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Book Review

Case of the Bedevilled Poet: A Sherlock Holmes Enigma by Simon Clark

Case of the Bedevilled Poet: A Sherlock Holmes Enigma by Simon Clark

Newcon Press’ second novella series continues with Simon Clark’s story, set in the middle of the London Blitz. The title gives away the nature of what we are to expect – a Sherlock Holmes story, occurring in the twilight years of Baker Street’s favourite detective.

During the 1940s, Jack Crofton, a poet and screenwriter is struggling to survive and make a life amidst the ruins of the city around him. He has a good friend in Bill Tulley and has found a girl he likes, an actre...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Thursday 23rd November 2017
Book Review

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

The best thing about Amanda Foody’s debut lies in the title itself. Her ‘Burning City’ is an immersive, sensory experience that rivets from the very first page. The smoke from her traveling circus wafts off the page, the dirt and ash from the trodden ground almost tangible on the tongue. The ‘freaks’ that adorn the main stage of her Gomorrah Festival are so gaudy and rich that no space is left in the imagination for error. It’s an engulfing and curious experience.

But a ...

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review written by Alice Wybrew on Monday 20th November 2017
Book Review

Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz

Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz

Newcon Press’ second novella series continues with Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz.

This book is perhaps the least fantastical of the set. The story is in first person, our narrator is Claire, a single mother who has recently moved into a remote house that backs on to a swathe of woodland. One night, there’s a knock at the door. She answers, to find Dean, an old family friend, standing there and asking for her help.  Together, they bury a body in the woods and Dean disappears.<...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Thursday 16th November 2017
Book Review

Cottingley by Alison Littlewood

Cottingley by Alison Littlewood

My second review of the Newcon Press Novella series released in Autumn 2017. This is a set of four stories. The Wind by Jay Caselberg, Cottingley by Alison Littlewood, Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz and Case of the Bedeviled Poet A Sherlock Holmes Enigma, by Simon Clark.

Cottingley by Alison Littlewood picks up a tangential thread from the famous fairy mystery surrounding photographs taken by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths that became known as the Cottingley Faeries. Littlewoo...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Monday 13th November 2017
Book Review

The Wind by Jay Caselberg

The Wind by Jay Caselberg

Newcon Press’ second novella series is a beautiful collection of four books. The Wind by Jay Caselberg launches straight into the kind of folk horror/ weird fiction premise that seems to emerge from a particular sense of British society. There are shades of Mythago Wood and The Wickerman in Caselberg’s story.

Gerry has recently moved to the isolated village of Abbotsford to become the town’s vet. As he’s settling in, a strange wind springs up, causing concern amongst the loc...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Friday 10th November 2017
Book Review

Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny

Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny

I have always been a fan of Roger Zelazny. When I was a teenager, The Chronicles of Amber were a library book quest to find the whole set, which never quite happened, so it wasn’t until later in adult life that I was able to purchase the bumper edition that contained them all.

Doorways in the Sand was first published in hardback and paperback in 1976, the year I was born after being serialised in Analogue magazine. It has now been republished by Farrago, and the new edition revive...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Thursday 2nd November 2017
Book Review

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

You hear about those couples having the ill-concieved notion of getting matching permanent tattoos shortly after they've met, despite the real probability their relationship may not last. Crossover goes one further with that premise.

Instead of tattoos it's a "simple" medical procedure (EED) that will permanently allow each to share what the other is feeling through an empathic connection. There isn't any way back from it.

Briddey thinks its a romantic, thought...

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review written by Ant on Monday 30th October 2017
Book Review

Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick

Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick

It's great to see Philip K Dick stories continue to be explored and consumed in different forms of media. His writing still popular long after his death. For those who aren't aware, the UK TV station Channel 4 (Broadcast in the US via Amazon Video) has started a new 10 part anthology series called Electric Dreams. It's based on PKD's short stories and it captures the authors imagination, ideas and voice perfectly.

It's nothing short of astounding and features a ...

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review written by Ant on Monday 23rd October 2017
Book Review

Killing is my Business by Adam Christopher

Killing is my Business by Adam Christopher

Killing is my Business (not to be confused with Megadeth's debut album) is the second novel in Adam Christopher's LA Trilogy, following on from Made to Kill.

Featuring the robot Assassin Raymond Electromatic, disguised as LA's only artificial private investigator. it's a unique blend of hardboiled detective Noir and science fiction that has a distincive 1950's / 19060's aesthetic. Imagine raymond chandler writing an "Amazing Science" story. 

Our ...

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review written by Ant on Friday 13th October 2017
Book Review

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch

The Furthest Station is a new novella that continues the adventures of PC Grant and the Folly in the Rivers of London series, investigating crimes that are a bit more out of the ordinary.

PC Grant joins British Transport Police officer Jaget Kumar to investigate ghost sightings on the Metropolitan line. While ghost sightings themselves are not out of the ordinary for the Folly, these ghosts seem to be agressive in the pursuit of something unknown. Investigating such events prove dif...

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review written by Ant on Monday 9th October 2017
Book Review

After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun

After the Flare by Deji Bryce Olukotun

After the Flare is the second book in the series which describes the a near future Nigerian Space program. Since a massive solar flare wiped out much of the worlds electronics, Nigeria find themselves in control of one of the last working spaceships and functional spaceport.

Kwesi Bracket, formerly of NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, is welcomed onto the Nigerian space program, due in part to his experience in building Astronaut training systems. His work of building a training po...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 4th October 2017
Book Review

Alien Covenant - Origins by Alan Dean Foster

Alien Covenant - Origins by Alan Dean Foster

Alien Covenant - Origins is a prequel to the latest Alien story, describing the journey of getting the colony ship launched on it's ill-fated journey, bridging the gap between Prometheus and Alien Covenant.

Written by Alan Dean Foster - the author who has been writing about Aliens since the very beginning - it's the only Alien novel I know of that doesn't directly feature the black shiny creatures. That doesn't make the story any less engaging though and it does me...

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review written by Ant on Monday 2nd October 2017
Book Review

Clade by James Bradley

Clade by James Bradley

Apocalyptic fiction has been growing in popularity for years, with most stories following some big cataclysmic event such as a zombie uprising, sweeping plague, nuclear war or the rise of artificial intelligence.

Recently though novels have started to appear that seem much closer to reality, some of them so feasible they seem less science fiction and more plausible possibility.

Clade is one such novel.

Mass animal deaths, spiraling, uncontrollable weather, a...

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review written by Ant on Friday 29th September 2017
Book Review

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

I'd like to start this review by saying that Richard Kadrey doesn't get the visibility he deserves, not by a long shot. I only discovered him myself by seeing other authors discussing how wonderful his work is.

They aren't wrong.

Sandman Slim - real name James Stark - has just spent the lat eleven years in Hell only to arrive in modern day Los Angeles. He's one of the only people on the planet who has been to Hell and back without actually dying and has pi...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 27th September 2017

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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