Sep 17
2018 on Rogue Protocol

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

“Wells’ characterisation is pitch-perfect. Murderbot’s voice is darkly—and frequently not-so-darkly—funny, and Murderbot itself is a deeply appealing character. Other characters, as is appropriate for a writer of Wells’ talents, feel like fully formed individuals with lives and goals of their own, despite how little time the reader spends in their company. The pacing is excellent, tension mounting to an explosive conclusion, and like all of Wells’ work, it has atmosphere in spades.

And thematically, it’s about what it means to be human, and the nature of responsibility.

I really enjoyed this installment of the adventures of Murderbot. I’m looking forward to Exit Strategy, the next novella, and to the recently-announced forthcoming Murderbot novel. The world needs more Murderbot, because Murderbot is delightful.” —

Sep 12

Booklist starred review for The Agony House

The Agony House by Cherie Priest

“Following up on their successful collaboration in I am Princess X (2016), Priest and O’Connor neatly weave together the history of comic books and contemporary concerns about gentrification in this eerie ghost story set in a ramshackle house that’s as much a character as the people living in it. Denise, her mom, and stepdad have just moved into an nearly destroyed, once-beautiful house in New Orleans, and almost right away, Denise starts noticing odd things. First, they’re harmless, if creepy, but later, unexplained, dangerous accidents happen as they renovate the house. But the comic book manuscript Denise finds carefully hidden in the attic (pages of which appear throughout the novel) is the key to source of the poltergeists. Meanwhile, Denise’s neighbors are uneasy about outsiders capitalizing on cheap property in New Orleans, and Priest does a great job of skillfully including the important conversations Denise and her family have with their new community. At its heart, though, this is a ghost story, and Priest excels at building palpable atmosphere: Denise’s parents’ anxiety about their shoestring budget, the sweltering New Orleans summer heat, the disrepair of the house (“soggy plaster fell from the studs like wet cake”), and the increasingly terrifying haunting. Dynamic characters and a surprising mystery round out this sharp, satisfying, and engrossingly spooky story.” — Booklist, Starred Review

Sep 5

All Systems Red wins Hugo Award!

Congratulations to Martha Wells for All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries, winning the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Novella!

Aug 13

B&N SFF on Temper

Temper by Nicky Drayden

“Last year, Nicky Drayden’s debut novel THE PREY OF GODS blew the doors of science fiction and fantasy off their hinges, blending a diverse array of elements into a madcap Afrofuturist romp. If you expected she’d pump the brakes on her sophomore effort, or maybe just that she’d run out of ideas, well, friend, you were mistaken.

With TEMPER, Drayden has solidified herself as not only a fresh and riveting voice in SFF, but as a force to be reckoned with.

Drayden’s worldbuilding boasts depth and nuance, with details that pull taut a sprawling narrative, both figuratively and literally.

Yes, the world is fascinating, but, as was true in THE PREY OF GODS, the true strength of this novel is its cast of characters.

This is a beautiful story, and a dark one. It is raucous and twisted, a story of upheaval told with vibrant glee. TEMPER feels real in the ways of the best speculative fiction, as if we’re looking at ourselves in a funhouse mirror, noting the skewed beauty, and blemishes, and all.” — B&N SFF

Aug 9

Publishers Weekly on Rogue Protocol

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells

“Wells once again knits combat, investigation, and rumination into a thoughtful, irresistible story.” — Publishers Weekly

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