Story Time Reviews “Valedictorian” by N. K. Jemisin

Story Time Reviews remembers the joy of listening to bedtime stories. Today Story Time Reviews “Valedictorian” by N. K. Jemisin read by LeVar Burton. For those who prefer the print version, you can find it in the December 2014 (Issue 55) of Lightspeed Magazine. Where to Find the Story “Valedictorian” © 2012 by N. K. Jemisin. After: Nineteen Stories of Apocolapse and Dystopia, edited by Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow. It also appears in N. K. Jemisin’s collection How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? The February 3, 2020 episode of the reading lasts 56:21 minutes. It is available on the LeVar Burton podcast, Apple podcasts, and Stitcher. The Story A brief description: A smart, stubborn high school student sets her own rules in a near-future dystopia.  This short story (5939 words) takes place in a complex future many years after a devastating war. Spare and powerful words describe a layered society and characters with conflicting desires. Zinhle, a senior in high school, lives inside a “Firewall” with people like her. She excels in school and despairs that none of her classmates or teachers challenge her. Everyone strives to be mediocre because when graduation comes, there will be change. Her desire […]

First Line Friday Full of SF&F Love

February’s First Line Friday Full of SF&F Love Stories is part of a series of blog articles posted on the first Friday of every month. The first line of a story, we’re told, must hook the reader. Implied is that the reader will not buy the book if the first line isn’t great. These entries are from Amazon, my personal library, or other online booksellers. Do these first lines hook you? Do you want to read more? When Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus walked back into her life, Ash smiled because she knew it would piss him off. Shades of Treason: An Anomaly Novel by Sandy Williams “Lady Mother,” Adena whispered, lips barely moving. “I don’t think I can do this.” Chosen by the Rakian Commander: Rakian Warrior Mates by Elin Wyn Not long ago, the sweaty hand snaking up my skirt toward my ass would have turned to mummy dust on contact, but I restrained myself. To Catch a Stolen Soul: A djinn haven story by R.L. Naquin “Mom?” I pushed my headphones off my ears and looked at my bedroom door. I could have sworn I heard a scream. Defy the Ravaged: Matron’s Watchmen Book 1 by […]

First Lines Friday Salute

 This month it’s a First Lines Friday Salute in science fiction and fantasy novels. In these stories, the heroines battle to save the day. And this post is intended to allow you to find fun fiction to read. But in the real world, Wednesday, November 11, 2020 is Veterans Day. A day to salute, to honor, our veterans. The real men and women—mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons—who fought in World War I and all wars—made real-life sacrifices. Salute to you—one and all. First Lines in Military SF&F If you enjoy strong female characters AND a science fiction or fantasy story about military folk, take a gander. You’re sure to find one or two titles to your liking. (Note: these posts never have any affiliate links. They are for your convenience and pleasure.) “Where do you think you’re going, little green man?” The Dark of Light: Epic Interstellar Adventure (Starhawke Rising Book 1) by Audrey Sharpe  The flight attendant stepped up to her seat—4E—which had never been her favorite on a 767-300.  Drone: an NTSB / military technothriller (Miranda Chase Book 1)  by M. L. Buchman  Book 1 of 4 “I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” Yulda grumbled.  Pain of […]