Showing posts from March, 2016

Silver on the Road

Silver on the Road Laura Anne Gilman, 2015 Premise: Isobel has grown up in the Territory, working in the saloon in the town of Flood. In the Devil’s West, life is what you make of it, if you choose to make a Bargain. Fantasy Western? YAY! I picked up this book out of curiosity, because fantasy western is a subgenre that I enjoy, but don’t see that often. And I loved it. I have pre-ordered the sequel. I love the setting. In this world, everything from the Mississippi to the Spanish colonies is the Territory. The Native nations co-exist with small settlements from outside, all governed by the Agreement: give no offense without cause, and the Devil protects his own. Magicians and marshals both ride the roads, and crossroads are places of power and danger. Who is the man who runs the Territory? It’s unclear, but Isobel has grown up in his saloon, under his teachings, and as she comes of age she is given the choice what to make of her life. Her choice sends her out to ride

Saint Peter’s Fair/The Leper of St. Giles (Brother Cadfael, Books Four and Five)

Saint Peter’s Fair/The Leper of St. Giles (Brother Cadfael, Books Four and Five) Ellis Peters, 1981 Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900. Premise: (Follows, although requires no knowledge of, Monk’s Hood . ) The annual fair has returned, after being disturbed by civil war the year before. A clash between the abbey and the merchants of the town raises tension, but are the resulting deaths due to commerce or more secret agendas? Then, an expensive wedding is to be held at the abbey, but the match seems poor. That would be all there is to it, if there were not also secret loves, hidden identities, and a mysterious wanderer at the St. Giles asylum. These are both solid entries in an enjoyable series. St. Peter’s Fair , like One Corpse Too Many , deals significantly with the civil war in England at the time. According to Wikipedia, this war is sometimes called ‘The Anarchy.’ In short, it revolved around who shou


Neuromancer William Gibson, 1984 Hugo Winner - 1985 Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read a book originally published in the decade you were born Premise: Case used to be a hacker, until a job gone wrong caused an angry client to damage his nervous system, making it impossible for him to interface with cyberspace. He’s picked up by a new patron, though, who wants his particular skill-set, and drawn into a mission beyond earth and beyond humanity. The first line of Neuromancer is extremely evocative, and I’ve heard it cited as such many times. But, it now occurs to me: Disregard the issues of which technologies in this book have come to pass, which are functionally similar and technically different, and which are still strictly fiction. Instead, consider what color “a television tuned to a dead channel” is, how that has changed and is still changing, and how long that phrase will have meaning. This is another one of those books that is more import

Alif the Unseen

Alif the Unseen G. Willow Wilson, 2012 Challenge Book! Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 - Read a book that is set in the Middle East Premise: Alif is scraping by as a gray-hat hacker, helping clients and ducking government censorship and getting his heart broken. But both his girl trouble or his coding skills lead him to a side of the city he’s never known, and he’ll have to adjust what he thinks of as reality to survive. This was delightful in so many ways. I kept thinking about Snow Crash as I was reading it. Alif is set in the modern (2012ish) Middle East rather than the future, but the relationship between code and myth was both familiar and far more fantastic. The characters are interesting, the explanations of culture well-placed, and the whole book was a bit prescient. Wilson was living in Egypt as things were shifting towards the 2012 revolutions, and she put all of that movement toward using technology for social change into this plot, but I believe the boo