Short Review: Shadowdale by Scott Ciencin (Forgotten Realms: Avatar 1)

Shadowdale by Scott Ciencin / Richard Awlinson (TSR, 1989). Forgotten Realms. Avatar 1. The "Time of Troubles" was a major event in D&D's Forgotten Realms storyworld, beginning in 1989 and making its mark at a time when TSR, D&D's original owners, was nearing the end of its original peak of popularity in the 1980s and … Continue reading Short Review: Shadowdale by Scott Ciencin (Forgotten Realms: Avatar 1)

Short Review: Juniper by Monica Furlong (Doran 1)

The Short Reviews Series Juniper by Monica Furlong (Knopf, 1990). Doran 1. I discovered Monica Furlong and her novel Juniper in my favorite place: a pile of used books. It is always the most providentially discovery and inspires a much deeper relationship, in my mind, between reader and book than does purchasing the thing brand … Continue reading Short Review: Juniper by Monica Furlong (Doran 1)

Short Review: The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, Volume 2

The Short Reviews Series The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, Volume 2 edited by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle (Valancourt, 2022). This is the anticipated sequel to the first volume, which brought a broader range of previously untranslated global horror fiction to an anglophone audience than any previous publication. My full review is … Continue reading Short Review: The Valancourt Book of World Horror Stories, Volume 2

Short Review: Civilizations by Laurent Binet

The Short Reviews Series Civilizations by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021). French writer Laurent Binet’s newest novel, Civilizations, is the rare attempt to write alternate history as it happens, meticulously, day by day. It takes formal licenses by imitating literary styles contemporaneous to the time period in which it … Continue reading Short Review: Civilizations by Laurent Binet

Short Review: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey by Gordon Doherty

The Short Reviews Series Assassin's Creed: Odyssey by Gordon Doherty (Ace, 2018). All readers come to novels with a purpose. One of the key values of franchise novels, whether film or game adaptations or continuations of those stories (as in the hundreds of Star Wars and Star Trek novels), is that they provide a new … Continue reading Short Review: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey by Gordon Doherty

Short Review: The Captive by Skomantas (Tales from the Baltic 1)

The Short Reviews Series The Captive by Skomantas, translated by Mara Almenas (Tvermė, 1998). Tales from the Baltic 1. Baltic fiction—literature from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—is not incredibly common in English translation. In fact, the Baltics have long been a "mystery" in the European world, like Albania: close to the major centers of power, and … Continue reading Short Review: The Captive by Skomantas (Tales from the Baltic 1)

Short Review: The Blue Fox by Sjón

The Short Reviews Series The Blue Fox by Sjón, translated by Victoria Cribb (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2013). Sjón is Iceland's best known contemporary author, widely read in English translation and celebrated for his weird, fairy-tale-esque, and often experimental fiction that blends the concerns of global society with Icelandic history and folk culture. The Blue … Continue reading Short Review: The Blue Fox by Sjón

Short Review: Whisper by Chang Yu-Ko

The Short Reviews Series Whisper by Chang Yu-Ko, translated by Roddy Flagg (Honford Star, 2021). Taiwanese doctor-turned-writer Chang Yu-Ko's debut novel Whisper (trans. by Roddy Flagg and published in English by Honford Star, an indie publisher devoted to bringing Asian fiction to the Anglophone market) is a powerhouse ghost story that explores the complex, often … Continue reading Short Review: Whisper by Chang Yu-Ko