Reading through the Locked Tomb series, Gideon the Ninth sets up the series, while Harrow the Ninth sends it tumbling into freefall. An intriguing blend of science fiction and fantasy, the first book Gideon the Ninth has necromancers and their cavaliers struggling to unlock the secrets of Canaan House deep in space - while an unknown foe picks them off one by one. In the second book, Harrow the Ninth, Harrow has ascended from necromancer to lyctor in service to the empire - but her sanity is crumbling, the lyctorhood process has gone wrong and she struggles with reality as her fellow lyctors face battle against a universe-shattering foe.
Crazy Love is about addiction, art, love with no boundaries, and the burden of mental illness. It is sad, beautiful, frustrating, and tantalising. It is about survival and despair and mundanity. It is about Vicky Miller and the destructive love of her life, Billy Cooper. It is semi-autobiographical and totally charming and totally worrying at the same time. It is extraordinarily honest, and a perfect example of how messy life can be.
Philip ‘Cato’ Kwong, now part of the Major Crime Unit in Perth, is dealing with two, apparently unrelated, mutilated bodies – one an ex-cop one an ex-schoolteacher. Sharon Wang, his wife, is a federal agent, working nights at the international airport. She deals with an unruly passenger off a flight from Darwin, who is later discovered hanging under a bridge in Freemantle, with Kwong’s details in his pocket. Rory Driscoll (who we first met in Bad seed) leaves his quiet life as a “simple fisherman out Woop Woop”, when his name appears on a hit list along with three others, and he has no idea why. Kwong, Wang, and Driscoll all work separately and then together to try and work out how all is connected. They end up in the murky world of corruption, conflict atrocities, retribution, big business, and unholy alliances.
“Someone else is out there, watching, waiting. Terrorising us.” Lina is an ambulance driver, dealing with emergencies for a living. She is also dealing with Cain, her husband of seven years, who is still having nightmares after returning injured from serving in Afghanistan. Lina worries about money and about her marriage. Cain wants easy money not “a boring job”. Lina agrees to his easy-money scheme of renting out her family lakehouse at Tarawera via the WeStay app. Lina uses another kind of app. To take desperate measures to save her marriage ...
I think anthropomorphism is useful when it enables people, and researchers, to see non-human animals as thinking feeling beings with a sense of their place in the world. I think anthropomorphism is a bad thing when it entails the animals thinking and speaking from the point of view of humans – i.e., with a Disneyesque view of their happy lives. Laura Jean McKay has given us a new form of anthropomorphism; she writes of a dystopia caused by a disease that enables humans to hear what non-human animals might really think, and it’s not pretty.
Written in 1946, at the end of World War II, The Martian Chronicles imagines a world that is both idyllic, and threatened by nuclear war, a future where the American dream of big cars and submissive wives is transplanted to the red planet. A future where humans own rockets, colonise planets, and built cities, yet still live under the permanent cloud of impending doom.