Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story. Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch October 8, 2014 Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch Kelly Barnhill An unconventional romance. Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine...
From The Blog
October 14, 2014
A Category Unto Himself: The Works of China Miéville
Jared Shurin
October 10, 2014
Don’t Touch That Dial: Fall 2014 TV
Alex Brown
October 10, 2014
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Reread: Part 1
Kate Nepveu
October 7, 2014
Shell Shock and Eldritch Horror: “Dagon”
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
October 3, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist
Will Errickson
Showing posts by: Mahvesh Murad click to see Mahvesh Murad's profile
Oct 17 2014 11:00am

Under the Radar: Sultana’s Dream

Sultana's Dream Rokeya Sekhawat Hossain

There are a few texts that come up again and again in discussions of early feminist utopian fiction—Man’s Rights by Annie Denton Cridge from 1870, Mizora, by Mary E Bradley Lane from 1880-81, Arqtiq by Anna Adolph from 1899 and perhaps most famously, Charlotte Gilman’s Herland from 1905.

But these were all stories from the western world, stories that were part of a surge of utopian fiction written by women leading up to the women’s Suffrage movement of the early twentieth century. But what of the east? What of the countries that were not just weighed down by patriarchy, but colonialism as well? Did any of them create any important feminist narratives?

[As it happens, they did.]

Oct 13 2014 9:00am

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Doubt Factory Paolo Bacigalupi review

Disclaimer: I’ve been a fan of Paolo Bacigalupi’s writing for years, starting with his multi-award winning novel The Windup Girl.

I’ve particularly enjoyed his previous YA novels, Shipbreaker and The Drowned Cities. I’ve laughed and whole-heartedly agreed with the smart, funny middle grade novel he wrote last year, Zombie Baseball Beatdown. I’ve interviewed him a number of times and have previously found him to be a writer of solid prose whose books are always on the ball thematically—whether it’s a sociopolitical comment about child soldiers and war, a bio-punk exploration of climate change or a hilarious comic adventure centred around a meat processing plant.

So I went into his new YA novel The Doubt Factory with excitement. What a great title! ‘You Believe What They Want You To Believe’—what a great tag line! Perhaps I was expecting too much, perhaps I was expecting more of what I was familiar with and perhaps that was wrong, but The Doubt Factory left me disappointed.

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Sep 4 2014 11:00am

Blood Magic: Crafting Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire

Kameron Hurley The Mirror EmpireWorlds are colliding. The fabric of time and space is being torn apart and reknit into a mirror that reflects the very worst. A young girl dreams of finding her mother. A warrior questions her loyalties and her empress. A man has no choice but to take over his sister’s role and be a leader. Thousands of the weakest race are mercilessly slaughtered by those who could offer them protection. The satellites rise and fall in the sky, bringing and taking away the powers of those connected to them. There is magic in blood, danger in plants, threats from wild beasts and fear in every breath.

‘Oma, the dark star, was creeping back into orbit. The worlds were coming together again far sooner than anyone anticipated.’ And that’s just the start of it all.

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Jul 30 2014 3:00pm

Dream a Little Dream: Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Broken Monsters Lauren Beukes review US coverThe urban grit, filth and despair of a city that has come apart at the seams, making it ‘the number-one Death-of-America pilgrimage destination’. Detroit, a city filled with places that are a shadow of what they used to be, a ‘sprawling waste of it. Broken bricks and concrete pillars holding up the sky’ with everything ‘choked with weeds and graffiti.’ The many, many abandoned homes and factories have now become transient spaces, neither living nor dead but just silently waiting in limbo—blighted and lonely.

In Lauren Beukes’ new novel, Broken Monsters, these places are doorways, thresholds between planes; even chalk-drawn outlines of doors on walls are slick membranes between realities and dreams. Amongst the decrepitude of Detroit there remains a desire, a dream trying to break through to the surface though ‘it feels suffocated by the rigidity of the world. And yet…there is evidence of the dreaming everywhere. There is a world beneath the world that is rich and tangled with meaning.’ It is this world that failed sculptor Clayton Boom is trying to bring to life with horrific taxidermy, clay, and murder most foul.

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Jul 24 2014 2:00pm

Under the Radar: Hoshruba: The Land and the Tilism

Imagine a magical realm, an alternate plane called a tilism, with a pre-ordained, limited life span. At its very creation, it is known that one day the land will all be unravelled by one man.

Within the tilism, called Hoshruba, ‘sorcerers exercised powers that defied the laws of God and the physical world. They created illusions, transferred spirits between bodies, transmuted matter, made talismans, and configured and exploited Earth’s inherent physical forces to create extraordinary marvels.’ They did all this knowing it would all come to an end one day. The Emperor Afrasiyab swore to protect the land from its destiny, with all his power.

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Jul 11 2014 11:00am

Under the Radar: The Adventures of Amir Hamza

The Adventures of Amir Hamza Ghalib LakhnaviHere is a story to end all stories, a legendary tale of epic proportions, a fantastic riot of a narrative that even in its English translation retains the idiom and rhythm of its original oral form.

It follows the complicated adventures of one man, a hero to conquer all heroes, a man predestined to be ‘The Quake of Qaf, the Latter-day Sulaiman, the World Conqueror, the Lord of the Auspicious Planetary Conjunction, the Slayer of Sly Ifrit, and a believer in God Almighty—Amir Hamza.’

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