Author: Iain Maloney

Ancestral Machines by Michael Cobley

Ancestral Machines, A Humanity’s Fire Novel Michael Cobley Orbit, 504 pages Review by Duncan Lunan I enjoyed the Humanity’s Fire trilogy which preceded this novel, but I was concerned that the opening of the Well into vast sub-layers of alternative realities and ancient technologies would submerge the emphasis on human values which had characterised the early parts of the trilogy. When I found that Ancestral Machines begins down there, I feared that my misgivings would be justified – intriguing though it was to find events in “a cavernous opening half a million miles wide and about three million long,...

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The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville

The Last Days of New Paris China Mieville Del Rey, 224 pages Review by Eris Young Set against a backdrop of crumbling streets and burned-out buildings, The Last Days of New Paris follows the parallel stories of Thibault, the last surviving member of a rebel army of artists, and Jack, arrogant acolyte of occultist Aleister Crowley. As hostilities inside New Paris reach a stalemate, dark rumours spread of a nazi weapon with the power to turn the tide of the war. In order to stop it, Thibault and his mysterious companion Sam must navigate the streets of a city...

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The List by Patricia Forde

The List Patricia Forde Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 368 pages Review by Katie Gray In the city of Ark, food, water and words are tightly rationed. The world as we know it has ended, the sea levels have risen, and in the last known bastion of civilisation the people must speak the new language, List, or be expelled into the forest. Care of the List, some five hundred words and falling, is in the hands of the city wordsmith, Benjamin, and his apprentice Letta. One day Benjamin sets out into the wilderness on a routine word-finding expedition – and never returns....

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Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth by Cassandra Khaw

Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth Cassandra Khaw Abaddon Books, 155 Pages Review: Benjamin Thomas Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth is the second part of the saga of Rupert Wong, our favorite cannibal chef. While Ends of the Earth is technically a novella, it packs more in its pages than most mammoth tomes we find on the shelves. The tremendous difficulty with novellas for writers is the fact that there are a lot more darlings that have to be killed in order to get the desired word count. Khaw’s blade, like the one belonging...

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Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee

Raven Stratagem Yoon Ha Lee Solaris, 400 pages Review by Iain Maloney Criticism is a funny old thing. The critic is late to the party: the book is published, printed, often already in shops and on people’s nightstands by the time the review comes out so any criticism offered is at best parenthetical. As a novelist myself I’ve read critical reviews of my books and thought, ‘Okay, so the reviewer thinks W doesn’t work, X should’ve done Y and Z should’ve been longer. What do they think I can do about it now?’ While some writers occasionally get the...

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