Beta
X

11Mar

The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – reviews roundup

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda; Lambda by David Musgrave; Plutoshine by Lucy Kissick; The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi; and The Way of the Worm by Ramsey Campbell

Woman, Eating by Claire Kohda (Virago, £14.99)
A young artist arrives in London for an internship at a prestigious gallery. Without enough money for another room, she plans to sleep on the floor of her unfurnished studio. Lydia is the daughter of a Japanese father and a half-British, half-Malaysian mother, but what really sets her apart is that she’s a vampire. After her vampire mother vowed never to kill another human being, the two of them survived on fresh pigs’ blood, but alone in London, Lydia struggles to find nourishment. Blood sausage barely staves off the pangs, and she can’t digest the oats. As her hunger grows, she imagines she might starve out the vampire part of herself; watching food videos online, she considers her heritage: “In most Asian cultures … there is no reverence for the vampiric monster as there is in the West; most blood-sucking things are women … ” The most unusual, original and strikingly contemporary vampire novel to come along in years.

Lambda by David Musgrave (Europa, £12.99)
This impressive debut by a visual artist is set in an alternate 2019, in a Britain slightly different from our own. Object Relation laws have granted rights to smart machines (including talking toothbrushes), cyber-attacks are not so much terrorism as “a business plan that leverages the threat of mass murder”, and a different race of beings has been part of the population for half a century. Tiny, air-breathing aquatic mammals, the lambda arrive by sea in small groups, quickly learn English, and form an accepted, if mysterious, class, living in flooded basements, transported by terrestrial humans in fishbowls to offices to do menial jobs. But when a school bombing is blamed on the Army of Lambda Ascension, acceptance turns to hate. An imaginative revisioning of some of today’s fears and fantasies, written with bravura style and wit, this is literary SF at its best.

Continue reading...

Related

The best recent science fiction and fantasy – review roundup

Ordinary Monsters by JM Miro; In the Heart of Hidden Things by Kit Whitfield; The Sanctuary by Andre...

Read More >

The best recent science fiction and fantasy – reviews roundup

Appliance by JO Morgan; Book of Night by Holly Black; The Pharmacist by Rachelle Atalla; Beautiful S...

Read More >

The best recent science fiction and fantasy – reviews roundup

Moon Witch, Spider King by Marlon James; Braking Day by Adam Oyebanji; Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aa...

Read More >

The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – reviews roundup

The This by Adam Roberts; All the White Spaces by Ally Wilkes; The Embroidered Book by Kate Heartfie...

Read More >

The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – reviews roundup

The Actual Star by Monica Byrne; Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson; The Book of Sand by Theo Clar...

Read More >

The best recent science fiction, fantasy and horror – review roundup

When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson; A Strange and Brilliant Light by Eli Lee; Robot by Adam Wiś...

Read More >