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Book Review

The Unreal & The Real: Outer Space, Inner Lands

by Ursula K Le Guin

The Unreal & The Real: Outer Space, Inner Lands by Ursula K Le Guin

This second volume in a collected anthology of Ursula Le Guin’s work showcases more of her Science Fiction and fantasy stories and has a more prominent escapist theme than the first. Her introduction to this volume is deeply insightful, commenting on the writer’s perspective of genre being more about choice of technique than anything else.

Once again we are treated to a variety of intention within the stories collected and we’re shown how Le Guin can vary the techniques she elects t...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Thursday 26 March 2015
Book Review

Something Coming Through

by Paul J McAuley

Something Coming Through by Paul J McAuley

A near future that sees an altered world, by flooding, climate change and terrorism. The biggest change however is by the arrival of the aliens who call themselves the Jackaroo.

The Jackaroo seem to be Earths hope and salvation, saving it from itself. At last the question of whether we are alone in the universe is answered. Humanity is offered fifteen habitable planets where they can start afresh, available through wormholes in space aboard Jackaroo shuttles. Bits and pieces of ancien...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 23 March 2015
Book Review

Harrison Squared

by Darryl Gregory

Harrison Squared by Darryl Gregory

In Harrison's earliest memory he is three year's old. He is with his father on a boat that breaks apart in a storm off the California coast. He knows a chunk of metal sheared off his leg at the knee as his father sank into the water. So why does he remember tentacles and teeth?

Daryl Gregory’s new novel Harrison Squared begins thirteen years after that memory, when Harrison accompanies his marine biologist mother to Dunsmouth, Massachusetts to study the migration of giant squids. H...

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reviewed by Nate Hawthorne on Friday 20 March 2015
Book Review

Guns of the Dawn

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Guns of the Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Stories by Adrian Tchaikovsky are always sober, meticulous and carefully constructed. Guns of the Dawn is no exception, an unusual novel, set in a fantasy world inspired by the late 19th and early 20th century and the clash of progress therein. Our protagonist, one Emily Marshwic, struggles to maintain her family's noble position in the absence of a patriarch and in the midst of the kingdom of Lascanne’s terrible war against Denland.

The story begins with Emily knee deep in her firs...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Wednesday 18 March 2015
Book Review

The Culled

by Simon Spurrier

The Culled by Simon Spurrier

There is something gritty and slightly dirty about Simon Spurrier's writing, making it an acquired taste in science fiction at times. Certainly in The Culled, the first book of the Afterblight Chronicles published by Abaddon Books, we are introduced to our main character in a way that parades his vices and indulgences whilst attempting to crash land a plane.

The first chapter is a difficult read; the chaotic persona of our central character who evidently doesn't enjoy flying and is ...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Monday 16 March 2015
Book Review

Jagannath

by Kerry Denney

Jagannath by Kerry Denney

The arrival of the Jaggernath changed everything. Humanity did not have time to reflect on the fact that they were not alone in the Universe. This amorphous blob appears unstoppable, simply absorbing everyone in it's path and assimilating their identity and intellect. Growing stronger and smarter as it moves through each town and city, nothing can stand in its way.

We join the story as pockets of resistance are fighting a desperate battle for survival. They have developed weapons th...

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reviewed by Ant on Friday 13 March 2015
Article

Buggrit! millennium hand and shrimp

Terry Pratchett

I am sure that I speak for all here at SFBook when I say how sad we are to hear of to hear of the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, knight of the realm. As I've mentioned before his talent was unique, each of his novels a priceless gem with so much humour, intelligence and wit. There was, and likely never will be someone quite like him.

...

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written by Ant on Thursday 12 March 2015
Article

Gollancz March 2015 Paperbacks

Gollancz has a number of treats this month with their releases in paperback.

Paperback of the month is volume one and two of the Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. The Words of Radiance is the latest novel in Sandersons epic series The Stormlight Archive and follows on from The Way of Kings. Set on a planet constantly ravaged by fierce storms and with a unique magic system, if The Way of Kings is anything to go by Words of Radiance should be something quite special....

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written by Ant on Thursday 12 March 2015
Article

Top 5 Must Read Vintage Sci-Fi Novels

Although some people consider science fiction novels to be a literary realm where only nerds dare to tread, savvy readers realize that there is more to this genre than spaceships and robots. Set amid the trappings of futuristic technology and otherworldly locales, science fiction has the power to raise thematic questions about very human issues, such as race, foreign policy, ethics, and human rights, through the fantastic filter of the future.The following vintage science fiction novels were ...

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written by Maria Ramos on Wednesday 11 March 2015
Book Review

Shipstar

by Gregory Benford

Shipstar by Gregory Benford

The second part of the story begun with Bowl of Heaven, Benford and Niven bring us the conclusion to their mysterious 'big smart object' story.

Shipstar is less of a sequel than a continuation. The fitful nature of the story which caused problems in the first book is not smoothed as much as it might be and the addition of new elements which were clearly not present in Bowl of Heaven breaks the reader's immersion. At times food and water is a difficult priority, at others, not. The b...

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reviewed by Allen Stroud on Monday 09 March 2015
Book Review

The Martian

by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian is one of those books that if many authors had attempted it, wouldn't have worked. The majority of the novel follows one man surviving on Mars with little more than a shelter, 2 rovers, a few space suits, air, water and potatoes. There are no monsters, no antagonists (unless you count the planet itself) and very few props.

While this might not sound like the most riveting read, its actually one of the most gripping, intelligent and above all entertaining novels I have r...

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reviewed by Ant on Monday 02 March 2015
Book Review

Cronix

by James Hider

Cronix by James Hider

Cronix starts off with the old and rather underplayed question of what happens when we’re able to upload our minds into virtual reality, and everyone wanders off into imaginary fairylands. As I’ve personally spent many days in a gaming induced haze punctuated by sporadic breaks for work or food, I’ve always felt that this is one of the major issues science fiction should explore, right up there with first contact, galactic wars, and doomsday scenarios. Given the increasingly advanced state of...

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reviewed by Saad Hossain on Friday 27 February 2015

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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Book of the month

Well Fed by Keith Blackmore
Well Fed by Keith Blackmore

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