The Demolished Man: A Hugo Retrospective

In 1953, the attendees and members of the eleventh World Science Fiction Convention (aka The 11th WorldCon, or Philcon II) were asked to do something they’d never done before: to vote for the writers, editors, artists and fans they felt had distinguished themselves in the past year with awards to be given at the First Annual Science Fiction Achievement Awards. And thus was born the spectacle we now know as the Hugo Awards.

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Book Review: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review. My thanks to Random House UK/Vintage Books and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity.

Nine-year-old Jai fancies himself as a bit of a detective and thinks of himself as the smartest person in his immediate circle. When a boy goes missing from his school, Jai decides to use the sleuthing skills he’s picked up from watching too many reality cop shows to find the missing boy. With his best friends at his side he sets about exploring the dangerous recesses of his local basti. But as more kids begin to go missing, Jai and his friends have to deal with an indifferent police force, scared and angry parents, and maybe even soul-sucking djinns in their search for clues.

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Ten of the Best: Space Opera

Welcome to Ten of the Best, a semi-regular series of articles where I discuss ten of my favourite examples of various science fiction and fantasy subgenres. The plan is to add a new post to this series every couple of months and hopefully provide regular visitors with some new recommendations for books, series or authors they may not have come across before. Of course, it goes without saying that these lists are entirely subjective and entirely based on my own reading history at the time they’re compiled, and as a result they may be subject to change at some unspecified point in the future.

To get the ball rolling I’d like to start with the subgenre that represents my original introduction to science fiction and fantasy: Space Opera.

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Book Review: Agency

Agency by William Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review. My thanks to Penguin UK and NetGalley for giving me this opportunity.

This is the second instalment in William Gibson’s Peripheral series, and follows pretty much the same format as the first book. Two separate timelines that slowly get drawn together as events in one begin to have an effect on the other.

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Book Review: The Peripheral

The Peripheral by William Gibson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve not read any William Gibson for a while now, not since Pattern Recognition first hit the shelves back in 2003, but I remember being massively impressed with everything of his I’d read up until that point. As a result, I had high expectations for The Peripheral and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.

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Book Review: Miss Austen

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publishers in return for an honest and unbiased review. My thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

I’ll admit when I first requested this book from NetGalley I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I only have a passing familiarity with the life and works of Jane Austen, but I was intrigued by the suggestion that this novel attempts to explain why, twenty-some years after the death of her slightly more famous sister, Cassandra Austen took it upon herself to burn a large chunk of the correspondence written by Jane.

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