Wyrd & Wonder 2020

This is my first time participating in Wyrd and Wonder. I would love to go all in with a big TBR list for the month of May, but time and obligations are not on my side. I’m just reading and reviewing one book:

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle. The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

This not considered a fantasy book in the strictest sense, but it is the first one that I’ve heard referred to repeatedly as “science fantasy” due to its physics (or magic, as some reviewers insist on calling it.) I’m intrigued by the idea of when science becomes magic to readers, and just how close SF can get to F until it becomes SFF. Exactly what makes something fantasy? I could read a straight sword & sorcery, but I want to push the envelope this month.

Because I’m only reading one book, I can’t compete with all the prolific readers who will be plowing through impressive TBR lists. I’m still trying to catch up on books that were popular ten years ago, and no one wants to read reviews about those. So I’ve decided to do something different for Wyrd and Wonder, and shift my focus away from book reviews for May. Instead, I’ll be focusing on fantasy themes, and I’m going to utilize some of my regular post structures to nerd out on all fantasy things not necessarily literary-related.

Every Sunday will be dedicated to an introduction for the theme of the week and a posting schedule.
Every Monday and Wednesday will have themed posts.
Every Friday will have a themed artist showcase.

There will be only two book reviews (one of them Ninefox Gambit) and one interview in the second week.

WICKED: A confident smile, a flick of an unseen hand, a dark figure over a rooftop…
Week one is dedicated to the swiftest and most unseen of fantasy protagonists.
(Image by Anato Finnstark)

MYTH: A legend, a map, a place, a story, and a whole people…
Week two is dedicated to the threads of a universe, featuring an interview with Massimiliano Nigro, an illustrator, author and experienced weaver of beginnings.
(Image by Massimiliano Nigro)

TREASURE: “The gold that fell between us, turning, turning, in the summer light: the tiny circle in which I trapped windblown roses, leaves, flying birds, until she came back to me. Her gold wedding ring.” -Patricia McKillip
Week three is dedicated to precious things.
(Image by Charles Beaubrun)

STAR-CROSSED: You’re familiar with the entrance to the tavern in the medieval town. But the other doors, surrounded by strange plants, machines or foreign sounds…
Week four is dedicated to the fantastical in fantasy.
(Image by Alyn Spiller)

6 thoughts on “Wyrd & Wonder 2020

  1. Nat

    I’ll be doing a review on Eye of the World. Apparently I missed the memo about not reviewing old books, lol.

    These themes seem like so much fun! I don’t know which I’m most exited for… It’s probably a tie between wicked and star-crossed.

    1. The Thirteenth Shelf Post author

      Nah, not doing old books for W&W is my own thing. I just recently came back into the fiction reading scene, so I’m catching up on 15 years of SFF backlog. I feel a little silly doing reviews on 10 year old books that everyone has read during this event, but everyone else’s mileage may vary. Anyway, Robert Jordan is basically a classic at this point, and classics are always appropriate! 🙂

  2. rolltosavepod

    Great post – you’re clearly more organised than I am. Plus, I have no problems with reviews of old books – it’s been a while since I’ve read anything fantastical that isn’t some kind of rule or setting book…

    1. The Thirteenth Shelf Post author

      Welp, I’m sorry to say that one of the two reviews I’m doing is a RP setting book. But I’m also not sorry, because it’s amazing and unlike any RP-related book I’ve ever read. And I’m glad to have found a gaming blogger that may be able to appreciate it!

      1. The Thirteenth Shelf Post author

        Right now, yeah. I kind of wanted to reveal the contents of my Wyrd and Wonder entries as the month progresses. But it will be posted this month! Sorry! :/

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