Too long was the night of the world

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six 

I will update this anthology as I go along…

THE LONG IAPETAN NIGHT by Julie Nováková — Iapetus is one of Saturn’s moons, named after a Titan in Greek mythology seen as the progenitor of mankind. And that‘s where we wake up from cold sleep. Earth has gone through two cataclysms and humanity tries to establish footholds on other planets and moons in the solar system. An earlier mission has failed and our team tries to find out what happened. Horror on a dark ice planet.

I like the plot idea, but struggled with the writing. It felt disjointed and confused me. There are two teams exploring and an account of the previous, failed mission from an unreliable narrator — I had a hard time keeping them straight. Not happy with this one. ★★¾☆☆

“Too long was the night of the world, the captain had said after our awakening. It’s time we saw the day.

Story can be found for free in Asimov‘s Science Fiction magazine, November/December 2020, linked in above cover.

I have read another of her short stories, THE SYMPHONY OF ICE AND DUST, published in Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 85, review is here and linked above in the cover.

“Julie Nováková is a scientist, educator, and award-winning Czech author, editor, and translator of science fiction, fantasy, and detective stories.“

https://www.julienovakova.com

February 2022 Wrap-up

Here is my February 2022. My page count is a bit lower this month, due to some distracting family issues. I couldn‘t concentrate on new stories and reverted to comfort re-reading quite a lot of older fanfiction early in the month, which I don‘t really track.

Empire of Wild ★★★★☆, ebook, TBR, slow burning horror, indigenous folklore about a Rogarou.
– Iterum ★★★★☆, Stargate Atlantis fanfic, McShep, re-read / comfort reading — and a ton of other Spirk and McShep fanfiction!
– Bots of The Lost Ark in Clarkesworld Magazine #177, June 2021 ★★★★☆, online novelette, bots run amok, aliens threaten, ship and humans need to be saved, little bot to the rescue.
Interview with the Vampire ★★★★☆, ebook, re-read after 30 years or so. Slow start, but re-discovered so many details that I had forgotten. Ultimately rewarding.
– Shadecraft #1 ★★★★★, eComic, online for free at Image Comics, YA, Zadie is being chased by shadows… good artwork.
Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System ★★★★☆, audio, non-fiction, entertaining tour through our solar system and a fascinating look at volcanoes.
– Saga #56 ★★★★★, eComic
– Wikihistory ★★★★☆, short story, online, amusing piss-take on time travel and Wikipedia.
– The Legacy by R.A. Salvatore ★★★¾☆ ebook, TBR / StoryGraphReading Randomizer February #1, dark elves and dwarves battling it out in a lot of deep tunnels.
– An Easy Job ★★★★☆, short story, online, prequel to Sinew and Steel and What They Told

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six (ongoing):
– SCAR TISSUE by Tobias S. Buckell – human MC fosters a robot. Is the mind just bolted into its carriage or the sum of a whole? And what does it mean to be raised and to learn from experience? Sweet story, I got pretty emotional. ★★★★★
– EYES OF THE FOREST by Ray Nayler – scouts in an alien and dangerous forest, very cool concepts. ★★★★½
– SINEW AND STEEL AND WHAT THEY TOLD by Carrie Vaughn – Graff faked his medical records and something really awkward is going to come out. ★★★★¾

StoryGraph Reading Randomizer / backlog:
– The Solitaire Mystery, paper, TBR / February StoryGraph #2, have to see when I can fit this in…

Specfic Movies & TV watched:
– For All Mankind, S1, Eps. 1-5 ★★★★☆

Planned for March:
Ring Shout, audio, started…
Mickey7, ebook, Netgalley owned and running late
Ogres, ebook, pub date 15.03., Netgalley owned
The Complete Angel Catbird, Angel Catbird #1-3, Margaret Atwood, comic, owned
– Saga #57, pub date 23.03., pre-ordered
– StoryGraph #1 Even The Wingless
– StoryGraph #2 The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear

Volcanoes in Space

Fire and Ice: The Volcanoes of the Solar System by Natalie Starkey (Goodreads) (Narrator)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What a fascinating book! Have you ever considered that Earth might be the odd one out, because it has plate tectonics and the other planets in our solar system do not? Well, I certainly never did. The majority of our volcanoes, sitting above tectonic plates diverging from or converging with each other, are actually not really a typical phenomenon, if you broaden your reach beyond our planet. And that is only the start of the journey. This book gives you a great overview of the volcanoes on Earth and then takes you on a spin through our solar system and more unusual types of volcanoes, spewing all kinds of unexpected materials. In the process there is a lot to learn about planets, dwarf planets, asteroids, you name it…

I learned a lot, but have to confess that the constant info dump was a bit much at times. Still, it was a fascinating read and pretty entertaining.

I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author. She did a good job. Here is a talk she gives about her book:

And her website with blog: https://www.nataliestarkey.com