I and some of the other Strange Horizons wrote up our recollections and gratitudes about working with the late Maureen Kincaid Speller, who passed away last year. (Fuck cancer, anyway.) You can also read the tribute that Dan and Aisha wrote not long after the news broke. I’ll miss Maureen’s sharp eye and deeply intelligent edits and interesting commentary on Twitter. Vale.
2022 in Review at Strange Horizons
2022 is well and truly in the rearview mirror, to which I say, good riddance. But if you’re interested in some of what was good about last year, my tranche of the annual year in review is up at Strange Horizons as of…two months ago.
Five Speculative Books Featuring Tarot
I’m quite proud of this list, as I think it’s got a nice mix of selections, and I’m pleased to see that it got a large response from the commentariat as well. (To whom it may concern: I didn’t mention Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber because the only Zelazny I’ve read is A Night in the Lonesome October.) And while I didn’t have the space to say this in the article itself, let me take the time here to advocate that everyone read the first ten Lord Peter Wimsey books in order, not just skipping straight to the Vane novels. You’re missing an absorbing arc of character development, some enjoyable mysteries and at least two stone cold classic novels if you don’t read all ten books.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
I reviewed The Book Eaters, the debut novel by Sunyi Dean, for Strange Horizons earlier this month. There’s a lot going on in this book, and it’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. Highly recommended, and I’ll be looking forward to Dean’s next book for sure.
The Bone Shard Daughter and The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart
My review of the first two books in this trilogy by Andrea Stewart went up at Strange Horizons yesterday. All in all they were a lot of fun, and I’ll be interested to see how Stewart ties everything together in the forthcoming The Bone Shard War.
2021 in review
At Strange Horizons. I’d like to add that I finally saw Eternals a few days after I turned in my portion, and I would undoubtedly have added it to the roundup if I’d seen it earlier. It isn’t quite as transcendent as The Green Knight and Dune, but it’s a great movie that does some really interesting things with the MCU (and with natural light, Kevin Feige wasn’t blowing smoke with that line). I’ve been enjoying the Kieron Gillen comic too, and I’m glad I read it beforehand since it did help me keep some of the characters straight. Ikaris is notably hotter and smarter in the movie, which is also interesting.
Happy New Year!
Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro + SH Kickstarter
My review of Mark Oshiro’s recent YA novel Each of Us a Desert went up at Strange Horizons at the end of June. I really liked Oshiro’s first book Anger Is a Gift and their new MG book The Insiders is on my e-reader. This book is vivid, unusual, and a compelling read.
Strange Horizons is doing their annual Kickstarter in October this year; you can contribute to the magazine and its planned special issues until the end of the month, and I highly recommend doing so.
The Angel of the Crows, by Katherine Addison
My review of Katherine Addison’s 2020 novel The Angel of the Crows went up on Strange Horizons last month. I really wanted to like this book, but there’s too much questionable stuff in the subtext for me to fully endorse it, even as a committed and lifelong fan of Sherlock Holmes.
I also want to give a shout-out to Jenny Hamilton of Reading the End, whose review of the book last year first put me on the track of some of the problems I found in my reading.
Star Trek: Lower Decks
My review of Star Trek: Lower Decks is now up at Strange Horizons. Fun fact: out of all the Trek shows past and present, this unlikely animated comedy has turned in what is easily the strongest first season of them all. I’m very much looking forward to more (and to Cetacean Ops, I hope!).
Finna by Nino Cipri
My review of Nino Cipri’s novella Finna is now up at Strange Horizons. Fun fact: I was assigned this review nearly a year ago, turned it in in…much later than intended because pandemic, and now the sequel Defekt is only a few months away. I intend to read it; I enjoyed this one a lot.