Review: Triggernometry by Stark Holborn (Triggernometry #1-2)

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I’ve been looking for decent weird westerns for a while, to not much success – a lot of what little I could find either couldn’t hold my attention or didn’t have the flavour and atmosphere I was looking for, and I haven’t even made it halfway down my list before I inevitably got distracted and put my “hunt down SFF westerns” project aside. Until now, I suppose, when my mood reading led me to try this. And it’s one of the best (if not the best) I found so far, enough that I got the second novella while I was still reading the first. A rare thing.

With unique worldbuilding, fast pacing, great writing, and a fantastic concept, it’s easy to recommend. And of course, it’s a shitload of fun.

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Mini Novella Reviews: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, Upright Women Wanted, The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday

Time for another novella round-up post! Lately, thanks to all the slumps, I’ve been going more and more for shorter books. This time around, all three novellas reviewed are SFF and all are books I’d highly recommend.

Continue reading “Mini Novella Reviews: The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, Upright Women Wanted, The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday”

Star Wars Without Nostalgia: The Mandalorian

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Here it is, the show that turned my most stubbornly reluctant self into a massive Star Wars fan. Initially, I thought I’d give an episode a try out of curiosity, that I’d watch it for Baby Yoda. I was gloriously wrong. I fell in love with every single aspect of the show, from the titular Mandalorian, to the world, the soundtrack, other characters, and I fell in love hard. I fell in love with it as I fell in love with The Gray House, the obsessive, all-consuming, dorky passion that’s as intense as it is rare. It made me happy in a time when I needed it the most.

I have talked about it some in the intro already, but I really did not want to go into it too much until it was finished and I have watched all the episodes, just in case it fucked up in the later episodes. Which I’m glad to say it did not! After the last episode, I can comfortably say this is my favourite show, and generally one of my favourite pieces of media ever.

Continue reading “Star Wars Without Nostalgia: The Mandalorian”

July 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up

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July has been an interesting, unusual, out-of-character month. I don’t go on binges, I don’t read novellas unless forced to for a reading challenge, and I have never been interested in Westerns until the end of this June. Yet I have:

  1. Read or attempted to read 6 westerns
  2. Read 8 novellas
  3. Binge-read a series that’s part of a subgenre I normally avoid (Urban Fantasy)
  4. DNFd 4 books

I think I only read one book that wasn’t on a theme. Unfortunately, all of this has two side effects: I have completely neglected the Bingo challenge and generally wrote fewer reviews, as I plan to merge Weird Westerns and LGBTQ+ novellas in two more comprehensive posts (soon!).

As far as non-review posts go, I did a Top 5: Weird Literary Fantasy list.

  • Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen (reread): The first book on my journey through the Weird West. It stands up to a reread very well, and I loved that it tackles the racism and sexism of the era…but I completely forgot how much sexual violence is there 😬
  • The Binding by Bridget Collins: I was enticed by the cover and the premise (books made out of memories! Romance!), but even though I did enjoy it, I’m not happy at the number of abandoned plot threads and the abruptness of the ending.
  • Unsouled by Will Wight (DNF): Very much not for me, but may appeal those looking for books about magic systems and protagonists growing more powerful.
  • A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson: Literary novella, fantastic. I wasn’t quite sure of it right until the end, but as all the pieces clicked into place…wow.
  • Territory by Emma Bull: Weird Western slice of life. Sadly, another book that suffers from abruptly abandoning plot threads. And it felt….bland. Oh well.
  • A Book of Tongues by Gemma Files (DNF): The writing style was good and the worldbuilding interesting and one of the protagonists was the fun kind of trigger-happy sociopathic prick, but the homophobia/racism/transphobia of the world were just too much. Uncomfortable and unfun.
  • Passing Strange by Ellen Klages: Another wonderful novella, this one depicting the queer women’s subculture of 1940s San Francisco. The magic is almost incidental, but it doesn’t matter. It’s great.
  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson: Not the typical Western, perhaps, but I haven’t encountered a book that’d be as much of a pageturner in a mortal age. I’d read it in one sitting if it wasn’t nearing 3 am…
  • This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (reread): This time in paperback. Still as good as the first time.
  • The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman (DNF): A cross of Weird Western and New Weird, more interesting in theory than in practice. Nothing outrageously wrong with it, I was just…bored.
  • Los Nefilim series by T. Frohock: Yes, the whole thing – three novellas and the novel. One after the other. And I don’t even normally read UF! The worldbuilding and the characters are A+ and I could not stop. Features a rarity: an established couple. To be precise, a gay established couple with a kid.
  • Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson: What the fuck. It’s not often that the book confuses the everloving daylights out of me to that extent, but what the fuck. And the ending just confused me further.
  • Seven Summer Nights by Harper Fox (reread): Reread it to reset my brain after Sorcerer of the Wildeeps broke it. Still good, still don’t like graphic sex scenes.
  • Fortune’s Fool by Angela Boord (ARC, DNF 12%): Decided to pull the plug after a month or two of not picking it up. No specific reason. If you want Reneissance-inspired worlds, family rivalries, and political scheming it may be worth a try.
  • Miranda in Milan by Katharine Duckett: Basically post-colonial, f/f Shakespeare fanfiction telling the story of Miranda after the end of The Tempest. Excellent, and super adorable.

Currently reading:

  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon (12%): I’m leading a bookclub in August, so I have to finish it quick. So far, I’m enjoying it very much.
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (40%): It’s so long!
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (48%): See above. Damn chonkers.

Books read this year: 40 (+ 11 rereads)
r/Fantasy Bingo Challenge progress: 9/25 (36%)