Paul McAuley: Fairyland

Fairyland, the Arthur C Clarke award winning novel from Paul McAuley, is most definitely not what I expected it to be. I came across it during a little Amazon splurge a while back whilst looking for decent Cyberpunk novels, and the allusions in the plot synopsis to a virus-designing protagonist and his clashes with greedy…

Laline Paull: The Bees

  Imagine a totalitarian society where your status and quality of life is determined at birth, where the weak and deformed are slaughtered for the greater good, ruled by an all-powerful Queen and her zealous minions who demand total adherence to the brutal state religion and reduce the helpless masses to lives of conformity through…

Wool by Hugh Howey

It was recommended to me several years ago that I read Wool by someone who follows one of my art blogs – as she had seen that I also enjoyed dystopian fiction. It was not however this recommendation that led me to read Wool, but rather the tag line on the cover suggesting it to…

China Mieville: The City and The City

-Review by Paul Ewbank- (spoilers in this review) China Mieville is a writer who styles his books as being of the “weird fiction” genre. I used to think of this moniker as being akin to “speculative fiction” and other such pseudo-genres as being for pretentious authors who want their books to be placed atop bestseller…

Peter Clines: Ex-Heroes

-Review by Ed Bilson- I picked up Ex-Heores as an afterthought during my christmas book binge, and was so gripped I had to go straight back to the shop for its sequels Ex-Patriots and Ex-Communication. It’s one of the few zombie novels I’ve read recently which I wholeheartedly enjoyed: strong, developed characters with a vested…

George Alec Effinger: When Gravity Fails

-Review by Paul Ewbank- (This is the first review I’ve written under restricted conditions; 1000 word limit, one hour to write it, no re-writes. It probably won’t be as good as some of my others, and will doubtless have way more typos unless Liz edits it for me, but this way I can say I’m…

Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash

-Review by Paul Ewbank- Neal Stephenson is the real deal. I’ve read two of his books- this one and it’s follow up The Diamond Age– and in both I was amazed by the range and depth of his writing talent. Both books have all the ingredients of true sci-fi genius: intense action, comedy, crazily well…

After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

Earlier this year my school ordered in a big selection of books to encourage the year 7s to read. After Tomorrow was a surprising gem I found among them and took home to have a read of. Although not strictly apocalyptic, it centres on a Britain in the middle of severe economic crisis and the…

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Every girl in my school seems to be reading Divergent at the moment. Every time I turn around I see the front cover staring me in the face. So, when I was looking for my latest acquisition from the school library I thought I might as well see what all the hype is about –…

WE by John Dickinson

One of the perks of being a teacher is access to the school Library. One of my favourite de-stress activities at the moment is, after work, sneaking into the library, grabbing an interesting looking book and going to a Wetherspoons pub to read it with a couple of pints of ale. Most relaxing thing EVER!…

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure is a strange little addition to the Dystopian Genre. Oddly reminiscent of Warm Bodies (although not as romance-centric) it looks at societal differences, genocide and survival, while also conjuring up a pretty bizarre set of post-apocalyptic denizens to add to the mix. Pure is set in a world ravaged by nuclear bombs. The world…

The Enemy by Charlie Higson

There has been a dramatic increase in the last few years of young-adult books based around the apocalypse and zombies. Of this fact I am very pleased. One such book – and one aimed at a slightly younger audience than usual – is The Enemy. The basic concept is that anyone over the age of…