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Edition 30: Book Review: Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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If you’ve managed to snag yourself a copy of Wall of Storms, the second book in the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy, I’m am reasonably certain you will have already experienced the wonder that is Grace of Kings. If not, what on Earth are you doing starting the second book of a trilogy? Luckily, I’ve previously reviewed Grace of Kings right here at SQ Mag. Nip over and have a quick read of that review, then settle down for however long it takes you to plough through an 800+ page Big Fat Fantasy. I’ll wait.

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Edition 30: Book Review: A Little Knowledge by Emma Newman

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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When we finished All is Fair, we left Cathy as the new Duchess of Londinium, having rescued a house full of women and servants inconvenient to the political aspirations of the powerful Aquae Sulis ruling class. She is secure in the love and respect of her husband, Will Iris, believing that he will back her as she challenges the Victorian-era status quo.

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Edition 30: Book Review:Fate of Perception by K.F. Breene

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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For this edition of SQ Mag, I went in search of the newest releases to kick off 2017. I found the beginning of the new dystopian sci-fi Finding Paradise series from author K.F. Breene. Though I anticipated diving into it, I found it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Fate of Perfection introduces us to a dreary futuristic world where humanity is controlled by conglomerates who breed the best of the best to handle their most important workings. The heroine, Millicent, is a physically perfect, exceedingly intelligent woman who is at the top of her game designing weapons systems for her conglomerate, Moxidone. She’s chosen to be bred via artificial insemination, knowing that her offspring will become the property of Moxidone. She soon finds out that the baby’s father is an equally perfect and muscle-bound head of security by the name of Ryker. The two of them grow closer due to his inborn instincts to protect her and the child. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 29: Book Review: Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Disclaimer: I have known Alan personally for a number of years, but this does not mean I will be unreasonably harsh on his work. I did not receive anything other than an uncorrected proof copy of Crow Shine for this review.

Alan Baxter has been doing the rounds of the Australian Spec Fic scene for quite some time now, and regularly pops up in top-class short story publications. With the recent news that his Alex Caine trilogy is going global, it would be easy to forget about Alan’s widely-scattered and occasionally very hard to find shorter works. Crow Shine represents Alan’s first, very attractively-covered, short story collection and gathers together sixteen hand-picked tales from over a decade of works, along with three original pieces.

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Edition 29: Poetry Book Review: Corona Obscura by Michael R Collings

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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I was in high school when I discovered sonnets and Donne. I saw Donne as someone who embraced form but was entirely irreverent in his approach. Even now, I imagine him as the hip bad boy rapper of his day, the 16th century version of Snoop Dogg.

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Edition 29: Book Review: Slade House by David Mitchell

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Every October, I try to find a good spooky read that will keep me looking over my shoulder while I’m munching on too much Halloween candy. This time, I gathered up a list of recommended reads and randomly chose one: Slade House by David Mitchell. Though I found the premise to be intriguing, sadly it didn’t give me any goosebumps, nor did it keep me flipping the pages, anxious to read more.

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Edition 29: Book Review: The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek by Sue Copsey

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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Remember your first ghost story? You probably heard it late at night. You were in your pyjamas, maybe snuggled in a sleeping bag on the floor, the story told to you in a rasping eerie voice while torchlight glanced off the ceiling. For me, it was during a power cut, the ghostly story told by my dad against a backdrop of flickering candlelight. I don’t know how he managed it, but as Dad reached the story’s terrifying conclusion, the lights went on. It was miraculous, as if some supernatural being had been listening in and flipped the switch at just the right moment. It also flipped the switch for me on ghost stories. And a similar phenomenon affects the main character, Joe, in Sue Copsey’s middle grade novel The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek.

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Edition 29: Book Review: The Never Never Land (eds. McHugh, Akhurst, Berrie)

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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Disclaimer: I am friends with many of the writers from this anthology on social media, as our community is not excessively large. However, I bought this anthology and have no obligations for reviewing.

Canberra boasts one of the most cohesive writing communities in Australia, and the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG) boasts some illustrious members. While also incorporating authors from other cities, The Never Never Land anthology boasts some of this country’s best authors, with stories that have a recognisable Australia in them.

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Edition 28: Book Review: Vigil by Angela Slatter

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Urban fantasy is one of those genres that is pretty saturated right now. Therefore, finding a real gem among the vast sea of titles is quite the challenge. When asked to review this one, I was a little leery that it might be one of a myriad of similar stories, but I’m happy to say that Vigil definitely stands out from the crowd.

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Edition 28: Book Review: Shadows of the Dark Crystal by J.M.Lee

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Some three years ago now I recall seeing an open submission that blew my cynical mind. The Jim Henson Company (yes, THAT one) was teaming up with Grosset & Dunlap with an open call for submissions to find an author for a new novel set in the Dark Crystal universe. Brief visions of puppet-inspired literary glory flashed through my mind before the reality of the hugely restrictive (read: perfectly reasonable) submission time frame and the prospect of competing against a myriad of writers with, well, talent for this sort of thing brought me back down to Earth. Fast forward to a few months ago and, having completely put it out of my mind, this lovely if brief volume crosses my path.

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