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INFINITY WARS Edited by Jonathan Strahan .................................................................................................................................. 2 SUNGRAZER By Jay Posey .............................................................................................................................................................. 2 COTTONSEEDS By Lily Dark .......................................................................................................................................................... 2 STOKERCON! By Sheri White ......................................................................................................................................................... 3 AN OATH OF DOGS By Wendy N. Wagner .................................................................................................................................... 3 IMMORTAL ARCHITECTS By Paige Orwin ................................................................................................................................... 5 CLOWNTOWN .................................................................................................................................................................................. 5 CHILDREN OF THE DIVIDE By Patrick S Tomlinson.................................................................................................................... 5 BINARY SYSTEM By Eric Brown ................................................................................................................................................... 7 GRUNT HERO By Weston Ochse ..................................................................................................................................................... 7 WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING BY Hunter Shea ......................................................................................................................... 7 A MAN OF SHADOWS By Jeff Noon .............................................................................................................................................. 8 RINGS ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 8 QUIETUS By Tristan Palmgren ......................................................................................................................................................... 9 VOODOO ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 SKY FARER By Joseph Brassey...................................................................................................................................................... 11 CHURCH By Renee Miller .............................................................................................................................................................. 11 THE UPLOADED By Ferrett Steinmetz .......................................................................................................................................... 12 SINISTER SCRIBBLINGS By Matt Hickman ................................................................................................................................ 12 UNDER THE PENDULAR SUN By Jeanette Ng............................................................................................................................ 12 THE WRONG STARS By Tim Pratt ............................................................................................................................................... 12 NANO SHOCK By K C Alexander .................................................................................................................................................. 12 THE NIGHT CLAVE By Monte Cook & Shanna Germain ............................................................................................................. 12

Edited By Stanley Riiks. Written By Adrian Brady, Stanley Riiks, C.M. Saunders, J.S. Watts. Proof-read By Sheri White. © Morpheus Tales March 2018. Morpheus Tales Back Issues and Special Issues are available exclusively through lulu.com: http://stores.lulu.com/morpheustales For more information, free previews and free magazines visit our website: http://morpheustales.wixsite.com/morpheustales Morpheus Tales Review Supplement, March 2018. COPYRIGHT March 2018 Morpheus Tales Publishing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reviews can be used, in full or in part, for publicity purposes as long as Morpheus Tales Magazine is quoted as the source.


INFINITY WARS Edited by Jonathan Strahan http://www.solarisbooks.com/ Infinity Wars is the sixth book in the Infinity Series of SF anthologies published by Solaris Books. Each anthology appears to be mono-themed and the fifteen short stories in this collection consider “the future of war itself,” or at least the nature of war in the future. Homo sapiens is an aggressive breed, so it seems that war most definitely has a future. This is a classy anthology with quality stories written by award-winning writers including (to name a few): Eleanor Arnason, Elizabeth Bear, Indrapramit Das, Rich Larson, Garth Nix, An Onomoyela, and Carrie Vaughan. There were two things that struck me, especially about the stories collectively. The first thing was diversity: diversity in the selection of authors, diversity in the subject matter of the stories (despite the umbrella theme), and the interpretation of how wars might be fought, and also diversity of locations and protagonists. Don’t come looking for traditional gung ho white male soldiery here. The fighters of the future come in all genders, sexualities, ethnicities, species, and colours. Some are human and some are markedly less so. Some are aggressive. Some are defensive, and it is not always front line troops who do the most damage. War zone locations include Earth, deep space and assorted planets, satellites and space stations in between. Long gone is the traditional Russian/American or East/West divide that has historically formed the basis of many war stories. Here we have Indian soldiers on the moon, Chinese/Indian tensions in Tibet and Heavy/colonist issues on settler planets. In deep space there are not just humans to confront. There are non-human enemies and allies to deal with, although we humans frequently seem to be our own worst enemies. I appreciated the diversity of these stories from a range of standpoints, not least that the variety, combined with the sheer quality of these stories, means that, despite the mono-themed nature of the anthology, Infinity Wars is an entertaining, and at times thought-provoking, page-turner. The second thing to strike me was the story endings. I don’t know if it’s a requirement of the Infinity series, but few of the stories had a tight conclusive ending. Most conclude with more possibilities or with endings that are open to interpretation. This openness made me think of an infinity loop and perhaps that was the intention? As a result, if you are looking for traditional war stories with conclusive heroic endings, this may not be the

anthology for you. If you like well-written, thoughtprovoking, and frequently open-ended tales of possible future conflicts, you need look no further. By J.S.Watts SUNGRAZER By Jay Posey www.angryrobotbooks.com This is the second series of Posey’s that has fallen across my desk. This one, like the first, is excellent and definitely worthy of your attention. The second book in the Outriders Series, sees a cold war between Earth and Mars, and when some massive weapons go missing the Outriders (a crew of super-soldier/spies) are called in to find out what’s going on. What they find is more than they bargained for… Intrigue, betrayal, and war are likely to follow. Posey sets up his world immediately, and remarkably well. His characters are mere pieces in his story, which is a bit of a shame, but more than made up for in terms of action. This is military SF fuelled by action and tension. Posey has created a wonderfully complex world, filled it with super soldiers and tension between the opposing regimes, and then thrown a spanner into the works to make everything explode. Great stuff again from Posey. By Adrian Brady COTTONSEEDS By Lily Dark https://lilyauthor.com/ A few years ago I remember being blown away by a trippy little dark fantasy book called Eden Fell by some mysterious creature known only as Lily. I read a lot of books, but not many stuck with me like that sucker did. I kept an eye out for more books by the same author, but unfortunately they were few and far between. I eventually found out that though an exceptionally talented wordsmith, Lily, now revealed as Lily Dark, always considered herself an artist first and a writer second. Thankfully, she’s found a way to combine both creative pursuits with this serialized graphic novel. Boasting beautiful artwork and killer prose, in a nutshell Cottonseeds records the many varied adventures of Sam Gillman, a twentysomething paralegal based in Tennessee who is forced into reconciling the amoral job of defending the guilty with fending off the supernatural forces which threaten to consume him from the inside out. Or maybe even the other way around. If you’ve always wanted to sink your teeth into a superbly produced graphic novel which somehow manages to wrap murderers, ghosts, and


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other supernatural beings with real-world problems like ravaging guilt, family drama, emotional trauma, and walking a tightrope of morality in one sordid, easily-digestible package, this could be for you. Cottonseeds is still in its early stages, so there’s still time to jump on that bandwagon before everyone else does. By C.M. Saunders

Superior Achievement in a Novel - Christopher Golden, Ararat

STOKERCON! By Sheri White

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel - Octavia E. Butler and Damian Duffy, Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Superior Achievement in a First Novel - Robert Payne Cabeen, Cold Cuts Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel - Kim Liggett, The Last Harvest

What do you get when you put a bunch of horror writers in a haunted hotel for a weekend while a winter storm rages outside? STOKERCON! StokerCon is an annual event run by the Horror Writers Association. The Stoker Award, named after the famed Bram Stoker, is given for superior achievements in several categories from book to movies. The convention is open to writers and fans alike, and is a great way to meet and mingle with fellow horror aficionados. This year StokerCon was held at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, birthplace of H.P. Lovecraft. Although named one of the most haunted hotels in the US at one time, there were no reports of paranormal activity during the convention. How could a few ghosts compare to masters of horror such as Ramsey Campbell, Dacre Stoker (related to THE Bram Stoker), Caitlan R. Kiernan, F. Paul Wilson, and Tom Monteleone, just to name a few? While a “Nor’easter” pounded the hotel with rain, sleet, and snow, and wind gusts almost swept passersby off their feet, inside we were warm and cozy and enjoying the events of the weekend such as author readings, writer panels, and workshops. The hotel bar kept up with the usual demands of writers gathered together and the on-site Starbucks kept everyone well-caffeinated. As usual with horror conventions, the weekend passed by much too quickly. As Saturday night became early Sunday morning, hugs were exchanged and good-byes reluctantly said, with promises made of staying in touch and getting together at the next convention. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients (listed below), with a special congratulations to Linda Addison, this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner.

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction - Stephen Graham Jones, Mapping the Interior Superior Achievement in Short Fiction - Lisa Manetti, Apocalypse Then Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection - Joe Hill, Strange Weather Superior Achievement in a Screenplay - Jordan Peele, Get Out Superior Achievement in an Anthology - Doug Murano, Behold! Oddities, Curiosities, & Undefinable Wonders Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction - Grady Hendrix, Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection Christina Sng, A Collection of Nightmares AN OATH OF DOGS By Wendy N. Wagner www.angryrobotbooks.com A nice murder mystery set on what is essentially a mining planet, its resources ravaged by massive mining companies. But eco-terrorism, alien sentient dogs, and more muddy the waters of a crime that has far-reaching implications. The world that Wagner has created is very well-portrayed; it almost lives and breathes as you are reading. His world reminded me of the best part of Avatar. On top of that the whodunit mystery is played out with increasing tension. A nice page-turner of a novel that keeps you interested and absorbed throughout. By Adrian Brady

Bram Stoker Award Winners:

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By C.M. Saunders

IMMORTAL ARCHITECTS By Paige Orwin www.angryrobotbooks.com The second book in the Interminables Series sees the sorcerers who had pretty much destroyed the world as we knew it to stop an evil immortal in the first book, back again, trying desperately to hold everything together in a world where cults are gaining power, armies are fighting at the borders, and a superstorm is on its way. If you haven’t read the first book in the series you will be better off starting there; although the author does a good job of capturing the essence of the story, you miss out on a lot of the nuances that make it so interesting. The characters are really where this book shines, Templeton and Czernin are well-formed and complex. The plot is good with some nice twists, a good deal of action and intrigue. An urban fantasy of epic proportions that still manages to bring life to its characters. By Adrian Brady CLOWNTOWN Director: Tom Nagel Did you know that a paralysing fear of clowns is an actual condition that turns up on many phobia lists? It’s called coulrophobia, and it’s remarkably common, apparently. Scientists and doctor-types now agree that this irrational fear (probably) stems from the fact that observers can’t see what’s behind the clown’s mask. This and the fact that clowns do not conform to social convention. In other words, they do crazy shit. Like they do in this film. Stephen King’s It certainly has a lot to answer for. Clowntown is apparently inspired by actual events which happened in Bakersfield, USA, back in 2014, when there were numerous reports of people being terrorized by terrifying, weapon-wielding clowns. Probably not what you need on a night out. The story is that it was actually part of some weird live-art project, and the body count was certainly a lot less than it is here. So, on to the plot... Following a spate of mysterious disappearances and tragic ‘accidents,’ a group of friends get waylaid then stranded in a seemingly deserted small town only to find themselves stalked by a violent gang of psychopaths. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the psychos are dressed as clowns. One of them even looks a bit like Duff McKagan from Guns n’ Roses. Welcome to the Jungle? More like welcome to Clowntown. They got fun n’ games.

CHILDREN OF THE DIVIDE By Patrick S Tomlinson www.angryrobotbooks.com The third part of this SF trilogy is set 18 years after the end of the last book, as the colonisation of Gaia is now fully underway. Can a human community grow in harmony amidst the indigenous population, split as it is between the earth-dwellers and those in orbit helping build the new city? Terror attacks, violence, kidnapping; not all is right with this new world. Tomlinson has created an intelligent and interesting universe for us to explore, and he did this really well with the first two books in the series. The third book is really about the consequences of the human inhabitation of an already-inhabited planet, and the multi-generational travel and effort it took to get there and set themselves up. Intelligent SF with a heap of action to keep everyone happy, this is the kind of SF that makes you want to adventure and explore, and makes you want to read more. By Adrian Brady

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know what to expect. No-holds-barred SF military action. This is a whirlwind of a novel, never letting up as the trilogy comes to its dramatic conclusion. Action SF does not get much better than this. By Adrian Brady

BINARY SYSTEM By Eric Brown http://www.solarisbooks.com/ Binary System is a full-length classic science fiction, space adventure novel that was, apparently, initially published as two separate novellas: Binary and System. Solaris has now published the complete novel as a single book. This is it. It tells the story of Dr. Cordelia Kemp who, by a fluke of fate, survives the cataclysmic explosion of The Pride of Amsterdam, a massive terraforming vessel, while it is transiting a wormhole. The wormhole, however, flings her many thousand light years away from the ship, well beyond the boundaries of human-explored space. Cordelia’s escape pod crash-lands on a frozen planet inhabited by aggressive locust type creatures, blue, furry monkeytype creatures and huge, crab-spider-type creatures. All are sentient, but the latter two indigenous cultures are largely subjugated by the brutal first. The question is how can Cordelia survive sub-zero temperatures, the imminent warming of the planet (which has an incredibly long winter-summer cycle and is about to warm up considerably), the less–than-benign intentions of the locusts, being the only human on the planet, and being stranded beyond the reach and knowledge of Earth? Assisting her through these dire straits is her Imp (brain implant), which provides information, translation facilities, and cold logic to help her through the resultant emotional turmoil. The Imp is a character in its own right. This is an action-packed adventure, filled with beautiful visual descriptions of exotic, alien landscapes and cultures, and cliff-hanging escapades (sometimes literally). There are one or two references to the politics and history of Earth that provide a sense of fleeting depth, but basically this is a book that is all about the adventure, the action, and the alien locations. By J.S.Watts

WE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING BY Hunter Shea https://huntershea.com/ When the patriarch develops a crippling case of vertigo as the result of a car accident and various other mini-tragedies befall them, 14-year-old West and his family are forced to move in with his eccentric grandfather in his run-down Pennsylvania farmhouse, which is rumoured to be haunted. Being a paranormal enthusiast, this revelation actually excites West rather than fills him with dread. After the move, West falls hopelessly in lust with a local girl he meets called Faith, but as we all know, the path to true love rarely runs smooth, especially in a teenage wasteland. Added to this, the family soon learns that the old farmhouse has been plagued by death and tainted with misery for

GRUNT HERO By Weston Ochse www.angryrobotbooks.com The war is lost. The aliens won. Human bodies are being used as living storage units. But Ben Mason is a fighter. He cannot stop, he cannot be defeated. Joining a ragtag group of PTSD-riven soldiers, and reluctantly taking on an alien ally, Mason will fight to the bitterest end to stop Earth and humanity from being destroyed. If you have been reading the other books in this trilogy (this is the third and final tale), then you 7


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generations, which may go some way toward explaining the fractured relationship between West’s incapacitated father and grouchy grandfather. Things get a whole lot worse when creepy notes and messages start turning up, proclaiming to be from the Guardians, a mysterious cabal who have apparently been watching the property, for reasons unknown, for as long as anyone can remember. The truly fascinating thing about this aspect of the book is that it’s based on fact. According to a newspaper article, when a stately home was put up for sale in Westfield, New Jersey, several years ago, it came complete with, “six bedrooms, wood flooring, and a disturbing back story that left its last owners living in fear of a stalker who sent them a series of cryptic, threatening letters.” With West being such a horror buff, the book is littered with pop culture references which should be familiar to most connoisseurs of the dark and twisted, from Richard Laymon to Horrorhound magazine, something which adds another dimension to the writing as well as an extra layer of realism. Another thing which makes a tangible difference is the limited cast of characters, at least in the first half of the book, which allows the author to explore each one in a lot more depth. The result is that the reader builds up thoroughly fleshed-out mental pictures, and actually begins to care about the characters. Throughout the book, Hunter Shea taunts and teases expertly, much like the Guardians he writes about (though much less intrusively), dropping clues and red herrings as he goes. At times, We Are Always Watching morphs into cozy mystery territory, and more-or-less manages to avoid the gross-out bloodand-guts route so often employed by less sophisticated writers. This kind of subject matter is a bit of a departure for Shea, who has thus far built an impressive career based mainly on creature fiction with the likes of Loch Ness Revenge, The Jersey Devil, and The Montauk Monster. Not to take anything away from his other work, We Are Always Watching showcases a different kind of writing. It’s more subtle and atmospheric, sucking you into the story. My only complaint would perhaps be that as the story nears its extended climax, the realms of plausibility are stretched to breaking point. But of course, you could argue most horror novels do the same thing. The genre practically necessitates a suspension of reality. This one does it better than most, and is well worth a read. By C.M. Saunders

A MAN OF SHADOWS By Jeff Noon www.angryrobotbooks.com Jeff Noon is a genius. A twisted and very warped genius. His books are surreal, totally absorbing, and strange. Set in a world in eternal sunshine, a serial killer stalks the streets. Nyquist, a private detective, embarks on a quest to find a runaway teenager. But that is only half the story. The strange world Noon presents to us is amazing, complex, and utterly imaginable. The noir/detective style story helps us explore this strange world of light and darkness. Noon is a twisted genius, and if you’ve never read one of his books, this is a great one to start with. By Adrian Brady RINGS Director: F. Javier Gutierrez Buckle up for the latest outing in the Ring franchise, imaginatively titled Rings. You know, the one with the creepy little dead girl climbing out of the well and then through the TV screen. This is the American version. There’s probably a Japanese version amongst the plethora of Ringu sequels, prequels and spin-offs. In fact, a little background research reveals that indeed there is, only to make the whole thing even more confusing, they’ve called it The Ring: Rebirth. How Leonard from Big Bang Theory managed to bag a major part as a university lecturer in this is anyone’s guess. He plays some kind of evil mastermind who persuades a group of gullible students to enlist in an experiment to prove the existence of life after death. He then comes into possession of ‘the tape,’ and realizes that after watching it you die within seven days. Unless you make a copy, pass it on, and convince someone else to watch it. Then the curse is passed to them. And so the cycle continues. That’s the gist, and pretty much the sum of the plot. If you like the other episodes in the franchise there’s enough here to keep you interested, but very little in the way of new, fresh, or innovative scares. By C.M. Saunders

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QUIETUS By Tristan Palmgren www.angryrobotbooks.com

VOODOO Director: Tom Costabile

Quietus, published by Angry Robot, is a complex and multi-layered novel. I’ll be honest; although I chose to review it, I initially had some reservations about the complexity. It was described as a combination of science fiction, historical novel, and philosophical exploration. I like all three, but not necessarily in the same book. I have particular reservations regarding the combination of SF and historical novels. When they work they are great, but on many occasions, in my experience, they crash and burn with the overload. Not so, in the case of Quietus. The novel starts slowly with the emphasis on the historical side of things and, for a while, my concerns continued, but the SF elements were gradually and intriguingly interwoven. It was not that far into the book before I was totally hooked. At that point, I found Quietus to be an exciting page-turner, but one which gets the thought processes flowing as much as the adrenalin. The basic plot focuses on a team of multiverse academics studying the Black Death in 14th Century Europe. The multiple planets and planes of their multi-verse are overseen by a group of planehopping, fully conscious AIs, the amalgamates. Whilst highly technologically advanced, they are succumbing to a rapidly spreading and existentially threatening plague of their own, for which there is no known cure. The anthropologists are hoping their observations of the effects of the Black Death will help them with their own pandemic. Not all, however, is as it seems. At least one of the team is an agent for the amalgamates and for the team leader, their disengaged observations of suffering humanity without the ability to alleviate the suffering (although the amalgamates could do so if they chose) raises ethical and philosophical questions. When her activities cross paths with those of a native monk, the complexity of things is set to become even more complicated. I don’t think I’m giving the game away when I say the novel touches upon matters of religion and faith, the afterlife, quantum theory, economics, politics, the ethics of cultural intervention, cold war tensions, the nature of personality and what it means to be human, to list a few of its stopping-off points. It is also a stonking good read with aliens, spaceships, human/AI hybrids, distinctively imagined planets, and inter-plane travel. I recommend it to you. By J.S.Watts

Opinion is divided about the found footage genre. In my view, when done properly it can be a very effective medium, thrusting the viewer into the heart of the action and creating a tense, gripping atmosphere. With traditional films the viewer is usually relegated to the role of voyeur. But with FF movies, the viewer is far more involved, even immersed. Or at least it feels that way. However, 18 years (yes, that long) after the original Blair Witch Project, the genre, never a favourite of the critics, is getting a little stale and has suffered greatly from a raft of sub-standard productions. The main focus of VooDoo is a cute southern belle called Dani who takes a vacation at her friend’s creepy house in LA to sort her life out, which included having an ill-advised affair with the husband of a voodoo priestess, and decides to film everything for her ‘daddy.’ She soon falls into the LA lifestyle consisting mainly of parties, boys, and more parties. Oh, and a bit of voodoo. It all kicks off one night when she hears a drumming sound emanating from, she thinks, her friend’s room. When she investigates she finds the floor covered in candles and satanic symbols, a shadow figure with glowering red eyes, and her friend’s boyfriend hanging from the ceiling with his guts hanging out. Never a good sign. It soon becomes apparent that her friend is possessed. Then Dani finds herself transported to another place where there are loads of demonic entities doing some pretty extreme shit. Decapitations, disembowelments, rape and torture, ripping babies out of the womb. All very grisly and goretastic. The thing is, it isn’t very well done. The special effects are mediocre, and the acting is atrocious. Dani, the very definition of an airhead, is one of the most annoying people you are ever going to meet on celluloid. Full of girly giggles, squeals and later, screams. Voodoo? More like VooDon’t. On a more positive note, keep an eye out for a guest appearance by ex-porn star Ron Jeremy. He can’t act for toffee, but still manages to steal every scene he’s in. By C.M. Saunders

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SKY FARER By Joseph Brassey www.angryrobotbooks.com A wild mix of genres, this is epic SF and fantasy merged. Mythical relics, magic, and space-ships. Why hasn’t anyone done this before? Brassey creates a wonderfully detailed SF world in which to marry these fantastical elements, and put trainee sorceress Aimee de Laurent in the middle of it when a conjuring does wrong. Think Star Wars merged with Lord of the Rings and you get the idea… Great world creation, good characters, a decent plot and plenty of action combine in a wondrously weird and fantastical novel, the beginning of an epic series. By Adrian Brady CHURCH By Renee Miller https://authorreneemiller.com/ Renee Miller is badass. If you like your horror to have the same emotional impact as being hit over the head with a lump hammer then slowly and agonisingly dismembered while you’re still alive, only with more kinky sex and toilet humour, you could do a lot worse than try one of her books. She’s very productive too, so you’d better keep up. I could be mistaken, but I’m pretty sure Church (out now on Unnerving) is her fourth release this year. Or it might be five. Anyway, Ray is a devout Christian who falls in love with a woman who, er, isn’t. Instead, she belongs to one of those weird religious cults which follows a god called Zabir. Determined to save her soul, Ray joins said weird religious cult, inadvertently signing up to a process that will not only threaten his health, sanity, and physical wellbeing, but could even strip him of everything that makes him human. Beyond the things that make us human, what’s left? Some scary shit, that’s what. When discussing the inspiration behind Church on her blog, Miller says, “I’m fascinated by religion and understanding the weird shit people believe in. I think that everyone needs to have faith in something, be it a person, themselves, or some deity far, far away, whom they’ve never seen, spoken to, or had any tangible proof exists. I think faith is good. It makes you hopeful, and (usually) encourages us to be better. Faith has inspired people to do amazing things, but let’s be honest, it’s also inspired people to do some pretty horrific shit too.”

Are you captivated yet? This novella is an unforgiving, breathless read that will grab you by the scruff of the neck on the very first page and not let up until it’s had its wicked way with you. At its core, it is a twisted love story, riffing off the eternal question of how far would a man go to ‘save’ the gal he intends to spend his life with. However, that honourable conundrum is soon buried beneath lashings of sadomasochism, blood, and gore, mostly dished out by Darius, the psychotic egomaniacal cult leader. Will good ultimately triumph over evil? Or will Ray’s flickering spark of true faith be brutally extinguished? You’ll have to read Church to find out. By C.M. Saunders

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THE UPLOADED By Ferrett Steinmetz www.angryrobotbooks.com

This is a gothic novel, set in an alternative Victorian age where the land of the Fae, Arcadia, is the new Africa, a land of bounty to be explored and exploited. When Catherine Helstone heads off to find her lost missionary brother, she becomes trapped in an isolated mansion as danger lurks ever closer. Brilliantly realised setting, steampunk extravaganza. This is The Woman in Black, Heart of Darkness and fae all mixed up in a magical debut novel. By Adrian Brady

Heaven is a computer network. The living inhabitants of the world support the networks, and those who have moved online enjoy interfering with those left supporting them. Until one orphan decides that he and his sister have had enough and start a rebellion. Will they destroy heaven? Fantastic world-building, it’s rich and detailed and truly draws you in. The characters Steinmetz has created are there to help us explore this complex and exciting world, and the plot moves along nicely. This is a very easy-to-read book, and great fun. By Adrian Brady

THE WRONG STARS By Tim Pratt www.angryrobotbooks.com The first book in a new series and it starts well. The White Raven and its crew come across a craft that is centuries old, its sole survivor awakens with a warning of aliens, but not those the earthlings already know… Good plot, good characters, some interesting ideas, a marvellous universe and it is all wellwritten. Pratt has started a series that shows massive promise. By Adrian Brady

SINISTER SCRIBBLINGS By Matt Hickman https://www.facebook.com/matthickmanauthor/ Matt Hickman is one of the new breed of young Brit horror writers. The first things to grab you about this release is the cover. Yep, it’s Zippy. Him off Rainbow. But the one-time star of children’s TV doesn’t look so good. In fact, this incarnation is downright menacing. He makes a cameo appearance of sorts in the first story in this collection, “Anna,” a tale of schoolyard bullying gone wrong. The theme of stark terror invading everyday life continues in the second tale, “Apartment 6A: Resident Lisa Parker,” before Zippy, or more accurately his mate Geoffrey, reappears in Charity Shop. I guess you can call the story an alternative version of what Geoffrey did postRainbow. In real life he became a taxi driver and once appeared in a music video for Oasis tribute band NoWaySis, which is much more preferable to what Hickman has him doing. Most of the stories in this collection concern what I call ‘real world horror.’ By that I mean serial killers, assorted psychos, and revenge, rather than supernatural horror, and the stories often veer off into splatterpunk territory. One which illustrates this point perfectly is my personal fave, “The Punishment Room.” There are several other highlights. Top prize could easily go to “Stag Night,” but this feels slightly long-winded and sags a little in the middle. I feel Mr Hickman’s strengths lie in shorter tales. For now, at least. As a bonus in this book you are treated to a mini-selection of bonus stories from other writers, including Stuart Keane, Andrew Lennon, and the inimitable Slaughter Sisters. By C.M. Saunders UNDER THE PENDULAR SUN By Jeanette Ng www.angryrobotbooks.com

NANO SHOCK By K C Alexander www.angryrobotbooks.com The second book in the Sinless Series sees Riko (street thug) continue her fight to survive and thrive in a new-future universe of corruption and filth. If you have not read the first book you may have trouble keeping up. It is worth reading the first book as this is a truly unique and brutal series. It ups the ante with the second book, delivering the goods and more. Great characters, a unique dysfunctional universe, and a plot that keep the fights flying and the action plentiful. Unique and brutal cyberpunk. By Adrian Brady THE NIGHT CLAVE By Monte Cook & Shanna Germain www.angryrobotbooks.com This is another novel based on the Numenera tabletop role-playing game. In this one the Aeon Priests who help people understand the ancient 12


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technologies begin to use their powers to exploit people, and then rebellion sets in. The characters are underdeveloped, and the weak plotting does not help this book. The exploration of this interesting universe is not worth the admission price. A failed opportunity. By Adrian Brady

Morpheus Tales Back Issues and Special Issues are available exclusively through lulu.com: http://stores.lulu.com/morpheustales For more information, free previews and free magazines visit our website: http://morpheustales.wixsite.com/morpheustales Morpheus Tales Review Supplement, August 2017. COPYRIGHT August 2017 Morpheus Tales Publishing, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reviews can be used, in full or in part, for publicity purposes as long as Morpheus Tales Magazine is quoted as the source.

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Profile for Adam Bradley

Morpheus Tales Review Supplement April 2018  

19 pages of genre non-fiction: loads of horror, sf and fantasy book and film reviews!

Morpheus Tales Review Supplement April 2018  

19 pages of genre non-fiction: loads of horror, sf and fantasy book and film reviews!

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