TBR: The Neverending Pile of Stories

I came home from the Nebulas with more than 30 books that were either part of my swag bag, or were offered up on the swap table for others to find. It’s a good thing I drove – there’s no way I would have been able to get so many home otherwise!


I had a small shelf in a corner of the sunroom that was empty (the result of recent culling and reorganization). It’s now completely full again. Plus the other shelf in the sunroom that still holds the ‘to be read’ pile from the last Readercon I went to and the last *two* WFCs.

So what do I do when I got home? Read e-books. Of course.

A few recent reads:

Curtis Chen’s Waypoint Kangaroo: This was a fun read. The character of Kangaroo (will we ever learn his real name??) is the snarky superspy who can open a pocket into another universe that I’ve always wanted. Chen really nails the character with this one, which is the perfect balance to all of the shenanigans that follow. I think what I love most about this book is how strong and present Kangaroo is as a person for me. I love it when I can hear the character in my head, reading along with me. I’m looking forward to the next book which is coming out very soon.

Sarah Gailey’s River of Teeth: I had no idea I could love hippos so much. This is flat-out one of the most fun and unique premises I’ve come across in a long while. Apparently, once upon a time, the U.S. government actually had a plan to address the country’s meat shortage with hippopotamus ranching. I had no idea! Well, Gailey took this little nugget of history and ran with it. The result is a romping alternative history where a wonderfully diverse and shady cast of characters takes on a job to drive feral hippos out of The Harriet. Sounds easy, right? Well, things go wrong, there’s betrayal and romance and death and friendly hippos along with terrifying feral hippos. I loved this. My only complaint is that it’s “only” a novella – I want more!

I’m a few stories into The New Voices of Fantasy, edited by Peter Beagle and Jacob Weisman. So far, the standout story for me is “Tornado’s Siren” by Brooke Bolander. It’s the kind of story that is so wonderful that it’s painful. The story of a lovestruck tornado and a person just trying to find her place in the world is one that resonates on a deeply personal level for me (although my tornado encounters didn’t quite go like this). Bolander is hands-down one of the fiercest and inventive writers out there today, and she’s in great company in this anthology, which also features stories by Sarah Pinsker, Sofia Samatar, Maria Dahvana Headley, Alyssa Wong and many other outstanding writers. This is one I’ll be savoring for a very long while.


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