Review of A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine. ★★★★ A Memory Called Empire is sure to be one of the standout sci-fi debuts of 2019, and I can totally see where the comparisons to Ancillary Justice are coming from. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare’s small station wants to maintain its independence from the ever-ravenous Teixcalaanli Empire, which is constantly conquering and expanding…

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color edited by Nisi Shawl

New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction of Color edited by Nisi Shawl. ★★★ I was excited about the anthology New Suns, but I ended up disappointed. This anthology has so many great authors. Unfortunately, the stories never reached the level of “great.” It’s a risk you run with every anthology since not even wonderful authors hit it out of…

Review of The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson

The Rosewater Insurrection by Tade Thompson. ★★★★ TW: sexual assault (in a flashback) How do I even describe this book? Let’s start with the basics. The Rosewater Insurrection is the sequel to Tade Thompson’s astounding “aliens invade Nigeria” novel, Rosewater. If you haven’t read Rosewater, you need to get on that ASAP! And I would highly recommend reading Rosewater before you read The…

Review of Feed by Mira Grant

Feed by Mira Grant. ★★★★ I’ve generally found Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant’s books to be hit or miss but oh WOW was Feed a hit. Twenty years after a zombie apocalypse swept the world, zombies are the new normal. Life has moved on. Sure, most people don’t go out in public anymore, but there’s a (dangerous) career path for journalists…

Review of Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction

Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction edited by K.M. Szpara. ★★★1/2 This inaugural anthology collects the best transgender science fiction and fantasy short stories of 2015. I’ve been wanting to pick it up ever since I saw the author line-up; there’s a ton of great trans authors working in science fiction and fantasy, and this…

Review of Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby. ★★★1/2 I don’t read enough self-published books. I get so caught up in the new release cycle of traditional publishing, that indie gems tend to slip under the radar. Such is the case with Failure to Communicate, a delightful sci-fi first contact novel with an autistic, bisexual protagonist and a subtle…

Review of A People’s Future of the United States

A People’s Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams. ★★★ A People’s Future of the United States responds to the current American political climate by bringing together twenty-five authors of marginalized identities to write short stories set in a future version of the United States. Many of these stories are depressing,…

Review of How Long ’til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin. ★★★★ Like almost everyone else, I was blown away by N.K. Jemisin’s award-winning novel, The Fifth Season. When I heard she had this collection of twenty-two short stories coming out, I knew I needed to read it. As with every short story collection, I enjoyed some stories more…

Review of Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space)

Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) edited by Catherine Lundoff. ★★★ Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) is a speculative fiction anthology about pirates. Many of the stories veer towards fantasy, but others are solidly science fiction, involving aliens or piracy between dimensions. While the anthology isn’t explicitly LGBTQ, many of the stories…