Mini-Review: The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North

HopeIn The Sudden Appearance of Hope, main character Hope Arden suffers from an unusual condition: no one can remember her. She meets people, chats with them, but they invariably forget everything about her when she leaves their range of vision for more than a minute or two. Even when she’s growing up, Hope’s parents are constantly surprised at the unfamiliar girl who shows up at the dinner table because every time she leaves the room, it’s as if they are meeting her for the first time. 

Unsurprisingly, Hope is unable to lead anything resembling a normal life, but her unusual affliction does make her uniquely suited to the life of a high-stakes thief. While working on a big jewelry heist, she meets the creators of a new social app called Perfection, which slowly molds people to match unrealistic ideals of beauty and success.

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Rereading Kage Baker’s Company Series at!

IdenFinally, it can be told! The main reason I’ve been quiet here in the past few months is that I’ve been reading in preparation for a new project: a reread of the entire Company series by Kage Baker. The introductory post just went up at this morning. Check it out!

I’ve been a big fan of the series since the earliest days, so I’m very excited about this reread and hope you’ll join us. If you’re new to the series, there will be spoilers, but I’ll be covering just a few chapters per week so it’s not that hard to catch up somewhere along the way.

In either case: yay, Company series reread!


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Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh — on sale for 99c on Kindle right now!

SoftApocalypseOkay folks, this is too good a deal to pass up: the Kindle version of Will McIntosh’s debut novel Soft Apocalypse is currently on sale for less than a dollar. I consider McIntosh to be one of the finest writers working in the genre today, with a remarkable string of winners including Love Minus Eighty, Defenders, and his most recent release, the YA novel Burning Midnight.

Soft Apocalypse is a harrowing story of survival in a world that’s scarily (and increasingly) plausible. You should read it. Here’s my review. 




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What Are You Reading (When You’re Not Reading Science Fiction/Fantasy)?

DarkerToday you can find me over at my place of employment, participating in a post about non-SF/F reading habits. The limit for this one was 200 words or less, so I had to be much more concise than I usually like to be! Click here to read the article, which also includes wonderful entries from other regulars.

And! I know it’s been quiet here lately, but this time there’s a perfectly good reason for it: I’ve been busy reading and researching for an upcoming project, which should be launching in a month or so. I’ll post more info here once we properly get started.

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Guest post by Lesley Conner: From Slush Pile to Magazine to Anthology: The Making of Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1

bio picFor today’s guest post, I asked Lesley Conner, the managing editor of Apex Publications and Apex Magazine, to pick a few stories from the new anthology Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 (out today!) and talk about how they ended up in Apex and how they changed throughout the editing process.

Lesley Conner is a writer/editor, managing editor of Apex Publications and Apex Magazine, and a Girl Scout leader. When she isn’t handling her editorial or Girl Scout leader responsibilities, she’s researching fascinating historical figures, rare demons, and new ways to dispose of bodies, interweaving the three into strange and horrifying tales. Her short fiction can be found in Mountain Dead, Dark Tales of Terror, A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre, as well as other places. Her first novel The Weight of Chains was published by Sinister Grin Press in September, 2015. Best of Apex Magazine: Volume 1 marks her debut experience in anthology editing. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and is currently working on a new novel. To find out all her secrets, you can follow her on Twitter at @LesleyConner.

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Guest post by Robert Jackson Bennett: On Gods, Religion, and Power

RJBennettFor today’s guest post, I’m very proud to welcome Robert Jackson Bennett, one of my favorite authors working in the field today.

Robert Jackson Bennett is a two-time award winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel, an Edgar Award winner for Best Paperback Original, and is also the 2010 recipient of the Sydney J Bounds Award for Best Newcomer, and a Philip K Dick Award Citation of Excellence. He lives in Austin with his wife and son. He can be found on Twitter at @robertjbennett.

The author’s current series, The Divine Cities, started with City of Stairs and continues with City of Blades, which will be released in the US on January 26th. Because I am turning into a horrible slacker in my old age, I haven’t reviewed either of these yet, so I’ll just say this: they’re two out of only six new novels I’ve given a perfect five star rating in the past three years, out of the several hundred I’ve read.

In the following guest post, Robert Jackson Bennett talks about one of the most fascinating aspects of these novels: the way they explore the nature of divinity, religion, and power.

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My Favorite “New to Me” Author of 2015 (on SF Signal)

Mind Meld, by Rick Celis

Mind Meld, by Rick Celis

Today you can find me on SF Signal, where I’m participating in another Mind Meld, this time answering the question: “Who is Your Favorite “New to You” Author You Read in 2015?”

Click  here to find out my response (and the responses of several other SF/F reviewers.)

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