web analytics

Christopher Priest

A Brief History of Time Travel: 6 Key Books

by Paul

So far this year, we’ve looked forward in time to consider the books that will be coming out this month, then travelled back in time to the very beginnings of science fiction. Since we’re still recovering from this literary jetlag, it seems only appropriate to look at the history of this literary device. We’ve picked […]

Read More

Books to look forward to in October, part 3

by Paul

And here we go with the final selection of the books you’ll want to read this month. The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman Yes, I know, another fantasy. But if you aren’t excited by Pullman returning to the world of His Dark Materials, where have you been hiding for the last […]

Read More

These are the Ways the World Ends: Environment

by Paul

Concluding our short series on the end of the world, we come to those stories in which the world rises up against humanity. That other apocalyptic horseman, Famine, is the invariable companion of War and Pestilence; but science fiction has expanded on this. It is not just that humanity is unable to find sufficient food, […]

Read More

Our Top 10 of 2016

by Paul

How many books do you read? One a month? One a week? One a day? Honestly, you could get through one an hour, and you’d probably still not keep up with every single science fiction book published during the year. So when we say these are our best novels of 2016, bear that in mind. […]

Read More

The greatest sf authors?

by Paul

There’s a post I’ve just come across (it seems to be a year old, but you know how these things disappear and resurface on the web) that claims to list “The Greatest Sci-Fi Authors of All Time“. It’s an interesting, if largely predictable list: Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, […]

Read More

3 Books that Undermine Reality

by Paul

There is a point in Nina Allan’s The Rift, which I reviewed here recently, when we know that the same character is both alive and dead. It’s a chilling moment that is never resolved, so we close the book not quite sure what is real and what isn’t. Science fiction writers have always played around with […]

Read More

… and SF novels shortlisted for mainstream prizes

by Paul

The other day we noted some of the mainstream writers who had been shortlisted for (or had even won) major science fiction awards. But the news that Naomi Alderman has won the Baileys Women’s Prize for The Power was a reminder that the traffic isn’t all one way. Admittedly, there are fewer sf novels being shortlisted […]

Read More

5 One-Off SF Ideas

by Paul

Let’s face it, most sf ideas get re-used and developed and built-up and changed as they spread across the genre. H.G. Wells invents the time machine, but it is other writers who use it to go back and change the past, or kill your grandfather, or any number of other variations on the theme you’ll […]

Read More

10 Essential SF Titles of the 2000s

by Paul

Our peripatetic history of science fiction gets close to home now. The first decade of the new century began with the Millennium Bug scare, which turned out to be nothing and ever since then we’ve tended more and more to embrace digital technology rather than shy away from it. Besides, that minor panic was very […]

Read More

Shadow Clarke Award

by Paul

Awards Categories: Awards

The idea of a Shadow Jury for literary awards is something that has become increasingly common in Britain over the last few years. There are shadow juries for the Booker Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and several others. They emerged out of two considerations: on the one hand the discussions and the decision processes of […]

Read More