So much of an aspiring author's time (at least, for those aspiring towards trade publication) is taken up with querying. I can understand this, having been in the querying trenches last year (and the year before that). Doors open with agents, you might say, meaning it's natural to focus on such a big goal. Querying... Continue Reading →
City of Saints and Madmen by Jeff VanderMeer My rating: 5 of 5 stars This type of narrative is usually a difficult sell for me. CSM contains a number of shorter stories (novellas and novelettes) which are loosely connected, and weaves a single narrative thread through them. The reason I find this sort of thing... Continue Reading →
Five-Twelfths of Heaven by Melissa Scott My rating: 3 of 5 stars I have so many mixed feelings on this novel. So... context first. I picked it at random off the shelves, and decided to read it because I liked the title. If you look at the cover, note that it shows a blond woman... Continue Reading →
How NOT to open a novel.
The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation / Authority / Acceptance by Jeff VanderMeer My rating: 4 of 5 stars Fascinating NB: Review is for the trilogy overall. On an individual basis, I'd probably give Annihilation 5 stars, Authority 4 stars, and Acceptance 4.5 stars. ### Short review: As fascinating as it was frustrating; as triumphant as... Continue Reading →
I remember greedily hunting down as many of these kinds of stories as possible when querying for the first time, so perhaps someone else will find my data points useful. Warning: this is a little bit long and has some of my usual swearing.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro My rating: 3 of 5 stars I originally started this novel awhile back, and gave up about a third of the way in because I wasn't enjoying it. However, I restarted it once more on the recommendation of a friend. My overall experience of the novel was one... Continue Reading →
The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton My rating: 4 of 5 stars Clever and detailed, not to mention elegantly written, but ultimately the narrative is constrained by the very strictures it sets out to explore and (I felt) a little lacking in emotional depth, despite being in first person. I have a pretty high tolerance... Continue Reading →
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky My rating: 4 of 5 stars I found this surprisingly good. Surprising because I tend towards the soft and literary end of SFF, and also because I bloody hate spiders. So much hate. I looked up the author and was not at all surprised to see his roleplay interests.... Continue Reading →