Short Speculative Fiction: April 2019


So here we are with my new monthly feature highlighting recent short fiction from across the speculative spectrum. I hope that if you aren’t a short fiction geek, these recommendations will guide you along your journey of discovery. And if you already love short fiction, consider this your TBR recommendations list. Now let’s get reading!…

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Hugo Spotlight: “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi


After I finished reading Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone for the first time, I had to stop and release the breath I hadn’t realized I was holding. The first book in the Legacy of Orïsha series is an ambitious, audacious young adult fantasy novel. With it’s intense action sequences, lush descriptions, compelling characters, and creative take on Nigerian culture and Yorùbán beliefs, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. Apparently others feel the same since it’s now nominated for a Lodestar Award…

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Hugo Spotlight: “Dread Nation” by Justina Ireland


2018 was a damn good year for young adult fantasy. Granted, it was also a really bad year for letting Black women authors tell their own stories. Of all the YA fantasy published last year, only four—FOUR!—were by Black women. Lucky for you, three of them, The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and Dread Nation by Justina Ireland, are nominated for the Hugo Award’s Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. The fourth, A Blade So Black, is frakking great and you should go read it right after you finish reading this. Until then, let me squee at you about how much I loved Dread Nation.

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History Day Trips: Monterey, California


Monterey, California, is one of my favorite coastal cities in the state. With bright blue waters and rich history, it’s a lovely little city. The Esselen and Rumsien Ohlone have lived on this land for thousands of years. The Spanish arrived in 1770, the Chinese fishing families in the 1850s, and the canneries in 1902.

What follows are some photos and some historical information about several sites in Monterey. Why? Because I’m a history nerd, that’s why.

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Hugo Spotlight: “The Belles” by Dhonielle Clayton


I literally cheered out loud when I heard that Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles was nominated for a Lodestar Award. What can I say about it to explain my excitement? I could tell you that it’s masterfully written, that the dialogue is pitch perfect and the descriptions evocative. Or I could hype up the fascinating characters and the subtle ways Clayton uses them to explore and shatter tropes. Maybe I’ll talk about how Clayton breaks down how Western beauty standards can be used as both a tool and a weapon, depending on who is dictating the standards and whether or not another person can meet them. Eh, I’ll keep it simple and just say “it’s absolutely amazing.”…

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New Young Adult Speculative Fiction August 2019


I come bearing gifts of great reading! Here’s a comprehensive guide to young adult speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror) being published in August 2019. Up first is a short list of the books I highly recommend, followed by a long list of basically every book being published. Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments.

Get your library cards and indie bookstore pre-orders ready, y’all.

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