“Lonely Werewolf Girl” is a bittersweet tale of friendship and werewolf fashion

By Chris Braak at io9
Internecine politics, clan rivalries, and werewolf-posturing serve as the backdrop for World Fantasy Award winner Martin Millar’s novel Lonely Werewolf Girl, a story about anxiety and the slow agony of making friends.

Lonely Werewolf Girl is the story of Kalix MacRInnalch, a laudanum-addicted, socially-anxious, anorexic, bipolar werewolf who, in a fit of rage, grievously injured her father, and was cast out from the family’s estates in the Scottish Highlands. She has made her way to London, living as a street urchin and surviving only by virtue of her supernatural nature. Werewolf politics, however, have made her important to the family once again, and she becomes the object of the attention of her two ruthless brothers, in addition to a wide variety of werewolf hunters and, by her own good luck, a pair of improbably kind university students.

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More Book Recs: Diverse Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy

via Rose Fox at Publisher’s Weekly
“Is there a chance that you could highlight multicultural UF or Paranormal Romance? A lot of the heroes and heroines I read are pretty white-bread, and I feel like there’s got to be more out there that I’m missing…”

There’s not as much of it as I’d like to see, but it’s out there! Alaya Johnson’s Moonshine and Terrance Taylor’s Bite Marks and Blood Pressure have a lot of fun with non-white supernatural entities in historical New York. I’ve heard great things about L.A. Banks’s Vampire Huntress books (and their emphatically non-whitewashed covers; kudos to St. Martin’s). S.J. Day’s urban fantasy Eve series has a Japanese-American protagonist. Jane Lindskold’s Thirteen Orphans et seq. are Chinese-influenced UF, and Eileen Rendahl’s Don’t Kill the Messenger is Chinese-influenced PR. Mario Acevedo’s Felix Gomez and Marta Acosta’s Milagro de Los Santos are Hispanic vampires, and Laura Anne Gilman’s Hard Magic et seq. feature Hispanic forensic magician Bonita Torres (who first appeared in the Retrievers series). Charles de Lint, the original urban fantasist, has a ton of Native American characters.

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Diversity Versus Intolerance In Science Fiction Romance by Nancy J. Cohen

via Heather Massey at Galaxy Express
Science Fiction, and by extension, Science Fiction Romance, often deals with relevant issues in the news, thinly disguised in an otherworldly setting. Remember the old Star Trek episode with the species whose face was half white and half black? Just looking at that guy brought to mind our own prejudices here on Earth. Star Trek was so popular because it showed that different races could live and work together in harmony.

The third book in my Light-Years Trilogy, Starlight Child, deals with racial relations and intolerance. In this case, it’s two different species that are involved, humans and Yanurans. My heroes have opposing attitudes toward the Yanurans, motivated by incidents from their pasts. A child has been kidnapped, and Deke and Mara are assigned the task of searching for her on Yanura.

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Video Games Do Matter: Questions for Tom Bissell

by Tom at Omnivoracious
Aside from a short trip down the rabbit hole with Sid Meier’s world-building sim Civilization III back in the late ’90s (see below), I’ve largely let the last two decades of video game culture pass me by. Not really out of distaste or even disinterest–I think in part I was (and still am) afraid of what would happen if I let myself get swallowed by the machine. Would I still be a functioning member of society? Would I ever read a book again? Nevertheless, I could tell from a distance that things were developing there in a way that went beyond the arcade games and fat-pixel consoles of my youth. So I immediately perked up when I noticed Tom Bissell’s new book, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter on the horizon. When we say “value,” we’re not talking about the sort of increases-your-eye-hand-coordination argument that’s often made in favor of video games. This is really an aesthetic claim that you’re making.

Bissell: Yeah, I think there’s a number of games, maybe not many, certainly not as many as I would like, but there are a number of games that have really given me a first-class aesthetic experience.

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I have to agree that there are video games out there that have better stories and are more entertaining (even to  just watch) than some movies. They are just as valuable as movies, and have the potential to be better.

What draws you to Sci Fi/Paranormal Romance books? Do you think video games are important to society?