Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (2019)
“There should not be a sheet of cream-colored paper, clean save a single line in a long, trailing hand: Burn before reading.
Red likes to feel. It is a fetish. Now she feels fear. And eagerness.
She was right.”
– This Is How You Lose The Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone
Genre: Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Categories: F/F, time travel
Description: A post-apocalyptic time travel novel written in a swapping-point-of-view style, featuring letters between the protagonists. Red and Blue are operatives from different factions of time travelling organizations trying to manipulate the worlds and their timelines to their own ends. They’re both the best at what they do, and recognize each other’s skill—leading to them starting to secretly, covertly exchange letters, and slowly start to care about each other. Obviously, that has consequences.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. And thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Review: Willful Machines by Tim Floreen (2015)
“As my datelike thing with Nico drew closer, the fears careening around in my head multiplied. What if Nico got flirty again? What if he didn’t get flirty again?”
– Willful Machines, Tim Floreen
Genre: Science fiction, YA
Categories: M/M, futuristic, robots
Content Warnings (highlight to read): Some terms & references to race that were… cause for pause. White mc calling himself ‘Kamikaze Lee,’ exoticising the love interest, etc.
Description: Equal parts romance and sci-fi thriller, Willful Machines is the story of the closeted son of the US president unraveling an elaborate plot involving robots & artificial intelligence… while also falling in love with the new boy at school. (And I think you can see where this is going, but I’m not going to outright spoil it for you).
“In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.”
Review: Junk Mage by Elliot Cooper (2016)
“It’s a gift, not a trade.” Or it wasn’t a sly trade anymore, anyway. I couldn’t handle his haunted look, as if I’d just given him everything and he wasn’t allowed to keep it.
– Junk Mage, Elliot Cooper
Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, romance
Categories: M/M, cyborgs, wizards, technomancy, personhood arc
Content Warnings: N/A
Description: Quill, an emotionally immature but well-intentioned technomancer, crash-lands his spaceship on a remote planet and has to figure out how to repair his ship in order to leave. There he meets Hunter, an amnesiac cyborg, whose trust (or cooperation) he has to earn in order to get off the planet and to not lose his best shot at a new life.