Well, Laurell K. Hamilton has done it again. She’s written a pretty decent police procedural and then tacked on about 300 pages of relationship angst. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for me to review Crimson Death, the latest Anita Blake novel.
Christopher L. Bennett has written some great Star Trek tie-in novels — Orion’s Hounds and Over a Torrent Sea in the Titan series, and The Buried Age, a pre-TNG book. Even Ex Machina was pretty good, if a little clunky in places. But I figured, okay, I liked those books, so I’ll probably like his first non-tie-in novel, right?
Well, I did. Mostly.
It takes a lot of work to create an opera or musical: you need a cohesive plot that can be sung, you need actors, you need costumes, and you need musicians. Award-winning composer went a different way, sourcing the entire world and putting out her opera, Libertaria, virtually. (She talks about the process a bit more in a TedX Buffalo talk.)
But Young has also taken her opera one step further, converting the show into a novel, Libertaria: Genesis, and that’s what I’m going to talk about now.
Is the act of writing a book where you subvert genre tropes itself a trope? Because that seems to be happening a lot lately, in both short fiction and longer works.
I guess a lot of authors are doing it because it works, and because it can be funny. But there’s a lot to be said for putting your own spin on the tropes themselves — not quite subverting them, but being aware of their power and using them for good, instead of evil. That’s what author KT Katzmann has done in his debut novel, Murder with Monsters.
Marietta (the one in Georgia) isn’t a small town. Not anymore. In fact, if you live in an unincorporated part of northeastern Cobb county, you pretty much live in Marietta, even if you’re not paying city taxes or using city services. It’s become part of the sprawl that is Atlanta; it’s the next city northwest as you head up the highway.
The thing is, it wasn’t always like that. Fifty years ago, Marietta really was a small town, and the thing about small towns is that you can hide a lot of big secrets there. Marvin Hill has been hiding a huge one: for more than fifty years, Marvin’s been “cleaning up” his town, one vagrant and hoodlum at a time.
Tim Russ is probably best known for his role as Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager. However, since the end of that series, he’s devoted his time to producing fan films that extend the story of Star Trek independent of both the reboot and novel universes. His first foray, Of Gods and Men, shows us what might have happened in the Mirror Universe after Kirk Prime tried to convince Mirror Spock to change things for the better.
His second, Star Trek: Renegades, is intended to be a pilot for a new fan series about a crew of… well… renegades.
I just wish it had lived up to my expectations.
On September 1, my Kindle automatically downloaded my preordered copy of The Shepherd’s Crown. By September 3, I’d finished reading the final Discworld novel. How do I feel about this?
Empty. Satisfied, but empty. The book is closed on the Discworld, at least in this form, and… well… I don’t think I can wrap my head around that.
But anyway, here’s my review of the novel. Spoilers beyond this point for The Shepherd’s Crown by the late Sir Terry Pratchett, and for the rest of the Discworld.
Sherlock Holmes occupies an interesting intersection in the genre fiction universe. While he appears strictly in mystery stories — at least in the Conan Doyle canon — he is much-beloved by the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror community, to the point that there are multiple genre-flavored non-Conan Doyle stories in print.
I’ve read a lot of them. Most of them are quite good.
However, one genre I’ve never read for Sherlock Holmes is what happens at the end of the Great Detective’s life. In the new film Mr. Holmes, we uncover one possibility for what might happen after his retirement.
Whenever I tell people about the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton, I tell them to stop reading after the eighth book — before they get to the muddled middle that was everything from Cerulean Sins through about Hit List. Things started to get better around there, but not as good as the first books.
After finishing Dead Ice, the latest Anita Blake novel, I’m worried that things are backsliding a little.