Feb 272015
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers (Self) (Gold Tentacle)

The Kitschies‘ first self-published shortlisted book, and a debut to boot. Chambers had put together a fun, silly space opera that’ll keep you up at night reading by the light of your Kindle (if not by a torch under the duvet), and this is how you should read this book: like you’re young again, and […]

Feb 262015
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 […]

Feb 262015
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 […]

Feb 252015
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 […]

Feb 252015
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 […]

Feb 242015
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 […]

Feb 242015
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 […]

Feb 232015
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 […]