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Edition 28: Book Review: Night’s Champion series by Richard Parry

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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New Zealand author Richard Parry has been on my radar for a while now. A former finalist in New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards, he’s part of a friend’s critique group, someone who lives only a few blocks away, and, as it turns out, once worked with my brother. With those close yet nebulous connections you’d think our paths might have crossed at least once, but in fact we have never met other than via our novels. Recently, I read two of Richard’s titles: Night’s Favour and Night’s Fall (June, 2016).

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Edition 27: Book Review: Interspecies (The Inlari Sagas) edited by Ally Bishop

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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Shared-world anthologies—stories by multiple authors writing in a single universe—are difficult to get right. They require a collective mind-set and a sometimes lengthy collaborative process to develop the world building in a way that resonates for all the book’s players. Max Booth III, the editor of shared-world anthology Truth or Dare explains: “if you want to put together a shared-world anthology, please take your time. Know your universe in and out. Every crack, every pebble. Every buried corpse in the local graveyard. Every haunted house and every cannibalistic witch.” (Lit Reactor, December 2014) But done right, shared world-writing can be an innovative and exciting experience for participants as fantasy superstar George R.R. Martin describes: “writers work together, bouncing off of one another and reacting to each other’s stories and characters like a group of talented musicians jamming…” (Tor.com, June 2011). Read the rest of this entry

Edition 27: Book Review: The City of Mirrors (The Passage Trilogy) by Justin Cronin

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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After the decimation of the original twelve antivirals, The City of Mirrors continues hot on the heels of the settling dust. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 27: Book Review: The Curse of Jacob Tracy by Holly Messinger

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Just when I thought familiar paranormal tropes couldn’t result in a unique story, Holly Messinger proved me wrong. This beginning to a series (though it’s not clear as on the cover) takes us back to the Old West, to cowboys, horses, ghosts and werewolves. Oh my. And even with these common elements, the rich tale woven around them makes it one interesting historical paranormal read.

The story begins in 1880 in St. Louis, when Civil War veteran and former almost-priest Jacob Tracy responds to a summons from a Miss Fairweather. He and his partner, Boz, normally work odd jobs like escorting supply lines out west, but there’s not much work to be had. Miss Fairweather promises some good pay for what seems like a very simple fetch and deliver task for a little trinket box she’s inherited from a deceased friend.

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Edition 27: Book Review: Apocalypse Machine by Jeremy Robinson

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Apocalypse Machine is the latest Kaiju Thriller option from Jeremy Robinson, who I initially discovered through reviewing SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 26: Book Review: The Eschatologist by Greg Chapman

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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In our time-poor society, novellas are becoming a mainstay of our literary diet: stories which can be told in manageable bite-sized chunks, ideal for bedtime reading or workday commutes. So, when Greg Chapman’s The Eschatologist came across my desk, just 96 pages of concentrated darkness, it didn’t languish on the pile for long.

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Edition 25: Book Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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The mere excerpt of Binti, published on the Tor.com website, drew this reader in. A Himba woman, painted in the clay of her homeland, Binti is leaving to take her place among the stars at Oozma University, leaving behind everything that has ever been important to her. She leaves behind a destiny in astrolabe creation and the familial and cultural confines of her loving family on Earth.

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Edition 25: Book Review: War God Rising by Tim Marquitz

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Once I’d happened upon a book billed as “Monty Python meets Gladiator”, purporting to combine my loves of absurd humour and gratuitous sword-and-sorcery violence, there was no way I was returning to my ever-teetering To Read pile without first giving War God Rising a go.

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Edition 25: Book Review: Everything is Fine by Grant Stone

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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I’ve edited some of Grant Stone’s work, appeared with him in a few anthologies, and seen him pick up a couple of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. So, when I saw he’d released this collection of stories and poems, I one-clicked immediately. Any book of Grant Stone’s is going to be a treat and Everything is Fine, a collection pulling together some of his best work, doesn’t disappoint.

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Edition 24: Book Review: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carrier

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 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


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Since my review of the first in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series back in Edition 8 of SQ Mag, I’ve loyally followed the misadventures of Sophronia Temminick aboard an airship finishing/espionage school. Our young heroine has learned quite a bit of deadly, yet mannerly knowledge since books two and three. She’s experienced both success and failure in trying to stop the nefarious deeds of various enemies. Now we come to the end, in a fourth book that wraps up the story quite nicely with exploding pastries, werewolves, and Picklemen. Oh my. Read the rest of this entry