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 […]

100 word review: All that Outer Space Allows, by Ian Sales

100 word review: All that Outer Space Allows, by Ian Sales

Ian Sales has finished his Apollo Quartet, and the final book is brilliant. You should read the first three first, as they will loop you into this series of worlds all linked by the Apollo programme, all four obsessively researched, in very slightly alternate histories. The fourth book focusses on the wife of an astronaut […]

100 word review: The Rock and the River, by Kekla Magoon

100 word review: The Rock and the River, by Kekla Magoon

1968, Chicago. Thirteen year old Sam is the son of a prominent civil rights activist, a protegée of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but the Black Panthers have come to town; his older brother Stick believes in their message. What’s amazing about this book is how it does not fulfil expectations: Hollywood will […]