Prosper’s Demon – so much fun!

I’ve bought and read a few of Tor’s novellas, but though I might look, to use the parlance of my youth, a bit scabby, I feel I’m not quite getting my money’s worth, in that I am paying almost what I would for a longer novel, for something I can read in an afternoon. For […]

Reading Pandemica

(Be patient, I do get around to recommending stuff to read somewhere in here eventually …) Candice Carty-Williams is spot on, at least for me, when she warns re self-isolation: 1) Don’t go out and buy a thousand books. Much like holiday reading, you almost certainly won’t get through them all. Your to-be-read pile will […]

Review – “Lincoln in the Bardo”

Yes, it is very important that I review a novel that has been reviewed only a gazillion times already, and that won the Booker Prize, and that is already several years old. Never say I don’t have my thumb on the carotid artery of the zeitgeist, dear Reader! Plus, as you know, I don’t do […]

A Small Town in Germany

John le Carre’s 5th novel is 50 years old, but the world it describes is only yesterday, a modern world with the only discrepancies the make of cars, or whether everyone has a boilerman enter their home to start the morning. In their concerns and the way they live their lives, the folk described don’t […]

You had me at …

Dear Ms Kiernan. If you didn’t have me before, you had me at “…militants from the Earth- Yuggoth Cooperative”. Insert extremely large smiley face here. An electronic version of the original Black Helicopters has been lost somewhere in my PC for a few years, and I haven’t read it. However, I was very pleased this […]

Such wonderful sentences

‘Michael took both her hands in his own, leaning close. “Such eyes. How did they fit such enormous eyes into your beautiful face? They had to boil your skull to make it flexible to expand the sockets for those beautiful eyes.”‘ … “I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody from Denmark.” “Denmark is misunderstood. I’m […]

A wonderful bucket in the face

Too often I just settle, but now I wanted more. I find it easy to commit, I’m prepared to put in the hard yards once the initial blush has worn off, but it occurred to me, why am I doing this even when there was no fist blush. Back in university days, a friend studying […]

Disgust

David Stevens transforms the countryside into a terrifying ecological nightmare in “Crop Rotation“, a story that makes disgust its bread and butter. Why, thank you very much! I can’t ask for much more than that: terrifying, nightmare, and disgust, all in one sentence. Insert smiley face here. I am happy to see that Haralambi Markov’s review of […]

The Maggot People

Imagine if Dan Brown had the gumption to really whack us with a truly bizarre confection of a conspiracy about the Catholic Church, instead of that wimpy pile he served up. If you are going to show us an imaginary dark world hidden by a conspiracy of the ages, have a real red hot go […]

No Lions please, we’re British

You have to (yes, it is compulsory) love a book that includes the following: a section on the reintroduction of vanished species to Britain; in that section, a table naming species with an estimated date of extinction in Britain; a rating of their suitability for reintroduction; a heading, “Reintroduction efforts so far”; an entry simply […]