Review of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu. ★★★1/2 While I never made it through The Grace of Kings, I’ve discovered that I quite like some of Ken Liu’s shorter fiction. The Paper Menagerie is an anthology of his shorter fiction, much of which has science fiction or fantasy elements. The stories tend to be concept focused rather than…

Review of The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. ★★★1/2 If a queer retelling of The Little Mermaid is of interest, then you should check out The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L. Huang. Only, think the Hans Christian Anderson original, not the happily ever after Disney version. Dr. Cadence Mbell has devoted her life to studying the atargati, the sentient, deep sea…

Review of Runtime by S.B. Divya

Runtime by S.B. Divya. ★★★ In a future where America’s class system is even more stratified, Marmeg Guinto is determined to run in the Minerva Sierra Challenge, a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada where all the contestants have cybernetic enhancements. But most of the contestants also have the newest gear and corporate sponsorships. Marmeg has none of these….

Review of Persona by Genevieve Valentine

Persona by Genevieve Valentine. ★★★ Persona‘s a near future thriller that just never grabbed my interest. In Valentine’s version of the future, each country has a Face, a celebrity ambassador who represents in the country in the media but doesn’t actually get to make decisions. Suyana’s the face of United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, a young country that desperately needs…

Review of The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden. ★★★1/2 The Prey of Gods combines futuristic South Africa with hallucinogenic drugs, ancient demi-goddesses, and AI revolts. It’s an eclectic collection that makes for a truly unique science fiction story. The best comparison I can think of is Neil Gaiman crossed with Lauren Beukes. Sydney’s a demi-goddess who thrives off…

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. ★★★★ Trigger warning: Sexual assault Parable of the Talents somehow manages to be even darker than the first book, Parable of the Sower. Of course, I knew it’d be dark. Octavia Butler’s work is always intense. But even prepared for it, Parable of the Talents was difficult to read in places. Like it’s predecessor, Parable…

Review of The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig. ★★★ This YA time traveling book is the sequel to The Girl from Everywhere, and I suggest the series be read in order. While I find the time traveling method quite novel, reading The Ship Beyond Time made me realize I wasn’t caring about the characters enough to want to continue with this series….

Review of Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. ★★★★ I’ve heard a lot about Parable of the Sower. I only narrowly missed out on reading it in high school — the freshmen English teachers began teaching it when I was a sophomore. I’ve also heard people say that it’s eerily accurate to the United States after November 2016. I’ll…

Review of Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee. ★★★★ Last year, I read and loved Ninefox Gambit, a stunning military space opera. This year, I had the pleasure of reading the sequel, Raven Stratagem, and may have loved it even more than the first book. I highly encourage you to read these books, but they need to be read in order….

Review of Monstress: Awakening by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress: Awakening. Writing by Marjorie Liu and art by Sana Takeda. ★★★★ Monstress is a darkly enchanting story told in comic book format. I read a bound version that collected the first six issues into something more akin to a graphic novel. I’m not generally much of a comic book reader (although I’ve picked up a bit of Ms….

Review of Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho

Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho. ★★★★ Spirits Abroad is a delightful collection of short stories by Zen Cho. I’d previously enjoyed her novel The Sorcerer and the Crown and a couple of her short stories (specifically “Prudence and the Dragon” and “The Perseverance of Angela’s Past Life“). Zen Cho is a Malaysian fantasy author who often combines English fantasy…

Review of The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun

The Root by Na’amen Gobert Tilahun. ★★★1/2 The Root is an intriguing blend of urban and portal fantasy with a wonderfully diverse cast. Erik’s a former teen star living in San Francisco. He thought his life was complicated enough, but now he’s finding out that he’s Blooded – descended from gods and gifted with powers he doesn’t understand….