BLOG: August and September Round-Up

Autumn is my favourite time of year, and late summer where my garden is still in flower, but there’s a chill in the air and there’s that wonderful golden light? That’s my absolute jam. Sitting outside in the sunshine in the afternoon, then curling up under a blanket inside in the evening feeling cosy is the best feeling. I’m looking forward to a full autumn of some wonderful books after a very busy summer.

Book Reviews

Giant Days 1 & 2 – John Allison and Lissa Treiman

I love John Allison’s work, and I remember the original Giant Days miniseries as part of Scary-Go-Round and the transition period to Bad Machinery. My review of the Giant Days series is long overdue as it draws to an end.

Sarong Party Girls – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Pitched as another Crazy Rich Asians, I found this book quite poignant and a lot harsher than Crazy Rich Asians. I enjoyed it, but it clearly had some more important points to make than CRA and this came across.

Shadows of the Short Days – Alexander Dan Vilhjálmsson

I was so excited to read this book, having had the opportunity to read the first 5000 words when it was on submission when I interned at Gollancz. I was hooked then, and it’s even better now. I really enjoyed seeing the changes made through edits too! It’s a dark, heavy, brutal book, but so absorbing.

The Dragon Republic – R.F. Kuang

I’ve basically been waiting for this since I finished The Poppy War and it did not disappoint. Where The Poppy War stretched over several years without feeling baggy, this was a sequence of months, but it never felt rushed. Kuang is so good at what she does and I loved it.

Space Opera – Catherynne M. Valente

Do you want glitter, camp, and a love letter to Eurovision? This book is an utter delight of pyrotechnics and satire and it’s absolutely perfect.

New World Fairy Tales – Cassandra Parkin

This is a perfectly formed collection of reinterpretations of traditional Grimms’ fairytales, translated into modern American folklore. It’s quite magical and really ideal for a bitesize afternoon of otherworldly tales.

Unmarriageable – Soniah Kamal

Probably one of my favourite adaptations of Pride and Prejudice (which is a big claim), this relocates it to modern day Pakistan, and takes aim at societal pressures on women, double standards in society, religious piety, and also takes time to give more characterisation to figures who only got the barest of nods in the source text. It’s colourful and bold and wonderful.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow

If you want a magical, delicate book which looks at themes of identity, society, and thresholds, this is a great read. It’s actually quite perfect for autumn evenings because it talks about sunny climates but also feels like the old Sunday night family dramas the BBC used to do.

Just One Damned Thing After Another – Jodi Taylor

I discovered this through Netgalley after the publisher put the first book in the series up alongside the latest, and frankly I’m astounded I didn’t find it sooner. It’s like someone looked inside my brain and then wrote a book that hits every one of my favourite things.


Publishing Jargon-buster

I sometimes forget that the publishing industry has its own language, and find myself dropping jargon into conversations which is meaningless to most people I know. So I put together a directory of some of the terms which are common in publishing as a reference point.

Why do I need a Literary Agent?

Ever wondered what a literary agent actually does, and how they could help you get your book published? Check out this post for a quick overview of the value a literary agent can bring.

The Gollancz and Rivers of London BAME SFF Award

Gollancz announced this month that they have teamed up with author Ben Aaronovitch to find British BAME writers of SFF to help improve diversity in a genre that greatly lacks it. This post includes a link to the award, and recs of excellent SFF from BAME writers.

June and July Round-Up

If all these aren’t enough, here’s my posts from the two months previously!

Guest Posts

Over the last couple of months I have also contributed some guest blogs over at BookMachine!

BookMachine Unplugged: Talking MarComms

Back in July, BookMachine Unplugged hosted a panel with experts discussing how to market your books on a shoestring budget. This was particularly interesting for independent authors and indie presses who don’t have the budgets large publishing houses have for promoting their books.

BookMachine Meets… Bloomsbury

In a new series of events, BookMachine arranges talks with publishers to allow members to hear more about the nature of their work. This one took place at the Bloomsbury Institute on 19th September 2019.

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