The Years Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2009 — Anthology

The Years Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2009 -- AnthologyAll copyright 2008-9.


26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss — Kij Johnson
Shoggoths in Bloom — Elizabeth Bear
Glass — Daryl Gregory
The Hiss of Escaping Air — Christopher Golden
Araminta, or, The Wreck of the Amphidrake — Naomi Novik
We Love Deena — Alice Sola Kim
The Art of Alchemy — Ted Kosmatka
Falling Angel — Eugene Mirabelli
The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross — Margo Lanagan
King Pelles the Sure — Peter S. Beagle
Character Flu — Robert Reed
Gift from a Spring — Delia Sherman
The Region of Unlikeness — Rivka Galchen
Daltharee — Jeffrey Ford
The Ray-Gun: A Love Story — James Alan Gardner
The God of Au — Ann Leckie
The Fantasy Jumper — Will McIntosh
The Magician’s House — Meghan McCarron
Balancing Accounts — James L. Cambias
Suicide Drive — Charlie Anders
The Small Door — Holly Phillips
The Eyes of God — Peter Watts
Firooz and His Brother — Alex Jeffers
Infestation — Garth Nix
A Water Matter — Jay Lake
The Golden Octopus — Beth Bernobich
Blue Vervain Murder Ballad #2: Jack of Diamonds — Erik Amundsen
The Road to Levinshir — Patrick Rothfuss
Fixing Hanover — Jeff VanderMeer
Boojum — Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette
The Difficulties of Evolution — Karen Heuler
Catherine Drewe — Paul Cornell
Silent as Dust — James Maxey
Evil Robot Monkey — Mary Robinette Kowal
If Angels Fight — Richard Bowes
Spiderhorse — Liz Williams
The Tear — Ian McDonald

#scifi #fantasy #naominovik #annleckie #maryrobinettekowal

Cursed – Anthology

Cursed - AnthologyAll copyright 2020 except stated.


Castle Cursed — Jane Yolen
As Red As Blood, As White As Snow — Christina Henry
Troll Bridge — Neil Gaiman – 1993
At That Age — Catriona Ward
Listen — Jen Williams
Henry and the Snakewood Box — M.R. Carey
Skin — James Brogden
Faith & Fred — Maura McHugh
The Black Fairy’s Curse — Karen Joy Fowler – 1997
Wendy, Darling — Christopher Golden – 2014
Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie — Charlie Jane Anders – 2011
Look Inside — Michael Marshall Smith – 2013
Little Red — Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple – 2009
New Wine — Angela Slatter
Haza and Ghani — Lilith Saintcrow
Hated — Christopher Fowler – 1995
The Merrie Dancers — Alison Littlewood
Again — Tim Lebbon
The Girl From The Hell — Margo Lanagan
Castle Waking — Jane Yolen

#fantasy #peterpan #christinahenry #neilgaiman #michaelmarshallsmith

Colours in the Steel — K. J. Parker

Colours in the Steel -- K. J. ParkerHaving read K. J. Parker’s “The Seige” trilogy some time ago, i thought i’d go back to the beginning and begin to give his whole back catalogue a good read at.

Colours in the Steel is K. J. Parker’s first book in his first ever triology: “The Fencer”.   And guess what, it’s really good.

There’s just so much going on in this book to keep you enthralled and entertained, with lots of great characters that you can really get on board with, and lots of action as well.

If you haven’t read a good castle/walled-city seige story, then i would suggest you give ” The Seige” trilogy a go to start with, because it’s just soooo good.   And if you enjoy that, which you’re bound to do, then you’ve got this story waiting in the wings to satisfy your appetite for more.   Because one thing is for sure, K. J. Parker does write a really good seige story.

And with all that written i’m going to dive straight into the second book, Belly of the Bow.

K. J.’s Page

#fantasy #kjparker

The Girl and the Moon — Mark Lawrence

The Girl and the Moon -- Mark LawrenceAnd so we’re back in the corridor, at Sweet Mercy, where it all began in the original trilogy.

Once again, i felt that dragging tedious feeling i had with the previous books in this trilogy, except this time it wasn’t due to plodding over the ice.   This time it mostly came down to this never ending cat and mouse game with Seus and Eular, both of which aren’t very exciting baddies and don’t exactly get one excited.   In fact they just continued to disappoint me with the fact that they keep not dying when that’s all i wanted them to do from about 50% in, just so we could get it all over with.

Ok, i have to admit that i read the whole trilogy all the way through, so it couldn’t have been that bad.   But, it definitely could have been a lot better and lot lot lot faster paced.

Anyways, it’s all over now and i can go and read some other more exciting things.

Mark’s Page

#fantasy #marklawrence

Eddy’s Little Day — Joseph R. Lallo

Eddy’s Little Day -- Joseph R. LalloIf you enjoyed Joseph’s Book of Deacon side story The Adventures of Rustle and Eddy then you’ll love this little story.

Eddy borrows a few spells from his sister and goes off on an adventure to find Rustle, who hasn’t turned up for his latest visit.

Yes, those naughty fairy catchers are at it again, but they didn’t factor Eddy into their accounts.

I really enjoy the Rustle and Eddy stuff, so this was a very welcome sequel which i also really enjoyed.

Bye for now.

Joseph’s Page

#fantasy #josephrlallo

An Ivy Tale — Joseph R. Lallo

An Ivy Tale -- Joseph R. LalloA nice little side story for all you fans of Joseph’s Book of Deacon series.

Ivy goes on a wander to cheer herself up when she gets a bored after saving the world and becoming an ambassador.   One day, during her wander, she walks into an inn where Malthropes aren’t exactly made welcome.

A sweet little story.

Bye for now.

Joseph’s Page

#fantasy #josephrlallo

What Lot’s Wife Saw — Ioanna Bourazopoulou

What Lot's Wife Saw -- Ioanna BourazopoulouI read this soooo many years ago and decided to put it away for a few years before reading it again.   But the years came and went and finally i jumped in and did it.

And yes, i enjoyed it totally again.

It’s a rather strange book dealing with authoritarian rulers and their lackeys, but what happens if the lackeys decide to do something unexpected?

Set in a colony on where the Dead Sea used to be before it overflowed and flooded all the Mediterranean’s surrounding countries.   The colony now mines the special, addictive, purple salt that was sealed down beneath the ground and sells it to the rest of the world.

The authoritarian 75, based in Paris, own the colony and have a global monopoly on the salt it produces.   They have sealed it off from the outside world and only keep in contact with the governor via a green box delivered by a special ship. the governor, in turn, instructs his 6 lackeys to do his bidding.

And then, one night, things all change.   The governor’s 6 lackeys send 6 letters to the 75 explaining what happened and they in turn bring in Phileas Book, a constructor of strange crosswords for The Times to decipher the chaotic letters and to work out what the truth is and what really happened in the colony.

It’s a really strange story and quite unlike anything else i’ve read, but it is totally enjoyable and has a great ending.

Bye for now.

Ioanna’s Page

#fantasy #ioannabourazopoulou

How to Raise a Kraken in Your Bathtub — P. Djèlí Clark

Another great story from this master wonderful story teller.   A silly man decides to buy a kraken egg to hatch in a bathtub because he thinks it’ll make him rich: how foolish some people are.

You can read it for free at Uncanny Magazine.

If you would prefer to listen to the audio book then you can listen to it in the ‘Uncanny Magazine Podcast’.

Bye for now.

#fantasy #pdjeliclark

The Paladin of Golota — P. Djèlí Clark

The Paladin of Golota, written by P Djèlí Clark.

Once again, Djèlí writes the perfect short story, this one about zealots going to the battle fields of Golota to kill and die for their respective gods.

On the floor dying, is Zahrea, one of the zealots, and waiting to pick her body clean of valuables is Teffe, a picker, one of the local orphans who survive by combing the fields after each battle for anything worth selling.   Teffe doesn’t believe in gods but while he waits for Zahrea to die he has no choice but to listen to everything she has to say about that.

Super good.

This is available in the periodical, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly — Issue 37.

Next up on Djèlí’s timeline, from 2019, is The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

#fantasy #pdjeliclark

The Angel of Khan el-Khalili — P. Djèlí Clark

The Angel of Khan el-Khalili, written by P. Djèlí Clark.

The second story from the Dead Djinn Universe, which i only just got hold of with it having been quite some time since i finished the other three books (silly me thought it was a trilogy).   But not to worry, while it would have been better to have read it before The Haunting of Tram Car 015, it was very much worth reading still and doesn’t detract from anything i’ve already read in this series.

Once again, all the super good writing we’ve come to enjoy from Djèlí, my only question would be is will there be any more Cairo books?   I do so hope so, this is a fantastic world Djèlí has created that begs to be explored a lot more.   And i totally recommend this whole series for everyone, even if you’re not already into steampunk flavoured fantasy with a North African twist you soon will be.

This is available in the anthology, Clockwork Cairo and also can be read for free over at

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

#steampunk #fantasy #pdjeliclark

A Practical Guide to Conquering the World — K. J. Parker

The third instalment in The Siege.   The first two thirds of the trilogy were excellent, this book has a lot to live up to.

As soon as i got a copy of this book i dropped everything else i was reading and jumped straight in: that’s how much i enjoyed the first two books of the trilogy.

Once more, great writing with great characters being forced into corners and having to do whatever it takes just to survive another hour or so, because you only need another hour or so to figure out how you can find a way to survive the next hour or so.   Fortunately for us avid readers our protagonists in these stories always find a way to keep surviving all those next hours or sos and thus the story keeps on rolling along with calamities and shenanigans abounding.

To be honest, i was sold on K. J. Parker’s writing after the first book, Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City, the second book, How To Rule An Empire and Get Away With It, just confirmed that i wasn’t mistaken in my assessment, and this book now makes me realise that i’ve been missing out on some great writing for over 20 years, but hey, now i can go back and read the complete K. J. Parker back catalogue and really enjoy myself.

So yeah, if you’re looking for a good fun read then do give The Siege trilogy a go, i’m sure most people with even just a tiniest smattering of a sense of humour will enjoy these books.

K. J. Parker’s Page Tom Holt’s Page

#fantasy #kjparker