Book Review: “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

Martha Wells’s All Systems Red—gifted to me by my good friend, Leander, for Christmas—is my third read of the year.

At 150 pages long, All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries #1) is a lean book. And boy, Wells makes use of those pages.

The series’ titular Murderbot is hilarious, enigmatic, and loveable. We learn on page one that this bot has hacked its governor module, gone rogue, and dubbed itself Murderbot. Yet, Murderbot is trying to pass under the radar, so it continues working for its assigned humans. But, of course, that’s only the setup.

Wells crams so much world-building and character development in this little book. She does more than some authors achieve in three times as many pages. Thus, I can give it an emphatic recommendation.

I will check out the next instalments of the Murderbot Diaries soon.

Book Review: “Gerald’s Game” by Stephen King

For my second read of the year, I took on Stephen King’s Gerald’s Game.

I read this couplet’s other half (or should that be its other dark half?), Dolores Claiborne, about a decade ago. I adored that book, and—surprise, surprise—I also loved Gerald’s Game.

The setup is fascinating. King sets the novel in a single room with a woman chained to a bed. As a writer, I’d never dare such a novel out of fear of boring the reader. After all, how much can one write about a woman lying in bed? But King is no ordinary writer, and Gerald’s Game grips the reader like anything else to which the man puts his mind.

I am a hardened horror fan, having loved the genre since I was a young boy. Yet, there are moments in Gerald’s Game that made me squirm. Fair warning, it’s not for the weak of stomach!

As I’ve always said since I picked up The Shining at the age of 13—in an almost religious mantra:

King is king.

Check out this review for ‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’!

I always appreciate it when people take the time to read my work. It’s also lovely when they leave a review, as well! Reviews are like pockets of air for us indie authors, as we dive down into the abyss.

Laura McToal, who has a book review blog and a popular Instagram page, has reviewed my newest collection, Under Blankets, Under Stars. Here’s my favourite excerpt:

“…I was left wondering why this is only a short story and not a full length novel!”

Laura McToal

You can check out Laura’s full review over on her blog — TheMagicFarawayTree.

‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ is out this Valentine’s Day!

I am pleased to announce that my second collection of short stories will be available this Valentine’s Day! ‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ is the light to the darkness of ‘A Chance of Rain’.

Over 20 upbeat sci-fi and fantasy stories, ‘Under Blankets, Under Stars’ will be available as an e-book on the 14th. A paperback version will be in print once printers are back up and running following lockdown. 🙂

Available for pre-order soon!