On Mathematics and Fiction

But there are stories where the math is simultaneously central to the story, while also speculative enough to count as genre. . . . [Like] Robert Heinlein’s “—And He Built a Crooked House,” where a design based on a 3D projection of a four-dimensional shape actually shifts to an upper dimension during a minor earthquake.

Mathematical fiction! For a math geek who is also a literature geek, this is the sensation of geek squared. Read my full essay at AE.

Book Review: Ashes of Candesce

You can tell that Ashes of Candesce is a series finale. The heroes of the four previous books all come together for the first time. The stakes are higher than they’ve ever been. And almost every dangling plot thread, including some from the very first book, is finally tied off. If you weren’t entirely sure if the saga was finished or not, the book is capped with an epilogue for good measure.

Read my final Virga review at AE.

Book Review: Queen of Candesce

With book two of Virga, we pick up directly where we left off in the previous book, at least in one sense. . . . [But] [i]f Sun of Suns was sci-fi Treasure Island, with elements of coming-of-age, saving the day, and finding the long-lost pirate hoard, then Queen of Candesce is Henry VIII or Julius Caesar. . . . It’s a tale of intrigue and courtly politics, unlikely alliances and sudden reversals of fortune.

I forgot to post this, apparently. I’ve had the draft with the pointer to AE sitting here since June. Since my final Virga review goes up next week, here, belatedly, is Book Two.

Book Review: The Sunless Countries

In four books Schroeder has had four completely different main characters, in four completely different locales within Virga, with four completely different (immediate) plots. There’s a larger story, but Schroeder has almost been building it up by sonar. We’ve been getting a sense of larger, looming events by a series of glancing blows — collisions between our many protagonists and the greater story, as they pursue their own ends. But with Book Four, The Sunless Countries, one gets the distinct impression that we’re almost at the main event.

Read all about it at AE. One more Virga book to go.

Restaurant Review: The Pizza Oven

. . .I love these weird, out of the way places. It’s kind of like ecology. Every crack in the sidewalk, life takes root, plants find their tiny patch of soil and sunshine. Small business does that, too, finding economic niches in the oddest spots. Perhaps no species is more versatile than the pizza delivery place.

Fresh, oven-baked copy over at the Spectator Tribune. Get it while it’s hot.

Book Review: The Universe Versus Alex Woods

When Alexander Morgan Woods was 10 years old, he was hit on the head by a meteorite. It passed through his roof as if it were papier-maché and split open his skull like it was a soft-boiled egg. But that’s not the most important part of the story. What matters is what came after.

Because after any tramautic event, life goes on and we keep pushing forward, bearing every bruise and scar we collect along the way. Read the rest of my review at the Winnipeg Free Press, and perhaps you’ll decide you want to read the book as well.