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Anna Bark Persson


Anna Bark Persson of In Another Library reads and blogs about fantasy, science fiction and whatever can be found in between.

N.K. Jemisin – The Fifth Season

N.K. Jemisin; The Fifth SeasonThe world is ending. It has ended before, and it will end again. In N.K. Jemisin’s sixth novel The Fifth Season, Father Earth himself is the enemy, rupturing the world’s only continent through quakes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis and storms every couple of decades and sending its people into chaos as a result.

The Geek Feminist Revolution – by Kameron Hurley

The Geek Feminist Revolution – by Kameron HurleyThe Geek Feminist Revolution is an essay collection by science fiction and fantasy author Kameron Hurley about feminism, geek culture, narrative and writing. Dedicated to Joanna Russ, the collection is an oftentimes personal inquiry into the genres we, as feminists, both love and hate.

The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard For some reason, fantasy dealing with Christian angel mythology and particularly Lucifer and fallen angels has always appealed to me as an idea, but it’s not often that any of it is actually good. Danielle Trussoni’s Angelology, Clive Barker’s The Scarlet Gospels and Andrew E. Maugham’s Convivium are all examples of novels dealing with those themes that are not necessarily bad but have left a lot to wish for. The House of Shattered Wings is not a perfect book, but when it comes to taking on angel mythology, Aliette de Bodard succeeds where most other authors seem to fail.


Radiance by Catherynne M. ValenteCatherynne M. Valente is well-known for her ambitious works of fantastical fiction and her latest novel Radiance may be her most ambitious yet. It is a hard book to review and even harder to describe, thanks to its multifaceted plot that keeps on turning in on itself in ever-intriguing twists and turns.

Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile by Jenny ColganWhen Dr Connie MacAdair is offered a post-doc fellowship at Cambridge University promising two years of uninterrupted time to focus solely on her own research, sans teaching, she simply cannot turn it down. It almost seems too good to be true and, as it turns out, it is. Once she arrives, she realises that she has been placed in a bunker-like compound with five other mathematicians and, once she has signed a sinister confidentiality agreement, given a long sequence of numbers they’re expected to search for any viable patterns. To begin with, it simply seems like lengthy and tedious work, but eventually they figure out that, whatever the sequence says, it seems to originate from somewhere in outer space. Earth has come into contact with extraterrestrial life and it’s up to them to figure out what the message holds.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen ChoSorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho is a difficult book to review, simply because it feels like whatever I write, it will eventually and unavoidably simply collapse into one long list of everything that I love about this novel. To start off and hopefully get it out of the way: Sorcerer to the Crown is a highly atmospheric, beautifully written and wonderfully humorous novel.


Aurora by Kim Stanley RobinsonI tend to find science fiction stories that deal with and, in some way or other, end in failure fascinating. A lot of speculative fiction deal with dark topics, pessimism, and dystopia - we are a long way from the optimism that was characteristic for what’s now commonly referred to as the Golden Age of SF, after all - but while the bulk of these stories may not necessarily have a happy ending, they do not primarily deal with failure. When I think of stories that are about failure, I think of Joanna RussWe Who Are About To…, about Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games-trilogy, about the immensely pessimistic stories of James Tiptree Jr., the works of Peter Watts, and about Aurora.

The Grace of Kings, Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings, Ken LiuThe Grace of Kings, short story writer Ken Liu’s debut novel, is epic in every sense of the word. Clocking in on just over 600 pages, the tome holds a story of massive scope. It begins with a failed assassination attempt on the Emperor Mapidéré, former king of Xana, who has conquered all of the Dara states and united them all under one rule in an attempt to bring stability and safety to the realm.

Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear


Karen Memory by Elizabeth BearElizabeth Bear is a very prolific writer – it seems to me that, at this point, she's tried her hand at almost every subgenre the spectrum of SFF literature holds. Her latest novel, Karen Memory, is a foray into the steampunk genre, taking place in the fictitious Rapid City, a frontier town in a parallel nineteenth century where airships fly through the sky and various kinds of advanced mechanical augmentations are an everyday occurrence. Karen Memory, the book's protagonist, is a “seamstress” working at Madame Damnable's the Hôtel Mon Cheri – a lucrative brothel where the clientele is rich and well-mannered and the girls are well taken care of and kept safe by their imposing but maternal Madame and the tight-knit camaraderie they share among themselves. Not everyone is so well off, however –

The Mirror Empire

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley Kameron Hurley is an author probably best known within the SFF community for her non-fiction essay "We Have Always Fought: Challenging the 'Women, Cattle and Slaves' Narrative" who won the Hugo for Best Related Work last year. The Mirror Empire, part one of the Worldbreaker Saga, is her fourth book, the beginning of a fantasy series following her debut trilogy, the science fictional Bel Dame Apocrypha. To anyone familiar with Hurley's previous work, whether fiction or non-fiction, the ambitious, detailed worldbuilding, the attention to complex gender politics, and the well-written, challenging female characters of The Mirror Empire will be well-known territory.