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Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Christina Lauren, Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
Progress: 152/418 pages

Tie-in books don't have to be bad

My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek, Book 18) - Diane Duane

People tend to stick up their noses at tie-in books - the titles created to expand the story of created universes.  By and large, they do tend to be formulaic.  This book proves that a tie-in book can be as good as anything being published.  It has a great theme - sometimes, the most patriotic thing a person can do is commit treason.  The opening line hooked me ("Her name, to which various people had recently been appending curses, was Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu."), and I remember staying up all night to finish it.  Come to think of it, I was hooked by the Romulan proverb in the preface ("Of the chief Parts of the Ruling Passion, only this can be truly said: Hate has a reason for everything. But love is unreasonable")  It is, by turns, funny, exciting, and heart-breaking.  If you have any interest at all in the original Star Trek universe, you should read this. 

Science Fiction that Rocks

Year Zero - Rob  Reid

Lawyer Nick Carter thought he had problems - and then two aliens walked into his office.  It seems the universe loves Terran pop music - and in their hunger for material, have committed copyright violations of literally galactic proportions.  Earth now owns the known universe, and some aliens are very unhappy about this.  They can pay the fines - or wipe out Earth.  Can Nick Carter save the planet, settle the case, get the girl, and make partner?  Read to find out.

Well, that wasted a few hours of my life.

Blackmantle - Patricia Kennealy-Morrison

I like fantasy and science fiction.  I don't mind crazy premises, or mixing science and magic, or any number of impossible things.  What don't I like?  An author working out their weird psychodrama in their book, and not being at all subtle about it.  I really enjoyed the first book in her "Celts in Space" series (The Copper Crown) - not great lit by any means, but a fun read.  But the series went down hill, and it hits rock bottom in this over-sized turkey.  Who needs a heroine who is not at all heroic?  Not me.  (if you ignore my warnings and read this book, wait until you get to the scene with the bees.)  I kept this book on my shelf for many years, just so I would remember to avoid purchasing any more titles from the author.