Tag Archives: book

BOOK REVIEW: Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell

SYNOPSIS: She’s a thief/former aristocrat. He’s a Small God. Together,they fight crime!(sort of).Thief Adrienne Satti, aka Widdershins, navigates intrigue and adventure from aristocratic balls to the underside of a city as the enemies who ruined her rags to riches story return, and with even bigger game in mind than the last worshiper of a little god.


PROS: Strong notes of humor, appealing empowered female protagonist, and a good relationship between Widdershins and her unlikely sidekick.
CONS: Novel takes a bit too long to really get rolling, especially for YA readers. Rags to Riches portion of the story feels a bit unlikely.
VERDICT: Marmell convincingly brings his talents for secondary world fantasy to a YA audience.

Continue reading

Rock ‘em Sock ‘em! – Stories with Robots

01010100 01101000 01100101 01110011 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101111 01101111 01101011 01110011 ….what? You can’t read binary? Shame on you. Fine. Let’s start over.

Robots. How about ‘em? They provide an endless source of fascination for the human race–though mostly we wonder how soon until they wipe us out. Cheery, right? That little Roomba keeping your floors clean? Could tomorrow become sentient, get tired of sucking dust and spark the Terminator/Skynet apocalypse. Best to just take it out back with a shotgun and give it the Ol’ Yeller treatment before it’s too late.

Science fiction writers often envision worlds where robots abound, performing tasks anywhere from household chores to acting as personal assistants to spaceship piloting to detective work and beyond. Plus all the sex, violence, and mayhem that tends to go along with unruly bits of technology. The following three books put robots in the spotlight, where they can beep, sputter, spark, and overthrow humanity to your heart’s content.

Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW: Among Others by Jo Walton

SYNOPSIS: A teenaged girl in 1979 deals with her witch of a mother, faeries, a difficult boarding school life, and the joys of discovering science fiction and fantasy.

PROS: Very personal first person past tense epistolary narrative puts the reader in Mor’s mindset.
CONS: Readers not in the target age group will have difficulty engaging the book.
VERDICT: A milestone in Jo Walton’s oeuvre.

There are books that defy easy categorization and analysis. They are audacious, complex and stunning pieces.  Trying to summarize such books for others is difficult.  These books dazzle, and your words feel inadequate. That is the central problem in engaging with Among Others, the latest novel from Jo Walton.

Continue reading

15 Science Fiction and Fantasy Thrillers Worth Your Time

My latest space opera novel, The Returning, follow up to last year’s The Worker Prince, wound up being modeled after thrillers like Robert Ludlam’s Bourne novels and got me thinking a lot about great science fiction and fantasy thrillers. Obviously science lends itself well to the thriller genre, and the thriller genre is one of the easiest and most fun to cross-mix with other genres. So based in part on Amazon listings and recommendations from friends and fellow writers, here’s list of 15 such thrillers SFSignal readers might enjoy.

One can’t talk about Science Fiction and Fantasy thrillers without first mentioning two very important classics which are precursors. Both were published at the end of the 19th Century and remain popular even today.

Continue reading

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 129): Panel Discussion: Mind-bending ideas from Science Fiction and Fantasy

In episode 129 of the Hugo Nominated SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks our irregulars to weigh in on: The most mind-bending idea you’ve ever encountered in a work of fantasy or science fiction.

Continue reading

Daniel Abraham Adapts “A Game of Thrones”

Winter is coming!

I know, I know – that gets said a lot.  Today, it’s being said over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, where I’m starting a new series on Graphic Novel adaptations of literary works.

First up?  Game of Thrones Volume 1 from Dynamite/Bantam.

Making the leap from printed word to a visual medium isn’t always easy.  Everyone has a favorite book adapted to film that, in their opinion, fell short of the original material (The Dresden Files on SyFy comes to mind).  A Game of Thrones has not only been adapted to a successful television show, there’s also a Graphic Novel / comic book series adapted by Daniel Abraham (author of The Dragon’s Path) with art by Tommy Patterson (Farscape (Boom! Studios)), A Game of Thrones Volume One brings together in hardcover form, the first 6 issues of the comic originally published by Dynamite Entertainment.

Check out the full article over on the Kirkus Reviews blog.

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 119): Panel Discussion – What Are You Reading?

In episode 119 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks a panel of SF Signal Irregulars: What are you reading?

This week’s panel:

© 2012 SFSignal.com
Featuring original music by John Anealio
Continue reading

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 118): An Interview With Sword and Laser Hosts Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt

In episode 118 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down to chat with Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, co-hosts of the Sword and Laser podcast which recently joined Felicia Day’s Geek and Sundry channel on YouTube.
Continue reading