Anthology Review: The Outcast Hours edited by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin

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Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Literary Fiction and everything in between

Publisher: Solaris

Length: 384 pages

Format: eARC

Rating: 3.5 stars

Publication Date: February 22nd 2018

 

 

 

 

Publisher’s description

We live our lives in the daylight. Our stories take place under the sun: bright, clear, unafraid.

This is not a book of those stories.

These are the stories of people who live at night; under neon and starlight, and never the light of day.

These are the stories of poets and police; writers and waiters; gamers and goddesses; tourists and traders; the hidden and the forbidden; the lonely and the lovers.

These are their lives. These are their stories. And this is their time:

The Outcast Hours.

Book Review

The Outcast Hours is the new anthology edited by Jared Shurin and Mahvesh Murad, a duo that previously worked on the acclaimed anthology The Djinn and Other Stories (Solaris, 2017). Though I haven’t read this particular anthology (yet, I have a copy), it was shortlisted for a couple of awards and received glowing reviews.

When I saw that The Outcast Hours was their new work and that it contained stories from authors I already know and love (Lavie Tidhar and China Miéville for example) and from ones I never heard about, I decided to give it a go!

The Outcast Hours is a collection of 25 stories all set during the night, during those dark hours where the worst as well as the best things happen. Following monsters, babysitters, exorcists, children, collectors or couriers as they go around living their life in the deep of the night, this anthology compiles a variation of stories playing around this theme.

This collection isn”t focused on a single genre, most of the stories contain speculative elements (mostly horror and dark fantasy) but quite of few of them don’t. I definitely liked this variety of stories and even if I had a slight preference for the genre stories, one of my favorite story doesn’t have any speculative twist.

I usually review every single story when I review an anthology but considering this one has 25 stories plus a couple of flash fiction pieces, it would have been too tedious to write or to read so I decided to focus on my favorites.

I made a selection of nine stories that I really, really liked and that I consider to be the best in the entire collection. However, even if a story isn’t on the selection, it doesn’t mean that I found it bad by any means. I gave the majority of the stories a 3 or a 3.5 rating. I rated two or three stories 2 stars (which for me means the story was just okay) but I didn’t go any lower. For me, this anthology didn’t have a single bad story. Even if I didn’t connect with a few of them, I could understand why all the stories were chosen.

However if I had a single thing to complain about it would be that this collection had too many stories for its length. It’s less than 400 pages which isn’t a lot for the 25 stories. Most of the stories were on the shorter side and some of them would have worked a lot better for me and they had been longer.

Most anthology are “mixed bags” and I’d say that The Outcast Hours fit the description since it has so many different stories and isn’t set around a particular genre. However, it’s a good one, I’m sure everyone would be able to find at least a few stories to their liking. At the same time, this variety makes it hard to recommend this anthology to a specific audience.

Indeed, if you just want to read horror, dark fantasy or literary fiction stories, you might be a bit frustrated by this collection. However if you want to read an eclectic collection, sample the work of 26 authors and see what can be done in short stories, I would recommend The Outcast Hours.

 

Highlights

 

This Book Will Find You by Sam Beckbessinger, Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen – 5/5

A woman’s lover is dead and her only way to bring her back to life is to complete the 6 steps of a mysterious book in less than 66 minutes.

This story was a great opening to the anthology, it has a lot of elements that I like, it’s start off pretty light (well as light as a story about a dead body can go) and we slowly unravel the circumstances of the death. It’s quite morbid but the pacing and the writing are excellent. I couldn’t help but to empathize with the main character even if she wasn’t a good person at all.

It’s about love, the consequences of love and how it can slowly change you for the worst.

 

It was a Different Time by Will Hill – 4.5/5

A young man works in a hotel in LA. Contrary to what’s almost expected of him, he doesn’t aspire to become an actor or a musician, he just want to be left alone. On one of his night shift, he encounters an old man relaxing in the pool when it’s supposed to be closed. What he doesn’t see at first is that the old man has a gun.

Inspired by the #MeToo movement and how it shattered the “old Hollywood” where it was usual for young girls to be assaulted behind the scenes, this story is about how the perpetrators have to live with their acts being made public. It Was a Different Time is a fascinating little story, very much of our time. The main character was very relatable in how angry he was at the entire world. This story doesn’t have any speculative elements.

 

Ambulance Service by Sami Shah – 5/5

Following an ambulance in a night shift in Karachi, what starts off as pretty regular story slowly shifts as we learn that the main character is an exorcist and that he deals with strange creatures haunting people.

It managed to take me by surprise quite a few times which I wasn’t expecting considering how short it is. The ending was fascinating, I really grew to love the characters and I would love to read other stories set in this mysterious Karachi.

 

Bag Man by Lavie Tidhar – 4.5/5

Like a lot of Tidhar’s works, Bag Man is set in Tel Aviv. Max, a man who used to work in the military is now working for the mafia. His latest mission is to deliver a bag to his client, he doesn’t know what’s inside and doesn’t care very much to. However, he wasn’t prepared to be assaulted by a gang of angry and high teenagers during his working time. And he doesn’t like when people stole what’s his.

This is a wild ride, the main character is quite the unlikeable old dude but I have read enough of Tidhar’s stories to know most of his male characters are this way. Bag Man is about the absurdity of violence and how it transforms people. In this story, all the brutal acts are done almost with boredom or unwillingly, it seems the perpetrators are forced to  be this way not because they want to but because it’s their only answer to their problems..

It’s not my favorite of Tidhar’s work but I found it strong nonetheless in the depiction of the absurdity of violence.

 

Gatsby – Maha Khan Philips – 5/5

A girl is invited to Great Gatsby themed New Year’s Eve party in Karachi. She just lost her best friend and she’s definitely not in the mood for partying. She doesn’t even know the host, she only know of  him: he’s filthy rich, from the USA and he invited about four hundred people to his party.

While she’s trying to stay far away from the festivities, she meets him. He’s nice, too nice perhaps but he has laughing lines and he’s kind, very kind, until he isn’t.

This story is one of my favorite from the collection, everything is so unexpected, it’s full of twists and turns and that ending was very unexpected. It’s very dark and creepy but memorable for sure!

 

Tilt – Karen Onojaife –  4.5/5

A woman who has lost everything spends her night gambling in a casino. She likes it there especially in those late hours because it’s the only place where she can forget about her daughter who died in a tragic accident.

One night she meets the new courier, a mysterious woman who seems almost attracted to her pain. And this woman will leave her with a terrible choice.

I very much liked the way the speculative elements were introduced pretty late in the story, it was very well written, the atmosphere and the slow built-up were done masterfully.

 

The Place of Thorns – Marina Warner – 5/5

Set in a refugee camp in Syria which seemed to suddenly appear one night on the border and surrounded by huge thorns, this story follows a young girl and her grandmother. The grandmother had a vision about the thorns and a battle coming and she is waiting for it to come true.

I’ve read mixed reviews of this story but I loved it very much, it’s a quiet story but it really touched me and the ending was beautiful.

 

Dark Matters – Cecilia Ekback – 5/5

A young girl tries her best to keep her family from falling apart when her dad keeps on dying and resurrecting, messing up their quiet family life.

In this story, Death is a character who tries and miserably fail on killing the father. Death is very frustrated because people are not supposed to resurrect and it definitely wasn’t part of the plan!

This story is delightfully quirky, the characters are all fascinating, I have to make a special mention to the grandmother and Death who were both amazing characters. It’s on the longer side compared to most of the stories of this anthology but I wouldn’t change or remove a single word.

 

 

I received a copy of this book from Solaris in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My thanks to Rebellion and Netgalley.
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2018 BSFA Awards Finalists aka what I’ll be reading next

If you were on Twitter yesterday, you might have seen that the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) announced the finalists of the 2018 BSFA Awards. I have a thing for science fiction awards, I am always looking forward seeing the various shortlists, my favorite awards to follow are the Clarke, the BSFA and the Kitchies. You might already know about my Clarke Award project: I’ve been reading and reviewing all the books nominated for the past three years and seeing this year’s finalists, I’m thinking on doing the same with the BSFA nominees!

The various winners will be announced during Eastercon which is taking place at the end of April, it’s not that far away so I will only focus on two categories: Best Shorter Fiction and Best Novel. I also won’t put too much pressure on myself to read everything before the announcement, I’ll do my best but we’ll see how much I manage to read.

Anyway, enough rambling, here are the works nominated in the categories I’m planning on reading, I’m excited about all of them (the ones I’ve read I absolutely loved!).

If you want to check out the other categories (Best Non Fiction and Best Artwork, you can go on the BSFA website).

Best Novel

  • Dave Hutchinson – Europe at Dawn (Solaris)
  • Yoon Ha Lee – Revenant Gun (Solaris)
  • Emma Newman – Before Mars (Ace Books)
  • Gareth L Powell – Embers of War (Titan Books)
  • Tade Thompson – Rosewater (Orbit)

I’m definitely impressed by this list, out of the five books, I have already read two of them: Revenant Gun and Rosewater and I loved them both.

I was already planning on reading the other three books (I already owned them all!) and the fact that they’re all finalists is the push I needed to pick them up sooner rather than later. I’m very excited about all of them especially Europe at Dawn which is the conclusion to one of my favorite series ever! (I haven’t picked it up because I’m a terrible reader but I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it).

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Look at those pretties *_*

 

Best Shorter Fiction

  • Nina Allan – The Gift of Angels: an Introduction (Clarkesworld)
  • Malcolm Devlin – The Purpose of the Dodo is to be Extinct (Interzone #275)
  • Hal Duncan – The Land of Somewhere Safe (NewCon Press)
  • Ian McDonald – Time Was (Tor.com)
  • Martha Wells – Exit Strategy (Tor.com)
  • Liz Williams – Phosphorus (NewCon Press)
  • Marian Womack – Kingfisher (Lost Objects, Luna Press)

In this category, I have only read a single story The Gift of Angels: an Introduction by Nina Allan but I absolutely adored it. I already reviewed it in my last Short Fiction Sunday post and I was extremely happy to see it on the list.

Out of the nominees, I already owned Time Was by Ian McDonald and Exit Strategy by Martha Wells and after seeing this wonderful list, I bought the two NewCon Press novellas and the collection of short story Lost Objects in order to read Kingfisher.  It means that I’m only missing the Malcolm Devlin  story which appeared on Interzone! (But I will remedy to that soon hehe).

I hope I’ll manage to get to everything before the announcement, I should be able to since I only have three books, four novellas and two short stories left to read but we’ll see since I will be back to college soon… 😥

 

What do you think about the finalists? 😀

Short Fiction Sunday | January Highlights

Here are the four short stories I liked the most in January, at first I wanted to combine my short fiction favorites of January and February but it was too long so I’ll do another SFS next week with my February picks!

I chose to only review a few stories to be more thorough and really explain why I liked them so much. I have full reviews of the issues mentionned available on Goodreads if you want to read my thoughts on all the stories.

Clarkesworld #146

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“The Gift of Angels: an introduction” by Nina Allan ★★★★★

The Gift of Angels is set in a future version of Paris and follows a writer as he tries to learn more about his mother. She was one of the first astronauts who died on a mission to Mars and it deeply affected his life. He follows her steps in Paris as he visits places she once went to. Paris was the city his parents met and fell in love and the writer tries to imagine what their encounters were like as he goes from museums to museums and streets to cafés.
I really admire Nina Allan, she’s a great writer so I’m always looking forward to her stories. I’m also a bit biased because I studied and lived in Paris. I love this city and reading about streets and places I used to go to was both nostalgic and heartwarming. I also liked the focus Allan’s made on art in this novella, several paintings and movies are at the heart of this story and it made me enjoy it even more. It’s a slow story but it’s a beautiful one.

You can read this story here.

 

“Death on Mars” by Madeline Ashby ★★★★★

It’s my second favorite story of the issue, the title of the story is a bit misleading because I was expecting a war story or a military one set on Mars but it’s actually a very quiet story. It follows the crew of a spaceship studying samples from Mars and how their group dynamic is shattered when they learn about the illness of their leader.

It’s a poignant and sad little story and it left me in tears at the end. I read other stories by Ashby and I enjoyed them as well but this one is the best I read by her so far. I really need to check her longer works. 

If you want to read another review of that story, I highly recommend Maddalena’s review over at Space & Sorcery!

You can read this story here.

 

Apex Magazine June 2018

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“Suzie Q” – Jacqueline Carey ★★★★★

A young girl with a bad reputation enters a magic school where she hopes to start over. However, it doesn’t happen when she’s betrayed by people she trusted and she’s now on the street trying to keep her inner demon in her body while protecting a little boy.

I love Carey’s longer epic fantasy works but it was the first time I tried her short fiction. I really liked Suzie Q, my favorite aspect of the story was seeing how the events of the story influenced Suzanne’s character arc. The pacing and the writing were excellent and the ending was very satisfying.

Read this story here.

 

“Three Meetings of the Pregnant Man Support Group” – James Beamon ★★★★

What would happen if men were pregnant? You might think that you have read this story a million time over but I can assure you Beamon’s take on this trope is pretty original and worth your time.

In this story, men are expecting alien babies according a contract binding aliens with humans. In exchange for advanced tech, a couple of chosen men bear alien babies. This story follows a pregnant man and the meetings he has with a support group of other pregnant men. At first, it’s hilarious but the tone gets more and more serious as we learn about the implications of those pregnancies and how they affect the chosen men.

Read this story here.

 

Book Review: The Quantum Magician by Derek Künsken

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Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

Publisher: Solaris

Length: 480 pages

Format: eARC

Rating: 5 stars

Publication Date: October 2nd 2018

 

 

 

 

Publisher’s description

Belisarius is a quantum man, an engineered Homo quantus who fled the powerful insight of dangerously addictive quantum senses. He found a precarious balance as a con man, but when a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of warships across an enemy wormhole, he must embrace his birthright to even try. In fact, the job is so big that he’ll need a crew built from all the new sub-branches of humanity. If he succeeds, he might trigger an interstellar war, but success might also point the way to the next step of Homo quantus evolution. 

Book Review

Belisarius is a Homo Quantus, a man genetically modified to manipulate data on the quantum level. He was supposed to become a great scientist like all the others of his kind, however, he doesn’t like to follow the rules. He especially doesn’t want his whole career and life to be dictated by his genes, thank you very much.

What can you do with your life when you can compute data more efficiently than a computer? For Belisarius, the answer is simple: become the best con man of the universe. However, even for him, his last job might be too hard if not impossible.

He has to find a way to move a huge fleet of warships across an heavily guarded black hole while remaining unseen. His client, a small vassal-state of the Congregate, is dreaming of independence and is ready to start an interstellar war for it.

To succeed, Belisarius will have to pull off the biggest heist of the galaxy and he cannot do it alone. He needs a crew and a talented one at that. Who could be better than the craziest representant of other subspecies, an AI who thinks he is the reincarnation of a Saint and another Homo Quantus? At worse, they’ll kill each other off, at best, they’ll be richer than they’ll ever be!

 

Set in a future where humans have modified their genes in order to survive in hostile environments, to improve their skills or to turn other species into their slaves, The Quantum Magician is one crazy ride. Derek Künsken has enough ideas to write dozens of books but he uses them all in one. It’s a crazy imaginative story which managed to pick my interest from page one. It’s thought-provoking, very clever and extremely enjoyable. When I finished a chapter, my immediate thought was “Okay, just another one” and it doesn’t happen that often for me.

The worldbuilding is amazing, this book is packed with fascinating ideas and I had a blast discovering how humanity evolved by discovering all the new subspecies. I was morbidly fascinated by the Numens who modified their DNA in order to enslave the Puppets and how horrible it turned out for them.

Belisarius is very interested by those modifications and how much it redefines the meaning of being human. Being a member of a subspecy himself, he cannot help but to question where his own actions are coming from. Is he motivated by his own free will or are his actions predetermined by his genes? This naturalistic approach of life is at the center of the book and some characters even discuss it at various points in the book. Don’t worry, it never turns into a boring lecture,on the contrary, it allows us to understand the motivation of both protagonists and antagonists.

 

The Quantum Magician is a fabulous debut, it would make the most fantastic movie. It has everything and more, it seriously needs to be read by way more people. Highly, highly recommended.

 

I received a copy of this book from Solaris in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My thanks to Rebellion and Netgalley.

 

February New Releases I’m intrigued about

I wasn’t planning on doing a monthly segment dedicated to new releases but I had too many books on my list to write a single post so… here we are.

My selection isn’t trying to be comprehensive, I haven’t even mentioned all the books I’m intrigued about and I’m sure I missed a number of other great ones. However, I love gushing about new shiny books and I thought it would be a great opportunity to do so!  It’s not a February TBR by any means though I wish I could read all of them asap!

 

SCIENCE FICTION

The City in the Middle of the Night—Charlie Jane Anders (February 12, Tor Books)Set on a planet that has fully definitive, never-changing zones of day and night, with ensuing extreme climates of endless, frigid darkness and blinding, relentless light, humankind has somehow continued apace — though the perils outside the built cities are rife with danger as much as the streets below.

But in a world where time means only what the ruling government proclaims, and the levels of light available are artificially imposed to great consequence, lost souls and disappeared bodies are shadow-bound and savage, and as common as grains of sand. And one such pariah, sacrificed to the night, but borne up by time and a mysterious bond with an enigmatic beast, will rise to take on the entire planet–before it can crumble beneath the weight of human existence.

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t even had to read the synopsis to know I wanted to read this book. I really liked All The Birds in the Sky and that’s enough for me to check out this new book by Charlie Jane Anders!

 

Dark Age (Red Rising #5)—Pierce Brown (February 12, Del Rey)
For a decade Darrow led a revolution against the corrupt color-coded Society. Now, outlawed by the very Republic he founded, he wages a rogue war on Mercury in hopes that he can still salvage the dream of Eo. But as he leaves death and destruction in his wake, is he still the hero who broke the chains? Or will another legend rise to take his place?

I have yet to read Iron Gold, the fourth installment in the Red Rising Saga but I loved the first three books and, even if I don’t think the original trilogy needed more books, I’m attached to the characters enough to read the continuation of their story.

 

Broken Stars: Contemporary Chinese Science Fiction in Translation—Ken Liu, translator (February 19, Tor Books)
Broken Stars, edited by multi award-winning writer Ken Liu–translator of the bestselling and Hugo Award-winning novel The Three Body Problem by acclaimed Chinese author Cixin Liu–is his second thought-provoking anthology of Chinese short speculative fiction. Following Invisible Planets, Liu has now assembled the most comprehensive collection yet available in the English language, sure to thrill and gratify readers developing a taste and excitement for Chinese SF.

I tend to like Chinese SF a lot and I’m always on the lookout for new stories and authors. I’ll probably pick up Invisible Planets before Broken Stars (since I already have a copy of it) but it doesn’t mean that Broken Stars isn’t on my radar as well! Especially when I’m in such a short fiction mood, I want ALL the anthologies! 😀

 

FANTASY

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Dark Star #1)—Marlon James (February 5, Riverhead Books)
Tracker is known far and wide for his skills as a hunter: “He has a nose,” people say. Engaged to track down a mysterious boy who disappeared three years earlier, Tracker breaks his own rule of always working alone when he finds himself part of a group that comes together to search for the boy.

This one has been everywhere lately and I want it! Not because it’s described as “an African Game of Thrones” but precisely because it doesn’t appear to be “another” Game of Thrones. It sounds very different from what’s already published and that’s why it’s appealing to me. And also, we are in 2019, can publishing companies stop comparing every single “grim” books to A Song of Ice and Fire please…?

 

Early Riser—Jasper Fforde (February 12, Viking)
Every Winter, the human population hibernates. During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, devoid of human activity. Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

If I’m correct this was released last year in the UK and if it intrigued me then, it intrigues me even more now. Believe or not, I have never read a book by Fforde and this one might very well be my first one! It sounds very weird and right up my alley.

 

The Haunting of Tram Car 015—P. Djèlí Clark (February 19, Tor.com Publishing)
The Haunting of Tram Car 015 returns to the alternate Cairo of Clark’s short fiction, where humans live and work alongside otherworldly beings; the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities handles the issues that can arise between the magical and the mundane. Senior Agent Hamed al-Nasr shows his new partner Agent Onsi the ropes of investigation when they are called to subdue a dangerous, possessed tram car. What starts off as a simple matter of exorcism, however, becomes more complicated as the origins of the demon inside are revealed.

I read and really enjoyed The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark last year so I pre-ordered this one without even reading the synopsis. I’m glad I did because now that I know what’s it’s actually about, it sounds great! I definitely want to read a story about an alternate Cairo full of magical creatures!

 

The Raven Tower—Ann Leckie (February 26, Orbit Books)
For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo–aide to Mawat, the true Lease–arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.

The Raven Tower is Leckie’s fantasy debut novel and if it’s as good as her science fiction, it’s going to be good! That’s enough for me to put this book pretty high in my “want list”.

 

MELTING POT

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A People’s Future of the United States—Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams, editors (February 5, One World)

For many Americans, imagining a bright future has always been an act of resistance. A People’s Future of the United States presents twenty-five never-before-published stories by a diverse group of writers, featuring voices both new and well-established. These stories imagine their characters fighting everything from government surveillance, to corporate cities, to climate change disasters, to nuclear wars. But fear not: A People’s Future also invites readers into visionary futures in which the country is shaped by justice, equity, and joy.

Edited by Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams, this collection features a glittering landscape of moving, visionary stories written from the perspective of people of color, indigenous writers, women, queer & trans people, Muslims and other people whose lives are often at risk.

It’s hard to categorize this one so I’m not going to. The author lineup of this anthology is amazing! To name just a few, it features Charlie Jane Anders, Sam J. Miller, Tobias S. Buckell, N.K. Jemisin, Omar El Akkad, Catherynne M. Valente, Seanan McGuire, Daniel José Older… OF COURSE I’M GOING TO READ THIS. This sounds freakin’ amazing!

 

That’s it for my small(ish) selection of February releases! I’m sure I forgot some amazing ones, if you have any more to add, feel free to mention them in the comments, it’s impossible to want too many books right? 😀

January Wrap-Up & February Reading Plans

In my last post I mentionned that I was a bit burn out on science fiction and I’m pretty sure I know why.  I didn’t read a lot of books last year and when I could squeeze in a bit of reading time, I concentrated my efforts on more complex and challenging books because I found those the most fascinating. That’s the way I am, I love to take on challenges, figure stuff out on my own and make the “most” out of my brain cells. I tend to get bored easily if I don’t have something to do!

However, I’ve started the French equivalent of graduate school back in September (I study biological engineering) and, let’s just say that my brain cells have been working quite a bit since.

If I look at my reading, September is the moment it started to dwindle. It took a while for me to figure out that making reading hard by concentrating most of my reading time on more complex reads wasn’t necessarily the best decision. It just turned my hobbie into more work on top of everything else.

I realized that at the end of December when I couldn’t read more than a page or two each day. At the time I was reading The Last Good Man by Linda Nagata, a military science fiction that deals with a lot of darker themes. It’s an interesting book, well-written for sure and, because of that, I didn’t get why I couldn’t bring myself to read it.

The answer is pretty obvious actually, a book can be great but the enjoyment of it is deeply linked to the timing of its reading. And  forcing myself to read about wars, terrorist attacks and torture before/during finals wasn’t really the best idea!

That’s why I decided that 2019 would be the year where I will try to be more conscious of the fact that reading is a way for me to relax and have fun. It’s not to say that I won’t read challenging books anymore because I definitely will but I want to find a good balance.

To start this year on the right path, I decided to put very little pressure on myself and to read any work peaking my interest at the time. For now, it’s fantasy books and short fiction, I’ve read a lot of both in the past few weeks and I had a blast! Knowing myself, the science fiction novel break is not going to last that long anyway because it remains my favorite genre.

Anyway, even if the start of the year has been a bit rocky, I liked all the things I read in January and I hope February is going to be even better!

 

Books Read in January

Favorite Reads

I liked everything this month but my two favorite things were the two short fiction magazines I read at the end of the month. I won’t review them on my blog but on Goodreads. I will do a Short Fiction Sunday post toward the end of the month mentionning my favorite stories overall, I think it might be more interesting than a post for each issue.

Tentative TBR

  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
  • Trail of Lighting by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • The Dollmaker by Nina Allan
  • The Outcast Hours by Mahvesh Murad & Jared Shurin
  • Clarkesworld Issue #147
  • Interzone Issue #271
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson (re-read)

As you can see, I’m following along the fantasy and short fiction theme!

I’m going to try and catch up on my short fiction reading because I may or may have not subscribed to four magazines this year… I know it’s a bit crazy but it’s too hard to choose only one! However it also mean that I will probably drown under stories which is, to be honest, a good way to die. I’m now subscribed to Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Interzone and Apex so… you’ll be getting more Short Fiction Sundays this year!

I would also like to re-read The Traitor Baru Cormorant because I have the sequel sitting unread in my Kindle but I remember almost nothing from the first book! (except that it was very good and heart-wrenching)

 

Anyway, I think I rambled enough, I hope your 2019 started off strongly and that you read amazing books! 😀