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Malcolm Craig

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Only Forward
Only Forward
by Michael Marshall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser, 24 Oct 2002
This review is from: Only Forward (Paperback)
A curious, intriguing, at times whimsical novel from a writer who has since produced a wide range of oddness (such as One Of Us and Spares). To be honest, it's impossible to talk too much about the central premise of the book without giving big chunks of it away, which would, let me assure you, spoil the entire thing completely. Suffice to say, the book does not end as it begins, with all manner of strangeness and oddity abounding. Despite their rather (at times) off putting occupations, many of the characters are actually rather engaging, having a certain sympathetic quality. It's strange, at times ethereal book which rejoices in twisting your perceptions and throwing red herrings in your path (to mix a metaphor rather badly). By turns comedic, violent, sad and grotesque, it does turn out to be a rewarding and enoyable read. If you have enjoyed writers such as Jeff Noon and Steve Aylett, then this could be another one to add to your collection.


The Scar
The Scar
by China Miéville
Edition: Hardcover

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent work, 24 April 2002
This review is from: The Scar (Hardcover)
From the author who gave us the brilliant and phantasmagoric 'Perdido Street Station' comes a new work similarly brimming with wit, inventiveness and interest.
The author's use of language to paint vivid and engaging pictures is just as evident as in 'Perdido Street Station'. Sights which could be comic if handled only slightly differently hold chilling and at times repellent fascination. Mieville's ability to capture the essence of s scene, person or thing within the space of a few words is one of the things which makes 'The Scar' a truly enjoyable read.
However, it's not one for the faint hearted. The author is certainly emergining as one of the finest current exponents of weird fiction. His books blur the boundary between fantasy, SF, horror and all manner of traditional genres, giving a sense of the truly new and innovative. Like any author, there's a certain amount of hat-tipping to favourite and inspirational writers, yet the book has a freshness of idea and place which marks it out from others. The story starts off simply, with the escape of one character from the sprawl of New Crobuzon, the transporting of prisoners across the sea, acts of piracy and the amazing appearance of familiar objects (you'll know what I mean when you come to them).
All in all, if you enjoyed 'King Rat' or 'Perdido Street Station', then you'll most certainly enjoy 'The Scar'. If you've not read the authors work before, then I'd heartily recommend this and all of his novels.


A Place In The Sun
A Place In The Sun
Offered by ____THE_BEST_ON_DVD____
Price: £9.50

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, lightweight punk-rock, 15 Mar 2001
This review is from: A Place In The Sun (Audio CD)
More lightweight (not meant in a derogatory fashion) than NOFX and Screeching Weasel (regulars on my CD player), Lit are nonetheless worth listening to. 'My Own Worst Enemy', however, gets a five star rating on its own. Catchy, tuneful and rather good to dance to, it's easily the best song on the album. As a light alternative to a lot of modern punk or a less frenetic change from ska-punk, Lit are spot on.


Look To Windward
Look To Windward
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical, expansive and thoroughly enjoyable, 2 Mar 2001
This review is from: Look To Windward (Hardcover)
Unlike the frenetic (although equally enjoyable) nature of some previous IMB SF novels, I found Look to Windward to be a very thoughtful, almost poetic novel. Yes, there are considerable passages where nothing much happens, but these are filled with lyrical description and amusing conversation. While novels such as Use of Weapons pelt along at a fair old rate, slinging hard technology at you from all angles, LTW adopts a different manner. Both are equally pleasing, especially when produced by a fine writer such as IMB. While LTW is not quite up there with The Bridge or Player of Games, it is still a fine novel, an engrossing story and a good read all round.I would recommend it to anyone.


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