Feb 14
2019

NPR on All Systems Red

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries 1) by Martha Wells

“But this book is sneaky. As much as you want to think this is just some lightweight little confection made of robot fights and space murder ­and as much as All Systems Red wants to present itself as nothing but robot fights and space murder ­Martha Wells did something really clever. She hid a delicate, nuanced and deeply, grumpily human story inside these pulp trappings, by making her murderous robot story primarily character-driven. And the character doing the driving?

Murderbot.

There are subtexts to be read into Murderbot ­ that its experience is a coming-out narrative, that it mirrors the lives of trans people, immigrants, those on the autism spectrum or anyone else who feels the need to hide some essential part of themselves from a population that either threatens or can’t possibly understand them. Or both. And I get all of that because every one of those reads is right.

It’s the wonder of the character ­that something so alien can be so human. That everyone who has ever had to hide in a crowded room, avert their eyes from power, cocoon themselves in media for comfort or lie to survive can relate. It’s powerful to see that on the page. It’s moving to ride around in the head of something that is so strong and so vulnerable, so murder-y and so frightened, all at the same time.

Best news of all? All Systems Red is only the first of four Murderbot Diaries novellas. Wells followed Red with Artificial Condition, Rogue Protocol and Exit Strategy, all of which have gotten multiple electronic, hard- and softcover releases over the past year or so, with the Red hardcover being released this month after winning Hugo, Nebula, Alex and Locus Awards in 2018. Which is proof, I suppose, that I’m not alone in my love for Murderbot. That we are all a little bit Murderbot. That we see ourselves in its skin. And that reading about this sulky, soap-opera-loving cyborg killing machine might be one of the most human experiences you can have in sci-fi right now.” — NPR

Feb 11
2019

Kirkus on Dragon Pearl

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

“Yoon Ha Lee’s first foray into the field is an absolute winner (not that I should have expected anything different, given the author’s awesome track record with the Ninefox Gambit books). Dragon Pearl is everything that I want in a sci-fi adventure story (for a reader of any age): it’s smart, fast-paced, and balanced nuanced world building with solid characterizations and exciting capers spanning different planets, space ships (and space ship battles), and supernatural twists. I especially loved the world building and the different look at what science fiction­—with space ships and gate jumps—­can be when rooted in a Korean pantheon that runs on magic and luck, and whose characters eat gimchi in outer space.” — Kirkus

Feb 7
2019

Library Journal on Wild Country

Wild Country by Anne Bishop

“When the humans decided to strike against the terra indigene, they were hit with a force that decimated all the people living in towns in Thaisia. Now both humans and Others—those who survived—attempt to revive some of the ruined areas for cooperative living. In Bennett, Jana Paniccia becomes deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff who holds bitter memories of the humans’ actions. Tolya Sanguinati attempts to build relationships with the town of Prairie Gold, and Inuit shopkeeper Jesse Walker, while restoring Bennett and monitoring the area’s train service. As humans slowly come into Bennett, so do Others, all looking for a place of their own. But trust takes time, and when the Blackstone clan tries to take over, everyone in Bennett will need to work together. VERDICT Bishop’s sequel to Lake Silence presents captivating characters and rich detail, resulting in a satisfying urban fantasy.” — Library Journal

Jan 31
2019

Publishers Weekly starred review for Ancestral Night

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

“Anyone who enjoys space opera, exploration of characters, and political speculation will love this outstanding novel, Bear’s welcome return to hard SF after several years of writing well-received steampunk (Karen Memory) and epic fantasy (the Eternal Sky trilogy). As an engineer on a scrappy space salvage tug, narrator Haimey Dz has a comfortable, relatively low-stress existence, chumming with pilot Connla Kuruscz and AI shipmind Singer. Then, while aboard a booby-trapped derelict ship, she is infected with a not-quite-parasitic alien device that gives her insights into the universe’s structure. This makes her valuable not only to the apparently benevolent interstellar government, the Synarche, but also to the vicious association of space pirates, represented by charismatic and utterly untrustworthy Zanya Farweather. While fleeing Zanya, Haimey and her crew discover a gigantic, ancient alien space ship hidden at the bottom of a black hole at the center of the galaxy, and at that point, things start getting complicated. This exciting story set in a richly detailed milieu is successful on many levels, digging into the nature of truth and reality, self-definition vs. predestination, and the calibration of moral compasses. Amid a space opera resurgence, Bear’s novel sets the bar high.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Jan 28
2019

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee is a NYT Bestseller!

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee has debuted at #2 on the New York Times middle grade hardcover best sellers list! Congratulations, Yoon!

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