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 […]

Review of ‘Tanith By Choice’ by Tanith Lee

This collection, chosen by friends, colleagues and admirers of the late author, is a great introduction to one of our great speculative short story writers. Tanith Lee effortlessly blends myth, fairytale, science fiction and erotica in a way both subversive and compelling. The stories are also often very witty; in ‘Red as Blood’, for example, […]

Review of ‘Osama’ by Lavie Tidhar

Joe is a private investigator tasked with finding Mike Longshott, author of the novel ‘Osama Bin Laden: Vigilante’ in this eerie book that perfectly nails the sense of dazed disconnect following the terrorist attacks in New York on 11 September 2001. As in ‘The Man in the High Castle’ ‘Osama’ (the book I’m reviewing, not […]

Review of ‘Blood Red Dust’ by Stuart Aken

The first of Stuart Aken’s ‘Generation Mars’ books takes three major contemporary social drivers – capitalism, religious fundamentalism and liberalism – and transplants them to Mars following economic and environmental collapse on Earth. The story takes the innovative form of a study based on recordings made by representatives of all three drivers with the most […]

Review of ‘If Then’ by Matthew De Abaitua

‘If Then’ is a deeply original, compelling and often disturbing piece of very English science fiction. The mysterious title suggests early code with the variables removed and the book’s structure hints at the binary; it’s divided in two with the first part titled ‘If’ (suggesting the future), the other titled ‘Then’, (suggesting the past). The […]