The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Reviewed by Daniel Burton

Author Hannu Rajaniemi is smart. As in, he is Mensa smart. With a Ph.D. in string theory and another in mathematics, the founder of a think tank that provides business services using artificial intelligence, he is working with subject matter that just a generation ago was the stuff of science fiction. I almost expect to find him in the pages of Asimov’s Foundation series, using math, statistics, and artificial intelligence to keep civilization alive. Continue reading “The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi”

Heaven’s Shadow by David Goyer & Michael Cassutt

Reviewed by Andy Venn

Now, I know that you will have already seen one review of this book so I will not bore you by giving a précis of the story again, I’ll just go straight into what I thought of this book.

Firstly, I thought that it was a damned good read. Easy to read, flowing story that I was keen to keep reading until the end. And was quite disappointed when it finished. It did give the impression of a screenplay, in the construction of the story and maybe it is the heritage of the authors showing through. I think that the characters lacked a little depth, but if there is a follow up they might develop more, now that they have been thinned out a bit. Continue reading “Heaven’s Shadow by David Goyer & Michael Cassutt”

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

Fuzzy Nation is the new book by John Scalzi, but it’s not original, rather a reboot of H. Beam Piper’s original Little Fuzzy. I’ve not read the original (or any of its sequels) and the main reason I ordered Fuzzy Nation is because I hugely enjoy the way John Scalzi tells a story, his Old Man’s War books are among my favourites. I started Fuzzy Nation with no expectations and only hoping to find a quick and enjoyable read. Not only did it deliver that, but it was a complete joy – funny, heartwarming and immensely entertaining! Continue reading “Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi”

An interview with M.D Lachlan

M. D. Lachlan is the pen name for the fantasy work of author and journalist Mark Barrowcliffe. His first book Wolfsangel was published in May 2010 and is a unique mix of myth, fantasy, horror and history.

I recently interviewed Mark about his approach to writing, the ongoing series and the new novel, Fenrir, which is published later this week from Gollancz. Continue reading “An interview with M.D Lachlan”

Side Jobs by Jim Butcher

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

Side Jobs is a collection of short stories that not only chronicle moments of Harry Dresden’s life in between the novels, they also show the growth of Jim Butcher as a writer. Before each story there is a brief note from the author outlining where it sits chronologically, but also how the project came about and what he thinks about each story, looking back with hindsight. The first story is a bit rough, which Butcher admits, but you can see the core of the story follows a similar pattern to future installments, and while it needs a bit of a polish it is still an interesting early adventure of Harry Dresden. Continue reading “Side Jobs by Jim Butcher”

The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

The Straight Razor Cure is an unusual book for a number of reasons. From the cover, with a hooded figure and the above description, you might think it’s just another fantasy novel focusing on the criminal underworld. The cover is actually slightly misleading because it suggests the main character is someone who wields magic, whereas he’s a former soldier turned criminal kingpin and drug dealer with no magical ability. Also, although magic is featured in the novel, it’s actually a small part of the overall picture and the story is firmly a street level tale about crime. It deals with murder, revenge, drug dealing, prostitution, and a whole range of other seedy stuff not mentioned, or only referred to in passing in other fantasy novels. If reading about any of that bothers you, or you don’t like the idea of the main character being a drug dealer, then I would seek out a different novel. Continue reading “The Straight Razor Cure by Daniel Polansky”

Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (or simply Dreadnaught as I will refer to it from now on!) is the new book in Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet setting, although this book kicks off a new trilogy set after the events of the original six book series. To say that this book was a highly anticipated release would be a gross understatement, I imported it as soon as I could and cracked it open and plowed through it in barely a few days. I’m a huge fan of the series and I thoroughly enjoyed Dreadnaught, despite the few little problems I had with it. Continue reading “Dreadnaught by Jack Campbell”

Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

This is the second fabulous outing for Brenda and Effie in Whitby, England’s answer to Sunnydale. Whitby sits on top of the Bitch’s Maw, which sounds much worse than the Hellmouth of Buffy fame, but is more or less the same. Whitby, like the bubbly blonde Slayer’s town of Sunnydale, is full of all manner of ghostly, ghastly and creepy things that come out to play at night. But instead of the Slayer, the monsters must face a dangerous duo of old biddies who regularly battle the supernatural. Continue reading “Something Borrowed by Paul Magrs”

The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

Reviewed by Andy Venn

The blurb and the press release for this novel tells the potential reader what this book is about. It is about two men. Jean De Flambeur, a thief who made a mistake and ended up in a prison that was set to educate him about himself, cooperation, and compromise. Before he can learn all the lessons he is helped to escape by Mieli and her sentient ship. Continue reading “The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi”

Heaven’s Shadow by David Goyer & Michael Cassutt

Reviewed by Stephen Aryan

It’s difficult to talk about this book without spoiling it a little so I will try to keep them to a minimum and not reveal some of the bigger twists that come later in the book. The synopsis gives away one of the main twists, but it comes not too far into the story so it’s not too bad. Heaven’s Shadow is written by David Goyer and Michael Cassutt who are both well respected TV and screenplay writers. Goyer worked on all three Blade movies and the TV series, both Nolan Batman movies and he’s also a well known comic book fan who has written for DC. I’m less familiar with Cassutt, but from looking at a list of his work I have probably watched episodes of Eerie, Indiana and The Outer Limits that he penned. So the calibre of the writers is not in question and the idea is the sort of high concept that gets Hollywood folk excited. In fact, the movie rights for this trilogy have already been snapped up and optioned already. With all of that in the back of my mind I was expecting something quite remarkable and for the most part I was let down, not by the ideas, but the execution. Continue reading “Heaven’s Shadow by David Goyer & Michael Cassutt”