Review: Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

The last of the great space opera authors, I finally managed to get around to beginning my adventure within his universe.

Powerful and well crafted characters slowly develop their unique identities within a set of different and excellently designed cultures. I adore writers who spend the time in constructing dense backdrops – politics, culture, history, science, philosophy & biology – and, in this regard, Alastair Reynolds is a master craftsman.

The story roots itself in a history both recent and ancient, the characters mere playthings in a developing story that I expect will come to dominate a galaxy or more. It develops at pace, has a few surprising twists & turns, and kept me engaged in what is a long book, ensuring that I had bought the next in the series within ten minutes.

Highly recommended.

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.

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Kindle Giveaway

Enjoy for free, this 24th August for one day,  the beginnings of an epic adventure with three Cumbrian girls desperate to escape the backwater Lake District town of Egremont. Told by a narrator ten years in the future, as humanity teeters on the brink of an undefined apocalypse, walk hand in hand with Molly, Beth, and Hannah as their lives tell the story of the one called “Our Lady”.

Download for free onto the Kindle or Kindle App and enter your world … about to be torn apart.

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Click here to download your free kindle ebook and start the journey!

August Kindle Giveaway

Enjoy for free today only (10th August 2019) the beginnings of an epic adventure with three Cumbrian girls desperate to escape the backwater Lake District town of Egremont. Told by a narrator ten years in the future, as humanity teeters on the brink of an undefined apocalypse, walk hand in hand with Molly, Beth, and Hannah as their lives tell the story of the one called “Our Lady”.

Download for free onto the Kindle or Kindle App and enter your world … about to be torn apart.

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Click here to download your free kindle ebook and start the journey!

Review: The Broken Empire, by Mark Lawrence

Looking for some new fantasy, I saw this mentioned as a To-Read by Adrian Tchiakovsky so thought I’d give it a whirl. I should point out here that this is a review of the entire trilogy, one of the many benefits of digital books being that I can purchase the entire work for a discounted price.

Dense writing style, a lovely turn of phrase coupled with an interesting consideration of the world and characters within it, not afraid to write as an adult: I was hooked within the first couple of chapters. Every individual stands out as a unique creation and sharing their thought streams shows a real master at work.

It does jump about a bit in terms of chronology but in this case it works well, setting the scene for something about to happen. The plot opens up slowly, against the background of a pretty standard previous civilisation recovery; there is no magic per se, rather something else that is an interesting twist, and which develops well.

I really enjoyed the growth of the all the main protagonists and the way they interacted as a group. The plot is engaging and well laid out: my only complaint is that I think the ending is rushed, not what actually happens at the end, which is excellent, but rather the part leading up to it. It doesn’t detract from the work but rather represents, I think, a missed opportunity.

Definite recommendation and I will be reading more of this author’s work.

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.

Need a Free Summer Read? Kindle Giveaway

Enjoy for free the beginnings of an epic adventure with three Cumbrian girls desperate to escape the backwater Lake District town of Egremont. Told by a narrator ten years in the future, as humanity teeters on the brink of an undefined apocalypse, walk hand in hand with Molly, Beth, and Hannah as their lives tell the story of the one called “Our Lady”.

Download for free onto the Kindle or Kindle App and enter your world … about to be torn apart.

twitter-end-of-a-girl-promo-1

Click here to download your free kindle ebook and start the journey!

Review: The State of the Art by Iain M.Banks

Having read all of Banks’ Scifi a decade ago and now revisiting them, The State of the Art is the only one I have never read, not being a massive fan of short stories. This collection demonstrates why.

Banks’ is my favourite author and his abilities as a wordsmith and a crafter of realities I have never found bettered. Each short oozes with his style and substance but there is just never enough space for him to build momentum or for me to become engaged. The first Culture tale is just a frivolity whilst the second, whilst longer, still does not have the space it needs to mature: indeed it becomes more of a duelling polemic – fascinating and highly relevant, especially given the current pathetic state of humanity  – but I wanted so much more.

My summary – excellent work from Iain M Banks but the format is not my cup of team and I am looking forwards to returning to the Culture big time!

Fleecy Moss, author of the Folio 55 SciFi fantasy series (writing as Nia Sinjorina), End of a Girl, Undon , and 4659 now available on Amazon.

 

The New Plague

The Brexit Party of the UK is not a political party; to consider it as such is to give it what it wants, time until the next election to unleash its ideological payload into the body of our nation and destroy it as it currently exists.

It is no  party, has no members or manifesto, suffers no internal democracy, its leader cannot be deposed or removed, its funding is opaque. Whilst outside, its public face appears to be a political party, its internals are crafted by data analysts, sovereign wealth individuals, and ideologues intent upon only one thing, the betterment of themselves at whatever cost to the individual, society, and the planet at large.

Crafted by political geneticists, its investors have taken time to build this new weapon of mass societal destruction.  Students of the past, the have considered previous epidemics, in particular that which started in Germany in the early 1920s and spread to engulf most of the world in fire.

To successfully infect, a susceptible population with a weakened societal immune system is required. In this previous outbreak, it was a once proud nation having been laid low through the Treaty of Versailles and its consequences. A trial of the next generation of political virus in the US, a nation almost entirely split down the middle only needed to play the What About Me card to shift a small number of voters disillusioned with a less than perfect political process; the result of this infection is there for all to see, a small number of voters leading to consequences echoing around the world.

Surprisingly, this was not the primary infection scenario but merely a small trial, one in such a dominant host that no one would really consider the possibility of a greater plan underway.

To succeed, an infection a way into the host and a vector to spread and then tighten its grip. With the UK, a nation that never rebuilt itself after an imperial past, there were multiple access points ripe for exploitation: an antiquated political system; no formal constitution; no independent checks and balances; a cultural memory of superiority; a barely healed class system concealing patronage, nepotism, and a chumocracy.

For a vector, the ability to spread the infection, the UK offered both ancient and modern: the almost maniacally trusted and beyond suspicion edifice of the BBC; the ingrained technological wonder of social media and more, the lack of understanding of the general population in how it works, who manipulates it, and who pays for that access directly into their heart and soul.

Brexit was ground zero; the long prepared setting of first release of the virus. Take the weak Prime Minister that was David Cameron, haughty and unaware in the role he was about to play and whisper into his ear that he could deal with the troublesome Right Wing of his party by agreeing to a referendum that could not possible go against him. Target the unreconstructed latent nationalism of a population long prepared via the private held media against a suitable target, the European Union, craft a process of a simple majority and a binary statement to deal with a highly complex issue, and then pump money and disinformation into the national body.

The shock of  that first stage of the infection reverberated around the host, and around the world. Too late the immune system began to fight back, but this was no virus it recognised for it used its own processes against it: democracy. Only too late did it realise that the inherent failings of simple majority system could end up becoming fatal.

For three years the host has fought to quell the virus but this is no simple, one of a kind construct: it has been decades in the crafting. Stage two has seen the virus manifest a mass, a tumour, that of the Brexit “Party”. The host victim suitably feverish with infection, righteous indignation has seen a nationalist macrophage enter the political bloodstream. It proffers no place for those who stand against it, the binary choice, the clarion call already heard before: you are either with us or against us.

Its purpose is clear and indeed now stated: it will remake the nation in its new image of a national, a world order. This will be achieved one constituency at a time, with simple slogans, feel good statements, lots of noise, and a victim mentality, decrying the very vectors that it so magnificently manipulates.

Yet whilst its infection continues to widen its reach, deepen its hold, the host continues to fail to understand the danger, the potentially terminal nature of this first step on the road to a global epidemic of which the UK will just be the first casualty. A by-election is underway in Peterborough: infected voters flood from dying parties to the new party that is not a party, and yet those who would stand against it continue to do so using the very archaic thinking it has already subverted.  A simple majority system is its spawning ground, its victory. Divided resistance will fall, seats will be taken, momentum will increase.

If good men and women do not recognise this seemingly fantastical danger in time, then it will be too late. This virus has been decades in the making, by those who seek sovereign wealth and power over the citizens of this planet. The UK is the first victim because it was the most vulnerable as already described.

Anathema to these people and their agendas are cooperative and international institutions that protect the small from the large, the weak from the strong, the poor from the rich. The European Union was founded in the flames of the last infection; it has been developed by good men and women in order to provide a barricade against the new outbreak, preaching tolerance, acceptance and love for each other and the environment around them.  Whilst mistakes have been made and weaknesses exist, its track record is there for all to see: no war on the Continent for seventy years; improved living standards for its citizens; improved environment.

The UK was always the weak link in the EU because of its past, for many reasons; that it has been targeted by the virus via Brexit was inevitable.  Those who would stand against this virus, both here in the UK and abroad, need to recognise what they are fighting and organise a proper resistance now or the future will be lost to a new dark age of intolerance, repression, environmental degradation, and war.

It should have started with the EU elections but it did not; it could happen in the Peterborough byelection but it has not. We are using its very weapon of tribalism against ourselves: only a grand coalition against this virus will have a chance of victory.  We either fight this virus on its own terms, in its own playground, with superior thought and tactic, or we will die. It is that simple.