Review: Necessity by Jo Walton
Reviews / August 8, 2016

Necessity is the final book in the Thessaly trilogy by Jo Walton. As the story continues generations from the start of the series, we find the citizens doing very well, integrating themselves into the interstellar world. There are alien residents and traders visiting the planet. The individual cities seem to be thriving, and people are free to move wherever they feel best fits their personal ideology. It is utopia, finally (or at least much closer than they had achieved previously). But there are complications caused by a sudden death and then a nearing spaceship that will be their first interactions with space humans which kick our story for this final chapter in the series. I have to say, my reading experience with this one was a little different than the first two. Both The Just City and Philosopher Kings seemed to create a more philosophical undertone to them that I just didn’t find in Necessity. The Just City really showed how rigid structure, even when it is with the best intentions, creates a new set of problems. It also explored what constitutes a thinking being, at what point does artificial intelligence become independent and an individual. Philosopher Kings took a strong look at forgiveness versus vengeance,…

Upcoming Releases: July 10 – 16, 2016
Upcoming Releases / July 9, 2016

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   FANTASY             URBAN FANTASY     SCIENCE FICTION         HORROR     FANTASY          URBAN FANTASY           SCIENCE FICTION           HORROR   Arabella of Mars Levine, David D. 7/12/2016 Tor Books Drowned Worlds Jonathan Strahan 7/12/2016 Solaris Invaders Jacob Weisman 7/12/2016 Tachyon It Happened One Doomsday Laurence MacNaughton 7/12/2016 Pyr Necessity Jo Walton 7/12/2016 Tor Red Queen Christina Henry 7/12/2016 Ace Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell Paul Kane 7/12/2016 Solaris The Devourers Indra Das 7/12/2016 Del Rey The Ghoul King Guy Haley 7/12/2016 The Stars Askew Rjurik Davidson 7/12/2016 Tor Time Siege Chu, Wesley 7/12/2016 Tor Books  

Review: The Just City by Jo Walton
Reviews / January 6, 2016

A very thought provoking and insightful book that makes you question the way things are in the world, as well as how they could be (and if that “other way” would really be better or worse). The Just City is an experiment carried out with by a Goddess. Her goal was to create perfectly balanced society where its citizens are judged solely on their own merits and abilities. There is to be no preferential treatment, people there should want to be their best selves and strive to do right by the city. If everyone lives by this code, then the city should thrive. The adults (or “masters”) in the city were all prayed to Pallas Athene for exactly this opportunity. They expressed a desire and interest to come to this. Many of them are people famous for their ideas and efforts during their times in history. The children however, were brought to the city under different circumstances. The city needed children for the experiment to work, but there was controversy over how to best do this. How can you best populate a new city with over ten thousand 10 year olds? It makes for an interesting dynamic. Since the masters…

The Speculative Herald’s Best of 2015
Book List / December 5, 2015

  One of the perks I’ve found with working with several bloggers is that we can cover more books than we have time to read on our own. So, when it came time to make our Best of 2015 list, I decided to ask each of the contributors to submit a ranked list of their favorite books (yep, I’m mean like that. Choosing favorites can be hard, ranking is even harder). I then used a scaled points system to calculate an over all list. So, the end result features a variety of books that either several of us agreed belong in the top 10, or books that perhaps just one reviewer read, but placed in their high on their ranked choices of the year. With so many great choices we had to expand our collaborative list past just 10 books to 25. Since our blog started late in the year, many of these books do not currently have reviews here. But we do plan on adding them, so keep your eye out. So here it is, Speculative Herald’s list of our absolute favorite books from 2015! And because I like to get straight to the good stuff, I am listing them in order starting with…