EVERSION by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz £16.99, 320pp)
by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz £16.99, 320pp)
So much is crammed into this genre-busting sci-fi biter, it’s hard to know where to begin. A sailboat searches for an arctic anomaly; the same crew is now in an airship heading towards the center of the earth; now they are in a spaceship…
From nautical yarn to space opera, Reynolds navigates subgenres, tackling layers of reality until we get to the heart of the adventure: a race against time to save astronauts from sucking aliens. of brains in an icy planetoid. It’s gripping, exciting, and intelligent, and a deeply moving story about truth, sacrifice, and how to be human.
THE PHARMACIST by Rachelle Atalla (Hodder £16.99, 368pp)
by Rachelle Atalla (Hodder £16.99, 368pp)
On one level, the action of this horribly claustrophobic and thoroughly engrossing first film takes place in a nuclear bunker.
On the other hand, it’s all in the reader’s head as we’re thrust into a world of Tannoy ads, jumpsuits and food packets as Wolfe, the pharmacist, dispenses antibiotics and antidepressants to her bunker mates. . The fiercely controlled narrative beautifully captures the horrifying grip of dreary routines and stolen pleasures.
So when Wolfe is called to visit the Chief, a remote figure protected by a squad of guards, a single bite of a pistachio is enough to seduce her into a series of escalating betrayals with horrifying, life-altering consequences.
EQUINOX by David Towsey (Head of Zeus £18.99, 336pp)
by David Towsey (Head of Zeus £18.99, 336pp)
In Reikova, people’s characters are divided into day selves and night selves, each as different as chalk and cheese. So, while our hero Christophor is an upright wizard by night, his daytime brother Alexsandr is a free-wheeling, drink-loving musician.
Sent south to investigate a horrible case of demonic possession – teeth growing in eye sockets, anyone? – Christophor’s investigations point to a doomsday plot, but with each suspect having two personalities, he must rely on his day-brother’s knowledge of suspicious townspeople.
Clever, quirky and beautifully crafted, half the fun here is getting to grips with the ramifications of this complex world, but the story holds together like a vice.