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Book Review

Golden State by Ben Winters

Golden State by Ben Winters

In the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, a meme boiled up to the surface of our cultural dialogue about us having entered an age of “post-truth.” As the election showed us, we have arrived into a societal configuration, in which two major ideological groups do not just vote for different parties, but also interpret the world in completely different ways. Hence, the term “post-truth.” On the surface, it seems to members of one side that the other is ignoring &l...

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review written by Matt Buscemi on Friday 15th February 2019
Book Review

Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Bernd Perplies

Star Trek Prometheus: In the Heart of Chaos by Bernd Perplies

The original USS Enterprise was sent out on a five year mission to explore Space, but even the biggest Star Trek fan would not want to know about every single detail that happened on the voyage. We can forgo the times that they slept or went to the loo. Perhaps even skip a few lengthy sessions between colleagues spouting technobabble. The Star Trek Prometheus trilogy feels differently and sometimes put every extraneous detail was on the page, but now book three is in sight, things are startin...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Thursday 14th February 2019
Book Review

City of the Iron Fish by Simon Ings

City of the Iron Fish by Simon Ings

By the end of the eighteenth century, our world had become fully charted, catalogued, mapped and explored. No longer could it be imagined that beyond some distant horizon there lay a land of extraordinary wonders—a hidden utopia, for example, nestled away somewhere safe from the corrupting influence of our imperfect, real-world societies. Or perhaps a fountain whose waters granted perpetual youth.

Science fiction, of course, finds ways around this, the most obvious tropes being ...

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review written by Matt Buscemi on Monday 11th February 2019
Book Review

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown

Being an author there are hard decisions to be made. Do you stick with the same characters or try to be someone who writes about different times and places in each book? After the original Red Rising trilogy, author Pierce Brown had the option to stop writing about Darrow’s rise and instead concentrate elsewhere. However, as most people know, once you are at the top there is only one direction to go. Iron Gold is the start of a new trilogy that may jus...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Thursday 7th February 2019
Book Review

Batman: The Court of Owls by Greg Cox

Batman: The Court of Owls by Greg Cox

Batman stalks the villains of Gotham and for many he is their worst nightmare. Bats may be inherently scary to some, but in nature they are not the top of the food chain and several animals like to eat them for a snack. One such animal is the Owl, a natural enemy of the Bat. This being Gotham dressing up as an Owl and harassing Batman is not beyond the realms of possibility, but with the Court of the Owls this is more than just a masked menace. For centuries a cabal of the richest Gotham deni...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Tuesday 5th February 2019
Book Review

The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells

The Time Machine and The Island of Doctor Moreau by HG Wells

Illustration ©Grahame Baker-Smith from The Folio Society edition of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

The work of H. G. Wells is both seminal and formative to our current interest in Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy. The collection of these two novellas in one volume is a common publication format. However, The Folio Society has descended upon these texts with its customary panache and produced a gorgeously illustrated edition. This edition does tend to focus on The Time Machine,...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Sunday 3rd February 2019
Book Review

Star Trek Prometheus: The Root of all Rage by Bernd Perplies

Star Trek Prometheus: The Root of all Rage by Bernd Perplies

What makes a great trilogy? Three stories that combine to make one, but are themselves also valid. Each book should have a start, middle and end that combine together to make a longer narrative. There are not many things worse for a fantasy or science fiction reader than getting their hands on a ‘filler’ second book. That awkward book in the middle that just continues the story and adds little. We already know who the characters are from book one and look forward to the conclusion...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Wednesday 30th January 2019
Book Review

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

I read a lot of science fiction and one element I am not duly bothered about is feelings. I prefer the imagery of cold steel roaring through space over the relationship between two characters, but without emotions what is the point of a story at all? Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox is a departure from my normal reading as it takes the concept of adopting an alien and makes the entire book feel very human.

When a meteorite hits the sleepy town of Amber Grove it brings with it mor...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Sunday 27th January 2019
Article

Books to look out for in 2019

No matter what else happens, 2019 sounds like it's going to be a good year for books. While we haven't heard whether George RR Martin or Patrick Rothfuss will actually release their eagerly, long awaited novels, there are plenty of other books to get our teeth into. Some from established legends of the genre such as Alastair Reynolds, Tim Powers, Gregory Benford, Tad Williams, Guy Gavriel Kay, Pat Cadigan, Margaret Atwood (with her long awaited sequel to a Handmaids Tale) Ian McDonald and eve...

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review written by Ant on Friday 25th January 2019
Book Review

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

There are times in history that don’t seem very funny and if you lived through them you would find it hard to laugh. The 1970/80s in Northern Ireland may just be one such era as sectarian violence means that you are always wary of your surroundings. This is exemplified for Detective Inspector Sean Duffy, a Catholic Police Officer who has a permanent bounty on his head by the IRA. He should be a sombre chap, but instead he tackles his problems with a sardonic grace. That is until he find...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Wednesday 23rd January 2019
Book Review

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

I've been reading Reynolds books since he began writing them and have seen him grow over the years from a seriously talented writer to one of the best in his field. Revenger was one of his finest works to date, Shadow Captain eclipses it easily. It's the second in a planned trilogy but manages to avoid any "second book" syndrome.

Revenger follows the sisters Adrana and (Arafura) Fura Ness as they sign onto the good ship Monetta’s Mourn under the captain Rackamore,...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 16th January 2019
Book Review

Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

Arm of the Sphinx by Josiah Bancroft

Arm of the Sphinx is the second in the Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft and follows on from the events of Senlin Ascends.

Tom - who is now going by the name of Captain Mudd, continues his search for Marya. He has help, with the airship The Stone Cloud and it's motley crew. Since the events of the previous book, the crew of The Stone Cloud have become adept and moderately successful pirates, using guile and intelligence to overcome more powerful airships. His success as a ...

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review written by Ant on Monday 14th January 2019
Book Review

Star Trek Prometheus: Fire with Fire by Bernd Perplies

Star Trek Prometheus: Fire with Fire by Bernd Perplies

It is feels increasingly complex to be a Star Trek fan. Things started off being about Kirk and co, then Picard, then Sisko etc. By now there are various TV shows that have been and gone, but also films that are set in parallel universes and I have no idea what is happening in Discovery half the time. Even if you are on top of the TV and Film versions of Trek, you may not know what is happening in the books. Star Trek Prometheus: Fire with Fire by Bernd ...

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review written by Sam Tyler on Friday 11th January 2019
Book Review

The Bad Neighbour by David Tallerman

The Bad Neighbour by David Tallerman

Ollie Clay is a supply teacher who inherits fifty thousand pounds and spends it on a house. It turns out the house is next door to a neo Nazi called Chas Walker. Walker’s anti-social behaviour contributes to Clay’s life spiralling downhill, until he tries to take matters into his own hands and forces a dangerous confrontation, stepping into a terrible situation that he was never prepared for.

The Bad Neighbour is a deceptively written domestic thriller that captures the mo...

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review written by Allen Stroud on Tuesday 8th January 2019

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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