2000 AD Prog 1900 – Perfect For New Readers!

Release Date: 24th September 2014 in print and digital

Published Weekly by Rebellion UK

Available from all good stockists

Next week sees the perfect opportunity to pick up 2000AD for the first time or if you have read it before and forgot about it, now is the time to return to the Galaxies greatest comic.
Prog 1900 has three new story arcs and is great for new readers to be introduced to the fantastic worlds of 2000AD

COVER 1900It features:

Judge Dredd – Block Judge  by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra 

Stickleback – The Thru’penny Opera by Ian Edginton and D’Israeli

Kingdom – Aux Drift by Dan Abnett and Richard Elson

It really is another important milestone for 2000AD. The fantastic cover is by Greg Staples and the new logo by lead 2000 AD designer, Pye Parr.

For me Stickleback is always a pleasure to read especially with D’Israeli’s fantastic artwork  and the character really has become one of my favourites from the vast array that 2000AD have. This will be the new readers chance to get in touch with some of the fantastic strips and the characters that feature in them. This is a mere taste of some of the wonders that 2000AD will have in store.

 

The Relic Guild by Edward Cox: Review

A great evil, a vast town in a strange world, a changeling, and a rather cool bounty hunter.
mixed all together these create some of the elements that are part of the The Relic Guild. The reader will notice that when you read this book, the featured complicated architectural and world building constructs make you feel a part of Labrys Town and as the pages turn one can see how these all function in Edward Cox’s vast and expanse universe.
Now, I love a maze. And reading The Relic Guild is like walking through a super cool maze. Discovering hidden passages, finding dead ends, not knowing where on earth you are going to end up, and then being chased by Jack Nicholson. Except that The Relic Guild doesnt have Jack Nicholson chasing people through Labrys Town (Although we can but hope for such in the sequel. Fingers crossed.)
In all seriousness Cox has created a superb maze-like and labyrinthian novel.

The reader will discover the world and its intricate inner workings through the eyes of some very interesting characters. Marney the empath, Old Man Sam the bounty hunter, and Peppercorn Clara a prostitute who can also change into a wolf. These three characters we meet at the start of the novel as well as the Illusionist Van Bam who is the Resident of the Timewatcher’s construct ‘The Nightshade’ which is a source of fear amongst the residents- or denizens as they are referred as in the story. The Timewatcher is the creator of magic and pure magic is wielded by the Thaumaturgists who are the most loyal subjects to the Timewatcher. The Timewatcher and her subjects were caught up in a war forty years ago with the Genii who are renegade Thaumaturgists and believe themselves to be the ones who should be calling the shots in the world.
The story takes place forty years on from the Genii War and then a series of flashbacks takes us back to see some of the characters overcome the trials of love and war. Also Old Man Sam is not so old.

The flashbacks are really written and give the reader a deeper understanding of the characters and the Labyrinth and how Labrys Town worked in the past and the comparisons that are drawn but with the focus being our main characters, as they are the magickers keeping everything safe or at least trying to. The book ends with the flashback guild and the current guild both in dangerous situations and leaves a very tasty cliffhanger.
With an ever-looming threat re-emerging the Relic Guild really do have their work cut out for them.

The Relic Guild leaves questions that will hopefully be answered in the sequel/s and there is one character I would really like to have seen more of.
Summed up The Relic Guild is like a twisting, looping, and flipping ride of a cosmic roller-wonder coaster and who knows where the author is going to take us in future books. I found that there was touches of an almost 2000AD influence with The Retrospective (a dangerous no mans land outside the labyrinth) being a kind of Cursed Earth and the novel did, at times, have a Doctor Who feel to it. See what you think.

The Relic Guild is out today (18th sept 2014) and is available from Gollancz Edward Cox is also on twitter @EdwardCox10 and keep an eye out on the blog for an upcoming interview with the author himself.the-relic-guide-cover1

Control Point by Myke Cole (Shadow Ops Book 1): Review

All over the world people are ‘coming up latent’ –
developing new and terrifying abilities. Untrained and panicked, they are summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze.

US Army Lieutenant Oscar Britton has always done his duty even when it means working alongside the feared Supernatural Operations Corps, hunting down and taking out those with newfound magical talents. But when he manifests a rare, startling power of his own and finds himself a marked man ,all bets are off.

On the rub from his former colleagues, Britton is driven into an underground shadow world, where he is about to learn that magic has changed all the rules he’s ever known … and that his life isnt the only thing he’s fighting for.

I had first heard about this book from the lovely chaps at fantasy faction and put it in a stupidly long list in the deep recesses of my mind. About a couple of months ago something reminded me about Control Point, and I knew it was time to read it. And then I proceeded in kicking myself for not having read it sooner.

From the first sequence Myke Cole leaves you gripping the pages of your book -or if you are technologically adept, unlike myself- gripping the screen of your e-watsitmajig.
Think of the scene of ‘Apocalypse Now’ when the helicopters are soaring over the Nung River and blaring out Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries. Now take out the smell of napalm in the morning and Nam, and add a modern day setting, then add REAL magic to that little scenario! AND NO, NOT PAUL DANIELS OR BLAINE IN BOX ABOVE THE BLOODY THAMES. This is magic from the elements and magic that exists in the here and now!

Of course, you can just imagine it. Imagine if we all woke up to the news one morning and the headline read ‘MAGIC EXISTS’ there would be all kinds of legislation strapped to it and Control Point explores this in great detail as well as the ethics of magic and what should it be used for as well as if it should be used at all?
Myke Cole can have you pondering these questions from the first chapter and beyond.

Oscar’s struggle with his transition from soldier to a dangerous latent with the ability of Portamancy (gate magic) is so touching and there are so many times the reader can feel his pain with the changes and the difficult choices he has to make and sometimes unwillingly.
Oscars journey into a dark and dangerous world is accompanied by a cast of well written characters all of whom are latent and some of whom are more dangerous with and without magic, those being the witch or negramancer, Scylla, and the Chief Warrant Officer Fitzsimmons. One of my very favourite characters we meet when Oscar is forced to join the Shadow Coven in the Source, is Marty the Goblin, and I do hope nothing awful happens to him in the later books.

The third person prose style really works for the narrative of this novel and the pace did not drag for me at all.
This is such a strong start to what Im sure is going to be a very enjoyable series. And Cole leaves us at book one with so many questions and so many places to explore. And Im sure as hell going to be delving into two and three asap. And thats affirmative. Sir!

Needless to say that if I was ‘coming up latent’ I’d hope that it would be in Physiomancy for obvious reasons.

I want to mention that as well as being a super nice guy and a kick ass author, Myke has also served in the military and done two tours of Iraq, not to mention the countless other outfits he has been a part of. I would like to personally thank Myke for his bravery and service to his country.

Control Point is available from headline and for more information about the author check out Myke Cole’s site also the author can be found on twitter @MykeCole

SF Masterworks- Doomsday Book by Connie Willis: Review

I had never heard of this book until recently. It was part of a recent prize that I had won from Gollancz at christmas. I was in one of those moods in which I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to read next I picked up two books from Mount Toberead and after reading a few pages I knew that I wasn’t particularly in the mood for them at that precise moment in time. As I was perusing my shelves I spotted Doomsday Book and took it down and read the synopsis on the back.

When Kivrin Engle travels back through time to complete her doctoral thesis, due to an accident, she lands in the middle of the Black Plague of 1348.
Meanwhile the Oxford she left behind is laid low by a mysterious strain of influenza and, with no one willing to risk arranging her rescue, time is running out …

Sold!
I love stories about time travel and enjoy all the paradox theories and connections between past and present or past and future etc. And as soon as I started reading I was hooked.
The story takes place in Oxford UK, in the year of 2054. The story begins with Mr Dunworthy, a lecturer at the university and a caring tutor, who is anxious at the prospect of Kivrin going back in time to the middle ages. There is something very father-like about the character of Mr Dunworthy which the reader can see develop more over the course of the novel.
Time travel is done in a way that protects the era in which the participant goes to, and also the participant themselves are prepared in a thorough manner before they embark. When a ‘drop’ is made the machine places a net around the precise location as well as the participant this is done in a way to not let anything come through from the past as well as ensuring minimal paradoxical effects. With me so far? Its not as complicated as I’m probably making it.
Kivrin has undergone intense lessons in etiquette of the 1300s as well as tutelage in the language and “adjectival inflection” of the period. Before the drop happens Kivrin also has to have inoculations against the diseases of the 14th Century and also her immune system is enhanced. So all bases are covered, the i’s dotted and t’s crossed, right?
Wrong!
Instead of being sent back to 1320, Kivrin has, allbeit unknowingly, been sent back to 1348 the year of the Black Death. And it would appear she has landed in Oxford at the precise time the horrific epidemic struck.

This book is ideal for fans of SF and historical fiction, the elements of both are beautifully intertwined that makes a book that is pretty hard to put down.
The characters are beautifully detailed and I genuinely cared about my favourites throughout the story. The events that unfold around all the characters bring them closer together in both past and present and poor Mr Dunworthy (with help of the over enthusiastic Colin), are run ragged trying to help in their time and also to save Kivrin.
This book will make you laugh and cry and hold your breath at the most surprising moments. I cannot give this book enough praise, all I can say is, THOU MUSTE READE THIS BOOKE!

Doomsday Book is part of the SF Masterworks series available from Gollancz now. If you are from the 1300’s you probably have a bit of a wait, and if you are lucky enough to partake in the joys of time travel, you can go back to 1992 and get it before anyone else!

The Boy With The Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick: Review

Well I must say, reading The Boy With The Porcelain Blade was quite an experience.
I cried, and I laughed and I uttered expletives when something unexpected happened in the story.
Den Patrick has created a magnificent fantasy tale decorated with- what I would call, venetian-esque? I’m probably way off with that and it probably has a name, and more than likely is already a sub-genre.*
Anyhoo, I digress.
So, The Boy With The Porcelain Blade looks at the life of the Orfano, Lucien De Fontein.
The Orfano are children with unknown parentage that are fostered by noble families, and along with this each Orfano has a distinguishing disfigurement (Lucien has no ears and other Orfano have things like spines growing from their forearms).
The Orfano’s disfigurement is the driving force behind what they strive to become. Many others believe them to be Witches or (strega), which is an example of what people don’t understand they condemn.

Lucien’s journey is one that is not without struggle, and his journey sees him to the point of exile, at the same time he has a tenacity to see who or what is behind the curtain, and his search for the truth makes him a desired target.

The Boy With The Porcelain Blade is told through a series of chronological flashbacks that reveal to the reader events as they are now, and what they were before. This method does not slow the pacing of the story down, but it adds more pieces to the very dark and mysterious puzzle that Patrick has set in motion. The reader gets to see how Lucien is and what he has become, and reading how the character evolves is fantastic.
Lucien encompasses all that makes one human, the weakness, and at times the fragility of his soul, not to mention the desire to respected and also the knowing of what it is to be loved, whilst battling the merciless bullies that surround his daily life. The construction of the character Lucien, by Patrick is done in such a way that the reader feels for Lucien, and at times the struggle of Lucien and the futility of his journey, made me cry.

I highly recommend The Boy With The Porcelain Blade. A Strong, and compelling debut, that has unforgettable moments, and memorable characters. I look forward to reading more about Landfall and follow more of Lucien’s journey.

9/10

The Boy With The Porcelain Blade is out on the 20th of March from Gollancz. You can find out more about the author here, http://www.denpatrick.com and the author is on Twitter @Den_Patrick

*I’m going to coin the phrase and sub-genre Gondola Fantasy, (please note that there are no actual Gondolas in this particular novel but the term is being used to describe the italian influence in this book). You heard it here first!

The Copper Promise (Ghosts Of The Citadel Book 1) by Jen Williams: Review

There are some far-fetched rumours about the caverns beneath the Citadel…
Some say the mages left their most dangerous secrets hidden there; others, that great riches are hidden there; even that gods have been imprisoned in its darkest depths.
For Lord Frith, the caverns hold the key to his vengeance. Against all the odds, he has survived torture and lived to see his home and his family taken from him … and now someone is going to pay. For Wydrin of Crosshaven and her faithful companion, Sir Sebastian Caverson, a quest to the Citadel looks like just another job. There’s the promise of gold and adventure. Who knows, they might even have a decent tale or two once they’re done.

But sometimes there is truth in rumour.

Soon this reckless trio will be the last line of defence against a hungry, restless terror that wants to tear the world apart. And they’re not even getting paid.

I first heard of this book on a podcast (Rambling Through Genre) in which a fellow blogger (of http://onechaptermore.com/ ) and all round nice chap, Max Edwards, interviewed Jen Williams at last years Nineworlds convention. Upon hearing about the book I immediately knew it was something I wanted to read. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed.
Every now and then I get a good feeling about a book before its released sometimes I’m right and other times, not so much. As soon as I found out more about The Copper Promise my instinct told me that it was going to be good, however, I never imagined it to be this awesome!

Adventures, a kick ass female protagonist, monsters, gods, a dragon, magic, and a dragon.
Did I mention it has a dragon? Well it does.
Standing at around 535 pages, Jen Williams certainly has packed in so much adventure that the adventures have adventures.
The story starts with the employment of two sell-swords, the awesome Wydrin aka The Copper Cat and Sebastian Carverson formerly of the Ynnsmouth knights are employed by Lord Aaron Frith of Blackwood, things from then go absolutely crazy- in a totally good way, of course.
I found myself immediately captivated by the characters especially Wydrin, I would go as far to say that she has to be one of my favourite characters ever. A bold statement I know, but The Copper Cat is all kinds of awesome.

Although all the adventures the group partake in lead them all over the world of Ede, its all part of one big adventure, and to that effect it was like playing a fantasy RPG videogame like Zelda or Final Fantasy, in the fact that so much groundwork is laid out that leads to an awesome ending.
I absolutely adored the world-building and magic system. The former not being bogged down by superfluous information, and the latter working in a way in which it clearly shows that magic comes with a price.

Some may find my review of this novel a bit gushy and enthusiastic. Well I’m not going to apologise for that, and seriously if you love fantasy, then you’ll love this book. Each page is a wild ride into the unknown and follows a cast of characters that you will root for from start to finish.

An immensely enjoyable debut that must have been as fun to write as it was to read. I hope its not too long before we see the return of The Copper Cat.

10/10

The Copper Promise is released on the 13th of Feb from Headline books http://www.headline.co.uk you can find out more about the author here http://sennydreadful.co.uk/ and Jen Williams is on Twitter @sennydreadful

Hang Wire by Adam Christopher: Review

Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.
Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.
Out in the city there are new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

Firstly I’d like to make a confession.

This is the first novel by Adam Christopher that I have read.

Phew!
There, I said it. And after having read Hang Wire I will kick myself for not having read his previous works!
Anyhoo, I digress.

Hang Wire tells the story of the mild mannered blogger, Ted Hall, who on one particular evening has a most unfortunate encounter with an exploding fortune cookie which happens to contain the power of a Chinese, trickster god.
Meanwhile, the City of San Francisco is in unrest and the barefoot, shirtless beach-bum, Bob knows exactly what is about to happen as he has been there before. It would seem that Bob is keeping a very large secret to himself.
Bob was there when the first attempts of destruction happened in the Earthquake of 1906 and since then has lived his life on the beach as part of the tourist scene, (ballroom dancing anyone)?
And then there is the matter of the mysterious Hang Wire Killer that the authorities are no closer to catching. But its ok! the Circus is in town! Yep, good ol’ fashioned fun for all the family. Celtic dancers who are a strange and sinister bunch, and a man in a stovepipe hat that unnerves the performers and seems to have lived forever.
And you thought clowns were scary!

One thing the keen eye of the reader will notice, is that the novel focuses on the viewpoints of four characters and Ted appears to not always be the primary focus as one might think. Although the narrative is split, Bob and the antagonist, Joel Duvall, seem to have more light shed on them to some degree, this certainly made things interesting.
The suspense and mystery surrounding the story is built fantastically and the interludes that happen within chapters in which the reader goes back in time and joins Joel’s hunt for the elusive jewel eyed monkey is used as a great platform to keep up the suspense.
(Keep your eyes peeled for the awesome Mothman reference!)

Hang Wire captures an urban-fantasy that at times reminded me of a 2000AD strip (The Ten Seconders), and also The Cold Dark was somewhat reminiscent of the Dr. Who villain- The Great Intelligence. That is not to say that it felt un-original at all.
Also, look out for a fairground monster that Tom Pollock, (author of The City’s Son) would be proud of!

Hang Wire is a novel full of suspense and mystery, Gods and Golems, ancient powers, and impending doom!
Christopher leads you down one path then quickly redirects you till you no longer know which way is up.

At some point in time last year, Mr. Christopher was asking the hive mind of twitter about hats. Little did I -or anyone- know that he was writing this little beauty!

I’d like to finish by mentioning that this novel is the 100th book released by Angry Robot.

And remember- “You are the master of every situation.”

9/10

Hang Wire is available in the US on the 29th January and in the UK on the 7th of February from Angry Robot and all good book retailers.
Visit the publishers website at http://www.angryrobotbooks.com and you can find more about Adam Christopher on his website http://www.adamchristopher.ac as well as on Twitter @ghostfinder

Thank you to the publishers for providing me with a copy of this novel.

The Almost Girl by Amalie Howard: Review

Seventeen year-old Riven comes from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, a parallel world to Earth. A legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory. Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier and in a race against time to bring Caden home, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?

A mean, lean, Vector killing machine! But there is much more to Riven than meets the eye.
Amalie Howard’s ‘The Almost Girl’ is a fast paced SciFi, with plenty of action (and I do mean plenty)!
Riven’s journey is not of just crossing from Neospes to the Otherworld (Earth), but a journey of heart and mind. An internal battle with who she thinks she is, and what she wants to be, but yet cannot fully embrace.
Throughout the novel the technology of Neospes plays an important part of the story telling, and with each high-tech gadget a new piece of the puzzle is introduced and advances the telling of the story.
Its when the supposedly ordinary schoolboy, Caden encounters Riven, things go awry. Riven has travelled to earth in search of Caden to bring him back to Neospes. At first he is but a target for our highly trained General (Riven), and it is through characters such as Caden and Riven’s estranged sister (Shae), that the layers of Riven’s cold, hard exterior begin to show.

I really enjoyed The Almost Girl. It was a fast, fun and exciting read. But also had some very tender and emotional moments. I don’t want to spoil these for you, but they are written really well and reading how the character(s) deal with them, made me feel even more for their plight. I thought the Vectors were brilliant and the way they worked, kind of reminded me of the movie ‘Universal Soldier’ in the way that they were used to infiltrate and destroy their targets, I would of liked to have seen more of the unpleasant Murek as throughout the novel you are told that he is a rather bad chap (although not in those words), but except for a few parts, his dastardly doings are very little.
The Almost Girl is a duology, but it could be read as a standalone Its worth noting that I don’t read a lot of YA not for any particular reason, as over the past year I have read some fantastic YA SFF, upon finishing The Almost Girl it made me realise that I would like to read a lot more YA especially in the same vein as this rather splendid book. I really loved the way it ended and I’m very much looking forward to the next book. Like I said, a lot happens in this book and I really don’t want to spoil it. Amalie Howard has filled The Almost Girl with twists and turns aplenty with a strong and independent female lead, who could kick your ass before you knew it. A very enjoyable read.

8/10

The Almost Girl is available now from Strange Chemistry http://www.strangechemistrybooks.com and you can find more about the author at http://www.amaliehoward.com you can also find Amalie Howard on Twitter @AmalieHoward.

Thankyou to the publishers who provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Iron Wolves (The Rage Of Kings book 1) by Andy Remic: A Review.

Thirty years ago, the Iron Wolves held back mud-orc hordes at the Pass of Splintered Bones, and led a brutal charge that saw the sorcerer Morkagoth slain.
Now, a new terror stalks the realm. Orlana the Changer, has escaped from the Chaos Halls and is building an army, twisting horses, lions and bears into terrible, bloody hunters, summoning mud-orcs from the slime and heading north to battle the mighty region of Vagandrak where, it said, the King has gone insane…
General Dalgoran searches to reunite the heroes of old for what he believes will be their final battle. But Dalgoran discovers the Iron Wolves are no longer the heroes of legend, and they might just be more dangerous than the invading hordes…

Orcs, evil magic, gore, mutated creatures, and a mad King. Yep, this is grimdark fantasy alright.
The Iron Wolves can only be described as a rock band that have split up through musical differences, so to speak, and are considerably damaged. Ones a drug addict, ones a pit fighter, one kills couples in love, one hates the one that now fights in the pits, and the other tortures people for fun.
Okay, so not a band you would want at your next birthday party.
General Dalgoran seems to be the only one that can hold this wild bunch together, and even then he struggles to stop them from killing each other. But stand together again they must, against the threat of the very, very evil Orlana.
Orlana is ruthless in her methods of killing and no one is off limits. The Wolves are her only obstacle at getting to what she wants and she’s not letting beast nor man stand in her way. One scene in particular involves a rather gruesome meal, that will make the reader put down their lunch, one way or another

As the story progresses each of the wolves has a story to tell through their eyes and the reader gets this sense of how beyond repair they seem to be. Each battling inner demons that have been left to grow inside each of their souls and cripple each of these heroes.
Andy Remic has shown very successfully that these heroes haven’t saved King and Country against the odds, to come out unscathed. The things that the wolves have experienced are beyond horrific, and not just on the battlefield.

Throughout the novel, each fight and subsequent death of a Splice or Orc etc is described in detail. And I do mean every detail. At first, a description of disembowelment in detail becomes part of the shock factor that is associated with grimdark. But as the novel progresses it becomes quite tedious in its over-described form.
As does the ongoing evil deeds of Orlana the Horse Lady.

So did I enjoy The Iron Wolves?

The Iron Wolves is a pure gorefest. It had some very good moments and also some moments where, I’m sorry to say, I lost interest. The endless bickering between the Wolves, and not feeling any attachment to the characters themselves, but not through lack of trying, became a struggle. I wanted desperately to like Kiki and even though she seemed to have moments, in which I thought we made a breakthrough, I was immediately feeling ostracised by her and the others.
I felt at times the multiple view points of characters slowed the story down a lot. There were things that I wish were mentioned at the beginning, and then further explained. It almost felt that the ending was a bit jumbled together with many explanations of different things, mainly to do with magic (or magick), and then tied together to wrap things up, but I was left with a sense of “Where did that come from?”
I really liked the way that Andy Remic made things like Honey, appear dark and dangerous but still alluring, and the splice can only be described as bloody terrifying.
The Iron Wolves is definitely worth a read if only for the gore factor, of which there is blood and guts aplenty. Why not start the new year with a bit of grimdark!

6/10

The Iron Wolves is available from the 2nd of January in the U.K and out now in the U.S and Canada, from Angry Robot. Check out their website at http://www.angryrobotbooks.com and the authors website http://www.andyremic.com

Many thanks to the publishers who provided me with a copy of this book.

The Year That Was, Through The Eyes Of The Moustached Man

I thought about doing a best-of-list, for this year, but decided not to. So instead I thought I would do a little look back at some of things that (being old or new) have caught my interest in the year 2013. There are probably a few things that I have missed.

Books:

There have been so many great book releases this year, and many that I have not yet had the chance to get round to a large proportion of this years book releases as well as last years.
Throughout this year I have read so many great books and have also re-read some of my favourites (Book Of The New Sun by Gene Wolfe, being one) as well as some classic Gemmell (Rigante series) and Robin Hobb’s Fools Errand. Also I began reading (at long last) A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R. R. Martin and am currently at book three (and still waiting for my copy of Storm Of Swords part 2 to arrive) Gemsigns by Stephanie Saulter, Your Brothers Blood by David Towsey are two of my very favourite reads this year, but there are other reads that have also been fantastic, and I look forward to reading more from the authors that have created them. One book that I finally got around to reading was Sabriel by Garth Nix, part one of the Abhorsen trilogy. This a book I highly recommend and one that I will be re-reading very soon. Another novel that has made a very big impact on me, is The City’s Son by Tom Pollock. Although, not released in 2013, is still a novel that can only be described as wonderful and alters how we view our surroundings. I somehow forgot to mention the magnificent Heartwood by Freya Robertson, that got me through a difficult time, but also a very enjoyable read, with amazing worldbuilding and awesome characters. I somehow forgot to also mention books 1 and 2 of the Everness cycle by Ian Macdonald. All I can say about Planesrunner and Be My Enemy is. Read them! You won’t regret it. Airship duels! Nuff said.

Films:

As for films I’m very, very behind with this years releases. Although there have been some films that I have seen for the first time this year and have made a big impression on me: Calvaire directed by Fabrice Du Welz- a Belgian horror film and the tragic documentary that was released this year- Blackfish- about the controversial Seaworld, and the tragic plight of the Orcas that are used for entertainment and are taken from their natural habitat and separated from their young. I urge anybody to watch Blackfish. Another film that *is* from this year is the 2000AD fan film Judge Minty, which I highly recommend for 2000AD fans, and fans of the film Dredd, (which I am yet to see). I finally got to see Trollhunter directed by Andre Øvredal- a horror/fantasy set in Norway. Its a relatively low budget horror, but its a fabulous film and magnificently done. If you are a fan of the film Monsters directed by Gareth Edwards, then Trollhunter is a must see.

T.V Shows:

As for t.v shows. The 50th anniversary of Dr. Who (Day Of The Doctor), was absolutely fabulous, and I am looking forward to the regeneration, however, I will be sad to see Matt Smith leave the show. I also started watching Hell On Wheels, which I thoroughly enjoy, I liken it to a somewhat old west style- Person Of Interest, which is another show that I feel goes from strength to strength. I never got round to watching Atlantis or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D but I will at some point. I’d like to see some new Sci Fi television shows in 2014 that are awesome and don’t get prematurely cancelled.

At the beginning of this year I started my humble blog. In which I share what I’m interested in, which mainly involves lovely, lovely books
I absolutely adore reviewing SFF books and writing blog posts about all sorts, and couldn’t imagine not doing it.
in finding my feet in the depths of the SFF blogosphere. I have come across some amazing people. From bloggers, podcasters, authors, and artists, to editors and beyond. All the individuals that are the spokes of the wheel of the SFF community, and I’m proud to feel part of that wheel.
Yes we are all aware of the individuals and issues that lurk in the dark side of the community, but on the whole, the SFF community is a nice place to be, and the majority of people are, to be frank, awesome!
If you want book/film/game/comic recommendations, you got it. You need help with your blog or podcast? Or tips on how to write that epic fantasy tome, its yours.
Everyone is there for one another and there to help each other.

One of many things I love about the SFF community is that it is a journey of discovery for all involved, not unlike an SFF story, in which the characters discover hidden kingdoms or Extra Terrestrials on their own path of discovery.
It truly is a wonderful thing.

So I would like to say a big thank you, to everyone in the community for making me feel a part of it and for joining me and others on their own quests, into the wonders of genre. I look forward to further adventures into genre with you all.

I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic New Year. And here is to swords and spaceships, monsters, and magic.