fiction and horror) with an emphasis on female characters.
The story opens with Mary Jekyll burying her mother. Her mother’s death has left her penniless, and she has no idea what course her life will now take. Then she discovers that her mother paid a monthly sum for the care of “Hyde.” Mary immediately remembers her father’s old associate, who still has a reward out on him for information leading to his capture. She takes the information to London’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, and his associate Dr. Watson, who are themselves investigating a series of gruesome murders. Mary quickly learns two things. Firstly, “Hyde” is not her father’s old associate but his young and troublesome daughter, Diana. Secondly, the mysteries of her heritage may be bound up in the current murder case.
I’ve got an entire folder of bookmarked short stories, but it feels like for everyone I read two more get added! There’s just so many good science fiction and fantasy short stories out there that I never get to as many as I intend. However, I’m certain I’ll be reading more this month. I’m working on a list of queer SFF stories for Queership, and I asked for recommendations on twitter. Before I knew it I had a whole new folder filled to bursting with excellent stories!