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Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
We are told to live in the moment; don’t worry about the past or the future, it is now that you should care about, but how many of us really do? We spend endless hours checking our phones or having meaningless arguments online. If someone walked in on you right now and said that you are not actually real, but a snapshot of yourself who will be deleted tonight, what would you do? Laugh? Cry? Commit murder?
Detectives Davis and Chaz are specialists who help solve crimes in the Snaps...
Daughters of the Forgotten Light by Sean Grigsby
Daughters of the Forgotten Light is set in a deep space penal colony called Oubliette. Floating in space, it's home to the most savage criminals and other members of the population Earth no longer wants.
To survive on Oubiette you need to join a gang and Lena "Horror" Horowitz leads the Daughters of Forgotten Light, one of the three gangs fighting for survival. They've held a fragile truce with the canabalistic Amazons and the all-black Onyx Coalition for some time. That...
Before Mars by Emma Newman
Before Mars is the third book set within the authors Planetfall Universe. As the name suggests it's actually set before the events of Planetfall and After Atlas.
After months of travel, Anna Kubrin finally arrives on the Red Planet to begin her job as geologist and in-residence artist. She already misses her husband and child - with a whole year ahead before any chance of going home.
Her arrival has clearly been anticipated and it isn't long before she finds a no...
Ball Lightning by Liu Cixin
Cixin Lui writes incredibly imaginative fiction, exploring vast ideas and bringing them down to a human level. His Remembrance of Earth's Past series has won awards and brought much deserved recognition, with the first in the series The Three Body Problem even becoming a favourite of Barack Obama.
Ball Lightning is a new story that as the name suggests, deals with that uncommon natural phenomenon. It's been translated by Joel Martinson, who also worked on the sequel to Th...
The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding
The Ember Blade is a legendary sword, the sword of kings, and the spark needed to ignite the fires of revolution.
Aren has lived by the rules all his young life, without question. Then his father is executed for treason and his whole world is shattered. Thrown into a prison-mine with his friend Cade, they are doomed to work until they die of exhuastion. That is unless somehow they can break free. But what lies beyond the prison could be even worse, the land long occupied by harsh r...
Raft by Stephen Baxter
Raft was originally a short story published in Interzone back in 1989. Baxter admitted struggling to contain the story to such a short space however and eventually Raft became the authors first published novel. It's also the first book in the authors Xeelee sequence (although no Xeelee make an appearance). It was nominated for both the Arthur C Clarke and Locus First Novel awards in 1992. The SF Masterworks edition includes a warm, personable introduction by Alastair Reynolds....
Shelter by Dave Hutchinson
Hutchinson's writing has, at times, turned out to be worryingly prophetic - he wrote about the break-up of the European Union while Brexit was just a twinkle in David Cameron's eye, in his astounding Fractured Europe series.
This time he's writing about life in rural England after an apocalypse. Worries of more prophecy aside, Hutchinson is one of my favourite authors writing today. For this series he's joined by another of my favourite authors - Adam Roberts, who ha...
Ravencry by Ed McDonald
Last year one of the most impressive debut's I read was Ed McDonald's Blackwing. It's dark, confident and bold fiction with some exceptional world-building and even finer characters,
Ravencry is the sequel and does everything a sequel should, building on the best elements of the first novel and taking the story in new directions. Four years have passed since the events of Blackwing and Galharrow still works for one of the nameless as a blackwing captain, while the Deep ...
Pandemic by A G Riddle
As the name suggests, Pandemic explores what happens when a deadly infection takes the leap from epidemic to pandemic. A sobering passage on the cover aknowledges, it's not a question of if but when.
There are many things that endanger the human race but with the exception of the zombie apocalypse there are fewer things more worrying than an unchecked infection sweeping the globe. Lets face it, the most likely of the two is the sweeping infection scenario. There have already be...
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio
Empire of Silence is the debut of Christopher Ruocchio and the first in the Sun Eater series. It describes the early life of Hadrian Marlowe, an infamous figure who is remembered galaxy-wide as both hero and monster. The man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. The man who destroyed a sun, and with it four billion human lives, including the emperor himself.
The reality however is somewhat different. Hadrian was not a hero, or a monster. He was not even a soldier. He...
The Quanderhorn Xperimentations by Rob Grant & Andrew Marshall
The Quanderhorn Xperimentations is a book thats been adapted backwards via the future from the Radio 4 series before it was made. It's pure, british comedy gold from the genius minds of Rob Grant and Andrew Marshall.
The story is set in England, 1952. A time of (relative) peace and regeneration. The horrific, ugly scars of World War 2 are beginning to fade. Rationing has largely ended, although sugar, sweets and meat are still restricted. Winston Churchill is once again Pri...
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...
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Book of the month
Shelter by Dave Hutchinson
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