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Under the Pendulum Sun

Book cover: Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeanette Ng (purple hued, woman in fabulously spiky dress)If you get lost enough, you can find Arcadia. The South Seas Company are keen to limit access to maintain their monopoly on trade. The Church, with no such worldly concerns, wish to bring the Word of God to the Fair Folk. And Catherine Helstone wants to find her beloved brother Laon, missionary to the Court of the Pale Queen…

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Bite-size Books: All Systems Red

Book cover: All Systems Red - Martha Wells (a battle droid)SecUnits are standard issue, one per ten humans on a corporate deal that you can’t opt out of if you wish to survey a new world. They’re not well equipped and they’re not very clever, but they’ll rip themselves apart to protect their clients.

Well, most of the time.

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The Ninth Rain: bad dreams and waking nightmares

Book cover: The Ninth Rain - Jen Williams (a blue-grey eagle against a silver background)Eight times, the Jur’elia have laid waste to Sarn. Eight times, the Eborans have fought them off with the aid of their holy tree Ygseril. But Ygseril is dead, and the Eborans are nearly extinct. If the Jur’elia come again, who will stand against them?

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Bite-size Books: River of Teeth

Book cover;In a past that nearly happened, hippos are a common feature of the American wetlands. Winston Houndstooth has a government charter to herd the dangerous ferals out of the Harriet and into the Mississippi Delta. But Winston wants to do more than make some money. He wants to get revenge.

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Gnomon: asking all the questions

Book cover: Gnomon - Nick Harkaway (pieces of paper drifting against a black background; the outline of a shark fin in the centre)In a near-future surveillance state, Mielikki Neith must investigate why an author died resisting a routine interrogation; and what secrets she was trying to hide. But when Mielikki is immersed in Diana Hunter’s memories, she finds other personalities instead – a Carthaginian witch; a Greek investment banker; an Ethiopian artist; an angry spirit determined to consume everyone. Are any of them real? Who was Diana Hunter?

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Bitesize Books: Prime Meridian

Book cover: Prime Meridian - Silvia Moreno Garcia (a young Mexican woman in a space suit)Amelia lives in Mexico City, crowded into a tiny apartment with her sister and her resentment. She makes ends meet as a friend-for-hire, dreaming of a future on Mars that seems ever further out of reach. But when a new client turns out to be her wealthy ex, Amelia’s options seem as though they might open up.

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The Lost Child of Lychford: the Christmas we deserve

Book cover: The Lost Child of Lychford - Paul Cornell (silhouette of a boy in an avenue of trees)‘Tis the season in Lychford: Autumn is feeling more single than ever, Judith is almost used to the idea that she might have friends, and Lizzie’s struggling to keep her Christmas spirit in the face of Greg Lake, a Christmas Eve wedding and ghostly visits from a scared young boy…

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Confessions of a bad SF fan: Flowers for Algernon

Book cover: Flowers for Algernon - Daniel KeyesLast autumn, I ‘fessed up that I rarely read SF classics. Looking at “scifi novels every fan must read” lists, I’m a very bad SF fan indeed. This year I made a half-hearted effort to mend my ways (I haven’t exactly let them dominate my reading), but Sci Fi Month was my inspiration to tackle a giant.

Yes it’s taken me a while to get round to marshalling my thoughts

Tremontaine: Into the Woods / Behind The Mask

I’ve fallen behind on Tremontaine, so it’s time to quickly catch up! In Into the Woods, a party of nobles celebrate midwinter at Diane’s hunting lodge in the woods, but the Land calls for blood during the White Days and someone will have to pay the price. Behind the Mask sees Kaab closing in on the rixinkun’s secrets, whilst Rafe suffers a disappointment. Will Micah ever master the peculiar game of Social Graces?

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Tarnished City: Equal opportunities for the few

Book cover: Tarnished City - Vic James (a chained hand points down, a Scottish castle in the background)With the Chancellor dead, the Jardines are back in control of Britain. As Luke Hadley is delivered to the Scottish fortress of Lord Crovan for his Condemnation, Abi escapes to join Luke’s agitating allies. But can they do anything to avert the horror the Jardines will bring to Britain – let alone rescue poor Luke before he chooses to walk through the Last Door?

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Cargo: in space, everyone can hear you dream

The Earth is dying. Humanity is living in slum-like orbital stations, tantalised by the promise of Rhea, a paradise only the wealthy can afford to emigrate to. Laura takes an 8-year mission aboard a cargo ship to earn her passage – but her duty shift is disturbed by strange noises and a glimpse of another person where none should be. Just what cargo are they carrying? And where are they really taking it?

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A Matter of Oaths: cyberpunk space opera

Book cover: A Matter of Oaths - Helen S Wright (a silhouetted man overlaid with a web of light)Formidable Commander Rallya needs a new First Officer for Bhattya; talented young webber Rafe needs a new berth. But Rafe is an Oath-breaker and few crews will consider taking him on. Worse, he was identity-wiped: he has no idea who he was or why he broke faith. But there are those who do, and they aren’t finished with him – or with Bhattya if she takes him on Excellent story with bonus pulp scifi cover art

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