Review: Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month

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Review: Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month‘Charleston Post Courier

Review: Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month

“Blackfish City” is set on an island city in the Arctic built after society has collapsed because of environmental disasters and war. Refugees flood the city, and a mysterious disease runs rampant through the population.

One day a woman rides in on an orca, with a polar bear at her side, setting off a chain of events that ensnares a street fighter, a political lackey, an agender teen courier and a forlorn rich boy into a battle to take over the city.

Sam J. Miller has written an urgent tale imploring us to look at the ties between technology, race, gender and class privilege. Still, the novel is surprisingly heartwarming.

Ultimately, “Blackfish” is a book about power structures and the way that privilege is built on the backs of the disenfranchised, wrapped in an action-packed science fiction thriller.

Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, 500 years in the future, the novel follows Aurora, a 14-year-old girl abandoned by her mother, a “walking doctor” who performs illegal surgeries, at a carnival run by Aurora’s brother.

  • Publisher: Post and Courier
  • Author: Everdeen Mason The Washington Post
  • Twitter: @postandcourier
  • Citation: Web link

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Space Opera is the funniest science fiction novel I’ve read since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Many authors attempt comedy in science fiction, but few pull it off. Alongside very funny works like John Scalzi’s Redshirtsand Terry Pratchett’s entire Discworld series, the pinnacle of hilarious science fiction is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, about the misadventures of Arthur Dent as he travels across the universe. But Catherynne M. Valente’s new novel Space Opera might give it a run for its money, because it’s one of the funniest books that I’ve ever read.

Valente has forged a career by deconstructing fantasy and science fiction tropes in books like The Refrigerator Monologues and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Here, she suggests that ridiculous-sounding ideas like a Space Eurovision aren’t inherently more absurd than ‘realistic’ sci-fi conventions like hyperspace drives or genocidal robots. (Actually, the aliens explain, it’s more practical to settle disputes with a talent show than an intergalactic war.) Where Douglas Adams projected the comedic incompetence of impersonal bureaucracies into outer space, Valente introduces whimsical weirdness like a multidimensional panda bear called a Quantum-Tufted Domesticated Wormhole, which is the only feasible means of interstellar travel.

But the real selling point is Valente’s elaborate prose, dense with description and metaphors. I’ve bounced off this style in some of her books, but here it works beautifully, with sentences like:

‘Once upon a time on a small, watery, excitable planet called Earth, in a small, watery, excitable country called Italy, a soft-spoken, rather nice-looking gentleman by the name of Enrico Fermi was born into a family so overprotective that he felt compelled to invent the atomic bomb.’

‘Being a group intelligence comprised of hot pink algae genetically fused with nanocomputational spores, the Sziv never formed rock bands per se. They sent the same supergroup to the Grand Prix every year, some 60 percent of their species, decanted into artful vases and simply called Us. They sang by pheromone, a crescendo of infection hormones that maddened the mating instincts of every species in the Dirty Ruuutu Flophouse and Grill ‘ a vast, glittering, state-of-the-art performance area seating over one hundred thousand ‘ until the slightest whisper sounded like a techno-erotic laser light show of the soul, at which point Us spilled out of their vases in an undulating rosy wave, spun up in to a towering spiral of velvet sparkling life, and sang an ancient Sziv folk ballad called ‘Love Is Easy When You’re A Hive Mind’ coupled with a thumping, thrusting, subwoofer-slaughtering beat, dispersing on the downbeat, slamming back into their magenta spire on the upbeat, and bringing the house all the way down.’

  • Author: Many authors attempt comedy in science fiction, but few pull it off. Alongside very funny works like John Scalzi’s Redshirtsand Terry Pratchett’s entire Discworld series, the pinnacle of hilarious science fiction is Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, about the misadventures of Arthur Dent as he travels across the universe. But Catherynne M. Valente’s new novel Space Opera might give it a run for its money, because it’s one of…
  • Citation: Web link

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Review: Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month
on 14th of Apr 2018 BLACKFISH CITY. By Sam J. Miller. Ecco. 336 pages. $22.99. “Blackfish City” is set on an island city in the Arctic built after society has collapsed because of environmental disasters and war. Refugees flood the city, and a mysterious disease runs rampant

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Space Opera is the funniest science fiction novel I’ve read since Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
on 14th of Apr 2018 Valente has forged a career by deconstructing fantasy and science fiction tropes in books like The Refrigerator Monologues and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Here, she suggests that ridiculous-sounding ideas like a

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