Book Review: The Wolf in the Attic by Paul Kearney

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Paul Kearney’s The Wolf in the Attic (Rebellion/Solaris) is a coming-of age-story. The publishers suggest it will appeal to people who love the work of Tolkein, C.S. Lewis and Philip Pullman, and I agree. Curiously enough, a fictionalised version of the creator of the Narnia novels makes an appearance as a character, albeit highly disguised as […]

Book Review: A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

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Gene Wolfe’s A Borrowed Man (Tor) is a novel that sneaks up on you. Beneath its cosy exterior, elegant origami-like folds of spare prose and apparently simple storyline, beats a very dark heart. A hundred years in the future, when our civilisation is virtually gone, the recloned narrator, former author E.A.Smithe, is now nothing more […]

Book Review: The Monstrous, ed. Ellen Datlow

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In The Monstrous (Tachyon Publications), the latest anthology in which she holds the editorial reins, Ellen Datlow presents us with yet another utterly compelling cornucopia of horrors. In this case, tackling the theme of monsters and the various interpretations thereof. In her fascinating introduction, Ms. Datlow gives us the entomology of the word “monster”; originally it had […]

Review: Whispers from the Abyss ed. Kat Rocha

Whispers from the Abyss (01 Publishing) describes itself as “An anthology of H.P. Lovecraft inspired short fiction.” But the authors within its pages are no slavish Elvis tribute acts. Instead, they are his mutant bastard offspring, whose mission is to misbehave dreadfully and have a wonderful time doing so. These Children of the Night run amok, gleefully […]

Book Review: If Then by Matthew De Abaitua

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What if there was an equation to help us understand and ultimately eliminate war? That is one of the central themes of Matthew De Abaitua’s latest novel, If Then (Angry Robot Books). The title itself suggests the principles of certain formulae, such as computer coding (“if this…” “then that…”), although if, like me, you find […]

Review: Nightmare Magazine, April 2015

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A horribly delayed review, for which I unreservedly apologise to John Joseph Adams and the editorial crew (hey, you know I love you guys!). In my defence, I had a backlog, made my return from seven years in Bulgaria back to my homeland, Scotland, got a new job, etc., etc…. Nevertheless, regardless, as they say, […]

Review: The League of the Sphinx: The Purple Scarab by R.E. Preston

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If you enjoy pulp fiction and old-style Saturday morning serials, before they were reinvented by the Indiana Jones franchise, you will enjoy R.E. Preston’s The Purple Scarab (Westmarch Publishing). This first volume of a projected seven book series called The League of the Sphinx sees 15-year-old Edmund Peabody, his brother Chander and friend Amelia Tripp […]

Reviews: The Beauty and The Bridge

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This time I am reviewing two works: a novella, The Beauty by Aliya Whitely; and a short story, The Bridge by Angela D. Mitchell. Both are distinguished by highly original, unusual storytelling and beautiful prose. In The Beauty by Aliya Whitely, a group of men and boys who have escaped their failing city gather around […]

Book Review: Gorel and The Pot-Bellied God by Lavie Tidhar

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Reading Gorel and the Pot Bellied God by Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing) felt like discovering Michael Moorcock for the first time. That sense that something has shifted in my world and I’ve been transported to a strange yet weirdly familiar place with an antihero who is strange, complex and … someone you want to be with as long as […]

Budget? What Budget?

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Recently, British horror writer Ramsay Campbell drew the attention of a horror Facebook group to some low-budget horror films he appreciates. His suggestions were in reponse to the question that some people in the group posted, suggesting there had been few actually scary horror films in recent years. Similar questions arise for me in respect of […]