A Fresh and Enticingly Queer Detective Story: Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

Release Date: November 8, 2022
Publisher: Tor.com Publishing
Genre: Historical fantasy


A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.

An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother’s life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can’t resist–the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.

To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago’s most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.

Continue reading A Fresh and Enticingly Queer Detective Story: Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

A Cathartic SF Thriller: Chuck Wendig’s Wayward

Release Date: November 15, 2022
Series: Wanderers #2
Publisher:  Del Rey
Genre: Dystopian, Techno Thriller


“Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.”

Continue reading A Cathartic SF Thriller: Chuck Wendig’s Wayward

Review: “The Bruising of Qilwa” by Naseem Jamnia

Release Date: August 9, 2022
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Genre: Fantasy


In this intricate debut fantasy introducing a queernormative Persian-inspired world, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease that causes political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a gripping narrative with a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family. Powerful and fascinating, The Bruising of Qilwa is the newest arrival in the era of fantasy classics such as the Broken Earth Trilogy, The Four Profound Weaves, and Who Fears Death.

Firuz-e Jafari is fortunate enough to have immigrated to the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, fleeing the slaughter of other traditional Sassanian blood magic practitioners in their homeland. Despite the status of refugees in their new home, Firuz has a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa, working with Kofi, a kindly new employer, and mentoring Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee with powerful magic.But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly performed blood magic. In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice, untangle sociopolitical constraints, and find a fresh start for their both their blood and found family.

Continue reading “Review: “The Bruising of Qilwa” by Naseem Jamnia”

“We are more alike than you think”: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Release Date: February 16, 2017
Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Martin Freeman, Dominique Thorne, Florence Kasumba, Michaela Coel, Alex Livinalli, Mabel Cadena
Genre: Comics, Science Fiction, Superheroes

Continue reading “We are more alike than you think”: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Review: “Ordinary Monsters” by J.M. Miro

Release Date: June 7, 2022
Series: The Talents series
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Historical Fantasy


Charlie Ovid, despite surviving a brutal childhood in Mississippi, doesn’t have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When Alice Quicke, a jaded detective with her own troubled past, is recruited to escort them to safety, all three begin a journey into the nature of difference and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.What follows is a story of wonder and betrayal, from the gaslit streets of London, and the wooden theaters of Meiji-era Tokyo, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh where other children with gifts–like Komako, a witch-child and twister of dust, and Ribs, a girl who cloaks herself in invisibility–are forced to combat the forces that threaten their safety. There, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. With this new found family, Komako, Marlowe, Charlie, Ribs, and the rest of the Talents discover the truth about their abilities. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, a new question arises: What truly defines a monster?

Riveting in its scope, exquisitely written, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastrophic vision of the Victorian world–and of the gifted, broken children who must save it.

Continue reading “Review: “Ordinary Monsters” by J.M. Miro”

Fake News, Social Media, and You!

Recently, I had the chance to teach a digital literacy class in our new 9th grade skills course. This was the first time ever that my school was going to offer something like this, and I only had the 1 block period to do it, so I had to make it count. It turned out really well, judging by the feedback. Next year I hope to expand this into two classes so we can talk about individual responsible use of social media and more broadly about digital citizenship.

What I’m sharing here is an overview of what I put together. Feel free to borrow and tweak to your needs, I just ask that you credit me. Do not post this on other sites. 

Continue reading “Fake News, Social Media, and You!”