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Firefight, Claire North, Hachette Australia (Gollancz): Jan 2015
The thing I find myself asking this month is this. Is a review actually necessary when Brandon Sanderson is involved? I mean, seriously. It's Brandon Sanderson! Buy this book, buy the previous book, buy the next one when it comes out. Buy everything he has ever written.
I like Brandon Sanderson...
Okay, fine. Firefight.
A little background, if you haven't read the previous instalment in the Reckoners series (without giving too much away). Once upon a time there was a burst of light in the sky which came to be known as Calamity. This gave a bunch of people (known as Epics) special superpowers, which went about as well as you would imagine.
“These people had a dream,” I said as our shuttle detached from the mother ship, “a noble one.”
Everyone on board either nodded silently or quietly voiced their agreement.
It was a short descent to the world. We overflew our destination.
“That’s where they made the Mark 7 indestructible residential dwellings.” Jason pointed to a flattened building below.
It was the first case of the day, and the district court judge couldn’t make any sense of it. “Could you please explain how could you walk out of a supermarket without purchasing anything?” the judge asked, obviously puzzled.
The neatly dressed defendant responded matter-of-factly: “I couldn’t find what I wanted.”
The judge peered at the defendant, squinting, “How could you not find what you want? It’s a supermarket...you can read, can’t you?”
Missy was the only one who believed him. The good old boys down at the Store just laughed and made funny space noises when he told them.
“What were they like?” Missy asked, and he scratched the half-hearted stubble on his chin.
“Alien looking, I guess,” he said. “Truth is I couldn’t see ‘em that well, it being night and all.”
There was some obvious disappointment.
“Well, why do you think they took you?”
“Damn snails, blummin slugs,” I muttered, head torch turned up high, jug containing home brew beer dregs in hand, waiting to drown the little buggers on impact.
I was so intent in the dark on turning over bits of wood and empty flower pots that I didn’t notice my companion until, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement. My heart thudded — a snake. I pulled my hand back and pointed the head torch towards the movement.
Most of the coloured leaves that had given him the ideas were gone by December. Well, perhaps a few brown remained amongst a ground-hugging Pollock-like artwork.
But the banks were almost ready. Almost.
Gene was always seen as the strange one. Elected the most likely to be laughed at in high school. And they did. Friends, dates, employers, police (although the boys in blue had many other singularly emotive terms reserved for him), and strangers.
This one time, circa 1986, I'm on a blind date with a satyr when the fairy godmother bell chimes in the back of my skull. I try to ignore it, but the ringing gets louder and louder, then I start twitching and my date gets this shit-not-another-wacko look on his face, and I know it's over. Not even satyrs want to date a fairy godmother.
So I find my goddaughter, Cindy, slumped on the kitchen floor, bawling her eyes out.
Batter batter batter schwing. Hotdogs and coke and half a dozen varieties of viral infections were being passed around the bleachers at Ebbets Field during any game, let alone when the crowd from Brooklyn came and sat their fat arses on the tough timber seats to see their team luck a win or a draw. That’s what baseball is all about, the spreading of germs.
"We are come in peace."
The visitor spoke in passably good English, but then you'd expect the devil to know all languages. "We mean no harm," it continued, "look, we have brought you gifts from our world. Please, do not be alarmed."
There was no way a natural born human being could not be alarmed. The alien looked like the very embodiment of evil — half spider, half serpent, multi-headed and, atop each snaky head, a pair of horns.
Australia — a few years from now.
Every comic book fan knows that Superb Man, arguably the world's greatest super-hero, escaped his dying planet and fled to Earth, where he became a champion of liberty and freedom. What few realise is that Superb Man's escape pod originally landed, not in Kansas, but off the coast of Queensland. Thanks to the generosity of the Australian people, this remarkable refugee soon had a brand new home — Papua New Guinea.
Coming In Issue 205
by Natalie J.E. Potts
by David Scholes
Down On The Pharm
by Zeb Carter
by Nick Clark
Midnight Dreams Of Gold Coast Beaches
by Andisha Sabri
Pearl White: A Winter's Tale
by Joanna Fay
Soft Sacks For Relaxation
by PS Cottier
The Brief History Of Time Travel
by Harris Tobias
Lina Marie Catto
Who Needs Horses
by Steve Duffy
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AntipodeanSF Radio Shows June 2015
Shedar - June 4
Killfile 7 - by Nicolas Clark
Ghostspotting - by Kevin J. Phyland
Keeping It Movin' - by Shaun A Saunders
Scrolls Of The Foreseers - by David Scholes
What Really Happened With The Three Little Pigs - by Caroline Sambridge
Aspidiske - June 11
Insecure Alternation - by Simon Petrie
Bar & Grill - by Tom Grayhorse
Scavenger's Hunch - by David Adès
Caph - June 18
Slabbinac - by Marg Essex
The Hemingway Paradox - by Kevin J. Phyland
The Key - by Terry Ibele
The Booby Prize To Beat All Booby Prizes - by Wes Parish
Men - June 25
A Composer Composed - by Wes Parish
Clickety Click - by Harris Tobias
George The Turnip - by Tom Grayhorse
Otto & The Cloth Baby - by Harris Tobias
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I have been a sore-headed occupant of a file drawer labelled ''Science Fiction'' and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.