in your face

Hello! As ladies with opinions, Liz and Stephanie are here to bring you some opinions on books recently consumed.

These are not really SFF, but they are Australian, so if you like crime and mystery check out the books shortlisted for the Ned Kelly awards, noted here by friend of No Award Fi. The Ned Kellys are the annual crime awards for Australia. There are some excellent reads on that short list.

On Stephanie’s to be read list this week: The Wrong Turn at the Office of Unmade Lists, Jane Rawson.  Melbourne’s climate change dystopia. SUPER EXCITE.

Liz does not plan her reading in advance, as that’s a level of organisation that’s beyond her.  Her recent reading includes:

The Sleeping Partner by Madeleine E Robins, a mystery set in a very-slightly-alternate Regency England.  This series has been out of print and hard to find for a while, but has just recently become available in ebook form, with a brand new third novel.  I appreciate the way Robins mostly uses her alternate history to increase the presence of women — here, Queen Charlotte becomes George III’s regent, and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin survives the birth of her younger daughter, albeit with a disability.  The heroine is not quite Lizzie Bennet with a sword, but she’s delightful nonetheless.

For 88 cents, she bought Operation Mincement by Ben Macintyre.  This was picked up because Liz enjoys the interesting corners of history, but it’s also quite funny (if you enjoy shenanigans with corpses and wry observations about imperialism).

Stephanie is currently reading a book that will shortly be included in an article temporarily titled “doing it wrong”. It’s River of Gods by Ian McDonald, which is a gross example of entitlement and cultural appropriation in science fiction and fantasy; in this instance set in and stealing from India.

Liz recently finished Hild by Nicola Griffith, and found it disappointingly dudecentric. Though the heroine is very much bisexual, and has close sexual and platonic relationships with women, her primary attraction is to her illegitimate half-brother, a jerk who badly needs punching in the face.  Hild is interesting despite its flaws, but the reader’s hard work is rewarded with gross non-consensual incest (as Hild’s brother isn’t aware they’re related).

Please use the comments to rec and anti rec this week’s books.


8 thoughts on “in your face

  1. Woohoo! The Office of Unmade Lists FTW! I really hope you like it.

    I’m reading a nerdy book about birds (Where Song Began) and a lovely, funny/sad novel about a young woman in conflict with her Mennonite upbringing (Irma Voth by the ludicrously talented Miriam Voews). Both recommended!

  2. I’m slowly (because I want it to last forever) making my way through my copy of Kaleidoscope – diverse YA SFF short stories. They’re brilliant and wonderful – and there’s a distribution thing with Scholastic going on to get the book into Australian schools, which is 100 types of yay.

    And I’m searching for recs for excellent air ship books. I blame my son’s train obsession

  3. merriank

    I just finished reading a bunch of short, magic realism/cosy mystery/Urban Fantasy novels set in Singapore and Malaysia by K. S. Augustin. All five can be bought as one – “The Complete Check Your Luck Agency”. The lead is a Malaysian woman raised in the UK who moves back to Malaysia after her parent’s death and becomes a sort of PI. I enjoyed them and the setting and seeing both countries through a local; both the heroine and the author (Augustin is Malaysian-born and resident). I know her primarily as an SFR writer. I got them as ebooks on Kobo.

    I loved the Madeleine E Robins books back in the day so will be looking out for them.

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