Recent Reviews

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi

reviewed by Nina Allan

23 May 2016

Whether everyone who picks up the book will go along with its overweening idiosyncrasy is open to question, but the same could be said of any artwork that dares to push boundaries.

The Night Clock By Paul Meloy

reviewed by Lisa Timpf

20 May 2016

One gets the sense in reading The Night Clock that the author is someone who understands what makes people tick.

Staying Alive by Laura Sims

reviewed by Kate Schapira

18 May 2016

How many narratives have we read where the protagonists' survival soothes, if not justifies, other wounds and absences? If the human species is the protagonist in this story, who or what is everything else?

The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton

reviewed by Gautam Bhatia

16 May 2016

If The Just City was about a heroic—but ultimately doomed—effort to harmonise disparate human wills into a common project in order to achieve Plato’s Republic, then The Philosopher Kings shows us how the project was impossible from the very beginning.

The Man In The High Castle Season One

reviewed by Alasdair Czyrnyj

13 May 2016

In Dick's original novel, Nazism is an enigmatic horror. The Man in the High Castle's handling of Nazism is so pedestrian that it calls into question whether the writers understood anything they were writing about.

The Sea Is Ours edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng

reviewed by Foz Meadows

11 May 2016

If Empire is established in the narrative, not as a constant, but as a problem, then steampunk becomes the perfect tool with which to check its spread.

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

reviewed by Shannon Fay

09 May 2016

The Dark Forest faces a challenge confronted by many sequels: when the hook of the first instalment was its central mystery, how do you keep readers' interest once that mystery is solved?

Shadows in Summerland by Adrian Van Young

reviewed by Selena Chambers

06 May 2016

This makes for an implicit metatextual argument for historical fiction/biography as a whole: you have to conjure one world into the reality of another, and to do so isn't so much about researching and relaying the facts as it is allowing them to calcinate in the imagination.

Making Wolf by Tade Thompson

reviewed by Ian Mond

04 May 2016

There's a great deal of smarts driving this book, especially in the way Thompson uses the conventions of the genre to comment on sexist and violent attitudes toward women.

The Last Weekend by Nick Mamatas

reviewed by Christina Scholz

02 May 2016

Mamatas's close relationship to San Francisco and the Bay Area feeds into his descriptions of the city and into the adventures and anecdotes shared by the characters, showing us how we're surrounded by stories and also exchanging stories with our fellow human beings on a daily basis.

Cat's Whirld by Rodolfo Martínez

reviewed by Benjamin Gabriel

29 April 2016

There are a million small things to like about Cat's Whirld, but it's hard to say if there is any one that truly stands out, or that makes it an uncontroversially good book.

The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar

reviewed by Abigail Nussbaum

27 April 2016

Here, the master's tools can’t be used to dismantle his house, and the only option for women who want to tell their own story is to drop out of the story we’re reading.

X by Alistair McDowall, directed by Vicky Featherstone

reviewed by Sophia McDougall

25 April 2016

I began to find myself perversely reminded of an old sketch by Stewart Lee and Richard Herring. Lee’s Jesus is delivering a parable to his disciples, but whenever Herring’s Matthew attempts to unpack one of his metaphors Jesus forestalls him with a beatific “Ahh!”

Archived Reviews

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