Resistance (Divided Elements #1) (1/30/17)

Resistance (Divided Elements #1) by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky Published: KYRIJA (Jan 30, 2017) Posted: Dec 9, 2016     In the post apocalyptic wastelands of France, one nation-state remains vigilant against a dying world. Within the walled city of Otpor, life has no uncertainties. Humans are created through artificial means. The process both eliminates disease and grants mankind with great skill and unparalleled ability. The Commonwealth of Otpor is a Utopia ruled by the consent of the people. The only true crime warranting capital punishment? Freedom. Chaotic and unpredictable, all forms of resistance is abhorred. While jobs are chosen by people, Read More …

First Impression of Empire Games by Charles Stross (Sample) (1/17/17)

Empire Games (Empire Games #1) by Charles Stross Published: Tor Books (Jan 17, 2017) Posted: NetGalley, Medium (Nov 29, 2016) Tentative Rating: 2 to 3 Stars*     Charles Stross is one of the greatest futurists of science fiction. Not only was he one of the first great post-singularity novelists, but he also gave artificial intelligence a lot of legitimacy in his works. So, when I saw a 150-page sample of his new Empire Games on NetGalley, I dropped everything to read it. I don’t normally write reviews of samples but, hey, it’s Charles Stross! What follows is my impression Read More …

Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Published: Solaris (Feb 10, 2015) Original Post: Edge, Goodreads, Medium (Nov 23, 2016)     “In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” – TS Eliot “Why can’t music be magic? Aren’t spells just words you repeat? And what are songs? Lyrics that play over and over again. The words are like a formula.” – Signal to Noise   Signal to Noise explores music and magic in a story that bridges two decades. Through the turbulence of youth to the uncertainties of adulthood, the novel blends modern Read More …

The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #2)

The Dark Forest by Liu Cixin (tr. Joel Martinsen) Published: Tor Books (Aug 11, 2015) Posted: Goodreads (Nov 15, 2016) [Spoilers! Review of the first novel: The Three-Body Problem]     “Everything has an ending. The sun and the universe will die one day, so why should humanity believe that it ought to be immortal?”   Remembrance of Earth’s Past is a hard sci-fi trilogy by Liu Cixin (tr. Joel Martinsen) that focuses on Earth’s impending doom from an envious alien race. The Dark Forest is the second novel in the trilogy and continues the saga of the Earth-Trisolaris Conflict. Read More …

Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow (11/08/2016)

Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow by Jason Heller & Joshua Viola Published: Hex Publishers (Nov 8, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 31, 2016)     Speculative fiction has come a long way since the long nights spent at the Chatsubo. The torrents of neon reflected rain drops, once painting the megaplex streets like technicolor oil paint, have ceased. Noir is nostalgia. Adapting to the times, the punk of tomorrow has become a dark reflection of our present. Cyber World: Tales of Humanity’s Tomorrow embraces this and emphasizes the need for the genre to be malleable, technically, socially, and environmentally in-tune Read More …

Invisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation (11/01/2016)

Invisible Planets by Ken Liu Published: Tor Books (Nov 1, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 24, 2016)     Invisible Planets: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese SF in Translation is a collection of Chinese speculative short fiction edited and translated by Ken Liu. A master of storytelling in his own right, Liu shares 13 stellar visions of the future by 7 of China’s top science fiction writers. It also features 3 essays that examine the role of sci-fi in modern China. This collection includes stories from Chen Quifan, Xia Jia, Ma Boyong, Hao Jingfang, Tang Fei, Cheng Jingbo, and Liu Cixin. Read More …

Savant

Savant by Nik Abnett Published: Solaris (Oct 4, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 14, 2016)     Science Fiction is the genre of taking chances. Rolling the dice, Savant by Nik Abnett explores what it means to be human from an entirely new perspective. The story revolves around a single deviation in an otherwise ordered existence… a single change that threatens to upend the planet’s safety. The Earth’s Shield must be maintained at all costs. But when one of its protectors is distracted, does the center hold? Tobe is a creature of habit. A highly respected Master at one of Earth’s Read More …

The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)

The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (tr. Ken Liu) Published: Tor Books (Nov 11, 2014) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 9, 2016)     The Three-Body Problem is the first novel in a trilogy of hard sci-fi novels titled Remembrance of Earth’s Past by Lu Cixin (tr. Ken Liu). Tor’s recent release of the trilogy’s third novel, Death’s End, sparked my interest to read this series from the beginning. Simply put: this is the best Hard SF extraterrestrial story I’ve ever read. “In China, any idea that dared to take flight would only crash back to the ground. The gravity of reality Read More …

The Star of the Sea (Weird Space #4) (10/25/2016)

The Star of the Sea by Una McCormack Published: Abaddon (Oct 25, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Sep 30, 2016)     The Star of the Sea. Stella Maris. The inhospitable world made habitable by the mysterious Weird is the focus of this epic interstellar adventure. The Weird Space series continues in this epic 4th installment by Una McCormack. The novel is natural continuation of The Baba Yaga by Una McCormack and Eric Brown and may contain spoilers for it. In The Star of the Sea, the reader is brought back to the desert world of Stella Maris to explore the results Read More …

The Baba Yaga (Weird Space #3)

The Baba Yaga by Una McCormack & Eric Brown Published: Rebellion (Abaddon) (Jan 1, 2015) Posted: Goodreads (Sep 27, 2016) Warning: Graphic Language   The Baba Yaga by Una McCormack and Eric Brown is the third novel in the Weird Space series. A standalone space adventure, The Baba Yaga tells the story of an ex-intelligence analyst, Delia Walker, and her quest for peace in a war torn galaxy. This review was written in anticipation of The Baba Yaga‘s follow-up novel, The Star of the Sea (10/25/2016). The inner worlds – part of an empire named the Expansion – are threatened Read More …

4001 A.D. (Graphic Novel) (10/25/2016)

4001 A.D. by Matt Kindt Published: Dynamite (Oct 25, 2016) Posted: Sep 19, 2016     4001 A.D. by Matt Kindt is science fiction graphic novel featuring sleek art and illustrations by Clayton Crain and David W. Mack. This graphic novel combines all 4 parts of the previously released Rai series. While the story leaves a lot to be desired, the journey is aesthetically pleasing and fun to read. The story is surprisingly simple and focuses on the atrocities committed by an all powerful artificial intelligence. A megalomaniacal entity, The Father pacifies the masses living onboard the floating satellite city Read More …

The Apothecary’s Curse (10/11/2016)

The Apothecary’s Curse by Barbara Barnett (Blogcritics) Published: Pyr (Oct 11, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Sep 3, 2016)     The Apothecary’s Curse is an upcoming fantasy novel set in an alternate Victorian England and modern day Chicago. Alternating between two timelines, the novel explores humanity through the lens of its two immortal protagonists: Doctor Simon Bell and the mysterious apothecary, Gaelan Erceldoune. Over the centuries, they’ll need to work together to overcome many obstacles and unravel the secret of their affliction. The author concocts a masterful blend of the finest storytelling elements. With a tempered hand, Bell and Erceldoune’s story Read More …

The Twilight Zone: The Shadow (Graphic Novel)

The Twilight Zone: The Shadow by David Avallone Published: Dynamite (Oct 18, 2016) Posted: Sep 16, 2016     “How many Shadows does a Shadow cast?” – The Twilight Zone / The Shadow The Twilight Zone: The Shadow by David Avallone is the graphic novel release of four comic books issues. A long time fan of both The Shadow and The Twilight Zone, I was skeptical as to whether or not a combination of the two would be worth reading. Putting it bluntly, the idea of this crossover might strike you as bat shi… erm, crazy. So is this crazy Read More …

Under the Amoral Bridge (The Bridge Chronicles #1)

Under the Amoral Bridge by Gary Ballard Published: CreateSpace (January 31, 2008) Posted: Goodreads (Aug 28, 2016)   Under the Amoral Bridge by Gary Bollard is the first novel in The Bridge Chronicles trilogy. Originally published in installments on the author’s blog, Amoral Bridge is a story about a hacker-turned-fixer named Artemis Bridge. With a healthy bit of hatred towards the human race, Bridge is forced to play a game of dealing in deadly secrets with morally reprehensible enemies. Artemis knows people. Whether you have a dirty deed that needs doing or a festering secret that needs burying, he can Read More …

Altered America: Steampunk Stories

Altered America: Steampunk Stories by Cat Rambo Published: Plunkett Press (Jun 12, 2016) Posted: Goodreads (Aug 4, 2016)     Altered America: Steampunk Stories by Cat Rambo is a collection of the author’s short stories. Unlike other Steampunk works, Rambo focuses on crafting an alternate history of the world in which dreadful magic returns and supernatural threats run rampant. Most of the stories take place in America during the mid-1800s, early 1900s. Unlike other shorts in the genre, those in Altered America focus on a singular, pivotal event: the mysterious return of fairies, heralding in other forms of magic and Read More …

Revival

Revival by Stephen King Published: Scribner (Nov 11, 2014) Posted: Goodreads (Jul 9, 2016)     Revival is a novel by Stephen King that I’ve tried to get into off and on since its release. While the page count isn’t high at 405 pages, the novel suffers from pacing issues that kept killing the experience for me in the past. Now that I’ve read it, I’ll break down the plot, structure, themes, and provide you with some opinions of it. The story of Revival is told by a 60 year old Jamie Morton, a former rock musician-turned-engineer, as he recounts Read More …

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu

Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love by Mercedes M. Yardley Published: Ragnarok Publications (Sep 8, 2013) Posted: Goodreads (Jul 8, 2016)     Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love is the strange story about love between two fundamentally broken creatures. While it possesses elements of both science fiction and horror, the novella is more poetry-made-prose than anything else. This novella tells the tale of Montessa and Lu. Montessa is a deeply introspective and depressed young woman, craving love but only ever receiving physical and sexual abuse at the hands of family and Read More …

Seveneves

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson Published: William Morrow & Company (May 19, 2015) Posted: Goodreads (Jun 3, 2016)     Seveneves is split in two parts. One tells the story of the world ending and humanity’s last efforts to preserve the human race. The second is epic story of returning to one’s home thousands of years later. While I’m a huge fan of Neal Stephenson (Anathem, Reamde, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, to name a few), Seveneves wasn’t easy for me to get through. The first half of the novel was terrific and I enjoyed the characters and their story. I Read More …

Anathem

Anathem by Neal Stephenson Published: William Morrow & Company (Sept 15, 2008) Posted: Goodreads (Oct 15, 2014)   Anathem is a work of speculative fiction set on a world not too dissimilar from our own. The planet – Arbre – is essentially divided between two types of people: Saecular and Avout. The Saecular are comprised of the world’s governments and every-day citizens while the Avout live a life of solitude in physically isolated places called Maths. Avout life is typically broken up by level of devotion to science, math, debate and rational thought. Religion is not worthy of debate: all Read More …