Top Ten Tuesday in full sentences

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

Last week‘s topic: book titles that are complete sentences…


Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville, #2) by Carrie Vaughn. Kitty pretty outed werewolves to the world in her midnight radio show. Not on purpose, mind you. Now she has to show up in Washington for a senate hearing. 

Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, #3) by Carrie Vaughn, things start to become darker and scarier. than in the first two books.

Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, #6) by Carrie Vaughn, the action is good and the plotlines entertaining….

Kitty Goes to War (Kitty Norville, #8) by Carrie Vaughn, Entertaining, funny, lots of werewolves…

The Rest Falls Away (The Gardella Vampire Hunters, #1) by Colleen Gleason. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, meets Jane Austen. A lot of frocks, debutantes and dance cards mingle with the undead.

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. It is a very poetic book, the characters feel real and I got very involved in the storyline. It was just too much. Dolores was such a terrible person in the first half of the book. Not an easy read.

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green,  Joanne Greenberg. I found the characters too removed to develop enough interest.

Teach Yourself Islam by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood. The book gives a good first look into Islam. It covers all the basics and is easy too read, albeit with a strong emphasis on Asian Muslims living in Britain,

Tell No One by Harlan Coben, boilerplate mystery / thriller.

From the Holy Mountain: A Journey Among the Christians of the Middle East by William Dalrymple. Brilliant book. Traveling from the mountain cloisters of Greece across the Levantine to Mount St Catherine in the Sinai, you learn in a colourful way, why and how Christianity and Islam developed from Judaism. 

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, a brilliant play, that led to an equally brilliant movie.

What’s Bred in the Bone (Cornish Trilogy, #2) by Robertson Davies. Imaginative, unusual, weird.

Top Ten Tuesday, the lovebirds edition

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

This Week’s Topic: Valentine’s Day/Love Freebie

Valentine’s Day, a worldwide conspiracy by flower sellers everywhere… so not my holiday. Romance books in my backlist, let‘s see…

Maybe something historical, set in Egypt?

Reflections in the Nile (Time Travel, #1), read in 2004
by Suzanne Frank

Chloe visits her sister, an archeologist, in Luxor. She does the usual sight seeing and also goes to the Sound and Light show at Karnak temple. She decides that she wants to see the sunrise from inside the temple to take some photos and hides in a small side chamber. Then, suddenly, when she kneels down to pick something up from the ground, everything shifts and wavers and she finds herself in the body of someone else in the times of Pharao Hatchepsut.

A romantic novel with an archeological twist. Quite entertaining and nice reading for low brainpower. This is the first of four books. In the sequels Chloe will travel to Atlantis, Canaan and finally (I think) to Babylon.

Some contemporary romance…

Catch of the Day (Misty Harbor, #1), read in 2004
by Marcia Evanick

Nice brain candy. Likeable characters, decent storyline, well written. Everybody gets hitched in the end, so it makes for happy reading.

Maybe some time travel?

The Time Traveler’s Wife, read in 2006
by Audrey Niffenegger

I was very dubious about it, when I finally picked up this book. Very often, when I start reading a highly praised and bestselling book, I find it utterly indigestible and throw it in a corner after 70-odd pages. Plus my mum didn’t like it and thought the language was childish. So a book that I tackled with very low expectations. 

And lo and behold – What a great book, I loved it! My only complaint – I thought the ending was given away much too early in the book and that ruined my enjoyment a little. I knew what was coming and that is rarely good. But still, fantastic story. I thought the time travelling would be too weird and too interruptive of a smooth story flow. But not a all. It was well done, felt very natural and opened up the door to some great opportunities for the plot.

How about some werewolves?

Bitten (Otherworld, #1), read in 2007
by Kelley Armstrong

Very good and strong first book in a series. Believable characters and believable wolves (as far as humanised animals can go). And I did not mind the very conventional romance, it was a nice change to the supercharged shapeshifter version.

Tempting Danger (World of the Lupi, #1), read in 2012
by Eileen Wilks

Tough female homicide detective meets tall, dark and handsome stranger. He’s a werewolf and a murder suspect. And she has secrets of her own. Romance interferes with a murder investigation. The usual. 

The first half was not bad. The suspense part was fairly mild and not too exciting. The romance and sex were so-so. The book didn’t grab my attention much and it took me forever to get past the half-way point. The action picked up after that and it actually got interesting. Enough for me to want to pick up the next book in the series.

And I eventually read the whole series and it became one of my favourites! Sadly, the series was never finished.

Or rather historical fiction?

Passion, read in 2007
by Jude Morgan

An account of the women sharing their lives with Lord Byron, Shelley and Keats. A very good description of the middle/upper class of that time with emphasis on the women, their social surroundings, morals and ethics of that time, politics and major events of the period. You get a look at the literary and social scene, the Prince Regent, Beau Brummel, Napoleon, Waterloo and so on and so forth.

Although its central theme is romantic relationships, I would not class this as a romantic novel, but rather a historic one. There is not a strong narrative thread. Which is probably the reason, why I started loosing interest about half way through. So, I enjoyed the first 300 pages very much, but thought that the book got a bit scattered after that. I did not like the chapters that were told by Caro Lamb much – mostly because I did not like her talking directly at me. I did not think that worked very well.

The storyline of Keats and Fanny Brawne felt like an afterthought and the book could have done without it. I liked Augusta and Mary Shelley best. They were the most vivid and interesting characters in the book. And Byron – I wouldn’t mind having dinner with him, to see what all the fuss is about and if he was really this fascinating!

I expected their stay at lake Geneva – where Frankenstein was “born” – to be the pivotal point of the book and was a bit disappointed how briefly it appeared. It is a good story though and was worth reading.

Vampires with a shoe fetish!

Undead and Unwed (Undead, #1), read in 2011
by MaryJanice Davidson

Betsy wakes up in the morgue, undead and clearly unhappy. Shenanigans ensue, good-looking vampires appear, bad guys make trouble and expensive shoes make several appaerances as well. Low on content, but high on snark. I laughed a lot. Very entertaining for those low-brain-power days.

More werewolves!

Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville #1), read in 2008
by Carrie Vaughn

Very good start to a the series! Kitty gets herself into trouble, when she starts counselling fellow shapeshifters and assorted vampires on her midnight radio show. Shows you – stay out of things or you get into lots of trouble! Light mystery with werewolves, good fun!

A spot of literary fiction?

Cold Mountain, read in 1998
by Charles Frazier

A book that I remember fondly, without recalling many details of the writing. It was slow, I think. And the movie was a decent adaptation.

And rounding it off with more historical romance…

The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy, #1), read in 2007
by Elizabeth Hoyt

Very enjoyable historical romance. The usual set-up. Nasty male hero. Cute and humble heroine does not like him, but eventually falls in love and….. The twist with the brothel is unusual. But it was fun, I had a good time reading it and really liked the characters.

Wild mix, I know. I just grabbed them as they popped up on my shelf.

First contact, Elon Musk to the rescue!

The Best We Can
by Carrie Vaughn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What if aliens show up and nobody cares enough to go and have a look?

Wow, very frustrating and depressing. Don’t get me wrong, the story is great.

If that is the best we can do, then we suck! I hope we will be more curious than this, if we ever make a similar discovery. But I can see it happening just like that. I‘d rather believe in The Martian and that we can be better than this, pull together, pool our resources and do the right thing. Or Elon Musk to the rescue. 

My glass is half full. And hopefully space as well! I know, I know, I am overly optimistic. Anything else would be too depressing (again). 

Well done, Carrie Vaughn!

Can be read for free here.

Howling mad

Full Moon CityFull Moon City by Martin H. Greenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The children of the night. What music they make.“

“I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf”, Ron Goulart, ★★★★★
Hollywood. My kind of humour. Funny. I am envisioning Michael Douglas in the lead and Alan Arkin as Hersh, aka The Kominsky Method with werewolves.

“Kitty Learns the Ropes”, Carrie Vaughn, ★★★★☆
This story is most likely the reason I got this anthology five years ago. Well, Carrie Vaughn can write, she‘s proven that often enough. This was easy to read , especially because I have read the whole Kitty Norville series and it‘s one of my favourite UF series. Maybe it is time for a re-read.

“The Bitch”, P. D. Cacek, ★★★★☆
Story about a bothersome and creepy ex-lover. Oh, that was unexpected! How fun! I am a big fan of doing something differently and this surprised me. Checked out the author, did not see anything that grabbed me.

“La Lune T’attend”, Peter S. Beagle, ★★★★☆
Good world-building and character development. I liked the setting. It felt like a much longer story through what it conveyed. Sad, but powerful ending.

“The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue “, Holly Black, ★★★★☆
Third person present tense, urgh. I don‘t like it. Never mind. We are auditioning for a musical!

“Being a werewolf is like being Clark Kent, except that when you go into the phone booth, you can‘t control what comes out.“

Sweet, a little sad, made me smile. What a werewolf girl wants. Good! Checked out the author, all YA—not my genre…

“Kvetchula’s Daughter”, Darrell Schweitzer, ★★★¾☆
Jiddish vampires in New York. Lots of kvetching. Mildly amusing. Where are the werewolves, you ask? Oy vey.

“The Bank Job”, Gregory Frost, ★★★¾☆
Well-written, good story. Good pacing, nice level of suspense. Fairly predictable. Will check out the author.

“A Most Unusual Greyhound”, a Harry the Book Story, Mike Resnick, ★★★½☆
Amusing. What is a werewolf to do to make some money? Slightly odd tense and grammar in general. Possibly on purpose, but it threw me off.

“Sea Warg”, Tanith Lee, ★★★☆☆
“Now the boats put off from the west end of Sandbourne, or at least they did so when the rest of Europe allowed it.“
What did we do? Did Brexit start in 2010 and I missed it?

I could swear I read some novels written by her, but for the life of me can’t recall their titles or plot. I only found a short story collection I DNFd.

Hm, interesting. Hadn‘t expected that ending. Well, that was mean. And Johnson is a very creepy character.

“And Bob’s Your Uncle”, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, ★★★☆☆
Sad boy meets mysterious, but cute black dog. Promising beginning, but didn‘t turn into much.

“The Truth About Werewolves”, Lisa Tuttle, ★★¾☆☆
Unusual take on werewolves. I disliked the female MC for her dishonesty. She felt like a hypocrite to me, especially after disrespecting the Chihuahua woman for „shopping“ and then doing the exact same thing.

“Weredog of Bucharest”, Ian Watson, ★★☆☆☆
A murder investigation and a crime writer observing. Ponderous, overly explanatory, superfluous details. The author seemed very eager to show us little details of Romanian life, perhaps trying to create atmosphere? Unsatisfying, with a lame ending.

“Innocent”, Gene Wolfe, ★☆☆☆☆
Weird. Guy in prison tells a priest about his life. The story only consists of his side of a dialogue.

“No Children, No Pets”, Esther M. Friesner, ★☆☆☆☆
Another odd one, about a werewolf child of six living in Central Park. Humorous writing, I suppose. Not my thing.

“Country Mothers’ Sons”, Holly Phillips, ★☆☆☆☆
When I started, the slow moving, very descriptive prose had me interested. It never went anywhere though and I lost that little spark. Suggestive, but ultimately pointless.

View all my reviews

Dystopia, utopia, we still haven‘t learned…

Bannerless (The Bannerless Saga)Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was ok. I was really curious to find out where post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction by Carrie Vaughn of „Kitty and the Midnight Hour“-fame would take me. And it was ok, nothing more, nothing less. Nice world building, nice character development, nice enough.

I liked the society she invented along that Coast Road and the idea of earning banners. Intriguing, even. I liked Enid‘s backstory and watching her becoming the person she is in the story‘s present. But that was about it. The mystery held little interest for me and the solution was meh. I could have put this book down pretty much at any point in the story and wouldn‘t have missed it.

The ending felt a little rushed. I will very likely not continue this series.

Part of this were reminiscent of the Book of the Unnamed Midwife.

View all my reviews

Anthology done!

The Final FrontierThe Final Frontier by Neil Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Some good stories. Some not so great stories. But generally the quality was good and I can recommend this anthology.

Favourite stories:
– MONO NO AWARE, KEN LIU , ~18 p., ★★★★★½
– THE FIREWALL AND THE DOOR, SEAN McMULLEN, ~30 p., ★★★★★
– SEEING, GENEVIEVE VALENTINE, ~12 p., ★★★★★

Story reviews below are in reverse order of the book.

————
THE ISLAND, PETER WATTS, ~36 p., ★★½☆☆
You sent us out here. We do this for you: spin your webs and build your magic gateways, thread the needle’s eye at sixty thousand kilometers a second.
Good beginning, but the author lost me along the way. The potentially sentient lifeform they found promised interesting developments, but just vanished into thin air. The story ending about the son was just weird and unsatisfying. I missed a red thread and an ending that tied up the loose ends.

————
GLORY, GREG EGAN, ~24 p., ★★★☆☆
An ingot of metallic hydrogen gleamed in the starlight, a narrow cylinder half a meter long with a mass of about a kilogram.
A very abstract beginning. I skimmed past most of that science-tech babble, I confess. I liked the story that followed the info dump.

However…
“There’s more to life than mathematics,” Joan said. “But not much more.”
Math was always one of my best subjects at school, but still… too much! Math Fiction? Mathematical SF?

It was ok, nice idea of a vaguely Star Trekky set-up without the Prime Directive and more cloning and uploading of consciousness. Plus that hard SF thing with the needle that I skimmed… Did I miss the big reveal, aka Brig Crunch? It probably just flew right over my head.

The ending was a bit wishy-washy for me. Too devoid of emotion.

Can be read for free here: https://outofthiseos.typepad.com/blog…

————
SEEING, GENEVIEVE VALENTINE, ~12 p., ★★★★★
After it was over, they pulled her from the sea.
I was very confused at first. Something pre-apocalyptic? Maybe a dystopia? I felt the urge to go and study astrophysics, to understand what was going on. It took a moment, but I ended up really liking this. Not an easy story.

I think this is a story you need to read twice to make sense of it. Layers upon layers. In retrospect, skimming the story a second time, I am upgrading this to 5 stars. A lot going on for a mere 12 pages!

Can be read for free here: Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 50, November 2010
http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/valen…

About the author: https://www.genevievevalentine.com/ab…

————
THE WRECK OF THE GODSPEED, JAMES PATRICK KELLY, ~48 p., ★★☆☆☆

„Colorful pilgrims travel to new worlds until their ship’s artificial intelligence begins to act strangely.“ I was pretty much skimming from the start. The story just held no interest for me. There was no plot, just some vignettes about various topics. It was all very superficial.

————
THE MIND IS ITS OWN PLACE, CARRIE VAUGHN, ~24 p., ★★★★☆

“Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio show.“
I really liked that series! But it seems as if she is more of an SF author than UF, right?

“If someone locked you in a room full of crazy people, was there any chance that you weren’t crazy?“
Well, that is the question. How delusional or crazy is our MC here?

“But some of us are the next step in evolution.”
And wouldn‘t that be cool… Not telling you, what exactly, sorry. I enjoyed this!

Story excerpt here: https://web.archive.org/web/201610101…

————
SAILING THE ANTARSA, VANDANA SINGH, ~30 p. (Tot. 432 p., 72%), ★★☆☆☆
“The protagonist, a woman called Mayha, undertakes an unusual journey in a story involving physics, the environment, biology, communication, and myth. And there’s an enormous tree-like being that is central to everything.“
http://vandana-writes.com/short-stories/

Space exploration. Very imaginative world, however the writing did nothing for me. Too slow, too contemplative. The in-between stories and/or myths did not interest me.

Found this online and it is very fitting: “notions of coexistence, acceptance of the past and future as fellows, existing hand-in-hand in the present“
http://theaerogram.com/21767-2/

About the author: https://scroll.in/article/894504/thes…

————
GYPSY, CARTER SCHOLZ, ~60 p., ★★¾☆☆
“When a long shot is all you have, you’re a fool not to take it. —Romany saying“

Earth is doing badly. Overpopulation, rising sea levels, etc., and we haven‘t learned a thing. So a few people take a very, very long shot indeed.

Lots of potential, interesting premise, but too little good storytelling, repetitive and brief, way too much science babble. The ending is depressing as hell and makes the whole venture pointless. Thanks for all the fish, sorry you had to die for naught! „Fuck you“ indeed. Is the ending supposed to be a HEA? Kick in the nuts, more like…

Interview: Carter Scholz on “Gypsy”
https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/blog/2015/…

Novella can also be found in a separate edition: Gypsy

————
PERMANENT FATAL ERRORS, JAY LAKE, ~18 p., ★★★★☆
Maduabuchi St. Macaria had never before traveled with an all-Howard crew. Mostly his kind kept to themselves, even under the empty skies of a planet.

A story involving the Fermi paradox. With addition of some altered, almost immortal humans. Is Anybody Out There?

Well-written, easy to read. I liked it.

Can be read for free here: Lightspeed Magazine July 2018, Issue 98
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic…

————
THE FIREWALL AND THE DOOR, SEAN McMULLEN, ~30 p., ★★★★★
I was in the living room with my family when the Argo made its flyby of the double star Alpha Centauri.

Good entertainment, worthy of a full novel and then some. The virtual Ashford could be a cousin of muderbot, although it did not have a lot of page time. I identified with the MC so much. Sweet ending. Loved the analogy of the door held open.

A neat idea, a well-done story of space exploration, and a strong piece of advocacy for it – Lois Tilton, Locus Online

————
TWENTY LIGHTS TO “THE LAND OF SNOW” EXCERPTS FROM THE COMPUTER LOGS OF OUR RELUCTANT DALAI LAMA by MICHAEL BISHOP, ~54 p., ★★½☆☆

COMPUTER LOGS OF THE DALAI LAMA-TO-BE, AGE 7

I liked the voice of our reluctant Dalai-Lama-to-be as a child, aboard her generation ship. The teenager was ok, the older iterations lost my interest. I skimmed the latter part of this.

The world building lacked in depth for me and the musings of our MC did not grab my interest. There was no decent plot and the question if she really was the reborn Dalai Lama was not explored in a captivating way. I couldn‘t tell if she cared. I didn‘t.

Story can be found for free here: https://www.baen.com/Chapters/A978145…

————
THE VOYAGE OUT, GWYNETH JONES, ~18 p., ★★★¾☆
“Do you want to dream?”

Wow, that was really depressing! A not-so-far-away, digitally transformed future without civil rights or liberties. A set of condemned criminals (to that system, not ours just yet) preparing for their final voyage. Really, really depressing. But cool as well. Wouldn‘t have minded to find out how they fared after their voyage out.

Part of the White Queen books by the author: https://www.goodreads.com/series/5595…

Also part of this quartet of stories: https://aqueductpress.blogspot.com/20…
The author‘s recap of this particular short story made me laugh. Love the Gruffaloes.

http://www.gwynethjones.uk

————
DIVING INTO THE WRECK, KRISTINE KATHRYN RUSCH, ~54 p., ★★★★☆

“We approach the wreck in stealth mode: lights and communications array off, sensors on alert for any other working ship in the vicinity.“


„We don’t face water here—we don’t have its weight or its unusual properties, particularly at huge depths. We have other elements to concern us: No gravity, no oxygen, extreme cold.
And greed.“

I love the wreck diving analogy, aka comparison to scuba diving. Greed is a recurring theme in this story. They find something in this wreck. Is it worth the risk?

“The award-winning “Diving into the Wreck” novella marked the first step in a large journey for New York Times bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch.“
I will certainly look more closely at this author. This was fun to read. Although I find it hard to believe that they haven‘t managed to develop snag-proof fabric that far into the future.

This made me think of The Expanse. Hard hitting, unforgiving space. And Event Horizon. Creepiness in space.

There is a 300+ pages long book by the author by the same name, so I assume this might be a novella that was expanded into said novel. Just a guess.

http://kriswrites.com
http://divingintothewreck.com

————
THE DEEPS OF THE SKY, ELIZABETH BEAR, ~12 p., ★★★★☆
“Stormchases’ little skiff skipped and glided across the tropopause, skimming the denser atmosphere of the warm cloud-sea beneath, running before a fierce wind.“

Beautifully imaginative world. Sky-mining storms in a gas giant. Aliens dropping in.
2013 Locus award finalist.

Can be read for free here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/sky-mining-is…
or here: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/bear_…

————
THREE BODIES AT MITANNI, SETH DICKINSON, ~18 p., ★★½☆☆
The ideas behind the story are interesting. I just didn‘t like the execution. Too abstract, too talkative, too little doing for my taste. But the central theme of the story is something you could debate hotly for hours. Uploaded consciousness, curtailed consciousness, colonization, expansion.

Originally appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact issue 06|15

————
SLOW LIFE, MICHAEL SWANWICK, ~18 p., ★★★★☆
“It was the Second Age of Space. Gagarin, Shepard, Glenn, and Armstrong were all dead. It was our turn to make history now.” –The Memoirs of Lizzie O’Brien

I really liked this. I was immediately deeply immersed in the story and identified with Lizzie from the first moment. Great, vivid descriptions of Titan. Loved the concept and have to leave it at that, as I don‘t want to give anything away. The ending felt a little abrupt.

Can be read for free here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic…
Reading the author spotlight, that goes with this novelette, was fun as well: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/non…

————
SHIVA IN SHADOW, NANCY KRESS, ~48 p., ★★★★☆
… much of her work, concerns genetic engineering.

In this case we have a similar topic with a different premise—uploaded consciousness… And how we communicate with each other. What makes us tick, what causes us to behave differently, where do we divert from the path and why. The story was well told with a great plot twist that caught me by surprise. Sad and bittersweet ending.

————
RESCUE MISSION, JACK SKILLINGSTEAD, ~12 p., ★★★☆☆
“Michael Pennington floated in Mona’s amniotic chamber, fully immersed, naked and erect, zened out. The cortical cable looped lazily around him. Womb Hole traveling.“

The beginning sounded pretty exciting. Pilot with body modifications (gills!!!), merged to his ship. Assuming that Mona is his ship… There are hints to pilot-ship personal dynamics that are not really elaborated upon. The romance/personal relationship wasn‘t really there. The story was ok, but it didn’t explore anything deep enough or to a satisfying level.

————
MONO NO AWARE, KEN LIU , ~18 p., ★★★★★½
“The world is shaped like the kanji for “umbrella,” only written so poorly, like my handwriting, that all the parts are out of proportion.“


“At the end of the cable hangs the heart of the Hopeful, the habitat module, a five-hundred-meter-tall cylinder into which all the 1,021 inhabitants of the world are packed.“

It‘s the end of the world as we know it and the survivors are on a generation ship. This story is about how they got there and what happens next.

Wow, beautiful story. I cried. The story is very much about the needs of the many, the few and the one. Fascinating, Mr. Spock! What makes a hero? A great look at the differing views of East and West, a holistic understanding of the world and the many, juxtaposed to that one hero.

– 2013 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, winner
– 2013 FantLab’s Book of the Year Award for best Translated Novella or Short Story, winner
– 2013 Locus Award for Best Short Story, finalist
– 2013 Theodore Sturgeon Award, finalist

Story can be read for free here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fic…

————
A JAR OF GOODWILL, TOBIAS S. BUCKELL, ~ 24 p., ★★★★☆
“You keep a low profile when you’re in oxygen debt.“
A world where aliens have patented pretty much everything. Think Monsanto in space. Great imagery. I would like to find out more about this world and its inhabitants. A short story with potential for more. I am intrigued by the Compact and the concept of Friends. I wouldn‘t mind to read more stories set in this world or by the author.

The story can be read for free on Clarkesworld where it was published originally: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/bucke…

I just found this info online:
“As of September 2011, Buckell is working on a stand-alone novel titled Infringement, adapted from his short story “A Jar of Goodwill,” which was originally published in Clarkesworld. The novel will be published by Tor, sometime after the independent release of Apocalypse Ocean.“

The info comes from this interview: https://web.archive.org/web/201204280…

I looked around and could not find a book by this name, so I guess he hasn‘t written it yet.

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But some of us are the next step in evolution.

Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2016Asimov’s Science Fiction, September 2016 by Sheila Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

THE MIND IS ITS OWN PLACE, CARRIE VAUGHN, ~24 p., ★★★★☆

“Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk radio show.“
I really liked that series! But it seems as if she is more of an SF author than UF, right?

“If someone locked you in a room full of crazy people, was there any chance that you weren’t crazy?“
Well, that is the question. How delusional or crazy is our MC here?

“But some of us are the next step in evolution.”
And wouldn‘t that be cool… Not telling you, what exactly, sorry. I enjoyed this!

Story excerpt here: https://web.archive.org/web/201610101…

View all my reviews