Reviews

Sci-fi/Fantasy Collection Review: Lost Places by Sarah Pinsker

I first read Sarah Pinsker when “Two Truths and a Lie” was a Hugo Award finalist for Best Novelette in 2021 (it won). Three or four stories later, she’d become one of my absolute favorite short story authors, and picking up a copy of her second collection, Lost Places, was an easy decision.  Lost Places… Continue reading Sci-fi/Fantasy Collection Review: Lost Places by Sarah Pinsker

Reviews

Sci-fi Novella Review: Nothing But the Rain by Naomi Salman

February is always a great month for catching up on stories—especially relatively short ones—from other people’s favorites lists, and while I had heard almost no buzz about Nothing But the Rain by Naomi Salman, a book club friend had it atop their 2023 novella list, so I thought I’d give it a try. Guess what?… Continue reading Sci-fi Novella Review: Nothing But the Rain by Naomi Salman

Top Lists · Year in Review

Tar Vol’s 2023 Recommended Reading List and Short Fiction Top Ten: Awards Season Edition

In December, I posted my 2023 Recommended Reading List, consisting of all my favorite things that were published in 2023. But who’s to say I can’t do it again in February? I’m not Locus, there’s no rule against two recommendation lists.  I publish one list in December because that’s when people start swapping favorites. And… Continue reading Tar Vol’s 2023 Recommended Reading List and Short Fiction Top Ten: Awards Season Edition

Reviews

Sci-fi Novel Review: Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice

This review is based on an eARC (Advance Reading Copy) provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Moon of the Turning Leaves has been released in paperback and will be released as an ebook on February 27, 2024. I’ve had Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice on the vague… Continue reading Sci-fi Novel Review: Moon of the Turning Leaves by Waubgeshig Rice

Reviews

Sci-fi Novel Review: Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

While Chain-Gang All-Stars doesn’t seem to be generating much buzz in genre-centric circles, it seems that one can hardly read a “Best of 2023” list in more literary-leaning outlets without seeing it listed as an absolute must-read. Throw in a couple recommendations on social media and my own penchant for survival games, and Nana Kwame… Continue reading Sci-fi Novel Review: Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Year in Review · Top Lists

Tar Vol’s 2023 Recommended Reading List: Holiday Edition

It’s that time of year again. People are buying holiday gifts, Nebula nominations are open, the New Year is just around the corner, and bookish spaces are being flooded with “best of the year” lists. It’s one of my favorite times of the year for finding new things to read, and it’s a wonderful time… Continue reading Tar Vol’s 2023 Recommended Reading List: Holiday Edition

Magazine Review

Tar Vol Reads a Magazine (or Two): Reviews of Clarkesworld and GigaNotoSaurus (December 2023)

I’m wrapping up my first year of regular magazine reading with a short review of the December 2023 issues of Clarkesworld and GigaNotoSaurus. Both publications were well worth reading all year, and this month is no exception. Stay tuned for a deep dive into my favorite stories of the year—hopefully to be posted this week—and… Continue reading Tar Vol Reads a Magazine (or Two): Reviews of Clarkesworld and GigaNotoSaurus (December 2023)

Reviews

Fantasy Novel Review: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty

The elevator pitch for Shannon Chakraborty’s The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi is almost perfectly tailored to make me skip it. It’s an action-adventure tale on the high seas, with all manner of demons and demigods causing chaos at every turn. As a reader who doesn’t much care for action-heavy fantasy, nautical settings, or demigods, it… Continue reading Fantasy Novel Review: The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty