Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Image result for certain dark things silvia moreno-garcia

Certain Dark Things takes place in an alternate version of Mexico City in which vampires are known to exist. There are ten different types of vampires listed in the glossary, each with their own strengths and weaknesses (somewhat reminiscent of the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade). Only three different types of vampires appear on screen which is for the best as trying to keep track of ten different species would have been confusing. The fact that there’s a wider world of vampires out there does leave plenty of room for a sequel or even a series. Continue reading

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

“The poets do not sing of this, either, how death begets the urge toward life. I, who knew how to take pain, took Hyacinthe’s. Pain and delight, I took from him, and gave him back both, until we understood, the both of us, how they are intertwined, how one does not come without the other.”

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a masochist, both by inclination and by training. She has the ability to heal quickly, which comes in handy for a masochist, although she also has bad luck. She begins the book as a courtesan in training at the Night Court which contains different houses, each appealing to a different taste. She eventually becomes a ward to Anafiel Delaunay who trains her in observation, making her a spy as well as a courtesan. “All knowledge is worth having” is his motto and Phèdre concurs. I loved that even after she is warned that there are some things she shouldn’t know, she intends to find out anyway. Continue reading

Women of Futures Past

Women of Futures Past starts with an introduction by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in which she gives us a fascinating behind the scenes look into the science fiction publishing industry. (She also introduces each story.) She tells us that many people assume women writing SciFi is a recent phenomenon even though women have been writing SciFi from the beginning. The reason people think women weren’t part of science fiction in earlier decades is because female writers are often left out of Best Of anthologies which effectively erases them from history. She says this is partly due to literary SciFi being favored over the type of SciFi women often write such as space opera. This anthology was created to shine a light on past and present female science fiction writers who haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. Continue reading

Captivity of the Oatman Girls by R. B. Stratton Part 2

41AgyXQO7iL._SX260_.jpg (260×289)

“Though no pleasant task to bring this sad after part to the notice of the reader, it is nevertheless a tale that may be interesting for him to ponder; and instructive, as affording matter for the employment of reflection, and instituting a heartier sympathy with those upon whose life the clouds and pangs of severe reverses and misfortunes have rested.” (page 10) Continue reading

The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collins

51sZbZe7v+L.jpg (333×500)

“I had begun to throw on my clothes, but the way Larry said that stopped me with one leg in my jeans, the other hanging in air as I hopped around with all the dignity of Kanye West at the Grammys.”

The Longest Con by Michaelbrent Collings is a semi-autobiographical horror comedy that takes place during a Comic Con type convention. There are cos-players, panels, vendor booths, celebrities like Stan Lee, a game room, and everything else you’d expect at such a convention. However, there’s also a hidden world of supernatural creatures including brownies, dwarves, vampires, werewolves, witches, succubi, gremlins, and so forth who like to go to conventions dressed up as people… and not all of them like to play nice. Continue reading

The Complete Works of Lord Byron

1562_byron.gif (286×280)

I can’t help comparing Byron’s poems to those of Keats and Shelley. Like them, he liked writing about Greek mythology, gave long descriptions of nature, and had an obsession with death. Byron seemed to write more about lost love than they did. He also lived longer than them and produced a lot more writing. Perhaps due to this, he moved on from the familiar themes into new territory. Compared to them, he was also something of a bad boy and gave us the Byronic anti-hero. The protagonists of his poems and plays are often deeply flawed, yet still sympathetic characters. (Byron even makes us feel sympathy for the Biblical Cain.) Continue reading