Latest news & reviews
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...
Fictional Alignment by Mike French
Mike French returns to the world of An Android Awakes with this initially more conventionally presented sequel. Fictional Alignment is not the same animal as its predecessor – an oversized picture story book anthology of the attempts of Android PD121928 to create fiction that can be accepted by its publishers. By comparison, Fictional Alignment is more of a conventional paperback on the cover, clearly demonstrating its connection to its predecessor with the art style inside and out....
Embers of War by Gareth L Powell
A new space opera story from an author with a strong legacy in SF is a nice treat. Powell’s work on Ack-Ack Macaque has always intrigued me, but never enough to go out and read it. Whereas this, a more conventionally presented science fiction novel with comparisons to Ann Leckie and Iain M. Banks emblazoned on the cover, seemed more appealing.
Embers of War is a good, lean, first person science fiction story that makes use of all of its component parts. The prologue, describing a ...
One of us will be dead by morning by David Moody
One of us will be dead by morning. Fifteen people trapped on Skek, a small, barren island in the middle of the North Sea between the coasts of Denmark and the UK. Skek is the home of the extreme sports company Hazelton Adventure Experiences, who specialise in corporate team building in an environment without distraction.
Life on Skek is tough, one slip on a rock is all it takes. That's all it took for Vanessa to die - a momentary lapse, a push by her fellow colleague and her bo...
Witchsign by Den Patrick
It’s a bleak start to Den Patrick’s latest fantasy adventure and the first instalment of his Ashen Torment trilogy. It’s been a tough year in the village of Cinderfell and Blacksmith Marek is struggling to make ends meet for him and his two children. But feeding his family isn’t his only problem. His daughter Kjellrunn has always been different from the others, and with the Empire’s Invigilation on the horizon, he worries he may lose her forever. However, when the tyrannical Synod d...
Acadie by Dave Hutchinson
I've always said that Hutchinson is an under-appreciated author. His Europe series not only being an accomplished trilogy, but also somewhat prophetic given the UK's current realtionship with the EU.
Acadie is a step away from his near-future,alternative fiction series, instead set in the far-future where mankind have reached the stars. This journey hasn't been easy though. A small part of humanity began playing with editing the human genome, led by the visionary Isab...
The Silenced by Stephen Lloyd Jones
Mallory Grace had been successfully hiding out in London for some time until she met Obadiah in a seemingly random encounter. Now she's just had to kill someone and if she wants to survive the next few hours she'll probably have to kill again. To survive the night she'll need a miracle.
Obadiah Macintosh is a recluse working at a remote animal sanctuary by the coast of Cornwall. Obadiah has his own secrets and when the dogs in his care alert him to intruders - he knows ...
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A Song for No Man's Land by Andy Remic
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