Books

2017 Hugo Awards – The Finalists

Posted by: |

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!)

Read On

Review: All the Birds in the Sky

Posted by: |

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.

Read On

Tags:

2017 Hugo Awards – Three Novellas

Posted by: |

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.

Read On

Review: The Queen of Swords – Golgatha Book 3

Posted by: |

Review: The Queen of Swords – Golgatha Book 3

When the blood fails, the Father of Monsters rises again to devour all.

The last installment in R.S. Belcher’s Golgatha series ended with the widow Maude Stapleton leaving her strange little town in Nevada in pursuit of her father. Martin Anderton has given up trying to talk sense into his only child, so he’s claimed custody of Maude’s inheritance, and her daughter, and Maude is headed to South Carolina to get both of them back.

Maude isn’t about to let anything get between her and her daughter, although the male-dominated law of the 1870’s, the reappearance of a monster she accidentally set free, and members of her own order – The Daughters of Lilith – are all set on making things pretty difficult for her. Fortunately Maude was trained as an assassin by the famous Anne Bonny – who also happens to be her her great-great-great-great-grandmother – and Maude has enough of the legendary pirate queen’s blood in her veins to make her a force to be reckoned with.

We’ve been hearing about Maude’s ancestor for two books now. In The Queen of Swords we finally get to learn Anne’s story, how she ran away to become a pirate, how she became the most feared woman on the high seas, and how she joined the Daughters of Lilith and traveled to the mythical bone city of Carcosa to face mankind’s oldest enemy.

Read On

Review: Every Heart A Doorway

Posted by: |

Review: Every Heart A Doorway

Alice fell down a rabbit hole to Wonderland. Dorothy was whisked away to Oz by a tornado. Wendy, Michael, and John flew away to Never Land with Peter Pan, and Harry Potter could just go to Platform 9¾ whenever he needed to enter the wizarding world. Literature is full of examples of children who stepped (or fell. Or were dragged) into one of many different variations of fairyland..

Some children when they return are happy to have escaped alive. Most grow up and remember their adventure as a childhood daydream. A few get to stay in fairyland forever. Seanan McGuire’s Hugo-nominated novella Every Heart a Doorway is set in Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, a school for those travelers who’d do anything to go back.

Read On

Review: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Book 2)

Posted by: |

Review: The Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth Book 2)

Father Earth did not always hate life, the lorists say. He hates because he cannot forgive the loss of his only child.

The first book of The Broken Earth series introduced us to the earthquake-prone world of Stillness, plus the orogenes who calm earthquakes, and the Fulcrum Guardians who keep the orogenes in line. It was also where we met the orogene Essun, who lost her childhood family…and then her ties to the Fulcrum, and then her new family, and then another family after that, until all she has left is her dying former lover Alabaster and the impossible task that he’s just dropped in her lap…

…right after he cracked the world in half. As bad as things were in Book 1, in Book 2 they’re about to get much worse.

Read On

2017 Hugo Awards – The Novelettes

Posted by: |

2017 Hugo Awards – The Novelettes

Hands up, anyone who knows the difference between a novelette and a novella. Anyone? Okay, a novelette is a work of fiction that clocks in at anywhere from 7500 – 17500 words; basically it longer than a short-story but shorter than a novella. Everyone take notes because there’ll be a test later.

This year the Hugo novelette division features six very strong entries (well, five, and one that wins for humor at least), covering the range from Partly Sci-Fi to Mostly Fantasy to whatever category you want to attach to Stix Hiscock’s story. Click the jump for a brief review of the Hugo 2017 nominees for Best Novelette.

Read On

Review: 2017 Hugo Award Finalists – The Short Stories

Posted by: |

Review: 2017 Hugo Award Finalists – The Short Stories

Okay, it’s time to buckle down and start trying to see how many of this year’s Hugo Nominees we can review before the awards are given on August 11. Everyone who reads this column probably knows by now that I’m really fond of short stories, so let’s start with those. Click the jump for a short (naturally, right?) review of each of the finalists for Best Short Stories.

Read On

Review: Vision Vol. 1 – Little Worse Than A Man

Posted by: |

Review: Vision Vol. 1 – Little Worse Than A Man

It’s the quintessential American Dream: a respectable government job and a house in the DC suburbs. The picture wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful wife and two happy children, or at least that’s what the Vision thinks. So he went to a lot of trouble and made them.

Nominated for a Hugo Award this year, Tom King’s Little Worse Than A Man (with illustrations by Gabriel Walta) shows what happens when a non-human hero is determined to live a human life. It’s a story that starts out light and then gets dark surprisingly fast.

Read On