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Rajan Khanna

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

Falling Sky (Excerpt)

, || Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground. Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that's not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements.

A Slippery Tightrope: Hawk by Steven Brust

I envy Steven Brust. He’s been writing stories about Vlad Taltos since 1983, so for over 30 years now, and yet he manages to keep things new and interesting. Even more, he’s created a 14-book series that you can read in almost any order. Sure, you appreciate deeper layers the more of them you’ve read, but I’d say you could easily pick up Hawk, the latest in the series.

And if you do, I’d dare you not to go back and start reading the earlier novels, especially as Hawk ends one period in Vlad’s life and promises a new one.

[How? Well, I’ll give you a few hints…]

A Siege on Golgotha: The Shotgun Arcana

As a weird western fan, I’m always on the look out for new weird westerns, especially good ones. So when R. S. Belcher’s The Six Gun Tarot came out, I was hopeful that it was one of the good ones. That novel, which introduced the western town of Golgotha and detailed the city’s defense against an ancient evil, exceeded all of my expectations.

The even better news: its sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, continues Belcher’s strong showing in the genre.

[Imagine Buffy's Hellmouth, only in the Wild West…]

Falling Sky (Excerpt)

Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles soaring over the dangerous ground.

Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. But that’s not as easy as it sounds, especially with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements.

To make matters worse, his airship, the only home he’s ever known, is stolen. Ben finds himself in Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by belligerent and expansionist pirates. When events turn deadly, Ben must decide what really matters—whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.

Gideon Smith amazon buy linkCheck out an excerpt from Rajan Khanna’s debut novel, Falling Skyavailable October 7th from Prometheus Books.

[Read an excerpt]

The Soft Apocalypse of The Getaway God

What do you do when the Old Gods are returning to Earth after millennia, and you have the thing that will open the door? That’s what Stark has to figure out in The Getaway God, the sixth book in Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series. The enemies are at the door and he has no idea how to stop them.

That Stark even wants to stop the apocalypse and willingly enlists in the cause is a sign of growth in the character. Over the course of six books, Stark has come to care not only for the people in his life, but for the world. Additionally, he’s a bit wiser, not so quick to pull the trigger or make things go boom. The Stark of The Getaway God is at least a little more thoughtful…

[So how do you get Elder Gods to go away? Trick or treat doesn’t seem to cut it…]

Dreamlike Confabulations: All Those Vanished Engines

Paul Park’s latest novel, All Those Vanished Engines, is nothing if not ambitious. Part family history, part science fiction, the whole thing weaves together into one surreal metafiction.

The novel is separated into three parts. The first part, “Bracelets,” is set in an alternate version of post-Civil War Virginia where North and South are still divided and the Yankee forces are led by a Queen of the North. We start out seeing the world through the eyes of Paulina, a young woman who is writing a story about the future, about a war with Martian forces and a boy named Matthew. As the chapters progress, alternating between Paulina’s time and her fictions, the lines begin to blur and suddenly it seems maybe Paulina is the fiction as both stories bleed into each other. The result is something surreal and dreamlike and sets up the tone for the rest of the novel.

[Read on for more…]

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Short Stories (Part 2)

This is it—the last post in the Chronicles of Amber reread. We’ve now been through it all. The only thing remaining is the final short story contained in Manna From Heaven, and a commentary on the whole collection.

As mentioned previously, Roger Zelazny died before he could truly finish the series properly. What remains leaves plenty of room for speculation (which I hope you’ll join me in). Without further adieu, let’s jump in.

[All good things must come to an end…]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: The Short Stories (Part 1)

If you’ve been keeping up with The Chronicles of Amber reread so far, we’ve gone through ten books—five each for Corwin’s and Merlin’s series. But Roger Zelazny continued the Amber adventures in a series of short stories that pick up from Prince of Chaos and seem to set up a new storyline in the Amber universe. Unfortunately, Zelazny died before he could complete the story, but here, at the end of the reread, we’re going to take a look at these stories which have been collected in the book, Manna from Heaven.

[Click through for a brand new POV for the series…]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Prince of Chaos

It’s here—Prince of Chaos, the last book in Zelazny’s second Amber series, and the culmination of Merlin’s story. It’s hard to choose favorites sometimes, but in rereading the book I think that it may be my favorite of the Merlin books. Why? Well, why not read on after the cut?

[It begins, appropriately enough, with a king…]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Sign of Chaos

In Sign of Chaos, the midpoint of the second series, Merlin’s story finally begins to gather some steam and Merlin makes some headway in the various mysteries and adventures in which he finds himself involved. We also get to meet a few more of his relatives, a couple of Chaos creatures, and…the Jabberwock?

[Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves did gyre and gymble in ye wabe…]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread

A Little Myth Can’t Be Wrong: The Woken Gods

Gwenda Bond’s The Woken Gods takes place in a world similar to ours, but where gods—the deities of our ancient mythologies—have awakened. Humanity has a perilous arrangement with the gods, and of course all kinds of people are trying to work different angles on this. Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when she encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems…

[Read More]

Series: YA on Tor.com

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Trumps of Doom

“It was a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.”

Corwin’s story may have finished with The Courts of Chaos, but in 1985, Roger Zelazny returned to the world of Amber for Trumps of Doom, the first in a new series of Amber novels, this time focusing on Corwin’s son Merlin. This series is a bit more polarizing than the previous series was. Why? Well, read on and find out…

[Spoilers for all the Amber novels up to this point beyond the cut…]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread

Bloody Valentine: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

It’s probably true that a lot of people are suffering from vampire fatigue, especially with the pretty, sparkling vampires of Twilight and the pretty, brooding vampires of The Vampire Diaries and the pretty…well, you get the idea. But The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black’s latest novel, reads like a love letter to old school vampires. And it works.

[The only thing that sucks or bites here are the vampires…]

Collateral Damage: Blockbusters and the Changing Narrative of War

Earlier this summer I saw both Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel in the theaters and I was struck by some similarities between the two films. For one, both films took inspiration from films that were popular when I was a kid. Nostalgia seemed a key element to their appeal.

What was disturbing, though, were the ways in which these movies differed from the movies of my childhood and the ways in which they seemed all too similar to some very real death and destruction occurring right now.

[Lots of spoilers for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Pacific Rim beyond the cut…]

The Chronicles of Amber Reread: Sign of the Unicorn

The third book in the Amber series, Sign of the Unicorn, is really when the series begins to heat up for me. It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but it’s either this one or the next, and really they continue one on from the other. The first book establishes Corwin and is largely his story, and Guns of Avalon establishes the overarching plotline of the first series, but Sign of the Unicorn accelerates full speed into the plot and ups the stakes considerably.

[The one true city is under attack. Who can be behind it…?]

Series: The Chronicles of Amber Reread