100 word review: The Reflection, by Hugo Wilcken

100 word review: The Reflection, by Hugo Wilcken

On the one hand, this is a twisty-turny noir tale, complete with mistaken identity, possibly corrupt police, and shadowy mob-style figures. Our narrator is a psychiatrist Dr. David Manne, is called in to give an opinion on temporarily committing a patient. From there things get strange. The other side of this book could range anywhere […]

100 word review: The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood

100 word review: The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood

This won the Kitschies last year, which should be enough to sway you, but in case not… In a word, batshit. Charmaine & Stan are living in their car as the world collapses around them. It’s somewhere between The Road and The Walking Dead, but they hear about Consilience: a social experiment which takes private […]

100 word review: The Obelisk Gate, by NK Jemisin

100 word review: The Obelisk Gate, by NK Jemisin

The second in Jemisin’s trilogy storms out the gate – mysteries are deepened even as they turn to secrets and are uncovered. The scale of what she’s working on – from the role of humanity as a form of social control through to the meaning of parent child relationships – is starting to become clear, […]

100 word review: The Fifth Season, by NK Jemisin

100 word review: The Fifth Season, by NK Jemisin

There are four seasons in a year, but the danger of a fifth season lurks everywhere. The ground is unstable: volcanoes, geysers, and earthquakes loom, and a massive, planet-killing event waits just around the corner to usher in an unending winter in which humanity must struggle to survive. Orogenes have the skill to mediate the […]

100 word review: The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy

100 word review: The Night Clock, by Paul Meloy

If you like your fiction horrible and terrifying like the end of the world might be ushered into via a council estate via a disabled man with a hellbourne mobility scooter, this might be the book for you. It’s endlessly inventive and dark, as it weaves together the people that the modern world has left […]

100 word review: The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard

100 word review: The House of Shattered Wings, by Aliette de Bodard

Paris, after the war. You know. The big one. The one with the massive bombs that ended the age of empires. The one that meant that angels were kicked out of heaven. The first world war. De Bodard has linked the wars to create a postapocalyptic Paris as her backdrop. This is a story of […]

How I came to hate content

How I came to hate content

Every time a digital product manger says the word ‘content’, it makes me cringe. Sometimes, it’s appropriate, but mostly it’s a careless shorthand way of commodifying everything, with or without meaning. When I was younger content referred to the actual meaning of what you were painting, reading, making a film of, or whatever. I got […]

Depression: it doesn't get better; it does get easier

Depression: it doesn’t get better; it does get easier

A very long time ago I was diagnosed with severe depression – the type you hear about, and that if you’ve never experienced, you really haven’t a clue what it’s like. Being sad and breaking down into tears and crying for no real reason, sometimes not being able to get out of bed, lethargy, inability […]

Bloom County

Bloom County

Bloom County is back, and that’s kind of amazing. When I think on the wonderful things from my childhood I think of reading Bloom County in the Sunday papers, along with Calvin and Hobbes and comics from the X-men and Spider-man. There was something about the characters that drew me in, got me giggling, and […]

100 word review: Department 19 – Darkest Night

100 word review: Department 19 – Darkest Night

When I started Department 19 it felt like a very well done but pretty standard hero’s journey story: Young teenager discovers a secret government department hunting vampires and of course he’s got a place in it. What’s evolved over five books is something much richer and much darker – the final volume should be humanity’s […]