Spoiler-free (and spoilered) thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens… with added conspiracy theories…

The short unspoilered version: The good news: This is a good film. Not as good as the original films, but infinitely better than the prequels. You can safely wipe the horror of them from your memory. Call this Episode IV of the series and get on with

[Review] The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill by Kelly Robson

Jessica slumped against the inside of the truck door. The girl behind the wheel […] kept stealing glances at her. Jessica ignored them, just like she tried to ignore the itchy pull and tug deep inside her, under her belly button, where the aliens were trying

[Review] Folding Beijing by Hao Jingfang

Folding Beijing, a novelette published in Uncanny Magazine, depicts a fantastical future Beijing where the skyscrapers fold and unfold  like origami in a forty-eight-hour cycle. Each time the city folds, a new space is revealed, and its inhabitants begin their day. Five million enjoy the use of twenty-four hours and seventy-five

The Super Mario Bros. approach to #storyplotfail

Today I read an unpublished novelette that – in theory – was a page turner. A former mind-swap expert treks to a remote monastery to look for his ex-wife who’s hiding as a mind upload in a virtual-reality maze where she can never be found. This novelette – which

Choosing your own reality…

In the comments of a Guardian article about the cult-like nature of Britain’s shrinking political parties: Technology has driven cultural changes, what we see is what politics looks like when people have so much control over what they see, and who they speak with. Social

Ten snarky comments about Donald Trump

Everyone else has opinions on Donald Trump. I’m British, but we’ve getting plenty of coverage over here. So, hey, why shouldn’t I join in the fun. 1. No, I’m not going to point and yell “fascist”. Yep, Trump’s egotism and nativism is somewhat 1930s jackboots-&-genocide, but fascism is mostly

Guile and Graffiti in Gravesend

By four o’clock I’d wound up taking photos of a 1950s power station in a town on the Kent coast where I had no sane reason to be. I was down on travel options, I was out of daylight, and the only constructive thing I’d done in

Hugo Nominations 2016: Best Short Story (Fantasy)?

The god gave his keys to my brother, but I knew it was a mistake. Keys are a woman’s domain. The Secrets of the Universe, a flash fiction by Kat Otis, is published today by Daily Science Fiction. It’s Renaissance fantasy, but executed with exceptional grace, polish

[Review] Damage, by David D. Levine

Greg from Rocket Stack Rank wrote in the comments on Lela E. Buis’ blog: Try “Damage” for a really bad story that actually got recommended by someone. How could I resist an invitation like that? And, yep, Damage is pretty bad. Although not the worst I’ve read this

[Review] The Hunger Tower by Pan Haitian

“My #1 candidate for the worst short SFF published in any professional venue in 2015” That’s how Greg at Rocket Stack Rank described Pan Haitian’s short story The Hunger Tower. I can’t say I disagree with him. This is a literary car crash. A monster truck