Finding What Was Meaningful – a 2020 Retrospective

I started a “Best of 2020” list. Then, I started over. I scrapped it. Started again. I looked through my books, ran my fingers down their spines, and tried once more. I threw together a spreadsheet from Goodreads, sorted it by date, then by rating, then by author. Deleted it in frustration when the books didn’t feel the way I needed them to. I couldn’t do it. … More Finding What Was Meaningful – a 2020 Retrospective

Featured Short Story

My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou

When Niovi tried to smuggle her mother’s ghost into the new country, she found herself being passed from one security officer to another, detailing her mother’s place and date of death over and over again.

“Are you carrying a ghost with you, ma’am?” asked the woman in the security vest. Her nametag read Stella. Her lips were pressed in a tight line as she pointed at the ghost during the screening, tucked inside a necklace. She took away Niovi’s necklace and left only her phone. … More My Country Is a Ghost by Eugenia Triantafyllou

Book Reviews, Essays, & More

Dragon Tamer by Ophelia Silk

Dragon Tamer is irreverent, light-hearted, and a joy to read. It’s everything I want from a cute fantasy romance. It even has puns in it! Really dumb ones! The BEST ones. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and the whole book is better for it. The main pairing is a bookish dragon prince devoted to pacifism and an extremely fighty Viking-esque himbo lady who’s got some really impressive muscles. AND THEY ADOPT A MAGIC PUPPY TOGETHER. … More Dragon Tamer by Ophelia Silk

Does The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks Hold Up to a Modern Reading?

Within the context of its time, The Player of Games is a shockingly progressive novel. Given that it was written at the height of the AIDS epidemic, I’m impressed that Ian M. Banks chose to deliberately and consciously include queer themes and explicitly endorse homosexuality as something that is not just okay, but also a perfectly normal part of a healthy utopian society.  … More Does The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks Hold Up to a Modern Reading?

Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe – Punchy & Character-Driven in the Best Ways

Chaos Vector was an excellent follow up to Velocity Weapon! O’Keefe has dramatically improved as a writer; the pacing was much, much better in this sequel. The twists are just as punchy as you could hope, though I’m not sure ANYTHING can top the one in Velocity Weapon. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Plotlines connect, merge, and shift when you least expect. … More Chaos Vector by Megan O’Keefe – Punchy & Character-Driven in the Best Ways

The Salt Witch by Martha Wells

In The Salt Witch, Martha Wells explores the intersection between heritage and individuality within a patriarchal culture steeped in gendered expectations. Juana, a witch attempting to traverse the sea in a broken sailboat, instead finds herself washed ashore a ghost island filled with the victims of a hurricane and held captive by a malevolent force residing in its center. … More The Salt Witch by Martha Wells

Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders by Aliette de Bodard

This is a fast-paced novella chock full of intrigue, murder, and the fantastic. De Bodard thrusts the reader into her Dominion of the Fallen universe head-first and expects them to sink or swim to keep up. Personally, I found it to be an energetic experience; as this was my first introduction to her world, there was something new on each page to keep me eagerly flipping the page for more. An underwater Vietnamese dragon city below Paris? Crab shifters? Possible poisonings? I was here for it at every turn. … More Of Dragons, Feasts, and Murders by Aliette de Bodard

The Rape of Galadriel: A Deadly Education’s Mishandled Treatment of Sexual Assault

A Deadly Education is an oddly niche book given how widely it has been marketed. While on the surface it appears to be a bit more on the YA side, the tone and content of the novel is more akin to a dark adult fantasy. We’ve seen a great deal of controversy surrounding it these past few weeks, specifically regarding its multicultural cast. Yet amidst the discussions of dreadlocks, Asian rep, and whether the main character is Indian enough, it seems we’ve collectively managed to gloss over Novik’s mishandling of rape and sexual assault in an academic setting. … More The Rape of Galadriel: A Deadly Education’s Mishandled Treatment of Sexual Assault

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