A hooded male figure, clad in grey stands with arms crossed in a threatening? manner in front of a swirling background

City of stairs

I don’t think I would have picked this book up at all if it hadn’t been nominated for a Hugo this year. The trilogy The Divine Cities is nominated in the Best Series category, and I am attempting to read at least one book in each series before voting.1 I am so glad that this […]

Small changes over long periods of time : a novelette by K. M. Sparza

Small changes over long periods of time

First published by Uncanny A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy in May 2017. Finley has just been bitten by a vampire. Now he has to deal with becoming a vampire himself, and an unregistered one at that. He certainly didn’t ask to be turned, and most definitely never filled out the proper paperwork. Plus […]

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 John Wayne type man, viewed from the back, looks at a woman

The turkeyfeather riders

A collection of five short stories by the classic western author Louis L’Amour. And by classic I mean the idealised version where men were men1 and sometimes a man had to do what a man had to do. And usually that would end in the death of other men. But they weren’t good, manly men. […]

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 […]

a helmet shaped crown.

The king beyond the gate

The Drenai Saga ; 2 David Gemmell is a big name in epic fantasy, and over the years I’ve read one or two by him. The most memorable being his version of Alexander the Great where he was possessed by a demon. At least I’m pretty sure he was the author of that book I […]

The lives of Tao

I added this book to my TBR pile way back in 2016 when the author talked about pitting his character against Rand from the Wheel of Time series. Usually I’m not really a fan of those “who would win if they fought” debates. Mainly because why would they fight seems to me the more interesting […]

The valley of fear

Sherlock Holmes ; 4 or 7, depending on how you are counting. This is the fourth and final of the novels by Doyle. In it Holmes and Watson head to Birlstone Manor to investigate a murder, having been first warned that Moriarty may be involved. There is much deducing and eventually Holmes has the case […]

The wild places

In this book Robert Macfarlane sets out to find the wild places of Britain and Ireland, if there are any left. He believes that somewhere on these islands there must be places far from the reach of humanity where the wilderness still exists, and he sets out to discover them, to create a word map […]

Alone in Berlin

translated by Michael Hofman Given all the tragedy, destruction, and horrors of World War II I don’t often stop to consider what life was like for “normal people” under the Nazis. But of course Hitler was a dictator and a tyrant, the Nazis were made up of people who supported him and his rise to […]

The wind in the willows

It’s fairly impossible for me to be objective about The Wind in the Willows. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read the whole book before, but I certainly remember many extracts that were part of school books over the years. The first chapter certainly has stuck with me; “onions sauce” is such a great insult. […]