Books

Review: John Dies At The End

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Review: John Dies At The End

            “Now, this is going to sound crazy…”

Picture an empty house, a terrified woman, and a deceased boyfriend threatening her from beyond the grave. Two supernatural troubleshooters – armed with only a medieval torch, a 1987 ghetto blaster, and a dog with no self-preservation instincts – are soon caught in a life-or-death struggle with a monster made entirely out of frozen meat products.

And all of that? Was just the prologue.

The third book in David Wong’s utterly bizarre trilogy came out this month, so it’s high time I finally read book one: John Dies At The End. I’d love to come up with a pithy description, but there’s just no way to summarize what this book is about in three sentences or less. Click the jump to see me flail around trying to come up with something that passes for a review.

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Review: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, And Other Stories

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Review: The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All, And Other Stories

October is here! Time for another month of scary, horrifying, or just downright creepy books.

First up is Laird Barron’s 2013 short story collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. The title of the book is misleading to say the least, unless you have a completely different interpretation of what “beautiful” means. But something is most definitely is waiting, oh yes, and we won’t know exactly what it is until it’s far too late.

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Review: Curious Goods – Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series

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Review: Curious Goods – Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series

It’s just a few more days until the 30th anniversary of the first episode of Friday the 13th the Series. As a long-time fan, I’m kicking myself for the fact that a book about the series was released almost two years ago, and I’m only just noticing now.

When I picked up a copy of Alyse Wax’s book Curious Goods – Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series, I expected an episode list, maybe with a rundown of writers, directors, and guest stars. But what I got was exactly what I want out of a fan book: a lovingly-detailed summary of all 72 episodes, plus interviews, photos, and tons of fascinating details about the background of the show and what went on during the making of each episode.

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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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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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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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2017 Hugo Awards – Three Novellas

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2017 Hugo Awards – Three Novellas

The clock’s ticking; we only have a few more weeks before the 2017 Hugo Award ceremony in August. Since I think it would be a crime to leave any of the shorter fiction entries unread, this week I’m reviewing three of the nominees for Best Novella at once. Click the jump for a review of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric and the Shaman, Kai Ashante Wilson’s A Taste of Honey, and Kij Johnson’s The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe.

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