‘Beam me up Scotty’: Sci Fi Month 2016 #RRSciFiMonth

That’s it folks.  Sci fi month 2016 ends today – and what a great month it’s been.  I’ve had a great time and I hope you all have too!  I was determined to write, post and watch lots of sci-fi (well, lots in terms of my own normal posting) and I managed to do so so I’m all coloured happy. I watched a few films, particularly enjoyed Jurassic Park.  Read and reviewed three books and managed to highlight 4 sci fi books that I’m looking forward to as part of my Waiting on Wednesday posts.

I have to give a great big hand of applause to Rinn Reads and Over The Effing Rainbow for doing such a stella job of hosting and I have to say that I hope they do so again next year as I’m actually going to formulate plans next time around!  That’s right – there are actually going to be PLANS (although in fairness, I probably said that same thing last year – however, this time there really are going to be plans)!!

So, as one door closes, another usually opens.  We currently have a readalong about to start for Becky Chambers A Closed and Common Orbit – starting literally in the next couple of days but if you’re interested in joining in you could easily catch up as it’s a nice gentle pace (and when I say catch up I mean jump on board because we’ve not started yet – details here).  Also, in the New Year, the Little Red Reviewer will be hosting her annual Vintage Sci Fi month – so dig out your old vintage sci fi books, films, covers, tv – whatever, and join in.  Lots to still look forward to people.

Finally, just in case you needed a little pick me up – here – just for you:

Live long and prosper 😀


Read All About It…

Just a quick post to notify you of a readalong of One Salt Sea (October Daye #5).  Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.  The details are over on Goodreads – the schedule is below. This series got off to a great start with Rosemary and Rue, got even better with A Local Habitation and then reached what I thought was an all time high with An Artificial Night  but book No.4, Late Eclipses, topped it, packed with emotions and revelations.  So, we’re moving onto No.5 which I’m really excited about.  Everyone welcome to join.  If you want to jump on board then leave a comment, visit Lisa or check out the Goodreads page.  Come join in the fun.

Week 1: Saturday 3rd September, Chapters 1-9, hosted at Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 10th September, Chapters 10-18, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 3: Saturday 17th September, Chapters 19-29, hosted at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 24th September, Chapters 30-End, hosted at On Starships and Dragonwings

And now for a little bit about the book:


10783217October “Toby” Daye is finally doing all right—and that inevitably means it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse. Someone has kidnapped the sons of the Duchess Dianda Lorden, regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must not only find the missing boys, but also prove that the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. She’ll need all her tricks and the help of her allies if she wants to make it through this in one piece.

Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves. But someone is determined to stop her—and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws. As the battle grows more and more personal, one thing is chillingly clear. When Faerie goes to war, not everyone will walk away. One Salt Sea is the fifth installment of the highly praised Toby Dayeseries.


All is Fair by Emma Newman, #3 Split Worlds, readalong week 4 (final week)


Today is the final week of our readalong of book #3 of Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series, All is Fair.  The schedule is below, all welcome and please be aware of potential spoilers lurking below.

Week 1: Monday 4th July, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 11th July, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Hisham El-Far
Week 3: Monday 18th July, Chapters 15-22, hosted by The Illustrated Page
Week 4: Monday 25th July, Chapters 23-End, hosted by x + 1
Straight to the Q&A:
1. Apparently women can’t be Arbiters or Sorcerers. Is this another sign of Nether sexism, or do you think there may be other mysteries at play here? What do you think Rupert will do about it?
Well, given that the only female sorcerer who we’ve made the acquaintance of seems to be living in hiding and has felt the need to go to such dire measures as try to kill all the other sorcerers I’m guessing this springs from sexism within the Nether.  Perhaps she feels really bitter and by killing all the other sorcerers and being the only sorcerer left alive everyone will have no choice but to accept a female – seems a little extreme doesnt it?Obviously we haven’t met the character yet or heard her own reasonings – but let’s be honest, she is responsible for mass murder so far isn’t she, so it doesn’t bode terribly well in terms of her own mental balance!
2. Were you surprised at Max’s choice? What about his deliberate reaching for his emotions? What do you think the future holds for him and the Gargoyle?

Not really, I think both Max and the Gargoyle had reached a conclusion about Ekstrand – I admit that I’d been suspecting him of much more than simply being a bit eccentric and I think I’ve been proved totally wrong in that regard (another wild supposition bites the dust) so it did seem harsh that he had to die like that – but, he also seemed a bit unhinged (perhaps this is something that runs commonly amongst sorcerers!)  I was pleasantly surprised that Max decided to reach out and grasp his own emotions – it was really quite touching (and a bit sad – that part about his mother wondering what had happened to her little boy!)  I think Max and the Gargoyle could have a good future pairing to be honest – Max is clearly still capable of feeling some emotions and with the gargoyle as his companion he has help when he’s in the field.

3. Cathy has had sweeping success in beginning her rebellion. How do you think Londinium – and the Agency – and the Fae – will respond? 

Well, Cathy has certainly gone for it 100%.  I don’t blame her to be honest, I’m not sure that pussy footing around or taking baby steps would work here – in fact she’d probably just find herself with a doll curse or some such other.  The Agency will obviously be livid because this obviously takes from them a very lucrative business, the Londinium crowd – well, there will no doubt be some people who rail against a woman trying to change the rules.  I don’t really think there should be a knock on effect about taking staff away from the agency – the families will still have their staff and just pay them instead of the Agency.  Not sure how the fae will react – part of me wonders why they would be concerned about how the people in the Nether run their domestic affairs – but maybe they like to be in control of this and so Cathy’s actions will seem out of place.  At the back of my mind I can’t help thinking that there has to be an underlying threat of the fae wanting to escape but I’m not sure how that plays into the themes so far.  I predict lot of bother.

4. Will has finally become an ally. Do you think he’s strong enough to stick to it? Do his secrets make him vulnerable?

I think his secrets do make him vulnerable.  Cathy had a little bit of the same and decided to come clean about things which makes her a lot less vulnerable to blackmail for example.  I think Will needs to come clean with Cathy about a number of things – otherwise they’re likely to just come out further down the line.  I still don’t think Will is strong enough to be honest.  He seems to give a little but always hold back, or try to think of the line of least resistance and he comes across as a bit cowardly – he’s always got his eye on damage limitation in terms of the fae or his family and I really don’t see him rushing into the fray.  He just seems a bit lily livered to me.

5. Sam assumes the mantle of Lord Iron – what do you think of his intentions to pick up Leanne’s mission as well? Do you think he will find his deeds tainted just as Amir’s were? What do you make of his reflection that he’s found a way to look at the past such that it’s nobody’s fault?

I’m not quite sure what to make of Sam just yet.  He certainly seems to be getting comfortable making demands already – almost too comfortable in a way – and a little bit too angry to be making reasonable decisions.  Even his letter to Leanne – the way he was coming across.  He seems almost a little bit aggressive and feels like he’s pin balling around and ricocheting from thing to thing.  I think that Amir probably had a good idea about what he was talking about when he said everything he did was tainted.  Maybe Sam can find a way to change that.  We’ll have to see but at the moment I think he needs to take a few of the baby steps I mentioned above.

Read all about it…

Just a quick post to notify you of a readalong of Late Eclipses (No.4 in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire).  Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow.  The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below. This series got off to a great start with Rosemary and Rue, got even better with A Local Habitation and then reached an all time high for me with An Artificial Night.  I can’t wait for No.4.  Everyone welcome to join.  If you want to jump on board then leave a comment, visit Lisa or check out the Goodreads page.  Come join in the fun.

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far

And now for a little bit about the book:

late eclipsesOctober “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again…

Late Eclipse is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.


A Local Habitation (October Daye #3) by Seanan McGuire, readalong

localhabbanner.pngToday is the final week of our readalong of A Local Habitation (No.2 October Daye by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.

Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

1. Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?

Actually given all my usual maniac theories I think I pretty much knew what was going on with the Alex and Terrie situation.  They reminded me of a strange combination of Princess Fiona from Shrek who changes shape at midnight every day and one of the main vampires from Generation V who feeds off the emotion of others who then become totally enamoured and think they’re in love but eventually die.  I was wrong in that I thought Alex could have been trying to protect Toby from Terrie because (1) they weren’t involved in the murders and (2) neither of them had any real cognisance of each others behaviour so Alex wouldn’t have known if Terrie was a threat to Toby.

2. We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?

I think what was really demonstrated here (and perhaps that’s what’s given Tybalt cause for thought) is that Toby is maybe more powerful than she (or anyone else for that matter) really knows.  She did just bring somebody back from the dead after all which is no small feat!  The one concern I do have for Toby is that now we have started to learn more about her mother I wonder whether this whole blood magic can eventually lead to madness??  But, that being said perhaps her changeling status will help to protect her somewhat.

3. Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?

I actually did expect Tybalt to show up to be honest – in fact I would have been sorely disappointed if he hadn’t done so. Tybalt clearly likes Toby although he seemed to be acting very strangely after witnessing her most recent trick.  I don’t really know what to make of this whole cat kingdom business yet.  From other books and films I tend to think of cats as guardians of the underworld so, if that is the case here, I can imagine that Toby’s most recent actions will have been a bit disturbing to Tybalt.  I look forward to seeing how this develops.

4. Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?

It’s kind of what I guessed at early on – it’s a bit sad because personally it doesn’t feel like the way forward.  I think it was something that April bought into because of her own circumstances and she was being used dreadfully by Gordan who was clearly as mad as a pit of snakes!  I think that the fae world is very antiquated and governed by strange rules  They don’t move forward with the times – which is frankly what makes them so appealing to read about – but I think this experiment was maybe a bit misguided and the evidence here suggests it doesn’t work.  Even if they uploaded everyone and had some sort of virtual fae existence you would need somebody at ground level to be looking after things wouldn’t you??  I don’t really buy into the idea of what they were trying to do – I’m pretty certain if somebody offered me the chance of being downloaded onto a computer I would pass on the offer!

5. What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?

I think Tamed Lightning is now in a very vulnerable position.  In some respects I think April could do a good job and as we’ve already seen her new found responsibilities have made her grow up somewhat – but, as we also saw, she’s not totally aware of boundaries between what’s possible between the living and electronic worlds.  Although, obviously she was being led astray by Gordon.  It will be interesting to see whether this now becomes a plotline for future stories.

6. Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favorites? Gush as much or as little as you want.

I loved ALH more than the first book – I liked the first but I think that like any first in a series it is a set up book and most authors don’t want to go on a massive info dump spree.  Like most UF they develop as they go along.  The characters become more fleshed out and the world building deepens and so I’m definitely keen to see what happens next for Toby.


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