a science fictional podcast

The Nitty Gritty

Studio updates.

REVIEW: The Five Queens of Fantasy in Early 2018

There has been a heckuva lot of queening going on in science fiction and fantasy in just the first six months of 2018, and this review will be examining five cream of the crop examples of the form: Beaulieu’s Veil of Spears, Laura Sebastian’s Ash Princess, Kim Wilkins’ Daughters of the Storm, Makiia Lucier’s Isle of Blood and Stone, and Tessa Gratton’s Queens of Innis Lear. They’ve all made a splash … but what do they have to say in conversation with each other?

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REVIEW: Five HUNGRY Reads

2018 has been marked by a series of science fictional explorations of hunger—both as a function of the undead trope and as a function of coming of age in a world determined to cut people, especially women, down. This review tackles five 2018 releases which all exist in conversation with each other: Justina Ireland’s breakout YA hit, Dread Nation; Julia Whicker’s Wonderblood; Alma Katsu’s take on the Donner Party, The Hunger; Josh Malerman’s Unbury Carol; and Kaethe Schwehn’s The Rending and the Nest.

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REVIEW: "The Murderbot Diaries" 1-3 by Martha Wells

Martha Wells blasted her way into our hearts with All Systems Red in 2017, and has since followed up with the second novella in the series, Artificial Condition. The third installment, Rogue Protocol, comes out in August—and to get you ready, we’ve prepared some need-to-know notes on this most excellent of SecUnits.

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REVIEW: Murders on Mars: The New Science Fictional Crime Noir

Have you noticed the tendency toward crime in science fiction recently? Perhaps even a tendency toward … the noir? Join us as we review three new books released in the spring of 2018: S.J. Morden’s One Way, Michael David Ares’ Dayfall, and Emma Newman’s Before Mars. These books talk to each other in a way that seems to indicate something new is on its way in science fiction … or may have already arrived.

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REVIEW: Pop Goes the (Best) Science

This has been a spring full of incredible nonfiction calculated to inspire gobs and gobs of delightful science fiction, but these three books really stand out as a pleasure to read in and of themselves: Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World, Michio Kaku’s The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond, and Alanna Mitchell’s The Spinning Magnet: The Force That Created the Modern World—and Could Destroy It.

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REVIEW: "Tess of the Road," "Torn," & "Children of Blood and Bone"

Here be dragons! And also reviews of three recent fantasies for young adult readers: Rachel Hartman’s Tess of the Road, Rowenna Miller’s Torn, and Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. These three texts serve as central texts for a rising wave of socially aware teens and, dare we say it, revolutionaries—and we couldn’t be more excited to review them!

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REVIEW: "Not So Stories," "Starlings," & "Guardian Angels & Other Monsters"

Spring is well underway, and the first crop of science fictional collections are in. Each of the three reviewed here is its own unique beast: "Not So Stories" makes for a timely update on a racist classic with a series of interlocking stories told by a number of diverse authors, while Jo Walton's "Starlings" and Daniel Wilson's "Guardian Angels & Other Monsters" each represent the range even a single author can demonstrate.

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