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Act 2 Scene 1: or, After the Lights Come On

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The Scene:

A darkened auditorium

Your Well-Loved Narrator:

-taps on mic-

‘Is this thing on?’

-looks offstage-

‘Can I please get the stage lights brought up please?’

-Lights come on-

-Looks right at you-

Well hello dear reader! Have you missed me? I’m sure you have. I’m back from my wee little sabattical (Well, really I’ve just been being utterly terified of 2016 and trying hard to avoid it’s monstrous gaze). There’s so much going on and I just don’t even know where to begin.

A word of housekeeping I suppose, and that is that I’d like to apologize to the screenwriter and director of ‘Arrival’. I’ve said since I first heard that ‘Story of Your Life’ had been optioned that it was absolutely unfilmable….

Yeah, I was so so wrong. It was brilliant. Simply the single finest science fiction film I’ve ever watched.

Alright, and now lets get into what you’re really here for. Let’s talk books. I’m working on a wrap-up for 2016 that I’ll post in January. But for now let’s start looking forward to the first quarter of 2017.

January 2017

A new Tad Williams!!!!! A new Peter Beagle!!!!! A New Laura Anne Gilman!!!!!

I adore Tad Williams, and a new book by him is always a treat. I’ve been reading on ‘The Heart of What Was Lost’ and it is a wonderful revisit to Osten Ard. It’s a much wider story than his last visit (1998’s lovely and haunting ‘The Burning Man’) and really drops you back into the fuller world of Osten Ard in set up to ‘The Witchwood Crown’ later this year.

I really look forward to reading the new Peter Beagle, it’s great to see one of our living legends releasing new material, and after the recent ‘Summerlong’, I anticipate his next book will also be lovely.

People paying attention here know I’m a big fan of Laura Anne’s first book in her Weird Western Devil’s Hand world (and please let this one run for a long long time). So I’m very excited for the second volume in that saga.

There’s been a lot of buzz around Katherine Arden’s ‘The Bear and the Nightengale’ for awhile, and from reading the first few chapters (so far!) I don’t think it’s misplaced. For fans of Patricia McKillip and Noami Novik’s wonderful ‘Uprooted’ this is a must-read.

I read through Seanan Maguire’s ghost story novella ‘Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day’ the other night, and I was deeply impressed with how quickly and apprarently effortlessly she created a world and populated it with fully fleshed out characters, without bogging us down with needless details. I hope to see more of this world.

Hand, Elizabeth • Fire • (01/01)
Modesitt, L. E., Jr. • Recluce Tales • (01/03)
Older, Daniel José • Battle Hill Bolero • (01/03)
Pratchett, Terry • The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner • (01/03)
Williams, Tad • The Heart of What Was Lost • (01/03)
Gilman, Laura Anne • The Cold Eye • (01/10)
Gladstone, Max • Bookburners •(01/10)
Arden, Katherine • The Bear and the Nightingale • (01/10)
McGuire, Seanan • Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day • (01/10)
Beagle, Peter S. • In Calabria • (01/17)
Stross, Charles • Empire Games • (01/17)
Vaughn, Carrie • Martians Abroad • (01/17)
Westerfeld, Scott • Horizon • (01/17)
Goodkind, Terry • Death’s Mistress • (01/24)
Brust, Steven, & Skyler White • The Skill of Our Hands • (01/24)
Okorafor, Nnedi • Binti: Home • (01/31)
Aaronovitch, Ben • The Hanging Tree • (01/31)

February 2017

Oh February…

You’re trying to take away all my reading hours aren’t you?

A new book in Brad Beaulieu’s marvelous Sharakai (I promise you, it’s MARVELOUS!!!), the final volume in Victoria Schwab’s ‘Shades of Magic’ series, and FINALLY ‘Miranda and Caliban’ by Jacqueline Carey which I’ve been waiting for what seems like centuries to read. It’s staring at me alluringly from my bookcase.

I also breezed through Garth Nix’s charming middle reader book ‘Frogkisser!’ the other night, as he had read a bit of it when I saw him in Seattle this fall, and it was delightful. It will appeal deeply to fans of Patricia Wrede’s ‘Enchanted Forest’ Chronicles.

Beaulieu, Bradley P. • With Blood Upon the Sand • (02/07)
Danielewski, Mark Z. • The Familiar: Volume 4: Hades • (02/07)
Hurley, Kameron • The Stars Are Legion • (02/07)
Sagara, Michelle • Grave • (02/07)
Harrison, Kim • The Turn • (02/07)
Carey, Jacqueline • Miranda and Caliban • (02/14)
Duncan, Dave • Portal of a Thousand Worlds • (02/14)
Schwab, V. E. • A Conjuring of Light • (02/21)
Kadrey, Richard • The Wrong Dead Guy • (02/28)
Kiernan, Caitlín R. • Agents of Dreamland • (02/28)
Nix, Garth • Frogkisser! • (02/28)
Wendig, Chuck • Thunderbird • (02/28)

March 2017

FINALLY! The new Scalzi is almost here, and I feel like I’ve been waiting for simply AGES.

Bishop, Anne • Etched in Bone • (03/07)
Bledsoe, Alex • Gather Her Round • (03/07)
McGuire, Seanan • Magic for Nothing • (03/07)
Briggs, Patricia • Silence Fallen • (03/07)
Robinson, Kim Stanley • New York 2140 • (03/14)
Scalzi, John • The Collapsing Empire • (03/21)
McDonald, Ian • Luna: Wolf Moon • (03/28)
Kiernan, Caitlín R. • Dear Sweet Filthy World • (03/31)

And now my dears, as a reward for your patience with my long absence, here is Brent Weeks reading from his forthcoming book that will return him to the world of the Night Angel Trilogy. This won’t be his next book (which will be the final volume of the Lightbringer Saga) but the book after that.

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My Shopping Cart This Week was an Embarrassment of Riches

Dearest reader,

What a busy busy week!

I feel like everything came out this week, not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new books I simply must read. Plus a bonus novella that was both a surprise and a delight. And now comes the hard part, where I am going to SIMPLY RAVE to you about how amazing two (and a half) of these books are.

18739426Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

As the faithful reader here knows, I was not a huge fan of the original Mistborn trilogy, though my issue was rather singular to me, and not a problem with the books themselves. Namely, I deeply dislike both Kelsior and Vin (though for rather different reasons). But this is a mark of Sanderson’s success not of his failure, as he wrote characters real enough that I could hate them, and not because they’re poorly written.

But the new Mistborn books are a whole new cut of cloth. I adore Waxillium, and Wayne is a delight. ‘Alloy of Law’ was a fun return to the world, and then there was ‘Shadows of Self’, which stunned me. Oh was it good! And now the latest, ‘Bands of Mourning’ which is just WOWWWWWWW!! Now can it just be 2017 already so I can read the last book in the new sequence The Lost Metal.


23909755City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

So, a confession: I read this book months ago. AND I LOVED IT. I mean, I knew I would, since I adored the first book in the series, and Bennett might be incapable of writing a bad book. But ‘City of Blades’ is a great read in a very different way than ‘City of Stairs’, and while it might not be a better book, it’s also not a worse book; and that says something since ‘City of Stairs’ was my favorite book of 2015. The nice thing about these books is they stand apart from each other. You don’t need to know what happened in ‘City of Stairs’ to get any part of ‘City of Blades’. I suspect that next year’s ‘City of Miracles’ will be the same. Though I do hope for a return of a couple of VERY SPECIFIC CHARACTERS from City of Stairs in Miracles. RJB, if you read this, YOU SHOULD KNOW WHO I MEAN.

There’s cookies in it for you if you make it happen.



25372801All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
So since we’re all friends here, I have a confession. I haven’t finished this one yet. So my review is not on the completed book, but only the first half.

When I started this book, I kind of expected All the Birds in the Sky to be one of those over hyped books by an new author which was going to be good as a first novel, but not actually as good as the hype. And the hype has been ABUNDANT. And in a way, it IS very much a first novel. The beginning of the book is a lot of telling without showing, and it has a strangely slow build up to where the action really starts. But, in spite of that, I am really loving it. There’s something strange and beautiful about it that reminds me slightly of Patricia McKillip and Charles de Lint, with more than a hint of the pre-apocalyptic dread of Sheri Tepper’s ‘Beauty’.

All in all, I hope the book finishes as well as it is going right now, because I want it to be one of those instances where the buzz is deserved.


51gZ5QdYeUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Up next, besides finishing All the Birds in the Sky and the poor neglected Trial of Intentions by Peter Orullian which I keep setting aside to read more current books so I can write about them for you all (Do you see the sacrifices I make for you?); I also have two books I am so excited about that I can barely speak. Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip and Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold are new books by two of my favorite writers in the business, and if I hadn’t gotten an advance copy of ‘Gentleman Jolie’ (Thank you lovely Chris, for coming through!)

Layout 1This isn’t the book I’d recommend starting Bujold with, especially not the Vorkosigan Saga, as it depends heavily on what has come before.Much of the weight of this book comes from emerging from the shadow of a character that isn’t present in this book at all, though his absence is constant. If you’re looking to start the Vorkosigan books, good places to start are Shards of Honor and The Warriors Apprentice. If you prefer fantasy, her Curse of Chalion is superb. All of three will stand alone very well.

25489443Patricia McKillip was one of the first writers I really fell in love with (her writing, not her, I’ve only met her briefly though she seemed lovely) and is one of the finest writers of fantasy alive, in more opinions than just mine. Each of her books is like a little gem; perfect and lovely. Kingfisher will no doubt be another lovely book. If you’re not familiar with her, her books are beautifully written compact stories, and not sprawling epics (though when she turned her hand to epic fantasy, she produced one of the classics of the style, her acclaimed Riddlemaster Trilogy). Excellent places to start with her are The Book of Atrix Wolf and The Forests of Serre, or if you want something a little more epic, the previously mentioned Riddlemaster trilogy.

Alright my lovelies, I am off to read some more, or possibly sneak in some of this week’s ‘Shannara Chronicles’. I promise not to write anymore fan fiction about that adorable Will Ohmsford.
This week at least.

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How I Turned on That Weird Box in the Living Room and There Was MAGIC

Dear reader, I have a confession; I’ve been watching TV again. Don’t judge me. You see, all of those promos for The Shannara Chronicles (and I still say ‘shan uh ruh’ not ‘shan are uh’ because the author, Terry Brooks, has brainwashed me; like a less militant Patty Hearst or something) and so, I braved my living room and found the remote for THAT THING.

10-trw-new-york.nocrop.w480.h670 After replacing the batteries, I got the thing to work, and I turned it onto MTV which has become one of the few channels I watch the last couple of years though I haven’t watched it regularly since The Real World was required watching back in 2001 (two words: Teen Wolf). And I waited.

I should mention that I’m not one of those hystericals who will go on and on about how if a particular adaptation isn’t up to par that it will RUIN a favorite book. Because TV and movies don’t have that power over me. Did I die a little while watching ‘Stardust’ and that appalling ending they gave it? Yes, I did. But now I pretend that it’s bad fanfiction and watch it cause Charlie Cox is adorable and Michelle Pfeiffer is magical; much as the HBO adaptation of Game of Thrones has captured me on it’s own merits, not just because I love the books. Additionally, while the desecration of ‘A Winter’s Tale’ in it’s adaptation is rather appalling, the casting was SPOT ON.

MV5BMTkxNjEwOTY4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTA2ODk0NzE@._V1_SX640_SY720_ So my interest for Shannara (there I go and do it again) Chronicles was high, but my actual fan investment was rather low. Or so I thought. Because the minute Austin Butler (whose lips deserve their own screen credit) appeared on screen, I knew we’d be okay. Because he pretty much captured Wil Ohmsford in about 3 minutes (I didn’t say Wil was a deeply written character, just engaging). And Manu Bennett is Allanon. Besides being like 3 feet shorter, which he can’t really be blamed for.

After it was done I got to watch the mid-season premiere of Teen Wolf (which if you haven’t watched beyond the first season is stunning) so it was just about a perfect night.

themagicians_show Tonight, I finally watched the first episode of ‘The Magicians’ based on the books by Lev Grossman which you can watch on the Syfy app and on right now. And it was also fantastic. I have a real love/hate relationship with Grossman’s books. I love the world, and how it’s a much truer telling of what a modern school of magic would be than the anachronistic Harry Potter. But on the flip side, there’s Quentin Coldwater, who might be the most irritating (read that as accurate) teenager ever put on paper.

As a TV character however, Quentin doesn’t irritate me nearly as much. Because here we see all the fantastic characters around him unfiltered by Quentin’s more annoying personality. This isn’t to say that they made Quentin either more interesting or reduced his annoyingness, just that his importance is reduced to primacy from omnipresence.

I actually like The Magicians MORE than the books as a result, which I’m not sure has ever happened (besides movies like ‘The Shipping News’ where the book is rather tedious).

1760889851gZ5QdYeUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ I still haven’t watched the first episodes of ‘The Expanse’ because first it was Christmas, and now I’ve watched 4 hours of TV in a week and I’m EXHAUSTED. Plus I have two books beside my bed to finish, Jenn Bosworth’s lovely The Killing Jar which I’m enjoying immensely (and was trying to finish for this review but it just didn’t happen) and Peter Orullian’s Trial of Intention which makes me want to put Irene Gallo on trial for approving that terrible cover when she normally has impeccable taste though the book is quite enjoyable.

Well, my hope of winning the Powerball so I could retire and read books and write angry letters to the HOA about the squirrels that torment my cat seems to be in vain, so I am off to work! Ta-ta my lovelies, and I will see you all in a week!

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My Out of Office Reply is Broken

Dear Reader, I’m sure you felt that I had abandoned you.

Well, to be honest, I have. Not permanently mind you, but you know how busy the holidays can be, trees that need decorating and pie to be eaten. However, I have returned to you in this new year, with an updated list of releases for the first quarter, including some that I’m desperately smug about having already read (Like City of Blades) and some that I’m still desperate to read (I’m looking at you Brandon Sanderson). Currently I’m reading the new Jenn Bosworth, The Killing Jar, which I’ve been looking forward to reading for quite some time, and I’ll tell you all about it next week.

25372801I don’t pretend this is a complete list, but these are the books that have caught my attention, including a couple of impressive debut novels like the enormously buzzed-about All the Birds in the Sky by io9 Editor Charlie Jane Anders, and Drake by Peter McLean.

26883415Some of the ones I’m most looking forward to, besides of course the already mentioned Bosworth, Brandon Sanderson, and Robert Jackson Bennett, are the new Patricia McKillip (who I feel is criminally under-read), the final Fairyland book by Catherynne Valente, and the China Mieville. As well as the new Lois McMaster Bujold (which I’ve already read) and the Mary Robinette Kowal novella (that I’ve already read a version of) which are both as good as you expect from each author. For fans looking for Kowal to write something other than the period fantasy she has written so far in her novels (but which she has done widely in her short stories) Forest of Memory should be a don’t-miss.

A Gathering of Shadows FinalAmong the follow-ups to current series with follow-ups scheduled, I want to single out VE Schwab (who writes YA under her full name, Victoria) last year’s A Darker Shade of Magic was one of my favorite reads, so this years offering, A Gathering of Shadows is high on my to-read list. As well as the final book in Jeff Salyards trilogy, and the much expected closure to Pierce Brown’s epic scifi trilogy, Morning Star (and can someone explain how he wasn’t nominated for a Campbell Award please?).

So darling ones, there you go, a gigantic reading list sure to keep you busy for the next few months , and I’ll be sure to post the second quarter release list sometime in late February, so you have time to drool properly (and pre-order).

I’ll see you in a week!

January 5th

This Census-Taker by China Miéville
Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard
Midnight Taxi Tango Daniel José Older
City of Light Keri Arthur
Path of Gods Snorri Kristjansson
Drake by Peter McLean

January 12th

The People in the Castle by Joan  Aiken
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
Ancestral Machines by Michael Cobley
The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
Goldenfire A.F.E. Smith
Xenowealth by Tobias Buckell

January 19th

Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers
Patchwerk by David Tellerman
Pagan Night  by Tim Akers
The Beauty of Destruction by Gavin Smith
Occupy Me by Trisha Sullivan  (UK)

January 26th

Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6) by Brandon Sanderson
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Night Study (Soulfinders, #2) by Maria V. Snyder
City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett
Graveyard by William C Dietz.
Staked (Iron Druid #8) by Kevin Hearne
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
The Brimstone Deception (SPI Files, #3) by Lisa Shearin

February 2nd

Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip
Chains of the Heretic: Bloodsounder’s Arc Book Three by Jeff Salyards
Dreaming Death by J. Kathleen Cheney
The Custodian of Marvels (Fall of the Gaslit Empire #3) by Rod Duncan
Games Wizards Play by Diane Duane
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Best of Bova by Ben Bova
Graft by Matt Hill
Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair  Reynolds
The Alchemy of Chaos (Maradaine, #2) by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Grave Visions (Alex Craft, #4) by Kalayna Price
Revisionary by Jim C. Hines

February 9th

The Hunt (Atlanta Burns, #2) by Chuck Wendig
Dragon Hunters (The Chronicles of the Exile #2) by Marc Turner
The Guns Of Ivrea (Tales of Valdur, #1) by Clifford Beal
Morning Star (Red Rising Trilogy, #3) by Pierce Brown
Fathoms by Jack Cady
A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson
The Tiger And The Wolf by Adrian Tchaikovsky (UK)

February 16th

Bluescreen by Dan Wells
Lovecraft Country by Ruff, Matt
Fall of Light (The Kharkanas Trilogy, #2) by Steven Erikson
Calamity (Reckoners, #3) by Brandon Sanderson
Down Station by Simon Morden  (UK)
The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds & Stephen Baxter

February 23rd

A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab
Genrenauts by Michael R Underwood
Good Girls by Glen Hirshberg
Those Below (The Empty Throne #2) by Daniel Polansky
The Silver Tide by Jen Williams

March 1st

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland, #5) by Catherynne M. Valente
The Last Days of Magic: A Novel by Mark Tompkins
United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas
Chaos Choreography by Seanan McGuire
Quantum Night by Robert J. Sawyer
Arkwright by Allen Steele
 The Brotherhood of the Wheel by R. S. Belcher
Nocturnall by Beth Bernobich* (Actually released Dec. 1 2015)

March 8th

The Spider’s War (The Dagger and the Coin, #5) by Daniel Abraham
The Cold Between by Elizabeth  Bonesteel
Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9) by Patricia Briggs
Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier
The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu

March 15th

The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #3) by Brian Staveley
Pieces of Hate by Tim Lebbon
The Winged Histories: a novel by Sofia Samatar
Snakewood by Adrian Selby
Into Everywhere by Paul McAuley

March 22nd

Transgalactic by James Gunn
The Immortal Throne by Stella Gemmel
Shadow and Flame (The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga) by Gail Z Martin.

March 29th

Javelin Rain by Myke Cole
The Mortal Tally (Bring Down Heaven #2) by Sam Sykes
Downfall of the Gods by K. J.  Parker

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On the currency of the true cost of things


Oh dearest reader, there is nothing as satisfying as the perfect conclusion to a series, is there not? This week we finally got the final installment of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School quartet, and it’s amazing. Carriger has, in a remarkably short time, become one of the highlights of the publishing schedule for me (and delightful in person as well). This past spring when ‘Prudence’ finally came out, I was treated to one of the most entertaining books I’d read in ages. I giggled, I laughed, and I was enraptured by the world once again. With Manners and Mutiny this same magic returned. At this point I’m not certain if Carriger could misstep. Which is all to the good, because the Finishing School series had a lot of loose ends to cover, including the fate of the odious Monique, and how the world of the Finishing School became the world of Soulless.
Spoiler: she nailed it perfectly.

You know I don’t hold with true spoilers, but oh how I want to burble on about /REDACTED/, I truly do! And the ending! So perfect, if just the slightest hint of bittersweet. If you haven’t given them a try, I can’t recommend them enough, they’re the perfect antidote to the dreary endless volumes of dark and gloomy that the Houses have decided is all we want to read.

Also read

Tremontaine: episode two by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Also a delight. I’m almost feeling spoiled by the amount of witty writing going on currently. And I’m intrigued by the idea of a regular infusion of Kushner’s lovely world. I hope it continues forever.

Jeweled Fire by Sharon Shinn
Any new book by Shinn is a delight, and if this one didn’t have quite the charm and delight of the first book in this world that’s because Corene is a more complex and difficult character than Zoe, and less sure of what she wants.

A Gem, perhaps not forgotten, but not read nearly enough


Dearest reader, I finished this post while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at night. Contemplating so many things; liberty and sacrifice, and the bonds between people and institutions.

Lois Bujold talks in her book Memory, about those who sacrifice to make Vor real. We read speculative fiction to see our own world reflected in ways that can make it clearer to see, and to examine. In our own world, Lincoln was such a man. Someone who made the ultimate sacrifice to make America real.

So today I decided to include a bit of poetry for you instead of a forgotten gem. An homage, if you will, to he who preserved the Union of the states. And perhaps as a reminder to myself about where the real America is.

‘O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought
is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring,
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning,
Here, Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed
and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.’

Walt Whitman – 1865

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…My Life: Stuck Between the Suck Fairy and a Red Queen

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Dearest reader, I want you to feel positively CHERISHED. You may be asking ‘Well of course I’m cherished, I read Between the Covers every week, and no one is more cherished than me.’ and that is very very true. If you don’t read this every week, you should feel a deep sense of shame, and possibly the barest hint of self-loathing. You see, I am currently reading the forthcoming Lois McMaster Bujold, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen which is out in February.

Now, ordinarily I don’t read books I’m planning to review this far in advance, but I am making an exception for this one. Partially because it’s Bujold and I have no willpower when it comes to her, and partially because two of my closest friends are getting married just a few days after this book comes out, and I suspect that I’ll be rather busy that weekend.

But realistically, you know it’s cause I have no willpower.

This week’s review was supposed to be the new Nightvale book which came out this week, and which I had read about half of before the interruption of the new Bujold entered my life. I was really enjoying it, and I expect I will finish it soon, but for now all I can think about is Cordelia, and /SPOILER REDACTED/ and how /SPOILER REDACTED/. So instead, I’m going to talk about the most dreaded of book-related supernatural phenomena: The Suck Fairy.

I first encountered the Suck Fairy in a post of Jo Walton’s on, and she has written that she first heard of it from Naomi Libicki and so on and so on. Though of course, I had encountered the effects of the Suck Fairy long before that. I recently reread a book I first read back in 1997 (to spare the guilty, I won’t mention the name) which I remember as charming and rather fun. What I discovered on rereading, however, was a book where the main character is raped by the love interest and she forgives him because she was silly and brought it on herself.

I kid you not.

And then there is the Suck Fairy‘s lesser known, and rarer sibling, the Awesome Fairy. The Awesome Fairy also recently reared it’s head in my life, a book I had read many years ago and really liked and had decided to revisit was actually far far better than I remembered. More on that below. In both instances of course, it was me who changed, and the respective books affected me far differently than the first exposure.

Which brings me to both what else I read this week, and my Forgotten Gem, all in one


This week Ellen Kushner launched her new serial story ‘Tremontaine.’ To prepare for it, I decided to reread her earlier book The Privilege of the Sword set in the same world of Riverside. I am an old fan of this milieu, and have a longstanding love of Swordspoint, but had always viewed Privilege of the Sword to be not quite as good for some reason.

Well, Dear Reader, I don’t know what I was thinking the first time through. I absolutely ADORED this book, and the first episode of ‘Tremontaine’ is delightful as well. From it’s first moments where Diana, the Duchess of Tremontaine sits pondering her next move. I don’t want to give anything away, but I already can’t wait for the next episode.

And now Dear Reader, I am leaving you to go back to Cordelia. Until next week!

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