Review: Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

Space OperaAs someone who adores epic space opera tales written by female authors, I was excited for this book. I’d never read anything by Valente before, and this seemed like a great introduction to her work. It absolutely was a fantastic primer on her delightful and illustrative writing style, but this was not the intricate political tale I’d been expecting.  Continue reading

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Review: The Litany of Earth (Innsmouth Legacy #0) by Ruthanna Emrys

Litany of EarthThis novelette is available to read for free at Tor.com.

This novelette serves as a fantastic introduction to the universe of this set of stories, giving intriguing background and introducing us to an interesting character while still leaving the reader wanting more.  Continue reading

Review: Exile’s Throne (Empress Game #3) by Rhonda Mason

Exile's ThroneDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend; however, I purchased a hardcopy of this book for full price.

Mason concludes her stunning space opera trilogy with absolutely nothing you expect, which makes this book all the more perfect.

Since I’ve started reviewing every book I complete, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking down random thoughts as I read. I read this book in one sitting on a flight between Baltimore and Salt Lake City. But some books suck you in and don’t let go. Afterward, you look up with a massive book hangover and the only reasonable action is finding the nearest human and shoving the book (or series) at them and demanding that they read it too. So, consider this the online version of that. Continue reading

Author Interview with Jessica McHugh

By now, you all know that I’m a total wuss. I don’t like jump scares. I can do gore in movies/on television because I desensitized myself through a research binge on practical effects, but there’s no protective layer between the visceral on the page and my imagination. So while I desperately wanted to read Jessica McHugh’s latest novel, Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, to support my friend and fellow Raw Dog Screaming Press author…I “noped” right out of there at about the 20 percent mark on my Kindle. This book is raw, evocative, and fabulous. You should go read it to make up for my inability to finish it!


Nightly Owl Fatal RavenABOUT THE BOOK

Since the rise of The Council, an oligarchy of despots and deviants, the legendary Capesman undertakes daily soul collections from Cartesia’s wasteland cities and battlefields. He also frequents Malay Prison, where a vigilante named Shal plots her escape. Armed with a thirst for vengeance and a sharp Shakespearean tongue, Shal must navigate a maze of trauma to save Cartesia and protect her sister from the brutal machinations of Chancellor Doa.

It will require all of Shal’s strength and cunning to resurrect her former army, battle the betrayals of the past, and avenge her father’s death. Will she survive long enough to see the Council fall, or is the Capesman coming for her next?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | From the Publisher


This novel has a long and storied history. I know you’ve probably shared it a million times by now, but do you mind humoring me?

I was twenty when I jotted down my first notes about what would become Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven on the guest checks at a sub shop called Bubba’s. At the time it was called A Mover of Stones but still focused on the character Shal, who ultimately leads a revolution against a corrupt government. As I developed Shal and the world of Cartesia, the book changed into From the Herald’s Wearied Eye and became an ultraviolent tale about trauma and revenge. It was published by Reliquary Press in 2009, and I thought that was where the story would end. But when that contract ran out, I took another look at the story and realized there was a better way to tell it. While it’s still violent, I brought more thoughtfulness and maturity to the rewrite. In the end, out fluttered Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, and I was so overjoyed that Raw Dog Screaming Press wanted to take it on. The concept of “home” is extremely important in this novel, so the fact that the novel itself has finally found its proper home is a wonderful feeling.  Continue reading

Book Spotlight & Review: Rights of Use (Black Book Project #1) by Shannon Eichorn

Today, I’m happy to help celebrate the birthday of a book I’ve been looking forward to for literally years, ever since the author and I met at a a convention and found kindred souls in our shared delight over Stargate, NASA, writing, and speculative fiction. Rights of Use brings me back to my teenage years, when I had a crazy thing for UFOs and Area 51, but I’m glad I got to experience this novel with the added maturity of adulthood. I might not have appreciated the modern themes of consent and authoritarianism Eichorn slips in under the guise of creepy aliens and shadowy political maneuvering.

If you’ve ever had a thing for Stargate, NASA, or pretty much anything speculative fiction, this will be right up your alley, too.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


REVIEW

Disclaimer: I read this book during the editing process, and I consider the author a friend; however, I can’t wait to buy a hardcopy version of this novel of my very own.

I thoroughly enjoy science-fiction of all forms, but there’s something comforting about a delicious blend of epic space opera and an Earth oblivious beyond classic UFO sightings. I find it cliche to describe a book as a mix of one popular thing plus another popular thing, but Rights of Use is everything I love about the Stargate universe combined with everything I love about modern space opera such as Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series and Rhonda Mason’s Empress Game series. Thoroughly detailed world-building where you are forced to learn about all of those details along with a delightfully diverse mix of sympathetic characters.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shannon Eichorn

To celebrate the release of her first novel, I was delighted to interview author Shannon Eichorn about topics near and dear to both of our hearts. If you’re at DragonCon this weekend, be sure to track her down in the armory and pick up a copy of Rights of Use for yourself!

For those of us not at DragonCon, Rights of Use is now available for pre-order at the link below! The book comes out tomorrow, so there’s no time to waste!

Look for my full review on Wednesday — this is definitely one book you’re not going to want to miss.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


UFO sightings are one of my favorite mysteries, so your riff on “Project Blue Book” is one of the things that attracted me to your book. Do you believe that aliens have ever visited Earth?

The universe is so vast, and chemistry and life are at once so predictable and so surprising. Everything we know says it’s so unlikely that aliens have ever visited Earth. Space travel is harsh. Wide-open nothingness lies between stars, and everything we know about physics says that it’s going to take decades to get from one system to another — if there’s even life on the other side. If it’s even life that humans can communicate with.

I don’t think aliens have visited Earth, but I don’t know all the facts. Maybe I’m wrong. At the very least, I would love to see first contact in my lifetime.  Continue reading

Review: In a Suspect Universe by Albert Wendland

In a Supsect UniverseDisclaimer: Dr. Wendland was a professor at the graduate program I attended, and he is now a friend and colleague; however, I purchased an advanced-release hardcopy of this novel for full price.

I read Wendland’s first book in this world, The Man Who Loved Alien Landscapes, in one evening. I wish I could have done the same with this book, but life kept interfering. Instead, I snatched moments of brief moments of time with this intriguing, elegant novel.  Continue reading