Jun 14

The Prey of Gods is a RT Book Reviews Top Pick!

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“You’ll need to clear your schedule as soon as you get your hands on a copy of Drayden’s debut novel! Taking place in a near-future South Africa, Drayden introduces us to a diverse and endearing cast of characters and mind-blowingly cool concepts. She expertly blends together science fiction and fantasy for a wild ride that gives readers both a robot uprising and a vengeful demigoddess craving power. LGBT characters are also introduced organically, and their personal stories will leave readers cheering. Drayden has certainly made herself an author to watch out for.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!

Jun 12

Locus on Raven Stratagem

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

“Lee’s world building remains fascinating and complex, with a great deal implied in what is not said. The narrative of Raven Stratagem is a twisty one… It feels intricate, like a piece of clockwork in which every cog and gear has a job: it feels deeply thought, and powerful. Lee deepens here his interrogation of the themes that came so strongly to the surface of Ninefox Gambit: loyalty and trust, free will and self-determination, the personal costs involved in doing a right thing, and the problems of empire. Raven Stratagem offers an argument rather than an answer, and is more effective for it. If you liked Ninefox Gambit, this is a really great sequel, and an excellent novel in its own right.” — Locus

Jun 9

Locus on All Systems Red

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

“‘Murderbot,’ as the sardonic first-person narrator in Martha Wells’s All Systems Red refers to itself, would simply prefer to be left in peace to watch serialized entertainments in its own high-tech suit. Sadly, given that the planetary expedition Murderbot is part of goes horribly wrong when one of the scientists is almost eaten by the local fauna, it isn’t going to get its wish.

All Systems Red is a light but interesting story about a creation that is half human (maybe) and half non-organic parts, who is learning to deal with actual humans. Murderbot resists being pulled into the circle of fleshy creatures around it. Really, it would just as soon stay on the outside.

The humans, too, aren’t so sure what to make of Murderbot, who was foisted upon them by the corporation who owns exploration rights to the planet they are on. They don’t trust it or its motivations, all of which are complicated by its unreadable responses. Add to that inherent tension Wells’s brisk pacing, an intriguing enough mystery, and lucid action sequences, and this story is a great kick-off for a continuing series of Murderbot Diaries, which are being planned. With this novella Wells, who is better known for her fantasy work, proves that she can play in a science fictional world as well.” — Locus

Jun 6

Washington Post on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“Nicky Drayden’s debut novel “The Prey of Gods” (Harper Voyager) is delightfully unlike most science fiction out there. Drayden mixes folklore, urban fantasy and science fiction in her futuristic South Africa to dazzling effect. In this entertaining tale, a new drug called Godspeed hits the street. It causes users to hallucinate, to see themselves as animal creatures; sometimes it draws out peculiar powers. Teenage Muzi, grappling with his sexuality and his heritage, finds that the drug lets him manipulate people. His path, and that of his personal AI bot, crosses that of a pop star at the pinnacle of her career, a young politician who dreams of stardom and a little girl from a poor village learning to control her awesome power. Together, they must stop a goddess hungry for world-domination. The plot can get a bit (too) twisty and complex—memories! gods! AI revolutions! But it showcases characters not often seen in popular fiction, and amid the fast-paced action, touches on relevant race and class issues. Ultimately, it’s a book about coming to terms with your true self.” — Washington Post

May 31

SF Site on The Prey of Gods

The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

“The Prey of Gods is a busy book, looking at the role of technology, the acquisition of powers and how people come to terms with it, the nature of good and evil, the discover of the self, and a depiction of a future south Africa. Drayden successfully navigates all of these issues and does so while presenting a fully realized setting with characters the reader cares about (and in some cases has negative feelings towards). Her heroines and heroes are complex and they aren’t able to resolve their issues neatly or easily as they attempt to become better individuals and survive what the fates have decreed for them. With luck, readers will remember Drayden’s novel when nomination season rolls around.” — SF Site

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