Blood in the Mirror is an anthology of seven horror stories that center loosely around the theme of mirrors. Each writer’s tale is unique, and the stories range from imaginative retellings of folk tales to exorcisms, exploring pasts and futures through a genre lens that is less restricted than one would think, often contextualizing the term “horror” in their own right.
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?
Sequels seldom get the same attention and interest as the first film that launched a popular and enduring franchise. Regardless if it is the first film of a series or the tenth, behind each project there are individuals who are passionate about what they are working on, looking to deliver a final product that fans will enjoy. Finally, that perennial “middle child” - the sequel - is getting its day in the new CLASH Books titled Sequelland: A Story of Dreams and Screams from author Jay Slayton-Joslin.
Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s short story, “Here Abide Monsters,” was originally published in the Steampunk anthology, Some Time Later, which I had the pleasure of reviewing a few years ago. Set in the world of Holly-Rosing’s Boston Metaphysical Society, it tells the story of Duncan, a young Irish lad in pre-Civil War United States, attempting to lead Mae, an escaped slave, to freedom and safety.
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.
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.
Veda Adeline thinks she understands her world quite well. As a Basso, her role is keeping her head down to avoid unwanted Dogio attention, carefully following societal rules, and, above all else, never being out before sunrise or after sundown. Her best friend Nico may be a Dogio, but as they’ve grown up, it’s become clear that they live in different worlds. A chance mistake throws Veda’s whole world into chaos, and she quickly learns that the night may not be her biggest fear; the harsh rays of the sun can kill as well as nurture.