Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez – Review

A wholly excellent synthesis of nature writing, biology, anthropology, environmentalism, and history, alongside a deeply personal reflection upon the Arctic that is entirely deserving of its classic status.Lopez writes with decades of experience, with this opus being a culmination of his passion for the (Canadian/American) hyperboreal. First published in the 80s, Dreams still feels fresh, … Continue reading Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez – Review

Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman – Review

Often in these sorts of collections repetition (unavoidable, it seems) of certain themes, references, examples, points, etc, tend to bog things down more than they should. This is especially true when it’s a repeated citation that I have no particular interest in. I found this in Neil Gaiman’s recent collection, The View from the Cheap … Continue reading Daemon Voices by Philip Pullman – Review

The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville – Review

China Mieville's work often suffers from a jarring mash-up of highbrow worldbuilding and literary stylistics with unashamedly pulp-influenced plotting. To that end, New Paris is no different. The novella has a strong start, and the dual narrative adds welcome depth to the story whilst keeping a lively pace. The worldbuilding - always Mieville's forte - … Continue reading The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville – Review

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson – Review

A lengthy novel deserves a lengthy review, does it not? Oathbringer picks up from the apocalyptic cliffhanger ending of Words of Radiance. I was all set for a race-against-time narrative as the newly-fledged Knights Radiant attempt to save as many of the cities of Roshar as possible in the face of the encroaching Everstorm, and … Continue reading Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson – Review

On worldbuilding: The Nihilistic Architect and the Negligent Gardener

George R R Martin’s now famous analogy of the architect and the gardener distilled the craft of novel-writing into two distinct creative approaches. I would suggest this is a particularly useful analogy when thinking specifically about worldbuilding – the manner in which writers go about creating a fictional universe for their story to live within. … Continue reading On worldbuilding: The Nihilistic Architect and the Negligent Gardener

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – Review

British writer Kazuo Ishiguro is widely celebrated for his literary fiction, including the Man Booker Prize-winning Remains of the Day (1989), and more recently his sci-fi sampling Never Let Me Go (2005), which saw a film adaptation by Mark Romanek in 2010. Ten years after his last novel, The Buried Giant (2015) saw Ishiguro once … Continue reading The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – Review