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Worlds Without End Blog

5,000 Book Reviews! Posted at 8:48 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Books Reviewed on WWEndLast week, Worlds Without End passed 5,000 book reviews! That’s 1,000 new reviews since October of last year when we passed 4k!  This is a huge milestone for WWEnd.

The biggest driver for reviews is undoubtedly the Roll-Your-Own Reading Challenge which has accounted for almost half of those new reviews.  If you haven’t joined any reading challenges yet it’s not too late to do so now.  Our 33 challenges have different reading levels within each which means you can jump in anytime during the year.  In addition, new challenges pop up from time to time and you can always roll-your-own.

A huge thanks to all our members who have put in the time and effort to bring us so many great reviews.   See our Books Reviewed on WWEnd list for all the books in our database that have been reviewed thus far.

I hope visitors to our site find these reviews helpful in finding great books to read!

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell Trailer: BBC One Posted at 7:44 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Looks fantastic!

Science Fiction from Down Under – Aurealis SF Award on WWEnd Posted at 1:44 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Aurealis SF Award Ever wondered what kind of science fiction they write in Australia?  Well, wonder no more.  We’ve just added the Aurealis SF Award to WWEnd!  The best authors from the land down under are right here at your fingertips.

The Aurealis Awards were established in 1995 to recognize the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.  The SF award is in now and we’re working on getting the Fantasy and Horror awards added too so stay tuned for that announcement.  In the meantime, throw another shrimp on the barbie, grab a Foster’s and kick back with some awesome Australian sci-fi.

Thanks as always to our Uber Users for getting all the data together.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Official Teaser Trailer Posted at 10:25 AM by Dave Post

Dave Post

So this. All in all I think it looks pretty cool. Batman’s voice is creepy and he looks freakin’ huge in that suit and Superman is apparently worshiped or hated as the Anti-Christ.

I’m not familiar with the comic story line so I have no idea why they would be adversaries. I suppose Supes doesn’t like The Goddamn Batman’s methods and tries to stop him. How Batman is going to take him on when he can’t even handle the Joker is beyond me but I really don’t care. I’m in it for the fun and to see how Baffleck does.

What do you think? Do you like the bat-voice? How about the glowing eyes? I guess everyone is OK with Henry Cavill by now. Seems like Superman is playing second fiddle on the interest scale here.

3 Rs: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale Posted at 10:43 AM by Rhonda Knight


bazhsw Review by WWEnder:
Posted: 4/14/2015

ThiR3s has been on my ‘to-read’ list for what seems like years. The novel’s reputation does precede it somewhat as I’m aware of it’s consideration of being a feminist classic.

My overwhelming impression after reading the novel is that it’s a good novel in terms of plot and story – I found it was one of the novels I couldn’t put down once I started reading it. That said, I didn’t find it a ‘great novel’. The plot is fairly linear and the characterisation limited although that’s necessary for the book – it’s not a story that will stay with me forever.

That said it is a very powerful book and I think this is why it is a necessary read for pretty much everyone! Atwood wrote this in the mid-80’s against a landscape of increased Christian Right influences in US culture. What is truly frightening is that whilst the current US does not resemble Atwood’s Gilead we do see Religious groups informing policy in much of the West and certainly in the US. Likewise, the reproductive rights of women is still a ‘debate’ in some areas of the West. We can see shades of Atwood’s Gilead today in the West. We can see it’s stama_thehandmrk realisation in many other parts of the world.

Many areas of the world oppress women to this day. Is Gilead any different from Taliban controlled Afghanistan and Pakistan. Do ISIS resemble Gilead? In much of the Islamic world from Saudi Arabia to Iran (whether they are a ‘friend’ of the West or not) women have no political rights, must cover their faces, are owned by fathers and men and their sexual identity repressed. Is female genital mutilation or the kidnap of girls in Nigeria that different from Gilead?

It’s not confined to the Islamic world either. Consider the sex trafficking of girls and women from Eastern Europe to the West, the sexual exploitation of girls and women in South East Asia, restriction to birth control in Ireland. In the West we quite often look at feminism through the lens of work and bemoan that women struggle to break the glass ceiling to positions of power. This is a classist position and considers the rights of well educated and privileged women above the millions of working class women. Gender politics often look at the experience of women from a middle class perspective. This ignores that working class women are oppressed significantly across the world – yes they can work (in low paid part time jobs), but they are still doing the cleaning, looking after the kids and getting tea on the table.

Gilead is a dystopian future but I do not think in the 20 years or so since this novel has been written that the lives of women across the world have improved very much, indeed it could be argued that things are worse.

Margaret_AtwoodI found the naming of the Handmaids particularly troubling (Offred meaning ‘of Fred’s’). This did make me consider though we still have similar conventions (my wife took my surname when we were married). I guess it is the use of the first name that personalises this ownership so much. Furthermore, that we never knew Offred’s real name. I so wanted to discover it. I wanted her to have a name and an identity.

The dehumanisation and categorisation of women was powerful. One can see a limited male perspective of women – a Martha for the cleaning, a Handmaid for the breeding and a Jezebel for the entertainment. How often do men roll these characterisations into one and call it Wife?

It’s a novel of immense power and the use of power. Offred describes power relationships in the book but realistically she does not have any. It’s an indictment of societies mores and rules which everyone has to follow (except those in power). That the Commanders who wrote the rulebook are the ones that ignore it is a particularly strong message.

Well worth reading.

Introducing: 3 Rs: Rhonda Reads Reviews Posted at 8:59 PM by Rhonda Knight


R3One of the features that I’ve been missing on WWEnd’s blog has been the featured reviews. The amazing growth of the site with the RYO challenges and all the new awards and features has made it impossible for the administrative team to keep up with the amount of reviews that the site is now generating. I have volunteered to be a “review editor” of sorts.

LoA_collectionWhat I want to do is put some of Worlds Without End’s exclusive reviews center stage on the blog. Many of you have your own review blogs and generate your own readers through various means. I want to feature those of us who are only posting our reviews here on WWEnd. (I’m not just doing this to get an audience. I have very mixed feelings about adding mine at all.) What I hope this does is bring some readership and conversation to these reviews that can be quickly pushed off the rolling list on the home page as more reviews are added.

As I said, I am only me, so if you read a good review that you’d like to see on the blog, send me a message through the message system on the forum page. Also, if you want to self-promote your own WWEnd-only review, drop me a note as well. I have created a forum page as well for more conversations and general questions. This is the  link. I will put up the first review tomorrow.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser 2 Posted at 4:21 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

I really want to love Star Wars again and that looks pretty damn cool. Help me, J.J. Abrams, you’re my only hope.

2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist Posted at 1:51 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

The Girl With All The Gifts The Book of Strange New Things Europe in Autumn Memory of Water The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August Station Eleven

The shortlist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for best science fiction novel for 2015 have been announced. They are:

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 6th May at an exclusive award ceremony held at Foyles Bookshop, London, and taking place as part of the activities leading up to the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival. The winner will be presented with a check for £2015.00 and the award itself, a commemorative engraved bookend. See the official press release for more details.

So what do you think of this list? Any surprises for you? Which is your pick to win?

2014 BSFA Award Winner! Posted at 11:26 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Ancillary Sword

BSFAThe 2014 BSFA Award winners were announced at the 66th Eastercon Dysprosium at the Park Inn Hotel, Heathrow on Sunday 5th April 2015.

In the Best Novel category the winner is Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword, the sequel to last year’s co-winner Ancillary Justice.  To see the full results in all categories check out the official announcement on the BSFA website.

Our congrats to Ms. Leckie for the win.

What do you think of this result?  Ancillary Sword is making a splash, though not yet as big as Justice.  It may be time for a new mantlepiece in the Leckie household to hold all these new awards.



2015 Hugo Award Nominees Posted at 5:54 PM by Dave Post

Dave Post

Ancillary Sword The Dark Between the Stars The Goblin Emperor Skin Game The Three-Body Problem

The 2015 Hugo Award nominees have been announced.  The noms in the Novel category are:

See the full list of noms in all categories on the official Hugo Award site.

Our congrats to all the nominees.  I guess Ann Leckie must be the front runner based on past performance, she won the Hugo last year, as well as damn near everything else, for Ancillary Justice,  but I’ll bet Jim Butcher has a ton of fans chomping at the bit too.  What do you think of this crop of books?  Any favorites in the list?

Update: Marko Kloos has withdrawn Lines of Departure from consideration and it has been replaced by The Three-Body Problem.