Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Things I like: scifi stories starring women characters; robots; self-aware spaceships; visions of the future which don’t focus on straight white males; societies which aren’t just a copy-paste of current American/European society; space aliens; people enacting long, drawn-out plans of revenge. Things Ancillary Justice has: all those and more! This is one of those books where I’m just so happy to have read it that I had hard time coming up with a coherent review explaining exactly WHY I liked it. (Which is why this review has been so delayed!) I liked the little details of the story, as mentioned above, but there’s tons more good stuff to pick through.…
Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall
This is a very short novella or a long short story about a space prince who really likes mermaids (and one particular merman). It feels experimental, and not just because it’s set on a scifi world where mermaids are treated like trained whales in an aquarium. The writing is luxurious and dreamy, quite different from the other Alexis Hall books I’ve read. And the content is very thought-provoking. It’s not really a romance, except it is? Except nothing happens but a lot of longing looks and face-touching. Is it bestiality if one half of the romantic couple thinks the other is basically just a marine animal? Except then he starts…
Fighting Gravity by Leah Petersen
I really wanted to like this more. It’s a scifi romance, with a space prince and a scientist! But the writing style just didn’t click with me. The worldbuilding was very light and character development was pretty much non-existent. Without those things as a solid foundation, the rest of the book fell apart. The first chapter has one or two mentions of aliens and how the space!empire is structured, and then it just tapers off to nothing. More details about, like, EVERYTHING would’ve been nice, especially when certain aspects of the world weren’t as advanced as you’d expect in a futuristic society. Medical care, for instance, is basically at the…
The Just City by Jo Walton (2015)
I’ll be honest: my philosophy 101 class was so boring and terrible I’ve mostly forgotten everything about it. The only thing I DO remember is the thing about the caves, and that’s only because it came up in some of my other (non-philosophy) classes. So when I saw that Jo Walton had written a book about a city built based upon Plato’s Republic, I was super worried it’d be dry and boring. Even though I LOVE Jo Walton’s writing! I was still worried, because of the subject matter. My darling readers, it was not dry or boring and it was WONDERFUL. SO WONDERFUL.
The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper (2007)
This was my first Sheri S. Tepper book![1. I was supposed to have read The Gate to Women’s Country for a college class on dystopias and uptopias. I never did, probably because it was the end of the semester and I was tired of all the depressing stuff.] I do know enough about the history of scifi to know that Tepper is one of its major authors, and so I knew I’d pick up one of her books eventually. I choose The Margarets mainly because of its cover, which is cool in an early-2000s sort of way. I was also into the story, which is complicated and multi-layered.
Liberty and Other Stories by Alexis Hall
After falling in love with the world and characters of Prosperity, I jumped on the chance to read this collection of short stories/novellas. There are both prequel and sequel stories, both origin stories and what-happened-afterwards. All the characters from Prosperity showed up again AND there were some fun new ones!
Prosperity by Alexis Hall
Memory wrote an excellent review of Prosperity back in October, and it was SO excellent that I went on NetGalley and found Prosperity and requested it for review myself! And I’m so glad I did, because I LOVED it. There is steampunk (or maybe gaslamp)! There is alternate history (kinda)![1. It’s actually set in an alternate universe! Love love love alternate universes.] There are air ships and monsters living behind the sky and lesbians and a bisexual protagonist and crime lords and a nonbinary ship captain and a floating city and, really, the only thing missing was a band of sky pirates. (Maybe they’ll be in another book.)
Runaways, Vol. 1-3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona
Okay, so this is the first major story arc for Runaways (I think). These three volumes comprise a complete story, so theoretically you could stop there and be perfectly happy![1. Especially because I’m in the second series right now and it’s not as good, nope.] I was perfectly happy, because I love stories about teenage superheroes having personal problems. The fact that their personal problems consisted of evil supervillian parents was just icing on the cake. Other personal problems: friendship, learning to trust, betrayal, romance and squishy teenage feelings, sometimes sounding like they spent too much time watching Dawson’s Creek or whatever show was popular back when this series ran,…