Ancilary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Wow! Every bit as brilliant as the first two novels in the series. I don't know what I can say without spoilers, but if you liked the first two, this is a worthy end to the trilogy. We learn even more about all the characters, old and new. The complexities of the Radch Empire make for an exciting story, but the empire is, of course, filled with people, who all have their own agendas.

Sword & Sorceress 30 Elizabeth Waters, ed.

I always find it hard to review anthologies. As usual, this one was a mixed bag, although I liked more stories than I disliked. Disliked is probably the wrong word. There was no story I didn't want to finish, but there were a couple that just did not grab me. Still, it was a good batch of stories overall. Now, these stories all had a female character as the protagonist, but that does not mean that all the men were bad guys. Not by a long shot. The women who the stories are based on are not the standard for women in their societies.

Perishables by Michael G. Williams

This was a fun book to read. It is a fresh look at several horror standards. The primary character is a vampire, but he doesn't sparkle, and is not a ladies man. He's someone who used to be human, and it shows. The book consists of three separate stories, with a recurring them. The vampire character only appears in the first and third stories, but that did not bother me at all.

I'll be looking for more from this author.

The End of All Things by John Scalzi

Book Title: 

The End of All Thing

Book Author: 

John Scalzi

This book is classic Scalzi! On the one hand, a darn good story - one that kept me reading, even when I had other things I should have been doing. But that is never all there is to a Scalzi story. He pulls you into his characters' lives, and gives them (and you) things to think about. The world in a Scalzi novel is never as simple as it seems. I know there are people who don't like that. For me, though, that kind of thing is like brain candy! The Old Man's War series has been going on for quite a while, and the history of all that happened in the earlier books plays into this story.

Liaden Universe Constellation: Volume III

I had read most of these stories before, but they all stand up well to re-readings, and it's nice to have them all in one book. I love Lee & Miller's books, and I have to say I absolutely agree that just because a character appears only on a couple of pages of a novel, that doesn't mean that character doesn't have her, or his own story.

You'll find some of those stories, here. Also some bits of a novel or two that never were. Very enjoyable from start to finish.

Of, course, this is a must for any Lee & Miller completists.

4 out of 5 stars

Penric's Demon by Lois McMaster Bujold

I found this to be a delightful story. In this short work, the author tells us much more about the World of the Five Gods than we already knew, by taking us beyond the boundaries of Chalion. That world turns out to be far more politically complex. On top of that, we learn more about at least one of the Five Gods, and the story of a young man accidentally falling into a future he could never have imagined.

Pretty darn good for such a short work, but that is the sort of thing that Lois McMaster Bujold has been getting better and better at over the years.

The Human Division by John Scalzi

This was a book that was really fun to read. It was fully as good as the earlier books in the Old Man's War series. John Scalzi has a neat trick of giving you a really good read, that turns out to make you think. In this episode, there were many things to think about. What is an alien anyway? Is diplomacy of any use? Why are there wars? He does all this 'making you think' just by telling you a story, which I think is very, very cool.

Recent books

I'm a bit late getting these reviews up. There won't be any more reviews until I finish my reading for the Hugo awards. At this point, there are a good mumber of short works to read, and I am not going to review them. So, the last two books I read were:

Gifts of Darkover, edited by Deborah J Ross

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison

Absolutely amazing! This is a great book! It is, in the simplest sense, about a young man, who suddenly and unexpectedly becomes emperor when his father and all of his older brothers are killed. He is different in so many ways from what is expected. He doesn't look, or act, or rule like his father. And so, this is also a book about being different. He is very young, and poorly trained for the job of emperor, so it is also a book about growing up and learning how to do the job he's inherited.

I really enjoy Stuart Jaffe's short stories

Last night I finished Stuart Jaffe's 10 More Bits of My Brain. This is his second collection of previously published short stories. Long before I knew that Stuart had written a novel, he was one of my favorite short story writers. His name on the cover of a magazine was pretty much a guarantee that there was something in there I would love. This second collection is a good look at the wide variety of stories he's written. Some stories have a little note about how they came to be written.


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