A Detailed Mirage: Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney

Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney Published: June 13, 2017 Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Genre(s): Adventure, War, Science Fiction Format: Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins I think what drew me to Fata Morgana was the promise of an old-fashioned adventure with a bit of romance: a WW2 bomber plane flies …

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Modernized Space Girl: Barbarella, Volume 1

First, some caveats about this review of the new Barbarella comic written by Mike Carey: I’ve never seen the Jane Fonda movie, so I watched the trailer to get a feel for it because it felt like a necessary entry point.

I also read the first volume of the classic comics by Jean-Claude Forest so that I’d have a baseline to compare against the rebooted series. From a writing standpoint, I’d say that the two versions of Barbarella are on close to equal footing, but the art in the modern version just does not do the character justice.

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The Silliest Quest: Kill the Farm Boy

Kill the Farm Boy is a silly book that sends up and undermines some well-worn clichés of the fantasy genre’s hero narrative. It asks questions like “What does it mean to be the Chosen One?” and “Who deserves to be a protagonist?” and then unloads goat poop on them. This succeeds with varying results.

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That Which Unravels: The Readymade Thief

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose Published: August 1st, 2017 Publisher: Viking Genre(s): Adventure, Thriller, Mystery Format: Hardcover Length: 384 pages I originally picked up The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose because the cover caught my eye, but the summary and a few blurbs from some of my favorite authors finished the sale. I started …

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The Fire Inside: Heroine Complex

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn Published: July 5th 2016 Publisher: DAW Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, Superheroes Format: E-Book Length: 378 pages I love stories about people with mundane jobs who exist in the orbit of someone extraordinary – like a personal assistant to a superhero, for example. It’s a fun mental exercise to think about what …

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Suburban Weirdness, Circa 1988: Paper Girls, Vol 1

Paper Girls feels like a forgotten 1980s adventure that piles on the subversive twists. They don’t make movies like that anymore, let alone ones this weird. I think the technical term here is “box office poison,” and yet I’d love to see Paper Girls up on the big screen. It begs for the kind of lovingly nostalgic adaptation that could only work with modern special effects and sensibilities.

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Armada: Second Wave Slump

Armada is Ernest Cline’s pitch for a Last Starfighter reboot, tailor-made for the inevitable blockbuster film adaptation. It improves on the movie in a number of ways but introduces new problems of its own; although it is more grounded and believable than the original, the plotting is slapdash and the pop culture references are overwhelming.

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Rat Queens: Everything’s Coming Up Tentacles

Rat Queens is a modern spin on classic fantasy tropes that plays within those boundaries while also subverting clichés, and does so with a light touch. It has a great premise: a group of rowdy adventurers in a fantasy world fight, fuck, and generally incite civic destruction. The twist is that they’re all women, and they are surrounded by other adventuring parties with similar mixes of race and gender.

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Stealing Hearts and Paintings: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Published: February 9th, 2010 Publisher: Brilliance Audio Genre(s): Young Adult, Crime, Thriller Format: Audiobook Length: 6 hrs and 6 mins First, a confession: I was mostly inspired to pick up this book thanks to an incredible cover re-design done for Maureen Johnson’s #coverflip challenge a few months ago. I’d seen Ally Carter’s books on the …

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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Published: October 11th, 2011 Publisher: Ember Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance Format: Paperback Length: 272 Pages One day, while browsing in the Strand bookstore in New York City, Dash finds a red Moleskine notebook hidden next to a copy of Franny and Zooey. He opens it and discovers that the owner, a girl named Lily, has …

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A Selection of Scary Stories

I’ve never been a huge fan of horror, but over the years I’ve gained an appreciation of scary stories. They aren’t necessarily the same thing, either. As I see it, horror is a genre with a few common tropes, one of which is that the story may or may not be scary. For example, I’ve never …

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Published: October 2nd, 2012 Publisher: Macmillan Audio Genre(s): Fiction, Technology Format: Audiobook Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins Clay Jannon is young, techno-savvy and unemployed after being laid off by an ill-fated startup called NewBagel. As his desperation for a new job grows, he starts looking for opportunities everywhere under the sun, which is why …

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