Category Archives: Recommendations

Book Recommendation: The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo, by Zen Cho

I’ve been wanting to recommend this for a while, but the author’s website was down when I first read it, and I wanted to link to it, because ONCE YOU START READING IT YOU WILL WANT TO BUY IT BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.

This is an epistolary romance novella (yes! I read a romance!) in the form of a journal, set in 1920’s London.  And it’s AMAZING.  We have delightful (and diverse!) characters, romance tropes turned completely on their heads, and a heroine who has sex purely because she’s curious.  She’s CURIOUS!

Jade’s wit is wonderfully incisive and she has a way of writing about her own life that is funny and intelligent and deliciously analytical.  I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book.  The whole thing is available for free, serialized on the author’s website:

And here it is on Amazon because really, this novella deserves All the Sales:

Read it, buy it, and enjoy.

Book Recommendation: The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley

The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley

How much do I love this book!

I just finished it, and I did not want it to end.  You know how some books you finish because you want to know what happens?  I wanted to know what happened, yes, but I was also enjoying reading it so damn much.  I really, really hope there’s a sequel!  I think I genuinely loved every page of it.  It’s just so much fun!  The plot is sharp, the writing is excellent, and the characters are fantastic.  The story is intense enough that I wouldn’t classify it as “light” in the same way, for instance, Douglas Adams is—there’s definitely plenty of nail-biting suspense and some panicky, worrisome, or downright tearjerking moments as the plot takes turns for the worse—but it’s witty and wildly creative and made me laugh out loud at several points.

Oh, and did I mention how well O’Malley handles gender?  Not just because he’s got a female protagonist (who is awesome, and does not read as a male fantasy, or a “man with boobs,” or someone who’s trying to be a Strong Female Character, but instead reads as a real person), and not because he’s got a bunch of women in main roles who dash about passing the Bechdel test and driving the plot together, even though that’s also true.  But because his women aren’t defined by their femaleness.  He has a cast of diverse, fantastic characters with all sorts of quirks and strengths and faults, and somewhere around half of them just happen to be women.

I really don’t know what it says that I’m this gleeful about seeing this in a book.  But I am.

Anyway, here’s a bit more about the book:

(no major spoilers, adding a click-through just in case . . . edited to add: included below is now an AWESOME book trailer I just found!  Really, this is how to do book trailers!)

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Book Giveaway! And Comic Recommendation! In One!

Like comics?  Like free books?

Layla Lawlor, author of the excellent comic Freebird, has released it in book form and is doing a giveaway.  Pop over to that post (or here on LJ or here on DW if you prefer) and recommend her a webcomic.  She’s going to do a drawing from all the people who submit a recommendation to win a copy of Freebird!

And Freebird is SO worth checking out, folks.  If you’re in doubt as to whether you’d like it, most of the strips are online for free, so give it a shake—I did and I couldn’t stop reading (and I’m not big into reading comics, either!). Layla’s blog is also a great read; she posts about writing and wolves in her yard in Alaska and impossible landscapes and other fun stuff.  Go take a look!

And now, let this post double as a recommendation post for Freebird, because I’ve been meaning to recommend it here anyway.  Y’know, I’m just going to go ahead and list a bunch of things I like about the comic (no big spoilers):

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Short Fiction Recommendation: 925 Grand, by Sam Kepfield

925 Grand, by Sam Kepfield, is a science fiction short story published by Electric Spec about a Secret Service agent who, instead of protecting the president, protects America’s currency—as in, the actual coins and bills and such.  He works in the Secret Service’s counterfeiting division.  It’s way, way Cooler Than It Sounds.

[only general spoilers follow]

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Short Fiction Recommendation: Two Short Stories by Neil James Hudson

The Little Voice, by Neil James Hudson a short story published by Electric Spec

The History Eaters, by Neil James Hudson, a short story published by Labyrinth Inhabitant Magazine

Neil James Hudson is apparently one of those authors who has a knack for writing short stories that I devour, spend the next hour obsessing over, and then lament, “I wish I’d thought of that!”

[only spoilers for premise, not plot twists]

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Comic Recommendation: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

The other day, in writing the first entry of Gun Basics for Writers, I linked to Sydney Padau’s amazing comic, “The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.”

And when I went to look up the link I ended up rereading.  The entire.  Comic.

This is my favorite comic ever, and I don’t say that lightly.  So, I am dedicating a post to recommending it.  Cue fanfare:

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, a webcomic (more like a web graphic novel) by Sydney Padua

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