There’s always room for one more has been a byline in our household for years (which I can’t take credit for, I hasten to add), and it’s nearly a year since I realised it described my reading habit perfectly and stole it for my book blog.

I like the hobbit approach to birthdays as a time to give gifts to others, and as it’s SciFi Month it seems a no-brainer that I should give away one of my favourite SF reads of 2016 to celebrate this first year at x+1. So I have a shiny new copy of Yoon Ha Lee’s debut novel Ninefox Gambit to put in the hands of one lucky winner.

The giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be drawn out of a pirate hat on November 26th, the day x+1 turns one.

Book cover: Star of the Sea - Una McCormack (a space ship in flight)Stella Maris is a remote planet where hostile races live in peace under the unlikely shelter of a Weird portal. When the corrupt Expansion comes to ‘investigate’, deserter Yale and former slave Ashot fear the worst – knowing that the Expansion sanctioned mass murder on Braun’s World. Will the Weird keep them safe?

It’s the first Friday of SciFi Month, and today it’s time for something a bit different for Bite-size Books: the first ever guest post here at x+1.

Lesley Conner, managing editor of Apex Magazine, is taking the keyboard to try and get to the bottom of what makes a short story an Apex short story. Over to Lesley – and her special guests, my colleagues on the slush team!

The Three - Sarah Lotz (UK book cover)This slick, cynical thriller appears to set out to illustrate T S Eliot’s points: the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.

His comments about the centre and the blood-dimmed tide aren’t far off the mark either.

Four aeroplanes crash on the same day. Investigators quickly rule out terrorism, but struggle to explain what was at fault. They are equally bewildered by the survival of three children, who come through the crashes with minimal injuries against all odds. The crashes and their survivors ignite global conspiracies as a right-wing preacher declares them the harbingers of the apocalypse.

Book cover: A Long Way to a Small Angry PlanetIt feels like I’ve been writing about The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet all month, but it’s time to round up with an actual review of Becky Chambers excellent debut.

Rosemary Harper has faked a new identity and signed on with the Wayfarer as a clerk. Captain Ashby hopes she’ll open doors to juicier contracts. Everyone else just hopes she’s less of a pain in the ass than their fuel engineer.

SciFi Month 2015

It’s the last week of the SciFi Month Read-Along of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which means spoilers a-go-go and all the feelings as we reach the climax. My heartfelt thanks to Over the Effin’ Rainbow for organising the Read-Along and hosting this last week – I’d been wanting to read this novel, and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

SciFi Month 2015

Marking my first post on WordPress rather than LJ (turns out moving platform is like moving house; terrifying and exhilarating and oddly requiring far more tea and boxes than you expected), it’s the third week of the #RRSciFiMonth read-along of A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet (previous weeks here and here) organised by Over the Effin’ Rainbow.

I’ve fallen behind due to Life and Other Animals, so it’s a belated round 3 today in brief advance of the final week of the read-along plus a review tomorrow.

Our host for week 3 is Claire Rousseau who has set some excellent questions (it goes without saying that this far through the book there will be spoilers, yes/yes?)

SciFi Month 2015

For those just dropping by out of the blue: this is the second (weekly) installment in a group delight in A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, being organised by Over the Effin Rainbow as part of RRSciFiMonth (Ronseal: an opportunity to delight in all things SFF for a month – check out Twitter for a run down of all the stuff going on). It’s not too late to join in – we’ll be reading a quarter of the book a week (and of course you can read it in 3 months time and come back to join in the comments if it takes your fancy). So, getting on to this week’s entertainment…

I’m calling it now: this is far too much fun, and everyone should read it. Okay? Okay.

I seem to be getting involved in a bunch of social review and discussion, which makes me exceedingly happy – not least in this case, as I’ve had my eye on A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet (by Becky Chambers) and this is a perfect excuse to get on and read it! If you’re interested in joining in, the schedule for the readalong is here, and I’m sure you’d be very welcome to jump on board.

I’ll be posting weekly updates along with the rest of the group, followed my usual review when I complete the book.