Aftershock By George H. Wolfe
From Kirkus Review
"Over the course of this novel, Wolfe shows himself to be a skilled storyteller who clearly knows how to craft a scene and how to imbue even minor characters with personality and dimension. Most affecting are passages in which Dante grapples with his memories of the war, as when he stops to
visit the family of a dead friend and gives them a sanitized version of his final moments: “It could have been true,” Dante thinks afterward. “It should have been. Anyway, someone who’s never been there can never understand, so why bother?...Buddy Fooshee had died in some parallel universe, a barbaric world alien to this lovely old farmhouse.” The novel doesn’t quite embrace a sense of
realism; Dante and Evelyn are too cool and too charismatic, and they come off more like characters in a movie than real people. This makes for intriguing tension when more authentic-feeling moments of PTSD intrude into the narrative, highlighting the tension between society’s view of the Greatest
Generation and how they actually lived their lives. Although this is by no means a flawless work—it’s melodramatic at times, far too long, and the entire text is inexplicably rendered in italics—it is a memorable one.
A disarming narrative about people grappling with the immediate aftermath of the Second World War."
Weaver By Kelly Ann Jacobson
From Kirkus Reviews
"In a narrative woven from bits and pieces of correspondence, diaries, official reports, and even a sort of movie script
excerpt, the plot is fragmentary and a bit sketchy in aspects—asking readers to swallow that the distressed, less advanced
Laffians and HoFe could suddenly mount an effective Earth conquest (even granted that all of the planet seems ground
under the high heel of one bitchy but strategically vulnerable corporate-monopoly CEO). That being a given, the two alien
species, charitable and ethical despite their grievances, attempt a cooperative existence and try to blend together into an
established society. But the author’s intriguing point of view is similar to that in the Walter Tevis classic The Man Who Fell
to Earth. Humanity’s pathologies, such as religious extremism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, consumerism, and capitalism,
turn out to be, as with H.G. Wells’ microbes, the subtle threats that undermine and daunt the interplanetary visitors, no
matter their thoroughly benign intentions. Previous books by Jacobson took a strong LGBTQ+ orientation, and indeed
here, as in Ursula Le Guin’s landmark The Left Hand of Darkness, the aliens are ambisexual, flipping from male to female
as mating conditions dictate. While it’s not a prominent theme, a significant subplot deals with the first domestic coupling of
a Laffian and a human (“It was our court case that made marriage between our species legal”). And, as with all things
where humanity is concerned, complications ensue in this absorbing story.
Humanity does not play well with others in this untraditional and engrossing SF tale."