The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin is currently only $2.99 on Amazon!

KillingMoonFolks who visit my site regularly know I don’t do these kinds of posts very often, but in this case I’m making an exception: The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin was one of the best novels of 2012, and still remains one of the most original fantasies I’ve ever read. The Kindle version of the book is currently on sales for only $2.99. If you haven’t read this book yet, take advantage of this deal! Here’s a link to my review, and here’s a link to The Killing Moon at Amazon.

(Usual disclaimer: check the price before you buy because I have no idea how long this deal will last. Also, it’s quite possible this doesn’t extend beyond Amazon US.)

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Mind Meld: You Know We’re All About That Backlist

ForeignerI was once again invited to participate in one of SF Signal’s fabulous Mind Meld discussions, where several members of the SF/F community (authors, bloggers, critics, etc.) are invited to submit responses to the same question. This week’s question was:

Q: All About That Backlist: You’re reading through (or have read through) an author’s backlist? Brilliant! where would you suggest a reader new to that author’s work start?

As I spent many years happily digging through the huge backlists of two of my favorite authors, C.J. Cherryh and L.E. Modesitt Jr., that’s what I decided to write about. At some length. (To be fair, each author has written around 60 novels, so there was a lot to talk about!)

You can find my contribution (and those of Stephanie Saulter, Karen Burnham, Grace Troxel and many others) by clicking through to SF Signal’s Mind Meld here. Drop a comment and let me know what you think!

(And, on a somewhat related note: if what you read there gets you interested in checking out Cherryh’s Foreigner series, you can find my article about that novel here and Ann Leckie’s response here. Both articles were selected for inclusion in last year’s edition of the Speculative Fiction anthology series.)

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The Just City by Jo Walton

JustCityIn Jo Walton’s newest novel The Just City, the goddess Pallas Athena uses her divine powers to create an approximation of Plato’s Republic. As in, she literally sets up a mini-version of the ideal state as described in The Republic, transferring over 10,000 children and a few hundred adults to a Mediterranean island in the past, giving them The Republic as a general operating manual (as well as some handy robots from the future) and basically directing them to set up the Just City, where every soul is free to strive for excellence. The end result is something like a planned community with divine guidance.

We’re seeing this utterly fascinating premise unfold from three very different perspectives.

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Behold: Crocheted Muad’Dib Rides a Crocheted Sandworm

sandwormfrontI got pulled into a huge work project so I haven’t been able to stick to my resolution of posting at least one new review per week here.

So, for now, please enjoy this image of a crocheted Muad’Dib riding a crocheted sandworm, courtesy of my wonderful employer Tor.com. You can find more of these great images here.

Next week: Stefan resurfaces from work to review some books. I hope.

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Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole

SodaPopSoldierPreamble: As mentioned before, I took a sort-of-vacation from reviewing in the second half of 2014, mainly because I wanted to enjoy reading for fun for a while, without having to take notes and formulate ideas for reviews along the way. (Side-note: this was actually really fun, and I recommend it to any of my fellow reviewers who occasionally feel burned out.) However, since I didn’t stop reading per se, I now have a backlog of about 30 titles I’ve read but haven’t written much about, aside from maybe a couple of sentences over on Goodreads.

So now, vacation over, I’m going to try and catch up by writing mini-reviews for most of those titles, working chronologically from July 2014 up to the present day. My memory being what it is, some of these may be fairly vague (hence my usual need to take plenty of notes) and short (hence the “mini-review” part), but I hope they may still help readers decide whether this is a book you may want to read or not.

First up: Soda Pop Soldier by Nick Cole!

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The Galaxy Game by Karen Lord

TheGalaxyGameThe Galaxy Game is Barbadian author Karen Lord’s third novel, following the critically acclaimed and award-winning Redemption in Indigo, and last year’s well-received The Best of All Possible Worlds.

From the publisher:

On the verge of adulthood, Rafi attends the Lyceum, a school for the psionically gifted. Rafi possesses mental abilities that might benefit people . . . or control them. Some wish to help Rafi wield his powers responsibly; others see him as a threat to be contained. Rafi’s only freedom at the Lyceum is Wallrunning: a game of speed and agility played on vast vertical surfaces riddled with variable gravity fields.

Serendipity and Ntenman are also students at the Lyceum, but unlike Rafi they come from communities where such abilities are valued. Serendipity finds the Lyceum as much a prison as a school, and she yearns for a meaningful life beyond its gates. Ntenman, with his quick tongue, quicker mind, and a willingness to bend if not break the rules, has no problem fitting in. But he too has his reasons for wanting to escape.

Now the three friends are about to experience a moment of violent change as seething tensions between rival star-faring civilizations come to a head. For Serendipity, it will challenge her ideas of community and self. For Ntenman, it will open new opportunities and new dangers. And for Rafi, given a chance to train with some of the best Wallrunners in the galaxy, it will lead to the discovery that there is more to Wallrunning than he ever suspected . . . and more to himself than he ever dreamed.

Onward to the review!

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Elsewhere on the web: me!

It’s been quiet here at Far Beyond Reality, hasn’t it? Between starting to work full time for Tor.com and, somewhat connected to that, taking a brief vacation from reviewing so I can read some books just for fun, without taking notes and so on… well, it turns out that left little time to post here on a regular basis.

But, by the power of arbitrarily chosen dates, I declare this hiatus to be over as of 2015! I’ve read about 30 novels since I stopped writing full reviews in August, and I plan to write something about them throughout the dark months of January and February. The result may be just a bunch of vague-ish mini-reviews, but nevertheless, There Will Be Reviews! Soon.

Meanwhile, you can already find my early onset ramblings over at the intrepid Booksmugglers, who invited me back to participate in their annual Smugglivus festivities for the second year in a row. Behold! It is I, proudly and boldly Smugglivating! Or something.

And! A little earlier this month, I also was asked by Tor.com to participate in their annual Reviewers’ Choice roundup of the best reads of 2014. I always feel a bit intimidated by this group of towering intellects, but anyway, here’s the whole roundup with my bit third from the end.

And that’s probably it for me for 2014, unless I can work up the energy to run the statistics on who/what I’ve read in the course of the year. I’m not really feeling very number-crunchy right now though, so instead I’ll maybe just leave you with these patriotically festive New Year’s alpacas. Happy 2015 to all!

alpaca4

 

 

 

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