Put Your Ass [Where Your Heart Wants To Be], by Steven Pressfield (Sarsaparilla Media, 2022)

Another of Pressfield’s motivational books on creativity and overcoming barriers to getting work done, this time prioritising focus, place, and effort. The same but different: core messages from Pressfield’s other books are repeated, but the effect is cumulative. Plenty for those who think they’re struggling to be creative to reflect on.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Aurora, by David Koepp (HQ Books, 2022)

After solar flares take out the world’s electricity, trouble strikes a woman estranged from her billionaire brother. Ungainly mix of post-apocalypse SF and assholes-after-bag-of-money thriller. The former is very much dialled down to give focus, but the genre mashup doesn’t really work: the plot doesn’t need its context. That said, it’s pacy and kinda works, even though the book feels like a movie script in waiting rather than a novel.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Doctor Who: The Eaters of Light, by Rona Munro (BBC Books, 2022)

The Twelfth Doctor, Bill, and Nardole find themselves north of Hadrian’s Wall, where Picts and Romans are in conflict. A very solid novelization, with the space to breathe that its TV progenitor didn’t quite have. Author (and original screenwriter) Munro’s affiliation with the subject – and inspirations such as Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth – shines through.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii, by James Moran (BBC Books, 2022)

The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble find themselves in a Roman city overlooked by a volcano. Zippy novelisation of Moran’s own television script from 2008. Effectively translates the TV episode to short novel length without resorting to padding. Some good jokes along the way too. Fun for fans, and accessible as an entry point.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

The Mars Challenge: The Past, Present, and Future of Human Spaceflight, by Alison Wilgus & Wyeth Yates (First Second, 2020)

A student and mentor discuss the logistics of a crewed mission to Mars. Detailed and accessible, this graphic novel-style approach usefully dramatizes some key questions and explains how difficult it is to mount a deep space mission. Topics range from dealing with Mars gravity to the practicalities of maintaining life support systems and mental health over long voyages. Useful and informative: recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.

Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight, by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm (Hill and Wang, 2019)

The story of the Apollo 11 moon mission, juxtaposed with a history of human engagements with the moon. An excellent graphic novel retelling, finding ways to add new detail and texture to a well-known story. Clear on the contexts of Apollo, and of its relationships to wider US society, while drawing on mission logs for authenticity. Recommended.

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My own books are here, if that’s your thing. Newest is noir thriller East of England.