Category Archives: Books

Novel Review: Afterland

“You can’t imagine how much the world can change in six months.”

Lauren Beukes has established a name as a writer who crosses literary, SF, and other genres, producing some of the best speculative titles of this century. Penned before the current pandemic but not published until 2020, Afterland has most of the male human population die from a plague that hit in, as it happens, 2020. The overwhelmingly female future is no women’s paradise. Our protagonist, Cole, and her son, Miles, find themselves on a nightmarish road trip, with representatives of legal and criminal enterprises in pursuit. Among her adversaries: her own sister, accompanied by a pair of mercenaries.

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Invitation to a Book Launch: The Con

How often does the Bureau get a shout-out in the acknowledgements of a novel?

The Con was released t Friday, November 13, 2020. The e-launch party will be streamed on Twitch-TV at 6:00 pm EST on November 14. Anyone can watch by clicking the link. If you create/have an account and log-in, you can participate. Has your favorite fan convention been canned due to COVID? Consider The Con: SF Fans meet the Jane Austen Society at a hotel that may also be hosting an actual alien presence. High tea, a robot battle, nerds gone wild, religious LARPERS, the Augur of Quaoar, and the quest to answer one of history’s great questions: does anything we do matter– or is it all just a con?

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Novel Review: Curious Toys

Hell Gate’s ominous white pavilion looked more like a church than a ride: a church with an enormous red devil perched on the roof… The devil was plaster and lath, but Pin’s mother still crossed herself every time she walked past.

A little late but fit for the season: this novel, released last year by much-lauded, cross-genre writer Elizabeth Hand manages to be a mystery, a postcard to Chicago’s long-gone Riverview Park, a tribute to outsider artist and writer Henry Darger, a coming-of-age story, and a tour of hell. If you don’t know Hand’s work, she has published fourteen novels, and won Nebula, World Fantasy, Shirley Jackson, and International Horror Guild Awards. She’s also written several licensed works for the Star Wars, X-Files, Twelve Monkeys, and other franchises.

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Novel Review: Rosemary’s Baby

The night was mild and balmy and they walked; and as they approached the Bramford’s blackened mass they saw on the sidewalk before it a group of twenty or so people gathered in a semicircle at the side of a parked car. Two police cars waited double-parked, their roof lights spinning red (35).

Ira Levin’s influential novel remains quite readable, and makes a devilish companion piece to the Halloween season.

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The Were-Traveler, Lovecraft, and Bureau42

The Were-Traveler has been running since 2011, with each issue featuring short fiction (usually quite short) related to a particular theme or topic in fantasy, SF, or horror. Their current issue addresses the problematic legacy of H.P. Lovecraft, the imaginative and monumentally influential author whose racism and xenophobia, extreme even for his time, frequently entered his stories. This were-issue’s weird fiction draws upon Lovecraft’s influence and tropes to examine and critique his less savoury side.

Among the contributors you may recognize a writer from our Bureau.

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Book Review – Peter Green and the Unliving Academy

If Harry Potter was the boy who lived, Peter Green was the boy who died. This initially feels like a Potter knock-off, but that changes quickly. In fact, it may only feel that way to me because the “magic boarding school” genre which I’m told is popular in the UK is not as popular where I am, so the Potter books were my first exposure to it. This is my second.

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