A (very) late review of the 2015 Kitschies Red Tentacle Shortlist

Yesterday, I brought you my thoughts on the 2015 Kitschies Golden Tentacle shortlist (the newbie award). Today, I bring you my thoughts on the Red Tentacle shortlist (ie the established writer’s award).


This year’s breakneck pace between shortlist announcement and award ceremony made it impossible for most people to play along at home with The Kitschies’ search for the most progressive, intelligent, and entertaining speculative fiction. A full list of ten novels, five book covers, and five digital creations (one of which is another novel), is a lot to digest in a matter of weeks. Without a chance of making the deadline, I opted to string out my Kitschies reading for most of the year.

So, ten months later… I give you my impressions of the Kitschies Red Tentacle list. In short, this is a good list, notwithstanding a couple of odd inclusions.

I reviewed the Golden Tentacle list here.

The Red Tentacle list (the old hat veteran writer award) Continue reading

SF of 2015: The Thing Itself (2015) by Adam Roberts

TheThingItself

I seem to have a knack for complementary book serendipity, so naturally I would commit to reading Philip K. Dick’s snaky and reality-dissecting output, including his delusional Exegesis, around the same time as the release of Adam Roberts’ latest, Kitschies-nominated novel, The Thing Itself (2015). Among other things, The Thing Itself has helped me to understand Dick’s delusional approach to reality better than The Exegesis ever could, for although the Gollancz cover and blurb would have you believe this is Roberts’ The Thing or Who Goes There? tribute– and it’s there, it’s there– the foundational strand of the The Thing Itself is much more Dickian in nature, in tone, and in the way it messes with the reader’s head.

There’s the scene where reality appears to slip away from the protagonist during a peak moment of suspense:
Continue reading

The 2015 Blewgo Awards! It’s not what you think!

Welcome to the 2015 Blewgo Awards! As in, I blew it for not reading these 2014 buzzed-about SF novels sooner. It sounds like it might be a porn award, but it’s not!

The shortlist was determined by me, based on an unscientific selection of novels I neglected during my 2014-novel reading extravaganza but remained implanted in my memory for whatever reason.

The 2015 Blewgo Award ceremony was held on Saturday night, in my kitchen, over a bowl of soup. The guests of honor were a couple of moths bodyslamming the window, and a gecko that wanted to eat those moths. It was an intimate affair.

The winner was determined by a panel of me. Continue reading

Jack Glass (2012) by Adam Roberts

JackGlass1Following the antics of one Adam Roberts on Twitter, and on his blog Sibilant Fricative, has impelled me to purchase a few of his many, numerous, (rushed?) novels. (For the writer hopefuls out there, Twitter inanity does, apparently, work, as a soft marketing technique.) (But only if it involves puns.) Because his latest, well-received novel Bête is not yet available in my realm (argh), I selected Jack Glass as my first Roberts read. This 2012 BSFA Best Novel is described as a (sort of) riff on the (sort of) Jack the Ripper phenomenon, (in space!), while employing Golden Age crime and sci-fi tropes. This sounds right up my galactic alley!

 

Would you like some pastiche with your genre? Continue reading