Reviews

WYRD & WONDER 2022: Give Me Five! #wyrdandwonder

Image art by chic2view on 123RF.com

The congratulatory gesture is more than called for since this is the fifth iteration of the month-long event celebrating all things fantasy: for the occasion, our Fairy Godmothers Imyril, Lisa and Jorie are joined by Ariana and Annemieke, bringing their total to five. Neat! 🙂

If you’re old hands at this, you already know everything there is to know about our neverending party where Elves can safely mix with vampires and enjoy the buffet alongside wherewolves and wizards, but if this is your first time don’t fear: our Fairy Godmothers have thought of everything.

Sign up HERE

Learn all about Wyrd & Wonder HERE (where you will also find the amazing banners to showcase on your posts)

And don’t forget to update the grimoire… pardon me, the Master Schedule of Posts HERE

So, let’s don our pointy hats, give the last stirring to the boiling cauldron and prepare to unleash our magical potions on the world! Now, if only I could remember where I last parked my flying broom….

Reviews

SciFi Month 2021: It’s time to look at the stars. Again. #SciFiMonth

ARTWORK by Liu Zishan from 123RF.com

Yes, it’s finally time to let our imagination roam free in the vastness of space where uncounted worlds are waiting for us fearless explorers searching for adventure, and so the November Space Station is once again operative thanks to our indefatigable keepers IMYRIL and LISA, who are ready to hand out star maps leading to far-away places where no human foot left an imprint. Yet.

Unsure of where to start? Don’t fear, fellow adventurers! HERE you will find all the information you need to sign up and launch into the Great Beyond, and if you want to share your journeys don’t forget to leave the right coordinates on the Main Star Chart.

While you’re here, you can take a tour of the station as well, discovering what challenges might await you or to participate in the Space Bingo game. Just watch out for those pesky Face Huggers (remember, they are NOT cuddly, despite the name!) and before you leave pay your debts to that big, slobbering, slug-like guy before he sets a bounty hunter on your tracks… 😀

Jokes aside, this year’s event caption comes from one of my favorite space operas, The Expanse, and speaks loudly of the wonders that await us when we ask ourselves “What if….?

Are you ready to see what’s beyond the next star? I certainly am!

ARTWORK by Liu Zishan from 123RF.com
Reviews

SCIFI MONTH 2020 #SciFiMonth

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com

Ladies and Gentlemen, the luxury liner Galactic Express is ready to depart for lands unknown and alien realms, so we wish you all a pleasant cruise!

Our gallant commanding officers, IMIRYL and LISA are once again here to guide us toward the uncharted routes of the imagination, and the crew will be happy to share with you reviews, discussions, giveaways, read-alongs and bookish prompts – plus any other kind of amazing discovery you might look for. Take a look at the NAVIGATION CHART to know the next ports of call.

Your first time aboard ship? No problem! Just connect to the INFORMATION NODE, where you will be able to ask any question your mind can come up with – and more: our dedicated A.I., Hal 8999(*), is at your complete disposal. 

(*) no worries: he’s the younger sibling and completely harmless 😀

Take your seat on the acceleration couches, strap in and… enjoy the ride!

Reviews

SCIFI MONTH 2020: all aboard!

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com

Are you tired of the same old landscapes of Earth?  Do you long for the vastness of interstellar space, or for the vistas of alien worlds? Then joins us in the annual celebration of Science Fiction that will run in the month of November!

Our gracious hosts Imyril and Lisa are again at the helm of the starship that will take us “where no one has gone before” to explore the wildest feats of imagination and find the myriad answers to our favorite question: “What if…?”

As usual, the sky is the limit: books, movies, TV shows, games and every other kind of media will be welcome – who knows, we might even discover a few we had not known before, because discovery is indeed the key word in this monthly journey through the unexplored territories of our inventiveness.

Ready to know more?  HERE you will find all the information you need to join the crew and start the journey. I don’t have to tell you it’s going to be fun, and let me add that this year’s banner is so far my favorite: the suggestion that once we start exploring new worlds our best four-legged friends will still be with us is one that I find delightful… 🙂

See you in outer space!

Reviews

WYRD and WONDER 2020: 5-Star Books in 5 Words

Image by Tanantachai Sirival @ 123RF.com

 

In previous Wyrd and Wonder iterations there were many prompts and challenges that I could not fulfill for lack of time, so this year I decided to go back to some of them and try my hand at the… roads not taken.  One of the most interesting ones required to list five favored books and to describe them in five words: it proved far more challenging than I could have imagined, but it helped me focus on what I truly loved in those stories and that’s one of the reasons I chose series openers that introduced me to authors who became my favorites after one single book.

 

1) Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn & Grim #1), by Juliet Marillier

Spellbinding tale: adversity and renewal

 

2) Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1), by R.J. Barker

Damaging magic, knives and shadows

 

3) A Time of Dread (Of Blood and Bone #1), by John Gwynne

Darkness falls: Truth and Courage

 

4) Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder #1), by Brian McClellan

Vlora Flint, Mad Ben Styke

 

5) The Tethered Mage (Swords and Fire #1), by Melissa Caruso

New magic: Falcons, Falconers, jesses

 

 

And now it’s your turn: I challenge you all to describe five of your beloved books in five words!  😉

Reviews

WYRD AND WONDER 2020: IT’S TIME TO LET IMAGINATION FLY!

Image by Tanantachai Sirival @ 123RF.com

 

Once again, dear fellow bloggers, the time to celebrate the wonderful and weird flights of imagination is upon us: dragons fly high spewing roaring flames, armor-clad knights fight epic battles over rolling plains and sorcerers practice new spells in their places of power.  But that’s not all: in more modern cities vampires lurk in the shadows, ghosts wail in abandoned buildings and all manners of supernatural creatures wait for their fifteen minutes of fame… 😀
This yearly event, co-hosted as usual by the indefatigable Imiryl, Lisa and Jorie is ready to launch the enthralling quest for the most intriguing facets of fantasy, in all its declinations. Sign up and join our band of adventurers, it’s never too late to come to the party, and we have dragons! Or was it dragon-shaped cookies?
Follow this link to find every information you might need and to choose among the gorgeous banners that celebrate this delightfully crazy month for 2020.
See you there….
Reviews

SCI-FI Month 2019: Ready for liftoff?

Image by Sebastien Decoret from 123RF.com

 

One of the highlights of November, for us book bloggers who enjoy speculative fiction, is the Sci-Fi Month event, 30 days in which we enjoy talking about one of our favorite genres, sharing titles and comments and – above all – having fun.

With many thanks to  Deargeekplace and Imyril who are hosting the event, I would like to direct you to the event’s Twitter page, where you will learn everything you need to know to participate: there is no time limit for signing on – as long as the fun goes on, everyone will be welcome. The more the merrier!

This year I’ve decided to do something different: instead of showcasing various SF novels (or movies, or TV shows – remember, the sky’s the limit!) I want to focus on one of my favorite space opera series, Lois McMaster Bujold’s VORKOSIGAN SAGA.  Since I started blogging I recommended it emphatically to anyone who asked me for recommendations, but given that I read the books long before the idea of a book blog came to me, I have never reviewed any of them – with the exception of the latest works, Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen and The Flowers of Vashnoi.

So starting this November (and then moving beyond it, given the huge number of works in the series) I will share my reviews of the Vorkosigan books and novellas, using the internal chronological order rather than the publication date, so as to offer a logical timeline and a more coherent narrative pattern.

The books I will showcase are:

Shards of Honor

Barrayar

The Warrior Apprentice

The Mountains of Mourning (novella)

The Vor Game

Cetaganda

Labyrinth (novella)

The Borders of Infinity (novella)

Brothers in Arms

Mirror Dance

Memory

Komarr

A Civil Campaign

Winterfair Gifts (novella)

Diplomatic Immunity

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance

Cryoburn

So I hope you will appreciate rediscovering with me the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan & Co. or be curious about this highly enjoyable series and start reading…  Shall we begin?   🙂

 

 

A small side note on the books’ covers: I have searched for nice-looking covers that could give a good idea of the single stories, but this series seems to be plagued by an abundance of not-so-stellar cover images. Remember that no book should be judged by that…. 😉

Reviews

WYRD & WONDER 2019 – Here there be dragons…

(image courtesy of kasana86)

 

 

Like last year, this month of May will see an unabashed celebration of all things fantasy, in every possible declination (and probably in some unforeseen ones – after all, why place fetters on our imagination?).

This event, co-hosted by Imyril, Lisa and Jorie, will take us through magical realms, call us to fulfill arduous quests, or make us face incredible creatures. Just go our hosts’ sites to learn how to participate and, above all, how to have FUN while we get lost in the books we love.

Today is the day we start on this amazing journey so… hop on the back of your dragon and join us in the adventure!

Reviews

Orbit US Turns 10!

 

 

I’m very happy to share the news that Orbit US will be celebrating its tenth year of presence on the market for Science Fiction and Fantasy literature: you will find an interesting article detailing the history of these past ten years on Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.

And in the best Hobbit tradition for birthdays, presents will be given instead of received: in this case a not-to-be-missed deal on the ebook version of 10 of the most successful Orbit titles for the past decade, including some of my favorites like James S.A. Corey LEVIATHAN WAKES,  M.R. Carey THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS, or Mira Grant’s FEED.  And many more…

Just click on this LINK to see the full array of amazing books.

Happy 1oth Birthday ORBIT!

Reviews

GRR Martin interviews John Scalzi

One of the stops in John Scalzi’s tour to promote his new novel THE COLLAPSING EMPIRE included the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe: this historical theater has been in recent years acquired by author GRR Martin and it often hosts meetings with authors and book signings.

When I learned that a video of the event would be uploaded on the Jean Cocteau Cinema YouTube channel, I waited with intense curiosity to see two of my favorite authors chatting, and what I found was nothing short of delightful.

And delights must be shared…  Enjoy!