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scottakennedy

scottakennedy

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Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth
J.R.R. Tolkien
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension
Michio Kaku
Swords in the Mist
Fritz Leiber
Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals
Bryna Siegel
The Apex Book of World SF
Lavie Tidhar, Dean Francis Alfar, S.P. Somtow, Jetse de Vries, Kaaron Warren, Zoran Živković, Aliette de Bodard, Mélanie Fazi, Tunku Halim, Anil Menon, Jamil Nasir, Nir Yaniv, Aleksandar Žiljak, Han Song, Guy Hasson, Kristin Mandigma, Yang Ping
The Hugo Award Showcase
Mary Robinette Kowal, Elizabeth Bear, John Kessel, Nancy Kress, Robert Reed, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, James Alan Gardner, Ian McDonald
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa
Jason K. Stearns
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband
David Finch
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer
Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Servant of the Underworld (Obsidian and Blood, #1)

Servant of the Underworld - Aliette de Bodard This murder mystery set in the Aztec empire reads quickly, and it's refreshing to encounter such a unique setting, where blood rituals, human or animal sacrifice, and slavery are simply everyday aspects of life, as unremarkable to the main character Acatl as the brutality and violence of today's television and movies are to us. As a main character, Acatl, the High Priest of the Dead, remains realistic even as he investigates a murder to try to clear his brother. Bodard keeps her characters grounded in ordinary frustration; Acatl's not a superhero or Sherlock Holmes kind of fantasy figure, but rather a more ordinary man who's been pushed out of his comfort zone. This can make the book occassionally aggravating, as I kept wanting Acatl to encounter more success. But Acatl's struggles eventually build to an emotionally resonant climax. In that respect, Bodard's writing reminded me of Robin Hobb, where fantasy elements such as magic provide no relief from everyday personal struggles and the emotional costs of love, ambition, and family. Recommended if you like mysteries or want to encounter a fresh fantasy setting more concerned with character than escapism.