Map blogger. Science fiction and fantasy critic and writer. Snake whisperer.

Tag: books

Burning Girls and Other Stories

My review of Veronica Schanoes’s Burning Girls and Other Stories (Tor.com, 2021) is now online at Strange Horizons. “What Schanoes is doing, in other words, is practicing a realist mode of fairy-tale storytelling, one that knows what the source material is about but grounds it in times and places appropriate to its themes.” Amazon (Canada, UK) | Apple Books | Bookshop

Meanwhile, at the start of every year Strange Horizons asks its reviewers to look back at what they’ve read, watched and played over the past year. Despite having read much less in 2021 than I have in every other year over the past decade, I managed to contribute a few paragraphs, which you can read in “2021 in Review: Part One.”

Rabbit Island

My third review for Strange Horizons, which looks at Elvira Navarro’s short story collection Rabbit Island (Two Lines Press, 2021) is now online. “In eleven relatively short stories—the book is only 164 pages long—Rabbit Island draws on the fantastic to offer a bleak look at contemporary Spain; its arrival in English translation comes at a point where it is unexpectedly pertinent.”

Amazon (Canada, UK) | Apple Books | Bookshop

The ‘Make-Believe Positivity’ of Self-Help Books

Ed Zitron calls the self-help book industry a “delusional scam”: “[T]hese books are written for and geared toward a very specific audience of privileged individuals who have their life decisions affirmed and their failures explained away. The specific assumption they make is that everybody comes from the same sort of background—that they communicate in the same way, that they grow up the same way, and that, much like the world of advice articles and hustle culture, your failure to succeed is only a result of you not working hard enough.”

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