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Book Review

Fardwor, Russia

Olec Kashin

Fardwor, Russia by Olec Kashin

Oleg Kashin’s debut novel ‘Fardwor, Russia’ takes its reader on a surreal journey through the political landscape of Russia’s seedy underbelly. Drawing on his experience as an award-winning journalist and polemicist, Kashin skilfully blends fact and fiction, shining a light on some of the most sinister and hypocritical workings of the modern Russian state.

Kashin has woven a masterful fabric of pastiche and parody in his first attempt at fiction, which is decidedly postmoder...

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Review written by Abbie on Friday 9th December 2016
Book Review

Nightmares Realm: New Tales of The Weird and Fantastic

ST Joshi

Nightmares Realm: New Tales of The Weird and Fantastic by ST Joshi

"Life is but a dream" wrote Calderon De La Barca and "All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream" confirmed Edgard Allan Poe. Dreams and nightmares constitute part of our nightly life, but they usually vanish as soon as we wake up. Sometimes, however, they stay with us and haunt also our normal, daily existence.

The present collection assembles seventeen new tales by contemporary authors addessing that fascinating issue. The list of the distinguished contributors includes...

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Review written by Mario Guslandi on Wednesday 7th December 2016
Book Review

Small Favour

Jim Butcher

Small Favour by Jim Butcher

No one's tried to Kill Harry in almost a year and the worst problem he has faced in that time is trying to get stains removed from carpets caused by his bungling apprentice.

Anyone who knows Harry knows that this is too good to last.

The person to put such a spanner in the wizards life is Mab, Queen of the Winter Court and someone who Harry is indebted to.

Mab decides its time to pay up, unfortunately doing so puts him between a nightmarish foe and a deadly a...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 5th December 2016
Book Review

Dust and Desire

Conrad Williams

Dust and Desire by Conrad Williams

I don't often get the chancce to read a crime novel and so when Titan Books let slip that the third novel in the Joel Sorrell series was about to be released I couldn't resist giving the series a try. Dust and Desire is the first book featuring the PI and sets the scene prefectly.

The prologue describes a killer freshly arrived on the streets of London, finding a victim almost straight away. Meanwhile Joel reluctantly agrees to help Kara Geenan find her lost brother who she ...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 28th November 2016
Book Review

Defender

GX Todd

Defender by GX Todd

In the dark future of Defender, the majority of the worlds population have died. Killed by themselves and others who were listening to voices steering their horrific actions.

Those who survived live in a hostile environment, unable to trust strangers and fighting over limited resources.

On a long dusty road a stranger walks, the voice in his head telling him to buy a lemonade from the girl at the side of the road. For most it's dangerous to listen to that voice. For Pi...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 21st November 2016
Book Review

Shovel Ready

Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

I found this book on Amazon while generally having a browse around and put it on my wish list for Christmas (yes, last Christmas). I finally got round to reading it, I'm glad I did!

Shovel Ready is set in a near future New York that has suffered much since a dirty bomb hit Times Square and the refuse hit the fan. Before this Spademan was a garbage collector with a wife and steady life.

Now his job is a different kind of waste disposal, he's a Hitman.

He f...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 7th November 2016
Book Review

The Disciple

Stephen Lloyd Jones

The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones

Given that today is Halloween, I thought it only right that we review a horror novel. It's also a damn good one - The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones.

It all starts on a stormy night as Edward Schwinn navigates the country roads at the edge of Devil's Kitchen, Snowdonia. On a dark road in the middle of a forest he finds a scene of devastation. Cars wrecked and on fire, bodies everywhere, but in one a heavily pregnant woman still alive.

The woman gives birth to a gi...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 31st October 2016
Book Review

Exile

Martin Owton

Exile by Martin Owton

Book one of a proposed fantasy two-parter, Exile introduces us to a patch-work world of territories ruled over by the High King from his sacred city.

The earldom of Darien is betrayed and overrun. Its exiles scatter throughout the land, determined to reclaim their ancestral rights. Aron son of Eamon, an academy trained blade master finds a place for himself in the court of Nandor and, when an expedition is launched to rescue the Earl’s son from the neighbouring duchy of Sarazan, h...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 26th October 2016
Book Review

A City Dreaming

Daniel Polansky

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky is the author of the wonderful Low Town fantasy series, which shows how great a story-teller he is. A City Dreaming stretches these talents and more.

The book follows the life of M, a magically gifted drifter with a loose grip on morality and a quick, sharp tongue. He does his best to avoid the politics of New York city however when you personally know the two opposing Queens who threaten to turn the Big Apple into a crumble, trouble is hard to avoid. If M is going t...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 24th October 2016
Book Review

I, Robot

Isaac Asimov

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I, Robot is a collection of nine short stories by Isaac Asimov, which originally appeared in Super Science Stories and Astounding Science Fiction between 1940 and 1950. The fictional character Dr Susan Calvin (robopsychologist for U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men Inc) relating these stories to a reporter in the 21st Century acts as a framing narrative, tying them together to create one of the finest examples of a “fix-up” novel.

Each story shares the common theme of Interaction be...

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Review written by Ant on Friday 21st October 2016
Book Review

Migration

Daniel David

Migration by Daniel David

What if our day to day behaviour was recorded, analysed and mapped to create a copy of us in a  digital utopia? How would this new reality transact with our own where people need to be born and grow up before they can be absorbed? What would the consequences be for those left behind?

Migration tells the story of individuals caught up in the process of transitioning to a new digital reality controlled by the artificial intelligence, AarBee. David uses several popular tropes from dif...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 19th October 2016
Book Review

White Night

Jim Butcher

White Night by Jim Butcher

White Knight marks the ninth book in Jim Butchers urban fantasy series featuring Chicago's first and only Wizard P.I. Regular visitors to SFBook may be aware that we are (slowly) reviewing the series.

Those who haven't read any of the Dresden Files would be better starting at the beginning with Storm Front, or at least one of the earlier books.

A string of suicides rings alarm bells with Chicago's finest and Harry is brought in to see if there is any magical co...

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Review written by Ant on Monday 17th October 2016
Book Review

Marked to Die: A Tribute to Mark Samuels

Justin Isis

Marked to Die: A Tribute to Mark Samuels by Justin Isis

First of all: don't worry. Mark Samuels - the well known British horror writer- is alive and well ( although, maybe, crossing his fingers). It's not common to dedicate a new short story anthology to celebrate a living author ( whose career, hopefully, will last for many, many years to come) but that's the way it is . Editor Justin Isis has assembled a massive volume featuring eighteen tales , plus a coda, penned by a group of fellow writers active in the field of dark fantasy and/...

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Review written by Mario Guslandi on Friday 14th October 2016
Book Review

Sharp Ends

Joe Abercrombie

Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

There is much to like about Joe Abercrombie, particularly when he returns to his darker writing, as published by Gollancz. One of the founders of the ‘grimdark’ movement, Abercrombie’s gritty brand of fantasy delivers real consequences and hard bitten characters in all the different adventures he has written in the world of the First Law.

Sharp Ends is a collection of short stories set in this ongoing fiction. Some of these have been previously published elsewhere, but the boo...

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Review written by Allen Stroud on Thursday 13th October 2016

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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