Carina Kearney is a rising star at Sudice Inc, a gifted neuroprogrammer on a highly sensitive research project to record the lived experience: senses, feelings, memories. She’s also a cold-blooded killer. Scared of her urges, Carina flees her job and embraces Zeal addiction instead, drowning herself in drug-induced sprees of virtual murder. But her mentor Roz has ambitions far beyond brain recording, and Carina is key to her success. How can C...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

The virus had a long incubation period. By the time it started killing, it had already spread across the stars. Those who survived the second day lived. The rest burnt up, 99.9999% of the human race reduced to piles of dust. Now the few survivors – scattered across planets – must try to reconnect, regroup and choose their future. Should Jamie try to rebuild what she’s lost or choose a fresh start? The Space Between The Stars is – for me, at le...

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It is no exaggeration when I say that a series like the Greatcoats only comes once in a lifetime, and now that it has come to an end, I am filled with a mixture of complicated emotions. On the one hand, I am extremely pleased with the conclusion, with our heroes and heroines getting the satisfying sendoff they deserved. On the other, I no longer know what to do with myself. Like many goodbyes, this one was bittersweet, and if it hadn’t been fo...

No Comments Stephenie Sheung Read More

Caitlín R. Kiernan’s new novella is an odd beast. Take our universe and turn it a few degrees to strange and this is the world of Agents of Dreamland. It begins with a meeting between two people who are apparently government agents, takes a journey into the mindset of cult members and reaches out into space as a NASA probe falls silent beyond the orbit of Pluto. Kiernan is best known for her lyrical dark fantasy and extraordinarily weird short...

No Comments Ian J Simpson Read More

Damnation is the third instalment in the Burned Man series and picks up about six months after the conclusion of events in Dominion where the main protagonist found himself employed by a Goddess with vengeance on her mind.  For the record this being the third in series the review below will undoubtedly contain spoilers so please bear this in mind before reading further. I will start out by saying that Damnation is not my favourite of the serie...

No Comments Lynn Williams Read More

Claire North writes high concept fantastical thrillers and her latest The End of the Day is no different. This is a story about death. And Death. And the Harbinger of Death. For it is he, the latter, we follow on this adventure. Charlie is the latest Harbinger and this is his understanding of life and death and the world. In North’s universe, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse are very real, as are their Harbingers. People know and accept thi...

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The Empire’s Ghost is epic on many levels. The massive empire of Elesthene is now history, fractured into separate lands. Magic has become fable, thought to be rooted in superstition rather than historical fact. The story gives viewpoints from several rulers, all with their own agendas and ruling styles. You also get the view point of many citizens and soldiers as well. It gives a sweeping view of what life is like across the board, givi...

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Well, the question of whether M.R. Carey could catch lightning in a bottle twice has been answered. Not that I had doubted it much, but while The Girl with All the Gifts was met with much acclaim, I’d made sure to temper my expectations for its follow-up companion novel in the months up to its release. Given the infuriatingly vague publisher description, and with the newness of the whole idea, there were just way too many unknowns. Thankfully,...

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When inexperienced Jonah Oblong is hired to teach history at Rotherweird School, the rules are clearly laid down: nothing before 1800 and nothing local. Rotherweird doesn’t welcome outsiders and is perfectly happy in its ignorance: history is something that happened to other people. Yet the Regulations stipulate the School must not go without a history teacher for more than a term – and there can hardly be a home-grown one, all things consider...

No Comments Anna Chapman Read More

The White Road will creep under your skin, fill your mind with all the ghastly things and make you leery of participating in activities like, oh, let’s say caving or mountain climbing. I was totally going to go climb Everest next year, really!  Never mind that I have a bum knee, a bum ankle, and maybe I’m scared of heights and also am a wimp, maybe I could have considered it anyway. But nope. Not now. None of my more rational reaso...

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8/10
Review: The Labyrinth of Flame by Courtney Schafer
Reviews / December 9, 2015

I almost didn’t write a review. I wasn’t sure if I should be reviewing something that was important enough to me that I contributed to a kickstarter for the first time.   But upon reflection I realized that was pretty silly; of course it is ok for me to review The Labyrinth of Flame. After all I am not profiting from it and in reality my contribution just amounted to a long term pre-order of the e-book. That said, consider this a dis...

0
7/10
Review: Ash and Silver by Carol Berg
Reviews / December 8, 2015

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Dust and Light by Carol Berg. It was my first experience with her work and I was introduced to the wonderfully enticing world of the Sanctuary Duet. I had a feeling things were just getting started for protagonist Lucian de Remeni, so I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for the sequel ever since. But even though Ash and Silver is the second half of this duology, the story surprised me by taki...

4
9/10
Review: Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
Reviews / December 7, 2015

After my exhilarating reading experience with Valente’s novella Six-Gun Snow White, I was excited to dip into something longer, and Radiance promised to be just what I was looking for. But what I got was not quite what I expected. Here are some words to describe Radiance, in case you’re looking for a “nutshell” type of review: weird, strange, wonderful, unexpected, magical, tedious, frustrating. Wait—tedious and frustrating? As much ...

The Speculative Herald’s Best of 2015
Book List / December 5, 2015

  One of the perks I’ve found with working with several bloggers is that we can cover more books than we have time to read on our own. So, when it came time to make our Best of 2015 list, I decided to ask each of the contributors to submit a ranked list of their favorite books (yep, I’m mean like that. Choosing favorites can be hard, ranking is even harder). I then used a scaled points system to calculate an over all...

0
8/10
Review: The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
Reviews / December 2, 2015

The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman is the second in series that got off to a great start with the Invisible Library.  I think that this book could probably be read as a standalone however I would personally recommend reading the first in series because it’s just so good.  I will forewarn you that whilst I will try to avoid spoilers for The Masked City the review may contain spoilers for the first book so please bear that in mind. By...

1
9/10
Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
Reviews / December 1, 2015

Ink and Bone is an addictive, intense read that shares a love for books with the reader.  In the world of Ink and Bone, knowledge can sometimes be viewed as a virus, if left to spread, it can cause corruption. So, what do you do with something infectious? You try to contain and control it. That is what The Great Library does. All physical books are possessed and controlled by the Great Library (does that sound “great” to ...

Upcoming Releases: November 29 – December 5, 2015
Upcoming Releases / November 28, 2015

Here’s a rundown of the books we think you should look out for in coming in the week. See any that you are really looking forward to? Find any you had not heard of yet? Know of books we missed? We know we don’t have everything and would love to hear what you feel we may have overlooked.   FANTASY                 SCIENCE FICTION     FANTASY                       &nb...

0
9/10
Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Reviews / November 26, 2015

Binti is the story of a young Himba woman whose life and clan revolve around math and engineering. Her people never leave their home, so the news of her acceptance into Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy, is bittersweet. Binti loves learning, and the opportunity to participate in a program with such a fabulous reputation is of course very exciting. However, that means leaving her home, her famil...

0
8/10
Review: The Dragon Engine by Andy Remic
Reviews / November 25, 2015

Although it shares the same world as The Iron Wolves and The White Towers, Andy Remic’s first book in The Blood Dragon Empire is an entirely different. While those books were very much high-stakes epic fantasies, complete with massive battles and bloodshed, The Dragon Engine is more of a traditional quest tale – albeit one that subverts the usual tropes. For starters, our heroes seem to be the typical gang of adventurers ...

1
10/10
Review: Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente
Reviews / November 24, 2015

This compact novella was my first experience reading Catherynne M. Valente, and I was literally blown away (pun intended). Six-Gun Snow White has all the familiar elements from the fairy tale—a young girl abused by her stepmother, a magic mirror, seven dwarves, a poisoned apple, a huntsman—and yet it’s completely new and fresh and unlike any other Snow White story you’re likely to read. Valente arms her Snow White with a revolver cal...