Review of ‘The Weirdstone of Brisingamen’ by Alan Garner

Alan Garner’s brilliantly titled 1960 fantasy takes North European tropes familiar from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and spins them into a very English children’s fantasy. Two children, a brother and sister called Colin and Susan, are sent to stay with relatives of their mother’s when she must join their father abroad for six months. […]

‘2084: The Anthology’ by Unsung Stories – 2nd review of 3

‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ does villainy so well its antagonists are part of our language: from the treacherous shopkeeper to the harsh genius O’Brian; from Big Brother to Winston himself as he willingly becomes the thing he hates. Prize for most hateful bastardy in ‘2084’ goes to the mysterious organisers of EJ Swift’s ‘The Endling Market’. Like […]

‘2084: The Anthology’ by Unsung Stories (review in three parts)

‘2084’ is a collection of specially commissioned short stories edited by George Sandison, set a century after the titular year of George Orwell’s seminal dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. Since its publication, the themes, stories and language of Orwell’s novel have become part of popular culture in ways even its farsighted author could not have imagined. […]

Review of ‘Gilded Cage’ by Vic James

‘Gilded Cage’ cleverly blends dystopian and fantasy tropes to create a gripping narrative that so perfectly captures the absurdity of contemporary political ‘reality’ it actually made me angry reading it at times. The idea is brilliantly simple: in a world analogous to ours, a minority of people with uncanny abilities called ‘Skills’ become the ruling […]

Review of ‘Age of Assassins’ by RJ Barker

‘Age of Assassins’ is a cleverly-rendered fantasy that subtly blends genres to create a unique voice and world. Ostensibly epic, it actually takes place in a single castle, and deals with matters of state, so is technically high fantasy as well, although the protagonist narrator, Girton, is a low-born assassin so enigmatic even he doesn’t […]