Best sci-fi and fantasy books July 2016

It may have passed you by, but I write the regular Reading Matters column for the splendid Geeky Monkey magazine, which is pretty much an essential read if you’re a sci-fi or fantasy fan, or just love geeky/nerdy stuff in general.

It’s a rare pleasure and a massive treat to combine my profound love of reading, with my profound addiction to writing, and it’s also a great excuse to ferret through the listings, read new books and sample new authors – as well as keeping a beady eye on what’s happening amongst the great and the good of the sci-fi and fantasy universe.

So, in an effort to update the site a bit more often, share my love of books, stop my mates from bugging for stuff to read, plus giving both column and mag and a plug, I thought I’d share a some small excerpts of my Reading Matter choices here.

Be sure to check out Geeky Monkey (the subscription is great value) for the full column, plus a bucket load of excellent features and great writing – it’s a veritable galaxy of geeky goodness!

The Last Days of New Paris – China Miéville
Last days of new Paris 200 x 305I adore the dependably exotic and fascinating Miéville and The Last Days of New Paris looks like another new-weird alternative history classic in the making. In second world war-torn Paris, Nazis and French Resistance clash amidst the tumult of a psychedelic, surrealist bombardment. A haunted resistance fighter and jaded US war photographer try to escape the ruins as living art and demonic forces stalk the streets, in another far out trip from a modern surrealist master. ++UPDATE++ Arg it seems that The Last Days of New Paris’ release has been put back since I originally wrote this piece – Feb 2017 now, but still worth keeping an eye on!

I Am Providence – Nick Mamatas

I am providenceYou probably know of my long standing addiction to anything Lovecraftian and so Nick Mamatas’ thriller is right up my providential alley. As Cthulhu fans assemble for The Summer Tentacular, a HP Lovecraft convention, writer Colleen Danzig is disconcerted to find her highly obnoxious roommate with half his face chewed off. Strangely no-one seems to pay much attention, but she’s soon drawn into a dark mythos-related web with threatens both her sanity and ultimately her life as well, in this self-aware and extremely wry homage to HP.


The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin
ObeliskJemisin’s sequel to The Fifth Season promises to be another splendid entry in the Broken Earth series. As all life as we know it fades ungently into twilight, Alabaster Tenring, to some a messiah to others a monster, returns to groom his successor and quell the Stillness, a spark of hope thought lost amongst the ruins. An ‘intricate and delicate’ follow up as the New York Times opined, to what’s rapidly becoming a very promising series.


Bless me Father, it’s been months since my last confess…. I mean blog post. Time has indeed not so much flown as soared, but it’s been a productive period, although not strictly in a fictional sense. Well, I say that, but I’ve managed to crank out a new short sci-fi story Tolerance, for a collection […]

Dark Tales releases!

It’s part two of book release-a-geddon as I’m dubbing it, with the launch this week of my long cherished project, Dark Tales from the Secret War,  a collection of stories which mixes the terrors of HP Lovecraft’s mythos with mankind’s darkest, yet finest hour, the Second World War. Published by the awesome Modiphius, it features […]

The Cricket Dictionary launches!

In my never ending quest to publish at least a couple of books each year, I’m kicking off again with my long cherished and previously ultra secret sports project – The Cricket Dictionary, which is now available on Amazon in its first definitive edition. It’s been quite the marathon and quite a challenge too, a […]

The Crystal Void Illustrated launches and Bristol Horror Con readings!

Phew busy times at Houlihan towers as some long standing plots are finally coming to fruition. First up is the launch of a new illustrated version of my Napoleonic adventure, The Crystal Void, published by my good friends at Modiphius with art by the supremely talented Michael Poole. It’s got a brand new cover and […]

Bristol Horror Con and Cthulhu: The Beginner’s Guide

Here at the fortress of solitude, work progresses apace on a number of projects, which are finally, finally nearing completion. My long delayed and ultra top secret sports project is on the brink of being unleashed and it’s an absolute monster, having consumed far more of my time than I thought it ever would. Every […]

Gizmodo feature, self publishing, FREE book offer and much more!

Just a quick update on some ongoing things as the spring bank holiday finds me listening to the cricket and enjoying a long lazy coffee. Those splendid chaps over at Gizmodo recently let me loose to have a chat and writing, publishing and wotnot, check it out here for a guide on how publish your […]

Before the Flood, Mon Dieu and more!

And relax … well once again, best laid plans have gone, as the poet once delicately put it ‘agly’ and I find it’s been a few months since I last updated the site. But my sword has not slept idly in the meanwhile and ‘events dear boy, events’ have kept me most occupied as we’ve […]

Dark Tales Panel – Dragonmeet 2014

Phew, well now that the roistering and gorging season is over, the cheese mountain has become a cheese molehill, elasticated waistbands are taking up the slack and the liver has departed for a short sabbatical, it’s time to turn thoughts to a new year and indeed, some new fear. Step forward then, an audio recording […]

Win! Copies of The Trellborg Monstrosities and signed cover art

The Trellborg Monstrosities is the first book in the acclaimed Seraph series, chronicling the story of one man who battles the minions of dread Cthulhu thoroughout the ages. It gained 5 star reviews on release, is rated 4/5 average on Good and was called ‘an evocative tale of blood, bullets and ice’ by renowned […]