Author: Iain Maloney

Iraq+100: Stories from Another Iraq

Iraq+100: Stories from Another Iraq Hassan Blasim (editor) Comma Press, 224 pages Review by Chris Kelso A nation’s literature is often shaped by historical and political events, and there aren’t many countries who have recently undergone such immense turmoil and upheaval as Iraq. It’s funny: science fiction seems such an obvious genre to explore for a population which has suffered decades of oppression, censorship and violence – and yet, not many have. There are, of course, reasons for this – the government’s dogged application of the 1969 penal code for one. Iraq+100, edited by controversial author/filmmaker Hassan Blasim, is...

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The Corporation Wars: Insurgence by Ken MacLeod

The Corporation Wars: Insurgence Ken MacLeod Orbit, 320 pages Review: Iain Maloney Midway through Insurgence, the sequel to Dissidence and midpoint of the trilogy, Carlos the Terrorist finds himself in a hellish maze, his way lit by faint clumps of phosphorescent lichen. He knows the path in front of him will be difficult but that his goal, everything he’s fought for in his life – and virtual afterlife – is in this direction. It’s a computer generated simulation based on a thousand-year-old game popular when Carlos was alive, a circle within a circle within… well, it’s still not clear...

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Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals

Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals Edited by Dr Rob Appleby and Ra Page Comma Press, 304 pages Review by Pippa Goldschmidt This volume is the latest in a series of anthologies published by Comma Press showcasing specially written short stories inspired by a specific theme. This one takes as its subject ‘thought experiments’, experiments carried out in the safety of one’s own head to explore the world. Each short story is accompanied by an essay written by an expert in the field. Thought experiments can be used to expose the apparent misconceptions of a theory and one of the...

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The Cygnus Virus by TJ Zakreski

The Cygnus Virus TJ Zakreski Dancing Star, 366 pages Review by Steve Ironside The search for life on another world is not without its risks. Some worry that we’ll end up advertising our presence to a dangerous civilisation who’ll come to enslave us; some worry the knowledge that we’ve contacted someone else will throw our own societies into disarray, and lead to the end of life as we know it. Or what if an alien intelligence were already among us, and then pops up in plain sight? How would we respond? Moreover, what if a series of bizarre coincidences...

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Hold Back the Stars By Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars By Katie Khan Penguin Books/Doubleday Books Review: Thom Day Carys and Max are stuck in space. They’ve somehow managed to make it through the ring of meteors that surrounds Earth, but their spacecraft has been critically damaged in the process. Now with 90 minutes of oxygen left, they must fight to save each other and prove to the world below that the “utopian” rules governing Earth aren’t as progressive and freeing as they seem. I generally steer clear of the romance genre, but it’s not often you get the opportunity to read romance set in...

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