Author: Iain Maloney

Heart of Granite by James Barclay

Heart of Granite James Barclay Gollancz, 416 pages Reviewed: Ian Hunter Apart from being the President of the British Fantasy Society, following Ramsey Campbell who held that position for decades, James Barclay is better known as the author of several fantasy series starting way back in 1999 with the Chronicles of the Raven trilogy, followed by other series rooted in fantasy, culminating in the recent Elves books. Now we have Heart of Granite the first in his Blood and Fire series, touted as science fiction, but probably more science fantasy, set centuries in the future where war is being...

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The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The Hatching Ezekiel Boone Gollancz, 303 pages Review: Henry Northmore There’s a rich tradition of ‘when animals attack’ stories in horror and sci-fi. We’ve been besieged by insects, rats, dogs, sharks, crabs, you name it. From classy classics such as Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds to the splatter fiction of Shaun Hutson’s Slugs, if it slithers, crawls or scurries it has probably risen up in defiance and attacked the human race. Ezekiel Boone’s animal of choice is spiders. Even the word is enough to evoke terror in some, sending shivers scuttling down their spine. Apparently over 35% of the population suffer from arachnophobia. And Boone wants to dial the fear up one more notch as an ancient species of carnivorous spiders threatens to engulf the world. A black tidal wave of voracious creepy crawlies devouring everything in their path. It spreads like a living, flesh eating disease. Starting deep in the Peruvian jungle, then China becomes infested, India is next, how long before America is consumed by this eight legged tsunami? Beyond the initial fright factor Boone turns his arthropods into a credible danger, with an intriguing life cycle, threatening to overwhelm humanity by sheer strength of numbers. How do you fight back against a swarm of bugs? Shooting bullets at a seething mass of spiders is an almost futile act. Of course Boone isn’t the first to use...

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Savant by Nik Abnett

Savant Nik Abnett Rebellion / Solaris, 356 pages Review: Steve Ironside Savant is set in a College – a place where the Masters (helped by their Companions and Assistants) teach their Students, while the ever-watching Service manages the schedules of them all, minute-by-minute and day-by-day. This regimen isn’t just about teaching however; there’s a deeper agenda to the activity of the Colleges. When the erratic behaviour of one of the Masters puts the whole system gets put at risk, Service must deal with the situation before the whole house of cards they’ve created comes tumbling down, with consequences that...

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The Augur’s Gambit / The King’s Justice by Stephen Donaldson

The Augur’s Gambit / The King’s Justice Stephen Donaldson Gollancz, 192 / 128 pages Review: Chris Heyman To describe a creative project as a palette cleanser would seem to disparage it but there is no more fitting term for The Augur’s Gambit and The King’s Justice, shipped as one volume in America but released in the UK as two individual novellas. Over the last four decades Stephen Donaldson has focussed on several multi-volume series, but in a recent gap between epics he has delivered these twin tales that both follow magicians saving their kingdoms. Donaldson uses his gift for...

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Thirty Years of Rain by Glasgow Science Fiction Writers’ Circle

Thirty Years of Rain Neil Williamson, Elaine Gallagher, Cameron Johnston (editors) Lulu Press, 248 pages Review: Chris Kelso There’s an old saying that suggests us Scots have more words for rain than an Eskimo does for snow. Despite our majority’s staunchly socialist attitudes and trademark pragmatism, for some reason, Scotland has proved fertile ground for the science fiction community, and for writers in general. Perhaps it has something to do with escapism? Maybe we’re all communal dreamers in a post-industrial reverie? Or, perhaps it has more to do with the dreichness that hangs over us in omnipresence, with all...

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