13 Mar, 2016
GodBomb! is simple, startling, and powerful stuff. I’ll be honest, at first I didn’t think there would be enough story to fill out a novel – even a slender one like this. Just shows how wrong you can be.
11 Jan, 2016
Made To Kill by Adam Christopher, Titan Books (ISBN 9781783296866) I’ve been aware of Adam Christopher’s work since Empire State stirred up a buzz, and my brief interview with him on Scrolls left me resolved to dig deeper, but I didn’t get around to reading any of his novels until Made To Kill arrived. I’ve drawn back from reviewing books of late because the volumes that pour in from the publishers far exceed the speed at which I can read them but do you know what? – I stuck up my hand for a review copy the moment I saw the cover for this baby. Everything about it called out to me. The robot detective dressed like Bogie, the silhouetted mystery woman, the colours, Hell, even the damned fonts had me jigging for joy. In his afterword, Adam describes Made To Kill as his attempt at a Raymond Chandler science fiction epic. Talk about shooting for the stars! I’m more of a Hammett man myself, but Chandler is right up there in the constellation of 20th century greats. His terse style and wildly inventive turns of phrase make for swift consumption and leave a fizzing sourpop after-taste. The idea of bringing that style into 60’s Hollywood, wrapped up in silver-age SF trappings, was too good to pass up. How did it read? Join me after the jump to find out. So, here’s the beef: Ray Electromatic is the world’s last robot. He’s also a private detective. Robots seemed like a good idea back in the 50’s but people got kinda weirded out by them, so they’ve been phased out bit by bit. Maybe it’s luck he survived, maybe it’s fate, but Ray has something the others didn’t have: a secretary/boss/supercomputer called Ada who helps him keep his head down and his bank balance up. Dick work is okay but it pays pretty poorly. Snuff jobs, though – now we’re talking. They’ve got a sweet number going for a while, with plenty of Government work on the side, but when a movie star comes waltzing in with a simple job it seems kind of rude to turn her away. Plus, she seems to know more than she should about their trade, which is...
19 Dec, 2015
POrtal… makes no attempt to duplicate the play-room physics puzzles of the computer game. [Instead, it gives] you a conveyor-belt-to-destruction race to grab as much of GLaDos’ mythical cake as possible while pulling every shirt-pulling dirty goddamn trick you can find to sabotage your opponents.
23 Nov, 2015
The Beauty is the kind of story I never expected to read again: a quietly apocalyptic fable that stabs through cynicism to the very heart of human truth. It is intensely personal yet its meanings can be applied to many walks of life. Its plot would be a stone-cold-classic piece of Wyndham, but Aliya Whiteley’s execution has a poetry all of its own.