Comics Creators

What non-comics are you reading these days?


The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1928 Anthology

It’s cover-to-cover goodness, but the most “amazing” thing here is The Metal Man, Jack Williamson’s first published story. I’ve never read it before, but I have read his last published story, The Stonehenge Gate, a novel serialised in Analog Science Fiction in 2005.


That’s a hell of a career :open_mouth:


Williamson rocks. I used to gobble as many issues as I could get my grubby little hands on. Lots of “potboiler” writers spewed out good stuff!


Children of Time (Audible version) by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I know I’m coming off the back of Vonnegut and Atwood, but this novel is poor. Credit to anyone who finishes and publishes a novel, it’s a huge undertaking, and something I haven’t achieved, but Children of Time felt naïve in concept, and charmless in execution. In fact, I wondered if I’d picked up a children’s book, until the effin’ and jeffin’ started…

The book is structured in alternating chapters.

One set follows the bedraggled remains of the human race, huddled in a cryonic space-ark, and searching for a planet they can colonise, possibly one terraformed by the ‘Old Empire’. This part can best be described as unenthralling, zero-dimensional characters occasionally waking up from their dreamless sleep seemingly only to exchange tragically immature dialogue, and make stupid decisions (Trump folk, perhaps?).

The other set follows events on the Kernsworld, a planet that was to be a trial in non-human evolution run by an ‘Old Empire’ mad scientist (groan). Essentially, she lets loose a Genesis Device, but instead of her monkeys getting an uplift, it’s creepy crawlies that become masters of the planet. This can be best described as Dorling Kindersley’s Book of What If Creepy Crawlies Evolved? for under 10s.

The writing style throughout is vague (at no time did ‘pictures’ appear in my mind), and distant (in the way a 12-year-old might write up a science experiment after having just been shown how to write in third person). There are lots of silly things like one person thinking something, and another thinking how it’s a good job that the first person didn’t say it (and there’s no telepathy in play here). Most of the time we see the characters interact, and then we get an omniscient summary telling what we just saw. Other problems include faux feminism, naive philosophy, and predictability.

Also, if you’re going to try to explain the science in a science fiction book: 1) DON’T!; 2) At least have some rigour. I’m not even sure Tchaikovsky knows the difference between monkeys and apes (and to which of those humans are more closely related).

2/5 for ambition (the last time I gave a score that low was Bob Shaw’s dire Orbitsville - 1/5 is reserved for Dan Brown and Stephenie Meyer). Of course, I should mention here, to offset my diatribe, Children of Time won the hotly contested Arthur C. Clarke Award 2016, and has an incredibly high average score of 4.5 on

Note: I’m 30 minutes into Claire North’s Touch, and I feel like I’m back with the professionals.


I finished ‘Winter Tide’ by Ruthanna Emrys, the follow up novel to her excellent short story ‘Litany of Earth’ which introduced her protagonist Aphra Marsh.

Aphra is from Innsmouth, the fictional town created by HP Lovecraft and Emrys is a revisionist author, one of the increasing number who are subverting Lovecraft’s racist etc. inspirations. In this case Emrys takes the position that the people of Innsmouth were not monsters planning the conquest of the world, but just a different kind of human being with their own history and culture.

Set in 1950’s America, the novel uses a “hunt for a soviet spy” plot as the engine to get it going, but that’s not really what it’s about.

And that’s a bit of problem. Emrys writes well and her characters are all interesting, but she seems to lose interest in the investigation plot and the book really just drifts to an end, rather than a conclusion. Secrets are uncovered but they’re an afterthought by this point.

I’ll keep reading her work, I enjoyed the book, but I wish she’d kept her focus better.


Yeah that’s pretty much the same issue I had with both the short story and the novel. She sets up a problem that she really doesn’t seem to have much interest in and instead just focuses on the characters. Honestly, it feels like this series would have just worked better as a slice of life kind of story about an Innsmouth survivor trying to make her way in an unaccepting and hostile world.


Still plowing my way through the Bible. I’m about half way.


I hope you didn’t peek at the ending!


Where is @njerry ?? I have essential reading news for @njerry

It involves tales of the Loch Ness monster, Doctor Who, Stranger Things, umbrellas and cuddles and, not one, but four new short novels to read. They’re not even novellas; they’re mini-novels. Four of them!


… IthinkyouhavetosayhisnameTHREEtimestosummonshim…


If your middle name is Jerry, would that work?


pat mills be pure, be vigilant, behave

Is an utterly engrossing and compelling read for 2000ad fans

I’ve taken it on holiday with me and I’ve found it hard to drag myself away from it to do ‘holiday stuff’

Mills voice is so clear in the writing as well that as read I can hear him throughout

It’s a shame that characters like this will become a thing of the past as we move into a post personality future where anyone who dares speak out is shot down in flames and being opinionated is viewed far more dimly


Guaranteed in the Audible version, which I plan to ‘read’ in a few weeks time, because it’s self-narrated :+1:


Here I am, @Bernadette!!. What is this happy news?


Is there an audio version out?

If it is I think I’ll get that as well - I didn’t know there was one.

He’s brilliant to listen to.


Great. Now I’m here and @njerry isn’t. I shall leave him some clues so he can guess who I’m talking about.
I was a wee bit anxious it might have turned out like my somewhat unfortunate encounter with Alex Rosamilia but this time there were no roads so it was all good. Oooh…there’s your first clue: this writer likes The Gaslight Anthem too.

Umm… What else? He talks like Robert.

His mother’s name isn’t Martha.

He loves the movie Jaws.
He had a very cosy jumper on. He also had the exact same pen as me.

These maybe aren’t the best clues. :thinking:

He doodled a wee Nessie on the pages of one of my all-time favourite stories which is a tribute to Ray Bradbury and was once narrated by Captain Janeway.

One of the Duffer brothers made a movie based on another of his short stories.

His favourite companion is Clara Who (okay, that particular key to the mystery I made up, but it should be. Anyway, this is my tale to tell, so, I’m entitled to some embellishment). He does like new Nanu-Nanu Who though.


Coming through like a Foghorn, which may be needed with these weird climatic conditions. I’ve not read any of his stuff, not joking :wink:.

Actually, I really haven’t; where would be a good place to start?


I say, I say again, start with the story that has nothing to do with Foghorn Leghorn, I say. Mayhap the one that made me weep tonight that says everything about the current woes of all the needless stupid things without being preachy.

Or the one about the stones in their mouths with dragonscale and fire.

Or the one about the devil inside and without that was so romantic.

Maybe the one with the creepy car and the main character who isn’t Bruce Willis but their favourite Christmas movie is still Die Hard.

Or the one with all the sentences that soar and float transcendent; half-scrawled in Crayola: all Burnt Sienna; Periwinkle; Sky Blue; Cerulean and so on and so forth. Mauvelous.



It seems that the one with the registration plate who flickers the lights at the Krusty Krab has the highest score on Amazon.

But I might start with the one that gives you a warm feeling inside (and out), even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious.


I’m guessing…J.D. Salinger? He seems like he could be a Gaslight Anthem fan.

No? How about Raymond Chandler?

I got nothin…


If you’re talking about me then I know who you’re talking about.