Steven Universe Review


You may well have heard about Steven Universe (and if you’re aware of the show, you might also be interested in some criticism about it—fingers crossed!). In certain circles (people active on Tumblr and other major media fandom platforms, USians with young children, etc.), this American Cartoon Network show, technically on the cusp of its third season, has been talked up ad nauseum. But outside of the aforementioned circles, the program is far less Universally known (that’s a truly awful pun, and I’m not particularly sorry). Whether or not you’re saturated with Steven, it still merits discussion by virtue of being simultaneously one of the best children’s programs and one of the best science fiction programs of its generation.

Full review here.


The Strange Horizons Book Club: Hild by Nicola Griffith


Welcome to this month’s Strange Horizons book club! This week we are discussing Hildby Nicola Griffith. Our next book will be Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Dung Kai-cheung, and discussions further ahead are listed here. This week we also have a bonus discussion of The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro, which you can read here.

Read full article here.

The Strange Horizons Book Club: Red Shift by Alan Garner


I edited this.

Welcome to this month’s book club! On the fourth Monday of each month, we post a round-table discussion about a speculative work (or work of interest to readers of SF), and we invite you to join us for further conversation in the comments. April’s book is Hild by Nicola Griffith and other forthcoming picks are listed here.

This month’s book is Red Shift by Alan Garner. First published in 1973, and recently reissued by the NYRB, Red Shift is one of Alan Garner‘s most celebrated novels. From the blurb: “In second-century Britain, Macey and a gang of fellow deserters from the Roman army hunt and are hunted by deadly local tribes. Fifteen centuries later, during the English Civil War, Thomas Rowley hides from the ruthless troops who have encircled his village. And in contemporary Britain, Tom, a precocious, love-struck, mentally unstable teenager, struggles to cope with the imminent departure for London of his girlfriend, Jan. [. . .] A pyrotechnical and deeply moving elaboration on themes of chance and fate, time and eternity, visionary awakening and destructive madness.”

Read full article here.

The Strange Horizons Book Club: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro


I edited this.

Welcome to a special edition of the Strange Horizons book club! This week we also have a discussion of Hild by Nicola Griffith, which you can read here. Our next book will be Atlas: The Archaeology of an Imaginary City by Dung Kai-cheung, and discussions further ahead are listed here.

The book we are discussing here is Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel,The Buried Giant. From the publisher’s blurb: “The Buried Giantbegins as a couple, Axl and Beatrice, set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen for years. They expect to face many hazards—some strange and other-worldly—but they cannot yet foresee how their journey will reveal to them dark and forgotten corners of their love for one another. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge and war.”

Read full article here.



Some reviews are straight-up celebrations: uncynical advertisements, attempts to say “Here’s something lovely, how’d it get so good?” This is one of them. Offerings like Over the Garden Wall, Steven Universe, and Yonderland suggest that we’ve rediscovered how to make excellent television that can honestly be defined as family programming, after a long, dark dearth of same: we have a good thing going here.

Full review here.

Over the Garden Wall


I’m unlikely to nail a discussion of Over the Garden Wall—almost no one has. Often, when I’m reviewing something, I read over others’ opinions to make sure that I’m adding something to the conversation, that I’m not stupidly wrong about or oblivious to something germane. When I decided I wanted to talk about Over the Garden Wall, I looked to see what others had said before me, and I was surprised by how poorly the bulk of the extant criticism dealt with the program. Something about the series apparently makes it difficult to analyse. The best articles on the show largely deflect attention from it. Sonia Saraiya at Salon, for example, gives us an interesting perspective on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim in terms of viral television, rather than an in-depth treatment of the series per se. Without essentially releasing a diss track (. . . though that would be an amazing contribution to SFF reviewing/reviewing generally, let’s be real), I’d like to excavate Over the Garden Wall by reviewing the reviews: examining how and why they glance off the work, and what this can tell us about the program.

Full review here.