What I’m Reading

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer

Yet There Are Statues

Too Like the Lightning coverWhen Strange Horizons asked me to contribute to their 2016 Best of the Year wrap-up, I immediately knew my entry would have to discuss Too Like the Lightning, my favorite novel not only of 2016 but of the last decade. The natural question to ask me, then, one I certainly asked myself, is if it’s so great, why haven’t I actually written a review of it? Well, for a variety of reasons I haven’t reviewed much of anything in a while, so with the sequel arriving today it seemed like a great time to both reread Too Like the Lightning and actually write about it this time.

The novel takes place in a future where humanity has flying cars, a moon base, and robots that make full time jobs strictly optional. Humanity is also enjoying lasting world peace, having given up geographic nation states, organized religion, and even gendered…

View original post 2,409 more words

Leeds Writer Circle “Anything Goes” competition

I participated in my local Leeds Writer Circle “Anything Goes” competition this summer. Results are below!

Leeds Writers Circle

Monday, Sept 10th saw the adjudcation for our own “Anything Goes” competition. Judge Andy Humphrey gave excellent feedback on all the entered pieces of writing, which was much valued by everyone attending. The winner was Sunyi Dean for her story “Ice Cream and English Summers”. Since entering the piece for this competition she has succeeded in getting a version of it published by Flash Fiction Online. Read it here. Double congratulations are therefore in order. In second was Jason Heppell, also winner of the Annavation Prize. Third was Peter Richardson. Full details on the Competitions Page.

Sunyi will be a familiar face to those in the Novelist’s Group. Members will be delighted to know that she’s on something of a roll at the moment, having just secured an agent for her adult speculative fiction novel “Anchor (To Your Other Self)”. There is an online interview here that gives…

View original post 61 more words

A tea-related rant that rhymes

A random tea-related rant from a couple years ago that I wanted to salvage before closing down my previous FB profile. It also happens to rhyme.  You’re welcome 😛 FYI, the original version was written on paper, and pinned meaningfully to the cupboard. *** My dear Gareth Dean I cannot help but observe The vast tons of... Continue Reading →

New publication: John Kills Jenny

New publication of JOHN KILLS JENNY via Sub-Q, a magazine of Interactive Fiction.   Every choice matters, so pick your options carefully. A convicted murderer must play through a "rehabilitation game" to earn his own release.

A year of short stories

About this time last year, I started trying to figure out how to write short stories (inspired in no small part by reading Darby Harn's short fiction via Absolute Write.) I wanted to know they worked, how the fit together, how writers managed to put complete arcs in such low word counts. Since last July,... Continue Reading →

Metronome, by Olive Langmead

Metronome by Oliver Langmead My rating: 4 of 5 stars Relative to the wider population of fantasy books available, literary fantasy is in short supply. Partly this is down to readership; most readers prefer a touch of literary at most, but many more don't seek that sort of discussion within their novels (which is, of... Continue Reading →

Too Like the Lightning – Ada Palmer

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer My rating: 5 of 5 stars If I could define Too Like the Lightning in a word, it would probably be "overwhelming". That perhaps seems at odds given my rating, but it is fully immersive, carefully thought out and planned, densely written, complex, layered, intelligent, powerful. There aren't... Continue Reading →

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton My rating: 4 of 5 stars Clever and detailed, not to mention elegantly written, but ultimately the narrative is constrained by the very strictures it sets out to explore and (I felt) a little lacking in emotional depth, despite being in first person. I have a pretty high tolerance... Continue Reading →

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky My rating: 4 of 5 stars I found this surprisingly good. Surprising because I tend towards the soft and literary end of SFF, and also because I bloody hate spiders. So much hate. I looked up the author and was not at all surprised to see his roleplay interests.... Continue Reading →

Assassin’s Fate by Robin Hobb

Assassin's Fate by Robin Hobb My rating: 2 of 5 stars Some good dialogue between the characters, but seriously poor overall. The narrative was feebly constructed, and events seemed to occur mostly as a vehicle for fitting in as many series cameos as possible even though it made little sense for those people to be... Continue Reading →

The Etched City by K J Bishop

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop My rating: 5 of 5 stars Simply brilliant. It does require a lot of patience, this novel, since around 60% of it is setup for a series of events which, at the beginning, seem to bear no relation to anything else that is going on. My advice is to... Continue Reading →

On Blue’s Waters – Gene Wolfe

On Blue's Waters by Gene Wolfe My rating: 5 of 5 stars Retro Thursday, you cry? Well, I've studiously avoided anything to do with Blue/Green/Whorl for years, out of a deep-seated but legitimate terror that I'd discover Patera Silk had actually died, either at the end of Long Sun or in the intervening time. He... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑