Category Archives: Steven Polansky

January Through June 2011 Reads – Star Ratings

Books I read in January through June this year. Separated into star ratings, then listed by order in which I read them. All up at GoodReads. Some reviews here on my WordPress. Does not include books that I didn’t finish, because I’ve deleted them from my catalogue, and likely my memory.

Let me know if you decide to read or not to read them, based on my ratings. Because yes, I am that egocentric 😉

5 STARS: Rage (Jackie Morse Kessler), American Vampire (Jennifer Armintrout), Project 17 (Laurie Faria Stolarz), The Gathering (Kelley Armstrong), The Repossession Mambo/Repo Men (Eric Garcia), Moongazer (Marianne Mancusi), Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Girl Hero (Carrie Jones)

4 STARS: Outside In (Maria V. Snyder), Stocking Full of Coal (Amanda Feral), The Walled Garden (Michele Lang), The Shadow Runners (Liz Maverick), The Vespertine (Saundra Mitchell), Linger (Maggie Stiefvater), Dark Life (Kat Falls), Demonized (Naomi Clark), The Reckoning (Kelley Armstrong), Midnight Alley (Rachel Caine), Feast of Fools (Rachel Caine), Lord of Misrule (Rachel Caine), Carpe Corpus (Rachel Caine), Fade Out (Rachel Caine), Coming Home (P. D. Martin), Kiss of Death (Rachel Caine), XVI (Julia Karr), Ghost Town (Rachel Caine), The Girl in the Steel Corset (Kady Cross), Matched (Ally Condie), Uninvited (Amanda Marrone), The Bradbury Report (Steven Polansky), Uninvited (Justine Musk), Exile (Rebecca Lim), Helper12 (Jack Blaine), Darkness Becomes Her (Kelly Keaton)

3 STARS: Jealousy (Lili St. Crow), Among the Betrayed (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Among the Barons (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Becoming (Kelley Armstrong), Shadow Days (Andrea Cremer), Day of Fire (Kathleen Nance), Dreaming Anastasia (Joy Preble), Things Bogans Like, Beyond Heaving Bosoms (Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan), Fugitives (Alexander Gordon Smith), The Power of Two (Patti O’Shea), Coming Undone (Lauren Dane), In the Arms of Stone Angels (Jordan Dane), The Iron Witch (Karen Mahoney), Damaged (Yolanda Sfetsos), Falling Freestyle (Vivian Arend), Jeweled (Anya Bast), Thyla (Kate Gordon), It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One (Alex Borstein & Cherry Chevapravatdumrong), Burn Bright (Marianne de Pierres), A Touch Mortal (Leah Clifford), Night and Chaos (Naomi Clark), Savage Transformation (Lexxie Couper), The Official Illustrated Guide (Stephenie Meyer), Exit Strategy (Kelley Armstrong), Made to Be Broken (Kelley Armstrong), You Are So Undead to Me (Stacey Jay), Hereafter (Tara Hudson), Relentless (Lauren Dane), The Scarlet Empress (Susan Grant), Close Encounters (Katherine Allred), Perfect Cover (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), Killer Spirit (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), West End (Laura Van Wormer), Moon Sworn (Keri Arthur)

2 STARS: Defiance (Lili St. Crow)

[REVIEW] The Bradbury Report – Steven Polansky

Steven Polansky
The Bradbury Report
Perseus Weinstein Books (US: 4th October 2011)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

When someone needs a new organ, he can obtain one from his clone – or any clone. The copies live in the Clearances, deliberately separated from their originals, and never the two shall meet. But one of the copies has escaped, and anti-cloning protestor Anna recognises him. Thus sixty-something-year-old widower Ray meets his twenty-something-year-old clone.

The anti-cloning group plans for Ray to write a report about life with his copy, Alan. Anna and Ray become Alan’s teachers, caretakers, and family, meant to groom him for becoming an anti-cloning spokesperson.

The framing device is pseudonymous “Ray’s” report. On page 2 he states, “I have never had a sense of humour,” which immediately makes it difficult for readers to want to connect with him. His specialty is teaching mathematics, so he admits he’s not much of a writer. That could explain why Steven Polansky’s publishers let him keep infodump – and naming characters Anna and Ann, both mentioned in the same sentence – under the guise of being true to Ray’s character or whatever, but it doesn’t work. I came close to quitting this on more than one occasion.

My favourite TV shows are boundary-pushing animated comedies, thus The Bradbury Report is an unexpected delight that may well suit fans of South Park and the works of Seth MacFarlane – you’ll understand why. But it’s also heart-breaking, particularly when echolalia-ridden Alan is told of how and why he came into existence.

The Bradbury Report has a sci-fi heart in a literary body. The subject matter is fascinating, but often presented in a way that didn’t immediately connect with this genre-preferring reader. This is similar to my experience with Liz Jensen’s The Rapture – the structure often made me lose interest, but when the story’s good, it’s very bloody good.

The Bradbury Report is a slow novel, almost seeming like vignettes rather than a cohesive whole, and Mr. Polansky has won awards for a short-story collection. But The Bradbury Report creates a strange but unforgettable reading experience. A paperback edition is due out later this year – you’d be wise to give it a crack.

Adult Releases – 2010 & Beyond

Since I listed YA Releases yesterday, it’s only fair that I list the adult ones today. Only I don’t like using the term “adult” – makes the books sound skeevy. They may BE skeevy, but we don’t have to advertise them that way 😉

Disclaimer: Does not include every title, stuff I’ve already read isn’t included, only listing them if I have release dates, may be reprints and international editions, etc… Check my Reading Wishlist for more titles.

MARIO ACEVEDO – Werewolf Smackdown – 24 Feb 2010/9 Mar 2010/15 Feb 2011
ANN AGUIRRE – Hell Fire – 6 Apr 2010/10 Jun 2010
ANN AGUIRRE – Killbox – Sep 2010
ANN AGUIRRE – Shady Lady – 1 Aug 2011
KATHERINE ALLRED – Close Contact – 5 May 2010/25 May 2010
JENNIFER ARMINTROUT – American Vampire – Dec 2010
KELLEY ARMSTRONG – Tales of the Otherworld – 13 Apr 2010
KELLEY ARMSTRONG – Waking the Witch – 3 Aug 2010/5 Aug 2010
KERI ARTHUR – Moon Sworn – 25 May 2010/3 Jun 2010
KERI ARTHUR – Mercy Burns – 7 Oct 2010/28 Dec 2010
ANYA BAST – Wicked Enchantment – 5 Jan 2010/18 Mar 2010
ANYA BAST – Cruel Enchantment – Sep 2010
ANYA BAST – Jeweled – Nov 2010
JES BATTIS – Inhuman Resources – 25 May 2010
LAURA BICKLE – Embers – 30 Mar 2010/31 May 2010
LAURA BICKLE – Sparks – 31 Aug 2010
KYLIE CHAN – Earth to Hell – 1 Jan 2010
CAROLYN CRANE – Mind Games – 23 Mar 2010
SARA CREASY – Song of Scarabaeus – 7 Apr 2010/27 Apr 2010
SARA CREASY – Children of Scarabaeus – 15 Nov 2010
SEAN CUMMINGS – Shade Fright – 1 Mar 2010
LAUREN DANE – Coming Undone – 5 Jan 2010
LAUREN DANE – Insatiable – 6 Jul 2010
LAUREN DANE – Inside Out – Nov 2010
CLAIRE DELACROIX – Rebel – 1 Oct 2010
LORI DEVOTI – Amazon Queen – 27 Apr 2010/28 Jun 2010
KELLY GAY – The Darkest Edge of Dawn – 31 Aug 2010
MIRA GRANT – Feed – 27 Apr 2010/3 Jun 2010
LAURELL K. HAMILTON – Flirt – 2 Feb 2010
KIM HARRISON – Black Magic Sanction – 10 Feb 2010/23 Feb 2010/29 Apr 2010
MEGAN HART – Switch – 1 Jan 2010
MEGAN HART – Naked – Jul 2010
MEGAN HART – Selfish Is the Heart – Oct 2010
MEGAN HART – Somewhere Only We Know – Jan 2011
MEGAN HART – Collide – Jul 2011
ERICA HAYES – Shadowglass – 2 Mar 2010
MARK HENRY – Battle of the Network Zombies – 23 Feb 2010/2 Mar 2010
JEANNIE HOLMES – Blood Law – 22 Jun 2010
KERRIE HUGHES (ed.) – Chicks Kick Ass – 2011
STACIA KANE – Unholy Ghosts – 25 May 2010/27 May 2010
STACIA KANE – Unholy Magic – 22 Jun 2010
STACIA KANE – City of Ghosts – 27 Jul 2010
CAITLIN KITTREDGE – Daemon’s Mark – 2 Mar 2010/25 May 2010/28 Jun 2010
RICHELLE MEAD – Succubus Shadows – 18 Mar 2010/30 Mar 2010
RICHELLE MEAD – Iron Crowned – Jan 2011
TRACEY O’HARA – Death’s Sweet Embrace – 15 Aug 2010
TRACEY O’HARA – Sin’s Dark Caress – 15 Aug 2011
VICKI PETTERSSON – Cheat the Grave – 8 Jun 2010
STEVEN POLANSKY – The Bradbury Report – 6 Apr 2010/3 Mar 2011
KAT RICHARDSON – Labyrinth – 3 Aug 2010/5 Aug 2010
DIANA ROWLAND – Blood of the Demon – 23 Feb 2010
JERI SMITH-READY – Bring On the Night – 27 Jul 2010
JEFF SOMERS – The Terminal State – 5 Aug 2010
K. A. STEWART – A Devil in the Details – 6 Jul 2010
LESLIE TENTLER – Midnight Caller – Feb 2011
RACHEL VINCENT – Shift – 19 Feb 2010/1 Mar 2010
JOSS WARE – Beyond the Night – 12 Jan 2010
JOSS WARE – Embrace the Night Eternal – 9 Feb 2010
JOSS WARE – Abandon the Night – 3 Feb 2010/9 Mar 2010
SKYLER WHITE – And Falling Fly – 2 Mar 2010
SKYLER WHITE – In Dreams Begin – Dec 2010
ALAYNA WILLIAMS – Dark Oracle – 25 May 2010
GAYLE ANN WILLIAMS – Tsunami Blue – 1 Apr 2010