A (very) late review of the 2015 Kitschies Red Tentacle Shortlist

Yesterday, I brought you my thoughts on the 2015 Kitschies Golden Tentacle shortlist (the newbie award). Today, I bring you my thoughts on the Red Tentacle shortlist (ie the established writer’s award).


This year’s breakneck pace between shortlist announcement and award ceremony made it impossible for most people to play along at home with The Kitschies’ search for the most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining speculative fiction. A full list of ten novels, five book covers, and five digital creations (one of which is another novel), is a lot to digest in a matter of weeks. Without a chance of making the deadline, I opted to string out my Kitschies reading for most of the year.

So, ten months later… I give you my impressions of the Kitschies Red Tentacle list. In short, this is a good list, notwithstanding a couple of odd inclusions.

I reviewed the Golden Tentacle list here.

The Red Tentacle list (the old hat veteran writer award) Continue reading

A (very) late review of the 2015 Kitschies Golden Tentacle Shortlist

This year’s breakneck pace between shortlist announcement and award ceremony made it impossible for most people to play along at home with The Kitschies’ search for the most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining speculative fiction. A full list of ten novels, five book covers, and five digital creations (one of which is another novel), is a lot to digest in a matter of weeks. Without a chance of making the deadline, I opted to string out my Kitschies reading for most of the year.

So, ten months later… I give you my impressions of the Kitschies Golden Tentacle list. In short, this is a very good list. Continue reading

Summer 2016 Reading Review

August is always a difficult and hectic time for me, but this month in particular has been extra difficult and hectic, no thanks to my particular sick anthill of work being extra sick and chaoticky, which I can usually forgive when I see it simply as the flaws of capitalism manifesting in the public sector, but this year, I can actually attribute our problems to some real concrete things that nobody can do anything about anyway. So I’ve been busy. I hope it wasn’t too apparent in my posts.

Since my last reading review post, I ditched the States, saw some sights, picked up a Peruvian parasite, and then returned home in order to burn out on stupid SF book awards. 70757 Continue reading

SF of 2015: The Fifth Season (2015) by N.K. Jemisin

TheFifthSeasonBased on reviewer response so far, I expected this to be like City of Stairs, by which I mean it would be very popular within its subgenre, stir the passions of many a blogger friend, but have very little effect on me. Between last year’s insipid The Goblin Emperor and this year’s heft of shortlisted fantasy, it’s time I admit the unforeseen and reluctant truth that I’m just a sci-fi/realism reader now.

But it’s hard for even a fantasy detractor like me to not recognize good, solid fantasy when I see it.
Continue reading

Heritage of Hastur (1975) by Marion Zimmer Bradley

HeritageofHastur1“In 1975,” Marion Zimmer Bradley recalls in the middle preface of her Heritage and Exile omnibus edition, “I made a landmark decision; that in writing The Heritage of Hastur, I would not be locked into the basically immature concepts set forth in Sword, even at the sacrifice of consistency in the series” (401). This is promising, though not promising much, given the puerile nature of the 1962 Hugo-nominated science-fantasy novel The Sword of Aldones, which reads like a preteen’s self-insert fanfic that unself-consciously acts out sentimental scenes with her crush. (Here is my own version of this torture. Enjoy.) Continue reading

Month in Review: May 2016

If it feels like this month at FC2M has been more gleefully contemptuous than usual, it’s only because I’m scraping the bottom of the Hugo ‘6 list, despite my careful planning to mix up the worthy classics with the dross. It’s not an even list to begin with, but man, those eighties, nineties, and aughties are painful to assign in any order. No amount of sugar makes Hominids go down easy.

 

Stuff I blogged Continue reading

Off-Roading with A Game of Thrones: A Feast for Crows (2005) by George R. R. Martin

AFeastforCrowsWith the prevalence of book-turned-motion-picture phenomena, it’s often difficult for the casual observer to distinguish between book chatter and screen chatter, especially when a story is portrayed in pop culture dialogue as an amorphous series of iconically conventional moments. With the Game of Thrones series in particular, only the most sub-rock inhabitant will be unaware of its signature moves: the shocking deaths, the shocking rapes, the shocking betrayals, all amid the doom of impending seasonal transition. Continue reading

Month in Review: April 2016

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Book Award News

I doubt it means anything that the sky suddenly opened up and hailed for five minutes right after I saw the Hugo shortlists, but that’s what happened. 4000 votes seems less like redoubled dog efforts and more like a galvanized voting community with little ballot overlap and little interest in the anything but the novel category. I just like to see my own nominees on the voting stats list in August… at the very bottom of the list probably… but still. Continue reading

Month in Review: March 2016

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TBR Fail. Blog Derailed. Sort of.


An erratic month of reading and blogging here at FC2M where I had too much time off and a case of Sudden Onset Shortlist Paralysis: too many TBR potentials and no idea where to go next. Much of what I ended up reading started sluggish, inspiring lots of book avoidance in the name of unplanned but sudden anything-but-reading-to-dos. Even my audiobook addiction went into remission.

A mid-month computer crash didn’t upset my already derailed reading plans (thank Wintermute for data clouds), but my cherished book schedule spreadsheet somehow missed the upload and now my purposeful reading habits are without direction. Having to pause and think about what I’ll read next is an inhibiting process. My reading and blogging plans have gone adrift… Continue reading

The Sword of Aldones (1962) by Marion Zimmer Bradley

TheSwordofAldones“There is– MORE? No, no, dear Marion. This is the part of me you never knew would come. My telepathic powers have–” I shook my head tersely as I haltingly explained what I have had to explain too many times before. I sighed. “Must I say this again if only to say it once more? Marion, when we were in rapport, it was only as a duty– I was blocking you from truly entering my mind because… because–” I broke off interjectingly. I just could not do this to this poor, young, beautiful girl. But I had to. “Marion, it is because your book is not good for me.” Continue reading