Book Review: Artemis

I got to know Jessica Cale after reading her wonderful highwayman novel, Tyburn, set in 17th-century London. She’s moved into the Regency era with Artemis, a novella that was previously part of the Holly and Hopeful Hearts box set from the Bluestocking Belles. This one doesn’t deal with highwaymen, but it does feature a few interests we have in common. Here’s the […]

Jane Austen, the Secret Radical

I have one friend who will never read Jane Austen because he thinks they’re “just” romances, and he doesn’t like romance. I have another acquaintance who believes Jane wrote anti-romances. I think they’re both right (although that first friend isn’t right to deride romance out of hand.) The thing I love about Jane Austen’s novels is […]

Tremontaine at the Midpoint

(Spoiler warning: The following review gives away a couple of events in the first quarter of the series in order to establish character conflicts. Beyond that, you won’t find any big plot revelations.)  Tremontaine, Serial Box Publishing’s prequel to Ellen Kushner’s Riverside series of novels, will certainly feel familiar to Kushner fans, yet it also […]

Tremontaine: Go Read It

What the title says! If you saw my preview of Tremontaine, you know how much I love Ellen Kushner’s Riverside universe. Nearly halfway through, this prequel series is everything I wanted it to be. You can sample the first episode or subscribe to the whole thing here. (Or you can listen to it with the wonderfully […]

It’s Queer Romance Month!

It’s October 30th, and I just found out October is Queer Romance Month. Why queer romance, you ask? For one thing, maybe if novels like this had existed when I was a kid, my own struggles with sexuality and gender expression might have been a little less tortured. (I read all of the Tarzan series as […]

Review & Interview – Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman

Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman Ballantine Books, 2014 352 pp; $26.00   In her first novel, Cover of Snow, Jenny Milchman set out to discover what happens when a husband does the worst thing possible to his wife. In Ruin Falls, set in the same upstate New York town, she turns to the worst thing […]

Book Review – Hild: A Novel

Hild: A Novel Nicola Griffith Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013 560 pp; $27.00   I haven’t read much historical fiction, but I imagine writers in this genre might get so focused on making the past real that they forget to make it strange, to make it art. Nicola Griffith’s Hild: A Novel avoids that trap, […]

Why I Love – and Hate – Game of Thrones*

Because it’s about the real world, despite the dragons and the magic. Because it’s a meditation on the uses and abuses of power. Because it reminds that there is little hope, and terrible things always about to happen. Because, like the real world, we’re never sure who the good guys are (no, not even the […]

Book Review: Cover of Snow

Cover of Snow: A Novel Jenny Milchman Ballantine Books, 2013 336 pp; $26.00   When I heard Jenny Milchman at her book talk at Schuler Books, she nearly put me off reading her first novel, Cover of Snow. She said the story opened with “the worst thing a husband can do to his wife.” My […]

Book Review: Gold and Silver in the Mojave

Gold and Silver in the Mojave: Images of a Last Frontier Nicholas Clapp Sunbelt Publications, 2012 200 pp; $24.95  (Note: This review first appeared in the Winter/Spring issue El Paisano, the quarterly newsletter of the Desert Protective Council.) The history of the western U.S. is a history of booms and busts. A lode is discovered or […]

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