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

Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners – Review

Kelly Link’s award-winning short story collection, Magic for Beginners, whisks the reader along a meandering trail through several unique and inventive twists on the fantastical. Strands of myth, sci-fi and fable commingle with characters who yearn, mock, steal and bicker throughout these nine stories. That might not seem like many but, once read, they leave … Continue reading Kelly Link’s Magic for Beginners – Review

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – Review

If you’ve come into contact with any of David Mitchell’s work before, you’ll be well-acquainted with the sort of genre-switching, time-slipping, scene-shifting fiction that the author is best known for. A film adaptation by the Wachowski siblings in 2012 brought his lauded tapestry of souls, Cloud Atlas (2004), to a wider audience. 2014 heralds the … Continue reading The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – Review

Love and Eskimo Snow by Sarah Holt – Review

Ideas-driven fiction is perilous ground for writers at any stage of their career. It poses the constant challenge of balancing the insistent voice of theme with the integral components of the story itself – character, plot and pacing. Too much theme, and you risk turning your fiction into a political pamphlet – too much story, … Continue reading Love and Eskimo Snow by Sarah Holt – Review

The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)

Theme folds in meaning to our writing and gives a recognisable shape to the underlying structures that form the narrative. Without theme the narrative can feel flat or disjointed, but a strong theme provides an overall consistency that holds everything in place. Scenes, characters, and events take on new poignancy, attracting deeper sympathies. Most importantly, … Continue reading The Problem with Ideas-Driven Fiction (And How to Fix it)