Hoo-boy! I can’t believe it is almost November already.
While I haven’t been working at all this month, it has somehow been a busy month. Reading, trying to get all of my October and November posts ready, trying to get all of my NaNoWriMo prep done….
Honestly, I’ve been a little lazy. There has been a lot of watching TV or Youtube all day. I need the structure of working. Luckily, I’ll be starting at a new job in November (one where I can work from home until at least next year).
But, on to what you are here for! Books!
October wasn’t a great reading month for me. Or well, the first three quarters weren’t. In the first three weeks of the month, I only read three books. But I closed out October with nine books and 2,695 pages.
How was your reading this month?
Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse | 4 stars
The fantastic debut of a new fantasy series inspired by pre-columbian civilizations in the Americas. Queer AF. You can see my review of it here. I highly recommend it, especially if you have enjoyed her other work.
The Shapes of Their Hearts by Melissa Scott | 3 stars
I have been a big fan of Melissa Scott’s work for year, ever since I first found The Kindly Ones at a used bookstore. While an an interesting concept, this one didn’t enrapture me as much as her earlier work. This book takes place on a planet where the mind of a new age religious prophet was merged with an AI.
Vigilant by James Alan Gardner | 4 Stars
Vigilant is one of my favourite sapphic sci-fi novels. This is a planet side sci-fi novel that spans numerous years, starting with the plague that killed the majority of Demoth’s population, and attacks on vigil employees over 20 years later. It follows Faye Smallwood, as she comes to terms with her trauma and her self destructive behaviour over the course of action, adventure, politics, secrets, and romance. I’ve talked about this book on instagram here, but I’ll try to get a full-review up on here soon!
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado | 4 stars
I haven’t read any short stories since I was in high school. They aren’t my favourite mode of storytelling. But Carmen Maria Machado is a master! This is a gloriously queer and feminist collection of short stories. They range from creepy, to weird, to downright horrifying. And I loved every minute of it.
Persephone Station by Stina Leicht | 3 Stars
Persephone station is a wild ride full of queer characters out in January, 2021. It was an interesting concept and a mostly interesting story. I found the writing very stilted at times, it felt quite amateur. I appreciated that Leicht tried to be inclusive of different sexual orientation and gender identities; however, there were some stereotypes and the language was awkward and could have been written more smoothly. There are times when people walk into a room and immediately know who is male, female, or non-binary. You can’t tell anyone’s gender from their presentation.
To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers | 4 Stars
I previously read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and I didn’t enjoy it. It just fell flat for me. but I loved To Be Taught if Fortunate. First, the thrill of discovery and all the cool new aliens. But also, the examination of the human pysche in all sorts of circumstances. I think the novella format is perfect for Becky Chamber’s writing.
When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo| 4 Stars
I loved The Empress of Salt and Fortune and felt myself completely drawn into that world and its story. So of course, I was elated to see the upcoming release of another book set within the same world with the same main character. The Tiger Came Down the Mountain did not disappoint! The book is out December 8th. You can preview my review here, and it will be posted to my blog on December 1st.
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell | 4 Stars
Winter’s Orbit is a m/m romance with a sci-fi setting and plot. The plot feeds into developing the relationship between the two main characters, forced into an unexpected political marriage, as military secrets and an accident that might be murder reveal nefarious plans. This was a great read, with two complicated and flawed characters. Winter’s Orbit is out on February 2nd, 2021. I have a review on Goodreads here, and the review will be up on my blog on January 19th.
The Factory Witches of Lowell by C S Malerich | 1 Stars
I will have a full review of The Factory Witches of Lowell up on Tuesday, but oh boy, oh boy. So within this universe, magic is about ownership. You can only put spells on things you have ownership over, or otherwise have a connection with. And this is explained by telling us this is why “the enslaved wretches who pick cotton” can’t hex “the whole White race”….like, do I even have to explain why that’s racist?? Also yes, they capitalized white….
And then there is a whole giant paragraph about how one of the characters “cannot be near subjugated creatures, man nor beast” that basically equates Black people being sold into slavery where they are exploited, oppressed, and abused to people owning farm animals. As if that’s the same. As if that comparison isn’t fucking racist as all hell.
9 books, 2695 pages.
33.3% BIPOC authors.
88% female or non-binary authors
100% LGBTQ+ main characters
3.4 star average rating