Each week, our crack staff shares their current reading choices…

I am reading Company Town by Madeline Ashby. The book follows Hwa, a bodyguard for sex workers living on an offshore oil rig in Newfoundland. The scene is semi-dystopic – it’s set in a high-tech future where opportunities to live outside the control of large corporations are rare – but the depiction of sex work as employment imbued with dignity is commendable.

This is a standalone novel so it rockets through the main plot with little distraction. There are no torturous love interests in this one. The pace mostly even makes up for some thin characterisation, especially Hwa’s new boss, company man Daniel. A lot hinges on his motivations being believable but it feels like after spending so much time creating an emotionally defensive Korean tae kwon do teaching bodyguard that there was no room left for any other complex characters.

Still, overall a solid B-grade read.

B. C. Roberts, Columnist Plenipotentiary
Company Town by Madeleine Ashby
SF Dystopia | Tor Books | 2016

I am working my way through Galactic Games, an anthology focused on sports at the inter-galactic level. Most of the stories are fun and insightful by turns, and many include the known challenges of athletes to find money, training, and support far from home. Not all of the stories are new, though they are all new to me. There is a reprint of a story from the 1950s and one from the ’70s, and neither of them feels out of place or archaic. “Shooter Ready” by Larry Correia is the most self-aware story, focusing on the changes in competition that are brought on by changes in technology. “For the Sake of the Game” by Gray Rinehart is my current favorite, for both its focus on referees rather than players and its emphasis on teamwork and fairness.

Colleen Reed, Contributing Writer
Galactic Games, edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
SF Anthology | Baen | 2016

According to my Kindle, I am 7% of the way through Hunted by Kevin Hearne, the sixth book in his Iron Druid series. These books are easy but exciting reads, laden with pop-culture references and a wondrously mixed mythology that will totally mess with your head—in a good way. Hunted sees our titular Druid on the run from both Greek and Roman gods following some very silly decisions in earlier books, accompanied by his newly-graduated apprentice/love interest and his sentient wolfhound, who’s snarky asides are one of the main highlights of the series. I am anticipating a lot of pain, a lot of magic, and withal, a lot of fun.

Rachel Hyland, Editor-in-Chief
Hunted (Iron Druid #6) by Kevin Hearne
Urban Fantasy | Orbit | 2013

I just read The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater, the last book in the Raven Cycle. I thought this book was beautifully written and ended the best way it possibly could have. The book was full of plenty twists and turns that kept me reading. I thought the author created the most unique and inspiring characters that were both relatable and funny. I would recommend this book to anyone who just wants a nice book to sit down and read during their free time.

Julia Gibson, Contributing Writer
(Geek Speak: The Next Generation
The Raven King (Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater
YA Paranormal Romance | Scholastic Press | 2016

So, right now I am reading The Secret of the Old Clock – the first ever Nancy Drew book. I have my grandmother’s original editions of these books, complete with offensive stereotypes, illustrations, and a sixteen-year-old who has graduated from high school and “runs her household.”

Yay, the 1930s. They were amazing.

I read all these books when I was a little kid. My grandmother recently died, and I am going on a nostalgia trip. Also, I may introduce these to my daughter, but we’ll have to skip the horrible scenes with the racism. [The late-1950s revision of the series attempted to address this issue, with varying degrees of success. – Ed.]

Amy Sharma, Contributing Writer
The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1) by Carolyn Keen
Mystery | Grosset & Dunlap | 1930 (revised 1959)

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