Scifi books reviews

Ash: a secret history Review and Opinion

2019/07/02

Ash: A Secret History
Mary Gentle
Gollancz paperback £9.99

review by Ceri Jordan

Ash is a child of war: growing up parentless among camp followers, she takes naturally to the life of a soldier, and builds a renowned mercenary band under her leadership. This brings fame, riches, a thoroughly unwanted noble husband - and involvement in a conflict that

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Ash: a secret history Review and Opinion

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Secret window Review and Opinion

2016/09/13

Secret Window (2004)
Writer and director: David Koepp

review by Eric Turowski

Johnny Depp, John Turturro, and Stephen King - you'd think you couldn't go wrong with this one. I'm giving it one star just for the big names. We have Mort Rainey (Depp) as a writer who sleeps all the time, John Shooter (Turturro), a farmer who claims Rainey stole one of Shooter

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Secret window Review and Opinion

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Brief history of science Review and Opinion

2019/05/29

A Brief History Of Science:
As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments
Thomas Crump
Constable hardcover £20

review by Christopher Geary

In the preface, Thomas Crump notes the sad lack of useful scientifically-inclined history books, today, and he asks why, if authors still write general histories of other subjects has science

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Brief history of science Review and Opinion

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History of violence Review and Opinion

2017/03/16

A History Of Violence (2005)
Director: David Cronenberg

review by Roger Keen

Two travelling hoods wash up in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana intent on rape and pillage. They enter a diner owned by Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen), demand service as the place is closing, then grab the waitress and pull guns in anticipation of a sadistic bloodbath. But

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History of violence Review and Opinion

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Plot to save socrates Review and Opinion

2015/05/23

The Plot To Save Socrates
Paul Levinson
Tor paperback $14.50

review by Duncan Lawie

The Plot To Save Socrates begins in 2042 with a fragment of a Platonic dialogue, presented to Ph.D student Sierra Waters by her mentor, with an indication that he believes it to be authentic. Although a historical detective novel could begin this way the content

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Plot to save socrates Review and Opinion

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Roma eterna Review and Opinion

2018/05/10

Roma Eterna
Robert Silverberg
Gollancz paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Robert Silverberg has been writing stories within the alternate history of 'Roma Eterna' since the late 1980s. This book is a collection of these short stories. It is not a fix-up novel in the classic sense, as the works show no sign of having been retouched to fit together

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Roma eterna Review and Opinion

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Albion Review and Opinion

2016/04/29

Albion
Alan Moore, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shane Oakley and George Freeman
Titan graphic novel £9.99

review by J.C. Hartley

Originally printed as a mini-series by Wildstorm for DC Comics, the impetus for Albion came from artist Shane Oakley with the involvement of Alan Moore. As Moore was winding up his comicbook commitments at the time, his

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Albion Review and Opinion

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Greetings and other stories by terry bisson Review and Opinion

2015/12/15

Greetings And Other Stories
Terry Bisson
Tachyon paperback $24.95

review by Debbie Moon

A near-autistic scientist receives e-mails purporting to come from a time traveler living with Neanderthals... A group of former hippies find themselves called back to their one-time idyll by dreams in Super 8 format... A naïve prisoner is manipulated into volunteering

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Greetings and other stories by terry bisson Review and Opinion

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Human front by ken macleod Review and Opinion

2018/11/19

The Human Front
Ken MacLeod
PS Publishing paperback £8/$14

review by Steven Hampton

This novella is an alternative history of early 20th century Britain in which the grim Cold War prospect of a limited nuclear exchange was not averted (Moscow being among those major cities laid waste), and

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Human front by ken macleod Review and Opinion

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Things unborn- book review for zone-sf.com Review and Opinion

2018/02/14

Things Unborn
Eugene Byrne
Earthlight paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Eugene Byrne is perhaps best known for his alternative histories (often written with Kim Newman). Strictly speaking, this is another: the USA and the USSR fought an Atom War in 1962, destroying much of the Northern Hemisphere in the process. The time of the story, however,

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Things unborn- book review for zone-sf.com Review and Opinion

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Taken Review and Opinion

2018/02/21

Taken (2002)
Directors: Steven Spielberg with Leslie Bohem and Steve Beers

review by Michael Lohr

For 10 consecutive weeknights, and 20 hours total, I watched this US television ratings juggernaut. I am not sure that my time was well spent. It was kind of like a really thick, somewhat interesting novel. You're halfway complete, wishing you were at the

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Taken Review and Opinion

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Rosa and the veil of gold by kim wilkins Review and Opinion

2015/07/25

Rosa And The Veil Of Gold
Kim Wilkins
Gollancz hardcover £14.99

review by Gary Couzens

English-born Australian writer Kim Wilkins first came to many people's attention with her fourth adult novel Angel Of Ruin (re-titled Fallen Angel in the UK). That was a dark fantasy mostly set in the 17th century featuring John Milton and his three

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Rosa and the veil of gold by kim wilkins Review and Opinion

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Dark light by ken macleod Review and Opinion

2019/04/02

Dark Light
Ken MacLeod
Tor hardcover $25.95 / Orbit £16.99

review by Jeremy Smith

British science fiction has always stood apart from the American brand. Writing as the sun set on their empire, the earliest masters of the scientific romance and the dreadful warning - men like H.G. Wells, Olaf Stapleton, and Aldous Huxley - published novels of philosophical

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Dark light by ken macleod Review and Opinion

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Cowboy angels by paul mcauley Review and Opinion

2016/02/27

Cowboy Angels
Paul McAuley
Gollancz hardcover £18.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Adam Stone has been pulled out of retirement for one last job. He has to save Tom Waverly, a buddy from the old days who his superiors are convinced has gone rogue, but Stone is sure there is method to his mate's madness. Paul McAuley has chosen to use this classic - even hoary

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Cowboy angels by paul mcauley Review and Opinion

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Court of the midnight king Review and Opinion

2019/04/19

The Court Of The Midnight King
Freda Warrington
Pocket paperback £7.99

review by Patrick Hudson

This book retells the story of the Wars of the Roses (the English wars of succession between 1432 and 1485, not the film with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) with a touch of added mysticism, in the style of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists Of Avalon

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Seven stars by kim newman Review and Opinion

2016/05/03

Seven Stars
Kim Newman
Pocket paperback £6.99

review by Tony Lee

Think of all those investigators of the weird - John Steed and Emma Peel, Jason King and Department S, Sapphire and Steel, Doctor Who and (insert the name of your favourite assistant), Mulder and Scully. Inspired by such debunkers

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Seven stars by kim newman Review and Opinion

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Groundstar conspiracy Review and Opinion

2018/12/08

The Groundstar Conspracy (1972)
Director: Lamont Johnson

review by Steven Hampton

Based on borderline-SF novel The Alien by Leslie P. Davies, this mystery thriller pre-empts the subgenre explored to far less ambiguous effect in Nicolas Roeg's seminal The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976). However, the source novel by Walter Tevis for Roeg's

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Akira Review and Opinion

2019/07/23

Akira (1988)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

review by Porl Broome

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is a classic of the modern-cinema. When I say that I don't mean it's a classic amongst other animated films, I mean it's a classic amongst all films, be they animated, or live action. The plot is huge, the storyline is intricate, the characters are complex, and

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Akira Review and Opinion

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Ravenheart Review and Opinion

2018/06/09

Ravenheart
David Gemmell
Corgi paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Hunter

This is the third book in the now famous fantasy series which tracks the bloody but heroic history of the Rigante, a highland clan struggling against tyranny for its survival and honour. Ravenheart is set in a time when the clan has become little more than a subject people

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Ravenheart Review and Opinion

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Cambridge companion to science fiction Review and Opinion

2016/03/16

The Cambridge Companion To Science Fiction
editors: Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn
Cambridge University Press paperback £16.99

review by Tony Lee

Like Brian Aldiss' magnificent Trillion Year Spree, this book explores the view that SF is as much a literary mode as it is a genre, but it offers more than just a succinct history of its subject

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Cambridge companion to science fiction Review and Opinion

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Cubby house Review and Opinion

2019/04/11

Cubby House (2001)
Director: Murray Fahey

review by Denise Wayne

Australian terror can occasionally be exceptional and innovative but, sadly, this is not one of those rare cases. Following a prologue about child murders by drugged out hippies back in the 1960s, the film opens with a dodgy estate agent (played by Craig McLachlan from TV series, Bugs

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Cubby house Review and Opinion

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Modesty blaise: cry wolf Review and Opinion

2015/09/18

Modesty Blaise: Cry Wolf
Peter O'Donnell and Enric Badia Romero
Titan paperback £10.99

review by Barry Forshaw

Since the creator of the most acclaimed heroine in British literary history retired Modesty Blaise, Peter O'Donnell could probably have rested on his laurels. Certainly, he could afford to. But since retiring from the long-running newspaper

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Modesty blaise: cry wolf Review and Opinion

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Couch by benjamin parzybok Review and Opinion

2016/02/28

Couch
Benjamin Parzybok
Small Beer paperback $16

review by David Hebblethwaite

Thom Bakker is a computer programmer with few advantages: physically graceless, lacking self-esteem, and far more comfortable dealing with machines than with people, now he doesn't even have a job. He does have

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Couch by benjamin parzybok Review and Opinion

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Evolution by stephen baxter Review and Opinion

2019/02/01

Evolution
Stephen Baxter
Gollancz paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Evolution begins with an ancient, scurrying primate progenitor at the time of the dinosaurs' demise and works its way through humanity's family tree. The afterword, 762 pages later, reminds the reader that this is a novel - but it is closer to a fable, a myth cycle, a scientifically

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Evolution by stephen baxter Review and Opinion

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Pashazade by jon courtenay grimwood Review and Opinion

2018/07/13

Pashazade
Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Earthlight paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Jon Courtenay Grimwood's ability to sustain a plot has grown in the course of his SF career to the extent that he has now embarked upon a trilogy. Pashazade is also a new beginning in terms of both settings and character, though it is less clear whether this is

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Pashazade by jon courtenay grimwood Review and Opinion

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Da vinci code Review and Opinion

2017/07/07

The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Director: Ron Howard

review by Debbie Moon

American professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks, The Terminal) is lecturing in Paris when the police ask him to advise on the case of a curator found dead in The Louvre. The dead man has left mysterious

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Da vinci code Review and Opinion

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Infinite crisis Review and Opinion

2015/11/18

Infinite Crisis
Geoff Johns, Phil Jimenez, and others
DC Comics / Titan hardcover $24.95 / £19.99

review by Christopher Geary

The plot of this graphic novel spans the length and breadth, plumbs the depths, pokes into every darkest corner, and sprawls - almost chaotically - across the vastness of the DC superheroes' multi-verse. As its grand title suggests

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Beneath the ground Review and Opinion

2019/06/14

Beneath The Ground
edited by Joel Lane
Alchemy paperback £10.99

review by Debbie Moon

Man has always feared the dark places under the earth, in myth, they are the gates to other worlds, worlds of monsters and gods and the dead. In the modern world, they are curiosities, heritage sites, challenges, and the secret places of children or dangerous loners

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Beneath the ground Review and Opinion

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London voodoo Review and Opinion

2017/01/12

London Voodoo (2004)
Writer and director: Robert Pratten

review by Christopher Geary

Lincoln (Doug Cockle) and Sarah (Sara Stewart) are an American couple moving to the UK with their small child, so that breadwinner Lincoln can take a new executive position at a London-based marketing firm. To help

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London voodoo Review and Opinion

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All star superman Review and Opinion

2016/04/14

All Star Superman vol.1
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
DC Comics / Titan hardcover $19.95 / £11.99

review by Patrick Hudson

As the very first superhero, Superman defined the entire genre. The whole over-familiar superhero routine - the secret identity, the love triangle with his alter ego, the pure-hearted motivations and the underwear pervert fashion

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All star superman Review and Opinion

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Pioneers of wonder Review and Opinion

2018/06/26

Pioneers Of Wonder - Conversations with the Founders of Science Fiction
Eric Leif Davin
Prometheus hardcover £27

review by Steve Sneyd

This is a book that definitely 'does what it says on the tin', and for anyone with even a passing interest in the extraordinary growth of the genre in 1930s

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Pioneers of wonder Review and Opinion

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Another war by simon morden Review and Opinion

2016/04/22

Another War
Simon Morden
Telos paperback £7.99

review by Martin Drury

Rumours whisper of strange goings-on. Local gossip tells of a machine that can transport people through time and through dimensions. Two men who disappeared over 100 years ago have been found safe and well in the spot where they were last seen. They haven't aged. The machine has

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Another war by simon morden Review and Opinion

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Duke in his castle by vera nazarian Review and Opinion

2016/02/02

The Duke In His Castle
Vera Nazarian
Norilana hardcover $17.95 / £12

review by David Hebblethwaite

After their failed rebellion against him, the Just King bound the Dukes and their heirs to remain within the walls of their homes - literally so, for invisible barriers prevent them from ever stepping outside. But there may be a way: rumour has it that

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Duke in his castle by vera nazarian Review and Opinion

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