Indie Focus: Review Of Flash Gold By Lindsay Buroker


A GIRL’S GOTTA DO WHAT A GIRL’S GOTTA DO!

A PRECOCIOUS HEROINE GETS MORE THAN SHE BARGAINED FOR WHEN ENTERING A RACE TO WIN THE PRIZE MONEY NEEDED TO LEAVE TOWN

 

Book CoverFlash Gold
(Flash Gold Chronicles, Book 1)

Lindsay Buroker

Genre: Alternate History, Steampunk
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: eBook, 56 Pages
Date: 27th March 2011

ISBN-13: 978-1458028129

 
This is a perma-free ebook available from:
Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords
 

Kali McAlister is a precocious young inventor whose innovations seem far too good to be true, causing some of the inhabitants of Moose Hollow to view her as a witch. The epithet may not be accurate but Kali is in possession of a secret bequeathed to her by her father, that not only enhances her inventions but also holds the key to obtaining the riches that will allow her to escape the life of drudgery she lives in the town. But little does she know that the secret of “flash gold” makes her a target for people who will stop at nothing to obtain it from her. If she is to realise her dream, Kali will need all her resourcefulness to thwart the machinations of her adversaries, and maybe even the help of a mysterious stranger, to win a three day cross-country race.

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Trivia: The Winners Of The Philip K. Dick Award


NAMED IN HONOUR OF THE SCIENCE FICTION LUMINARY

THE WINNERS OF AN AWARD PRESENTED IN RECOGNITION OF THE BEST ORIGINAL SCIENCE FICTION PAPERBACK NOVEL OF THE YEAR

 
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As you may (or may not) already be aware, The Philip K. Dick Award, established in honour of the acclaimed American science fiction author, was inaugurated in 1983; the year after his death. The ceremony is held annually at Norwescon, with the award being bestowed upon the best science fiction paperback novel published in the United States during the previous calendar year.

Below, I present you with the complete list of books (and their authors) that have received the honour.

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Review: God’s War By Kameron Hurley


A NEW BREED OF (ANTI) HEROINE HAS ARRIVED

ASS-KICKING, HEAD CHOPPING WOMAN RE-WRITES THE CONVENTIONS OF A GENRE AS SHE UNDERTAKES A MISSION SHE CAN’T REFUSE

 

Book CoverGod’s War
(Bel Dame Apocrypha, Book 1)

Kameron Hurley

Genre: Science Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Format: Paperback, 432 Pages
Date: 16th January 2014 (First Published 2010)

ISBN-10: 0091952786
ISBN-13: 978-0091952785

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Part science fiction, part urban fantasy, God’s War is a rather difficult novel to nail down, due in no small part to its inherent contradictions. For example, certain facets of the book are incredibly original and unique, yet the plot progresses in a very predictable manner; there is little, if anything, within the run-of-the-mill narrative that will take you by surprise. Also, several interesting characters are introduced throughout the story, yet interesting never translates into memorable; you’ll have a hard time remembering any names once you’ve finished reading the book. It is a novel that is rather good at setting up expectations, but not so good at meeting them.

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Quote: A Princess Of Mars, “I Do Not Believe…”


THE QUOTABLE QUOTE OF THE DAY

 

Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover _ Book Cover

* * * * *

I do not believe that I am made of the stuff which constitutes heroes, because, in all of the hundreds of instances that my voluntary acts have placed me face to face with death, I cannot recall a single one where any alternative step to that I took occurred to me until many hours later.

Edgar Rice Burroughs
A Princess Of Mars

 
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Review: Ancillary Sword By Ann Leckie


SOCIAL JUSTICE WILL COME TO THE EMPIRE

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED… ABANDON YOUR REVENGE AND WORK FOR YOUR DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER AFFLICTED NEMESIS?

 

Book CoverAncillary Sword
(Imperial Radch, Book 2)

Ann Leckie

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Publisher: Orbit
Format: Paperback, 384 Pages
Date: 7th October 2014

ISBN-10: 0356502414
ISBN-13: 978-0356502410

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

If you cast your mind back to 2013 you may not recall that Ann Leckie’s début novel, Ancillary Justice, was published with little in the way of fanfare or hype. Yet you’ll have no difficulty remembering that the book quickly garnered great critical acclaim, which translated into significant commercial success. The book went on to win both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novel, as well as the Arthur C. Clarke Award. These plaudits, in addition to the other awards and nominations, were well deserved because Ancillary Justice was a breath of fresh air. The space opera genre had for many years been a stale wasteland of tedious novels weighed down by their bloated, cliché-ridden narratives. But Leckie conspired to bring something more original and satisfying to the table than most of her contemporaries were producing.

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Review: The Invisible Man By H.G. Wells


THE ORIGINAL MAD SCIENTIST

FROM THE IMAGINATION OF SCI-FI’S GREATEST PIONEER, A TALE THAT’S NEITHER GROTESQUE NOR ROMANTIC, BUT STILL ESSENTIAL READING

 

Book CoverThe Invisible Man

H.G. Wells
 

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Paperback, 208 Pages
Date: 31st March 2005 (First Published 1897)

ISBN-10: 014143998X
ISBN-13: 978-0141439983

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

I have previously made the case that H.G. Wells is the most influential science fiction author of all time, ahead of such luminaries as Verne, Clarke and Asimov. Despite his obvious limitations as a fiction writer, he was an exceptionally creative and original storyteller with an imagination unrivalled by his peers; many of his ideas were truly ahead of their time. While it may be difficult to categorically state which of his published stories should be considered his definitive work (as there are several candidates), his 1897 novella, The Invisible Man, is arguably his best known work. It has been a hugely influential book, spawning numerous adaptations in other mediums, and been a source of inspiration to countless other writers. Little wonder that over a century after its first publication the story continues to be reprinted to this day.

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In Coming: Brand New Releases For March (2016)


WHAT’S ON THIS MONTHS RELEASE SCHEDULE?

Take a gander at some of the most noteworthy book releases for the third month of 2016.

 

This month there are over thirty new titles vying for the attention of genre fans. These include a few first instalments of new book series as well as a several sequels to ongoing series. Which of these offerings will succeed in persuading you to add them to your reading lists this March?

Note:
Based primarily on UK publication dates.

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Review: Willful Child By Steven Erikson


BRAVELY GOING WHERE THEY REALLY SHOULDN’T

ERIKSON BOLDLY GOES WHERE HE HASN’T GONE BEFORE WITH THIS ILL-JUDGED PARODY THAT QUICKLY WEARS THIN

 

Book CoverWillful Child

Steven Erikson
 

Genre: Science Fiction, Parody
Publisher: Bantam Press
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
Date: 27th August 2015 (First Published 2014)

ISBN-10: 0857502441
ISBN-13: 978-0857502445

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Steven Erikson is an author whose name is synonymous with the High Fantasy genre, having authored the Malazan Book Of The Fallen series. It was a surprise then, when he decide to dip his toe into science fiction with the publication of Willful Child; a parody novel that takes aim at Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry. After reading the book, one can only hope that Erikson never again ventures outside of his comfort zone, for Willful Child is a spoof with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. And when a novel of only 350 pages feels at least 250 pages too long something is seriously amiss.

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Review: Eye In The Sky By Philip K. Dick


WELCOME TO THE (NOT SO) REAL WORLD

EIGHT ACCIDENT VICTIMS AWAKE TO FIND THEMSELVES TRAPPED IN A BIZARRE ALTERNATE REALITY… OR DO THEY?

 

Book CoverEye In The Sky

Philip K. Dick
 

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Paperback, 256 Pages
Date: 9th December 2010 (First Published 1957)

ISBN-10: 0575098996
ISBN-13: 978-0575098992

 
Purchase From: Amazon | Book Depository
 

Philip K. Dick was not a writer generally known for his humour, therefore it is unsurprising that his stories aren’t particularly noted for their comedy value. Yet his 1957 novel, Eye In The Sky, is undoubtedly a hysterically funny book, whether or not he intended for it to be comedic in tone. A story by which he uses his trademark motif of distorted reality to take a satirical swipe at the Cold War paranoia of McCarthyism that had gripped the US during the Fifties when the book was written. The end result mocking the absurdity of persecuting people for what they may or not secretly think, based on random, innocuous criteria which effectively means that anyone can come under suspicion.

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