Quick Bite: The Lilies of Dawn by Vanessa Fogg

Welcome to this Quick Bite, shorter posts on quick content. This time I’ll be taking a look at The Lilies of Dawn by Vanessa Fogg!

The Lilies of Dawn by Vanessa Fogg

Type: Novella

Genre/Tags: YA, Coming of Age, Fantasy, Asian, #ownvoices

Price (USD) / Length

ebook: $2.99
paperback: $7.99 / 76 pages

A sample and extensive purchase options (including DRM-free!) can be found at Annorlunda’s publishing site.

Cover Image from the Publisher’s Site

Sometimes our most important qualities are not the ones we recognize in ourselves.


There is a lake of marvels. A lake of water lilies that glow with the color of dawn. For generations Kai’s people have harvested these lilies, dependent upon them for the precious medicines they provide.
But now a flock of enchanted cranes has come to steal and poison the harvest. The lilies are dying. Kai’s people are in peril. A mysterious young man from the city thinks he might have a solution. Kai must work with him to solve the mystery of the cranes, and it will take all her courage, love, strength, and wisdom to do what she must to save both the lilies and her people.


This is a lushly written, lyrical fairy tale of love, duty, family, and one young woman’s coming of age.

Since this is a novella and I don’t want to spoil the ending, I will just quickly cover the stuff I liked. There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like in this one, so this will be very positive!

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Quick Bite: I’m No Superhero Chapters 13-23 by Erin Hayes, A Radish Serial

Cover from the App

Saving the world comes at a heavy price.

They used to call us Angels. Superheroes. We were five girls who wielded the power of the elements to vanquish the forces of darkness.

But we were betrayed by those we trusted and scattered across the globe. We had to go into hiding in an attempt to save ourselves.

If only it had worked.

Now, with our powers turning on us, the darkness is gaining power again. And we don’t have much time to figure out why none of the Angels who came before us lived past the age of eighteen.

My name is Ivy King, and I’m ready to watch the world burn in order to learn the truth.

Hi! Thanks for joining me on this Quick Bite. Today we’ll be going over Chapters 13-23 of I’m No Superhero by Erin Hayes. This is a serial available on Radish (link). The first chunk of chapters are free to read (more are released with time), so all you need to do is download the app (on both iTunes and Andorid) to check it out!

What is Radish? More on how Radish works here.

I’ve already commented on Chapters 1-8 and Chapters 9-12. If you want a spoiler-free preview, head on over to Chapters 1-8. If you continue, I will consider discussion of any story elements up to Chapter 23 fair game. So there are spoilers ahead!

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Quick Bite: The Voyage of the White Cloud by M. Darusha Wehm

Hi all! Welcome to this Quick Bite, this will be a short review of the novel The Voyage of the White Cloud by M. Darusha Wehm.

whitecloud
Cover: The Voyage of the White Cloud by M. Darusha Wehm – A spaceship flies among the stars.

Can home be a place you’ve never been, a place no one has ever been?

The White Cloud is the most audacious experiment the human species has ever undertaken—to search for a new Earth. The ship and its crew exist for a solitary purpose—to reach a distant planet and establish a colony. However, the vast majority of people undertaking this journey will not live to see its result, nor were they part of the decision-making process to leave.

A novel-in-stories, following the many generations who make the journey, The Voyage of the White Cloud asks how you can find meaning as a slave to destiny, a mere stepping-stone in history.

These are the stories of the most ordinary people on a most extraordinary journey.

About the Author

mdarusha
Picture of the Author

M. Darusha Wehm
Darusha writes speculative fiction and poetry as M. Darusha Wehm and mainstream work as Darusha Wehm, and is the author of eleven published novels, several poems and many short stories. Originally from Canada, Darusha currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years sailing around the Pacific.

-Information, Images and Purchase available from Scribl.com. The price was free as of this review but due to CrowdPricing may be subject to change. DRM-Free.

So I’ve officially found a new favorite author! 😍 Honestly the summary and cover are a bit dry compared to the substance of this text. I felt so much reading this novel. This novel made me question a lot of my thoughts and attitudes, both good and bad.

This novel is a series of thematically and historically shared short stories. I really love that these slices of history feature the small, “unimportant” people. Traditional grand historical scale stories tend to involve a lot of big names. Its something I’ve been thinking about lately, how we prize big names over individuals and the negative things it can do to society overall. It creates a false mythos that only important people change history when regular people do as well. This books really articulates on this in such a thoughtful way. Its awesome to see the butterfly effect of people’s actions/interactions and how they accumulate over the history of the ship. 🤗

There is such a diversity of characters, both in marginalized categories and just in the general behaviors and attitudes of people. I really loved it and generally liked most people. But even when I didn’t like a character, I appreciated the story they had to tell. This novel is ultimately about the human experience. What if generations of people were trapped on a starship and couldn’t freeze themselves to sleep? Some people would love it, some people would hate it, it would be a mixed bag for most. This “normal” approach to people is something I really treasure in stories.

Also over centuries things would change drastically. Things one generation would find ground-breaking would be forgotten in another era. Mythologies over the original generation would develop and become fantastic. The way the ship’s people are organized would change, and the reasons would be lost to history. History would be rewritten to avoid embarrassment of the current head, etc. This novel is excellent at explaining why people do things and how this affects the grand scale of history.

I think my overall favorite part was when we finally see the Crew. I don’t want to spoil too much but I felt so seen. Usually wanting your own space is seen as evil or selfish, but here its just another part of the human condition.

I’m still thinking over the major theme of this story. The final lines of the book (before the poem) were a major emotional gut punch. But then I think of what occurred before then and here I am, still thinking. Honestly the final story paragraph might be my favorite words ever written in a story.

So, I highly recommend this if you like emotional Science Fiction. And also if you are okay with constantly shifting points of view, every chapter is a new person.

Opinions on what I just read or the author’s other works? Any similar recommendations? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by this Quick Bite. Hope to see you again!
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Big Bite: A Spoiler-Full Deep Dive of A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins

Welcome, to this Big Bite! Here we’ll take a spoiler-full deep dive of
A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins.

If you want a spoiler-free preview, click here.

Basic Information

A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins / Una realidad más amplia: Historias desde la periferia bicultural is an anthology brought to you by The Mexicanx Initiative (with a little help from Fireside). The anthology, edited by Libia Brenda, includes 14 stories, presented in both Spanish and English, showcasing a variety of talent in The Mexicanx Initative, an effort spearheaded by John Picacio to sponsor Worldcon attending memberships and award them to fifty Mexicanx artists, writers, filmmakers, culture shapers, and fans.

Contributors include: José Luis Zárate, David Bowles, Julia Rios,  Felecia Caton Garcia, Iliana Vargas, Angela Lujan, Raquel Castro, Pepe Rojo, Alberto Chimal,  Gabriela Damián Miravete, Andrea Chapela, Verónica Murguía, Libia Brenda, and Richard Zela.

Free to download in ebook form and DRM-Free!

mexicanxinitiative.com

After that reminder, here is the run down. I don’t read/speak Spanish so this will just be about the English version. I won’t go into the backgrounds of the authors/translators as the anthology itself handles that quite well.

Also spoilers ahead!

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Quick Bite: A Spoiler FREE Preview of A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins

Welcome, to this Quick Bite! Here we’ll take a quick taste of content. This time I will be tackling a spoiler-free preview of
A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins.

Basic Information

A Larger Reality: Speculative Fiction from the Bicultural Margins / Una realidad más amplia: Historias desde la periferia bicultural is an anthology brought to you by The Mexicanx Initiative (with a little help from Fireside). The anthology, edited by Libia Brenda, includes 14 stories, presented in both Spanish and English, showcasing a variety of talent in The Mexicanx Initative, an effort spearheaded by John Picacio to sponsor Worldcon attending memberships and award them to fifty Mexicanx artists, writers, filmmakers, culture shapers, and fans.

Contributors include: José Luis Zárate, David Bowles, Julia Rios,  Felecia Caton Garcia, Iliana Vargas, Angela Lujan, Raquel Castro, Pepe Rojo, Alberto Chimal,  Gabriela Damián Miravete, Andrea Chapela, Verónica Murguía, Libia Brenda, and Richard Zela.

Free to download in ebook form and DRM-Free!

mexicanxinitiative.com

My Story

To be honest, it didn’t really hit me until I saw this anthology pop up on Twitter that I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from a Latinx writer, let alone a Mexicanx (although sometimes it can be hard to tell). And I’m part-time Latinx. 😓 Oops. Especially with how prolific with reading I was as a kid, that’s… not good.

So I downloaded this post-haste. Free, DRM-free, available in English, speculative fiction and a short story collection? Honestly even without a Latinx connection this is too good of a deal to pass up. But reading this really opened my eyes up to how much good fiction I’m missing out on!

I can’t read/speak Spanish so I am just going to focus on the English version. The anthology itself does a wonderful job of expanding on the authors and translators so I won’t do that here. This will be the spoiler-free preview and my overall feelings and impressions. Then I will have another post for a spoiler-full deep dive on my thoughts.

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Big Bite: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Welcome to this Big Bite, I hope you have a minute! This time I am covering Fun Home: A Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. This is a graphic novel covering both Bechdel’s relationship with her father, and her exploration of her lesbianism. The narratives combine to form a powerful story but luckily its not devoid of humor or self-awareness.

I’m not too concerned about spoilers as honestly neither is Fun Home. Bechdel’s father dies in the second chapter (the back cover of the paperback “spoils” this too). If you are in Western queer/feminist circles, you’ve probably heard of Bechdel (the Bechdel test) and know that she is a lesbian. The twists and turns of this are more about the exploration and little details that make up the stories of Bechdel and her father. We already know the ending, that Bechdel must come to grips with her relationship with her late father in order to move forward. Its the how that makes this story.

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic The cover of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. It features a photograph of Alison's family minus her father.twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned “fun home,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.

About the Author

Alison Bechdel is the author of the bestselling memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, which was named a Best Book of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, People, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. For twenty-five years, she wrote and drew the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, a visual chronicle of modern life—queer and otherwise—considered “one of the preeminent oeuvres in the comics genre, period.” (Ms.) Bechdel is guest editor of Best American Comics, 2011, and has drawn comics for Slate, McSweeney’s, Entertainment Weekly, Granta, and The New York Times Book Review.

-Information and Image from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Quick Bite: Dragon Physician – Chapters 5, 6 & 7

Welcome to Quick Bites, my tiny thoughts on shorter content. This time I’m commenting on Chapters 5, 6 & 7 of a currently ongoing Radish serial by Joyce Chng called Dragon Physician (link).

What is Radish? More on how Radish works here.

Here is my coverage of Chapters 1, 2, 3&4. If you want a spoiler free preview, go to my Quick Bite on Chapter 1. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead as I discuss what I thought of the chapters. These chapters are locked for three days then unlocked, but should be unlocked by the time of this post.

Dragon Physician Cover - its beautiful and abstract with the silhouette of a dragon.

Can Jixin succeed in a world of dragon racing run by powerful women? Can he fight the system and fulfill his dream of becoming a dragon rider? Or does he choose instead to be a dragon physician like his mother? Jixin finds his world suddenly changed when Lu Si, the scion of a Rookery owner, takes a shine on him. He is plunged straight into the lucrative world of dragon racing… Will his life change?

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