Monday, June 22, 2020

Book Review: Stormblood by Jeremy Szal

I met Jeremy Szal briefly at WorldCon in Dublin last year. That’s all there is to that story I’m afraid. 

Stormblood is his debut novel, a 500-page military, crime, action, slightly gothic, space opera thriller of epic scale and gritty detail. The front cover presents a futuristic Gotham-Cityesque panorama with the brooding figure of Vakov Fukasawa facing it head on.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Vietnamese Trio

I'm very excited to announce that a trio of my stories has been accepted for publication by Vietnamese literary webzine ZZZ Review.

I don't have confirmed dates yet, but these three stories will be making an appearance in Vietnamese at some point:

Englebert
The Gondolier
The righteous Indignation of the Naked Mole Rat




Saturday, June 06, 2020

Book Review: Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman

It’s difficult to come up with a truly original and unique human society in which to set your story. Even when writing about other planets and other times, we tend to end up with societies that have some basis in current or past human cultures. Authors who invent new alien species can often have more scope in the variety of cultures they create but, in general, humans are humans and their societies are comfortingly familiar to us. 





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Thursday, May 28, 2020

Book Review: Critical Point by S.L. Huang

Critical Point is the third Cas Russell novel by S.L. Huang, a mathematics graduate and stuntwoman who has used her experience to create the unlikely yet fabulously effective mathematical genius mercenary/private detective Cas Russell.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.





Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Observers Audio Version

The audio version of my flash fiction story Observers is out now at Tall Tale TV










This is my third story there, following on from Escapades in Time and The Righteous Indignation of the Naked Mole Rat last year, all read by the entertainingly talented Chris Herron.





Sunday, May 24, 2020

Book Review: Sea Change by Nancy Kress

In the not-too-distant future, the world is looking rather fragile following an economic crash, rising sea levels and massive food shortages that have followed on from a backlash against genetically modified organisms.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.





Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Book Review: The Disestablishment of Paradise by Phillip Mann

A book of wonderful imagery and almost mystical storytelling, Phillip Mann’s The Disestablishment of Paradise takes us on a magical journey of the far future where one of mankind’s colony worlds is being abandoned and left to nature. It’s not for the sake of nature that this disestablishment of the colony is taking place. After three generations of mining and agriculture and the extinction of several large species, it comes down to economics. The colony is to be deconstructed and all humans relocated.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.





Friday, May 08, 2020

Venus of Venus

I'm very pleased to have sold my 5000 word story Venus of Venus to Shelter of Daylight magazine, where it will appear in July. It's a story about an interplanetary expedition and reality TV.



Thursday, May 07, 2020

Book Review: Of Ants and Dinosaurs by Cixin Liu

Cixin Liu is well known for his big concept novels, hard Science Fiction and far-future extrapolations: The Three Body Problem, Ball Lightning and The Supernova Era being the novels already translated into English. His latest work to be translated, Of Ants and Dinosaurs comes as somewhat of a surprise then.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.





Thursday, April 30, 2020

Book Review: Immobility by Brian Evenson

I’ve read quite a few post-apocalyptic tales and there are certain things you come to expect: bleak landscapes, dust, desperados eking out an existence, rubble and debris. Brian Evenson’s novel Immobility has all those things but starts from a unusual position and paints a dire picture of the future that is more bizarre than most.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Haggis, Rhino and Other Unexpected Wildlife

The sequel to Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens, my new story Haggis, Rhino and Other Unexpected Wildlfe is out now in Hungarian magazine Galaktika.










Unusualy, this story hasn;t yet been published in English, but as Galaktika had already published Squirrels... they were keen to have the sequel too.




My name is on the cover again, which is always nice.









Monday, April 20, 2020

Accountability Out Now

My hybrid story Accountability is out now in issue 3 of Hybrid Fiction magazine.





In an office in Chelmsford there's a tea room that leads to an alternate reality, and there's a man who can't stop counting...



Friday, April 17, 2020

Estonian Stalker Award 2020 Voting List

The voting list for the 2020 Stalker award has appeared. It includes my story 'The Righteous Indignation of the Naked Mole Rat' along with, I presume, every other SFF story translated into Estonian last year.





Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Accoutability Teaser

As part of their countdown to the April issue of Hybrid Fiction, there's an introduction and a teaser to my story Accountability.


The little section in the teaser is a perfect introduction into this odd little story.













Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Book Review: By Force Alone by Lavie Tidhar

In recent years there were a couple of films that purported to tell the more historically accurate stories behind such legendary figures as King Arthur and Robin Hood. For those who like a Robin Hood or King Arthur story, they were a bit of a disappointment. In By Force Alone, Lavie Tidhar retells the legend of King Arthur in a completely different way.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.





Thursday, March 19, 2020

Book Review: War of the Maps by Paul McAuley

There’s a real sense of wonder right from the beginning of Paul McAuley’s new novel War Of The Maps. Set in the far, far future among an ancient, worn-out civilisation on an artificially created world, it seemed first of all medieval, then maybe Wild West or possibly a little bit steampunk.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Good Ship Munders

The space opera novelette The Good Ship Munders that I co-wrote with Alex and Haydn has been accepted by Aphelion, the home of several of my earliest stories. It won't be appearing there till the end of the year, but I'm looking forward to this fun story seeing the light of day.



Thursday, February 20, 2020

Book Review: Qualityland by Marc-Uwe Kling

Translated from the German by Jamie Lee Searle, Qualityland is Marc-Uwe Kling’s satirical novel of a future where everything is controlled by algorithms. Set in a European country now known as Qualityland, it’s like living inside Google: adverts, deliveries, partners, jobs and every other aspect of each person’s life is assessed, rated, personalised and provided by all-knowing computer algorithms.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Accountability Accepted


My short story Accountability - a kind of literary / science fiction / urban fantasy tale - has been accepted by Hybrid Fiction and is scheduled to be published in April.


This story started out as an attempt to write something Claire-Northesque after reading Claire North's astounding novels The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, 84K, Touch and The Sudden Appearance of Hope.







Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Book Review: The Cruel Stars by John Birmingham

When I decided to jot down my initial impressions of John Birmingham’s ‘The Cruel Stars’, I was surprised to find myself half-way through the 480 page book already. This was not because I had been reading particularly fast but because I didn’t feel like much had yet happened.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.



Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Observed Again

Following on from the wonderfully-read versions of Escapades in Time and The Righteous Indignation of the Naked Mole Rat, I'm thrilled that Observers is also to receive the Podcast treatment at Tall Tale TV.

Observers was first published at Emerging Worlds and has appeared in Galician at Nova Fantasia. This new audio version will be available in June.





Saturday, January 18, 2020

Three Occitan Tales

Rather excitingly, three of my stories have been accepted for publication by Diu Negre, a website of science fiction, fantasy and horror in  Occitan.




The three stories to be translated are The Gondolier, Englebert and The Righteous Indignation of the Naked Mole Rat.




Occitan will be my 28th published language.


The Gondolier, being the shortest, is up first and you can read it here.











Friday, January 17, 2020

Neon Yeti

Long-running UK literary magazine Neon has accepted my non-prose story Expenses Claim for Snowdonia Bigfoot Expedition. I'm really excited to see how this will look in print as it's a decidedly unusual format.





Saturday, January 11, 2020

Galician Observers

My short story Observers, recently published in Emerging Worlds, has been accepted by Galician webzine Nova Fantasia - my fourth story in Galician. They work pretty quickly at Nova Fantasia, so you can read it here already!



Saturday, January 04, 2020

Magazines Review: Visions #2: Visions of Humanity

The second issue of Visions magazine landed on the doormat with a solid thud: a chunky, serious-looking magazine of 256 pages in red, black and white with monochrome illustrations, innovative fonts and unconventional layout. I had been very impressed with the first single-themed issue when it came out earlier in the year, so I was intrigued to see what this second volume would bring under the title Visions Of Humanity.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.