Now We Are Ten edited by Ian Whates

now-we-are-tenI don’t read nearly enough short fiction, but Now We Are Ten is a collection that jumped out at me. Not only is it from small publisher NewCon Press and edited by Ian Whates, it’s got a very good selection of authors on show. My full review is no live over at SFFWorld, so head on over to check it out.

Now We Are Ten is the anniversary anthology from NewCon Press, celebrating ten years of publishing fiction. Edited by press owner Ian Whates, this is a collection containing many different genres and authors, and the likelihood of you having read at least one of these authors is high. For a small press to release such an anthology is not unusual, but one that contains many award-nominated and award-winning authors is a pleasure to see.

The question of whether Now We Are Ten is a success is easily answered: yes. Each story, no matter my personal preference, fit the theme perfectly. I found some stories missed the mark in their delivery, others perhaps a touch too obscure for their own good. Ultimately, the better stories balance the collection out nicely, with particular stand-outs coming from Brown, Tchaikovsky, Pearce, and Swift. Now We Are Ten is another reminder that short fiction has a special place in SF&F, and it’s a length that I read way too little of.

Horizon by Tabitha Lord

horizonHorizon was one of those books that I picked up after a recommendation and then jut couldn’t put down until it was finished. Well worth checking out – you can see my full review over at SFFWorld.

Horizon is Tabitha Lord’s debut novel, a self-published sci-fi adventure. While I don’t often pick up self-published novels, this one came as a recommendation from someone I trust, and seeing it up on Netgalley was the push I needed. While it’s taken me much longer than planned to get toHorizon – too many books, never enough time – I’m certainly glad that I did, and I found a story within that really catered to my literary tastes.

All-in-all Horizon is a solid novel: it’s got a very interesting premise and characters that I genuinely cared about. While not perfect it certainly has potential for any future novels in this series, and given the ending I’d be highly disappointed not to see something else in this setting.

Reading Stephen King Update #2

I’d hoped to read one Stephen King book per month this year, but have failed on that up to now. I’ve managed 6 more – Firestarter, The Dead Zone, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, End of Watch, From A Buick 8, Misery – and would like to try and make up the months I missed before the end of the year. I think Misery is one of my favourites yet.

Any idea on the next I should read? Continue reading “Reading Stephen King Update #2”

Night Without Stars by Peter F Hamilton

night-without-stars-ukLast week I posted my review of Peter F Hamilton’s latest, Night Without Stars, the rather excellent conclusion to his Chronicle of the Fallers. Well worth checking out!

Night Without Stars is Peter F Hamilton’s conclusion to his Chronicle of the Fallers duology, itself effectively a conclusion – at least for the moment – of his Commonwealth Universe. Following on from The Abyss Beyond Dreams (Mark C’s review, MarkY’s review), Night Without Stars has a lot to do in its page count to effectively tie up the story, and it makes this task even greater by essentially resetting the society and technology on Bienvenido following its expulsion from the Void. It’s safe to say that having read The Abyss Beyond Dreams is a must before tackling Night Without Stars

With a varied cast of characters that each bring their own point of view to the story, and many threads that intertwine as the plot progresses, Night Without Stars ticks almost every box on an SF fans list. While sporadical during the early parts of the novel – prologue (Nigel Sheldon in Andromeda!) and start of chapter 1 (Primes!) excepted – these elements build to a very satisfying and enjoyable conclusion, and one that long-time fans of Hamilton’s work will relish.

Binary by Eric Brown

binaryEric Brown is one of my favourite authors, so when a proof copy of his latest hit my inbox I didn’t waste any time in getting to it. My full review is over at SFFWorld, so please head on over to check it out.

Binary is the latest work from Eric Brown, though I’m not entirely sure how to classify it. Releasing in ebook-only format it’s novella length with a page count just under 150 pages. But Binary is just the first part of this story and the second, System, will release early next year, also in ebook form. However, once they’re both out the publisher, Solaris, will issue them together in novel form under the title of Binary System. I’ve not come across this release style before, though the longer release window certainly gives more visibility to the novel, and that’s no bad thing given the high regard I hold Brown’s work to.

In short, Binary is a great read that brings a sense of excitement and discovery, and delivered at a pace that keeps the e-pages turning and has left me eager for the conclusion in System. It’s also typical of Brown’s work, so if you’ve read him before you know what you’re getting into. If you haven’t then this could be the perfect place to start!

The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2 by David Bischoff & Robert Sheckley

the-complete-aliens-omnibus-volume-2I’m a big Aliens fan so these new re-releases from Titan Books are an awesome way for me to catch stories that I’ve never got around to. The first omnibus was a great trilogy of novels (let down slightly by The Female War), yet this second omnibus is much more divisive in my enjoyment. My full review is up over at SFFWorld, so head on over to check it out.

Following on from the first omnibus of Aliens novels re-released early in 2016 is The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2, and as you can imagine it does exactly what it says on the cover. While the first omnibus was a trilogy that carried an overall story throughout the three books, this second collection contains two relatively stand-alone novels, Genocide and Alien Harvest. However, both are set in the same timeline as that first omnibus and as such some knowledge of it may be of use, though not entirely required.

So, The Complete Aliens Omnibus Volume 2 is a very mixed bag. With one great novel (Genocide) that perfectly fits into this setting, and one poor novel (Alien Harvest) that insults fans of the series, it’s hard to say whether this is for you. Personally I lean towards picking it up regardless, for Genocide is worth it on its own. Here’s looking to more consistency in the release of the next omnibus.