Long Read: Service with a Smile in Klara And The Sun

One of the great things about being a fiction writer – or any sort of artist, I suppose – is that we have the ability (one might almost say the obligation) to present the world not in terms of scientific logic but in terms of intention, orientation, motivation, and choice. But we still have toContinue reading “Long Read: Service with a Smile in Klara And The Sun”

Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry’s exploration of the 19th century wildlands of Essex is masterful, heartbreaking and uplifting. It seems at first glimpse to be a late-Victorian X-File, when rumours of a strange creature called the Essex Serpent coincide with bad happenings in and around the small village of Aldwinter, where the ostensibly grieving Cora Seaborne heads toContinue reading “Book Review: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry”

Book Review: Needful Things by Stephen King

“If we take responsibility for the things that cause us pain, we can inoculate ourselves against the temptation towards malevolence.” After eating Christine’s dirt in the last episode of The Constant reader podcast, I’ve been invited back by host Richard Sheppard to do an episode on Needful Things, which I’ve just finished. I’m looking forwardContinue reading “Book Review: Needful Things by Stephen King”

Book Review: The Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

“His scream is a vivisectionist’s scalpel, and the bloated, poisonous trunk of the Soviet state is his living subject.“ The magnitude of the part played by The Gulag Archipelago in the unfolding of twentieth century is already well known, and I cannot add to the sense of that greatness here. It is well acknowledged asContinue reading “Book Review: The Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn”

Book Review: Christine by Stephen King

I’m reviewing Christine as I’ve been invited to be a guest contributor on the Constant Reader, a podcast that is undertaking an exhaustive analysis of the Stephen King canon, taking in all of his books, as well as pretty much every film and TV adaptation that has been made. If it sounds like a mammothContinue reading “Book Review: Christine by Stephen King”

Book Review: Our Child Of The Stars by Stephen Cox

Our Child of the Stars is a refreshing adventure which follows alien child Cory and his adoptive Earth parents Molly and Gene, two American sweethearts who are products of the 1960s political upheaval in the United States. The book starts off as a very soft SF, almost a fantasy, and then, as the book progresses,Continue reading “Book Review: Our Child Of The Stars by Stephen Cox”

Book Review: Immortal by Nick M. Lloyd

Immortal is the third novel by British SF author Nick M. Lloyd, following the excellent and successful Emergence, and his follow-up Disconnected. With his first two novels he crafted a niche of tackling big science themes with a British twist, and Immortal is no different. To be sure, it’s a strange beast. Even a bookContinue reading “Book Review: Immortal by Nick M. Lloyd”

Book Review: Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

A suite of light and airy dreamscapes from the master. Usually Murakami’s majesterial and delicate prose is coupled with narrative heft. His novels are usually weighty and imperious so as to provide an anchor of substance to the strands of silk he weaves. Here the silk is untethered from the earth, leaving each of theContinue reading “Book Review: Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami”

Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

What you’d expect, really. A fiendishly difficult puzzle which has a deceptively simple reveal at the end, leaving one to think, “Ah, of course, well it was obvious really.” I formulated several hypotheses as to what had happened on Soldier Island, and all were spectacularly wrong. It’s easy to deride Christie for her characters beingContinue reading “Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie”