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Andrea K Höst

Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy.
Life in Outer Space - Melissa Keil A pleasant contemporary high school romance about people "on the outer" making and deepening connections. [Or 'geek love story'.]Sam's existence as a bullied movie geek (and that of his small cadre of bullied geeky friends) is transformed by the arrival of Camilla, an uber-cool girl with big connections to the music industry. Who likes science fiction and seeks out her own kind.There were a couple of things which tripped me up in the story. The school feels American. I hated the Allison plotline. If Mike is such an incredible martial artists, why aren't the bullies afraid to mistreat his friends? And particularly the use of World of Warcraft. The author mentions a "crash course" in the game in the afterword acknowledgements and I'm afraid that seriously showed in the story. Camilla, who is constantly having to move to new schools, is a lonely, isolated girl - but when she asks Sam for help "levelling her dwarf" in Warcraft, she mentions that she's playing on a new server because she's moved to Australia. Anyone who has ever spent any serious time playing MMO's will know that there's no need to swap servers with your country (unless she's a hardcore PVP-er, the ping rate isn't that big a deal), and all that isolation and disconnection and leaving people behind that she feels swapping schools? Doesn't translate to your MMO guild. If she was really a gamer her guild would be her one constant, a connection she keeps. [Plus, levelling her 'dwarf' rather than her, say, thief or paladin, etc.] Anyway, I was obviously highly distracted by the Warcraft failure, and it could easily have been dropped from the story.I didn't love this book, but I did enjoy it, and I liked the way it attempted to deconstruct some of the common tropes of the genre.