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Book Review

The Tourist by Robert Dickinson

The Tourist by Robert Dickinson

The Tourist (not to be confused with the book and film of the same name by Olen Steinhauer) is a story of time travel, imagining a future where people can take holidays to the past and experience the genuine 21st century in all it's glory.

There are three main tour operators offering holidays to the past and our protagonist Spens works for the least expensive. A simple excursion to a 21st century shopping mall should be just like the previous boring trips he's made for the...

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review written by Ant on Monday 10th December 2018
Book Review

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Illustration ©2018 Chris Samnee from The Folio Society edition of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

It is 1939. Forced to live together in a small New York apartment, two young men, Samuel Clay and Joseph Kavalier bond over their shared interest in comic books and cartoon art. Together, they create ‘The Escapist’, a Nazi fighting Superhero who journeys across the world to fight for the oppressed.

Right from the title, Michael Chabon’s episodic story of these...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Thursday 6th December 2018
Book Review

Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein

Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein

Illustration ©2018 Stephen Hickman from The Folio Society edition of Starship Troopers

The Folio Society has produced a beautiful, limited edition of Robert Heinlein’s classic book, Starship Troopers, first published in 1959.

In 1998, aged 22, I went to the cinema to see Paul Verhoeven’s adaptation of Starship Troopers. Like many other science fiction fans, I had been starved of a cinematic space opera since watching Return of the Jedi (1983).

At the time, t...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Tuesday 4th December 2018
Book Review

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

The Monster Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

A Question. If something hurts, does that make it true? With this intriguing opener of a question begins Seth Dickinson’s The Monster Baru Cormorant, the first of three planned sequels to 2015’s The Traitor Baru Cormorant. Dickinson burst onto the fantasy scene with Traitor, a geopolitical epic which introduces Baru Cormorant of the island of Taranoke. After the ruling Empire of Masks, or Masquerade, ransacks her homeland, Baru is chosen by the devious Cairdine F...

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review written by Michael Feeney on Monday 3rd December 2018
Book Review

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

Ghost Story by Jim Butcher

It's difficult to write a review of Ghost Story without giving spoilers away about the previous book, Changes. Having said that, I'd recommend reading Changes before attempting Ghost Story, while any of the Dresden Files novels can be read individually, read this one without knowing the history will spoil it for you a little if you want to read the previous books.

As the title implies, in Ghost Story Harry Dresden has become a spook, without his powers and unable to affec...

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review written by Ant on Monday 26th November 2018
Book Review

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher

There is a surprising amount of Fantasy that is essentially an epic game of magical rock, paper, scissors. Various mages, witches and Gods all fighting each other with differing powers. They are strong against one power, but weak against another. The balance of the world rests on all these powers cancelling one another out. But what happens when a hero enters with no powers at all? Their lack of strength means they will be required to use intelligence and guile to get by. Perhaps this is actu...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Friday 23rd November 2018
Book Review

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney

Popstars of the 60s dread their back catalogue going into the public domain. Their retirement fund has now been opened to everyone to listen to for free. If you think that is sad, please spare a moment for the poor authors who have long died and whose work is open to all. The likes of Shakespeare, Doyle and Carroll have had their work rewritten and reinterpreted hundreds of times. Sometimes this is done well and lets you explore the originals in a new light. Other times it just feels like a m...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Thursday 15th November 2018
Book Review

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach by Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell has won countless awards over the years and many of his stories are considered classics in the field of horror. S. T. Joshi has stated that "future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood."

Thirteen Days by Sunset Beach is being published by the brand new imprint, Flame Tree Press, as part of their launch line-up. The book follows the couple Ray and Sandra as the journey to the new ...

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review written by Ant on Monday 5th November 2018
Book Review

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

The House by the Cemetery by John Everson

There seems to be a rise in a new form of entertainment these last few years, that of the live action experience. While "escape rooms" seem to the most prevelant, there is also a niche for those who would prefer to be scared rather than think about puzzles.

The House by the Cemetery is an old, derelict building known locally as "Bachelor’s Grove" and is situated within the grounds of an ancient, crumbling cemetery. Rumor has it that the ghost of a witch haunts the place. What be...

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review written by Ant on Monday 5th November 2018
Article

New Publisher Launches - Flame Tree Press

A new imprint has recently launched with a an impressive line-up of authors and books. Flame Tree Press is a brand new publisher dedicated to finding the best award-winning and original voices. While it might be new, Flame Tree Press consists of experienced industry professionals, led by Nick Wells, the Founder of Flame Tree Publishing and a former MD of HarperCollins Enterprises.

Nick Wells commented:

After 24 years at Flame Tree Publishing, this imprint’s story ...

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article written by Ant on Monday 5th November 2018
Book Review

The Mouth of the Dark by Tim Waggoner

The Mouth of the Dark by Tim Waggoner

The very nature of horror means that it should not always be a pleasant read. You should be unsettled, scared and perhaps even disgusted at times, but a balance must be struck. If an author is failing to get genuine scares into their book they may resort to cheap tricks such as writing things so gross that the reader becomes appalled. Is that horrific, or just plain nasty? Tim Waggoner is a veteran of the genre and should know his ways around the dark arts of horror, but is that the case with...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Wednesday 31st October 2018
Book Review

Hallowdene by George Mann

Hallowdene by George Mann

Hallowdene is the second book in the Wychwood series, a crime thriller that weaves into the story supernatural elements. Elspeth Reeves is making a new life for herself in a quiet, sleepy village near Oxford, having escaped the hectic life of London. As a journalist for the local paper, she is often involved in events around the area. One such annual event known as Hollowdene is fast approaching when she is called to report on an excavation of the body of three hundred year old witch Agn...

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review written by Ant on Friday 26th October 2018
Book Review

By the pricking of her thumb by Adam Roberts

By the pricking of her thumb by Adam Roberts

By the pricking of her thumb follows on from The Real Time Murders published last year, but can be read as a stand-alone novel. Set in a future where almost everyone spends all their time in a virtual world, private investigator Alma is caught up in another impossible murder. She has been asked to investigate the bizzare behaviour of the four ultra-rich who control most of the worlds wealth, one of which may or may not be dead. There is also a body, which doesn't belong to one of the fo...

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review written by Ant on Monday 22nd October 2018
Book Review

131 Days by Keith Blackmore

131 Days by Keith Blackmore

Blackmore is a vastly under-appreciated author. His Mountain Man novels are a superb example of a post-apocalyptic / zombie series.

131 days does for heroic, gladiatorial fantasy what Mountain Man did for Zombies, a charged, fast-paced story that has confidence, style and plenty of GrimDark. Every year in the city of Sunja, gladitorial games are held in the Pit. Often fighting to the death, some fighters enter for fame, others for the money - a few for the chance of carrying out ...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 16th October 2018

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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