Tsana is an astrophysicist and a science fiction writer originally from Melbourne, Australia who travels a lot. When not writing, reading or blogging, she studies dying stars. She's done some other stuff too.

Review policy

I generally only review books that I want to read anyway. I am not currently considering unsolicited review requests by authors not already known to me. If you want to contact me for some other reason, you can get in touch via email. Please be aware that sending me your book without any prior discussion is unlikely to yield a review.

I am mostly interested in various subgenres of science fiction, fantasy and YA renditions thereof. I may also read a little bit of horror from time to time. I do not read “mainstream” or “literary” novels, unless those labels are marketing ploy to disguise what would otherwise be termed SFFH. I am also unlikely to read self-published novels by writers who have not otherwise established themselves or are not otherwise known to me.

Also, please note I will not review books which are only available in Kindle format. My preference is for ePub files though I will occasionally consider paper books.

Star Ratings

I give out star ratings for almost all the books I review. The ratings depend a bit on genre: I value different things in fantasy than I do in science fiction or YA versions of both. I expect different things from different types of stories. In general, a 4 star YA book means something different to a 4 star fantasy book. However, some general trends about how I assign stars:
  • 5 stars: One of my favourites, which doesn't mean it was perfect, mainly that it particularly resonated me on some level. These books might still be flawed, but they get 5 stars for making me happy (for a given value of "happy"). They also get listed in "My Favourite Reads" sidebar.
  • 4.5 stars: Very good book that I consider to have very few flaws and liked a lot. Usually, the reason these books didn't get 5 stars is purely subjective and potentially dependent on my mood/health/time availability while reading.
  • 4 stars: A good book, which I recommend, but usually there's some flaw (as discussed in the review) which downgraded it from 4.5 stars.
  • 3.5 stars: A good book which probably had more than one flaw. It's a balance between how much the flaws bothered me and how good other aspects were that determines whether a book gets 3.5 vs 4 or 3 stars.
  • 3 stars: A book I didn't like but which had some redeeming factors. Again, see the actual review for details.
  • Less than 3 stars: It was terrible and might have also made me angry. I probably had difficulty getting all the way through it. See the review for details.

Stuff I've Done

Editor of Defying Doomsday (with Holly Kench), an anthology of post/apocalyptic fiction featuring disabled and/or chronically ill protagonists. Defying Doomsday won a Ditmar Award for Best Collected Work, and was shortlisted for Aurealis (Best Anthology), and Tin Duck (Best WA Production) Awards in 2017, and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Norma K Hemming Award (Long Work).

Published Stories
(Title links to story where available.)

Awards and Stuff involving Tsana
  • 2018 Defying Doomsday shortlisted for the Norma K Hemming Award Long Work category;
    • Three stories that Tsana co-edited for Defying Doomsday were shortlisted in the Norma K Hemming Award Short Work category: “Tea Party” by Lauren E Mitchell, “Two Somebodies Go Hunting” by Rivqa Rafael, and “Did We Break the End of the World?” by Tansy Rayner Roberts.
  • 2017 Defying Doomsday won a Ditmar Award for Best Collection; 
    • the 2016 Australian SF Snapshot team won a Ditmar Award for Best Fan Publication in Any Medium; 
    • Tsana co-edited the Ditmar Award winning novelette ‘Did We Break The End of the World?’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts as part of Defying Doomsday, which was also shortlisted for Aurealis Awards for Best Young Adult Short Story and Best Science Fiction Novella; 
    • Defying Doomsday was shortlisted for an Aurealis Award for Best Anthology;
    • the 2016 Australian SF Snapshot team won a Tin Duck Award for Best WA Production; 
    • Defying Doomsday was shortlisted for a Tin Duck Award for Best WA Production;
    • Tsana was shortlisted for the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review, for reviews in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews (this blog).
  • 2014, 2015, 2016 shortlisted for Ditmar Awards — Best Fan Writer for body of work, including reviews and interviews in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews (this blog)
  • 2015 co-winner of Tin Duck Award as part of the Snapshot 2014 Team for The 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction interview series