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I think people are quite aware of my opinion that the world needs more great lesbian Regency romances. Rose Fox has written a delightful novelette to this end that's freely available at Archive of Our Own. Here's the summary from the site: "Lady Darby's niece is a scandalous tribade. So is Lady Montgomery's daughter. And who ever heard of a society mama who could resist the chance to matchmake?"

In this second novel in de Bodard's "Dominion of the Fallen" world, that world expands much further to encompass the dragon empire under the Seine and its political complexities and entanglements with the Houses ruled by fallen angels. As before, we get a dystopia of ruthless power and magic and the precarious position of ordinary mortals whose only safety is to tie their allegiance to a stronger being.

“The Price of Meat” is a horror novelette set in a mildly alt-historical London with casual inclusion of both female and male same-sex couples while definitely not being a romance in format. The setting and characters have the feel of being spun off of an existing alternate history setting--as if we’re expected to be familiar with the two men and their backstory, and with the points of historical divergence established economically in the opening paragraph--but the author indicates otherwise.

The musical Hamilton has quite deservedly stirred up a lot of interest in the Revolutionary War era and, from a separate angle, in history as experienced through lives that don’t fit the straight white male Christian default.

I'm in the unusual position of having a number of review to-dos stacked up. Rather than scheduling them for the next half dozen Fridays, let's just have some extras now.

My impressions of this book shifted a lot during the process or reading it. For much of the middle, I was afraid it was going to be one of those “liked but didn’t love” books, and then things really ramped up in the last couple of chapters. Ramped up almost too quickly, in fact, but the shift meant that I was left with a much stronger liking for the book than I thought I would.

I always mean to do these book intake posts more regularly. (Maybe I have and I failed to tag them properly?) But the point when I say, "I need to get these in the spreadsheet so I can shelve them" is at least a reasonable trigger. And it's well past time that I cataloged books I picked up on my travels in Europe last year! So, in some vaguely thematic groupings:

Books bought at Worldcon in Helsinki

There will proably be spoilers in this review, although I'm not really going to be focusing much on plot issues--more just a jumbled collection of emotional reactions. But if you haven't seen the movie and don't want any substantial elements spoiled, don't read this.

OK, are we all still on the same page?

Just a few quick notes or they'll get lost in the vacation/holiday shuffle.

I bought Barbary Station by R.E. Stearns based on the response of various advance reviewers that boiled down to “lesbian space pirates; what more could you want?” Well, evidently I want more. Barbary Station appears to be a competently written space opera involving pirates, malevolent AIs, and bionically-enhanced cyber-hacking engineers. The central protagonists are a same-sex couple in a pre-existing and utterly taken for granted relationship. But having gotten four chapters in, I have yet to find myself caring what happens to them or whether they succeed.


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