From the Earth to the Moon and ‘Round the Moon Review

Imagine that the year is 1869.  Heavier-than-air powered flight is a distant fantasy for reckless dreamers and adrenaline junkies willing to throw themselves off of cliffs to test their contraptions.  The American Civil War only recently ended, and the transcontinental railroad is not quite complete.  Steam-powered ships are just beginning to replace sailing vessels for oceanic travel.  This is the context in which Jules Verne, one of the grandfathers of science fiction, told the story of the Apollo program.

Gulliver’s Travels Review

Coming off of the Bhagavad Gita, I had every intention of either a) finding an additional work of Eastern philosophy to read, or b) going into a reread of The Lord of the Rings (since it has been almost ten years now since I last read them, I intend to reread them this year, so expect reviews for those on the site some time this year). Then, somehow, I ended up picking up a copy of Gulliver's Travels, instead. This ended up on my reading list as one of those classics that is frequently referenced by other works, and so I thought it would be valuable to know just what was being referenced.

Unsouled Review

Unsouled, and the Cradle series as a whole, is described as something called martial arts fantasy. The magic system has defined levels of skill, with each skill level gaining distinct abilities and possessing unique attributes. It's not a design that I generally prefer, but it worked well in Unsouled. Which matters, because Unsouled is not necessarily the kind of book that you read for the compelling characters or political drama. You read it for the vivid magical fights.

Genre Jargon

Speculative fiction, broadly, includes the stories that are typically classified as science fiction and fantasy, but if you've written in the genre realm for long, you may have noticed that the terminology employed by libraries and other sources to classify genre fiction is somewhat limited. Maybe we genre writers aren't as "serious" as the "real" authors, but that hasn't stopped us from developing our own terminology to help describe our works. Since I think that many of these terms would be useful for both readers and writers to know, I've sought to describe some of them below.