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review 2017-06-12 00:58
Bloodchild and other stories
Bloodchild: And Other Stories - Octavia E. Butler

This is the first of Butler's work that I've read, or listened to in this case. The narrator is Janina Edwards. I listened to it on the Prime Channel "Worlds Away: Sci-Fi Classics" and am so glad I saw it there. I decided to make this my Task 22 for Read Harder 2017, Read a collection of stories by a woman. I was going to use another book, and though that one fits, the stories are actually part of a series that I haven't read yet, which made it hard for me to keep up with.

Sci-fi is my preferred genre in fiction but reading challenges and the desire to read more diverse authors has pulled me away from it in recent years. I've found some great books that I am so glad to have read and a love for historical fiction I never thought I'd have. But this book is full of some of my favorite things about my favorite genre and written by prolific author that I'm glad I can go back to for more worlds.

Each story had its own world to build, though most took place right here on Earth. I enjoy stories on far off planets are alternate worlds but rarely have I read any that sit so well in this in between space. These world could be called dystopian, which there are plenty of, but most of these stories take place in that early transition from the world we know to something radically different like the Hunger Games. It sits in the same in between as the Walking Dead in most cases.

Of the stories, of which there were seven, none let me down at all. Sometimes short story collections have one or two stories that aren't up to par with the others but all the worlds were different and engaging. This, of course, doesn't meant that I am without my favorites. I found "Book of Martha" and "The Evening and the Morning and the Night" were favorites.

Butler's stories that revolved around alien contact and the way we might live with that were interesting in a way that was completely new for me. I love that she was toying with the idea that we would have invaders that didn't want to exterminate us and that we couldn't exterminate. I loved the 'silent war' that took place in one story. Mostly, what I enjoyed about these cohabitation stories was the concessions that both sides may have to make, what might develop from it.

My favorite thing about this collection is that each story made you think about the world, our responses to change or unavoidable situations. These are the things that I love about science fiction the most. I already had Kindred on my list to read for Litsy A to Z but I'm sure I'll be coming black to Octavia Butler over the years for my sci-fi fix.

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text 2017-05-01 22:35
April 2017 Round up!
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror - Johann Thorsson,Max Booth III,Glen Krisch,Jessica McHugh,Kealan Patrick Burke,Mark Matthews,Jack Ketchum
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler
Ararat: A Novel - Christopher Golden
Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural - Jonathan Janz,Ken Greenhall,Jessica Hamilton
Dark Screams: Volume Six - Stephen King,Norman Prentiss,Richard Chizmar,Brian James Freeman,Joyce Carol Oates
Nightmares and Geezenstacks - Matt Godfrey,Valancourt Books,Fredric Brown
The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead - Peter David,Stephen King,Richard Ianove,Robin Furth
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott
People of the Sun - Jason Parent

I read 20 books during April! That might be a personal record!

 

Graphic Novels:

 

The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (The Journey Begins)

American Vampire: Volume 4

 

Total: 5

 

Audio Books: 

 

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Late Breakfasters by Robert Aickman

Nightmares and Geezenstacks by Fredric Brown

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

 

Total: 4 

 

E-ARCS 

 

Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror

Ararat by Christopher Golden

Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall

Jericho's Razor by Casey Doran

Dark Screams: Volume 6

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

Just Add Water by Hunter Shea

 

Total: 7

 

Random Books 

 

At the Cemetery Gates: Year One

Nightmare of the Dead by Vincenzo Bilof

People of the Sun by Jason Parent

Soles by Kay Brandt

 

Total: 4

 

Total Books Read in April: 20

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge: 

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

 

January Count: 1

February Count: 2 

March and April Count: 0

Running Count: 3

 

Coolthulhu Crew 2017 Challenge: 

Goal: Read Horror Books!

 

January Books: 5

February Books: 3 

March Books: 4

April Books: 9

 

Running Count: 21

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017  

 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

Running count: 17

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

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review 2017-04-25 08:02
Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
Wild Seed - Octavia E. Butler

Series: Patternmaster #1

 

Finally, a book by Octavia E. Butler that I didn’t hate!

 

I really didn’t like Dawn and Parable of the Sower, you see. So it seems like Butler’s writing got worse as time passed, at least in my opinion. I’m not entirely sure the ending was all that convincing since it seemed like such an abrupt shift, but it’s late at night and I’m willing to accept it for now.

 

Anyway, Anyanwu is a witch and she meets another witch, Doro. Anyanwu is immortal because her body stopped aging naturally and she’s gained complete control over it while Doro is immortal because his spirit keeps stealing bodies. Doro is the epitome of taking because he’s powerful without giving anything back (other than his “protection”) and is basically a kind of soul-stealing vampire. He seeks to control Anyanwu too with only moderate success. Wild Seed is the story of how they met and the first 150 years or so of their relationship.

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text 2017-04-08 11:30
Book Haul
The Steerswoman (The Steerswoman Series) - Rosemary Kirstein
Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler
City - David W. Wixon,Clifford D. Simak
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
Memory of Water: A Novel - Emmi Itäranta
Dream London - Tony Ballantyne
Someday, Someday, Maybe - Lauren Graham
Roter Drache In Aspik: Das Fantasy Kochbuch - Sascha Storz

Remember when I told you about my last book haul? Yes, the one that made Lina so happy? Now you'll finally get to know the titles. :D

For the convenience of our international community I have chosen the English editions where available (one of the books I have actually bought in English).

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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review 2017-04-06 00:11
Kindred - Octavia E. Butler

The first book of Butler's I've read. A fascinating writer who breaks new ground, especially for the time in which the book was written. She brings a black feminist aesthetic to her work and uses it to expose cultural, sexual, and racial biases, all the while offering the reader a gripping tale.

While this work might not be as shocking now as it was in 1979, it's well worth a read. Classified as a 'science-fiction' work due to the time travel, it stands equally in 'literary fiction', as does the work of Ursula LeGuin, and 'African-American literature'.

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