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Kindle Customer "kevmcuk" (Lancashire, UK)

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The City & The City
The City & The City
by China Miéville
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.09

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, badly handled, 22 Jun 2013
This review is from: The City & The City (Paperback)
Full review here [...]
The City And The City is a novel whose central idea vastly overpowers its plot. The mystery Borlú investigates is nothing thrilling, a routine plod through a modest conspiracy story, neither especially good nor bad. In its climax the dramatic tension is due entirely to an unconvincing exploitation of the nature of the two cities. Which leaves us with the idea itself, the novum which drives the text. Miéville's novum is his BDO is the Cities themselves, and The City And The City consequently works or fails on his ability to make that idea work. Unfortunately Mieville takes the wrong approach and The City And The City is therefore intrinsically flawed and doomed to fail/


Redwood and Wildfire
Redwood and Wildfire
by Andrea Hairston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly powerful and moving fantasy, 22 Jun 2013
This review is from: Redwood and Wildfire (Paperback)
An alternative history of the early twentieth century, of life in the backwoods of Georgia and the growing city of Chicago. Alternative because Hairston's rich, passionate love story reveals the lives of black Americans in every detail, from the opening scene lynching, to minstrel shows, pioneering black cinema, brothels and exploitative landlords, hoodoo and christianity.
I read Redwood & Wildfire three times in 9 months, each time seeing more in the story to, not bring it more to life so much as enhance the world beyond its pages. The obscure historical references that, once I learned some were true, gave the whole an air of realism on the one hand that supported the gentle, occasionally angry, magic.
On each read I shared the anger, fear, grief, laughter, love and loss that saturates this novel until they were my feelings.
Redwood & Wildfire incorporated so much so easily, in vivid depiction of The World's Fair (visited by time travel), in powerfully demonstrating the ways black society works and fails alike, in beautifully handled episodes of non-conforming sexuality (not least the eponymous lovers, but also gay and seemingly polygamous characters) and in so much more, that it was unchallenged as the best book of 2011 and perhaps one of the very best of the century so far.


Uncertain Places: A Novel
Uncertain Places: A Novel
by Lisa Goldstein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy at its best, 22 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Reviewed here http://performativeutterance.wordpress.com/2011/07/03/the-uncertain-places/
I make no apology for reasserting my belief that Goldstein deserves as much acclaim as the likes of Crowley, Powers and Gaiman. Re-telling fairytales in fantasy is common, reminding us why we need fairytales less so, and doing that within a clever, charming and joyful story quite rare.


Cortez On Jupiter
Cortez On Jupiter
Price: £2.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Radical, Provocative SF, 22 Jun 2013
This review is from: Cortez On Jupiter (Kindle Edition)
Ernest Hogan's debut novel, published in 1990 as part of Ben Bova's Discoveries series, is a remarkable piece of original SF that is radical in ways that perhaps haven't really been acknowledged yet.

Cortez On Jupiter is the story of graffiti artist Pablo Cortez' career progression from Basquiat-esque guerrilla muralist in 2020s LA via a staggered Bester-like plot to a weightless take on Jackson Pollock on in orbit above the Great Red Spot. Meanwhile a series of attempts to communicate with the alien Sirens of the Jovian atmosphere repeatedly have fatal consequences. Fascinated, Pablo volunteers.
Initially framed as a documentary on Pablo's career, told in flashback and transcripts, Cortez on Jupiter steers a course that manages to include explicit satire and old-fashioned sensawunda SF tinged with cyberpunk simultaneously.

Full Review at http://performativeutterance.wordpress.com/2012/02/26/cortez-on-jupiter/


Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon
Strange Devices of the Sun and Moon
by Lisa Goldstein
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy's hidden star, 22 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From my review here[...]

Strange Devices Of The Sun And Moon is a deeply human fantasy, full of historical detail in the bookseller's trade, and yet contemporary in concerns both in feminism, and in its jibes at the masculine posturing of some writers. It is a thoughtful novel yet it flows at a steady pace to an unforced reconciliatory climax. Perhaps not Goldstein's most acclaimed novel but in taking familiar tropes and telling an enjoyable story with subtle wit and subversion she has created a neglected fantasy classic nevertheless.


The Carhullan Army
The Carhullan Army
by Sarah Hall
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.25

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern and yet in a classic vein, 20 Sep 2007
This review is from: The Carhullan Army (Hardcover)
Sarah Hall has taken established SF tropes and added a contemporary politic, combined with a poetic use of language to produce an engaging, provocative and thoughtful novel that is immensely relevant yet also timeless.
The so-called Sapphic tendencies dismissed below are just a small part of an ongoing meditation on gender roles that Hall actually uses to good effect.


Oh Pure and Radiant Heart
Oh Pure and Radiant Heart
by Lydia Millet
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.40

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Arthur C Clarke Award Shortlisted SF novel, 7 Jun 2007
The pompous synopsis above states that this novel is not SF. The judges of one of the UK's major literary prizes thought differently, shortlisting it for the Arthur C Clarke Award, and Ms Millet was reportedly considering attending the Award ceremony suggesting she doesn't disagree.

It takes three men through time asa consequence of a nuclear explosion, and investigates the impact their work as scientists has had on the world and the impact the future has on them. In what way is this not Science Fiction?

O Pure And Radiant Heart is a thoughtful, challenging work. Poignant at times, passionate and calm also. Try it with an open mind and ignore the snobbery above.


Firecracker
Firecracker
by Sean Stewart
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning classic, 1 Dec 2005
This review is from: Firecracker (Paperback)
NOTE: Firecracker was originally published as 'Perfect Circle' in the US.
Its a ghost story, a road trip, a cool tale of a contemporary guy with the ability to see ghosts and great taste in music. His life is a mess (of course) and he has a vindictive ghost on his tail. But that's not what its about. Its about life, love, big issues, and how our mind sets structures up to deal with them.
A great, unknown novel.


Hotel San Jose
Hotel San Jose
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The lady rules the house, 28 Sep 2005
This review is from: Hotel San Jose (Audio CD)
The previous review's emphasis on Chuck Prophet does Stephanie Finch a disservice. Yes Chuck is all over this record, yes Stephi is his wife, but it is her album. Its her songs, her voice.
The songs are mostly all good, often better live (as with chuck) and you will catch yrself thinking 'hmm' about most. You may think Carole King one moment, Cindy Lee Berryhill another, Lee Hazlewood again, and yes, Chuck Prophet at times, but always you will be thinking: Stephanie Finch. And you will smile, its that sort of record.


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