Friday, March 27, 2020
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Sarena Ulibarri (ed.), Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters. World Weaver Press, 2020. Pp 316. ISBN 978-1-7322546-8-8. $15.95.Reviewed by Cait Coker
Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters is a follow-up to editor Sarena Ulibarri’s previous edited collection, Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (2018). Solarpunk as a genre is meant to be an optimistic alternative to the frequent use of dystopia to describe the various possible futures of climate change; it posits viable scientific solutions to catastrophe, as well as a belief that human nature has at least as much if not more capacity for goodness and hope than for despair. These days, that’s a valuable quality all on its own. Solarpunk Winters consists of seventeen stories that revolve around cold environments, either natural or manmade. Indeed, global cooling is indeed a very real possibility in the wake of climate change, either due to the disruptions of the global jetstream (for evidence, see the recent polar vortexes that have afflicted countries in the northern hemisphere over the past several years) or as a by-product of geo-engineering. The stories all share some similarities: many refer to the events of the next few years as the turning-point, always denoted with a capital, as the Breakdown, the Reckoning, or the Change; most feature women protagonists as agents of change.
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Surradia: A Retrospective. Musée National d’Art Moderne, 2019–20. Admission €14.00.Reviewed by Gwen C. Katz
Portrait of Three Women with an Owl
PARIS, France: Some artistic movements are not fully appreciated until after the artists’ time. Some enjoy immediate fame, only to fade from the spotlight as the years pass. And then there are the movements that, through no fault of the artists, never quite have their moment in the sun. Into this third category falls the subject of the Musée National d’Art Moderne (MNAM)’s excellent new exhibition, Surradia: A Retrospective.
Monday, February 24, 2020
Kaleidotrope, ed. Fred Coppersmith. Winter 2020 issue. Online at kaleidotrope.net or in e-book.Reviewed by N. A. Jackson
This issue of science fiction and fantasy zine Kaleidotrope is headed with a quote from the editors of Weight of the World: “Every little piece of your life will mean something to someone.” It’s the kind of statement that defies argument without really conveying anything. Certainly the fragments of fiction and poetry here are going to be more or less meaningful to each reader.
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Adel Abeda (and Rika Zorne), The Velocity of Inertia. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. Pp. 237. ISBN 978-1-4742-9927-5. $20.99.Reviewed by J. Moufawad-Paul
There are times when a novel’s mythology precedes its publication. Adel Abeda’s The Velocity of Inertia is precisely this kind of novel and, as such, it is difficult to review. Edited and rewritten by Abeda’s wife, the critically acclaimed photographer and poet Rika Zorne, the literary presentation of Velocity is beyond reproach; you cannot read this book without being impressed by its style. But Zorne’s participation in the publication contributes to its mythology since the awareness that every sentence of Abeda’s draft was rewritten by Zorne immediately makes the reader suspicious of the quality of the original manuscript. Moreover, it reminds the reader of Abeda’s absence and the fact that the authorial void might be more interesting than the novel.
Wednesday, February 05, 2020
John Marrs, The Passengers. Berkley, 2019. Pp. 340. ISBN 978-1-984-80697-0. $26.00.Reviewed by Lisa Timpf
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Michael Winter, Periphery. Self-published, 2019. Pp. 369. ISBN 978-1-7333664-0-3. $13.99.Reviewed by Rachel Verkade
It was not an auspicious beginning.
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Robert Finch, Lake Wildwood. Labuda Books, 2020. Pp. 101. ISBN 2-402-68110-7. $12.00.
Reviewed by Djibril Ayad
Monday, January 06, 2020
Elly Blue (ed.), Dragon Bike: Fantastical Stories of Bicycling, Feminism, and Dragons. Microcosm Publishing, 2020. Pp. 160. ISBN 978-1-62106-047-5. $11.95.Reviewed by Cait Coker
Friday, December 20, 2019
Ambiguity Sky, ed. Rhea Chidiebube. Special Issue: Outsiders Extirpate Dark Fantasy (Summer 2019). Pp. 198. $9.99 (formerly online at ambiguitysky.com).Reviewed by Michael M. Jones
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Elly Blue (ed.), Bikes Not Rockets: Intersectional Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories (Bikes in Space vol #5). Microcosm Publishing, 2018. Pp. 160. ISBN 978-1-62106-543-2. $11.95.Reviewed by Lisa Timpf
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Edward Willett, Master of the World (Worldshapers book 2). Daw Books, 2019. Pp. 384. ISBN 978-0-75641-364-4. $16.00.Reviewed by Lisa Timpf
Prolific author Edward Willett, who has authored or co-authored more than 60 books, has released the newest entry in his Worldshapers series, Master of the World. Like Worldshaper, the first book in the series, Master of the World was published by Daw Books. Billed as portal fantasies, the Worldshaper books whisk us off to a universe in which Shapers, who were trained by an alien known as Ygrair, can form and populate worlds within a massive construct known as the Labyrinth. Protagonist Shawna Keys, to whom we were introduced in Worldshaper, continues her quest to collect the hokhmah, or knowledge of how each world was Shaped, from as many of the Shapers as possible. Only in this way can the Labyrinth and all of its millions of inhabitants be spared from the Adversary, an alien antagonist who is diametrically opposed to Ygrair and all she represents.