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Lockdown by Peter May

I’m not against a bit of opportunistic book marketing. Lockdown feels like ‘Instant Karma’ but for books. I bet it wasn’t always called that, but right now it feels as if it has been ripped from the headlines. Published at the beginning of this month, this novel dates from 2005, when, according to its author, […]

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Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

My first problem with Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear is that although I read and enjoyed it, I just had to look up the title before I could review it. My second problem is that it has a subtitle: A White Space Novel. As an SF reader of long standing, this gives me the heebs, […]

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The Wake Knot by R.F. McMinn – sample chapter

Arrival Barns, granaries, stables, workshops, stranger’s hall, fit for the boundless hospitality of Crowland Chris Marsh saw a faded blue P for parking and pulled in to the empty car park. He stepped out of the air conditioned car and was suspended in the unspeakable heat. The tarmac sizzled and the air shimmered. The cooling […]

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The Wake Knot – available in paperback or ebook

Amazon UK Amazon US I wanted to write something with a sense of place – to see if I could capture the feeling of one of those everyday, hot French villages, the kind that are nothing special but still carry that sense of being suspended in unspeakable heat. And I started with that phrase. The […]

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A Knotty Problem

So, I’ve been writing a book. It’s called The Wake Knot. I thought for a long time that I wouldn’t be able to finish it, and I’ve been sitting on the project since I properly started it around November 2014. One of those NaNoWriMo projects that seemed to go nowhere. I’ve been so lacking in […]

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The Last Day by Andrew Hunter Murray

Headline: decent thriller + botched science fiction premise = cursed novel. I know AHM these days by dint of his presenting the Private Eye podcast, Page 94, though he’ll also be familiar to listeners of There’s No Such Thing as a Fish, the podcast of the QI elving community. Personally I’ve always really hated the […]

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Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss

I found this book too upsetting to enjoy, I’ll say that straight away. It’s well-written, and full of fascinating dialect words, but there comes a particularly brutal point in the story, and I couldn’t go on. I kind of skim-read, fast-forwarded through the rest, which I feel bad about, but that was all I could […]

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Good Things

Nightfall – Little Big Town Here we are then, twenty-twenty, the year of hindsight, and my first (new) album purchase of the year is this new record from vocal harmony group Little Big Town. And it’s great, beautiful, and if you’re not uplifted by the opening track, “Next to You”, you’re dead inside. The band […]

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Six Wakes by Mur Lafferty

This, for once, is not a sleep diary entry but a review of something I’ve wanted to read for a while, a science fiction mystery novel which was nominated for a number of major awards (though didn’t win). I didn’t buy it immediately, however, because The Incomparable podcast was only lukewarm about it, and it […]

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Peter Brown called to say

It’s a measure of the extent to which The Love You Make is a careless hack job that the book manages to misquote the one line in a Beatles song that means anybody has ever heard of its co-author. “Peter Brown called to say,” it reads, “You can made it okay, you can get married […]