Three days of observations of the same Paris street. A mesmerising, poetic, futile and charming go at capturing everything that happens – more or less – in a single place over a short space of time. Makes you want to have a crack at the same thing yourself, which can only be a recommendation.
A sequel/companion to Martin’s Reacher Said Nothing; a year with Lee Child in the aftermath of writing Make Me (documented in the first book). This time the emphasis is less on process than on the contexts of bestselling fiction: publicity, signings, readerships, filming, travel. As before (!), a unique insight into writing life, being funny, deft but erudite, and engaging throughout. Recommended.
A destructive fungus of extraterrestrial origin threatens to escape underground storage. Pacy and frequently funny SF/horror that throws out a couple of genuine WTF moments while making you read fast enough to easily outrun any plausibility concerns. Lots of fun.
A troubled MI6 hacker finds evidence of a spy inside a top-secret military coding project. Zippy high-tech thriller with lots to recommend it – not least its protagonist, who has series potential – even if the third act wobbles a bit in comparison to earlier aspects of the book. Well worth the read though.
A documentary crew investigating mysteries associated with a remote Californian town find their sanities threatened. Excellent horror/thriller hybrid, with returning characters from the same author’s The Anomaly. As ever, Rutger/Marshall Smith is expert not only at persuading you of the impossible but in keeping those same horrors in the shadows. Recommended.
As a flu-like plague sweeps the world, a small number of sleepwalkers congregate to cross America. Pacy and with some fine characterisations, and a neat eye for contemporary America, the central conceits of this King/Crichton hybrid don’t quite hold. Well-written enough to keep pages turning though; a cautious recommendation.
A critical discussion of the 1982 John Carpenter remake, based on the short story Who Goes There? Billson supports the film’s then-still growing reputation, contextualises it to SF and horror cinema of the late 70s/early 80s, and plays with a Freudian reading. Lots of fun throughout.