Author: Iain Maloney

Empire Games by Charles Stross

Empire Games Charles Stross Tor, 316 pages Review: Noel Chidwick Empire Games continues The Merchant Princes series, which we left in 2010 with The Trade of Queens. The Merchant Princes is an alternative Earth saga, featuring the Clan, who world-walk between their own timeline still stuck in the Middle Ages and ‘our’ timeline. They trade between the two lines to make their fortune, where trade is, as Stross describes it, “paperwork-free shipping.” Drugs trafficking is their currency: the obvious choice when you can flick from one world to another in the blink of an eye. The upshot is knights...

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Pirate Utopia by Bruce Sterling

Pirate Utopia Bruce Sterling Tachyon, 192 pages Review: Ian Hunter “Strange days indeed” as John Lennon once sang, and Pirate Utopia seems to be the perfect political satire novel to have come out in 2016 given the events of Brexit and the election success of Donald Trump, though as a novel Pirate Utopia is far from perfect. Think Chaplin’s The Great Dictator with the Marx Brother’s Duck Soup added into the mix as well as a sprinkling from Orwell’s Animal Farm and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and you might have something close to the exotic dish that Sterling has served...

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The Wall of Storms by Ken Liu

The Wall of Storms: The Dandelion Dynasty Book 2 Ken Liu Head of Zeus, 880 pages Review: Iain Maloney The Wall of Storms is the second book in Ken Liu’s The Dandelion Dynasty series and can be described as ‘epic’ without fear of hyperbole. Clocking in at 880 pages and 1.2kg in hardback it is a daunting prospect for those of us who like to read in bed without fear of broken noses or fly regularly and worry that we may be forced to check our reading material into the hold. SF and fantasy tend to throw up long...

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Revenger by Alistair Reynolds

Revenger Alastair Reynolds Hachette, 411 Pages Review: Benjamin Thomas Pirating on the high seas: Except here the seas are leagues of space and these ships are crewed by integrators, bauble experts, and bone readers. Welcome to Alastair Reynold’s Revenger, a thrilling deep-space ride that follows two sisters, Adrana and Arafura Ness, as they sign up as part of Captain Rackamore’s crew, running from a seemingly privileged, comfortable life. Their intentions are good, as their family’s financial stability is not what it seems, however they quickly fall victim to the fact that no good deed goes unpunished. The sisters show...

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The Dancer by Rab Ferguson & The Speckled God by Marc Joan

The Dancer Rab Ferguson Unsung Shorts, 22 pages The Speckled God Marc Joan Unsung Shorts, 38 pages Review: Iain Maloney Online Exclusive Here at Shoreline of Infinity, the fastest way to get a story rejected – after bad writing – is for the science fiction ‘elements’ to be added on like accessories. For it to truly be science fiction, the ‘science’ part must be integral to the story. A story must rest upon its setting. Romeo & Juliet is probably the classic ‘being A meets being B’ story, the kind of story that could – and does – happen...

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