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Smoke Eaters by Sean Grigsby
Fire fighter Sean Grigsby’s near future debut sees the world infested with dragons risen from beneath the ground. The wingless wyverns rise up to destroy cities and take lives, leaving only the shadows of people - ‘wraiths’ - behind. It’s up to the ‘smoke.
Cole Brannigan, a patriotic, hard-working fireman who’s spent 30 years in the force and is on the verge of retirement, lies at the heart of this story. But just before he puts his feet up for good, he discovers he’s ...
Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky
I don't know how he does it, but Adrian Tchaikovsky manages to get inside the heads of different creatures and allow us to see through their eyes. Last time I read one of his books it was Spiders, this time it's Dogs, Bears, Bees and Lizards.
Dogs of War imagines that we've got to grips with bio-engineering to the degree that we can create powerful, loyal, obedient soldiers by taking a big dog, making it bigger, smarter, providing a voice and integrating it with smart ...
From Distant Stars by Sam Peters
From Distant Stars is the follow-up to Sam Peter's impressive debut From Darkest Skies. Detective Keon Rause has mostly come to terms with the death of his wife five years previously and his illegally created AI Liss has gone - presumably destroyed.
He's tasked with investigating the death of military officer Jared Black and three "Fleet" officers ordered to question him at Mercy Hospital on Magenta (a gravity heavy planet where Keon lives). The case stinks of a conspir...
Fictional Alignment by Mike French
Mike French returns to the world of An Android Awakes with this initially more conventionally presented sequel. Fictional Alignment is not the same animal as its predecessor – an oversized picture story book anthology of the attempts of Android PD121928 to create fiction that can be accepted by its publishers. By comparison, Fictional Alignment is more of a conventional paperback on the cover, clearly demonstrating its connection to its predecessor with the art style inside and out....
Embers of War by Gareth L Powell
A new space opera story from an author with a strong legacy in SF is a nice treat. Powell’s work on Ack-Ack Macaque has always intrigued me, but never enough to go out and read it. Whereas this, a more conventionally presented science fiction novel with comparisons to Ann Leckie and Iain M. Banks emblazoned on the cover, seemed more appealing.
Embers of War is a good, lean, first person science fiction story that makes use of all of its component parts. The prologue, describing a ...
One of us will be dead by morning by David Moody
One of us will be dead by morning. Fifteen people trapped on Skek, a small, barren island in the middle of the North Sea between the coasts of Denmark and the UK. Skek is the home of the extreme sports company Hazelton Adventure Experiences, who specialise in corporate team building in an environment without distraction.
Life on Skek is tough, one slip on a rock is all it takes. That's all it took for Vanessa to die - a momentary lapse, a push by her fellow colleague and her bo...
Witchsign by Den Patrick
It’s a bleak start to Den Patrick’s latest fantasy adventure and the first instalment of his Ashen Torment trilogy. It’s been a tough year in the village of Cinderfell and Blacksmith Marek is struggling to make ends meet for him and his two children. But feeding his family isn’t his only problem. His daughter Kjellrunn has always been different from the others, and with the Empire’s Invigilation on the horizon, he worries he may lose her forever. However, when the tyrannical Synod d...
Acadie by Dave Hutchinson
I've always said that Hutchinson is an under-appreciated author. His Europe series not only being an accomplished trilogy, but also somewhat prophetic given the UK's current realtionship with the EU.
Acadie is a step away from his near-future,alternative fiction series, instead set in the far-future where mankind have reached the stars. This journey hasn't been easy though. A small part of humanity began playing with editing the human genome, led by the visionary Isab...
The Silenced by Stephen Lloyd Jones
Mallory Grace had been successfully hiding out in London for some time until she met Obadiah in a seemingly random encounter. Now she's just had to kill someone and if she wants to survive the next few hours she'll probably have to kill again. To survive the night she'll need a miracle.
Obadiah Macintosh is a recluse working at a remote animal sanctuary by the coast of Cornwall. Obadiah has his own secrets and when the dogs in his care alert him to intruders - he knows ...
Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone
Zero Day features a return to those creeping, swarming and skittling spiders that were introduced in The Hatching and Skitter.
The world is a quite different place and the realisation that there is some co-ordination to the vast deadly swarms of arachnids raises the difficult question of what the US government should do about them. Do they carry out a "cleansing" mass erradication using "tactical nukes" that will ineviatably take as many lives as it saves? Or do they trust in Profes...
One Way by S J Morden
People have been imagining life on Mars for hundreds of years but it seems to becoming an increasingly popular destination at the moment. We've got a growing number of films, games, VR "experiences" and of course books. NASA has it's own "Journey to Mars" program of sending humans there in the 2030's while SpaceX has a much grander plan - having a viable, permanent and self-sustaining colony on the red planet within the next 50 - 100 years.
It all has to start somew...
The Chalk Man by C J Tudor
I picked up The Chalk Man purely as a result of Stephen King recommending it on twitter after he said If you like my stuff, you'll like this. He isn't wrong. While it has a voice all it's own, The Chalk Man is a perfect accompliment to Kings' work.
It begins in 1986, 12 year old Eddie and his friends meet up as the travelling fair arrives in their town. On this fateful day, during a horrific fair accident, Eddie meets Mr Halloran - the Chalk Man. He gave Eddie...
Terror is our business: Dana Roberts casebook of horrors by Joe R Lansdale & Kasey Lansdale
Joe R Lansdale, a prolific writer, has written in a variety of genres from westerns to graphic novels and horror stories. He's won ten Bram Stoker awards, the Edgar award, the American Horror award and the British fantasy award. Apart from his horror stories he is perhaps best known for his crime novels featuring the amateur detectives Hap & Leonard (which have recently been turned into a TV series).
He's also written some stand-out tales of the "supernormal", featuring ...
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Final Girls asks the question what happens after the horror film has ended. How does the fastest and smartest girl cope after the horror ends?
Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with her student friends 10 years ago. She was the only one to return, surviving a horror film level massacre. On doing so she automatically became a member of an exclusive club, the Final Girls. She joins Lisa - survivor of a knife weilding maniac who killed 9 of her soriority sister, and Sam the only person...
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Book of the month
A Song for No Man's Land by Andy Remic
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