December 25, 2019

Our celebration on Newtonmass Eve kept me busy, first preparing the roast beast and then eating it with half a dozen friends, after which I was too exhausted to do anything but nap and watch John Mulany’s extremely odd musical children’s special on Netflix, which is just the only sort of thing you’re capable of […]

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Gifts for Readers #6: The Vessel of Ra

December 23, 2019

Taos Toolbox veteran Catherine Schaff-Stump has had quite the year.  Her complex 19th Century familial fantasy novel The Vessel of Ra appeared along with its sequel The Pawn of Isis. Demonic beings in the form of Egyptian gods have attached themselves to the Klaereon family, and require a sacrifice of each generation: either the demon inhabits […]

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Happy Solstice!

December 21, 2019

From this day, things will only get better.  Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case things will get, at least, darker. Unless y0u’re of the view that things will only get worse, in which case I have to admit that you may have a point.

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Gifts for Readers #5: Nosy Newfie Mysteries

December 20, 2019

I think you can fairly claim that a mystery-solving dog falls within the realm of speculative fiction, don’t you? Taos Toolbox veteran Aleksa Baxter has devoted an entire series to her detecting dog.  Here’s the word on Book II, published earlier this year (there are three more): Now that the pesky matter of her grandpa’s […]

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Home of the Wakanda Ducks

December 19, 2019

The US Department of Agriculture has listed Wakanda on its web site as a free-trade partner. The department’s online tariff tracker hosted a detailed list of goods the two nations apparently traded, including ducks, donkeys and dairy cows. In the Marvel universe, Wakanda is the fictional East African home country of superhero Black Panther. The […]

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Gifts for Readers #4: Nemesis

December 17, 2019

Here’s Number Four in this year’s list of new books by veterans of Taos Toolbox, the master class in science fiction and fantasy. (And by the way, if you are a Toolbox vet, and have published something in 2019 that I don’t know about, feel free to drop me a line, okay?) Today’s works from Brian […]

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Gifts for Readers #3: Causality Bomb

December 15, 2019

This is the third of a series of posts highlighting this year’s achievements of Taos Toolbox veterans.  Today’s subject is Terry Gene’s Causality Bomb, which comes complete with its own sequel, Causality Rebound. A MIND-BENDING AND SUSPENSEFUL JOURNEY INTO EXISTENTIALISM AND THE INTER- CONNECTEDNESS OF THE HUMAN RACE. THE INDEPENDENT KIRKUS REVIEW … THIS SCI-FI TALE REMAINS THOUGHTFUL […]

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Gifts for Readers #2: Riverland

December 12, 2019

This is the second item in this year’s roundup of 2019 books by veterans of Taos Toolbox, the master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy. Today’s item is from Fran Wilde, who won the Andre Norton and Compton Crook Awards for her novel Updraft. She’s also received multiple nominations for the Hugo, Locus, and […]

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Gifts For Readers #1: Enemy Immortal

December 11, 2019

Time again to do my year-end roundup of books published by veterans of Taos Toolbox, the master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy. Jim Meeks-Johnson’s Enemy Immortal is a fast-moving, action-oriented space opera that starts at a full sprint and then speeds up from there. Here’s the blurbage: An alien colony vanishes without a […]

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Volodya Again Raises His Balding Head

December 11, 2019

It’s nearly New Year, and once again I’m in competition with Vladimir Putin for the world’s most admired wall calendar. Putin’s calendar features photos of the President of the Russian Federation meeting with statesmen and world leaders.  There’s not a single photo of him with his shirt off!  It’s like he’s not even trying any […]

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