YAMI NO PURPLE EYE – what the fucking fuck Shinohara Chie

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Rinko is an ordinary girl who was born with a mysterious birthmark on her left arm. But when that mark starts to get darker, strange accidents begin to happen everywhere around her, involving even the people she cares about. What will the powerful magic awakening inside Rinko bring her?

In 1987, Purple Eyes in the Dark was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for the shoujo manga category.

Oh my god what is this shit. Trigger warning for rape. Not what you think. But probably worse than you think. Haha. No bestiality at least! HIGH BARS EVERYONE, LET’S CLIMB THEM.

It’s still more interesting and better written than the vast majority of urban fantasy, though. Haha suckers.

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THE UNLIKELY HERO – Beau Schemery’s Aryan teenage unicorn fetish

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Despite the suspicions Mother Dragon shared with Celestrian before her death, he may be the last surviving unicorn of Vrelenden—though most may simply think him some crazy person with a horn attached to his forehead. Nevertheless, Trian has nothing to hold on to but hope, and he’s about to hang that hope on an unlikely hero named Renwald Mallorian. Ren may have been born an accountant’s son, but he’s longed to be a professional hero for as long as he can remember, and he’s read every book on the subject he could get his hands on. When Trian arrives and hires him to find the last remaining unicorns, Ren jumps at the offer and their quest begins.

But the evil Father Denkham is intent on obtaining the last unicorn and sets a deadly assassin on their trail. If that isn’t bad enough, they’ll face a Vampire, Dragon, bandits, and zombies. Their only hope now is for Ren to prove he’s the hero he always dreamed of becoming—but no book in the world could have prepared him for what’s in store.

Yes, that’s a unicorn furry wearing a thong. This, as you will soon gather, is a book about copious teenage unicorn sex. Rejoice, for we’re about to embark on the beautiful and magical journey of someone’s D&D campaign involving a shitload of erotic roleplay turned into a novel.

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THE ALCHEMY OF STONE – Ekaterina Sedia

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Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets – secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn’t sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart – literally.

I was surprised that this was captivating from the first pages on, seeing that Sedia’s other steampunk novel–Heart of Iron–was a bit hit-and-miss with me. This is a stronger book than that by far, if not quite a match for The House of Discarded Dreams

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MOSCOW BUT DREAMING – Ekaterina Sedia

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The first short story collection by award-winning author Ekaterina Sedia! One of the more resonant voices to emerge in recent years, this Russian-born author explores the edge between the mundane and fantastical in tales inspired by her homeland as well as worldwide folkloric traditions. With foreword by World Fantasy Award-winner Jeffrey Ford, Moscow But Dreaming showcases singular and lyrical writing that will appeal to fans of slipstream and magical realism, as well as those interested in the uncanny and Russian history.

More magical realism than fantasy, melancholy across the board, and if Sedia’s House of Discarded Dreams was your cup of thing then this should be too.
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THE HOUSE OF DISCARDED DREAMS – Ekaterina Sedia

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Trying to escape her embarrassing immigrant mother, Vimbai moves into a dilapidated house in the dunes… and discovers that one of her new roommates has a pocket universe instead of hair, there’s a psychic energy baby living in the telephone wires, and her dead Zimbabwean grandmother is doing dishes in the kitchen. When the house gets lost at sea and creatures of African urban legends all but take it over, Vimbai turns to horseshoe crabs in the ocean to ask for their help in getting home to New Jersey.

This isn’t a book, I suspect, that too many typical genre fans would like since it shades into magic realism. It’s orders of magnitude better than any other novel I’ve read by Sedia, and much superior to Heart of Iron. But it’s also a book where the author writes of a non-dominant culture and experience not her own, so standard precautions apply. See Tricia Sullivan’s post about writing Double Vision and her many, many, many fails with regards to writing black women and Japanese people.

Having said that, we can’t ignore the context of Sedia being from a non-dominant culture and Sullivan being very much so: there’s a vast gulf of experiences between a Russian immigrant to the US and a white American born and bred in the UK who never needs to apply for a visa to travel much of anywhere, and whose passport will never make her a subject of scrutiny.

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