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Items that particularly stood out are in bold.

[ 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 |
2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010--2006 ]

2018/01

  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter. Goss. An entertaining mashup of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein's monster, Dr Moreau's animals, Van Helsing's vampire hunters, and a litany of other early sci-fi references. Regrettably I couldn't catch all the references, especially on the Dracula side of things of which I am not especially fluent. Many are fairly obscure, like Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter, which has a very prominent highlight here. Personally I'm not interested in this fad genre of trying to impressively reference as much nostalgic material as possible, but this one is readable enough in its own right. The style of the book takes a little getting used to at first, with callouts of fourth-wall breaking meta-dialog as the group of women ostensibly writing this documentary argue about how to write it. The novel also drags a bit at the end, too much expository closure. But it has a solid, interesting plot, and likable enough characters and relationships. A bit more deeply, the author is exploring and making interesting points about the role of women in all these early stories---Goss notes explicitly in the acknowledgements that the initial genesis of the book was thinking about how often the female monsters are anonymously cast aside. So there is more depth to this than some other mashups.
  • Our Human. Castro. Tor.com short. Second read. This is a good story about a team of bounty hunters tracking down some kind of unspecified war criminal. The basic ideas have really stuck with me since I first read it. Kind of an Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness vibe, with more perspective from the natives.
  • Bourbon, Sugar, Grace. Reisman. Tor.com short.
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