Walk In The Flesh: slick high-tech thriller

Heads up: Despite its title, and Amazon’s tendency to classify this book in the ‘horror’ category, this is not a zombie romp. Far from it. This is a near-future action thriller with a high-tech twist and an equally high body count. It introduces a near-invincible uploadable assassin who can jettison his meatware once a kill…

An Android Awakes: a new ghost in an old shell

In this possible future, an android spins a series of interlinked stories in which mockingbirds are rarely killed, and locusts pick over the bones of what was once humanity’s space-faring destiny. This substantial softback is neither a normal text-only novel, nor a comic-book style graphic novel. It’s a blend of both, where Karl Brown’s crisp…

The Stone Man: a lumbering ‘what if?’

Although this is billed as a sci-fi thriller, there’s not so much of the science fiction about it. The action is firmly grounded in the here-and-now, on earth. In England. Mostly in the Midlands. In fact, there’s so much detail about the city streets and the routes travelled in the ‘roadtrip’ segments that you could…

Tears In Rain: intriguing ideas, flawed execution

The idea of developing one of the core themes from Blade Runner – artificial humans with a limited life span, created to do the dirty jobs that futuristic people would rather avoid – is an intriguing one. Bruna, the central character in ‘Tears In Rain’ is such a replicant. She’s a combat model, built and…

Roaring Reads: new books and indie authors

We love winter. Roaring fire, snugly sofa, huge great big stack of brilliant new books. Here’s some we’ve stumbled across in the last month, including crime-thrillers, murder-mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy and crossover titles from new writers, indie authors and small publishers… Manners Cost Everything by Paul Chambers. This ‘gripping and edgy’ explicit thriller is the first…

Fortress Frontier: supernatural special ops

This the second in Myke Cole’s magical / militaristic mash-up series set in the near future – and I enjoyed it more than the first, Control Point. The action overlaps between the two books with a new central character, Bookbinder, developing psy-powers at the start of Frontier Fortress. Then we catch up with the cast of Control…

Of Stars and Science: tales of the multiverse

Varied and imaginative, these short stories each examines a very different future for humanity. The collection is accurately titled. In the grand tradition of inventive extrapolation, they’re more sci-fi than fantasy; more science-led than space opera; the exploration of ideas. The seven authors each approach a possible future from alternative angles and I enjoyed them…

Control Point: a rip-snorting military magical romp

Control Point gets off to a rollicking start, and if it could have maintained the pace and the atmosphere throughout then this would be a five-star review. However, it gets a bit bogged down about two-thirds of the way through, when the protagonist takes anguished debate on the morals of his situation beyond dithering and…

Zero: action-adventure in near-earth orbit

This is an ambitious first novel, one which creates a sprawling and credible near-future, a tense and turbulent political situation, and then throws a rogue crew of space pirates into the mix. We’re a long way from old-school ‘hard’ sci-fi which tried as hard to be technically accurate as it did to tell a good…

Ripping Reading: new titles and offbeat books

A rapid round-up of crime-thriller, murder-mystery, sci-fi, fantasy and crossover titles from new writers, indie authors and small publishers. Plenty here to top up your ‘to-read’ shelf after the summer holidays… A COLD AND BROKEN HALLELUJAH by Tyler Dilts: investigating the human condition. Long Beach Homicide Detective Danny Beckett is called to a grisly crime…