a figure in a spacesuit tumbles through the docking bay of a space station with a spacecraft behind

Exit strategy

Murderbot diaries ; 4 I love these books. They just feel so warm and comforting, like a hug, despite the fact that the narrator describes themselves as a murderbot and there are many threats and violent incidents. There’s just something about them that makes them feel cosy. And I really really do NOT mean that […]

Rogue protocol

The Murderbot Diaries ; book 3 This is another book that I’ve had on preorder ever since I knew it was coming out. I loved the first two Murderbot books, The Cloud Roads was pretty damn entertaining too. So I’d count myself as a fan of Martha Wells. Rogue Protocol picks up after the events […]

A red sand desert, featureless, Mars. In the distance a white slender tower

The Martian obelisk

Humanity is dying out. Climate change. Terrorism. Disease. People have accepted that these is no future, just a slow decline and then they’ll be no more. The colonies on Mars have resulted in death, there will be no new missions to Mars. Humanity is resigned to extinction. Susannah doesn’t have any more hope than anyone […]

Asimov's Science Fiction

Wind will rove

Published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine September/October 2017 – read it online Ever since the “blackout” when a virus attacked their database the inhabitants of a generation ship have prioritised a way of keeping their history alive. Whether that is historical events from earth, or specific tunes or re-enactments of popular films, the Memory Project […]

A big brown sphere with a center line with purple lightning/electricity sparking. Sort of like a death star.

The secret life of bots

Originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine #132, September 2017 Bot 9 has just been activated after a long time offline. The Ship it serves has a huge list of to-do activities and it has been tasked to track down an Incidental, a pest infestation. But Bot 9 is slightly concerned that something is going on that […]

A figure is seen mostly from the back, going up a stairs, red/peach and white koi (I think) on the walls

Extracurricular Activities

The Machinaries of Empire Although this novelette is part of the larger Machinaries ‘verse, you can read it without any knowledge of that wider world as it is a prequel. So it also contains no spoilers, unless you count getting to know a character before they appeared in Ninefox Gambit a spoiler… It features Shuos […]

A series of steaks

2018 Hugo Award Finalist – Best Novelette Originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine #124, January 2017 I really enjoyed this novelette/short story, call it what you will. It takes an interesting idea, printing meat and mixes it up with forgery and crime and then adds in some great characters for that aspect that always makes stories […]

line drawing of spaceships in green

Questions for a soldier

Old Man’s War ; 1.5 This is a short read, a question and answer session between John Perry from Old Man’s War and a some citizens of New Goa, one of the colonies that Perry visits as part of a goodwill tour. Talking about where he came from and what it is to be a […]

Artificial condition

The Murderbot Diaries ; 2 The whole time I was reading this book1 I kept telling myself to slow down. It is short, only 159 pages((not that I’d know that apart from the fact that goodreads tell me I read the ebook because pr-orders and instant gratification are the way of the now! )) so […]

A woman stands with her back to the viewer looking out of a window into space. Bots and candles and brews on a table in front of her.

The Tea Master and the Detective

A book in the The Universe of Xuya I do love the idea of ships as people. I really enjoyed Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who series way back in the way off times when I read it. It’s just a fascinating idea, a space ship with all the computing power of an AI, but still […]

A grey bee outline with gold wings on a black background

This history of bees

translated by Diane Oatley Bees are pretty cool insects. They are also pretty damn important. Insects in general are essential to the world we know, so maybe think twice before spraying those insecticides and getting rid of all the dandelions in your lawn. We need insects1 so we should be paying more attention to their […]

The book of Joan

I picked this book up on impulse. I had finished a book the day before and hadn’t yet decided what to read when lunchtime came around. I scanned the library shelves and this was the only one that seemed to appeal, mainly I think, because of the cover. It’s pretty awesome looking. I had seen […]