This is Sci-Fi, Issue 11: The Gauntlet, Radiate, and Star Trek: Discovery

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & Scary
This is Sci-Fi is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

This is Sci-Fi’s Quote to Consider:

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan

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Science Fiction Movies

Sci-Fi Movie Suggestion for the Week:

Movie cover for Contact

Contact (1997):  Contact is one of those movies that, even if you don’t end up liking, you need to have at least watched once. (Or tried to watch. Don’t torture yourself if you hate it.) This is one of (if not the) Jodi Foster’s signature roles, and she does a solid job in this movie. I don’t remember McConaughey’s part at all, so he wasn’t too annoying, obviously.


Contact Synopsis: Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent aliens, who send plans for a mysterious machine.

Starring: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt


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Sci-Fi Movies Opening This Week (May 26th):

Zilch again. Sorry folks!

Sci-Fi Movies in Theatres (links to IMDB)

Alien: Covenant (Going to see this today!)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Trailer to Watch:

Wonder Woman is opening June 2nd, and if you’ve managed to be totally blind to the advertising that is everywhere, you can find see the official trailer here.

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Science Fiction Books

New Releases

Book cover for The Caledonian Gambit Book cover for Radiate Book cover for The Gauntlet



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The Caledonian Gambit – Dan Moren – Release Date: May 23rd, 2017

The galaxy is mired in a cold war between two superpowers, the Illyrican Empire and the Commonwealth. Thrust between this struggle are Simon Kovalic, the Commonwealth’s preeminent spy, and Kyle Rankin, a lowly soldier happily scrubbing toilets on Sabea, a remote and isolated planet. However, nothing is as it seems. Kyle Rankin is a lie. His real name is Eli Brody, and he fled his home world of Caledonia years ago. Simon Kovalic knows Caledonia is a lit fuse hurtling towards detonation. The past Brody so desperately tried to abandon can grant him access to people and places that are off limits even to a professional spy like Kovalic.

Kovalic needs Eli Brody to come home and face his past. With Brody suddenly cast in a play he never auditioned for, he and Kovalic will quickly realize it’s everything they don’t know that will tip the scales of galactic peace. Sounds like a desperate plan, sure, but what gambit isn’t?

The Caledonian Gambit is a throwback to the classic sci-fi adventures of spies and off-world politics, but filled to the brim with modern sensibilities. – Goodreads

Radiate – Lightless #3 – C.A. Higgens – Release Date: May 23rd, 2017

In the follow-up to Lightless and Supernova, C. A. Higgins again fuses science fiction, suspense, and drama to tell the story of a most unlikely heroine: Ananke, once a military spacecraft, now a sentient artificial intelligence. Ananke may have the powers of a god, but she is consumed by a very human longing: to know her creators.

Now Ananke is on a quest to find companionship, understanding, and even love. She is accompanied by Althea, the engineer who created her, and whom she sees as her mother. And she is in search of her father, Matthew, the programmer whose code gave her the spark of life.  But Matthew is on a strange quest of his own, traveling the galaxy alongside Ivan, with whom he shares a deeply painful history. Ananke and her parents are racing toward an inevitable collision, with consequences as violent as the birth of the solar system itself and as devastating as the discovery of love. – Goodreads

The Gauntlet – Cage #3 – Megan Shepherd – Release Date: May 23rd, 2017

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in the final novel in the gripping and romantic Cage series, about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.

Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.

With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process. – Goodreads

Time Travel Fiction:

Book cover for Timeline  Book cover for 11/22/63  Book cover for The Time Machine






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The Sci-Fi Zone:

 The Best of The Twilight Zone: Season Two

 1. The Obsolete Man: This ranks in my top 5 of Twilight Zones ever. It has an excellent theme and Burgess Meredith and Fritz Weaver are totally awesome in it. I honestly can’t wait to get to this one on our Twilight Zone Tuesday.

 2. Nervous Man in a Four Dollar Room: Joe Mantell carries almost this entire episode on his shoulders and he does it perfectly. Awesome episode.

 3. A Penny for Your Thoughts: One of the Twilight Zone’s rare humorous episodes. It’s cute and funny and I love it.

 4. Twenty Two: The creepiness factor in this one runs high and the sassy character of  Liz Powell (Barbara Nichols) just tops it off.

 5. Will the Real Martian Please stand Up?: Partly funny and partly dramatic. the ending is a waiting game between a couple of players with Earth as their playing field.

 6. The Silence: A great episode plumbing the depths of human behavior.

 7. The Night of the Meek: This one gets overlooked a bit as over-sweet and smarmy. Call me a softie but I do love this episode.

 8. Eye of the Beholder: One might wonder why this one is so far down the list. I do really like it but it gets a lot of attention on it’s own that I wanted to feature a few awesome, lesser known episodes.

 9. The Howling Man: Again, another fantastic episode that is fairly well-known. Acted well and with a great story.

 10. The Whole Truth: Perhaps not a popular choice but what could be worse for people in certain professions but a car that forces it’s owner to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Rod Serling’s glee in telling it is so apparent as well that it’s pretty funny.

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Notable Events in Sci-Fi History

3Science Fiction Actors Birth / Death (May 13th – May 26th)

Phyllis Gotlieb b. May 25th (Sunburst)

J. Brian Clarke b. May 23rd (Alphanauts)

Yoji  Kondo/Eric Kotani b. May 26th (Island Worlds)

5 Science Fiction Movies Released (May 13th – May 26th)

It Came from Outer Space (1953)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Alien (1979)

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Science Fiction on the Web


This is Sci-Fi, Issue 9: The Circle, Sleight, Walkaway and AI Ships

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & ScaryThis is Sci-Fi is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

This is Sci-Fi’s Quote to Consider

“Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction. ”
― Ray Bradbury


Science Fiction Movies

Science Fiction Movie Suggestion of the Week

Movie poster for Alien

Your science fiction movie suggestion of the week is Alien (1979).

Alien Synopsis: After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Starring:  Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt




Science Fiction Movies Opening This Week (April 28th)

Movie cover for The Circle The Circle Synopsis: A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, only to uncover a nefarious agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and that of humanity.
Starring: Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega

Watch the official The Circle trailer.





Movie poster for SleightSleight Synopsis: A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

Starring:  Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill

Watch the Sleight official trailer. 




Featured Science Photo

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

This picture just made me stop, stare, and think “Wow.” What about you? Don’t you want to reach out and touch it?

The Sci-Fi Zone: Science Fiction to Science Fact

Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction. Sometimes the fiction of the past can influence technology of the future. So I’ve gathered up some examples of science fiction and fact. I’m sure at the time these new ideas, creations and technology were thought of as science fiction rather than items that would become the technology of today and commonly used. -Gk


1578 – 1605: Submarines in Fiction to Fact

1578: William Bourne designed one of the first prototype submarines. It was designed as a completely enclosed boat to be submerged by hand and rowed under water. There seemed to be little room for crew in the design.

1605: The first actual submersible built was created by Magnus Pegelius.

1726: Computers

The Engine in  Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift was a mechanical information generator. It is generally accepted as the first description of a machine that resembles a computer.

1877: Videophone

An early concept of a videophone and wide-screen television called a ‘telephonoscope’ was conceptualized in popular periodicals of the year.

1881-1888: Time Travel

1881:  The Clock That Went Backward by Edward Page Mitchell features a clock that takes people back in time. It is the first use in a story that features a machine for time travel.

1887: El Anacronopete by Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau predates H.G. Wells’ ‘The Chronic Argonauts’ by 1 year in the use of an actual time machine used to purposely move through time, rather than at random.

1888: The Chronic Argonauts – H.G. Wells – An inventor takes a companion in his time machine. The companion narrates the story of their subsequent adventures. The basis for The Time Machine, written when Wells was a student.

1907: Androids/Humanoid Mechanicals

First introduction of a humanoid mechanical man was Tik-Tok in Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Tik-Tok was powered by a trio of clockwork components that controlled his thinking, movement, and speech. None of which he could wind for himself.

1950: Black Holes

One of the first mentions of black holes in fiction occurs in   The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett .

  1955: Laser-weapons

In his story, Earthlight, Arthur C. Clarke mentions a particle-beam weapon. They functioned by energy which would be delivered by high-velocity beams of matter. One of the first uses of a laser-like weapon in fiction.

1967: Hover Board

The first mention of a hover board ( a levitating board used for personal transportation) was first described by author M.K. Joseph in his story “The Hole in the Zero“.

Science Fiction Books

New April Science Fiction Releases

Book cover for Forgotten Worlds

Forgotten Worlds Synopsis: The sequel to D. Nolan Clark’s epic space adventure Forsaken Skies.
The battle is over. But the war has only just begun.
Aleister Lanoe has won a stunning victory against the alien armada that threatened Niraya, but it’s not enough to satisfy his desire for vengeance. He won’t rest until he’s located the armada’s homeworld and reduced it to ashes.
Yet his personal vendetta will have to wait. Lanoe now faces a desperate race against time, and the merciless Centrocor corporation, if he’s to secure the Earth’s future – and discover the truth he seeks.




Book cover for Walkaway

Walkaway Synopsis: Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza—known to his friends as Hubert, Etc—was too old to be at that Communist party.

But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has nowhere left to be—except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society—and walk away.

After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter—from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system.

It’s still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down.

Book cover for Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Collect Them All Synopsis: We are Groot!

When the Guardians attempt to evacuate a Kree prison planet and end up in a fight for their lives – what else is new? – they discover their old pal Groot is stretched a little thin. Someone is planting stolen branches of the monosyllabic hero and selling the saplings across the galaxy! The search to find Groot’s missing pieces forces the Guardians into an alliance with the unscrupulous Collector, but the real problem is more complicated than he wants them to believe. The seller is a kid. And she’s got more than a few things in common with Gamora -like green skin and a wild temper.

Now with an unruly teen in tow, the Guardians attempt to track down the remaining Groots – and discover an interplanetary conspiracy. War looms on the horizon. It’s a race against the Collector, Groot himself, and the entire Kree armada. It’s battle as Rocket likes it best.

Sit back and watch the destruction as Corinne Duyvis, author of Otherbound and On the Edge of Gone, makes her Marvel debut!

Aiiiiiiiii!! Ships! (Well, AI Ships at least.)

Book cover for Aurora

Book cover for Empire of the Ashes

Book cover for Serengeti








Science Fiction News on the Web

All Our Wrong Todays Review (Sci-Fi Time Travel)

Title: All Our Wrong Todays | Author: Elan Mastai | Publisher: Dutton Books | Pub. Date: 2017-2-7 | Pages: 384 | ISBN13: 9781101985144 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the publisher for review consideration. | Purchase on Amazon


All Our Wrong Todays

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be. – GoodreadsBook cover for All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

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The Two Faces of Temperance Review

The Two Faces of Temperance

“Oh, my Goodness, Miss Plumtartt, there is a fiendish monster at loose in London!”
“Quite so, Mr. Temperance. I say, the villain has the Great City in an uproar, sir.”
“Yes, Ma’am, Miss Plumtartt, Ma’am, there is murder at our elbow, wherever we turn.”
“The machinations of intrigue threaten to crush us in their merciless gears, eh hem? Yes, One suspects that this adventure may come to be known as ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Icky and Mr. Temperance.” – Goodreads Synopsis

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10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women

10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by WomenThis Top Ten Tuesday we are supposed to talk about the books that we want Santa to leave under our tree. I feel like that’s going to spoil my year end Top Ten List a bit, so I decided to alter it. Have you ever noticed that when you ask people to name off famous science fiction and horror writers, they almost always name guys? Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, etc. Well, the science fiction and horror genres are indisputably male-dominated. So you have to wade in a bit to find the female authors who are making waves in the big boy’s ponds. But they are there, and they’re definitely worth searching for.

The following list is comprised of the best 10 science fiction & horror books written by women that I’ve read in 2016. Books that I want Santa to leave under my tree that I can shove in naysayer’s faces.

This list is in no particular order. You’ll find new writers nestled up against those with solidly established reputations. Science fiction writers will bump elbows with horror writers.  There’ll be something for everyone, and at least one person reading this will be offended that I didn’t include their favorite writer on this list. (Feel free to add to the list in the comments below.)

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of Broke and Bookish.

(Pictures lead to Goodreads, Links go to Amazon.)

10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women






10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women

10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women





10 Science Fiction & Horror Books Written by Women




  1. Damocles by S.G. Redling – For when you need hope, and wonder, and a look at the stars that doesn’t end in violence, hatred, or disillusionment.  Damocles by S.G. Redling is a shining example of what science fiction means to me.
  2. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll – This is the first graphic novel that I ever read and truly enjoyed. And even months later, the images stay with me. Emily Carroll did a fantastic job on this book, and in my opinion, it’s a must for any horror fan.
  3. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin – If you haven’t read this book, you need to stop what you’re doing and rectify the situation. Immediately. The Lathe of Heaven was one of those books that blow you away. After you get done thinking deep thoughts, you’ll want to kneel at this lady’s feet.
  4. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor – Can I say enough good things about the St. Mary’s Chronicles? I think not. Beautiful, wonderful, laugh-out-loud, and wanna-smack-someone. The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is a series that will warm your heart, excite your spirit, and make you want a family like St. Mary’s.
  5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley – Though I didn’t read the typical version of Frankenstein, I’m still in awe of Mary Shelley, and what she accomplished in Frankenstein. Everyone knows the story of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, even if they haven’t read the book. It’s a book that people are always going to know of, and that is an accomplishment in and of itself.
  6. Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats – Jessica Meats did a great job in presenting a world fighting back against an alien force. She gives us heroes we can root for, unexpected twists, and action that just keeps going.
  7. Fury by Joan De La Haye – If you’re looking for disturbing imagery, and a delicious tale of revenge, look no further than Fury. Joan De La Haye packs a ton of gory horror in a small package in Fury.
  8. The Spirit Chaser by Kat Mayor – The ending of this book. I love it because it’s a dark glimpse into possession and the damages that it wrecks on everyone. And because it’s an awesome ghost book. But mostly? It’s the ending that I can’t forget. Holy crap. That ending.
  9. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – It filled the Firefly-shaped hole in my heart. What can I say?
  10. Shutter by Courtney Alameda – Clean, young adult horror that isn’t afraid to be dark and disturbing. Courtney Alameda gives you an easy, creepy read that you’ll want to come back to for at least one more round of.

There you have it. Looking back, and I’m quite pleased with the science fiction and horror books I’ve read written by women in 2016. Don’t forget, ladies, you are fierce. No matter what some orange-skinned troll says.

Feel free to link me to your lists for Top Ten Tuesday.

Solar Express Review (Hard Science Fiction)


Solar Express: You can’t militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. However, increasing resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth’s surface is causing some interested parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation.

The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be a hitherto undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. Now there is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the “Solar Express” before it perhaps destroys itself.

Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna’s friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian, one of the first shuttle pilots to be trained for combat in space. But, as the alien craft gets closer to its destination, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries—provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations. – Goodreads

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This WWWeek in Books: Mid-October Check-In.

WWWeekinBooks As usual, WWW Wednesdays and This Week in Books are very similarly themed memes on Wednesdays, so this post serves as a three-fer. One for each of them, and also as a mid October reading check in. I don’t have a lot of time today, so it’s going to be brief and without a lot of links to Goodreads, sorry!

What Are You Currently Reading?

tales-from-arabian-nights children-of-eden this-house-is-haunted blackwater-val

bleed-blister mute-and-the-girl auggie-and-me

A lot of these are progressing slower than usual, but that’s because I’m reading them with a certain ginger, so we have to go at her speed. Tales from the Arabian Nights is beautifully illustrated, and interesting to read. I’ve never read the adult version, so we’re discovering the stories together. Children of Eden was a publisher request. It’s fairly interesting , but hasn’t hooked me yet. This House is Haunted was SUPPOSED to be for September book club, but I just got it a couple days ago. Blackwater Val is one I requested from a publisher. It’s a bit slow going, but I’m expecting it’ll get good soon. Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge is a kid’s educational book I requested. Its interesting, definitely not for younger kids, and quite enjoyable. The Mute and the Girl of Many Parts is…rough going. I’m struggling, and may end up DNFing it. Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories is good. The first story (which we’re almost done with) is an examination of Julian’s character (the antagonist in the first book.) Lots of discussions with Miss L about bullying, how it’s not okay, and what the proper response to things should be.

What Did You Finish Recently?

doorways ghoul-scouts-2 cocktails-at-7deadlight-jack-1 laura-monster-crusher chillz-hillz - The Bad Babysitter sleep-state-interrupt


A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor, and Cocktails at Seven, Apocalypse at Eight are definitely my favorites from this lot. Laura Monster Crusher was an entertaining middle-grader read.

What’s Up Next?

This is not a complete list. Just the next week or so. But I’m very easily distracted right now.



The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. Review (Invasion Sci-Fi)

The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. The Origin of F.O.R.C.E. : The first scout ships of the Chrysallaman Empire made contact in 1947. Their mission was simple: find a suitable planet for colonization. Earth—HG-281—was the perfect target. Rich with land, minerals, and water, the blue planet could boast only of a primitive race of defenders known as Humans, bugs who could be easily squashed by the might of a single Chrysallaman’s mind. When one of the scout ships is unexpectedly brought down, the advance party is forced to return to their home planet 30 light-years away to report and regroup. In their wake, they left behind a broken ship, dead crew members, and a young alien boy who would grow to become one of Earth’s greatest assets—and her greatest ally.

The lizard-like aliens would be back, and in force. Mankind must prepare a strategy capable of defending against not only superior technology, but superior psychic ability and strength. It will take an elite group of military personnel, brilliant scientists, a sombrero-wearing alien, and another generation to plant the seeds that will grow into a World Wide Defense, the likes of which the Chrysallamans have never known. – Goodreads


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TTT: Best (Post) Apocalyptic Books


This Top Ten Tuesday’s Topic was a rewind/freebie. So, I chose to do best apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic reads. I’m still kind of in a rut when it comes to these, even though I normally love participating in them. So I did a quick boring list, and then I did it in a way that challenged me a bit. Click here to have the quickie . Otherwise, read on.

By the way, Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of

What Are Cows?

A woman stood in front of a towering bookshelf. Her skin was pocked and deeply lined, her shoulders hunched, and her skin had that odd fragility that comes with old age. A vomit green scarf was wrapped around her head. No hair escaped from underneath, for there was none on her head. Over-sized glasses, with lenses so thick the frames could not contain the edges, sat heavily on the bridge of her nose.  The rest of her attire had been washed and patched so many times it was impossible to tell what it had originally started as.

She craned her neck back, eyes slowly scanning the titles on the shelf. “The best post apocalyptic books?” She whispered to herself, and then snorted. “We’re living in a post-apocalyptic world, and they want fairy-tales about it. Idiots.” Still, she was the keeper of books, the self-appointed librarian in this particular refuge, and she wasn’t about to let just anyone rifle through her stacks. She moved with the agonizing slowness of one that recognizes that there’s no need to hurry any more.

An impatient cough sounded from somewhere behind her. The old lady took her time in raising her left hand and an equal amount of time extending the middle finger. She held it up for longer than was strictly necessary, but not as long as she would have liked, and lowered it again. After a moment, she reached up on tip-toe, and pulled a fat novel down from the fourth shelf.

Feed Newsflesh 1 She examined the cover for a moment, looked back up at the shelf, considering pulling down the rest of the trilogy. She shook her head. “Best one of the lot.” She adjusted the glasses on her nose, and peered owlishly at the trio standing behind her desk when she turned around. “You might find this interesting. Bloggers after the apocalypse has happened, and the world has started rebuilding itself. Zombies.” At this last word, one corner of her mouth lifted in a hint of a smile. “Politics.” She spat that word out like it had defecated on her tongue. The others made a sound of disgust too. Politics was what had caused… this. She nodded at the bushy-haired female that was the center of the three. “Heroine is someone who does what’s right, instead of what’s easy.” She shuffled over and put Feed, Book 1 of the Newsflesh trilogy, by Mira Grant on the table.

She turned back to her shelves, eyes sweeping over the array of books. Her lips pursed, and she huffed a breath from her nose before bending over, and pulling a book from a shelf just below waist height. It was another thick book, and it was obvious it had been read multiple times from the ragged appearance. She started to straighten back up, carefully, and the sound of her back popping echoed throughout the silent chamber. “Well, Trump it!” She hissed. She tried to straighten up one more time, and expelled a breath through clenched teeth. “Well, don’t just stand there starin’ at my rear.” She grumbled loudly. “Help me out.”

It didn’t take long for two of the three, a slim black-haired young man, and his taller, ginger companion, to get her situated in a chair. At least, not after she swatted and yelled repeatedly at them when they tried to carry her to the infirmary. The bushy-haired one had scrambled off to get the nurse. “Alright,” she said, pauses between the words as she winced and tried to get comfortable. “I’ll tell you title and shelf. You get the books.”Impact Winter Review

“We can, uhm, just look for ourselves.” The ginger said. Under her withering glare, he gulped and squeaked out a “Never mind.”

Impact Winter by S.M. Freedman. Mutants. Asteroids. Eeeeevvvvviiillll. Plus, a crazy guy with a huge heart. Talented writer. Nice lady, too. I was the first review in for that book once it was published, y’know.” The black-haired man turned around, raising an eyebrow at her.  She sighed at the look of absolute puzzlement on his face. “Just..ugh. Get off my lawn.”  The other eyebrow joined the first, and she would have buried her face in a palm, but moving hurt. “Just get the bloody book. Fifth shelf.”

Amnesia MoonFrustration might have been part of what led to her next selection, but she told herself it was because she wanted to give them a wide range of experiences to choose from. “Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem.  First shelf. ” She thought for a moment about how best to describe that particularly book. Was there a way to describe that book? “Mind-warping adventure through a bubble of post-apocalyptic horror slash weirdness.” Her next choice wasn’t funny, but it might just scare the pants off them. The word bubble in her previous sentence had made her aware of the fact that she felt something bubbling up inside her. Could have been a mad cackle taking it’s sweet time in emerging. Probably was just gas.

“Now, on the same shelf, get the one called Bird Box down.” She grinned, then winced and cursed as she tried to find a more comfortable position in her chair. “It was The Malerman’s first published bookThe tagline is ‘Don’t Open Your Eyes’. Technically might not count as a post-apocalyptic because people are still in danger from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Na–Seen. Seen. Still, it’ll put some hair on your chest.” Bird Box

While the two exchanged quick looks that said volumes about the sanity of the old woman behind them, she leaned forward until her forehead was almost resting on her knees. The pain eased, and she sighed in relief. “Alright, lads,” she said after a moment. “Truth be told, I don’t think I have ten absolutely rockin’ recommendations in me – and before you say anything, Mr. Wesley, it’s a saying. An old one, obviously.” She closed her eyes, imagining the stacks in her mind. It wasn’t hard, she’d stared at these shelves so many times she had them practically memorized. “I think we’re going to have to veer away from post apocalyptic, and throw in a dash of Apocalypse as it happens.”

That was easier. She had at least two of those. She wasn’t sure she’d be able to give them ten, but at least more than five might happen. “Sixth shelf. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis. One of the few apocalypse writers that gave us diverse main characters. It’s not a big deal now, but back then…when we were just starting to figure things out… it was a rarity. She was black, autistic, and having to lead her family in the apocalypse. That was almost unheard of. Now…”

On the Edge of Gone

As soon as she said the word “now”, the perfect book came to mind. “Now, COW! Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan!” She practically crowed, jerking upright a bit too fast and letting out a strangled yelp of pain. Even through that, she was able to grind out seconds later “Forget…the..cud…they…mean…blood.

Her creaky giggle bordered on sounding insane. It quickly progressed to a full on belly-laugh, with little ‘ow!’ sounds randomly interjected. When it finally calmed down, she straightened up as much as she could, and wiped her eyes with the trailing end of the virulent green scarf. “Oh dear.  I needed that. ” She turned her head sideways to get a better view of the young men standing several feet in front of her. “Horny cows. Not like HORN-Y, horny, like..” She put two crooked fingers to either side of her head, sticking them up in slight curves. “MoooooOOOOoo horny. The other kind of horny! And zombies! Horny zombie cows with a lust for blood!” This started up a fresh bout of giggles that was abruptly cut off when she processed the question the black-haired lad had just asked her. “What are cows? WHAT ARE COWS?! What do you mean, what are cows?!” She nearly shrieked out the sentence, voice getting higher every time she repeated it.Apocalypse Cow

It was to this sound that the nurse, a bustling, big-bosomed woman in her sixties, came into the room. Sending a scolding look at the two, ignoring the young woman who scampered in behind her, the nurse rushed to the side of the second oldest member of their community. Older than her by ten years, to be precise. She pressed an injection gun to the side of the elderly woman’s neck. It was a strong muscle relaxer and pain killer combination. As strong as she felt it safe to give her. Within moments, the woman was able to sit up straighter, but it was obvious from the glaze overtaking good to the questing community members for a while. “They…” She looked at the nurse, who also was completely lacking in hair. “They don’t know what cowssssh are.” She slurred. “They don’t have a freaking moo what cow…clue what cows are! What’s thish world coming to? WHAT ARE COWS?!” She still sounded completely indignant. If it wasn’t for the fact the nurse had just given her things that would shortly knock her out, the matron would have been worried about the heart of the librarian.

“Okay, Lilyn…” The matron soothed. “It’s okay. Let’s get you to your bed, hm? You can have a bit of a lie down, and be ready to go in the morning.” By the time she got around to the word morning, the old lady was already slumped against her and softly snoring. The nurse looked up to where the whole trio were now standing together. She frowned, then directed her next statement to the African American young lady that had resumed her space between the boys, who was clutching the majority of the books to her chest. It took just a second for her to get the theme. “You, Miss, can grab Swan Song by Robert McCammon, Moonfall by Jack McDevitt, and…” Her eyes swiftly scanned the shelves. She spent nearly as much time in here as the librarian did. “The Passage by Justin Cronin, and….hm…” Her eyes zeroed in on a book with a bright yellow cover. “The Girl with all the Gifts by…whatshisname… M.R. Carey.  I’ll tell her I oversaw your final choices.”

As the girl zeroed in on the shelves like a homing missile that had just been locked on, the red-head asked quietly… “Are all Elders so…strange? Does the… the..y’know… ” He pointed up above.”Does it make your brain go when you get beyond a certain age?”

The nurse huffed a small laugh, and shook her head. “No. This one’s always’s been a bit of an odd duck, bless her. Good earth, you think she’s bad now? You should have seen her before….” She cleared her throat. “Anyways, go on! Out! I’ll get this one to her quarters.”


My Top Ten Quickie List of Apocalyptic and Post Apocalyptic Reads.

  1. Feed by Mira Grant
  2. Impact Winter by S.M. Freedman
  3. Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem
  4. Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  5. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis
  6. Apocalypse Cow by Michael Logan
  7. Swan Song by Robert McCammon
  8. Moonfall by Jack McDevitt
  9. The Passage by Justin Cronin
  10. The Girl with all the Gifts by M.R. Carey

Feel free to leave your links! I’d love to see your lists 🙂

TTT: A Crazy Lady Set Foot in a Bookstore


…waving a gift card over her head. Her shirt was on backwards, her skirt was tucked into her underwear, and her hair looked like she’d stuck her finger in a light socket. It was also obvious that she didn’t care. She never broke stride as she scooped up the basket from beside the door. She didn’t even glance at the employees manning the registers as she made her way straight to the genre fiction.

It wasn’t twenty minutes later before she came waddling up to a register. Waddling because she was walking spraddle-legged, straining to keep the too-thin handles of the overburdened cheap basket in her grip. She pushed sweaty hair back from her brow after heaving the overloaded basket onto the counter, and gave an almost sexual sound of relief. At the odd look the cashier gave her, she grinned and proclaimed. “Gift card. Fully loaded. Needed to spend it before my adult side got a hold of it.”

Then, she began to lift the books lovingly from the basket, and stack them into an unwieldy pile beside the basket.

Harry Potter Illustrated for TTT


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Illustrated Edition was the first book she laid on the counter. “Family favorite” she mumbled.

King of Plagues

Then a moment later, King of Plagues – Joe Ledger #3 was laid on top of it. “Need it to complete my c’llection.”

Time Siege


On top of that, she gingerly placed Time Siege by Wesley Chu. “Pretty cover, looks interesting.” The clerk eyed her, wondering why she was telling him the reason behind each book. But, as they say, the customer is always right, even when they’re crazy, so he kept his mouth shut.

Dr Who Coloring Book

She said nothing when the Doctor Who Coloring book joined the pile, but she did give him a serious stink-eye. Enough so that he bared his teeth in a nervous smile, and gave a tiny nod of approval at her choice.

Sherlock Holmes Servants

When Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell became the top book on the tower, she (too loudly) exclaimed “Sherlock. Demons. Fight! Fight! Fight!” As the words echoed through the space, she ducked her head, blushed, and added Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson quickly to the teetering pile.


“Maybe if I own it, I’ll actually read it.” was said more to herself than to anyone else. She almost tossed Death Note – The Black Edition onto the tower, which every nearly sent all the books scattering to the floor. The clerk managed to save the pile from utter disaster, and started to ring things up, figuring the sooner he got them into bags, the better.  By now the other clerks working the front were staring in bemusement at the two of them.

Mirror in the Sky

While he was ringing the books up – because of course his register would choose just then to start screwing up – she placed Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana onto the counter. She looked vaguely discomfited. “I’m probably not going to like it, but it looks soooo interesting!” After that, the last three books were placed haphazardly on the counter. For The Archived she grumbled something under her breath about owning the second book, so of course she needed the first. For Reviver, she said excitedly “So good! SO. GOOD. You need to read this.”

The Archived Reviver

The clerk gave her another nervous smile, noting that not only was her shirt on backwards, but that it was also one of those cheap nearly sheer ones. It sidetracked his brain, and instead of saying what he meant to say, he blurted out “Boobs!” The customer stopped with Mr. Penubra’s 24 Hour Bookstore halfway to the counter, and cocked an eyebrow at him.

Mr Penumbras

The clerk went bright red, and the crazy lady didn’t even crack a smile as she said simply. “Butt.”

“B-b-ut what?” The freckle-face clerk stammered in response.

“Hm, nevermind” the female said absently, putting the final book on the counter. “Thought we were randomly naming body parts.” She fell silent as she waited for him to finish ringing her up. Neither of them said anything – albeit for different reasons – until he squeaked to “Have a nice day!” after the transaction was complete. She said an almost curt “Thanks” and gathered her bags, making a bee-line for the door.

This Top Ten Tuesday topic was what books you’d buy with a fully loaded gift card. Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of The Broke and the Bookish.

Leave your links!