Jason K. Stearns – Dancing in the Glory of Monsters (2011)
Western media explanations of African conflicts tend to focus on “ethnicity” and “resources”, words that seem profound, but are too abstract to provide genuine insight, and end up making the conflicts appear alien, inhuman. Was World War 2 about ethnicity and resources? Well, yes, that too, but to go beneath the surface you must also look at specific ideologies and cultures, at individual personalities and local history. This is the perspective Stearns brings to the Congo war. He brings the war out of the fog of condescending buzzwords, and into History.
Phil & Kaja Foglio – Agatha H. and the Airship City (2011)
From reading the steampunk anthology earlier this year I learned that All Proper Steampunk is ugly, angry, and doctrinairely marxist, and that the rest is mere “Edisonades”. Well, screw that. I want it to be whatever the Foglios are doing with the Girl Genius comics. I want “Adventure, Romance, MAD SCIENCE!”
Read: 44 pages.
Recommended: Only if you haven’t read the early volumes of Girl Genius, which this is a novelization of. Actually, even if you haven’t, read them instead. They’re fantastic. You’ll grin like a jägermonster.