Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor

Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Fanbase Press Contributor

When I started reviewing this series, I had a feeling my husband would like it, so I ordered the prequel Descender series. (I was right. He did enjoy it.)  It also gave me a chance to catch up on the background story of this epic tale.  I’m so glad that I did, as in issue #11, the story merges a past storyline into the current one, bringing back a few important characters from the previous series: the old creepy wizard from Planet Woch along with Driller the Killer.

As I plow through the list of the 2020 Nebula Winners, I was very happy to see that Cat Rambo had won for Carpe Glitter.  I hadn’t read it yet, but I had met her at the Nebula Conference last year and had taken a couple of her online courses, which I recommend.  Carpe Glitter was the winner of the novelette category, and now that I’ve read it, I understand why.

It is the late 1800s, and Creeper is a thirteen-year-old orphan girl who lives on the streets of New Orleans and gets by stealing in this alternate history of America.  Through a hard-fought battle at the end of the American Civil War, New Orleans is the only place where people of color are free, and Confederate and Union soldiers can socialize without coming to blows. Creeper hopes to escape her hand-to-mouth existence with the help of an airship captain, but life becomes more complicated when she overhears that the Rebels plan to kidnap an important Haitian scientist whose knowledge might destroy her beloved city. But Creeper has a secret. Deep inside her lies the old African God, Oya, who can be a bit capricious.  Will Oya and the airship captain help her stop the Rebels, or do they have an agenda of their own?

In an alternate near future, the United States has walled itself off from the rest of the world. Known as the “Sealing,” no one outside the walls had heard a word from inside the USA until thirty years later when a pandemic called Sky rages across the globe. Two political entities, Alliance Euro-Afrique (AEA) and the Pan-Asian Prosperity Zone, pick up a message from a Dr. Sam Elgin, inviting them to America to help them deal with the plague. A team is assembled consisting of two diplomats, a journalist (Valentina Sadoval), an epidemiologist (Charlotte Graves), her brother, Major Graves, a Col. Bukowski, and an American History specialist (Dr. Kenyatta).  Their mission is to fly a pre-approved path to Colorado to meet with Dr. Elgin who was once part of a project called Aurora.

I have to admit that I bought the first Murderbot novella because Amazon’s algorithms kept forcing it in my face every time I got on the site. It had a bunch of Hugo Awards attached to it. Plus, it sounded pretty cool, so I bought the audio book for when I was at the gym. (Yes, that was the time when we could all go to the gym.) It was funny, irreverent, and had me hooked. It also helped that the actor doing the narration was awesome, so I bought the rest for when I traveled to comic cons. (Miss those, too.)  Soon, my husband couldn’t get enough. It was a no-brainer to pick up the novel when it came out.

Heart is at the center of this story: the loss, the meaning, and the quest to find both.   It is a journey many of us are taking right now which makes it even more important to find something we can hold on to our stories.

Ready for some wackiness? Those Damn Tourists are back in full force to turn your life upside down (in a good way).  With the stresses of today’s world, silliness and absurdity are even more important, and the continuing saga of the most obnoxious elderly tourists in the world is here for you.

Freedom and the search for truth are the underlying themes in this sequel to Margaret Atwood’s book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and the show on Hulu.  A driving force in many people’s lives and aspirations, this story takes us deep into what it means personally for three women whose lives intertwine in unsuspecting ways.

Change (and how we deal with it) is one of the themes that runs throughout the Ascender series - one that I think is important, especially in these unsettled times.  It affects us not only on a personal level, but also on a global scale, as well.

As I dug into my Kickstarter pile, I thought it was time to dive into Pneumatic Cases, a Victorian Steampunk mystery by John Wilson.  If you’re a fan of The Thin Man movie series (1934) based on the novels by Dashiell Hammett, then you’ll immediately recognize the similarities between the two lead characters in the comic and the movie. They are married. They love each other and work as a team, and the female character is the snarky one. Why do I point this out? Because we don’t see enough of this type of relationship in storytelling, and I think it’s important to see relationships where both parties love and respect one another.  Now, on with the show…

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