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Showing posts from January, 2013

Review of Adrift on the Sea of Rains, by Ian Sales

Adrift in the Sea of Rains, by Ian Sales  http://amzn.to/12cKxzi This is a work of 'hard SF', which is to say there are no thoroughly unscientific bases to the weirdness in it. No monsters, no inexplicable events, no disorientating postmodern flourishes. Hard SF tends to be a subgenre which defines itself by what it isn't. I grew up reading that sort of thing, but also developed a taste for the fantastic and whimsical. So I may not even have stumbled across this extraordinary novelette but for the fact I know the author: Mr Sales was a founder member of the Sheffield SF and Fantasy Writers' Group, which I still go along to. The story is set in a parallel reality and concerns a small group of astronauts and scientists stranded in a tiny lunar base when the earth is wrecked by nuclear war. The hope they increasingly seldom dare admit to is that they will be able to shift into another parallel universe in which the earth is still alive. The tale opens amidst their a

Review of Book of Baphomet

The Book of Baphomet by Nikki Wyrd and Julian Vayne http://mandrake.uk.net/book-of-baphomet-2/ If you've heard this particular god-name, then you've very likely asked: What is Baphomet? Which of the many answers to that question you find the most appealing may depend on whether you identify as a Thelemite, a Satanist, a Chaos Magician. Or even a Templar.  This book seems to have set out to cover all those bases, and a few you're unlikely to have thought of. And it does a very good job indeed. The Book of Baphomet erupts with ideas and this review would become much too long if I mentioned a third of them, but the biggest theme is perhaps: Considerations of human life on the biggest scale and the smallest. The big questions: Nature. Wilderness. Responsibility. The nature of our identification with affinity groups and the question of what community means, within our species and including others. Rich ideas of blending 'nature' with human technology such as control sys