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Black Static


Gone, But Not Forgotten - Part 3

18th Dec, 2010

Author: Peter Tennant

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Time to inform some more members in good standing of the Black Static TBR pile that they've been let go (euphemism from the world of work).

Being Human is a television series about a vampire, ghost and werewolf living together, and highly regarded by some. I have no opinion, as it's broadcast on one of the BBC's lesser channels and I have enough trouble getting the two main ones. BBC Books sent me paperback editions of three tie-in novels, Bad Blood (256pp, £7.99) by James Goss, The Road (256pp, £7.99) by Simon Guerrier and Chasers (256pp, £7.99) by Mark Michalowski, all of which appear to be riffing on film titles, and I'm not convinced they're all a uniform 256pp either, but that's what it says on amazon and I'm too lazy to dig out the actual books and check. Maybe if I'd seen the series I would have felt inspired to read the books: over at Total Sci-Fi Online they did both, and you can read the resulting review.

Chasing the Dead (Penguin paperback, 448pp, £6.99) is the debut novel from Tim Weaver, who the publishers are touting for great things. It's being marketed as a thriller, but with the cover hook 'Death is not the end. But he'll make you wish it was.' and comparisons to Michael Marshall it sounds very much like something that could fall in the Black Static ball park, but now I guess I'll never know. 'Fans of Mo Hayder will be in seventh hell' according to the reviewer at The Guardian, and you'll have to make up your own minds if that's a good thing or not.

In Black Static #20 I'm having raptures about Little Hands Clapping, the latest novel by Dan Rhodes, and when I calm down, have time to reflect and make considered decisions, it could well end up on my best books of the year list. To commemorate the new book, Canongate have released paperback editions of two titles from Rhodes' back catalogue, Timoleon Vieta Come Home (305pp, £7.99) and Anthropology (112pp, £3.99). I know nothing of the former, but the latter is a collection of one hundred stories of precisely one hundred words each, describing the narrator's various girlfriends and their distinguishing characteristics, which I reviewed in The Third Alternative when it was first published, and I remember it as being mighty fine. Justine Jordan reviewed Timoleon Vieta (and mentioned Anthropology) at The Guardian website when it was first published, and what was true then is probably true now.

I've reviewed four of the five titles so far issued by Atomic Fez, but The Terror & The Tortoiseshell (Atomic Fez hardback, 316pp, £19.99 - but check the publisher's website for paperback/electronic formats) by John Travis is the one that didn't make the cut. It's the story of private detective Benji Spriteman, who just happens to be a tortoiseshell cat walking mean streets in a world ruled over by animals, post the events in Arthur Machen's classic novella The Terror. Stephen Theaker, who has a guest review in the latest Black Static, has reviewed this novel over at the Theaker's Quarterly Fiction website.

Last, but not least, we have Lonely Werewolf Girl (Piatkus paperback, 599pp, £7.99) by World Fantasy Award winner Martin Millar, which is the first in a series chronicling the adventures of teenage werewolf Kalix MacRinnalch. Which reminds me, having done vampires and zombies a couple of times at least, it's past time we had a feature on werewolves. I might have missed the bus with this, but I have a few other lycanthrope books in the TBR pile. There's a review of a previous edition of the book over at blogcritics.




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