Art and Design Fantasy

Read The Tea Dragon Tapestry

Read The Tea Dragon Tapestry (Tea Dragon, #3) by Kay O’Neill

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Another charming entry in the series. I didn’t follow the plot about Minette’s past — was she previously a fish? — but it didn’t really matter because the emotions were the important part. I liked how the adults were all supportive when the kids wanted help but also let them make their own decisions. I appreciate that everyone in this had something meaningful to contribute even though they had few lines.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Blind Fall

Read Blind Fall (Stolen by an Alien, #5)

I was gifted as a slave-bride to an alien giant.
That’s the start of my day. At least I have my guide dog, Kota, with me. I’d be lost without her… literally.
Yes. I’m blind.

And our new alien owner is kind enough that he’s not holding me to the wife or slave deal even though that’s what I was intended for. We’ve basically been dropped into a scene from Little House on the Alien Prairie, complete with his one-room cabin, and he’s been the perfect gentleman. He’s pretty great, and I’m actually starting to wish I could take him home with me.
He doesn’t know it yet, but the threat of him going into ‘rut’ is no longer a deterrent…

Low angst, low conflict, charming story. The love interest is very kind and patient, and her growing attachment made sense. It was neat to focus on the ways life on the farm empowered her as a blind person, letting her drive a cart and ride an alien horse for the first time. It’s very light on the sci-fi, basically a pioneer experience with some added alien creatures and culture to learn.

Romance Science Fiction

Read Her Warrior from the Stars

Read Fated Mates of the Atari by AG WildeAG Wilde

When I get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to go on a luxury space cruise, I jump at it.
This cruise is the beginning of something amazing, and nothing is going to stop me from going.
But when things go wrong shortly after departure, it’s clear I have made a mistake.
Suddenly thrown into a world where I have no way of defending myself, the last thing I expect is an Atari warrior coming to my rescue.
This cruise has been full of surprises…but the Atari is the biggest one of all.
A version of this story was previously published in the Claimed Among the Stars Anthology. This extended version includes 30K words more of story and fun.

I read the short version of the story in Claimed Among the Stars.

There was a substantial amount of gore in this. I was not necessarily expecting descriptions of blood splashing on her face in my romance 😬

This story has a twist in that all the women in it were physically disabled. There’s some horrifying commentary on ableism that Earth is given an opportunity to offload some of its most burdensome and it’s all disabled women 🤦‍♀️

What I find confusing in this story and many like it is that the worldbuilding is pretty progressive (there’s also health care commentary), but the relationship is mega heteronormative — the hero coming to rescue fair maiden who he’s never met from a horrible life as an alien sex slave 🙄

It irritates me that the women are always sold into sex slavery. Yes, ok, that’s the worst thing that could happen to you (though this story tried to one-up it 👀), but it’s tropey and gross.

I imagine expanding this story (as the author has done) would give more opportunity for the heroine to befriend the other women she meets. Unfortunately it sounds like the revision altered the romantic relationship to a fated mates sitch, which I frankly had appreciated that the relationship was *not* in the version I read. I wonder if she thought she could get away without it in an anthology, but caved to market demand for the full length book she’s selling on its own?

Comics Fantasy

Read The Tea Dragon Festival

Read The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon, #2)

Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago. With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

Cute art, charming story, cozy world. Love that the art includes sign language! Nice lessons.

Activism Learning Resources and Reference

Disability justice for organizations

Bookmarked Disability Justice Audit (

“Disability Justice: An Audit Tool” is aimed at helping Black, Indigenous and POC-led organizations (that are not primarily focused around disability) examine where they’re at in practicing disability justice, and where they want to learn and grow. It includes questions for self-assessment, links to access tools, organizational stories and more.

Comics Fantasy

Read The Remarried Empress S2

Read The Remarried Empress

Navier Ellie Trovi was an empress perfect in every way — intelligent, courageous, and socially adept. She was kind to her subjects and devoted to her husband. Navier was perfectly content to live the rest of her days as the wise empress of the Eastern Empire. That is, until her husband brought home a mistress and demanded a divorce. “I accept this divorce… And I request an approval of my remarriage.” In a shocking twist, Navier remarries another emperor and retains her title and childhood dream as empress. But just how did everything unfold?

This was a building season, looking forward to the payoff next season.

Heartening to see the supportive comments for the illustrator taking a break to recover! I feel like there’s been a shift in the years since Neil Gaiman wrote his “GRRM is not your bitch” post and people have gotten better about separating their enthusiasm for a work from entitlement — more understanding about creators protecting their health (or maybe just Webtoons readers are an especially kind corner of fandom). Makes sense that could be connected to the greater support we’re seeing for unions and worker’s rights? (Though it seems weird to see this wellspring of labor support at the same time the public as a whole has said FU to at-risk and immunocompromised people and kids on the pandemic. Guess we haven’t hit disability solidarity yet.)


Read Iron Widow

Read Iron Widow

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.

When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​

To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

This main character was intense and unpredictable, which made for exciting reading. Didn’t bother me that it was YA, though that did mean there “had” to be a love triangle… which she subverted beautifully. Cliffhanger ending. Will be interested to see where this goes in the next couple books (I assume it’ll be a trilogy).

Beautiful cover 😍


The stakes

Bookmarked (

I want to believe that if I asked most people I know to answer yes or no to one statement—“I am willing to sentence myself and everyone I encounter to death, or lifelong disability of mild to excruciating severity so I can have a cocktail at a bar”—most would answer no.

Hyperbolic and yet not that much of an exaggeration given estimates that 20-30% of people will develop some form of Long COVID, and now the new indications that reinfections are cumulative (pre-peer review)

From the abstract of that paper:

We show that compared to people with first infection, reinfection contributes additional risks of all-cause mortality, hospitalization, and adverse health outcomes in the pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems (cardiovascular disorders, coagulation and hematologic disorders, diabetes, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disorders, mental health disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, and neurologic disorders); the risks were evident in those who were unvaccinated, had 1 shot, or 2 or more shots prior to the second infection; the risks were most pronounced in the acute phase, but persisted in the post-acute phase of reinfection, and most were still evident at 6 months after reinfection.

That is very Not Good 😬

At this point I truly don’t give a fuck how tired or lonely you are or how all your friends are going out and you feel FOMO about being at home. For those of us who are high risk? 2020 feels like it was EASY now. The stakes are so much higher and we are much, much more isolated.


It’s bullshit that workplaces are bullying workers into risking lifelong disability for some in-person meetings, and doing nothing to protect them (installing improved ventilation, requiring vaccination, requiring masks given it is most important for the sick person to be masked and one mask doesn’t provide sufficient protection for longer periods of time, making employees work remotely after sickness for ten days not this five day bullshit). I quit my job in part to protect myself from being forced to return to the office and interact with the public, given my risk factors.

The wholesale abandonment of anyone not in good physical health is a horrific new variation of ableism. No wonder disabled people are enraged: on top of all the other shit they have had to put up with in a hostile and inaccessible environment built without considering them, now their ability to even leave their homes safely has been deemed unimportant compared to other people’s desire for normalcy.


Read A Duke by Any Other Name

Read A Duke by Any Other Name (Rogues to Riches, #4)

Nathaniel, Duke of Rothhaven, lives in seclusion, leaving his property only to gallop his demon-black steed across the moors by moonlight. Exasperated mamas invoke his name to frighten small children, though Nathaniel is truly a decent man—maybe too decent for his own good. That’s precisely why he must turn away the beguiling woman demanding his help.

Lady Althea Wentworth has little patience for dukes, reclusive or otherwise, but she needs Rothhaven’s backing to gain entrance into Polite Society. She’s asked him nicely, she’s called on him politely, all to no avail—until her prize hogs just happen to plunder the ducal orchard. He longs for privacy. She’s vowed to never endure another ball as a wallflower. Yet as the two grow closer, it soon becomes clear they might both be pretending to be something they’re not.

Really enjoyed this one. I like that they both admitted their feelings for each other pretty quickly, but they faced some legitimate challenges without clear solutions that they needed to figure out. The writing was funny and charming.

I also appreciate the subversion of the duke trope.

Resources and Reference

Disability language best practices

Bookmarked Disability Language Style Guide (

As language, perceptions and social mores change rapidly, it is becoming increasingly difficult for journalists and other communicators to figure out how to refer to people with disabilities. Even the term “disability” is not universally accepted. This style guide, which covers dozens of words and terms commonly used when referring to disability, can help. The guide was developed by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and was last updated in the summer of 2021.

Seems to be a pretty comprehensive guide to best practices and terminology to use and avoid.