Recent Reviews

The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker

reviewed by Niall Alexander

04 September 2015

Instead of implementing the central lessons it looked like he’d learned in the course of crafting The Books of the Abarat, The Scarlet Gospels gets it absolutely back-asswards, picking up precisely where its author left off a decade or so ago.

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

reviewed by Tom Atherton

02 September 2015

Slow Bullets is a huge leap forward for Alastair Reynolds; the culmination of a long-term interest in how memory affects society. It begins as that most strikingly individualistic of genres, the revenge narrative, and escalates until it’s questioning not just the individual’s place in society, but how societies are formed and function, and how they record themselves.

Dreams of Shreds and Tatters by Amanda Downum

reviewed by Kari Sperring

31 August 2015

It is a sad truism in our genre that books by women are less likely to be reviewed, less likely to be supported by publisher and bookshop promotions, less likely to be noticed, and that, as a result, many women writers are disproportionately under-read. I am pretty sure that, if we truly had a level playing field in SFF, Downum would be a star.

Unseemly Science by Rod Duncan

reviewed by Ian Mond

28 August 2015

It’s a testament, then, to the conceptual strength of Duncan’s alternate history that, while I was never intending to read the sequel, Unseemly Science, I nevertheless immediately said yes when I was offered the opportunity to review it.

The Familiar, Volume 1: One Rainy Day in May by Mark Z. Danielewski

reviewed by Benjamin Gabriel

26 August 2015

These signatures (or shibboleths) are gestures toward the encyclopedic joys of epic fantasy, the pleasure of leisure-work rewarded. When these moments are controlled, they can be fun or interesting. When they are not, an attempt at a meticulous construction of a character is suddenly revealed to be built on a foundation much shallower than it initially seemed.

NoFood by Sarah Tolmie

reviewed by Molly Katz

24 August 2015

In NoFood, Total Gastric Bypass is a way into a new world, a way to rethink what the pleasure of eating might entail, to rethink what it means to eat food that someone has cooked for you, a way to reimagine what causes hunger. What does it mean for hunger to be a sign of love, or of grief?

The Tropic of Serpents and Voyage of the Basilisk by Marie Brennan

reviewed by Electra Pritchett

21 August 2015

Though it may sound odd at first (wrong century, wrong gender, wrong academic field), the Indiana Jones comparison is in some ways hilariously apt.

Science in Wonderland: The Scientific Fairy Tales of Victorian Britain by Melanie Keene

reviewed by Andy Sawyer

19 August 2015

Fairy-tales were a way of engaging with the moral (and physical) realities of the nineteenth century—a time just as affected as ours by the opportunities and threats of new technologies and conceptual breakthroughs.

Find Me by Laura van den Berg

reviewed by Nina Allan

17 August 2015

The quality of van den Berg’s writing alone would be enough to indicate that Find Me is something more than standard near-future-disaster fare.

Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep ed. Peter Öberg

reviewed by Stephanie Chan

14 August 2015

I can't help but feel that, overall, Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep is a wasted opportunity to show what could have been a uniquely Swedish take on its chosen tropes.

Two Views: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

reviewed by Nandini Ramachandran and Phoebe Salzman-Cohen

12 August 2015

Nandini Ramachandran: Uprooted is a novel that could have been marvelous, but it settles for being fantastic.
Phoebe Salzman-Cohen: So Uprooted isn't a perfect book. But that doesn't matter, because it's a great one.

The Awesome by Eva Darrows

reviewed by Christina Scholz

10 August 2015

After all, when you’re hunting monsters, you want to be fast and flexible; what you don’t want is to offer some undead beastie a good handhold.

The Visible Filth by Nathan Ballingrud

reviewed by Anthony Cardno

07 August 2015

Minus its supernatural elements, The Visible Filth would still be a potent story of one man shocked out of his complacent life, finding that he's failed to ask the right questions at the right time—and consequently experiencing the complete upheaval of all he knows.

Archived Reviews

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