Review: City of Mirrors a satisfying conclusion to The Passage Trilogy

17059277-_sy540_Seriously, don’t read this if you don’t want spoilers. It’s been six long years since “The Twelve” (which came out only two years after “The Passage”), so don’t let this review spoil your own anticipation. OK?

Got it?

Continue reading “Review: City of Mirrors a satisfying conclusion to The Passage Trilogy”

Why you should download the massive, free e-book ‘Up and Coming’

AnthoCover3_400.pngWhat is the future of science fiction?

It could be in the pages of Up and Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell Eligible Authors.

You can download the book here: http://www.badmenagerie.com/

Hurry up, though, the download will only be available until March 31, 2016.

What is a “Campbell Eligible Author” you may ask? These are writers who are new to the science fiction and fantasy field with their first professionally paid publications. The John W. Campbell Award is presented at the World Science Fiction Convention (this year, it will be held in Kansas City, Mo., in August). More info on the awards is available here: http://www.writertopia.com/awards/campbell

I was happy to see lots of writers that are familiar to me from my reading of shot stories and/or SFF-related blogs, including:

  • Nicolette Barischoff
  • S.B. Divya
  • David J́on Fuller
  • Jaymee Goh
  • LS Johnson
  • Alyssa Wong
  • Jeff Xilon
  • Isabel Yap

So you could consider this list of writers as a point of entry into this tome. You may find plenty of your gems in it, though.

Let me know what you find and recommend.

 

A new story on 50-Word Stories

Yes, the story is exactly 50 words long. That’s it.

You can read it here: http://fiftywordstories.com/2015/12/16/michael-janairo-whats-on-the-menu/ 

Take a look, click on the “Like” button, and come back and let me know what you think.

Book review: The Fear Index by Robert Harris

The Fear Index
The Fear Index by Robert Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun, though at times, implausible read about how a computer genius works for a hedge fund and creates a powerful algorithm that learns not only how to work the stock market, but how to leverage information it can glean from all sorts of digital sources, such as the news.

I felt like I learned a lot about algorithmic trading, in which computers buy and sell stocks in milliseconds.

The main character, though, was hard to like. He was a cranky genius, more concerned about his artificial intelligence than anything else. So when it seems like his identity is stolen and things happen to him that he seems to be the cause of (through orders made from his email and payments made from his accounts), and it is clear that his clever AI is behind it though no one believes him, it seems Harris is trying to make him sympathetic. But his cranky reactions (and over actions) and inability to communicate make him annoying.

Luckily, the super clever AI is still there, churning away dastardly plot points to keep the novel moving. It’s pure escapist fun, and enough of a framework with which to explore all the good research that went into making the speculative fiction seem somewhat plausible.

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Book review: ‘1Q84’ by Haruki Murakami

1Q84
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Little People are Watching You

“If something really existed, you had to accept it as a reality, whether or not it made sense or was logical. That was his basic way of thinking. Principles and logic didn’t give birth to reality. Reality came first, and the principles and logic followed.”

Murakami’s imaginative worlds — with preternaturally gifted girls, bewildered young men, misshapen men, magical creatures, violence, and passageways between various forms of reality — all set in a recognizable every-day mundaneness of contemporary Japan are the main element that attracts me to his work.

“1Q84” doesn’t disappoint. And the quote above does a great job of summing up the novelist’s approach to this novel and to writing in general — you have to go with wherever “reality” takes you. In “1Q84” that reality is a strange Japan in 1984, in which some characters can see two moons, and in which strange beings, called Little People, have such extraordinary powers that they help to power a religious cult, which rests at the heart of this really long novel.
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