Periphery, by Michael Winter: #BookReview.

383 pages First Contact Science Fiction/Horror Tense. Taut. Engaging. Absorbing. It happens to all of us, and those with imagination are especially vulnerable: the situation and/or location carry some element of unfamiliarity. There, in the shadows under the tree, near the open gate, behind the stone wall, we see, or think we see, from the …

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Echoes of Olympus Mons, by Eric Malikyte: #BookReview.

270 Pages Horror/Science Fiction It takes imagination and sound scientific knowledge to invent an entirely new form of monstrous antagonist in a science fiction novel, and Eric Malikyte has both in quantity. This is a book that manages to engage the reader despite the self-imposed social isolation of the main protagonist and narrator. Other characters …

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Game Changers of the Apocalypse, by Mark Kirkbride: #BookReview.

Science Fiction/Post-Apocalyptic Horror 299 pages As far as I can recall, I’ve never read a book in the post-apocalypse genre before, so it’s probable there are recognisable conventions of which I’m unaware. That said, any book should generally be accessible to all readers if possible. This one took some getting into for me. Once I …

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Pandora, by Joshua Grant: #BookReview.

388 Pages Horror/Action Adventure. Imagination is a crucial element in any work of fiction, and here it reaches new heights, especially in terms of human ambition and the lengths some will travel to fulfil it. This novel is a mix of horror, fantasy, science fiction, adventure and thriller. But, in merging the genres and developing …

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Simon Says, by Rachel McClellan: #BookReview.

A truly gothic and demonic horror story. The narrator’s voice carries all the bile, disapproval, confidence and uncertainty of the youth well. This is a short but powerful read and one to produce nightmares if read too close to bedtime in a lonely place. The conflict of denial against the reality of the situation leaves …

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A Night Shift, by Joshua Scribner: #BookReview.

This short piece of dark fantasy puts a different spin on a popular theme, and carries it through with some dark humour. It’s a compact story, told simply but with great effect. We know as much as we need to about the characters and watch as the tension slowly builds to the denouement, which contains …

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The Fall of the House of Usher, by Edgar Allan Poe: #BookReview.

It’s dangerous to review a much-loved and respected classic; even more so for an author. So I face this review with some trepidation. The story is, of course, of its time; a period when readers had fewer distractions, were happy to read wordy stories, and were educated enough to understand the subtleties of language. I …

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Until Death Do Us Part, by Lynda Hilburn, Reviewed.

Humour with vampires: those who love the genre will really get their teeth into this. (Sorry, unforgivable bloody pun! – And again!) This is a well-constructed short that manages to pack in the conventions of the vampire world. I love the idea of the psychologist treating vampires for their problems. This story is told from …

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Fantasticon 2016 and Other Treats

A book launch, where we sold out of the publisher’s stock! A meeting with Royd Tolkien and lots of other authors. A gathering of enthusiastic and generous people at an event celebrating science fiction, fantasy and gaming. Plus: Visits to relatives and friends in various locations. Visits to Family Research Centres to gather facts for …

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666, An Anthology of Horror Shorts, Reviewed.

https://read.amazon.co.uk/kp/card?asin=B01M6A07BE&preview=inline&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_ERalAbGW2P26R&tag=stuartaken-21 A scary collection of thirty-two horror shorts, every one of them exactly 666 words long! These Fantables were mostly the result of a contest run by the publisher, Fantastic books Publishing, but include some tales by selected invited professional writers. The stories run the whole spectrum of horror writing from the traditional through to …

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