Article Archives

  • Books

    Self-Pub Review

    - by Ant Jones

    This month, we have two cracking new self-published books for you: one novel, one collection of short stories.   The Blackbird and the Ghost Tan Wenlock (the Blackbird), adventurer and rogue, seeks his fortune on the infamous Boiling Seas. A place where sailors fear to venture, there are strange islands and stranger ruins lurking in the ever-present occluding steam rising from the alarmingly-warm seas that give the area its distinctive name. The treasure Tan pursues might have the power to change the world, but…

  • Thinkpiece

    Think bigger: megastructures

    - by Thomas Turnbull-Ross

    Originally popularised in the 1960s, megastructures are a staple of science fiction. Theoretical feats of engineering at a planetary or even stellar scale, they have been the subject of speculation, novels, films, and a few video games.  Megastructures range from the impractical but technically possible to the outright fantastical. The term is vaguely-defined, though a unifying factor in all is that they are engineering projects of immense scale. Some are well-known, such as Star Wars’ Death Star, while others are more obscure, such as…

  • Tabletop Games
    Tabletop Games

    Mini of the Month: Authorised Bounty Hunter

    - by Angus McNicholl

    “Jonothan Tan, authorised bounty hunter?” Jon turned slightly from his position at the bar — a small movement, just enough to let his peripheral vision slide over the man who addressed him. The newcomer was dressed down, no tie, but clearly corporate. His shirt alone would cost more than an average family make in a month. He wasn’t alone. Standing well back was a goon trying to look inconspicuous, and failing. There would be a second one somewhere, likely to his left. Jon nodded…

  • Books

    Review: Children of Ruin

    - by Tom Grundy

    In humanity’s distant future, we share a terraformed planet with pig-sized sentient spiders. Earth is a ruin and our civilisation has reset after a devastating war. We detect a signal from a faraway world — one of the other planets our ancestors terraformed. Off we go to investigate.  Adrian Tchaikovsky (whom we interviewed in Issue 2) is one of Britain’s most-popular contemporary science fiction and fantasy authors. Children of Ruin and its predecessor, 2015’s excellent Children of Time, are this writer’s ‘hard’ sci-fi; he…

  • Books

    The Luminaries: choose your social media adventure

    - by Jane Clewett

    This was the beginning of The Luminaries; a six month-long adventure played by readers around the world. Its protagonist was Wednesday ‘Winnie’ Wednesday, trainee member of a secret monster-hunting society known as the Luminaries, and she was…

  • TV and Film
    TV and Film

    Why watch Babylon 5?

    - by Jane Clewett

    Few television shows were as seminal (or have aged as badly) as Babylon 5. Posters for it now look like awkward cosplay rather than a groundbreaking science fiction show that redefined what television could be. For a modern audience, this can be hard to get past — and arguably the characteristics that made the show great in the 1990s are widespread today. So why is it brilliant? Babylon 5 was something different from its conception. Moving away from the ‘monster/problem of the week’ formula…