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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?

Priest vs Nolan

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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Europe in Winter: redrawing the map

Book cover: Europe in Winter - Dave Hutchinson (3 faces reflected in an icy surface)The fractures are becoming kaleidoscopic in the third instalment of the Fractured Europe sequence. University intelligence man Rupert is now settled in Europe and working as an agent for Rudi; former chef Rudi is trying to work out who is behind a string of terrorist attacks; and who knows what the Community – or the Coureurs – are really up to…

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The Book Was Better (or was it?)

I learnt young to mistrust the excitement of hearing that a beloved book is being turned into a movie (thanks for nothing, Disney). It’s a sentiment shared by many bookworms after the latest Hollywood attempt to boil a favourite down to 90 minutes of entertainment: the book was better. But is this always true? For SciFi Month, I revisited Jurassic Park to see how it held up.

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Europe at Midnight: further up and further in

Book cover: Europe at Midnight - Dave Hutchinson (a train coming through a tunnel between two faces in profile)In a recognisably near future, countries have broken away from the EU, regions have declared themselves independent and even city blocks claim sovereign status. It’s a headache for bureaucrats – and the postal service – and a busy time to be a spy. Welcome back to fractured Europe.

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Bite-size Special: What makes an Apex story?

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!

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Feed: no news too hard to swallow

Book cover: Feed - Mira Grant (RSS icon painted in blood)Brilliant science and human idiocy brought on the zombie apocalypse; a generation later, the population still lives behind walls. Intrepid bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are the rare exception – they’ll chase a good story wherever it leads. When they’re invited to join a Presidential campaign, their ratings are guaranteed. But politics can be as merciless as the walking dead…

Remarkably spoiler-free

Europe in Autumn: fractured indeed

Book cover: Europe in Autumn - David Hutchinson (indistinct brown haired man's face)Rudi is an excellent chef with a stubborn streak he can’t hide. When he becomes a Coureur – a member of Europe’s clandestine postal and people trafficking service – life becomes more interesting than a Friday night cooking for Hungarian mobsters. But Rudi has no idea what secrets he’s carrying – or who will kill to protect them.

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False Hearts beat true (and very fast in places)

Book cover: False Hearts - Laura Lam (a heart image comprised of two overlapping fingerprints on a silver background)

What if you spent your first 16 years so close to someone you shared a heart? What would you think if they came to you 10 years later, covered in someone else’s blood? What would you risk to save your twin sister?

Don’t expect to be able to put this down

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