I love a good space opera and the manifold positive reviews I read all suggested that was exactly what I was going to get, so I thought it was a safe bet. But I’ll be perfectly honest. I have mixed feelings about this book.
With a little help from everyone’s new favourite video conferencing app, I am now pleased to present this little video of Nancet Marques and I shooting the breeze about Chino and the Boy Scouts, life in Scotland and the proper shape of sausages.
I consider Nancet Marques, author of Chino & the Boy Scouts, to be a personal friend… so I do hope you’ll bear with me as I share some of my thoughts and impressions on this debut novel.
Chino and the Boy Scouts introduces the mysterious world of Summerhill, a western island state with high immigration from the world over and a mysterious connection to India…. What at first seems like a fun, if academically hazardous venture, spirals more and more into a world of danger and magic, as the school’s hidden past and depths reveal themselves to the ironically unprepared scouts
For some reason, sci-fi is just chock full of certain clichéd tropes, some of which are so very ridiculous that it frankly beggars belief that they ever became clichés. The others are just plain done to death. What follows are some of my (least) favourites.
It’s that time again! We’ve already had super snappy speed reviews for books, TV shows and films now it’s time to return for a second helping of super snappy book reviews. As before, the books I have reviewed here have been selected entirely at random from my ever-growing book collection and do not necessarily have anything in common apart from the fact that they are all books. They are not necessarily films that I particularly liked or disliked, nor are they sorted into any particular order.
As always, these reviews only reflect my own personal opinions and impressions, squished, sliced and diced into a few short sentences. So without further ado…
There are short stories, there are very short stories and then there is flash fiction: the delicate and often tricky art of telling a story in as few words as possible.The stories in this tiny little book (all originally published between 2015 and 2020 on the fiction blog, Penstricken) are deliberate exercises in brevity.
In total, this book contains twelve flash fictions ranging from fifty to 2,000 words apiece, plus six collections of six word stories.
While these stories vary in mood and genre, you will find in many that the author’s tongue was firmly entrenched in his cheek; whether it be in the brief tale of a Martian liberating his ‘kin’ from the deep fat fryer of a Glasgow chip shop or the nightmarish tragedy of Santa Claus’ true genesis, Penstricken: Collected Stories is a brief snapshot of one writer’s meandering imagination.
No matter what genre of fiction or medium of story-telling you’re into (even if you’re into nearly all of them, like me!), we all have our own little things in fiction that we don’t like. Sometimes it’s the little things that can absolutely ruin an otherwise potentially good story for us and make us seriously think about leaving it unread/unwatched/unlistened to.
For your enjoyment, therefore, I have compiled a list of my own fiction bugbears with expositions. Maybe you won’t agree with them all. That’s okay. I’m not for one second suggesting any of these are hard and fast rules about what constitutes a bad story. These are just things that, for me, are a bit of a turn-off. So without further ado and in no particular order…