What I just finished

The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher. Great retelling of "The Snow Queen" that gives the fairy tale some interesting new twists while preserving the heart of the story. The descriptions of snow and ice are particularly well done and a pleasure to read at this time of year. Also contains lesbians, as all Snow Queen retellings should. :-) Possible Yuletide fandom.

"Zapped" by Sherwood Smith. I know Smith can write a good story, but this novelette is a hot mess. The science fictional subplot involving teens with unusual powers raises way more questions than it answers and doesn't really go anywhere; the sexuality subplot is anvilicious; the story talks down to its teen audience; and the ending is unsatisfying. If it were five times longer and comprehensively re-edited, then it might be worth reading, but as it is, no.

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell. A supermarket chain is trying to expand into a small English town, and the community is divided in their response. Yet this debate is only the public face of a high-stakes struggle between good and evil. Excellent characterizations and very neat plotting elevate a moderately interesting premise into a great story.

Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal. The ending's a lot more open-ended than I typically prefer, and yet I really enjoyed this one. The biggest draw for me is the worldbuilding. In a hyper-connected future, the protagonist finds herself unexpectedly cut off from the cloud while traveling, and Kowal does a really nice job of imagining the various subtle and not-so-subtle responses the protagonist would have to her unprecedented experience.

The actual plot...is weird and a bit dreamlike and very ambiguous. I'll have to reread this one someday, though I don't know if rereading it will make me hate it or like it even more.


What I'm reading now

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson


What I'm reading next

A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson
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