C. Askew

Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (67 of 78)
Birthday: 10 Mar
In My Own Words:
English Literature PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, Lecturer in Literature and Communications at Edinburgh's Telford College. Scruffy poet.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 769,668 - Total Helpful Votes: 67 of 78
New Model Army by Adam Roberts
New Model Army by Adam Roberts
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A short and punchy piece of speculative fiction which imagines the British Isles of 2030, divided into warring factions and dominated by new model armies fighting an increasingly ineffective and outdated British Army. Roberts closely examines the concept of ultimate democracy, and speculates as to whether it is a driving force that develops smart, strong social groups, or a destructive ideal that bypasses any sense of collective morality. The book also looks at everyday modern technologies like Google maps and wikis, and speculates as to how they could be adapted and used not only to build micro-societies that function successfully as ultimate democracies, but also how they could be used… Read more
Sunshine State by James Miller
Sunshine State by James Miller
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't deliver, 29 Dec 2010
Essentially a spy thriller, the book imagines a post-climate-change world, vastly changed by the melting of polar ice and spiraling further and further from order and morality and ever closer to a world culture of fundamentalism and eugenics. Miller's southern USA is a kind of Christian fundamentalist police state, with Florida set up as a naturally and morally barren buffer-zone in which atheists, homosexuals and non-Christians seek refuge. Miller's protagonist, unfeasibly young and fit Iraq veteran Mark Burrows, is sent into this cultural melting pot to seek out and contain a former fellow soldier who has become a the ringleader of a dangerous radical fundamentalist organisation… Read more
The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk
The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A bittersweet and slightly strange family saga, following the fortunes of three brothers and their families as they negotiate middle-age, marriage and parenthood. Thomas, the novel's protagonist, is delightfully frustrating and highly elusive - Cusk skilfully sketches his character in such a way that the reader is desperate to understand him but never seems able to. Does Thomas love his family at all? Is he actually gay? Why is he so detached from everything but his piano lessons? Cusk's main intention seems to be to point out that even the most ordinary - indeed, even the most boring (as all the characters' lives are by turn ordinary and just plain dull) - of people can be fascinating… Read more

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