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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Dying Squad by Adam Simcox review

Official Author Website
Order The Dying Squad over HERE

Monday, July 19, 2021

She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan review

Order She Who Became The Sun over HERE (US) and HERE (UK)
Sunday, July 18, 2021

SPFBO: The Third Diminution & Semifinalist Update (by Jen)

I am happy to return for my third SPFBO. I’d like to think that this part of the contest would get easier but every year the quality is upped a notch and it’s just as difficult as it was the previous year. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers - Review

Official Author Website
Order A Psalm for the Wild-Built HERE

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series. Her books have also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award, and the Women's Prize for Fiction, among others. She has two new works coming out in 2021: The Galaxy, and The Ground Within (the fourth and final Wayfarers novel), and A Psalm for the Wild-Built (the first of her Monk and Robot novellas). Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She spends her free time playing video games, tabletop RPGs, and looking through her telescope. Having hopped around the world a bit, she’s now back in her home state, where she lives with her wife. She hopes to see Earth from orbit one day. 

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.

They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

FORMAT: A Psalm for the Wild-Built was published on July 13th, 2021 by It is 160 pages split over 8 chapters. It is told in the third person from the POV of Dex. It is available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats.  

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Sibling Dex is at a crossroads in their life. They’ve taken up the calling of a tea-service monk, a person who travels from village to village, offering comfort and tea to anyone who wants it. If you need a shoulder to cry on, a person to vent to, or a quiet corner to meditate, Dex is ready with tea and a willing ear. But Dex can’t help but feel that their life is still missing something. But when they make an impulsive decision to take a new route, they didn’t expect to come across a robot, something no one has seen in two centuries. One day the robots woke up and decided to leave humanity to figure out their own existence, and they’ve been gone ever since. But this robot has come in search of what they think is a straight-forward question: What does humanity need?

A Psalm for the Wild Built is one of those books where not a lot happens, yet you still feel utterly content after reading it. Becky Chambers, queen of “slice of life” sci-fi, manages to perfectly capture an emotional state that I think many can identify with: that sense that nothing is really “wrong” with your life, and yet you still feel like it is lacking something. You go through the motions with your job, wondering why there’s an emotional hole that never quite fills. Chambers is just excellent at somehow snaring an emotional essence and distilling it into her writing, and I identified with Dex in a way I haven’t with other characters for a while.

Chambers also excels at creating idyllic visions of the future, where on the whole people are decent and humanity has figured out some big picture questions like how to best live in balance with the environment. This aspect is part of what contributes to the cozy feel of A Psalm for the Wild-Built. The conflict doesn’t come from other people, it comes from the characters wrestling with existential questions that are plaguing them. Dex and their eventual robot acquaintance cover a lot of topics as they converse, always in a way that feels natural and not like a textbook analysis of a problem. This little novella offers food for thought about ecology, personhood, the importance of comfort, and more, all within a conversation between two characters.

CONCLUSION: A Psalm for the Wild-Built is an intimate story of one person’s journey through the wilderness seeking answers. It’s quiet but never dull, and easily flies by in an afternoon. It’s a perfect escape from our chaotic world and offers a hopeful glimpse of a world that doesn’t have all the answers, but gives you the space to try and find them on your own.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Astounding Antagonists by Rafael Chandler review


Order The Astounding Antagonists over HERE (US) and HERE (UK)
Monday, July 12, 2021

Windborn by Alex S. Bradshaw

Order Windborn over HERE (US) and HERE (UK)
Sunday, July 11, 2021

Blogtour: Interview with Anela Deen, the author of In the Jaded Grove

ABOUT ANELA: A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, Anela Deen hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.

Find Anela online: Website, TwitterInstagram

In The Jaded Grove by Anela Deen; Published: March 21, 2021 by Literary Wanderlust; Genre: Portal Fantasy; Pages: 330; CW: Violence, Trauma, Torture, Grief, Death of a loved one (in the past – not on the page); Diversity Tags: Author of color (biracial), POC rep (Filipino MC), Queer secondary characters

Book links: Goodreads, Amazon

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Guest Post: How embracing all my favorite tropes saved my mental health in 2020 (by Virginia McClain)


Author Info

Virginia McClain is an author who masqueraded as a language teacher for a decade or so. When she’s not reading or writing she can generally be found playing outside with her four legged adventure buddy and the tiny human she helped to build from scratch. She enjoys climbing to the top of tall rocks, running through deserts, mountains, and woodlands, and carrying a foldable home on her back whenever she gets a chance. She’s also fond of word games, and writing descriptions of herself that are needlessly vague.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

SPFBO: The Second Reaping & Semifinalist Update (by Jonathan Pembroke)


Hey everyone! It’s that time!

Monday, July 5, 2021

Blogtour: Interview with Damien Larkin the author of Blood Red Sand


ABOUT DAMIEN: Damien Larkin is an Irish science fiction author and co-founder of the British and Irish Writing Community. His debut novel Big Red was published by Dancing Lemur Press and went on to be longlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel. His next novel in the series Blood Red Sand will be released on 6th July 2021. He currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is working on his current writing project The Truceless War.

Find Damien online: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

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