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White Tears: the blues will get everybody

Book cover: White Tears - Hari Kunzru (text treatment)Seth has always lived for the future, but his musical partner Carter has his heart set on the past. When Carter pushes Seth to create a retro track that sounds straight out of the 20s, they unleash a memory of musicians past. The blues don’t forget, and the devil still lingers at the crossroads…

In which I try to avoid too many spoilers, and to be at least vaguely coherent. It’s a struggle, ok?

Subjective Chaos: halfway there (in theory, anyway)

Time for another peek at the progress of the Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards panel! Is it April already? Cue not so much chaos as panic (at least for this reader), as that means we’re halfway through the process – at least in terms of time, if not in progress… So how are we getting on?

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Dogs of War: should a Good Dog follow orders?

Book cover: Dogs of War - Adrian TchaikovskyRex just wants to be a Good Dog. But Rex is no ordinary dog. Rex is a Bioform, engineered to fit a specific set of requirements: obedience, loyalty, leading his pack, killing his Master’s enemies. But if Rex’s Master is not a Good Man, how can Rex be a Good Dog?

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Bite-size Books: Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth

Book cover: Rupert Wong and the Ends of the Earth - Cassandra Khaw text title and silhouette of city skyline in redWho needs enemies with friends like Rupert Wong’s? Following his unfortunate involvement in dragon murder and celestial war, Rupert’s is being seconded to London ‘for his own safety’. But his new Greek employers are at war too – and nobody is betting on Rupert surviving it.

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Annihilation: embrace the change

One day, it was a remote stretch of American coastline, wild and beautiful. The next, it began to change. Now Area X is threatening more densely inhabited areas, and the secretive government organisation known as the Southern Reach wish to send in a twelfth expedition to try and understand it. But only one person from the first eleven expeditions ever returned…

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Subjective Chaos: and we’re off (cue… chaos?)

I’ve been promising for a while I’d put together an update on how the Subjective Chaos Kind of Judges are getting on with our self-inflicted and oh-so-delightful task of reading our take on the best of 2017. With the shortlists announced in January, we’ve had nearly two months now – and I’m unsurprised to say we’re nowhere near anything that looks like a decision on any front. Continue reading “Subjective Chaos: and we’re off (cue… chaos?)”

Bite-sized Books: The Murders of Molly Southbourne

Book cover: The Murders of Molly Southbourne - Tade Thompson (blood trickling down the bottom half of a woman's face)When Molly Southbourne bleeds, a new Molly is born. The Mollies look just like she looks; know what she knows; and sooner or later each of them tries to kill her. How can she protect herself and her loved ones from herself? And how she to keep from bleeding?

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Spare and Found Parts: review and giveaway!

Nell Crane is the girl with the clockwork heart, daughter of two revolutionary thinkers whose contributions have improved the lives of everyone in Black Water City. Great things are expected of her, but she’s running out of time to make a contribution that will keep her free of a life of manual labour. When inspiration finally strikes, her idea is so bold it may destroy her ties to everyone she loves…

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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

Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards 2018: an informal experiment

Subjective: “based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes or opinions“.

Chaos: “the first created being” (Greek). No, that’s not what we’re after. “Complete disorder and confusion” …hopefully not. “Behaviour so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions“. YOU GOT IT.

(Kind of) Awards: “a prize or other mark of recognition” – well, you know, kind of.

Continue reading “Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards 2018: an informal experiment”

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?

Continue reading “Gnomon: asking all the questions”

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