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review 2018-06-11 07:29
Guardian Angels and Other Monsters by Daniel H. Wilson
Guardian Angels and Other Monsters - Daniel H. Wilson

From the blurb:

"From the New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse comes a fascinating and fantastic collection that explores complex emotional and intellectual landscapes at the intersection of artificial intelligence and human life. A VINTAGE BOOKS ORIGINAL.

In "All Kinds of Proof," a down-and-out drunk makes the unlikeliest of friends when he is hired to train a mail-carrying robot; in "Blood Memory," a mother confronts the dangerous reality that her daughter will never assimilate in this world after she was the first child born through a teleportation device; in "The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever," a physicist rushes home to be with his daughter after he hears reports of an atmospheric anomaly which he knows to be a sign of the end of the earth; in "Miss Gloria," a robot comes back to life in many different forms in a quest to save a young girl. Guardian Angels and Other Monsters displays the depth and breadth of Daniel H. Wilson's vision and examines how artificial intelligence both saves and destroys humanity.
"

 

This is a compilation of 14 short science-fiction stories.  I found this collection to make for enjoyable reading, though some stories I enjoyed more than others.  This collection deals mostly with the human side, rather than the science side, of whatever subject the author was writing about at the time.  Some stories were thought provoking, others rather creepy.  The writing was beautiful. 

 

NOTE:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley.  This review is my honest opinion of the book.

 

 

 

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text 2018-06-03 23:57
Fantasy Flights June Meeting - Urban Fantasy
Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older
Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish
Zero Sum Game (Russell's Attic) (Volume 1) - SL Huang
Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst
Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

The librarian usually sends out links for each months topic. This month, her links include an article titled something like "what is urban fantasy" that only says it's a marketing category and a list of "where to start" that has more male authors than female authors. I, just, I don't know, ya'll. If I were introducing someone to UF, I'd probably talk about the use of noir tropes in contemporary fantasy settings, broken vs unbroken masquerades, and Carrie Vaughn's theory, "these books are symptomatic of an anxiety about women and power." But, sure, here's a dude saying it's meaningless marketing and a list of mostly dudes to read.

 

The other big UF reader in the group is going to be out of town for this one, so I'm trying to psych myself up to deal with a room full of guys all talking about Harry Fucking Dresden. 

 

I'm also bounding myself by recommending in-progress series or stand alone books. A few months back, one of the members asked for recommendations for completed UF series that weren't PNR, and I want to avoid repeats. Okay, he didn't say PNR, he asked for books that weren't all about vampire sex. So at least one person may have some non-Dresden. . . take a deep breathe, Saturdays, you don't want to start another fight in book club.

 

Whatever. I love this genre. 

 

Shadowshaper - Daniel José Older. So far this series has 2 novels and 3 novellas and is dynamite. The protagonist is an artist who discovers her legacy includes channeling spirits into physical forms. She makes her graffiti come alive. Yeah, that's right, I talk all that shit and then start off with a book by a man.

 

Owl and the Japanese Circus - Kristi Charish. Action packed with an unlikable heroine, this series follows an antiquities thief and her vampire hunting cat through endless poor decisions and explosions. I adore that she isn't good with weapons and doesn't have powerful magic abilities. I just recently finished the 4th installment, and the heroine is consistently a train wreck.

 

Zero Sum Game (Russell's Attic) (Volume 1) - SL Huang. Fast paced, plenty of violence, and her magic power is being really good at math. Do I need to go on? 

 

Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst. A teenage vampire gets stabbed by a unicorn and finds herself able to go out in daylight. Her family decides to enroll her in high school so she can lure teens back to the rest of the bloodsuckers. This is a lighthearted, almost rom-com book that is exactly as much fun as my first sentence indicates.

 

Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes. The protagonists are all human in this not-quite police procedural where strange murders point toward incomprehensible motives.

 

 And I think I'll stop there. I really want to add about 10 more books. We'll see where the night leads.

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review 2018-05-28 23:55
Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans Review
Long Macchiatos and Monsters - Alison Evans

Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they're on the same page about what dating means, and if that's what they're doing.

 

Review

 

Awkward new adult dating with a geeky bad movie habit with a disinterested non binary college student and a mohawked too sexy transgendered hero.

Everything that is this story is good. P and Jalen lightly but with real care deal with issues of gender, class, and disability. However, it is pretty short and some some elements feel stunted and P's lack of communication skills are weary making but lovely overall.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-05-24 01:50
Delicate Monsters Review
Delicate Monsters - Stephanie Kuehn

Delicate Monsters is a very interesting, eerie, bizarre, dark story exploring themes of Necrophilia, death and mental health. The setting takes place mostly at school. It follows 3 main characters, Sadie Su, Emerson Tate and his younger brother Miles Tate. They all have strange behaviours and are different in their own ways. Sadie doesn’t seem “normal”, she is a mischievous, disobedient , Cruel teenager. She likes to mess with people and seems not to care about anyone’s feelings. She nearly killed someone at her last school, so she has to attend a public school. The next Character is Emerson Tate. He is Sadie’s classmate but dosent really like her because of how cruel she is. He just wants to have a good school year, playing sports and fall in love with the girl of his dreams, but what happens is the opposite of what he wanted. he has a secret, he is attracted to dead animals/things. His life is actually completely stressful and frustrating when everyday he has to deal with the death of his dad and how it negatively affects his Mom, and his younger Brother who always gets hurt and goes missing. The last main character is Miles Tate who is Emerson’s younger brother. Miles has physic visions, he is very mentally unstable, his visions makes him very sick, but his family dosent understand why. Delicate Monsters follows the lives of these 3 troubled teens, and it is safe to say they all have mental illness or social issues in their life. What I liked about the book, was how each character connected with each other in different ways. I liked how the author was not scared to “cross the line” by going into graphic details and saying exactly what the character is thinking even if it’s really bad, showing there true personality. I think the ideas in the book are nicely transitioned by having one page with a quote on it for each part of the book. What I didn’t like about the book was that each chapter is told from 3 points of view, and you have to read 2 more chapters to get to the same character which can be hard to follow and remember what happened from character to character. I like the endings of book and movies to be a happy ending or easy to understand, so I do not like the ending of Delicate Monsters because it does not have a clear ending of what really happened, you have to understand it for yourself. Overall, I would give the book 4/5 stars, I like the themes in the story, and how all the foreshadowing and symbols earlier On in the book connects at the end, deeper and deeper you get into the book the more the characters all start to discover dark truths and secrets about themselves. this book shows a dark side to human nature, I would definitely recommend this book to people who like reading twisted and weird stories, that show a dark personality to human nature.

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review 2018-05-08 23:33
WICKED FUN!
What Do Monsters Fear?: A Novel of Psychological Horror - Matt Hayward

Matt Hayward is an author on the rise. Checking him out online, reading interviews and such, you get the sense that he’s one of those guys writing for the love of it. I don’t sense that he’s one of those writers concerned with the numbers or one that aggressively seeks out your attention. He’s passionate and genuine, and it turns out he’s a pretty freaking good writer, too.

 

I read and enjoyed his previous release, BRAIN DEAD BLUES (Sinister Grin Press, 2017), a really good collection of short stories that displayed Hayward’s massive potential in stories like, “That’s the Price You Pay” and “The Faery Tree” had me eagerly awaiting Hayward’s debut novel, WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? (Post Mortem Press, 2017).

This novel is about a group of addicts that sign up for a rehab facility of sorts, where unbeknownst to them, the end game might not be the promise of a clean and sober life, but that of something far more sinister.

 

There are definitely some cool influences here. I saw a review that mentioned One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest, and rightfully so, as the author also refers to the book and film in the story itself. There’s also a bit of John Carpenter’s The Thing, as well. Both movies that I love. As with both of those films, the characters here are real, and Hayward does a great job making them stand out from one another, something that some newer writers stumble over with a larger cast.

 

Peter and Henry’s relationship is the best in the book. Two guys trying to kick the bottle, one older, and the other in his early thirties, their initial meeting out on the front porch is a memorable one. From there, Hayward develops them even further and it really makes the horrors to come all that much more intense.

 

For me, although Hayward uses the front half of the book to get you acquainted with everyone, and does a great job, it is a little slow, but you feel there is definitely something horrible just around the corner. And believe me, when you get to the second half of this one, hold on to your seat!


Hayward delivers in the horror category with lines like: “…___’s innards slopped away from his sliced open stomach, like saliva dripping from the jaw of a pit bull.”

Also, his use of Phobos (the personification of fear in Greek mythology) is righteous and wicked fun. I really enjoyed this one, and so will all you horror fiends. Great characters, great blood and guts, and a fun story.

 

Overall, I give WHAT DO MONSTERS FEAR? 4 stars!
Recommended!

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