Archive for the "Reviews" Category

Swords and Sorceries #3 Tales of Heroic Fantasy

This is the third anthology in the series dedicated to the memory of the wonderful Charles Black. He would have loved this. Swords and Sorceries #3 has a themed feel with a strong cast throwing in lots of great stories. I’m happy to have made the cut but not ashamed to say that I appear […]

Phantasmagoria issue #17 2020/21

Speaking as something of a hermit who knows very little about the world beyond my immediate bubble I was somewhat stunned by Phantasmagoria. I’ll dive right in. A well balanced and empathetic editorial from Trever Kennedy presages a cornucopia of stuff. So much stuff I have to bunch the original artwork into one comment – […]

Childe Rolande by Samantha Lee

I can only find one review for Samantha Lee’s Science Fiction novel ‘Childe Rolande’, which is surprising as it is astonishingly good on many levels. The accomplished Ursula K. Le Guin first broached the theme of androgyny in 1969 in The Left Hand of Darkness, a fascinating effort, instrumental in popularizing feminist fiction. The fact […]

Best British Horror 2015 Editor Johnny Mains

After previous success fans of horror shorts will be delighted to hear of a new work streaming in the Mains Laboratory. A lot of people has been visiting this website recently thanks to this important source. Stories by among others jane jakeman, rosalie parker, conrad williams my pet favourite john llewellyn probert, sara pascoe and […]

Lin Carter, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George R.R. Martin and the Fantasy Dilemma

It’s difficult to express why I like ‘Jandar of Callisto’ It’s obviously not a very good book: an unashamed pastiche of Edgar Rice Burroughs ‘Princess of Mars’, with poor or variable writing at times, unconvincing characters and some awkward dialogue. Perhaps the best way to express this is by comparison with Burroughs himself and a […]

Soap 7 review – over a decade late

The wonders of the internet. While trying to trace a pirate download of my SF story “Soap 7” I discovered that  it had a very favourable review in 1991. You can read it in the The Mouth of Sauron (III) June 1991 one of  the, now virtually defunct, zines of the time.

Devil’s Tor: David Lindsay

Reading ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’ as a youth I find myself indebted to Lin Carter the American author of science fiction and fantasy: although I always liked his work mostly I am indebted to his erudition and his editorialship. If the Ballantine edition of ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’ had not been made readily available by […]

The Eternal Lover: Edgar Rice Burroughs

‘NU, THE son of Nu, his mighty muscles rolling beneath his smooth bronzed skin, moved silently through the jungle primeval. His handsome head with its shock of black hair, roughly cropped between sharpened stones, was high held, the delicate nostrils questioning each vagrant breeze for word of Oo, hunter of men.’ So begins ‘The Eternal […]

Dunsany: Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of the Shadow Valley

Inspired by Nosferatu, a member of the Vault of Evil, whose unstinting gratitude offered free books to the read-hungry here’s a review of an author I much admired as a young man. David A Riley has remarked somewhere that he doesn’t read much fantasy nowadays and I’m the same. Having considered this I wondered whether […]

Emphyrio: Jack Vance (1969)

I always have difficulty categorising Vance. Essentially, if you write about space you’re writing SF but if you write in luxurious prose and inhabit your world with Lords, Ladies, puppet theaters and castles you have, to an extent, become a fantasist. therefore I’m going with the idea of fantasy. This is one of the best, […]