The Five Daughters of the Moon (2017): Leena Likitalo


The Waning Moon Duology: Book I

In a towering glasshouse at the Summer Palace, a new marvel is unveiled to the Crescent Empress and her five daughters. The Great Thinking Machine will be able to calculate numbers at incredible speed and will simplify the administration of this vast empire. But this is more than a scientific demonstration. Little Alina, the Empress’s youngest daughter, feels the danger rolling out from the vast contraption and fears what it may bring, and what it might have to devour in order to work. And she also fears its promoter: her mother’s unsettling, ambitious adviser, Gagargi Prataslav. In this novel, Leena Likitalo reimagines an alternate universe based on the world of the Romanovs, in which magic and visions go hand in hand with the first deep stirrings of revolution.

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Tales Retold at

In the background of the other books I’m reading, I continue to burrow my way through Tor’s archive of short fiction. In fact, I’ve stacked up so many of their short stories to write about that I’ve divided them into thematic groups. Here, to kick things off, are five stories dealing with tales you think you know, retold with flair and a twist. From fairy tale to Greek myth to Gothic horror, these novelettes reintroduce us to familiar heroes and villains as you’ve never quite seen them before.

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More Short Stories from

I’ve really been enjoying reading short stories from – it feels decadent to sample one or two different authors during my commute – and so I decided to continue working my way through their treasure-trove of original fiction, each story presented with its own specially-designed cover by one of various talented artists. This selection includes all manner of fantastical sub-genres, taking in horror, romance, morality tales and epic fantasy with a comic twist. Find the first batch here. More coming soon!

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Short Stories from


One of the things I most enjoy about, a website focusing on science-fiction and fantasy publishing, is their original fiction. Recently I’ve been pleased to see that some of their short stories have been published as ebooks, complete with gorgeous covers that are designed for each one. At around 30 pages per story, these make wonderful amuse-bouches between more lengthy reads and are usually less than £1 a piece on Amazon. And, if you’d rather read them for free, you can always seek them out on itself. As the stories aren’t long enough to warrant individual posts, I thought I’d collect my thoughts together five at a time.

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