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Book Reviews

Clarke at 100: Earthlight

by Paul

Arthur C. Clarke would have turned 100 this year. To celebrate one of the greats of science fiction, I’m going to spend the year revisiting some of his books, and writing about them here. I’m not going to be reading them in any specific order, more a matter of which one I happen to take […]

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12 Great New SF Titles to start 2017

by Paul

Hi, have a good break? I did, but I’m glad to be back at the blog. Particularly as there’s so much going on this year. And if the books coming out in January are anything to go by, it’s going to be a great year in science fiction. Just look at these books: 4 3 […]

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Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

by Paul

As Cora first boards the Underground Railroad she is told, “Look outside as you speed through, and you’ll find the true face of America”. The bitter joke, of course, is that when you look out from a train underground there is nothing to see but a uniform darkness. When I reviewed Underground Airlines by Ben […]

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Review: Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

by Paul

… that’s just the way things go If you’re black you might as well not show up on the street ‘Less you want to draw the heat Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”     It is 40 years since our latest Nobel laureate pointed out the running sore in the American body politic. It wasn’t new then, […]

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Discover Ted Chiang before everyone else does

by Paul

It looks like Ted Chiang is going to be the new Philip K. Dick. That is, his work is going to be the source for first rate intelligent science fiction films. The new film, Arrival, based on his short story, “Story of Your Life”, is already a big hit at cinemas around the world. But it […]

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Review – Zero K by Don DeLillo

by Paul

One of the most persistent themes that has run right through the history of science fiction is the avoidance of death. For a long time it was religion, with its various promises of rebirth or transmigration of the soul or the eternal life of heaven, that told humankind there was more beyond our brief mortal […]

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Review – The Gradual by Christopher Priest

by Paul

You see them waiting at the harbour. A small group of men and women, young-looking, sitting under an awning. They pay little attention to each other, still less to the passengers disembarking from the inter-island ferry. Except, every once in a while, one of the young people will approach one of the new arrivals. There […]

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Book Review: Radiomen by Eleanor Lerman

by Paul

It’s a pretty good list for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, isn’t it? We’ve already written about several of the shortlisted novels – The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts is here,  The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi is here, The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor is here,  Europe at Midnight by Dave Hutchinson is here, Where […]

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An Introduction to Science Fiction Readings: Where to Start

by Paul

There are people out there who insist that you cannot write science fiction unless you know the history of science fiction. Yeah, I know, ludicrous, isn’t it. It’s impossible for any one person to read all the sf being published in any one year, so getting to grips with everything that has been written in […]

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Book Review: The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts

by Paul

Read a lot by Adam Roberts and the thing you notice is how much of his work is in conversation with other science fiction. There’s the Russian sf of Yellow Blue Tibia, the golden age sf of Jack Glass, the talking animal fantasies of Bete and so on. But I don’t think he has written anything that wears […]

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