Review of Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor is a complex coming of age, hero’s journey: a blend of science fiction and magic that offers a realistic depiction of a culture at war. In this future African country, the (white) Nurus believe that they have been given the divine right to enslave or even exterminate the (dark […] Read more »

Review of the Spiritwalker Trilogy, by Kate Elliot

My Fun Summer Read I’ve read the first two books in the Spiritwalker Trilogy, Cold Magic and Cold Fire, and plan to soon gobble down the final installment that came out this summer, Cold Steel. I’m writing this brief review now because the Metaphysical Circus is packing it up for a few weeks and I […] Read more »

Review of Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

If You’re Not Doing Anything Wrong… Marcus Yallow is a 17-year old geek genius living in a near-future San Francisco where kids are monitored constantly by cyber-security on their school-issued laptops, radio frequency ID chips in their library books, and gait recognition software in the halls. Marcus delights in getting around the system with harmless […] Read more »

Review of Brown Girl in the Ring, by Nalo Hopkinson

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Serving the Spirits In this near future, post-apocalyptic Toronto, the wealthy live in the suburbs. In the inner city, government and social structures have disintegrated after a series of riots. “The ones who couldn’t or wouldn’t get out,” use a system of barter, and live under the shadow of crime-lord Rudy and his posse. Ti-Jeanne, […] Read more »

Waking the Moon, by Elizabeth Hand

Cover art of Waking the Moon, a novel by Elizabeth Hand, reviewed by Melanie Lamaga, The Metaphysical Circus

The Moon with a Knife-Sharp Edge Three unwitting college students stand between the reawakening of a dark goddess and the Benandanti, a secret society of magicians who have been running the world for thousands of years. Waking the Moon, which won a Mythopoeic Award and a James Tiptree, Jr. Award, is part horror, part coming […] Read more »

Review of Silently and Very Fast by Catherynne M. Valente

Silently and Very Fast, novel by Catherynne M. Valente, Cover art

A Beautiful View of The Singularity Imagine if you could go anywhere, do anything, and never be alone. Would it bother you if your closest companion and co-creator was a machine? You might think so, but then again you might change your mind after reading this gorgeous, evocative novel, narrated by Elefsis, the machine in […] Read more »

Review of lost boy lost girl: a novel, by Peter Straub

A Metaphysical Circus review of lost boy lost girl: a novel, by Peter Straub

This novel, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel, is part murder mystery, part ghost story and part family drama, with an unexpected, transcendent ending. The story follows Tim Underhill, (a character from earlier novels by Straub), as he attempts to cope with a series of tragic, mysterious events afflicting the family of […] Read more »

A Review of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

Cover Art of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Jane Austen Dreams of Harry Potter and Writes 1000+ pages. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was Time Magazine #1 Book of the Year, Winner of the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award, as well as making about a dozen top fiction lists in 2004, the year it came out. In short, it is one […] Read more »

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier

The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier Cover Art

The Illumination is a literary novel with only one fantastic element, but it’s a doozy: one day, inexplicably, the bodily pain of each and every human being on earth begins to manifest as a white light. Everything from a headache to leukemia shines out of the body like a beacon for all to see. The […] Read more »

Freaks’ Amour, by Tom De Haven

Cover of Freaks' Amour, a novel by Tom De Haven

Mutants on the Outside, Looking In Hardcore. That’s the word that comes to mind. But not just because Freaks’ Amour refers to a XXX rated show where Normals go to watch mutant men rape their wives and girlfriends (and for a finale the Normals pelt them with rotten fruit). The sex scenes are not particularly […] Read more »