To Marry Medusa – Theodore Sturgeon

A tiny seed of the global hive organism Medusa has waited patiently on Earth, until at length it meets homeless misfit Dan Gurlick and uses him as the instrument of its fusion with humanity. Except that humanity isn’t what Medusa expected. I blame Kurt Vonnegut. By naming his character Kilgore Trout, he caused me to question the existence of (and therefore disregard) Theodore Sturgeon. This will be my third and final complaint about the issue,…

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Uprooted – Naomi Novik

Every ten years, a sorceror named the Dragon takes a girl from the neighbouring villages as a servant. This time, everyone knows it will be Kasia – beautiful, graceful, talented Kasia. He takes her best friend Agnieszka instead – clumsy, unattractive Agnieszka. Bewildered, Agnieszka struggles to meet the Dragon’s needs – mostly failing, until one day he’s gone, and she has to step into his shoes. There’s a lot of evidence around these days that…

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The Silmarillion – J. R. R. Tolkien

Middle Earth #1 The story of the creation of the world of Middle Earth, its development, and the development of the various races that inhabit it. My spouse and I decided to watch The Fellowship of the Ring again, and as usual, I waxed slightly pedantic about Gandalf, and she had questions about technicalities. Age begins to tell, however, and I found I couldn’t remember exactly how Gandalf got one of the rings of power.…

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The Wells of Phyre – L. Warren Douglas

Arbiter #2 Slith is a fard younger son, happily prospecting for likely minerals in the deserts of Phyre until his older brothers should begin their fratricidal battle for succesion. Chance brings Slith into contact with female fardling Bleth, a meeting that will change their lives forever, and that ties into the desperate efforts of humanity’s Arbiter to find crucial lost knowledge. Warren Douglas, in this sequel to Stepwater, offers a story even more convoluted, but…

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Solis – A. A. Attanasio

Charles Outis had his brain frozen post-mortem. A millennium later, he’s reawakened – as a piece of property, first a tool for erotic fantasies, then the control for a mining machine. When he calls for help, he’s answered by Munk, an androne studying humans, and Mei Nili, a disenchanted space worker. Together, they fight to reach the free city of Solis, in the hope that they can all find a place for themselves. A. A.…

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Wonders of the Invisible World – Patricia A. McKillip

A collection of short stories, often with a more real-world feel than McKillip’s usual. “This is not at all what I expected the unexpected to be like.” I don’t like everything Patricia McKillip has ever written. I was straight out bored by The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, and didn’t care much for her Moon Flash or Cygnet duologies. But I’ve loved pretty much everything else she’s written. I was taken aback recently to encounter someone…

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