I've started a new blog - what the hell was I thinking?! It isn't a replacement for this blog, it's a 52-week side project that I thought might be fun, and also of practical use in improving my writing habits. But anyway, there it is - please go and have a look if you like Doctor Who, or if you like electronic music, or if you like me (flutters eyelashes), or... well, see if you like it.
Updates here will continue, although they might be a little more rough 'n' ready than usual. Case in point: the book write-ups for the last two months...
The Clockwork Angel, Cassandra Clare
Supernatural romance by the author of the Lord of the Rings "Very Secret Diaries". Well, actually a Victorian era prequel to supernatural romance etc etc. Not exactly steampunk, although doubtless many would disagree. Bought for $3 because, well, why not at that price? Much better than I was expecting, and even has some of the flavour of a period romantic novel. Fantasy elements are satisfactory and there's no "vampire porn" - at least, not yet, although I can't speak for later volumes in the series.
Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
Third in series of fantasy police procedurals, following Rivers of London and Moon Over Soho. Completely excellent, as expected. Looks like we're about due for an arc-heavy fourth volume now.
Aristoi, Walter Jon Williams
Read mainly because the author was going to be in town for a booze-up, and I wanted to be able to look him in the eye. Space opera with profound moral elements - the future nobility (Aristoi) are each responsible for the development of worlds under their care as well as the overall welfare of the galaxy; protagonist Aristos discovers that a fellow Aristos is secretly raising worlds in barbaric, primitive conditions. Does either side have the right? Fascinating read, not least for the parallel columns that allow for internal and external character dialogues to unfold at the same time.
Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the d'Urbervilles, Kim Newman
Borrowed from a friend. Brilliant, brilliant parody of Conan Doyle and other contemporary writers. Colonel Sebastian Moran becomes the narrator for a series of lewder and nastier versions of famous stories including Riders of the Purple Sage, The War of the Worlds, Tess of the d'Urbervilles (obviously) and of course, The Final Problem.
Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman, EW Hornung
Read as a follow-up to Moriarty because I had it lying around and felt that this was a good time for it. Turns out I hate Raffles. He's a smug, unprincipled shit and a bit of a prat, and no amount of lovestruck fawning by the narrator can redeem him.
Strange Itineraries, Tim Powers
Short stories by an excellent novelist. Nuff said?
The Deep of the Dark, Stephen Hunt
More steampunky adventure mash-up. This week: submarines! I enjoyed it, as usual - better than the previous volume - but can't help wondering when Hunt is going to try something else.
Jack Glass, Adam Roberts
Library book. Incredibly, after my last couple of experiences with him, a really great book by Adam Roberts. Just when I was about to give up hope! This one doesn't even lose a wheel in the final act, but sees it through right to the end. Title character is a peerless murderer in a totalitarian future Solar System; the reasons for his murders turn out to affect all humanity. This book's surely a keeper - now I just have to get hold of a copy that I can keep.