Apr 012015
100 word review: The Alex Crow, by Andrew Smith

Welcome to America, kid. Ariel (ah-riel) is adopted into a middle-class American family after he survives the massacre of his entire village during a civil war by dressing as a clown and hiding in a refrigerator. He ends up in summer camp. A very particular type of summer camp. Digital detox camp, filled with all […]

Mar 302015
100 word review: Cakes in Space, by Sarah McIntyre and Philip Reeve

This book is ridiculous. Let’s get that out of the way. It is the story of a little girl who asks an artificial intelligence robot for “the best cake” before going down into cold sleep on an interstellar spacecraft which is taking her family and hunderds of other colonists on a journey to a new […]

Mar 162015
100 word review: Wolves, by Simon Ings

This is a troubling book, a dark imagining of a future five minutes from now, or five minutes ago. It’s a portrait of technology entrepreneurs, recalling the heady late 90s Internet boom “before it was cool”, and the heady and terrifying successes that could come about. It’s a story of augmented reality, something a little […]

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 […]