Author Archive

Review: The Stone Sky

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Review: The Stone Sky

“…some worlds were built on a fault line of pain, held up by nightmares. Don’t lament when those worlds fall. Rage that they were built doomed in the first place.”

The world of Stillness is as good as dead. The planet is being smothered under volcanic ash by the Rifting, caused by an orogene who couldn’t stand being a slave for one more moment. But Alabaster had a plan when he cracked the planet in half, and he’s taught his former lover Essun how it’s going to work. All she has to do now is use the Obelisk Gate to tap into all the energy boiling up from the Rift.

Unfortunately Essun’s ten-year-old daughter Nassun has learned how to harness the Obelisk Gate as well. The third book in N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy finds mother and daughter on opposite sides of a war that goes back centuries, each with a different goal in mind. Both of them want to stop the ten-thousand-year Season before humanity starves, but Essun wants to do it by returning the lost Moon to its orbit to end the Seasons once and for all.

Nassun plans to crash the Moon into the planet and end everything.

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Binary System Podcast #95: WTNV #113 “Niecelet” and many tangents

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Binary System Podcast #95: WTNV #113 “Niecelet” and many tangents

It’s a nice rambly podcast this week, first with a Night Vale recap where Cecil talks about eclipses you can’t see from this planet and then gets stuck in his own recording booth. And then Elizabeth drags the podcast off on not one but TWO tangents, once about mythical two-headed snakes and another about alien tourists on Earth. And finally a segue into the Defenders, John Barrowman’s awesome DragonCon cosplay, sand castles, Lady Killer, Motor Girl, conventions, Cabin in the Woods, and “My Dad Wrote a Porno.

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Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones

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Review: Down Among the Sticks and Bones

The first novella in Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series introduced us to identical twins Jacqueline and Jillian (or Jack and Jill, “…because our parents should never have been allowed to name their own children.”) The siblings were just two of the students at Eleanor West’s Home For Wayward Children, a school and halfway home for those who once stepped through a doorway into some kind of fairyland, and who would now do anything to be able to go back.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is not the story about Eleanor West’s school. This is the story about how Jack and Jill ended up in fairyland in the first place.

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Review: Raven Stratagem (Machineries of Empire Book 2)

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Review: Raven Stratagem (Machineries of Empire Book 2)

The end of the previous book in the trilogy saw the Hexacharte make a desperate attempt to destroy the ghost of Shuos Jedao…by wiping out his entire fleet. Thousands of soldiers exterminated by their own rulers in the blink of an eye, just to kill the 400-year-old heretic General along with Cheris, the Kel soldier who’s body the General’s ghost is currently inside.

They failed. And they’re only just starting to realize what kind of force they’ve let loose.

The universe in Yoon Ha Lee’s sequel to Ninefox Gambit is just as dazzlingly complex as it was in the first book, but if anything it’s even more dangerous. There’s a lot of collateral damage in the war with the Hafn, but that only gets worse when it involves a technologically advanced government that has no problem with killing entire races to try to track down a living weapon who’s too clever to die.

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Binary System Podcast #94: Eclipse recap and WTNV #112 “Citizen Spotlight”

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Binary System Podcast #94: Eclipse recap and WTNV #112 “Citizen Spotlight”

First off this week is a recap of The Great American Eclipse because SCIENCE. Then we’re looking at Night Vale’s first Citizen Spotlight, featuring a character who is entirely fictional. More so than usual we mean.

After that we look at the first episode of Marvel’s Defenders and talk about what we like (“WRONG NUMBER”) and what we hate (shut UP, Danny!)

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Review: Doctor Strange Vol. 3 – Blood In The Aether

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Review: Doctor Strange Vol. 3 – Blood In The Aether

After a rough month, Doctor Stephen Strange is having the week from hell. The attack by the Empirikul drained the Earth of most of its magic, destroyed Strange’s library of mystical books and artifacts, and left the Sorcerer Supreme to defend the world with not much more than scraps and spit. Worse, the enemies he’s made over the years have started to notice that the Master of the Mystic Arts doesn’t have much magic left, and several of them are fighting for the chance to kill him once and for all.

Oh, and he also gets trapped in Hell. Literally, the really-and-truly real Hell. One of them, anyway. That was Wednesday, and it’s not even the worst thing that happens.

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Binary System Podcast #93: Alice Isn’t Dead #10 “Why Am I Alive?”

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Binary System Podcast #93: Alice Isn’t Dead #10 “Why Am I Alive?”

Time for the season finale of Alice Isn’t Dead! As you can tell from the title, things get a little introspective and quickly turn very grim. We got to hear how Kesha met Alice (randomly), how they fell in love (quirkily and sweetly and not at all what Kesha had planned), and then how maybe, just maybe, it all might have been a lie.

Then Kathryn lightens the mood by talking about a very fun Board Games Night (if you’re curious, the games were Snake Oil, Codenames, and Mysterium, which you really need to try), and Elizabeth talks about how her hand-drawn Tarot deck is coming along, and did you know there’s a database of different Tarot decks?

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2017 Hugo Awards – The Finalists

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2017 Hugo Awards – The Finalists

The Hugo Awards are this Friday, 7:30 PM Eastern European time (that’s 12:30 in the afternoon for those of us on the East Coast). The Worldcon 75 youtube channnel should be streaming the ceremony live, just in case you’d like to watch the announcement for Best Novel (or Best Editor Short Form, if that’s what you’re interested in.)

Pixelated Geek managed to read almost all of the fiction entries this year; we’re only missing the novels A Closed and Common Orbit and Too Like the Lightning, plus a few of the graphic novels. If you’ve read any of those and would like to have a review linked to the PG site, let us know! If any of the ones we’re missing wins an award then I plan to read those next (I still think Death’s End is going to walk away with the Best Novel award this year.)

Huge thank you to the Hugo Awards website and File 770 for providing tons of info on the awards, controversies, and the places to find entries that were posted in full online!

Click the jump for a full list of the finalists (and my predictions for the winner!)

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Review: All the Birds in the Sky

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Review: All the Birds in the Sky

One day the Singularity would elevate humans to cybernetic superbeings, and maybe then people would say what they meant.
Probably not, though.

Charlie Jane Anders’s Hugo-nominated book, All the Birds In the Sky is a modern-day fantasy/sci-fi drama that’s partly about a global apocalypse and a war between science and magic, but mostly about two young outcasts trying to find their place in the world and in each other’s lives.

Put yourself in the place of a typical highschooler, with more than the typical amount of high-school misery. Add the complication of being a budding engineering genius (if you’re Laurence), or you’ve just been told by the Parliament of Birds that you’re actually a witch (if you’re Patricia). Imagine stumbling across the one person in the world who understands you, not because they share your passions, but because they think your passions are weird and fascinating and something that makes you you.

Now imagine finding out that the two of you are destined to destroy the world.

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