Review – Rivers of London Series by Ben Aaronovitch

A member of the filth finds his calling as the police’s newest, and nearly only, wizard.

Peter Grant is not your typical urban fantasy protagonist. For starters he’s a cop, and an extremely junior one at that. More importantly, at the beginning of the series, not a very good cop: better than a hanger, but lacking in the instincts and discipline that would make him stand out. He’s also black, which matter less then it might have in the past, but certainly carries varying degrees of baggage in the Police, London, and England respectively.

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Review – Temeraire Series by Naomi Novik

The first book is in this series is pretty close to the platonic ideal of Napoleonic ships and Dragons. As the series continues however, Novik sets her sights on bigger things, and does something laudable that many fantasy authors never do – thinks through the consequences of her premise. Over the course of the next five novels, she examines the extension of the franchise, slavery, colonialism, mercantilism, and the conflict between honor and duty, through the prism of a world where power is shifted by the existence of Dragon’s weighing 10’s of tons.

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Essay – Salvaging Iron Fist

The critical consensus has been savage, and the post show pile on has continued. However Netflix will be pushing forward with the Defenders, and possibly with further Iron Fist seasons. Rather than lament the Iron Fist we could have had, let’s look at what can be done to salvage the character, using what we have on the screen.

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2017 – Shorter fiction recommendations – aka what to read beyond the winners!

One of the tragedies of the Hugos is that once the winners are announced, all the other worthy nominees tend to get forgotten. This can be particularly egregious when there is a large disparity in the categories, or there is an instant classic in a category that overshadows works that would have won in any other year. So instead of discussing the Hugo’s in terms of winners and losers, let me instead present a list of nominated stories that I think are worth reading. I hope you find something that peaks your interest…

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Hugo Awards Extravaganza 2017 – John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

As mentioned before this is not strictly a Hugo category, it just uses the same voting system with the same electorate and is given out at the same time. It’s also an odd duck, as novels duke it out with short stories and mixtures of both. Still, the Campbell Award often ends up being my favourite slate – in previous years I have preferred the novels represented here to those in the novel category.

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