Tag Archives: reviews

REVIEW OF CURVE OF THE EARTH ON ARCFINITY

My review of Simon Morden’s The Curve of the Earth is now online at Arcfinity. I quite enjoyed the first three novels, but this was a bit disappointing – though I’m still hoping the later volumes could bring a return to … Continue reading

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FRIDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM: WHAT MONEY CAN’T BUY BY MICHAEL J SANDEL

Michael J Sandel opens What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2012) with a list (3-5) of some novel items that can be bought: In California prisoners can pay $82 a night for better, … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: IRON SKY – FALLING FOR FASCISM

The best joke in the Finnish Nazis-on-the-moon movie Iron Sky is, ironically, also the one that best demonstrates the film’s weaknesses. Idealistic Nazi teacher, Renate Richter (Julia Dietze), shows her young class a sharply edited (ten minutes long) version of … Continue reading

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REVIEW: STINA LEICHT’S THE FEY AND THE FALLEN (OR “POOR OULD IRELAND, AGAIN”)

I want to start this post by saying plainly that I believe that it is possible for writers to create important and insightful work about cultures to which they do not belong. There is a somewhat crude (but, it seems … Continue reading

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FRIDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM: THE LONELY VOICE: A STUDY OF THE SHORT STORY BY FRANK O’CONNOR

I first read some of Frank O’Connor’s short stories (and translated Irish poetry) when I was at school and they made an impression because when I picked up a second hand collection recently, some of the stories came back to … Continue reading

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REVIEW: DARK EDEN BY CHRIS BECKETT

Chris Beckett’s third novel, Dark Eden, is a complex thing. It draws, as the title suggests, on the ur-biblical theme of the fall from innocence but it is also the story of an isolated human community culturally (and physically) devolving. … Continue reading

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REVIEW: DARK LIES THE ISLAND BY KEVIN BARRY

Dark Lies the Island (Jonathan Cape, 2012) is Kevin Barry’s second collection of short stories, following There are Little Kingdoms (2007) and his spectacular first novel, City of Bohane (2011). Given the long and rich history of Irish writers exploiting … Continue reading

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REVIEW: CITY OF BOHANE BY KEVIN BARRY

This piece was written as part of the BSFA’s Vector Reviewers’ Poll for 2011. Vector reviewers get to nominate their five favourite books of the previous year. In 2011 my five were: Silver Wind, Nina Allan (Eibonvale Press) City of … Continue reading

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FRIDAY’S WORDS OF WISDOM: DEFENDING POLITICS BY MATTHEW FLINDERS

Writing in defence of politics and, indeed, politicians is always a potentially risky pastime. The overwhelming public perception of politics is so cynically negative that anyone who speaks out in favour of those who take on public office is immediately … Continue reading

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FROM THE FUNNY PAPERS: SPANDEX, ADD, THE NIGHTLY NEWS & MARIJUANAMAN

If Britain were going to have a superhero team made up of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual characters, then you’d expect them to live in Brighton. It’s the obvious choice. But that’s about the only predictable thing in Martin Eden’s … Continue reading

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