Monthly Archives: August 2010

Book Review: A Brother’s Price, by Wen Spencer

Roc
310 pp.

A Brother's PriceWen Spencer does some interesting things with the “female dominated society” trope that appears in science fiction and fantasy from time to time in this book. From my reading of The Shore of Women, Glory Season, The Gate to Women’s Country etcetera, whenever this story appears, it is usually clear that the writer has an axe to grind about gender politics. Spencer is mainly attacking the “females are not innovative” meme and the “females are naturally more peaceful and nonaggressive” memes that occasionally appear in these works. A Brother’s Price seems to be mostly a response to the axe grinding, than to gender politics. It is at its base a historical romance fully of derring-do and plucky heroes, and there is no sense that the society is “superior” to a male dominated society–it is just different from a male-dominated one. Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, book, gender wars, political intrigue, Review: Book, science fiction, Wen Spencer

Book Review: Omnitopia: Dawn, by Diane Duane

DAW
360 pp
.

Omnitopia Dawn: Omnitopia #1Omnitopia: Dawn is the first in a new series by Diane Duane. Reading it, I was reminded strongly of Daniel Suarez’ Daemon and Freedom ™, but mostly by way of contrast. Suarez’ book is about a computer game programmer who decides to make the world a better place by creating a daemon program which pwns the internet and uses hackers, various dupes and corporate espionage to completely destroy capitalism. Diane Duane’s book is about a computer game programmer who has to deal with a massive hacker attack,  corporate espionage, family, and is trying to make the world a better place by providing a place to play, and making his staff a better place to work. Both are set in the near future, and both have a strong populist theme. Continue reading

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Filed under artificial intelligence, book, Diane Duane, near future, Review: Book, science fiction

Book Review: The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

DAW
344 pp.

The Stepsister Scheme (PRINCESS NOVELS)The Stepsister Scheme is the first book in Jim C. Hines fairytale princess novels. We open with Cinderella (otherwise known as Danielle Whiteshore nee deGlas) who is trying to adjust to the riches and royal responsibilities of her rags to riches story. Shortly after an assassination attempt by one of her evil stepsisters, she makes the discovery that her royal mother in law has a small espionage service, and two of her lady’s maids are also her agents. One is princess Talia (who is Sleeping Beauty) and the other is Snow White (she prefers her fairy tale moniker to her real name which is Ermillina Curtana). Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, Jim C. Hines, non-earth, revamped fairytale, Review: Book

Finicky Reader Alert (or Why Brother Will Be Eternally Disappointed by My Lack of Interest in Naruto.)

I have always been a finicky reader. I will browse through bookstores for ages, reading excerpts to see if they’ll catch my attention. Sometimes I find something that I love and will always love forever. An example of that would be Chrono Crusade by Daisuke Moriyama, (which I love so much I’ll even watch the anime version on occasion), or P.C. Hodgell’s Chronicles of the Kencyrath. In both of those cases, I only tried them out because of their persistent presence and my finally giving in and taking a closer look. Hodgell’s first book Godstalk was staring me in the eye in the high school library for months before I decided the cover looked cool, and checked out the interior. Chrono Crusade seemed a little silly, but I finally gave into the art and character design, and found myself surprised by a good portion of the storyline and early characterization of the characters–enough that I was willing to watch the entire series, and then move on to the superior manga. Continue reading

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Filed under book, comics, manga/anime, Meta, Ramble

Interview: Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon is a science fiction and fantasy writer. Her most well known works includeThe Deed of Paksenarrion the Vatta’s War series and the novels set in the Familias Regnant universe. Her solo science fiction novels include Remnant Population which was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1997 and for The Speed of Dark which won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2003–it was also an Arthur C. Clarke finalist.

More information about Moon’s works can be found on her author website here. Continue reading

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Filed under Elizabeth Moon, Interview

Book Review: Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor

DAW
386 pp.

Who Fears DeathWho Fears Death is a difficult story to write about, because it deals with situations that most people find difficult to understand or deal with, such as genocide and war. It’s a very strong book, with a great deal of depth to it. It’s a fast paced and engrossing read, but I wouldn’t call it entertaining. Who Fears Death is a post-apocalyptic fantasy set in a far future Africa, in the general area of Sudan; it is a story about a conflict between two tribes, the Nuru and the Okeke. The Nuru have enslaved and otherwise marginalized the Okeke in an attempt to wipe them out for centuries. The Okeke in turn have been fighting back but are losing as the violence escalates. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, fantasy, Nnedi Okorafor, Review: Book

Book Review: Red Hood’s Revenge by Jim C. Hines

DAW
337 pp.

Red Hood's Revenge (PRINCESS NOVELS)Red Hood’s Revenge takes place not long after The Mermaid’s Madness. The story begins with the discovery that a famous assassin named Roudette “The Lady of the Red Hood,” has turned up. She is apparently after Talia. (Otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty.) Roudette was hired by Queen Lakhim, who wants revenge for the death of her son, whom Talia killed when she escaped from Arathea, the kingdom she was born in. (The reasons why are complicated. Lakhim’s family managed to seize power, and decided to keep it by breaking through the wall of thorns surrounding Sleeping Beauty’s castle, murdering everyone there as they slept except Talia who was still asleep up until she gave birth to twins. You can add “ugly” to “complicated.”) Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, Jim C. Hines, non-earth, revamped fairytale, Review: Book