Category Archives: Speculative Fiction

Lincoln in the Bardo

I like George Saunders’s short stories, but I was skeptical of his first full-length novel. The premise—Abraham Lincoln surrounded by a chorus of ghosts at his son’s grave—seemed like something that could just be plotless introspection. I’d don’t need books … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

The Carhullan Army

One of the things that I sometimes find regrettable about literary fiction is that it can be a little samey. I don’t know whether this is the result of writers’ workshops that go in cycles and turn out similar sorts … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 16 Comments

The Lightning Thief

I mentioned a little while ago that I’m having a book club with my kids this summer, each one separately. The first book I read with my 9-year-old son (chosen from my list) was The Inquisitor’s Tale, by Adam Gidwitz, … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Speculative Fiction | 9 Comments

White Tears

Seth was a quiet, standoffish, broke college kid when he first became friends with the wealthy and popular Carter Wallace. Obsessed with sound recording, Seth was testing out some new equipment he’d cobbled together when Carter approached him, asked about … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

Crosstalk

I don’t expect romantic comedies to be stressful, but the first third of Connie Willis’s latest novel was almost unendurable. It was entertaining, and I wanted to know where it was going, but I found almost every single person impossible … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

The Turn of the Screw

Lately, my husband has been reading The Ambassadors by Henry James. I haven’t read James almost at all (The Golden Bowl, but many years ago) and I thought I would renew my acquaintance with his most famous ghost story, The … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 13 Comments

The Fireman

In January, Teresa published a review of Joe Hill’s latest book, The Fireman. I had already been planning to read it, since I’ve read and enjoyed most of what he’s written, but her review made me really excited about it. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 9 Comments

Charlotte Sometimes

Charlotte Makepeace, the central character in this 1969 novel by Penelope Farmer, is all on her own at a new boarding school. But she was lucky enough to get first choice of beds in her dormitory room, at the encouragement of … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Classics, Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 8 Comments

The Book of Joan

It’s the year 2049, and ecological disaster has rendered Earth inhospitable to human life. The wealthy life on something called, CIEL, a life raft in space cobbled together from pieces of space junk that is tethered to the Earth with … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 10 Comments

The Man in the High Castle

At the beginning of this year, I was completely hooked on the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. I’d never read the novel, so I decided that it would be a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Speculative Fiction | 7 Comments