Harrow the Ninth (2020)

Tamsyn Muir
★★★★

Whoa does this sequel upend everything from the first book. It's written from alternating second and third person perspectives, and the current time-line and alternate history being told bamboozles in a wonderful way - the second person narrative in particular. You slowly grasp what is going on, or think you do, then some lovely almost single word reveal will completely change your understanding. Chaotic and rewarding.

Gideon the Ninth (2019)

Tamsyn Muir
★★★★

A crazy amalgam of space-skeletons, necromancy, swordplay, mirror-shades, and antipodean slang. No po-faced prophecies here. Fun to read, and even when it turns into a murder-mystery more than a sci-fi fantasy Muir maintains the off-kilter strangeness. The main oddity is how the protagonist throws out idiomatic one-liners like an modern-day teen. "You don't talk like-how I thought you might", another character observes, and never a truer word was written. Edit: Upped this to four stars having read the sequel. Seriously clever writing.

The Year's Best Science Fiction Vol. 1 (2020)

Jonathan Strahan (Ed.)
★★★☆

Like all short story collections, contains some good and some bad, but overall an interesting selection, and Strahan deserves credit for creating a list from an eclectic selection of diverse authors. Unsurprisingly many concern themselves with post climate change landscapes. Favourites include Kali_Na by Indrapramit Das, Contagion's Eve at the House Noctambulous by Rich Larson (a good companion for Gideon the Ninth), The Work of Wolves by Tegan Moore, Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin, At the Fall by Alex Nevala-Lee, and The Archronology of Love by Caroline M. Yoachim.

X-Men Vol.1 (2020)

Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho
★★★

One of the first X-Men books I've read where the team is muddy. I'm not sure who is core and who is extraneous, and the core doesn't seem particuarly active. The sentient isle of Krakoa dominates the story more than the characters do, but it still has that classic X feel.