Monday, December 15, 2008 -- Delusionism by Anthony Marais

Delusionism (cover)With a wink and a nudge, he delivers essays on topics ranging from Originality and The Quest For Happiness to Pet Rocks and Books vs. Movies.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008 -- Read by Dawn (Volume 3), edited by Adèle Hartley

Read by Dawn (Volume 3), edited by Adèle Hartley; (cover)"Read by Dawn" arrived in pristine condition, but will be leaving here in a less-than-perfect state (there was one of those ominous cracks when I bent the spine a little too far back). But if the book's been changed by being read, so have I by reading it.

Monday, December 1, 2008 -- Mourning Meadow by Larion Wills

Mourning Meadow by Larion Wills; (cover)Kari is a woman with a secret and a mansion on a large estate. Steve is a man with a secret and a desire to develop mansions on large estates. Oops, that might be his secret.


Monday, November 24, 2008 -- Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco

Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco; (cover)Normally I would start a review with a summary of the plot, but having only read "Ocean Sea" once, I don't feel competent to summarise it. Suffice it to say that some characters get together at a hotel by the sea, and there's a chap painting the sea with sea-water, a woman who's going to die unless the sea can cure her, another woman who's trying to choose between her husband and her lover, and a lot of strange children.

Monday, November 17, 2008 -- The Lone Star Stories Reader, edited by Eric T. Marin

The Lone Star Stories Reader (cover)There is so much beauty here, densely packed yet woven like gossamer thread.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008 -- Going Down South by Bonnie Glover

Going Down South by Bonnie Glover (cover)This is a reading- group book.  You can tell because it's about mothers and daughters, because it has race- and gender-based complications, and because it has Reading Group Questions at the back.


Monday, September 29, 2008 -- Sound + Noise by Curtis Smith

Sound + Noise by Curtis Smith (cover) Curtis Smith’s "Sound and Noise" is a fascinating portrayal of two people trapped in lives of stagnant frustration.

Sunday, September 21, 2008 -- Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek

Tomato Girl by Jayne Pupek (cover)Tomato Girl is a fairly standard coming-of-age story, occasionally daring in some aspects, but, on the whole, rather mediocre.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 -- The Silk Palace by Colin Harvey

The Silk Palace by Colin Harvey (cover)Ancient gods, cultish murders, royal intrigue, and sapphic love--The Silk Palace has it all.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008 -- Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco

Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco; (cover) In this post- PeaceMaker world, humanity is divided between those who consider technology to be the tool of the devil, and those who still think it has a useful role to play in our lives.  There are some great moments and some nice twists...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 -- The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé

The Suicide Shop by Jean Teulé (cover) The chapters are brief, often terse, and the story progresses swiftly--at times a little too swiftly, in that I felt the characters bounced a bit too much in mood and disposition.  At the same time, the quick pace kept me turning pages.

Monday, August 4, 2008 -- Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning by VMK Fewers

Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning cover"Stone Masters: A Vampire Reckoning" is a vampire novel told from two perspectives, in the form of diary entries. Both of the main characters, Orpheus and Jadeon, start us off with an entry from June 2006 as the set up to tell the story of how they became what they are, several hundred years earlier.


Monday, July 28, 2008 -- Words From a Glass Bubble by Vanessa Gebbie

Words From a Glass Bubble cover"Words from a Glass Bubble" by Vanessa Gebbie is a collection of nineteen of her short stories, compiled in a handsome hardback from Salt Publishing. There's no overarching narrative, but although the stories are very different, some themes and images crop up more than once.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 -- The Fireborn Chronicles by Mary Andrews

The Fireborn Chronicles by Mary Andrews (cover) A "psionic sci fi" romp with tinges of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat and tinges of Babylon 5...

Monday, July 14, 2008 -- Last Dragon by J.M. McDermott

Last Dragon cover"Last Dragon", published as the first of the Wizard of the Coast Discoveries, is like no Fantasy novel I've ever read. It's non-linear, told as a series of letters? reminiscences? campfire tales? that flit about events and times yet slowly and inexorably bring the reader to the book's conclusion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 -- Eternal Vigilance by Gabrielle Faust

Eternal Vigilance coverWhen I know a book is going to be part of a series, it has to be pretty darn good for me to consider forking out for future instalments. Unfortunately, this book doesn’t work so well as a stand-alone novel, and that was disappointing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 -- Bloodshot Monochrome by Patience Agbabi

Bloodshot Monochrome coverIt's a thin book. However, if you're about to become the romper room for someone else's narratives, neuroses and hang-ups, it's cheery that the book is at least thin. They won't be here long. Maybe you can cope.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008 -- Dangerous Games, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois

Dangerous Games, Edited by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois (cover) It's a lot of story (and a lot of stories) for your buck, and none of them are duds.

Monday, June 16, 2008 -- The Tea House by Paul Elwork

The Tea House coverPaul Elwork's "The Tea House" is a bold first novel, entering the strange, secretive world of two children who discover a way to convince others they can contact the dead.

Monday, June 9, 2008 -- The Recruit by Debra A. Kemp

The Recruit by Debra Kemp (cover) I found that shortly after I entered the flashback that made up 99% of the book, I was well and truly hooked.

Monday, June 2, 2008 -- I Will Rise by Michael Louis Calvillo

I Will Rise coverFor the first forty-five pages or so of this novel, nothing much happens. Instead of a plot, we're treated to an apparently endless stream-of-consciousness tirade from the first person narrator.


Monday, May 26, 2008 -- We, Robots by Sue Lange

We, Robots by Sue Lange (cover)Humans fear the Singularity and take Steps to prevent a robot rebellion.  Their fear, of course, accelerates the process.  If that whets your curiosity...

Monday, May 19, 2008 -- Echoes of Terror, edited by Katherine Smith et al

Echoes of Terror coverThis Horror anthology is nicely presented, with an introduction that gives the reader a small taste of what's to come. The stories are topped by short commentaries from the authors on how they came to write their stories, and tailed by their biographies.

Monday, May 12, 2008 -- Amityville House of Pancakes: Volume 3 edited by Pete S. Allen

Amityville House of Pancakes (volume 3) coverAHOP is an annual collection of humorous specfic wrapped up in "hot buttered weirdness".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 -- Coop by Jack Teeter

Coop coverJack Teeter's Coop is the story of a blackballed baseball coach making a comeback seventeen years after a car crash robbed him of his voice--and his livelihood.


Monday, April 28, 2008 -- Bound In Skin, edited by Sonya M. Shannon

Bound in Skin coverBound in Skin is a collection of seven short gothic romance stories that mostly stick to formulaic plots. There are, however, two stand-out stories in this collection--the title piece 'Bound in Skin' by Janine Ashbless and Carole Lanham's 'Cleopatra's Needle'.

Monday, April 21, 2008 -- Traversa: A solo walk across Africa, from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean by Fran Sandham

Traversa coverIt's hard to read many travel books without a sense of 'Why? Why are you putting yourself through all this?' and Traversa is no exception.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 -- EZ Lovin' by Elaine Charton

EZ Lovin' coverEZ Lovin' is a slightly modern romance in a modern setting, but it follows the old formulas with only a small nod to up-to-date ideas about gender relations.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008 -- The Gender Divide by David Boultbee

Gender Divide coverI enjoyed this book--it's something of a romp, although possibly that obscures a serious purpose. But, oh dear, it's often unintentionally hilarious as well.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 -- "Mend Your Misery" by Kristofer Dommin

Mend Your Misery coverMend Your Misery is a collection of twelve poems largely focused on love and heartbreak. Kristofer Dommin seems to have channeled that spotty teen-angst phase that drives people to poetry, and honed it to its core.


Monday, March 24, 2008 -- Personal Demons by Stacia Kane

Personal Demons coverSparks fly in this hugely-enjoyable paranormal romance. When central character Dr Megan Chase takes a job as a counsellor on a radio show, the tagline, "how can I slay your personal demons?" attracts unwanted attention from, yes, personal demons.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 -- The Oblivion Society by Marcus Alexander Hart

The Oblivion Society cover"The Oblivion Society" is a hilarious post-dot-com, energy-drink-fueled apocalyptic romp with some fun science (somewhat abused) and clever characterizations.  You want to win our review copy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008 -- Vacation by Jeremy Shipp

Vacation CoverI had to take a step back after reading Vacation to realize it really is as imaginative as it's advertised as being, because it's not so much the usual suspects, like the crazy plot antics or the political interpolations, that impressed me, but the parts that were presented more matter-of-factly, the characters and the interactions.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 -- Hannibal by Ross Leckie

Hannibal coverThis is a nasty book. If you're expecting to read about Hannibal the famous general, Hannibal who crossed the Alps and gave the Romans the thrashing they deserved, forget it.


Monday, February 25, 2008 -- Witching Hour Theatre by Craig Sheffer

Witching Hour Theatre coverStarlight Cinema presents Witching Hour Theatre: "a shadowy world of hauntings and serial killers, werewolves and cannibals, slaughter and mayhem."  Once a week, Starlight Cinema flips its marquee and presents a triple-feature of silver-screen horror: something recent, something classic, and something obscure. 

Monday, February 18, 2008 -- MEAT by Joseph D'Lacey

MEAT coverMEAT is a strangely compelling read. Despite weaknesses in the narrative, it draws the reader in, shows them a bizarre yet intriguing world, and makes them read to the very last page.

Friday, February 8, 2008 -- Cooking Your Way to Romance by Carl R. Wendtland

cooking your way to romance coverThis is a great book for the epi-curious romantic, but also stands on its own as an inspiration for the more experienced.  The humor, full-meal suggestions, and anecdotes make this much more than a simple collection of recipes; and it's further enriched with a guide to wine selection, a guide on setting the table, unit conversions, and a glossary of terms.


Monday, January 28, 2008 -- "Ten Plagues" edited by Ian Donnell Arbuckle and Justin Conwell

ten plagues cover

This "Collection of Deadly Stories" sets itself the difficult task of having one short story for each of the plagues in Exodus. Read the review and see the first comment for how to win our review copy!

Monday, January 21, 2008 -- Shutterbug by Daniel I. Russell

Shutterbug by Daniel I. Russell (cover)Daniel I. Russell's Shutterbug is a readable novella.

See comments for how to win a .pdf of Shutterbug--contest open to all!


Tuesday, January 15, 2008 -- Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill

Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill (cover)Downstage Dead by Bevan Amberhill is a marvelous book which I highly recommend.  In the States/Canada? See the comments for how to win our review copy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 -- Eden Waters Press Home Anthology, Edited by Anne Brudevold

Eden Waters Press Home Anthology Edited by Anne Brudevold (cover)Home Anthology is a well-put-together volume of memoirs—essays and
poems—revolving around a common theme: home.
In the States/Canada? See the comments for how to win our review copy!