Science fiction and speculative fiction from Iraq

I really like the concept of Iraq + 100. Stories from a Century After the Invasion. In 2013 Hassan Blasim and his collaborator Ra Page, the founder of Comma Press, asked well-known Iraqi writers to write speculative short stories envisioning Iraq in 2113 or thereabouts. The Introduction and Afterword are persuasive about the artistic ambitions of this … Continue reading Science fiction and speculative fiction from Iraq

More magic in London: Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree

The Hanging Tree is the sixth in the Peter Grant Rivers of London series – about a wizard’s apprentice in a special department of London’s Metropolitan Police, dedicated to sorting out the ‘weird bollocks’ that the regular Met don’t wish to have anything to do with. I think the best way to update other fans, … Continue reading More magic in London: Ben Aaronovitch’s The Hanging Tree

The 1947 Club: Mistress Masham’s Repose by T H White

I reread this less-known novel by T H White for the #1947Club because I had a Folio Club edition that I’d never read. My paperback copy of Mistress Masham’s Repose fell apart through overuse many year ago, so I was very happy to find this large, illustrated, embossed edition in a fancy cardboard slipcase, lurking under … Continue reading The 1947 Club: Mistress Masham’s Repose by T H White

Dark whimsy: Mr Powys’ Mr Weston and Mr Peake’s Mr Pye

Mr Weston’s Good Wine, by T F Powys (1927), and Mervyn Peake’s Mr Pye (1953) are English fantasies about sex, sin and other violations of civilised behaviour. Mr Weston’s Good Wine is an allegorical inter-war rural fantasia about casual rape, and Mr Pye uses a prim and postwar Channel Islands setting that shimmies with loathing … Continue reading Dark whimsy: Mr Powys’ Mr Weston and Mr Peake’s Mr Pye

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant

I didn’t come to The Buried Giant by the standard Ishiguro route, since I’ve not read much of his work. All the descriptions I had read before The Buried Giant arrived in my Christmas stocking agreed that it was an odd and peculiar novel from this modern British novelist because it involved giants and knights and other … Continue reading Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant