Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Handful of Reviews

Booklist (July 2008) reviews Nisi Shawl's Filter House:

In these stories, characters lack power in a traditional sense yet are strong and resourceful in worlds running a gamut from nearly contemporary to the strangest of futures. Beginning with "At the Huts of Ajala," the story of a girl with two heads, and proceeding to "Wallamelon," in which watermelon vines protect a neighborhood, magic is drawn from many sources and is disguised as science fiction, as in "Good Boy," in which a colony is stricken by a mysterious disease and healed by a woman possessed by the spirit of Elegba. The collection ends with the haunting fable "The Beads of Ku," about a woman who bargains in the marketplace of the city of the dead, and the foolishness of her husband. Shawl's stories afford fascinating glimpses into the magical underpinnings of worlds springing from all sorts of places within the world we all know.--Regina Schroeder

Rich Horton reviews Maureen McHugh's story in Plugged In in Locus (August 2008):

"The Kingdom of the Blind" is a good new Maureen McHugh story, from Plugged In, published in honor of her and L. Timmel Duchamp's appearance as WisCon Guests of Honor. This piece intelligently speculates on the nature of spontaneously arising AI in a medical system-- and even more intelligently looks at the work life of the computer system's programmers, particularly the protagonist, Sydney, who learns to better understand the nature of her coworkers [sic] intelligence-- and hers-- as well as the AI's.

And Joe Sherry reviews L. Timmel Duchamp's Alanya to Alanya at Adventures in Reading.

Zeldin’s journey through the invasion and her role as an agent of a government which hates her as much as it needs to use here is not only an interesting concept, but well executed by Duchamp. Most importantly Duchamp has written a highly readable and compelling narrative. Compelling is possibly the perfect word for Alanya to Alanya because most readers will feel compelled to keep going, to turn the page, to find out what happens next all the while being told a story which happens to be “challenging, feminist science fiction””. Alanya to Alanya works and works well enough that readers will want to seek out, run not walk, and grab a copy of the second volume of the Marq’ssan Cycle: Renegade.

You can read the whole review here.

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