‘We Have Always Been Here’ | 6 SF books written by diverse authors on my TBR

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It is the second week of SciFiMonth 2019. Ship systems are running nominally and the journey is now well underway. Home sickness is likely to be setting in for some of our fellow traveler’s so I wanted to spend this week talking about something Earth related – SF books written by diverse authors who are on my TBR. As a diverse book blogger, I am unsurprisingly here for all of the diverse fiction but SF written by diverse authors (which include authors of marginalized genders, authors of colour, queer and disabled authors for example) have a special place in my heart not only because I love the genre so much but also because diverse authors have been continuously erased from the genre. Diverse authors writing SF is not a new phenomena, they have always been there though they have been systematically erased and obscured by straight white able-bodied cis men. There is a wonderful array of diverse SF out there which deserve to be read, discussed and celebrated.

Whenever I usually talk about diverse SF, I find myself often bringing up the same examples over and over again either as books I have read (eg: Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers and Kaia Sønderby’s Failure to Communicate) or SF books on my TBR (such as poor Everfair by Nisi Shawl which has been waiting forever to be read as well as An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon). To avoid playing the same records (even if they are are wonderful records) to many times, I thought it would be fun to share with you all some books on my TBR that I’m excited to read that I don’t often give space for on my blog. Hope you enjoy.

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Osiris by E.J Swift

I was very fortunate to receive a beautiful hardback edition of Osiris from the author during a giveaway on her Twitter but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, although I am constantly, eagerly eyeing it up on my shelf. I love water-themed SF and this near-future dystopian “cli-fi” looks very much up my street with its story revolving around revolution, politics, class and rising seas.

 

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The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz

This has been on my TBR for so long and I want to read it so bad but keep forgetting about it. It’s an incredibly cool sounding novella about a migrant AI technician and an illegal autonomous robot which is described on the goodreads page as an “f/f retro-future sci-fi asexual romance” and which is “a story about artificial intelligence and real kindness, about love, and the feeling of watching steam rising softly from a teacup on a bright and quiet morning” which sounds like everything I want.

 

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The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

Another fantastic sounding book that I managed to win in a giveaway from Angry Robot at Easter Con this year and one which I’m super excited to read. One of the main things that makes me so excited to read The Outside is its autistic scientist protagonist as it’s still really uncommon to find autistic women as lead protagonists in SF! Unsurprisingly, I am also super here for its AI Gods.

 

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The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist by S.L Huang

The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist is another little novella that I am very interested in which, I believe, I discovered through Alexa’s blog. Usually I don’t go in for retellings but this dark SF little mermaid retelling sounds amazing. It features “atargati”, sentient deep-water beings, and the fascination of a scientist to learn everything she can about the atargati, no matter the cost.

 

 

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The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden

I’m still yet to read my first Nicky Drayden, which is a travesty tbh because I’ve heard nothing but great things about her. I’ve mostly seen bloggers talking about Temper, which does sound great, but The Prey of Gods is one that has really captured my attention. Set in South Africa, The Prey of Gods features a diverse character cast and personal robots, class, politics, and human-AI relations. Also, that cover!!

 

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Accessing the Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction edited by Kathryn Allan and Djibril al-Ayad

Accessing the Future was a very recent addition to my TBR that I discovered the “readers also enjoyed” feature on Goodreads. It contains work by 15 authors and 9 artists on the topic of disabilities and mental illness in the future which makes me super happy as its still difficult to find positive disabled representation in SF.

 


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Planet Zoo | First Impressions + Gaming Diary

Planet Zoo | First Impressions + Gaming Diary

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Released just a few days ago on the 5th November by Frontier Developments, Planet Zoo is a game that has been on everyone’s lips and, as I was lucky enough to be able to buy it on launch day and already log 17 hours of playtime, I thought I’d share with you some of my initial thoughts of the game, some of the adventures that I’ve been on with my zoos, and some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up.

Like a lot of other gamers, I loved Zoo Tycoon but hadn’t played it in years due to the outdated graphics and simplified game story. When I saw Planet Zoo trailer drop at E3 earlier in the year I was over the moon. The graphics and amount of detail put into the game looked incredible, the creative possibilities for building elaborate zoo enclosures and zoo park’s seemed endless, and the focus on animal welfare and conservation made me super happy. From the moment I finished watching the trailer at E3 to release day on November 5th, I have kept up with Planet Zoo developments and eagerly marked off the days in the lead up to release day. Although there was an opportunity to play Planet Zoo a month or two in advance for customers who had pre-ordered the game on Steam, I preferred to wait until the full game was released before playing. So, how does the game match up to my expectations going in?

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9 Favorite Themes & Features in SF

For those who might have missed my launch post, this month I am on a very exciting voyage into space with my fellow SciFiMonth travelers. Whilst onboard we will be reading, playing and discussing all things Sci-Fi for the entire month of November! In honor of this journey, I will be sharing some lists throughout the month of some of my favorite SF-themed things.

Today’s edition is: Favourite Themes and Features in SF. In case you didn’t already know, SF is my favorite genre so it should come as no surprise that there are lots of recurring themes and features within the genre that make me love it so much. Here I’ll be sharing some of my favorite themes and features with you. In addition to telling you a bit about each theme or feature, I’ve listed some recommendations of books, films and/or video games which deal with them. These are a mixture of books, films and video games which I’ve read/watched/played with some that I haven’t gotten around to yet. Those that I haven’t engaged with will be marked with a *. (Also fair warning there are a lot of repeats because my knowledge is still limited!) Make sure you drop a comment letting me know what yours are too!

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Upcoming Video Game Releases 2019 that are here to take all my money

Upcoming Video Game Releases 2019 that are here to take all my money

Throughout the year I’ve been keeping a close eye on 2019 video game releases because there have been a tonne of great releases so far this year. But, the year is not over yet and there are several games due for release in this month along that I am super hyped for. As November is the month when most of these games are being released and I’ve been giving a lot of thought about which ones I can attempt to justify buying, I thought it would be good to do a post sharing my gaming purchase dilemmas with you all. If you want to add me on Steam then you can find me here or drop me a message for my Switch friend code!

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Upcoming Releases

 

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Planet Zoo (PC)
5th November 2019 – £34.99

I have been eagerly keeping an eye out for the Planet Zoo release date after seeing the announcement drop at E3 earlier in the year. I love how the game looks and the focus that it will have on conservation and enrichment. I’ve been signed up to the Planet Zoo developer email since E3 and have been enjoying all of the updates I’ve been seeing over the past few months so this is one I’m definitely going to be buying on release day. The only slight disappointment is that I had assumed Planet Zoo would not be PC exclusive as it seems like the perfect game for the Switch (which is the platform I had been intending to buy it on). However, the studio confirmed that it’s only been set for PC release which is sad.

 

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Death Stranding (PS4)
8th November 2019 – £54.99

Death Stranding is another one I’ve been keeping my eye on, especially as it was first announced in 2017 so we’ve had a long wait! However, the more I’ve seen of Death Stranding the more uncertain I’ve become over whether it’s something I actually want to play or not and the mixed reviews that have been coming out over the past few days certainly haven’t helped me make a decision one way or another. For now, I’ve decided it’s not worth paying full price for but I might invest in it once the game has dropped in price. Otherwise it’ll be one to watch via playthrough.

 

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The Sims 4: Discover University Expansion Pack (PC)
14th November 2019 – £34.99

The University Expansion pack for the Sims 3 is one of my all-time favourite Sims packs so I am overjoyed that there is going to be a University expansion pack for The Sims 4 and that it’s about to be released! I completely missed the announcement and only encountered it by chance when I fell into a Sims 4 hole last week thanks to a Halloween sale. As there are so many games coming out this month alone, I’m not sure if my budget can stretch to buying it at the moment so I might have to wait a little while until I can experience the joy *sobs*

 

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Pokemon Sword and Shield (Nintendo Switch)
15th November 2019 – £44.99

The new Pokemon game is another one I’m going to have to wait to get my hands on which is making me SO SAD because I have been super hyped for it for ages. I had decided pretty early on which one I’m going to get (Shield) and have been thrilled to see some of the announcements around the Shield Pokemon (like the Galar Ponyta!!) I’m very excited to see what the new game has to offer us.

 

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STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order (PC/PS4/Xbox)
15th November 2019 – £54.99

Jedi: Fallen Order is another E3 drop that I was very intrigued by. I love a good Star Wars game especially one that is single-player and I enjoyed watching the trailers and gameplay at E3. This was one I knew I wouldn’t be likely to afford when it came but luckily for me it’s included with Origin Premier which I am a subscriber to so I’ll be able to play this when it comes out!!

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Recently Released Games

In addition to the upcoming releases, there are a few recently released games that have come out which I have been wanting to get my hands on but again (boo, boring finances, boo) haven’t been able to with the exception of the first game I’ll be mentioning!

 

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The Outer Worlds (PS4)
25th October 2019 – £49.99

The Outer Worlds was one of my most anticipated game releases for this year and I completely dropped the ball on the release, not realizing it had been released until I saw someone I follow on Twitter post a picture of their loading screen. Thankfully the release almost perfectly coincided with the approval of my doctoral loan (after 3 months of hell stress) so myself and my partner agreed I could buy it as a reward for myself. We started playing it last night and it is so good and everything that I hoped it would be. It is the perfect Space Fallout game, complete with some Bioshockesque aesthetics which makes my little heart so happy.

 

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Ring Fit Adventure (Nintendo Switch)
18th October 2019 – £64.99-£80.99

For the past 10 years, I’ve kept wanting to get fitter but find it really hard to engage with fitness things outside of the house for various reasons (financial, self-esteem, fibromyalgia, etc). I loved the Wii Fit and used to use it all the time as a teenager and have been holding out for some kind of fitness thing for the Switch. I like the look of the Ring Fit although it is definitely out of my price range for the time being but is something I would love to consider getting in the future.

 

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Neo Cab (PC/Nintendo Switch)
3rd October 2019 – £11.40

Neo Cab was one of my favourite things to come out of LudoNarraCon back in February but sadly I haven’t been able to purchase it yet. I’ve heard great things from people who have played it so it’s one I’ve got my eye on to get for the Switch when I can.

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What are some of the game releases that you’re looking forward to? Or are there some games which have recently been released that you’ve been keeping your eye on or already own that you’ve been playing?


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November TBR | SciFiMonth 2019

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I can’t quite believe how long it’s been since I posted my last post on this blog (25th September) and how quickly time seems to have flown. Things have been quite hectic for me since starting my PhD in September for various reasons including, most recently, a huge mess up with my doctoral loan which caused untold stress. But, for now, that is all besides the point because today I have quickly shoved my lowly human woes to the back of the closet so that I can make space for my favourite month of the yearSciFiMonth! It’s been a bit of a chaotic rush to tie up some loose Earthly ties, throw a load of miscellaneous items in my space-faring rucksack, and rush over in time to catch the SciFiMonth ship before it departed but I made it and I’m ready to report.

 

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