CategoryBook Reviews

Legion: Skin Deep

Episode 2 in the Legion series expands the back story a little and drops our protagonist into a new mystery on the fringes of science. Shady characters, hitmen, corporate dealings, science and religion are all intertwined.

Legion

Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion', is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.

Revelation Space

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself.

Dune

Dune Dune Saga, Book 12 / Dune, Book 1 Frank Herbert Science Fiction Macmillan Audio 31 Dec 2006 Audiobook 21 hrs and 2 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ I enjoyed this book but it was hard going and laborious in places. Having seen the original film, it was clear to see how close the two were in many cases. My only problem with this audiobook was that it switched from being...

The Final Empire

A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is a rumour of revolt. A revolt that depends on criminal that no-one can trust and a young girl who must master Allomancy - the magic that lies in all metals.

Excession

Excession Culture, Book 5 Iain M Banks Science Fiction Hachette Audio UK 7 March 2013 Audiobook 15 hrs and 55 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ Overall the book is excellent, though the human story often feels secondary to the issues of the OCP but is relevant to put everything into context. The reading of the book by Peter Kenny is, as usual, exemplary. Two and a half millennia...

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving Ghost Story Audible Studios 9 September 2014 Audiobook 1 hr and 15 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ Written in 1820, the language is far more prosaic than literature today. It is also a straight narrative with no dialogue. This audiobook, read by Tom Mison who plays Ichabod Crane in the TV show of the same name, was well read...

The State of the Art

Some of these works feel like ideas from a writer’s notebook that would go on to form the basis of a fully fledged novel or part of a greater story. Each is of interest to anybody following the Culture series as they provide an excellent background to the Culture and the early work of Iain M Banks, though none are essential to the understanding and reading of the main Culture novels in my view.

Feersum Endjinn

Feersum Endjinn Standalone Work Iain M Banks Science Fiction Hachette Audio UK 3 January 2013 Audiobook 9 hrs and 56 mins Audible ☆☆☆☆☆ There are so many layers – allegories if you will – that it’s spoilers to go into too many details. The synopsis only scratches the surface of the details and ingenuity that abounds in this tightly written novel...

Andromeda McKee Trilogy

These three books by William C Dietz are a prequel series to the Legion of the Damned series. Here is the publisher's summary. I'll return to my thoughts after these messages ...

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About me

Many (many) years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

Over time, I played (and story-led*) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and developing my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period, many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer.

The rest, as they say, is history.