With a Little Help From My Fae Friends – REVIEW: Silverblind



by Tina Connolly, read by Rosalyn Landor
Length: 10 hours, 3 minutes

It’s still very much a man’s world, but the times are slowly a changing. Women are allowed to pursue academic profession, but are still prejudiced against when applying for field jobs. So Dorie Rochart does what anyone who is half-fey would – she makes herself look like a man (Dorian – a nice touch!), and gets the gig. From there on, she reunites with her childhood friend and adopted cousin Tam (who doesn’t realize it’s Dorie underneath all that Dorian), they’re off hunting basilisks and wyvern eggs, and also saving the world with mythology-based science. If this sounds a bit like Indiana Jones, well, it certainly put me in mind of the man with the hat, with the caveat that the University never seems very far away from where the majority of the field work takes place. There may be no hat and fedora, but there continue to be wicked (and perhaps misunderstood) fairies, mythical beasts, adventure, friendship, and romance. In short, Silverblind is a very fun time.

Like Silverblind’s predecessors, there’s a lot more happening here beneath the skin. The times are slowly changing, and while it may be better to be a woman than it was before, Silverblind points out it’s still a pretty crap playing field. In addition to the gender politics, the government is hell bent on hunting the wyvern eggs to extinction, and committing genocide against the faeries. Many of the characters are more complicated than they might first appear – in addition to Dorie and Tam are haunted by events from their the past, and I was particularly fond of Jack (short for Jacqueline) and Stella, two of Dorie’s friends, as well as Annika, the beautiful foreign student work in the field, but who has had to fight her own battles to get there.

You don’t have to have read the previous volumes in Connolly’s Ironskin trilogy to appreciate Silverblind, but it doesn’t hurt. Each book follows a different protagonist, and generally stands perfectly well on its own, although they’re all connected to each other. Dorie was a child in Ironskin, and Tam was a child in Copperhead. Silverblind is certainly the closing chapter of this series, weaving together threads and characters but also working very well as a standalone adventure for Dorie, Tam, and their friends, rivals, and enemies.

Rosalyn Landor returns to finish out the series, and provides another poised and elegant performance that compliments the story well.

If you’re looking for literature to fit that Downton Abbey shaped-hole in your life but packs a little extra punch, ring the bell for these books, and enjoy them with a nice cup of tea.

Special thanks to Tina Connolly for providing me with a copy of this audiobook to review.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

February Whispersync Deal roundup: PKD, Marie Brennan, Walter Mosley, Ken MacLeod, Theodore Sturgeon, Robin Hobb, and more

Well, February’s well past half over, so as usual it’s beyond past time to get this month’s Whispersync deal roundup put together. So here we go!  [UPDATE: Since this series has drawn some new readers/listeners who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]

First, from the Monthly Deals for $3.99 or less listings:


The Man in the High Castle and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick, read by Tom Weiner, and A Scanner Darkly read by actor Paul Giamatti for $2.99+$3.99 each — three fantastic PKD audiobooks on the cheap!

    Continue reading

Posted in Whispersync Deals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pretty Fucking Badass: Dave Reviews Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword
By Ann Leckie, performed by Adjoh Andoh
Length: 11 hours, 44 minutes

There’s a scene somewhere toward the middle of Ancillary Sword that I can’t get out of my head, despite having listened to the audiobook a couple months ago. Visiting a space station, newly appointed fleet commander Breq comes across a station guard with a civilian in an illegal choke hold, rebukes the guard, and orders him to stand down or face immediate consequences. It turns out that this is standard procedure for the Imperial force on the station when dealing with such undesirables.

You might’ve guessed where I’m going with this: it’s kind of impossible for me to think about this book and that scene in particular without thinking about Eric Garner’s death. Continue reading

Posted in reviews | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

January Whispersync Deal roundup: Frontera, The Thirteenth Step, Bitterwood, Katia Fox, The Lives of Tao, Embedded, and much, much more

With less than 10 days left in the month, perhaps it’s time to finally get the January Whispersync Deal roundup out into the world. [UPDATE: Since this post has drawn some new readers who may be unfamiliar with Whispersync for Voice, in brief: after (or at the same time as) buying the Kindle edition you can add on the narration if an enabled Audible edition exists, often for a steep discount on even the member/credit price.]

First, a handful of currently running Kindle Countdown Deals that will bump back up in price soon:


The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery by Michele W. Miller, read by Gabrielle de Cuir for $0.99+$1.99 — Zombies are not typically my bag, yet somehow I’ve read or otherwise heard or gotten to a lot. I wasn’t expecting too much from a self-published book, but de Cuir as narrator piqued my interest enough to check it out and I ended up enjoying this quite a lot. While there are some “staples to the point of trope” of the genre here (motley cast of characters assemble! bring in zombies! scare and run! sometimes we lose somebody! oh by the way some other human survivor’s are either going psycho, or trying to reinstate the 50s!) there’s also some really unique wrinkles, the main one being that for some reason, alcoholics and others with an addiction gene have some level of resistance to being detected by the zombies. There’s also the “THANK GOD SOMEBODY FINALLY” character who has actually read Max Brooks, and we get the fun of comparing notes a bit between fiction and (this fictional) reality. Also, on that “motley crew” this one has a lot going for it. It’s diverse in age, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, disposition, goals. And de Cuir brings it all to life, with some additional nice production touches such as radio static effects, that really take this audiobook up a couple notches. Even if you’re reading this after the countdown deal has expired, it’s still quite a bargain at $3.99+$2.99.  It’s a refreshingly original wrinkle in the zombie apocalypse subgenre — who knew that Alcoholics Anonymous would be ready for this? Continue reading

Posted in Whispersync Deals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 33 most missing audiobooks of 2014

Three thousand two hundred sixty-seven. That’s how many science fiction and fantasy audiobooks were added to Audible.com’s US listings alone in 2014, and the larger number of new speculative fiction audiobooks — which include GraphicAudio, independent (for example The Maze of Games and Eric Flint’s “Islands”), and other titles not available at Audible (for example Cory Doctorow’s Homeland and Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free), physical-only releases, podiobooks, and English-language audiobooks released in other countries, to name a few, not to mention the many sf/f titles shelved under “Fiction” or “Mysteries and Thrillers” or of course young adult and young reader titles —  is nearly impossible to catalog. (I tried, as usual, this year with the release week coverage, but even so missed quite a lot.) And, of course, while The AudioBookaneers focuses on science fiction and fantasy, there were quite a few fantastic books without dragons or spaceships in them this year, too.

First, a warning. This article is a long over-wrought mess. Second, before I get to those “most missing in audio” books which came out last year and did not make it into audio at all, I’ll start with highlighting a few that actually did come to audio, albeit overseas:

A Man Lies Dreaming | [Lavie Tidhar] The Islands of Chaldea | [Diana Wynne Jones]

Continue reading

Posted in The Arrrdies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Top 10 Audiobooks of 2014


Always look forward to The Guilded Earlobe’s picks:

Originally posted on The Guilded Earlobe:

In the past, I used to offer my favorite 20 audiobooks of the year. This, of course, when I was listening to nearly 200 audiobooks a year. In 2014, I listened to maybe 80-90 audiobooks in total, and the idea of doing a top 20 seemed ridiculous. So, instead, I offer you my 10 favorite audiobooks(with a few honorable mentions thrown in for good measure.). Despite the lower number, my choices were quite hard. I think 2014 was a great year for apocalyptic fiction and my list definitely reflects that.

Choosing my favorite audiobook of the year incredibly hard. I knew it would come down to a battle between two novels. One was a simply mind blowing exploration of Post Apocalyptic fiction. For me, I thought Station Eleven was brilliant, and worked on so many levels. Mandel’s ability to blend together multiple storylines with a menagerie of complex and wonderful…

View original 912 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pulling the Future Toward Me


Congrats to Dave (and co-editor Anna) on 5 amazing, ridiculously amazing and wonderful years of PodCastle fantasy stories:

Originally posted on Annnnnnnnnd Welcome Back!:


Today at PodCastle, we just published one of my absolute favorite stories of 2014: “Makeisha in Time,”  by Rachael K. Jones, read by the amazing K. Tempest Bradford. You should go listen to it ASAP for two reasons:

1) It’s an incredible piece of fiction, and I hope you all get a chance to listen.

2) Anna Schwind and I announce some big news after the story: we will be stepping down as editors of PodCaslte.

Why? Well, this is a decision Anna and I have been considering for some time now, and it’s a personal one for both of us. For my own part, it’s really pretty simple. I need to chase down some different dreams. I want to spend more time writing my own short fiction, and I want to write a novel. Or: novels. Writing a novel is a dream I really want…

View original 750 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Release Week: Rudy Rucker’s Software, Michael Underwood’s The Younger Gods, Daniel Abraham’s The Price of Spring, Shae Ford’s Dragonsbane, Mary Rickert’s The Memory Garden, Russell H. Greenan’s It Happened in Boston?, Multiverse, and Rick Wilber’s Field of Fantasies

DECEMBER 17-31, 2014: I went ahead and extended this pair of weeks one extra day to give a clean cutoff to 2014. It was a fantastic year of audiobooks (and of course Dave and I will be here with some best-of-the-year picks in due course) and 2015 looks every bit as packed as we consider a preview of what’s to come. In the meantime, the last half of the last month of 2014 had some surprises, with all eight picks again coming off the “seen but not heard” listings — though a few of them are from just a few months earlier in the year. Also out and well worth checking out are Catherina Asaro’s Undercity, Walter Jon Williams’ Dread Empire’s Fall series, Mike Allen’s The Black Fire Concerto, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, and Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s This Shattered World. In “seen but not heard” to wrap up the year are Stephanie Ricker’s The Battle of Castle Nebula, Astrid ‘Artistikem’ Cruz’ The Last Superhero, and Guy Adams’ For a Few Souls More. Happy New Year!


Software: Ware, Book 1 | [Rudy Rucker] The Younger Gods | [Michael Underwood] Continue reading

Posted in Release Week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Week: Steve Erickson’s Zeroville, Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders, Robert W. Chambers’ The Maker of Moons, and Luisa May Alcott’s A Whisper in the Dark

DECEMBER 10-16, 2014: For the first time in (at least recent) memory, all four of my picks for the week come off the “never before in audio” list, with none of the books even being released this decade and some being well out of copyright in text, and all under some of the best narrators in the field. There’s still more backlist audiobooks and even more concurrent new releases also out this week, from the 50-audiobook “The Saint” series in its mind-boggling entirety to David Drake’s Skyripper to Jane Yolen’s Sword of the Rightful King, from Frank Tallis’ creepy The Voices to Kate Milford’s Greenglass House, to paranormal romance (Elizabeth Hunter’s The Scribe) and Nobel Prize winner fiction, to still plenty more where all that came from. Meanwhile, just a few days ago on December 24th, a new Baen Audio Books production was out just in time for your holiday enjoyment, as Baen’s Free Radio Hour podcast debuted Larry Correia’s “Detroit Christmas”. After all, what goes with the holly and the ivy better than a Tommy gun? (And for those curious about the behind the scenes of a full cast, sound effects and original score production, there’s a short video for you.) Speaking of audiobooks with high production values, the current Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want offer on a huge batch of Doctor Who audiobooks, including seasons voiced by David Tennant and Colin Baker. Enjoy!


Zeroville by Steve Erickson The Greenlanders | [Jane Smiley]

Continue reading

Posted in Release Week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Release Week(s): Carbide Tipped Pens, The Godless, The Strange Library, Winterswim, The Martian Race, The Winter King, Ari Marmell’s “Hot Lead, Cold Iron”, and Cory Doctorow’s “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free”

NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 9, 2014: A fantastic and wide-ranging fortnight of releases for you to start December, including epic fantasy, hard sf, Arthurian legend, a whimsy from Murakami, a GraphicAudio magical noir, non-fiction, and more. Do check out some of the “also out” listings as well such as Kazuaki Takano’s A Genocide of One, Richard Parks’ Yamada Monogotari, and Felicia Hajra-Lee’s The Niantic Project: Ingress for Google’s Niantic Labs, and plenty of mysteries and thrillers besides, including Moriarty, MacDonald, and Raymond Chandler, and! a free Larry Correia “Grimnoir Chronicles” short read by Bronson Pinchot. Unfortunately there’s some absolutely fantastic books in the “seen but not heard” listings as well, including Jenn Brissett’s Elysium, Chris Bucholz’ Severance, Shannon Page and Jay Lake’s Our Lady of the Islands, N.K. Jemisin’s The Awakened Kingdom, Jim C. Hines’ Rise of the Spider Goddess, and the PW-year’s-best-lsited anthology The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women. Early December also brings the Audible availability of Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X omnibus of his Southern Reach trilogy. And I’ve added another absolutely huge round of “added” titles for 2015 in the “coming soon” listings, though quite a few have large variability for measurements of “soon”. Enjoy!


Carbide Tipped Pens by Ben Bova, Eric Choi The Godless: A Novel | [Ben Peek]

Continue reading

Posted in Release Week | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment