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Throwback Thursday: Lock In

Book cover: Lock in - John Scalzi (red and white figurines on a white background)The flupocalypse didn’t wipe us out, but it left 1 in 100 people paralysed – or ‘locked in’. One of them was the POTUS’s wife, so we gave a shit. But 25 years later, a new US government is stripping away the life lines that keep Hadens in touch with the physical world, and there’s a killing to be made… literally.

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The Space Between The Stars: the future is what you choose

Book cover: The Space Between The Stars - Anne Corlett (a woman's silhouette against a pale blue sky)The virus had a long incubation period. By the time it started killing, it had already spread across the stars. Those who survived the second day lived. The rest burnt up, 99.9999% of the human race reduced to piles of dust. Now the few survivors – scattered across planets – must try to reconnect, regroup and choose their future. Should Jamie try to rebuild what she’s lost or choose a fresh start?

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Throwback Thursday: A Natural History of Dragons

Book cover: A Natural History of Dragons - Marie Brennan (a dragon, half anatomical study, half scales)Isabella isn’t a model young lady. She has an unnatural interest in dragons, so she’ll surely die an impoverished spinster. Can a young lady of intelligence and determination find a husband who will support her in pursuing her heart’s desires? Of course she can. Let’s study dragons, darling.

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All Good Things: but what sort of end will they come to?

Book cover: All Good Things - Emma Newman (purple background with line art and embellished font)Emma Newman’s conclusion to her Split Worlds sequence is full of surprises as Cathy and Sam receive a shocking proposal from Bea, Lucy reveals her true purpose in Albion, the Gargoyle forces Max to confront his loyalties and Will finds new and deplorable ways to make me shout NO WILL NO. Inevitably, spoilers for previous instalments.

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Rotherweird: quirky, light-hearted portal fantasy

Book cover: Rotherweird - Andrew Caldecott (a hand drawn map of a city in a meander)When inexperienced Jonah Oblong is hired to teach history at Rotherweird School, the laws are clearly laid down: nothing before 1800 and no digging into local history. But Sir Veronal Slickstone, new owner of Rotherweird Manor, intends to turn all the town’s regulations upside down – and God help those who get in his way.

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Throwback Thursday: Rivers of London

Book cover: Rivers of London - Ben Aaronovitch (a snarkily contextual map of London, with a suggestively bloodstained West End)Easily distracted, PC Peter Grant is a probationary officer with a dull future of tedious admin ahead of him – until he takes a witness statement from a ghost in Covent Garden and finds himself recruited into the Met’s little-advertised supernatural division…

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Bite-size Books: Proof of Concept

Book cover: Proof of Concept - Gwyneth Jones (a silhouette stands in a shaft of blue light)Climate change has herded humanity into Hives, the 99% pacified by a diet of mass media while the super-rich look out for themselves. Orphan Kir is part of a project – the Needle – trying to make mass migration into space feasible. But her on-board AI has uncovered secrets it wants to share with her – if it can find a way around the code that controls it.

The Road to Nowhere: The Book of Etta

Book cover: The Book of Etta - Meg Elison (a road winding away towards the horizon)Nowhere is a small community founded on the teachings of the Unnamed Midwife, flourishing nearly 100 years after a plague drove women to the brink of extinction. But outside Nowhere’s walls, violent men still seize what they desire. Can there be any hope for a better future?

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The Book was Better (or was it): I Am Legend

I nearly chose I Am Legend for a Confession, but I’ve read it before – however little I remembered beyond the ending. Instead, I’m going to take another look at it side by side with the Will Smith adaptation (as a Bad SF Fan, I haven’t seen the Vincent Price and Charlton Heston versions). Which will be better?

The Book was Better (or was it): The Prestige

Book cover: The Prestige - Christopher Priest (a dapper man stares at his reflection - unlike him it is wearing a top hat. Nice trick eh)

I realised with glee after my fun revisiting Jurassic Park that I have lots of overlap between my bookshelves and my DVD rack. You know what this means… This month, I’m revisiting an epic tale of feuding Victorian illusionists – but which Christopher did it better? Almost spoiler-free.

Priest vs Nolan

The Edge of the Abyss: go big or go home

Book cover: The Edge of the Abyss - Emily Skrutskie (all the red tentacles thrashing out of the sea, faced by a girl looking back over her shoulder towards the reader)Broken-hearted but out of options, Cas Leung turned her back on the shore and signed on as Santa Elena’s trainee. But abandoned Bao isn’t the only Reckoner living wild in the NeoPacific – and they’re eating the sea empty. Can Cas persuade the pirates to risk their lives for the greater good?

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Bite-size Books: Winter Tales

Book cover: Winter Tales - ed. Margret Helgadottir - a drawing of a cottage nestled in firs with the moon rising above on a field of purple)Christmas Eve is when Icelanders given books to one another and winter is when we Brits historically told ghost stories by the fire. I’m celebrating the season with a collection of speculative horror stories chosen by Margrét Helgadóttir.

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