Tag Archives: Gareth L Powell

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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Ten of the Best: 2019

It’s been a ridiculously good year for fantasy and science fiction books this year, with a lot of seriously deserving titles hitting the shelves. According to my Goodreads stats I’ve managed to pour twenty-three of those books into my eyes over the course of the last twelve months, and in most cases I’ve enjoyed them enough to award them four or more stars. There have been a couple of not-so-great titles, but they really are the exceptions for me this year, which means either I’m very easily pleased by the written word, or the quality of new genre fiction is improving. Personally I’m inclined to say it’s a bit of both.

Anyway, of the twenty-some new titles I’ve read this year, here are my ten favourites, in no particular order.

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Book Review: Fleet of Knives

Fleet of KnivesFleet of Knives by Gareth L. Powell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yet another fantastic outing for the Trouble Dog and her crew.

Fleet of Knives is the sequel to last year’s Embers of War and follows on from roughly where the last one left off. A year has passed and following a debriefing and some repairs Trouble Dog and her crew are off on a shakedown cruise, ostensibly to make sure everything’s running smoothly but also to give the crew a chance to patch up any psychological wounds they might still be suffering, when they’re called on to rescue some merchants stuck on a derelict generation ship. Meanwhile, the former Butcher of Pelepatarn, Ona Sudak, is facing death by firing squad for her past crimes only to find herself being whisked away to act as the biological controller of the titular fleet of knives, the Marble Armada.

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A Year In Books

We’re almost at the end of another year, and I have to say, 2018 has been a fantastic year for genre books. there have been some cracking good follow-ups to some of last year’s best debuts, along with some seriously well written shorter works. Talking to other readers at EdgeLit and SledgeLit, and picking up on reviews online, there’s definitely a sense that genre publishing, in all respects, has gotten better, broader, and more diverse this year, and next year is looking even more so. With that in mind, I thought now would be a good time to look at the books which have stood out most for me in 2018.

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