Friday, 20 February 2015

This is How You Disappear by Allen Miles

I've said this about Allen's short stories before - there is an innate, uncontrived emotional intelligence to them. It feels like you're sharing something intimate with the author about himself,  such is the feeling of honesty in his fiction.

Yes, you were right there is a "but" coming! Allen's work is downbeat, sad, melancholic. There is little or no joy to be found here, but isn't that realistic - like the daily grind of life sometimes? It's an arguable point and it's perhaps one reason his work is a bit like marmite. You'll either love it or hate it.

If, like me, you see beauty in the melancholy lyrics of Nick Cave or you understand where Cohen and Waits are coming from then you'll get the brillance here and give it 5 stars like me.

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Long War (Long Earth 2) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

An interesting sequel to the Pratchett and Baxter’s The Long Earth. We return to the character of Joshua a generation after the events in the original novel. Joshua has a family now and mankind has spread across the Long Earth like some deadly violence. This has repercussions on the trolls and we see the emergence of a new species, the Beagle’s, to the series.

As with the first novel in the series it was, perhaps, a little over long and overly ambitious. There were lots of plot strands and just when you are settling into one, it jumps back to another. However, with two writers of such a high calibre it’s still a very enjoyable read and I’m hoping some of those stray plot strands are tied up in book three, The Long Mars. If you’re looking for an enjoyable sci-fi epic this is a decent and intelligent read.