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Book Review

A Time for Grief by Adrian Tchaikovsky

A Time for Grief by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the second in the series of books of short stories in the shadows of the apt world from Newcon Press written by Adrian Tchaikovsky. 

You don't need to have read Tales of the Apt book 1, Spoils of War, to appreciate this one, but it would probably help if you were familiar with the world as a whole. 

These books of short stories, as I likely said when I reviewed book one, are a must have companion piece for anyone loving the novels or Tchaikovsky's writing...

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review written by Karen Fishwick on Saturday 22nd April 2017
Book Review

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

Spiders (or arachnids if you are being posh) provoke strong reactions in some. One of my brothers, who still considers himself tough (even though he's now over 40) will move astonishingly fast in the opposite direction when encountering such a beast - usually with the result that his teenage daughter has to wrestle the creature into submission.

To be fair, I dislike all insects (and yes I know spiders aren't really Insects) with an equal vigor and only tolerate spiders becau...

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review written by Ant on Friday 21st April 2017
Book Review

From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters

From Darkest Skies by Sam Peters

It's funny how life seems to throw co-incidences at you. Until recently I'd never given the small island of Gibraltar any real thought. Then the company I work for expanded their services there which meant I needed to learn about this unusual British overseas territory.

A few weeks later the monumental car-crash that is Brexit reached it's Article 50 moment and Gibraltar hit the news. Not least as Spain took the opportunity to suggest they should claim it back - it's...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 18th April 2017
Book Review

Haunted Futures by Salome Jones

Haunted Futures by Salome Jones

Haunted Futures is a collection presenting the uncertain future in many guises. Originally funded as part of a kickstarter campaign and edited by Salome Jones it features short stories from authors including Warren Ellis, Jeff Noon, Tricia Sullivan and SL Huang (amongst others).

The brief these authors we given was simply "interpret the phrase Haunted Futures as a story". From over four hundred submissions, fifteen of the best were chosen. The style of each story varies greatly, as ...

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review written by Ant on Tuesday 11th April 2017
Book Review

Space Team by Barry Hutchison

Space Team by Barry Hutchison

Space Team is one of those rare gems, a genuinely funny science fiction story that manages to entertain from beginning to end.

The book follows the miss-adventures of small-time conman Cal Carver, abducted by aliens from incarceration due to a case of mistaken identity. His day goes from bad to worse after two-thirds of the human race is wiped out in a single stroke and he's cajoled into taking part on a mission that turns into a frantic battle to save an entire alien civilizati...

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review written by Ant on Monday 3rd April 2017
Book Review

Rhyming Rings by David Gemmell

Rhyming Rings by David Gemmell

David Gemmell died eleven years ago, he was one of the most popular fantasy authors in the UK, a regular Sunday Times bestseller. His legacy lives on not just in the annual David Gemmel Legend Award but more importantly in the influence his writing had on the fantasy genre.

I first encountered his books in the early 90's and was hooked from the start. He was one of the few authors who I'd eagerly await the next story and one who's work I would read and re-read many times...

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review written by Ant on Monday 27th March 2017
Book Review

Dreaming in the Dark by Jack Dann

Dreaming in the Dark by Jack Dann

Readers and reviewers of dark fiction have certainly noticed, during the last years, that the number of Australian authors appearing in books published in the UK and in USA is constantly on the rise, and that the quality of their contributions is usually top notch. This Australian renaissance, reaching out from the secluded world of their national market, is a reason for rejoyce. Many Aussie writers are by now renowned authors perfectly at home in genre anthologies and collections from both s...

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review written by Mario Guslandi on Monday 20th March 2017
Book Review

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Slow Bullets won the 2016 Locus award for best Novella and was shortlisted for the Hugo (along with making a number of must read lists). As you would expect from a novella it's a short read at 192 pages but it packs in more ideas than many more weighty novels manage.

Narrated in the first person by Scur at some point in the future, Slow Bullets begins at the end of a vast conflict between hundreds of human-colonised worlds. The "Central Planets" fighting against the "Peripheral ...

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review written by Ant on Monday 27th February 2017
Book Review

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

Crow Shine by Alan Baxter

A well respected novelist, Australian writer Alan Baxter is also the author of many short stories, appeared in various venues, but never before assembled in a single volume.

Crow Shine is a massive collection of Baxter's dark tales which will pleasantly surprise the reader not yet acquainted with this excellent author.

The large majority of the stories included therein are original,well crafted pieces of disturbing fiction.

"TIny Lives" is a beautiful tale fu...

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review written by Mario Guslandi on Friday 24th February 2017
Book Review

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

A Book that brings you Home: Becky Chambers’A Close and Common Orbit.

 It took me a while to  work up the emotional energy to read Becky Chambers’ A Close and Common Orbit. This is Chambers’ second novel. Her first novel, A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, was a unique self-published sci-fi novel that blew up in popularity. It made it onto the lists for several awards, including the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke Award and the longlist for the Baileys Women's Prize f...

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review written by Sean Connolly on Thursday 23rd February 2017
Book Review

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

‘We all just want to be people, and none of us know what that really means.’ Jeff VandeMeer’s Rachel summarises the theme of his latest book best. The author’s first novel since his acclaimed Southern Reach Trilogy, Van de Meer’s Borne is a surreal piece of work that examines the idea of identity in a relentlessly unforgiving, post-apocalyptic setting.

Although broken into three sections, Borne is really a book of two halves. The first part is an intimate examination of Ra...

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review written by Alice Wybrew on Monday 20th February 2017
Book Review

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove

I've always had a soft spot for Sherlock Holmes. The books are wonderful pieces of classic fiction (my favourite being the Hounds of the Baskervilles) and modern interpretations such as those penned by Moffat and Gattiss help to keep this Centenarian alive in the minds of millions.

I've never considered combining the world of Holmes with that of Cthulhu (another favourite of mine) but on refection it does make some sense. Both writers are said to have been influenced by Edg...

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review written by Ant on Monday 20th February 2017
Book Review

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Relics by Tim Lebbon

Angela thinks she knows her boyfriend Vince pretty well, that is until he goes missing. She quickly learns he has a hidden employment, his boss the infamous London crime lord Frederick Meloy (known as Fat Frederick, but nerver, ever as Fat Freddy).

His secret job? tracking down arcane relics succh as gryphon claws, satyr horns and other mythical creature body parts.

As Angela tries to piece together where Vince might be she begins to uncover bizzare, hidden, deadly underbe...

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review written by Ant on Wednesday 8th February 2017
Book Review

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin

I've been aware of The Passage for years but never had chance to pick it up - even though I have family connections to the Cronin surname (although doubtfully any connection to the author!). Recently the final novel in the series was released which prompted me to begin reading.

The book describes a highly contagious pandemic that sweeps the United States, turning people into savage, vampiric beasts (known colloquially as Virals). This outbreak is caused, as is often the case, by...

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review written by Ant on Monday 2nd January 2017

Science fiction, fantasy & horror book reviews

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Defender by GX Todd
Defender by GX Todd

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