Blog Archives

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: Short Fiction Review: Crash and Burn by James Rollins

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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I thought I’d start 2017 with a short and explosive read to launch us into the New Year, so James Rollins’ Crash and Burn, a Sigma Force short story was the perfect choice.

For readers not familiar with Rollins’ Sigma Force novels, the series focuses on a clandestine division of the United States’ DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency), a band of former special forces operatives retrained as scientific field officers and assigned to protect US interests against everything and anything that can go wrong in military experimental science.

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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 28: Poetry Book Review: Sacrificial Nights by Bruce Boston and Alessandro Manzetti

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 Reviewed by Lee Murray


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Rediscovering Poetry

Disclaimer: Lee Murray appeared on a conference panel with Alessandro Manzetti and subsequently received a copy of his poetry collection as an ARC for honest review.

I’ll admit, I know very little about poetry—I struggle to string a line together myself—but I have recently discovered some new-to-me poets, who have prompted me to take up reading it again, beginning with the collection Sacrificial Nights co-authored by Bruce Boston and Alessandro Manzetti. I had the pleasure of meeting Alessandro Manzetti at the HWA StokerCon 2016, where he became the first Italian winner of a coveted Bram Stoker Award. Co-writer Boston is also a Bram Stoker winner, so in the manner of tried-and-true recipes, I already had an inkling that this collection would be good.

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Edition 26: Game Review: Lifeline by Dave Justus

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Symbiosis, as defined by a quick Google search, is “interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both.” This could be between two close family members, one of those little birds that pick bits out of crocodiles’ teeth or, in this case, between protagonist and reader.

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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 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

Edition 24: Book Review: X’s For Eyes by Laird Barron

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 Reviewed by Damien Smith


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Regular readers of cosmic horror will likely be familiar with Laird Barron. Before I tackled X’s For Eyes, however, I was entirely unfamiliar with his works, having picked up this novella on the back of a recommendation on Facebook. There’s a lesson here that can’t be driven home often enough-if you like a book or an author, give them a plug. The minor signal boost is invaluable for anyone who’s not J.K.Rowling or Stephen King, and it really works.

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Edition 23: Book Review: The Ghost of Matter by Octavia Cade

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 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


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When The Ghost of Matter popped up in my social media feed,  shared by New Zealand writer friends as one of the soon to be released Paper Road Press Shortcuts series, both the title and the hauntingly stark cover intrigued me.

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