Showing posts from September, 2015

Reviews: The Short of It

Been playing catch up with reading and reviewing. I’m 33 books behind schedule. Goodreads said so.  Why should I care about what Goodreads say? You see, I joined the 2015 Reading Challenge and pledged to read 80 books, which translates to 6.66 books per month (I’m glad I’m not superstitious).   Easy peasy, right?  No.  It’s September and I’m still struggling to get halfway through the challenge. I’m still convinced I could do it, but I’m going to need a strategy of some sort.   I realised that I could probably pull this one off by reading all the short stories and novellas on my TBR list. It’s not cheating. Just slightly devious planning. The Memory Man by Helen Smith Two women, memory loss, a dead man, and a psychic. Everything else are fragments. This is a bizarre story that I quite frankly did not get the first time I read it. So I had to read it again. I like to believe I got it the second time around. Or probably not. It’s like the movie “Inception”. People thi

Nonlocal Science Fiction Issue 1: Not short on entertainment

Reviewing a collection of short stories is always tricky; more so if they are written by different authors. The chance of liking all the stories is slim, though not impossible. There’s probably 2 to 3 remarkable stories and a few mediocre ones, and the rest, forgettable. I believe this one was done right. Nonlocal Science Fiction Issue #1 is a 10-story strong collection that’s perhaps the closest you’ll get to having that “dream” sci-fi short story anthology. It’s evident that it had gone through a stringent selection process. The stories are a wonderful mix of hardcore sci-fi, old-school, offbeat, edgy, and weirdly good speculative fiction. Though my personal favorite is Shoot The Devil by Nicholas Rossis, I enjoyed reading the other stories. It’s one of those collections where the good stories outnumber the not-so-good ones. It’s a fantastic start with a lot of  sci-fi promise.  ★★★ ★  4/5   # In January 2015, I had a conversation over milk & cooki

IMMERSED: Steampunk Wrapped in Bacon

Everything’s better with bacon. Immersed is steampunk wrapped in bacon. That’s how good this novella is. There’s a new badass heroine in 1850s Chicago and she’s not to be messed with. Melusine DorĂ©  slays monsters and beasts for a living and does so without breaking a sweat. The rough and tough exterior conceals a past that defines her present. She’s unbreakable. Or is she? Rival monster-hunter Levi Cannon seems a worthy opponent but a profitable offer forces them to work side by side; an opportunity that has some dire repercussions. The chemistry between Melusine and Levi is unmistakable – from the playful banters to the accidental contacts to the sexual tension. They’re quite a pair. Author Katie Hayoz has this incredible knack for perfectly timed plot twists. She knows how to tease and knows when to astonish. Immersed is steampunk with soul.  ★★★ ★ ★  5/5