Review of All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, January 2016 from Tor Books, in The Cascadia Subduction Zone 6(2), April 2016. 900 words.
All the Birds in the Sky is many things: it’s a love story, an apocalyptic tale, and a coming of age novel. But readers going in expecting a classic story of the destruction of the Earth will be disappointed, as the novel isn’t structured with the apocalypse at its core. Nor does it feel like the apocalypse is meant to be the main event. Instead, the relationship between Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead is the true center of the story.
Review of The SEA Is Ours: Tales of Steampunk Southeast Asia edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng, November 2015 from Rosarium Press, in The Cascadia Subduction Zone 6(1), January 2016. 1,000 words.
“How do you make something steampunk? Just stick a gear on it.” You may have heard a quip like this, but of the twelve stories in The SEA Is Ours, only some make use of gears, and just a couple of those use the classic image of brass gears. Yet each story rings with the spirit of steampunk, which editors Goh and Chng define in their introduction as “an aesthetic that combines retrofuturism, alternate history, and technofantasy….”
Review of Jennifer’s Journal: The Life of a SubUrban Girl Vol. 1 by Jennifer Cruté, May 2015 from Rosarium Press, in The Cascadia Subduction Zone 5(4), October 2015. 1,100 words.
Jennifer’s Journal is a delightful series of personal anecdotes illustrated with sequential art. Although its narrative starts out light-hearted, Cruté introduces some heavier elements toward the middle of the book as Jennifer begins to explore and experience depression, difficult family dynamics, religion, and sexuality.