Archive for the ‘Science Fiction/Fantasy’ Category

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices of both new and old books.  Enjoy!

A History of Future Cities -Daniel Brook
Recommended by Sigrid

“A pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai. The cities share an important characteristic: they were planned as cities of the future. The premise of the city of tomorrow is a fascinating one, and this book is a wealth of information.”

Redeployment – Phil Klay (ebook here)
Recommended by Renate & Reinoud

“Honest and brutal and moving stories about war and coming home and
life as you knew it”

The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway (ebook)
Recommended by Sophie

“What a debut!
A post-apocalyptic world gone mad, featuring Heroes, mimes, kung-fu, Stuff, and a massive plot twist that throws the entire story on its head.
I loved it.”

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
Recommended by Tiemen

“Warning, do not read this book. You will read it in one go and then curse the author because you do not want the story to end.
This is one of those stories where everything just works. A well thought out world: elves, goblins, airships and a incredibly detailed and intriguing Byzantine-like imperial court. An very likeable protagonist who you can’t help but root for. And a smart story about politics, doing the right thing and deadly court intrigue.
All I hope is that Katherine Addison will write a second novel soon.
In the meantime I’ll be rereading The Goblin Emperor again.”

Hyperion – Dan Simmons (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this is a fantasy novel. In fact, it’s a love letter to science fiction. It’s a frame story about six travellers who are going to meet the The Shrike, a supernatural being covered in razorsharp blades.
During their travels the companions each tell their reason for doing so, and each of their stories is representative of a science fiction sub-genre (military SF, cyberpunk etc.).
A great introduction to SF, and a great read.”

This Just In: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Speaking of SciFi/Fantasy

Eight Recently-Arrived Titles from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check.

Ebook available for The Forbidden Library, Stolen Songbird and The City.

Science Fiction & Fantasy Awards Round-Up 2014

Monday, April 21st, 2014

It’s April so it must be time for another SF/Fantasy Awards Round-Up.  Below are the nominees (and one winner + nominees) of what we think of as the Big Four.  I’ve not included nominees for the Retro Hugos; I hope you’ll forgive me…

Winners will be announced in future Bookbits (and then edited in here).  Our Tiemen will be chuffed that his favorite read from 2013 is featured on every list!

Also, congratulations to Thomas Olde Heuvelt, who has been nominated for a Hugo for his short story “The Ink Readers of Doi Saket.”  That’s twice now in two years!  Fantastic!

2014 Philip K. Dick Award:

First prize and citation were announced on April 18th.

2013 Nebula Award for Best Novel:

Winners will be announced during the Nebula Awards weekend, which is from 15 – 18 May.

2014 Arthur C. Clarke Award:

The winner will be announced on May 1st.

2014 Hugo Award (Best Novel Category only):

The winner will be announced on August 18th.

This Just In: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Seven Recently-Arrived Titles from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Section:

Please be sure to contact our stores for an exact stock check.

Ebooks available for Mars EvacueeThe Happier Dead and Binary.

You Review: Moth and Spark – Anne Leonard

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Reviewed by Renée Korver Michan

Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard reminds me of times where I had to shorten a paper due to page restrictions. Cutting out what seemed superfluous, you would sometimes end up with a text that no longer completely made sense, which unfortunately is also the case here. It is a shame, really, because the story in itself has potential.

Caithen was once an independent kingdom where dragons had their homes. For unknown reasons, the dragons have left Caithen for Mycene and now serve emperor Hadon. After losing the dragons and their much needed support, Caithen is usurped by Mycene.  It still functions as a kingdom but is no longer independent. The king of a third country, Tyrekh, and his Sarian soldiers invade Caithen, which lies at the outer part of the Mycenean Empire. As Caithen is part of the Mycenean Empire, help from emperor Hadon is expected. Hadon, however, has his own reasons for holding off help. The main protagonists of the book are Corin, prince of Caithen, and Tam, daughter of a respected doctor who, through family ties, is allowed to visit the summer court at Caithen. In a confusing first chapter, Corin is told he has been chosen by the dragons to free them from their enslavement by emperor Hadon.

Throughout the book, characters, magic and events are not introduced or explained, making them appear flat, lifeless and at times nonsensical. In a three-way conflict, we only see the story from the Caithen side through Corin and Tam. Seeing the story developing from, for example, the eyes of one of the sons of the Mycenean emperor, or a dragon rider at the Mycenean court, or one of the invading Sarians, might have brought the story to life. Where many elements in the book lack depth, one (the developing romance between Corin and Tam) takes up too many pages, to the point where the main plot is neglected. Notwithstanding the number of pages devoted to their relationship, it still manages to be completely unrealistic. While reading Moth and Spark, I kept hoping for an explanation further along, a turn of events that would make every unclear passage suddenly make sense. Unfortunately, disappointment was all I was left with after finishing the book.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Renée can also be found on Goodreads.

Ebook available of Moth and Spark.