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The Boy On The Bridge

Book cover: The Boy On The Bridge - M R Carey (a boy silhouetted against a red background)The Rosalind Franklin is Beacon’s best hope, on an epic journey around Britain seeking a natural inhibitor to the hungry plague. But it is as riven by politics as Beacon itself – can the crew put aside their differences or is humanity doomed to rip itself apart before the hungries even reach them?

Practically spoiler-free

Bite-size Books: A Long Day in Lychford

Book cover: A Long Day in Lychford - Paul Cornell - a woman silhouetted against treesThings aren’t the same in Lychford since That There Vote (no, not the one about the supermarket). There are new divisions between friends, neighbours and witches. With terrors beyond the magical boundaries, the question of borders has never been so charged.

Continue reading “Bite-size Books: A Long Day in Lychford”

I had all sorts of grand plans for December, but instead I find I need to take a little break. I’ll be back after Christmas, with reviews of Gnomon, The Ninth Rain, Prime Meridian, Under the Pendulum Sun and more (…still reading, just not writing!)

A confession: due to work and not being well, I’ve not finished The Hydrogen Sonata yet, so the final foray into The Culture will not be appearing this week. However, I have had time to consider the question of What Next and I’ve plotted a course for the Space Age stories of Aliette de Bodard’s Xuya universe – here’s to a summer of bite-sized space opera.

Space Opera Sunday: revisiting the Culture

Needing something to fill the Tremontaine-shaped gap in my life, I am turning my eyes to the sky and filling my heart with stars. A couple of years ago, I began (but failed to finish) an epic reread of Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels. I’m going to revisit my thoughts and finally finish the journey.

Continue reading “Space Opera Sunday: revisiting the Culture”

Well, the year has turned and we get a shiny new one. Best wishes to you all for 2017!

Merry Christmas!

I’m not a religious soul, but I love Christmas as a time for twinkling lights, visiting with family and eating all the things that you’d usually talk yourself out of. Also – in my family at least – for the giving and receiving of books. So here’s wishing you the best of the season from the bottom of my bookish heart.

Snow person sat on a park bench, London 2013

Geeking out at Nine Worlds. Normal blogging will resume when I’ve finished squeeing at epic cosplay (and had some sleep). 

A brief reflection: I consider myself lucky to speak and read several languages. Picking up Temeraire in Dutch has made two things clear: firstly, my Dutch isn’t as rusty as I think! Secondly, the staggering cognitive load of reading in a foreign language. I understand everything as I read it (I don’t actively translate along in my head), but it takes my full concentration. All that grey matter normally deployed on sifting implications and judging characters is focused on basic meaning instead.

It’s good to be reminded on a regular basis what a difference reading in your mother tongue makes. I have ALL THE RESPECT for my friends who read books in English as a foreign language and make it look easy. Now lets take a moment to consider authors who write their works in a second language. People, you are AMAZING. Never forget it.

Lastly, did you know that the Dutch word for ‘pacing’ (as in around a cabin) translates literally as ‘polar bearing’? OMINOUS, much? I love Dutch.

Do you ever read in a language that isn’t your mother tongue?

4 books of myths or fairy tales on a dark wood floor
Big decision: what to read first for Once Upon A Time?

Once Upon A Time…

Artwork: The Queen by Melissa Nucera
The Queen by Melissa Nucera

It’s the 10th year of Stainless Steel Droppings annual Once Upon a Time not-a-challenge: a celebration of fantasy, folklore, fairy tale and myth in fiction and on screen.

There are several Quests you can undertake, which can be as epic – or not – as you choose, so long as you have fun.

Head on over to Stainless Steel Droppings to register your interest, or check out the reviews from those already getting into the spirit. I’ll be chipping in from time to time on Sundays.

Happy World Book Day! To celebrate, I’ve dipped into The Lord of the Rings (don’t wait up, I may be some time). What are you reading?

 

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