09 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: Ancillary Mercy

Ancillary Mercy is the third and final book in Ann Leckie’s award-winning Imperial Radch series with previous installments Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword. If you are a newcomer to the series, these are books that I would recommend reading in order, otherwise there’s a lot of important events that aren’t going to make a lot of sense. You can read my review of Ancillary Justice here, and my review of Ancillary Sword here. There’s no way to discuss this book without spoiling major elements of the previous books, so I’m not going to try.

Continue Reading

27 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (link)

Normally I write up full reviews for each of the Hugo novels I have time to read, but I had already read and reviewed Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword over on SF Signal last year, so just follow the link if you want to read it.

Continue Reading

30 March 2015 ~ 1 Comment

My Nebula Ballot 2015

The Nebula awards are nominated and voted by members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I have been a member of SFWA in the past, but have chosen not to maintain my membership dues so I am not currently a member. So I can’t actually vote. But I do still follow the Nebula awards, and so I thought it worth posting my ballot as if I had the right to vote. The Nebula ballot has only 5 categories, four of them for lengths of written fiction and one for the Ray Bradbury Award for film. Unlike the Hugos, its voting system only allows you to vote for one thing, rather than rank-ordering all of them and doing instant runoff votes like the Hugos, so I will structure my post accordingly. You can find the full list of nominees here.

Because I don’t tend to read many novellas, because the Nebula voting period is so short, and because I was spent some of the Nebula voting period reading books for short-term review deadlines, I didn’t read any of the novella nominees this year.

Continue Reading

30 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review (Partial): Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross

Neptune'sBroodThis is the first year that I’ve actually managed to read all of the nominees in the Hugo novel category, at least a portion of each. Charles Stross’s Neptune’s Brood is the last of the batch, and I only got my hands on it mid-July when I borrowed it from a friend–the publishers decided not to put it in the Hugo packet, and neither Stross nor Penguin were interested in providing a review copy so I had been intending to just skip the book until the opportunity to borrow it came up. I haven’t finished reading the whole book yet. I’m at about page 150 of 340. But the Hugo deadline is tomorrow and this is the last posting slot I have before the deadline, so if I want to share my review before the deadline it’s got to be a partial. You can consider this part 1 of the review; I’ll write up the rest when I’ve finished the book.

Continue Reading

28 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

My Hugo Ballot 2014

The voting deadline for the Hugo Awards is tomorrow, July 31st, and I’ve read as much of the Hugo content as I’m going to have time for. So, the time has come for me to cast my ballot and put awards aside until next year. As I’ve done the last couple years, I’ve publicly shared what my ballot is going to look like, as kind of a final section of my Hugo review that is kind of an overarching look at what I thought of the categories. I didn’t read work in all the categories, so I’ve abstained from voting in those that I had no familiarity with and left them off the ballot.

Continue Reading

09 July 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Parasite by Mira Grant

In the near future, The American medical corporation Symbogen releases a product that dramatically changes the medical industry–the Intestinal Bodyguard, a a genetically engineered tapeworm that manages most of your medical needs, including suppressing allergic reactions, and producing insulin for diabetics. Within a few years, the tapeworm implants are so ubiquitous, you would be hard pressed to find an American who doesn’t have one, and cheaper models have even become popular in third world countries where they help keep people healthy who have never known good health. They are the universal cure-all elixir. There can be no doubt that they have all the marvelous effects that are claimed–these are well documented. What may not be so well documented are the side effects that may come with that little traveling companion in your gut.

Continue Reading

04 June 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Repost)

“Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. ” This line is from the back-cover blurb of Ancillary Justice, the debut novel by Ann Leckie. Breq is a fragment of the ship AI known collectively as Justice of Toren, whose mind once occupied many bodies simultaneously: the body of the ship itself and thousands of ancillaries. Ancillaries are “corpse soldiers”, human bodies whose minds have been overwritten to function as appendages of a ship AI. At the point where the story begins, there is only Breq. All the rest of her is gone. She has chosen a mission, a dangerous mission against astronomical odds.

Continue Reading

28 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Wheel of Time is an epic other-world fantasy series created by Robert Jordan. Robert Jordan wrote the series up to book eleven: The Eye of the World, The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven, The Lord of Chaos, Path of Daggers, A Crown of Swords, Winter’s Heart, The Crossroads of Twilight, and Knife of Dreams, published between 1990 and 2005.

Brandon Sanderson finished writing the remaining sections of and compiling what ended up being the final three books of The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light, published in 2009, 2010, and 2013 respectively.

Continue Reading

16 December 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

“Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. ” This line is from the back-cover blurb of Ancillary Justice, the debut novel by Ann Leckie. Breq is a fragment of the ship AI known collectively as Justice of Toren, whose mind once occupied many bodies simultaneously: the body of the ship itself and thousands of ancillaries. Ancillaries are “corpse soldiers”, human bodies whose minds have been overwritten to function as appendages of a ship AI. At the point where the story begins, there is only Breq. All the rest of her is gone. She has chosen a mission, a dangerous mission against astronomical odds.

Continue Reading