I was going to leave Carey a nice review on Audible/Amazon - right up to the moment I clicked on the button and was presented with five boxes that had to be filled in about what moments moved me, what I thought of the vocalist, etc, etc.
I'm guessing they're trying to steer people away from just regurgitating the story, full of spoilers and all. Does annoy me when folk do that.
I just don't like being told what to do.

That's something of a theme here, too. Lots of folk who don't like being told what to do. Curiously, the ten year old girl who spends most of her life strapped to a wheeled frame doesn't seem to worry so much. But then, I guess its easier when you have a crush on the teacher.

This book is very difficult to review without giving away so much it would spoil your experience if you chose to consume it. There's no secret that this child, or the others in her class, are treated in an uncomfortably unhuman way. Nor any secret that those around them are deeply afraid of the children. Its the slow exposure of just how far some of the adults are prepared to go, both to abuse the children and to help them, that I simply cant tell you about. It is the backbone of the plot, and I dont give away plots. At least, not intentionally.
The tone of the story is almost unrelievedly dark. Even the conclusion asks more questions than it answers, and delivers a terrible inversion of the captivity the children are forced to endure at the beginning. The only bright light in the tale is the girl, Melanie, inquisitive mind and her utter devotion to one of her teachers.

In some ways the characters are harsh stereotypes,  the Cold Scientist, the Angry Soldier, the Compassionate Psychiatrist, and yet they need to be. The story material deals considerably with what is a post apocalyptic morality play, and we need Noh-type, or Punch and Judy, standards to compare it and ourselves against.

Certainly not a read for the feint hearted, but I enjoyed it.


Dont forget the competition: 
go to http://eepurl.com/b_XpVX and you may win a copy

New Con, Old Con

Busy times. Several cons attended and, last night, finally finished a troubled first draft of the third and final Warrior Stone novel. Given me a lot of trouble, has this one, and almost seemed it didn't want to be written.

So, a little time on my hands, and a few moments for a blog update.

First of all, FantasyCon last weekend (23rd Sept). FCon was my second ever con a very long time ago. It was a magnificent experience, not diminished by the fact that my partner and I were new friends with some of the organisers, and it felt very inclusive and wonderous.

Sadly, immediately after, a group of people within the BFS tried a very dirty, very nasty smear campaign against the then Chair (my friend). As is usual with these things, all the accusations appear in 72-point bold. When all the accusations were proven to be unfounded, the apology was written in 6-pt feint. A few nasty experience.

We went the next year, but found it  a bitter and cliquey affair. This year, for some reason, we decided to give it another go. The organisers were different and the location promised interesting diversions if the Con itself proved uninspiring.

Sadly, it didn't work for me. FCon has become less of a convention and more of a trade fair. The lack of inclusion felt worse than ever, and this year both I and a friend got accosted and harangued for no clearly definable reason.
I'm sure the organisers put a lot of work in, and I'm happy for those who enjoyed it, but I wont be making any more appearances at a FantasyCon.

On a lighter note, a few days with light duties means I'll hopefully get around to writing a few new reviews of some exceptional books that have recently crossed my path. One will certainly be 'The Girl With all the Gifts' by M R Carey, and I believe Mr Ruins (Michael John Grist) and A Star Curiously Singing (Kerry Nietz) will all be getting mentions.

Also, we have BristolCon looming ever closer to the horizon. Watch out for more news on that too.