The ‘Lightstar EP’ by Hetero is a real blast-from-the-past. If one pays a lot of attention to the music media today, one could be forgiven for thinking that the term ‘punk’ covers a multitude of different sounds and styles. And to be fair, this is very true, but has as much to do with marketing as linear evolution in art. Continue reading CD Review: ‘Lightstar EP’ by Hetero
Ken Macleod’s latest novel, ‘Learning the World’ is a new twist on the classic ‘first contact’ trope that has been a long been a staple of SF. Continue reading Book Review: ‘Learning the World’ by Ken Macleod
M. M. Buckner is one of the new bright hopes of US SF. ‘War Surf’ is her third novel, and examines a future Earth where capitalism has reached its most extreme possible outcome. Economic and environmental disaster has created an Orwellian world of ‘protes’ and executives, the classic worker-aristo schism. Continue reading Book Review: ‘War Surf’ by M. M. Buckner
‘Looking for Jake’ is Mieville’s first collection of shorter works, netted in from the last seven or eight years of work he’s had published. It’s quite diverse within the scope of horror and fantasy writing, ranging from edgey stories of urban paranoia (‘An End to Hunger’), through ‘mystery package’ stories a la Jorge Luis Borges, but beginning and ending in what I take to be the same cataclysm of London shown in two pieces, a story and a novella (‘Looking for Jake’ and ‘The Tain’). There is also a short but messy tale of revenge among the underworld of Mieville’s best-known creation, New Crobuzon (‘Jack’).
An enjoyable collection, but in my opinion he writes better at novel length. These tales are good, but not scintillating, but this is forgivable seeing as there are few writers who can excel at both shorts and novels. One for the fans, but maybe not the best intro for a newbie.
Charles Stross has sold more than a dozen novels to publishers, but has done so in such a short period of time that less than half of them are actually in print yet. He’s a hot property, a supernova of the notorious Scotland set whose grip on the leading edge of British (and arguably world) SF grows stronger season by season. Stross’ writings are a case study in the talent that exists in this clade, and ‘Accelerando’, his latest to be published, a prime example of how invention and skill can combine in a synergistic fashion. Continue reading Book Review: ‘Accelerando’ by Charles Stross