Memory of Water, by Emmi Itäranta (Voyager) (Gold Tentacle)

Memory of Water, by Emmi Itäranta (Voyager) (Gold Tentacle)

Another dystopia, this time with a woman – seventeen year old Noria – becoming one of the world’s only, if not first, tea masters. Water is the world’s most precious resource; created from desalination plants and completely managed by distant imperial masters in New Qian. Noria is entrusted with a deep secret, one that could […]

The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne (Blackfriars) (Gold Tentacle)

The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne (Blackfriars) (Gold Tentacle)

A set of devices that gather power from the waves stretches from the coast of India to Djibouti. A woman leaves her old life behind to walk this bridge, illegally, crossing to a new life, searching for something. In parallel, in an earlier life, a young girl escapes death or slavery in West Africa, heading […]

Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre (Jonathan Cape) (Gold Tentacle)

Viper Wine, by Hermione Eyre (Jonathan Cape) (Gold Tentacle)

The court of Charles I, the crux of time when the Enlightenment was just on the cusp of beginning and modernity would start its relentless march of progress. This book is at once playful, erudite, maddening, insightful, wickedly funny, and absolutely insane. The modern world echoes back across time into the lives of people: boxox […]

The Race, by Nina Allan (NewCon Press) (Red Tentacle)

The Race, by Nina Allan (NewCon Press) (Red Tentacle)

Allan’s almost-debut The Race is an odd beast of a novel – four parts that link together across ideas of reality and illusion, structured almost like a surrealist French film but in its bones a deeply British novel, of the working-class type whose loss has recently been lamented in the press: there are tones of […]

The Way Inn, by Will Wiles (4th Estate) (Red Tentacle)

The Way Inn, by Will Wiles (4th Estate) (Red Tentacle)

Neil Double is a professional conference attendee – saving executives time while gathering cards and insights. He spends his life on the road in anonymous hotels like The Way Inn, meeting, sleeping with, and being annoyed by the same people, season after season. He’s come to the new MetaCentre to attend a conference for the […]

The Peripheral, by William Gibson (Viking) (Red Tentacle)

The Peripheral, by William Gibson (Viking) (Red Tentacle)

A short distance into the future – the American economy an d its environment is busy collapsing and, somewhere further down the line, the “jackpot” has struck and the world has recovered, somewhat. Gibson does lots of things rather well: inventing language that feels real, perversely not letting you know what’s going on, making you […]

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith (Egmont) (Red Tentacle)

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith (Egmont) (Red Tentacle)

In a small, midwestern American town called Ealing, Iowa two boys are misfits who are bored, in the way people can only be bored growing up in a small town. Modern suburban-style rural sprawl clash with high school jock politics and the underage smoking of cigarettes and drinking of beer. Smith paints a very clear […]

Hundreds of HodderWordScape Review: Smiler's Fair, by Rebecca Levene

Hundreds of HodderWordScape Review: Smiler’s Fair, by Rebecca Levene

100 words: Introduction The twelfth, and final, Hodderscape Review project title is Smiler’s Fair, by Rebecca Levene. It’s a big, world-built secondary world fantasy with maps that all three of my regular readers will have some idea that it’s may not be my personal cup of tea. I was still intrigued to read it – […]

100 word review: Our Lady of the Streets, by Tom Pollock

100 word review: Our Lady of the Streets, by Tom Pollock

Pollock’s third trilogy winds up with a storm raging across fevered streets. It’s very difficult to talk about without spoilers, but let it be said that, although this is a cohesive trilogy, every book stands on, and as, its own beast, fundamentally different from the others, but fitting together in a whole. Mater Viae is […]