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Gary Dalkin

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…is a freelance editor, writing consultant and story structure expert. To find out more, including hiring me to work on your writing project, read my profile or visit my website, To The Last Word.

 

London Fields director's cut

London Fields – Director’s Cut Review

An advance viewing of the director's cut redeems the earlier fifth lowest gross in US release version of this on-the-edge-of-the-apocalypse film

Review: The Teardrop Method, by Simon Avery

It is a story about ... the transmutation of the darkest personal grief into art, and about the coming to terms with the inevitability of death.

Review: Cottingley by Alison Littlewood

Cottingley is a treat and another triumph for one of the best writers of dark fiction around, Alison Littlewood.

Professor Rachel Armstrong Joins Improbable Botany

Professor Rachel Armstrong joins the Improbable Botany team!

Improbable Interviews – Cherith Baldry

An interview with Cherith Baldry, one of the contributors to the anthology Improbable Botany.

Improbable Interviews – Adam Roberts

I have recently edited a new anthology of science fiction and fantasy stories about fantastical flora. The book, Improbable Botany, features authors who between...

Improbable Interviews – Ken MacLeod

Ken Macleod interviewed about his contribution to Improbable Botany

Review: Recursion, by Tony Ballantyne

Ballantyne’s plotting is stunningly impressive, the story unfolding with clarity, precision and a powerful imaginative vision

Review: Beautiful Intelligence, by Stephen Palmer

Beautiful Intelligence is a bracingly imaginative novel. By choosing to operate within a realistic, post-crash, dystopian cyberpunkish framework Stephen Palmer has written his most accessible and commercial work to-date.

Review: Exultant, by Stephen Baxter

Exultant is The Dam Busters in space, or Star Wars stripped of its mythopoetic resonances and bolstered by hard physics.

James Horner – Obituary

Film composer James Horner has died in a plane crash.

Review: The Baby Merchant, by Kit Reed

The Baby Merchant, an expertly crafted psychological crime drama with a modicum of science fiction, a book which reads with the page-turning magnetism of Stephen King, Thomas Harris or Michael Crichton.

Review: Naomi’s Room & The Silence of Ghosts, by Jonathan Aycliffe

What keeps someone in a haunted house once the scary stuff starts to happen?

Review: Crash, by Guy Haley

Who wouldn't be discombobulated, finding oneself expelled from suspended animation amid the remains of a starship scattered across an alien world?

Review – Intrusion, by Ken MacLeod

Intrusion is a novel, published in 2012, by Scotland's preeminent writer of serious hard SF. It was nominated for both of the UK's top science fiction awards, the British Science Fiction Association Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Interview: Electric Cinema – Andrew David Barker

The Electric is a ghost story steeped in the love of movies, with shades of vintage Bradbury and King. It is quiet an achievement.

Review – Living Next-Door To The God Of Love, by Justina...

Living Next-Door To The God Of Love is a hard book to write about without giving away its manifold secrets, and to do so would be to do the novel a disservice, for the greatest pleasure it holds is in the gradual uncovering of the extraordinarily detailed and original fictional universe Justina Robson has created.

Review – Cowboy Angels, by Paul McAuley

The Real is a parallel world in which the Second World War never happened, where Alan Turing emigrated to America in the 1950’s and laid the foundations for the development of Turing Gates. By 1968 the CIG was beginning to use the Gates to secretly explore parallel worlds. ... There is a lot of plot in Cowboy Angels. There is also a lot of Bourne-movie style action. McAuley builds the suspense well and the set-pieces are effectively conceived.

Review – Sanity and the Lady by Brian Aldiss

Aldiss has written the most comfortable, middle-class, middle-of-the-road, whimsical, genteel catastrophe imaginable. I can only in all fairness conclude that was all along his intention.

Review – The Heretic Land, by Tim Lebbon

Tim Lebbon's 2012 novel The Heretic Land is something of an endangered species in modern publishing; a self-contained, complete unto itself secondary world fantasy novel.

Review – Eifelheim, by Michael Flynn

Eifelheim fashions a meeting-place between two alien worldviews, medieval Christian theology and cutting edge physics, without doing disservice to either. Nominated for the Hugo Award in 1987.

2014: A Reading Odyssey – Part 2

Gary Dalkin completes his survey of the books he read in 2014

2014: A Reading Odyssey – Part 1

a short recap of my 2014 in books. Where I reviewed a book for Amazing Stories I have provided a link to that review, and in one case to a related interview. So here, in chronological order, are the first 21 books I read in 2014.
Interstellar OST, single disc edition

The Interstellar Soundtrack Album Debacle

A look at the various controversies surrounding the release of the soundtrack album for Hans Zimmer's score to Interstellar

Underwhelmed By Interstellar

don't much care about the superhero films. I don't expect much from them, and was only disappointed by The Dark Knight Rises in that it wasn't as good as The Dark Knight. But Interstellar is disappointing in a very different way.

Is Interstellar Too Loud?

I have read repeated complaints that Interstellar is too loud. Which makes as much sense as complaining that a record is too loud.

Review: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks consists of six linked novellas chronicling the life of one woman, Holly Sykes, from rebellious teenager in 1984, to grandmother in 2043. Each novella is narrated in the first person present tense, but only the opening and closing sections are see directly through Holly’s eyes. In the other four sections she is a character in someone else's story. It is a strong framework on which to build a novel. Unfortunately Holly is not herself a particularly interesting person

Review: Another War by Simon Morden

Another War is an early novella, published in the UK by Telos Publishing in 2005, by the British writer Simon Morden, who has since come to prominence with the Philip K. Dick Award-winning Metrozone series. It is a fast-paced horror story paying homage to HP Lovecraft, William Hope Hodgson, Quatermass, and even UNIT from Doctor Who.

Review: Marcher by Chris Beckett (2014 Newcon Press edition)

Marcher is Chris Beckett's second novel, now making its UK debut in a significantly revised edition from Newcon Press. When his first novel to be published in the UK, Dark Eden (2012), won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Chris Beckett seemed to many to have come out of nowhere. In-fact the author had been steadily publishing short stories since the beginning of the 1990s and his first book, The Turing Test (2008 - Elastic Press), had won the Edgehill Prize, the UK's only national award for single-author short story collections...

Review: Paradox, edited by Ian Whates

Paradox, edited by Ian Whates and published by Newcon Press, is a collection of new stories exploring aspects of the Fermi Paradox. It features stories by Rachel Armstrong, Keith Brooke & Eric Brown, Pat Cadigan, David L. Clements, Paul Cornell, Paul di Filippo, Robert Reed, Mike Resnick & Robert T. Jeschoenek, Mercurio D Rivera, Adam Roberts, Stephanie Saulter, Tricia Sullivan, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gerry Webb and George Zebrowski.