Metafiction

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.

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

Interview (Part 2): Nina Allan On Her Debut Novel, The Race

Welcome to the second part of an extensive interview with, Nina Allan who over the last decade has established herself as one of the UK’s most imaginative and compelling writers. This time we discuss some of the more the specifically science fictional aspects of her debut novel, The Race, as well as maps, Hastings, the best vampire film in years, fracking, politics, the planet, language, communication and much more.

Book Review: Help Fund My Robot Army!!!

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Given that there is a strong recursive strain in science fiction, it was only a matter of time until a book about crowdfunding was published via crowdfunding.

Review – The Fictional Man by Al Ewing

Niles Golan is an ex-pat Brit in Hollywood. Never grown-up, he narrates his life with an internal monologue transforming his everyday inadequacies into triumphs. Niles is his own fictional creation: to himself, a genius novelist akin to the young Thomas Pynchon; to everyone else, the hack who writes the popular Kurt Power adventures novels. His […]

Review – The Fictional Man by Al Ewing (Solaris, 2013)

The Fictional Man, published by UK imprint Solaris, is based on an impossible conceit, one of those high concept movie-friendly ideas where one aspect of reality is altered from our world but things continue just the same. Absurd, but depending on how well it’s done we buy into it for the duration. Here it is generally very well done. Al Ewing is a breathtakingly clever writer and his conceit is that human cloning was perfected decades ago but then outlawed because everyone is entitled to their own unique identity.

Living With the Nazis

With its haunting portrayal of the unthinkable, Fatherland sired (ha ha…) the alternate history sub-genre one might call: “What if … the Nazis won?”

New York Movie

Edward Hopper’s New York Movie, though not a fantasy painting, inspires artist M. D. Jackson to write a fantasy story.

Hard to tell if anything to gonna sell: Kickstarting REVOLUTION 60

It’s Wednesday, July 31, 10:45 am. Our fingers on the same mouse, Brianna and I simultaneously clicked the button. Then we fist-bump in celebration. Our Kickstarter for the videogame “Revolution 60” is now officially launched. We are terrified. What if it fails? We’ve researched the risks. 56% of all Kickstarters fail, including three-fourths of all […]

Stardust by Nina Allan

Stardust: The Ruby Castle Stories, by Nina Allan

Stardust is one of three books by Nina Allan published so far this year. First was the story collection Microcosmos. Next came the novella, Spin. Now we have Stardust, published as a very striking hardback by PS Publishing as PS Showcase #11. Stardust is subtitled The Ruby Castle Stories, but who (or what) is Ruby […]

The Cabin in the Woods

I’ll try and keep this spoiler-free, because I think it goes without saying that spoilers are the film buff’s bane, but I will need to at least hint at a few key aspects of the story in order to properly criticize it in the manner I intend to. Which is to say, I didn’t really […]

Your Majesty, I’m So Over You

Ranks and titles are powerful tools in the fantasy writer’s toolkit. What a shame they are used so unimaginatively in general. I offer some inspiration alongside your weekly dose of young fogeyishness.