Jonathan Moore – The Poison Artist

jonathanmoore-thepoisonartistDr. Caleb Maddox is a crack San Francisco toxicologist leading a ground-breaking study of the human pain threshold based on minute analysis of chemical markers. He has also just broken up with his artist girlfriend after she discovered a shocking family secret in his past. Seeking solace, Caleb finds a dark, old-fashioned saloon called House of Shields, and is mesmerised when a beautiful woman materialises out of the shadows, dressed like a 1940s movie star. The enigmatic Emmeline shares a pouring of absinthe with him, brushes his arm and vanishes. As he pursues her through the brooding, night-time city, desperate to see her again, he simultaneously becomes entangled in a serial murder investigation that has the police stymied – men gone missing, fished out of the bay, with no clue as to how they met their end – until Caleb’s analysis of the chemical markers in their bodies reveals that each one was tortured to death. Also present are some of the key components of absinthe. As Caleb finally looks forward to a night spent alone with Emmeline, part of his mind wonders if behind the seductive vision is something utterly terrifying…

When The Poison Artist arrived, it arrived as mystery and a surprise. Wrapped with a lovely bow in an unmarked black box, I had no idea what to expect. And that is somewhat of a metaphor for the book itself: while the bones of the plot seem to suggest a simple serial murder mystery, Moore presents us with a complicated narrative that twists and turns itself into an unexpected ending. This makes The Poison Artist an intriguing read and one that made me think about the story and analyse the narrative techniques closely. But while the book captivated me, there were some elements that made every effort to throw me out of the narrative.  Read More …

A.C. Wise – The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again

acwise-glittersquadronWhen the world is endangered, there’s no point in sparing the spangles, spilling the drinks, or withholding the glitter. In this collection of whimsical stories of fierce femmes and brave butches, the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron is a phone call away…

The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again is a collection of inter-linked short stories featuring the sparkliest, bravest, most bad-ass women you are ever likely to meet. Any old hero can save the world, but these ladies can do it all in glitter and high heels, and still make it home in time for tea (and cocktails, or course).

The collection features two reprints and seven original short stories, plus bonus cocktail recipes.  Read More …

Editor Query – David Thomas Moore

MONSTROUS LITTLE VOICES - COVERDavid Thomas Moore is the commissioning editor at Abaddon Books, sister imprint to Solaris, and last year I absolutely adored his Sherlockian anthology Two Hundred and Twenty One Baker Streets. When I saw that this year he is publishing an anthology of novellas inspired by Shakespeare’s world, his fictional world that is, I was totally stoked, especially given the line up of writers he presented. But David isn’t only an excellent editor, he’s an allround good egg and funny guy, who often makes me laugh and think deeply with his posts on social media, so I was happy when I got to interview him for the publication of the first of the novellas from Monstrous Little Voices, Coral Bones by Foz Meadows. The stories will be published separately as e-only novellas, with a collected print edition to follow in April. I’ll be reviewing them in the near future, but for now: enjoy the interview!  Read More …

Review Amnesty: Big Fat Fantasy Edition

reviewamnestyAfter the hiatus I took last year, I have a huge backlog of books I’ve read and need to review and now I’m trying to get the blog back up and running they are staring me in the face and taunting me, all nineteen of them. Some of them I read over six months ago and it is hard to write a review for them in the usual way, so I’ve decided to declare a review amnesty. There are two books I’m planning to co-review with Wiebe, since they are two of his favourite books, two novellas that I can quickly reread and review, but the other fifteen will be split up into three posts and I’m going to just quickly run down each of them and give my thoughts. And then I’ll be able to move on and *bursts into song* Let It Go…So here is the first of the three posts, the one I dubbed the Big Fat Fantasy edition.  Read More …

Author Query – Julie Czerneda & Giveaway

julieczerneda-thisgulfoftimeandstarsToday I get to bring you a great interview with Julie Czerneda. I haven’t (yet) read anything by Julie, but she’s a name I’ve seen around bookshops and blogs for years and I plan on one day rectifying my unfamiliarity with her work. Julie has been writing in the world of The Clan Chronicles for almost twenty years and This Gulf of Time and Stars is the start of the trilogy that will wrap up the stories that started with A Thousand Words for Stranger. To celebrate the launch of her latest book, Julie is doing a blog tour and I was honoured to host her on A Fantastical Librarian for an Author Query. Also, check the end of this post to be in with a chance of winning either a hardcover or audiobook version of This Gulf of Time and Stars, courtesy of the publisher and Audible.  Read More …

Guest Post: T. Frohock – A Primer for The Spanish Civil War

tfrohock-withoutlightorguideI’m currently in the midst of reading T. Frohock’s latest novella Without Guide or Light. It is the second book in the Los Nefilim series and I’m really loving the setting and characters. The first book In Midnight’s Silence was wonderful and halfway through Without Guide or Light is even better, so you should absolutely pick it up. But after reading the first book I found myself googling and searching Wikipedia for some of the history underpinning the setting, as I wasn’t as familiar with the Spanish Civil War. Since I figured I wouldn’t be the only one, I asked T whether she could write me a sort of cheat sheet. She did me one better and sent me the following text. A great companion piece to this post can be found on Bibliosanctum where T provides the origins for Los Nefilim.
Read More …

Author Query – Emma Newman

emmanewman-planetfallYesterday I posted my review for Planetfall, Emma Newman’s latest novel that is out today from Roc Books. I loved it, it is one of my favourite books of the year, perhaps even my favourite full stop. I was really excited to get to interview Emma and I hope you’ll enjoy this interview as much as I did. If nothing else, I hope it makes you want to pick up Planetfall and read it, because you absolutely should!

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Let’s start with the basics. Who is Emma Newman? 

She – I – she URGH> I can’t talk about myself in the third person! I’m an author, audio book narrator and podcaster. I am a keen roleplayer and dressmaker too.  Read More …

Emma Newman – Planetfall

emmanewman-planetfallRenata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, and untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues, for the good of her fellow colonists, to perpetuate the lie that forms the foundation of the colony, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first Planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since Planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…

My love for Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series is no secret and the short stories outside of that world, particularly her Sherlock Holmes inspired story A Woman’s Place, for which Newman recently won a British Fantasy Award, have also delighted me. But all of them have been fantasy. So when I learned Newman’s next book was to be an SF novel, I was intrigued. How would Newman’s writing translate from fantasy to science fiction? In a word: brilliantly! Planetfall being an Emma Newman book I’d been expecting to love it, but the novel blew me away on a number of levels.  Read More …

Author Query – Lou Morgan

redeyeIn the run up to Halloween, Stripes Publishing is celebrating the conclusion of their first year of the Red Eye series with a blog tour. I’ve read and enjoyed all of the Red Eye books this year and I was really stoked to get the chance to interview the wonderful Lou Morgan. I adored Lou’s first series Blood and Feathers from Solaris and her Red Eye title Sleepless was my favourite of the run. And in addition to being a fabulous writer, she’s also just a really good egg, so it is always great to have her visit A Fantastical Librarian. If you haven’t checked out Sleepless or the other Red Eye titles I highly recommend you do so. In the meantime, enjoy this interview!  Read More …

Author Query – Rajan Khanna

rajankhanna-risingtideLast year I read and really enjoyed Rajan Khanna’s debut novel Falling Sky. A post-apocalyptic adventure with some amazing characters, which is coincidentally also one of the very, very few novels featuring zombie-like monsters that I can actually read without getting nightmares. Having very much enjoyed the book and having gotten attached to his protagonists Ben and Miranda, I’m really looking forward to getting back to their story and to see what happens next. But what with my current reviewing break, that might be a bit. But I still wanted to feature Rajan and his second book Rising Tide. So today I present an Author Query with Rajan. If you haven’t yet checked out his writing, whether in in short or long form, be sure to do so, because he’s a wonderful writer.  Read More …