Archive for August, 2012

The Corpse Rat King

August 20, 2012 - 7:02 pm No Comments

Meet new reviewer – Phil Andorra, International Man of mystery. Aged 45 Career – Worked at NASA (a burger van next to the information centre just outside the main gate). Hobbies – charity work mostly saving fallen women. Interests – space flight, heraldry and hypnosis. Musical interests – Mozart, Bach and the Village People.

The Corpse-Rat King
Author: Lee Battersby
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count/Size: 416pp
Release date: 6th September 2012
Reviewer: Phil Andorra

The debut novel from Australian Lee Battersby opens with Marius don Hellespont, a professional battlefield looter, emerging into the aftermath of a medieval style battle ready to ply his trade. Marius is accompanied by his hapless apprentice Gerd, who is soon sacrificed by Marius to save his own skin when the pair are spotted by soldiers robbing the slain. Poor Gerd, who is beginning to grow on the reader, is quickly dispatched, but this is not the end for him. In his attempt to hide, Marius has placed the crown of a dead king on his own head. Mistaken for their sovereign, he is dragged to the underworld. He quickly remonstrates with the ‘dead’ subjects, but they want their king. Marius is returned to the living, albeit in a decaying state, to find a replacement and once more teams up with the now dead Gerd.

There follows a quest to locate a suitable monarch for the underworld and we follow Marius meeting up with his low-life acquaintances on the way. His time spent in the city of Borgho is reminiscent of a Dickensian London and you expect Bill Sykes to walk around the corner at any time. Needless to say, our dead anti-hero overcomes trials and tribulations with a down to earth sense of humour and disdain for his situation, a cross between Crocodile Dundee and Danny De Vito.

Although I didn’t stay up all night to finish the book, the story line leaves the reader wondering what will happen next. There are some clichés, Marius needs money quickly so enters a card game, but the outcome is generally unexpected.

The book is worth a read and I look forward to the planned sequel.

Geek Girl Con explodes

August 15, 2012 - 11:20 pm No Comments

The first GeekGirlCon in October 2011 drew numbers so large that organizers had to turn people away. So for its second convention the group found a bigger venue, trading seven rooms of meeting space for a downtown Seattle conference center.

Photograph by: Mario Anzuoni , REUTERS
Thousands of science fiction, gaming and comics fans attended a pop culture convention with a difference this weekend in Seattle.
Where similarly themed conventions like the San Diego Comic-Con tend to be dominated by men, GeekGirlCon 2012 featured mostly women.
The demand for an event aimed at female fans of gaming, science fiction, fantasy and comics is growing. Last year, around 4,000 people attended the inaugural GeekGirlCon and an estimated 3,000 were at the first day of this year’s event at the Seattle Conference Centre, public relations manager Susie Rantz said.
Among the attendees were Vancouverites Sarah and Corinne Giraud. Both are avid gamers who review video games for their website
“It brings all the geeky girls together,” said Sarah. “It’s neat to see. I was talking to the EA [Electronic Arts] PR manager and she was saying as well that it’s nice to see how girls get together. Not separate, say, from the masses of gamers, but just how they can connect in different ways.”
“It was nice to connect with the gaming community, and to see other girls’ perspectives on gaming,” said Corinne. “And to celebrate the general geek girl culture. I don’t think many people realize how many girls are involved in science fiction, fantasy and video games.”
Some fans dressed up as superheroes and science fiction and fantasy characters, and one makeup company brought in their very own Wookie, the hairy Star Wars character Chewbacca.
Panels like “Making Science Fun (with NASA)!” and “The Story of Science and Engineering Finding a Happy Medium” featured female scientists and engineers talking about their work.
“We really want to inspire women, whether it’s to say ‘This is my community, and I want to be an astronaut,’ or ‘I want to cosplay [dress up like] Dr. Who characters all day,’” said GeekGirlCon president Erica McGillivray.
McGillivray, 28, said that society’s bias toward men sets up female geeks for ridicule. It’s acceptable for two men to argue over whether Superman or Batman would win in a fight, she said. But when a woman says she writes fan fiction about Harry Potter “they spend the next 30 minutes making fun of her — when they’ve just spent 30 minutes writing their own fan fiction.”
McGillivray, has gone to a number of other conventions and she’s noticed a difference at GeekGirlCon. For one thing, it’s less goal-oriented, and more of a community event.
“People are as excited about meeting each other as they are about meeting our guests. At San Diego Comic-Con or Emerald City Comicon, people are like ‘I want to meet Leonard Nimoy’ [the actor who played Spock on the original Star Trek TV series]. Well, I want to meet Leonard Nimoy too. But I also want to meet this person I met online and I’ve talked to for years on Twitter.”

Read more:

The Hammer and the Blade

August 15, 2012 - 10:07 pm No Comments

Hi, meet my new Reviewer Andy Angel before he tells you about this book:
Andy Angel

Ok, my bio – I’m Andy, a 45 year old warehouseman who allegedly came out of the womb with a book in hand. In all seriousness I have been reading for as long as I can remember. The first books I remember were the Magic Wishing Chair and Faraway Tree books of Enid Blyton which probably set me on the path to fantasy books as I grew older.

Since getting a Kindle 18 months ago, I have been reviewing and recommending books on amazon, goodreads and my blog (

My other hobbies are watching ice hockey (Go Steelers), travelling with my partner Marie, and pub quizzes (we even win sometimes). I also enjoy sampling single malts.

The Hammer and the Blade
Author: Paul S Kemp
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page count/Size: 416pp
Release date: 5th July 2012
Reviewer: Andy Angel
This is the first in the Tales of Egil and Nix (and hopefully there will be many more)

Our tale begins with tomb robbers Egil and Nix doing what they do best – robbing the tomb of Abn Sur. In the process they release a demon guardian, Vik-Thyss. They manage to defeat the demon and escape and that should be the end of it . . . but that would make things too easy.

Back in the city Lord Rakon Norristu needs a demon of House Thyss to fulfil a pact that keeps him in his position of power. When he finds out that Vik-Thyss is dead he needs to enlist the unwilling help of Egil and Nix to find and free another demon, Abrak-Thyss.

The action starts on page one and never really lets up until the final page, but it isn’t only the action and mayhem that makes this story a joy to read; there is also the banter between Egil and Nix. You instantly get a feel for the deep bond of friendship and the idea that here are two men who have been through a lot together.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable tale of sword and sorcery with demons, monstrous creatures, some Indiana Jones style tomb raiding and a quite despicable villain who gets his come-uppance in an ingenious and much deserved way.

Join Egil and Nix on a break-neck adventure – you’ll be glad you did!

No Man’s World Book 3

August 13, 2012 - 2:28 pm No Comments

Having read the first and second books, I had to share news about a book I am really excited to see! This is the third Iron Clad book, so to get you in the mood I have posted the press release below from Solaris/Abaddon

No Man’s World:
The Alleyman
by Pat Kelleher
Battle resumes 9th October (US & Canada) and 11th October (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-024-5
$9.99/$12.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-025-2

Also available as an ebook


“Abaddon are onto a real winner with this series.”
– Total Sci-Fi Online
“Meticulous historical detail, with a pulse-pounding pulp plot.”
– Red Rook Review on Black Hand Gang

The thrilling climax to the No Man’s World trilogy!
It’s been four months since the Pennine Fusiliers vanished from the Somme and found themselves stranded on an alien world.
The Tommies have been surviving on this bizarre planet populated by lethal foliage and hostile human-like insects while desperately trying to find a way back to Blighty.
In The Alleyman, while Lieutenant Everson tries to discover the true intentions of their alien prisoner, Lance Corporal Atkins and his Black Hand Gang are on the trail of Jeffries, the diabolist responsible for their predicament. And above it all, Lieutenant Tulliver of the Royal Flying Corps soars free of the confines of alien gravity, where the true scale of the planet’s mystery is revealed. To uncover the truth, however, he must join forces with an unexpected ally.
A blazing mixture of genre-shattering SF, meticulously researched history, and powerful storytelling, The Alleyman is the third in this enthralling and exhilarating series.

About the Series

On November 1st 1916, 900 men of the 13th Battalion of the Pennine Fusiliers vanish without trace from the battlefield only to find themselves on an alien planet. There they must learn to survive in a hostile environment, while facing a sinister threat from within their own ranks and a confrontation with an inscrutable alien race!

No Man’s World takes the conventions of horror and throws them out of the window in a series that pulses with action, tension and character. Pat Kelleher has created a unique world in which the so-familiar monochrome images of the trenches of Flanders are brought to vivid life in an alien environment.
Other books in the series:
Black Hand Gang 9781906735845 • £7.99
The Ironclad Prophecy 9781907992155 • £7.99

About the Author

Pat Kelleher lives in Penury, Greater Manchester. He has written for a wide variety of TV licensed characters across a bewildering array of media, meeting one or two celebrities along the way. He has worked for BBC Magazines, Egmont, Marvel UK, and Panini amongst others. He has several non-fiction books to his credit. No Man’s World: Ironclad Prophesy is his second novel.

More White Trash Zombies

August 12, 2012 - 3:04 pm No Comments

Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues
Author: Diana Rowland
Publisher: DAW Books, Inc.
Page count/Size: 312pp
Release date: 3rd July 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

“Hello my name is Angel, and I’ll be your zombie day.”
If that doesn’t set the tone for what’s to come, I don’t know what will.

Even White Trash Zombies get the Blues is the sequel to Rowland’s earlier offering My Life as a White Trash Zombie. In the first novel, young drop out Angel Crawford is attacked by a random stranger and to save her life, fellow zombie and cop Marcus saves her ‘life’ by turning her into a zombie. He makes this life easier by leaving her with a short supply of brain smoothies and a job at the morgue.

The sequel starts with life a little bit better for Angel, with a steady boyfriend and her job as a van driver and morgue assistant. At leas things start okay, but isn’t long before trouble finds Angel. Zombie hunter Ed turns up at Angel’s door with a gun, having apparently killed his girlfriend. Garza, her Probation Officer turns up, demanding to know she is getting on with her high school qualification and someone is experimenting on zombies in a mysterious lab. Add to that, the fact someone has stolen one of her bodies and she has the blame, and she has to meet Marcus’ uncle Pietro who runs what appears to be the zombie mafia, and you know she’s not in for fun.

But the reader is. Filled with mystery, horror, humour and at times pathos, this second outing for Angel is even better than the first. As well as dealing with all of the ongoing shenanigans, Angel is emerging as a new person whilst she tries to overthrow the preconceptions and prejudices surrounding her, to prove she is worth something. She is also trying to rebuild her relationship with her alcoholic father who is also trying to come off the booze.

This novel is funny, often in an un-PC way, it is moving and it has some great gruesome bits for gore hounds. Overall a great achievement.