‘What Moves the Dead’ a Creepy Gothic Horror

The Twisted Ones, T. Kingfisher‘s take on Arthur Machen’s short story The White People, has still left me, three years after reading it, uneasy around dolls and deer skeletons (which, to be fair, I encounter more often than the average person). The picture on the cover of What Moves the Dead was of a mangled-ish rabbit andContinue reading “‘What Moves the Dead’ a Creepy Gothic Horror”

‘Paradise Falls’ an Eerie, Relevant Tale

If you were to make a list of worst places to build an elementary school surrounded by a neighborhood geared toward young families, you might include Chernobyl, an alligator-infested swamp, maybe an old minefield.  For the residents depicted in Keith O’Brian’s newest book, Paradise Falls, the extremely terrible and wholly unsafe place is an oldContinue reading “‘Paradise Falls’ an Eerie, Relevant Tale”

‘Hell’s Half-Acre’ a Rich History of a Grisly Crime

There’s a heady mythos about life in the Wild West, of gunslingers and dusty trails and sun-weathered pioneers and opportunity as wide as the horizon, all wrapped up in a whole lot of unchecked colonialism. Truth and fiction informed each other in a very meta merry-go-round until the world caught up with the enterprising migrationContinue reading “‘Hell’s Half-Acre’ a Rich History of a Grisly Crime”

‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes

There’s been no shortage of fairy tale retellings or mythology reinterpreted lately. Alix E. Harrow‘s A Spindle Splintered is proof positive that another addition to a well-populated genre can still be done uniquely and oh-so-effectively. Zinnia Gray is doomed to die. She’s one of the last surviving members of an unfortunate club of kids whoContinue reading “‘Spindle’ Lovingly Splinters Fairy-Tale Tropes”

‘Tomorrow’ A Video-Game Tale Rooted in Reality

The tension of “will they or won’t they” has done a lot of heavy lifting for stories through the ages, including many that wouldn’t have been nearly as intriguing otherwise. In the case of Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, that question is a touchpoint throughout the years for its characters, but the answer isContinue reading “‘Tomorrow’ A Video-Game Tale Rooted in Reality”

‘Home By Now’ Paints a Tempting Picture of Remote Living

Over the last couple of years, the fear of catching a deadly disease has brought about a long-overdue shift to remote working for many jobs, and along with that has come a migration away from many big cities. If all you need to communicate with your colleagues is a decent internet signal, why pay forContinue reading “‘Home By Now’ Paints a Tempting Picture of Remote Living”

‘Elder Race’ is the Best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Little-known fact: Arthur C. Clarke came up with his third law after reading Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Elder Race. Okay, maybe Clarke predated Elder Race by a few decades, but the idea that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic has never been truer than it is in this slim little story that is at once aContinue reading “‘Elder Race’ is the Best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy”

Sharp Memory Cuts in ‘Grass’

“War is hard on women,” says a character near the end of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, ruminating on the costs the main character has endured the whole novel and will yet endure. The line ran through my head again and again as I read Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s Grass, a graphic novel thatContinue reading “Sharp Memory Cuts in ‘Grass’”

‘Venomous’ is Science Writing at its Sharpest

I’m from a farming family and I’m from the Western U.S., which means I’ve had more than one run-in with rattlesnakes. Along with ticks, they are the reason for always wearing calf-high boots, even in the summer. Growing up, the family policy was simply to shoot on sight and rid the farm of that kindContinue reading “‘Venomous’ is Science Writing at its Sharpest”

‘This Thing’ Brings Shivers

The first time I brought home a—uh, we’ll call it a “home assistant,” my partner scoffed and said we didn’t need anything like that and we’d never use it. The next morning, he told it to play Gregorian chants, and then interrupted the Gregorian chants to ask about the weather. Now, she’s so engrained inContinue reading “‘This Thing’ Brings Shivers”