September 2017

Another busy month in September, and the time I was hoping to find just didn’t materialise. Still lots to do in the house, and I’m still not fully recovered after my injury. Starting to feel somewhat guilty for my lack of blogging and reviewing, but there really isn’t much I can do about it quite yet… Continue reading “September 2017”

The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray & J. S. Herbison

The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison came to my attention a while back when the cover popped up on one of the genre sites I visit, though my memory fails as to which one. Given the spectacular John Harris cover art I was instantly interested, though it has taken me longer than planned to get to this SF salvage story with a hint of horror. And it is just what you’d expect from a story with this title and cover! Continue reading “The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray & J. S. Herbison”

Acadie by Dave Hutchinson

Best known for his Fractured Europe trilogy (though I’m more familiar with his other SF novella, The Push), Dave Hutchinson brings a short Space Opera tale to life in this excellent novella from Tor.com Publishing. Acadie is the story of Duke Farady and his job to evacuate the Writers from their home system following its discovery by the Bureau… Continue reading “Acadie by Dave Hutchinson”

Run Program by Scott Meyer

It’s a tough thing to admit when you pick up a book you’ve been really looking forward to and it doesn’t hit the spot. Yet that’s what happened with Scott Meyer’s Run Program, his latest book in a new setting, and one that looks at what a child-like A.I. will do when given access to the internet and the chance to escape its confines. Continue reading “Run Program by Scott Meyer”

July & August 2017

July and August have been, quite simply, batcrap crazy. Life stuff has meant that I’ve not done anything on the blogging and reviewing front, and not much of reading either.

I was on track to end July well, with a lot of stuff done and planned, but I was then involved in a car accident where I got rear-ended. From there life just turned the dial up to 11 and there’s been no let-up since. There’s the obvious post-accident issues I’ve had to deal with, and the injury I sustained has made life even more difficult at a time when I needed a break. But there we go.

Another reason for the silence is a house move. We bought our first home together, completing at the very end of July. With help from friends we got moved in at the start of August and then proceeded to re-decorate some rooms (again, thanks to family and friends – I’ve been pretty useless!) in time for my wife’s surgery and recovery. Now there’s a small downtime to let her recuperate before the decorators are in again to finish off what was started.

It’s been a hell of a couple of months! Continue reading “July & August 2017”

The Line of Polity by Neal Asher

the-line-of-polityAnother review I neglected to put up when it went up on SFFWorld in May. But still, Neal Asher’s The Line of Polity was much more enjoyable for me on the re-read. Reviews for the other three in the series are being finalised and should be going live this month too – remember to check back for them :)

The Line of Polity is the second novel in Neal Asher’s Cormac series, preceded by Gridlinked(review) and picking up events a short while after its conclusion. As I approached the Cormac re-read this was the one book I didn’t know how I’d like this time around. When I initially tried to read it I was put off by my view of the setting and somewhat strong religion-bashing theme that is rather heavy handed during the early chapters. However, for my second attempt I managed to put these to one side and I powered through it, enjoying the story that Asher told. This third time, some 6 years after reading it, I was aware of my first impression all that time back, yet I knew that what awaits me after this book pushed me through without any qualms. And I found that there was much more to enjoy than my faulty memory allowed…

Overall I enjoyed The Line of Polity enough not to let that one issue affect my feelings about the book too much. It’s got more of Asher’s hallmarks present that we didn’t entirely see in Gridlinked, in the weird and lethal wildlife of Masada. It’s also, in hindsight, one of the more important books in Asher’s Polity milieu (for reasons/spoilers that I won’t go into here). With a good focus on both the big picture and events on the ground it’s hard to fault much, though the distinct lack of answers from the end of Gridlinked still lingers. Regardless, a solid entry in the series and a damn good SF novel. Recommended.

June 2017

June was honeymoon month, something I’ve been looking forward to since the wedding last year. The cruise was great and we visited some amazing places (Oporto, Barcelona, Villefrance/Monaco, Rome, Naples/Pompeii, Cartagena, Gibraltar), but it was also quite tiring and non-stop on the port days. I did manage to get a fair amount of reading done, and the balcony view (see featured image) was an amazing place to relax. Continue reading “June 2017”

Improbable Botany Kickstarter

A new kickstarter campaign is up and running that readers of this site may find interesting: Improbable Botany, an anthology about alien plant invasions and botanical futures from ten leading science fiction authors. Have a read on for more information.

improbable-botanyImprobable Botany is a brand-new science fiction anthology about alien plant conquests, fantastical ecosystems, benevolent dictatorships and techno-utopias.

This is the book plants don’t want you to read…

Improbable Botany features newly commissioned short stories by ten multi-award winning science fiction authors:

Ken MacLeod, Cherith Baldry, Eric Brown, Simon Morden, Adam Roberts, James Kennedy, Stephen Palmer, Justina Robson, Tricia Sullivan and Lisa Tuttle.

In support of the authors’ contributions, the book has been edited by Gary Dalkin, a former judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and former editor of Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association.

We are delighted to say that Improbable Botany features incredibly rich and evocative jacket artwork, along with six full-colour illustrations, by Jonathan Burton – whose outstanding body of work has been featured by The Folio Society, Penguin Books, BAFTA, HarperCollins, Random House and The New York Times.

The book is being produced by Wayward, a London-based landscape, art and architecture practice – an award-winning collective of designers, artists and urban growers. Since 2006, we have transformed derelict sites into large-scale, design-driven spaces for local communities.

May 2017

(I should have posted this at the start of the month, but got caught up in sorting the holiday. Oops!).

Another busy month in May, and with the weather getting nicer I’m managing to get out for more walks, which in turn means I’m getting to listen to some more audiobooks. It also means I’m not staying in watching as many movies/TV shows or playing as many games… Continue reading “May 2017”

Gridlinked by Neal Asher

gridlinkedWhile getting my review for Neal Asher’s The Line of Polity ready I realised I never posted a link to the first in the Cormac series, Gridlinked. So, without further ado, here it is :)

I’ve been a fan of Neal Asher’s work for many years, though I can’t remember which of his books I first picked up. However, I do know that it wasn’t his debut, Gridlinked, the first Agent Cormacnovel – this book came a little after discovering Asher’s work. As time has passed I’ve made my way through all of his releases, the majority of which are set in his vividly realised and completely packed Polity universe. While there are a couple of stories outside of this setting – notably hisOwner trilogy – Asher will always be best known for the Polity. I decided that it was high time to revisit these books and go back to the beginning…

So, Gridlinked is the kind of novel that should appeal to many sci-fi readers. It’s got action, intrigue, strange aliens, and powerful AI’s, but it also has some interesting characters that drive the plot forward at speed, all the while making you want to find out just what happens next. As his debut novel, Gridlinked is the perfect place to start with Asher’s work, and most definitely recommended.