The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

The Lost Fleet: Dauntless – Jack Campbell

After sleeping for a hundred years, lost in his survival pod after a fleet engagement, John Geary is awakened to a world in which the war has dragged on too long, killing senior officers faster than they could impart their knowledge to the next generation. Trapped in a fleet far behind enemy lines, surrounded by ship captains who never learned the tactics and battle strategies he was trained with, and with the position of fleet admiral thrust upon him, can he make the difference between the seemingly inevitable destruction of the fleet, and a return to Alliance space?

Trading in Danger - Elizabeth Moon

Trading in Danger – Elizabeth Moon

Part space combat thriller, part coming of age story for a young heroine, Elizabeth Moon’s “Trading in Danger” introduces us to a formidable heroine with a difficult past, whose strength and skill is tested against all manner of poor luck and ill-intentioned individuals as her ship, destined originally for a simple trading run and eventual salvage, finds itself at the heart of a local war. Can she overcome her relative inexperience and the perception of others to become what she needs to become to save her crew and her ship?

Rule 34 Charles Stross

Rule 34 – Charles Stross

A second book in Stross’s “Halting State” universe. Less a police procedural, more complex conspiracy theories this time, although the detective story hums nicely in the background. Stross continues his experimentation with the second person perspective, to much better effect this time, but also to my continuing annoyance as I find it a psychological obstacle to story immersion. His imaginative working of pervasive technology into every facet of daily life is creative and intelligent, and is probably the greatest strength of this otherwise complex and convoluted storyline.

Jupiter Ascending Theatrical Poster

Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending is a half-digested piece of narrative effluent shrink-wrapped in some strong special effects, with just about enough creative juice to spit out a really pretty trailer. Unfortunately, once the wrapping is opened and the entire contents consumed, the meal is devoid of flavour, narrative, story, coherence, continuity or character. A modern example of how fancy special effects really, absolutely cannot compensate for a dreadful script. Go see this if your medical doctor failed your lobotomy and you need to self-medicate.


British Fantasy Awards 2015 Nominees

The British Fantasy Awards nominees have been named. I’m quite fond of the way the BFS nominate – they have a democratic nominations process, but the juries can add two further nominees per category as egregious omissions, which means that if the voting public undergoes a collective neurological event and puts a bunch of dross on the ticket, the juries have the ability to claw back some respectability by adding a few candidates that deserve to be there,… Continue reading British Fantasy Awards 2015 Nominees


The Bone Clocks – David Mitchell

A strong work of fiction from a master storyteller, David Mitchell weaves his fantasy into the world around us with such skill that we forget the fantastic is only an arms length away throughout his story, only to have it manifest in an explosion of weirdness when we least expect it. No doubt a strong contender for many awards this year, The Bone Clocks ranks as one of the best novels I have read so far in 2015. It is no doubt also a contender for a future film adaptation.


City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

A grand novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, brought to my attention through its nomination for a World Fantasy Award, City of Stairs is many things.  It is a spy thriller. It is the concluding tome in an Epic never written. It is a fantasy novel that plays with the genre the way a cat plays with the loose thread on your favourite sweater. The Epic landscaping involves two cities, Bulikov and Ghaladesh. The former used to be… Continue reading City of Stairs – Robert Jackson Bennett

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War – P.W. Singer & August Cole

A war story unfolding in the near future, Ghost Fleet weaves a believable and frightening picture of how the next world conflict might unfold. Bringing together multiple technologies, strategies and viewpoints, the book shows how the growing strength of external powers coupled with an overriding need for resources could lead to war, and how technological development will dictate the way in which that war is prosecuted. An entertaining insight that reveals a little of the scenarios that must go through military strategists minds in this day and age.