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Waubgeshig Rice: Moon of the Crusted Snow (2018) 5 stars

"A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice. With winter looming, a small …

Moon of the Crusted Snow

5 stars

Moon of the Crusted Snow is a story about a small, remote Anishinaabe community surviving through the beginning of an apocalypse. Power goes out, communication is down, and they turn inward to try to take care of their community, through leadership struggles, limited food, and the chaos of taking in strangers. I read this as a part of July's #SFFBookClub book.

I quite enjoyed the smaller focused story of survival here, where the outside world is at the margins. It centers a small Anishinaabe community, and about its dread and uncertainty and adaptation as everything starts to slowly unravel when winter sets in.

For me, the part that set the tone of the entire story was the conversation that Evan Whitesky has with the elder Aileen Jones, about halfway through the book. She says that there's no word for apocalypse in Ojibwe. But more than that, she says that their …

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Alexis Shotwell: Against Purity (2016) 4 stars

The world is in a terrible mess. It is toxic, irradiated, and full of injustice. …

Living well might feel impossible, and certainly living purely is impossible. The slate has never been clean, and we can't wipe off the surface to start fresh -- there's no "fresh" to start. Endocrine-disrupting soap doesn't offer a purity made simple because there isn't one. All there is, while things perpetually fall apart, is the possibility of acting from where we are. Being against purity means that there is no primordial state we might wish to get back to, no Eden we have desecrated, no pretoxic body we might uncover through enough chia seeds and kombucha. There is not a preracial state we could access, erasing histories of slavery, forced labor on railroads, colonialism, genocide, and their concomitant responsibilities and requirements. There is no food we can eat, clothing we can buy, or energy we can use without deepening our ties to complex webs of suffering.

This book champions the usefulness of thinking about complicity and compromise as a starting point for action.

Against Purity by  (Page 11 - 12)

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Alix E. Harrow: The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Hardcover, 2019, Orbit) 5 stars

Once we have agreed that true love exists, we may consider its nature. It is not, as many misguided poets would have you believe, an event in and of itself; it is not something that happens, but something that simply is and always has been. One does not fall in love; one discovers it.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by 

I feel so foolish to acknowledge it, but this is how it feels with Jennifer.

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Alix E. Harrow: The Ten Thousand Doors of January (Hardcover, 2019, Orbit) 5 stars

She knew the land in the way a child knows the land, with an intimacy and fantasy few adults have ever managed. She knew where the sycamores had been hollowed out by lightning and become secret hideouts. She knew where the mushrooms were likeliest to raise their pale heads in fairy rings, and where fool's gold shimmered below the surface of the creek.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by 

It me! I’m one of those few adults, and mostly only cause I do this with me kids 😅

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Rebecca Thorne: Can't Spell Treason Without Tea (2022, Thorne, Rebecca) 5 stars

All Reyna and Kianthe want is to open a bookshop that serves tea. Worn wooden …

Can't Spell Treason Without Tea

5 stars

Rebecca Thorne's Can't Spell Treason Without Tea is a cozy sapphic romance fantasy, explicitly in the vein of Travis Baldree's work. The book focuses on the (prexisting, and secret) relationship between a palace guard and a powerful mage. When the queen pushes too far, they treasonously abandon responsibility to set up a combination teashop/bookshop in a small town, like you do. It feels like there's larger stakes here than in similar books, but they're still personal and local ones. I'd also argue that these two are so competent in their own domains that any conflict feels much more about the potential emotional impact than a true worrisome threat.

I appreciated the amount of worldbuilding heft here. I am always a sucker for anything that opens with a fantasy map, and I felt like small bordertown Tawney was interestingly situated both geographically and politically. It's caught between three countries, and has …

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R. S. A. Garcia: Tantie Merle and the Farmhand 4200 (Uncanny Magazine) 4 stars

Tantie Merle and the Farmhand 4200

4 stars

RSA Garcia's Tantie Merle and the Farmhand 4200 is a delightful short story about a grandma on a farm who needs some help with her planting and her ornery goat, and finds both assistance and friendship in the form of a determinedly helpful robot.

My thought was, what if the singularity arises due to an empathetic purpose, like the desire to help and be of service to those in need, instead of data mining an Internet that’s basically a repository of our worst impulses?

This is the quote that hooked me from this interview in the same issue of Uncanny.

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Suyi Davies Okungbowa: David Mogo (Paperback, 2019, Abaddon) 3 stars

Nigerian God-Punk - a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.

Since the Orisha …

David Mogo: Godhunter

3 stars

(Reposting this here to keep all my book reviews in one place, sorry!)

David Mogo Godhunter is a urban fantasy book about a demigod living in post-apocalyptic Nigeria. Gods and godlings have invaded and taken over and destroyed large parts of Lagos, and David is scraping out a living capturing wayward godlings that are causing trouble.

The strongest part of the book for me was the Lagos setting, of its island and mainland, and its observations about culture even in a post-apocalyptic world. It's just got such a solid sense of place running through the whole book.

The beginning of the book hooked me with David getting forced into a job he doesn't want to take, but the middle and end got very muddy plot-wise and character-wise. Some of this is that due to some plot it felt like David became a different (and less likeable) character. I think also …

ausgeCO2hlt: Jenseits von Hoffnung und Zweifel (Unrast Verlag) No rating

»Oft ist davon die Rede, dass wir das Klima ›retten‹ müssen. Das klingt so, als …

Gutes Buch bis jetzt.

Ich merke ihm etwas an, dass es von einer größeren Gruppe geschrieben wurde. Außerdem bin ich nicht so ganz die Zielgruppe, ich ringe schon um Hoffnung im Angesicht der Klimakrise, aber es macht mich nicht kaputt.

Schätze ich werde sehr langsam damit weiterkommen, auch okay.

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Lee Mandelo: The Woods All Black (EBook, 2024, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 4 stars

The Woods All Black is equal parts historical horror, trans romance, and blood-soaked revenge, all …

The Woods All Black

4 stars

The Woods All Black is a queer and trans 1920's story about a nurse named Leslie being called out to help the small Appalachian town of Spar Creek. The initial foreground of trying to provide services to chilly and creepy Christian townsfolk is backgrounded by both gothic and body horror, as well as some romance.

One element of this book that I thought was done well is that it deals with Leslie's wartime trauma (and homophobia trauma). In this aspect, it echoes a lot of the things I liked about T. Kingfisher's What Feasts at Night, about somebody trying to understand what they can trust about their own perceptions in a strange and disturbing environment.

I love the queer solidarity in this book, about people trying to be themselves while being torn down by the airquotes community around them. The feeling of being somewhere unwelcoming and magnetically being pulled …