My Favorite Things: Epic Space Opera, Quirky Humor, and Time Travel TV

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, a weekly column where we gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we’ve got some great book and TV-related recommendations, including a space opera series with an epic scope, a humorous speculative read, and a fantastic looking time travel show from Netflix. Read on for more!


Nicole’s Favorite Thing is… The Empress Game!

I first spotted Rhonda Mason’s The Empress Game on the bookstore shelf. I remembered her from my time in Seton Hill’s graduate program and was curious since I never got to read any of her work.

It didn’t take long to get me hooked. I devoured the first book — it took effort to put the book down so I didn’t finish it too quickly. The book is a great blend of action and intrigue, and when I recommend it to people I tell them that it’s got an epic scope like Dune. And that’s really the best way for me to describe it. Some people might decry my comparison to the classic SF epic, but Mason’s work truly is epic space opera, full of twisted politicians, infighting, and plots on top of plots. All the while, the heroine Kayla is busy fighting what practically amounts to everyone in the galaxy in the hopes of finding a safe haven for herself and her brother — and maybe even the freedom of her home planet.

There’s a lot going on in these books and the second one came out fairly recently, which I again devoured. Things are getting more and more dangerous and now with a venture into space and a massive war weapon getting involved, I’m super excited to the last book in the trilogy — though how everything will wrap up I have no idea!


Kelly’s Favorite Thing is…Practical Demonkeeping!

I read a review of Christopher Moore in which the critic declared that he would still read Moore’s books even if Moore kicked him in the groin. Being female, I can’t make quite such an impressive claim, but recommending Moore to people who have never read him feels like letting them on a fantastic secret. If you put Hunter S. Thompson and Carl Hiaasen in a blender with a liberal dash of Stephen King, you get Christopher Moore. Practical Demonkeeping was Moore’s first book and it’s one of my favorites. Pine Cove is a California tourist town with a bit of a supernatural problem, as it has starred in three of Moore’s books. In this go-round, Travis O’Hearn messed with the wrong religious artifact and has been stuck with the demon Catch for the last seventy years. Catch enjoys comic books and eating people. In the meantime, Mavis Sand is tending bar at the local tavern, the Head of the Slug Saloon, The Breeze is preparing for a major drug deal, and the King of the Djinns is recruiting a local fisherman to fight the demon. And that is not even half of what is going down in Pine Cove. Moore’s quirky, funny books make great beach reads but they also brighten up a dismal January day when you want to pretend to be lounging in the sun, drinking a Mai Tai, and enjoying a wacky literary adventure.


J.L’s Favorite Thing is… Travelers!

Even though my husband and I are only five episodes into the first season on Netflix, my favorite thing this month is definitely Travelers. Another time travel property? You’re all shocked, I know. This show intrigues me because it is not the sort of time travel story that we are used to, and I’m always interested when stories break the tropes that inspire them. There has only been one time jump, in one direction, and the show is very focused on our own world. So far, I have very little information about exactly what is going on in the future to create this sprawling conspiracy working underground in our own time. Even details about the individual characters have been doled out sparingly. Will this method keep me hooked for another seven episodes? I have high hopes.

Any thoughts on the selections above? Let us know in the comments.


  • J.L. Gribble January 30, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    I second the Empress Game books as an amazing series! I’m anxiously awaiting the conclusion.

    • Shara White January 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      I still have the read the second book. Shame on me, I’m taking FOREVER!!!!

      • davidbrawley January 30, 2017 at 8:06 pm

        Loved the first book, really really need to get started on the second one!!

        And Christopher Moore is such a delightfully fun author! I’ve really enjoyed every book of his that I’ve read.

  • Heidi Ruby Miller October 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Nicole, I totally agree about The Empress Game. I’ve read both in the series so far and loved them. Rhonda Mason does space opera so well.


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