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.

The Nice House on the Lake, Volume 1, by James Tynion IV, Alvaro Martinez Bueno & Jordie Bellaire (DC Comics, 2022)

A group of thirty-somethings united by a common friend find themselves invited to a remote house to sit out the apocalypse. Lost-ish group drama that’s strong on WTF moments and on asking lots of questions. Told with its writer’s usual confidence: it’ll be fascinating to see where this is going. Issues 1-6 collected here.

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

The Seeds, by Ann Nocenti & David Aja (Berger Books, 2020)

A near-future dystopia: aliens are collecting samples while the planet faces ecological catastrophe; a reporter investigates. Ambitious mini-series (a four-issue run anthologised here) that’s theme-heavy though not always fully engaging on a pure story level. That said, there’s some swagger in the execution, plus odd moments will linger. Worth sampling yourself at least.

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

Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion, by Jenny T Colgan (BBC Books, 2018)

It’s Christmas, there’s an invasion of earth ongoing and Rose is coping with a new – and possibly dying – Doctor. The first festive episode of the revived veteran SF/fantasy series – and the debut of David Tennant – is here novelized in a brisk and efficient way, capably expanded to a short novel without any sense of padding. Fun for fans, basically.

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

Doctor Who: The Crimson Horror, by Mark Gatiss (Target Books, 2021)

People are going missing in 1893 Bradford: Madam Vastra and Jenny Flint investigate. A zesty novelisation of Gatiss’s own 2013 Doctor Who episode (with another story recounting Jenny’s first meeting with the eleventh Doctor). Every opportunity for Victorian pastiche, name-checking and in-jokes – both historical and Whovian – has full advantage taken. Plenty of brisk fun, basically.

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

IND-XED, by Fraser Campbell, Lucy Sullivan & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou (no publisher indicated, 2020)

A young woman is ostracised via a totalitarian governmental marking scheme: she runs. Smart dystopian one-shot rendered in noir-ish visuals with lettering to match. Gets in, gets out, doesn’t mess except with your head: the kind of project that the likes of Kickstarter/Indiegogo were made for.

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

Sentient, by Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Walter & Steve Wands (TKO Studios, 2019)

After an attempted insurrection, children of colonists-to-be must crew their vessel, supported only by their AI. Straightforward but effective deep space adventure, focusing on parenthood and grief as much as on SF action dramatics. Six issues anthologised here in a great-looking book.

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

I Killed Adolf Hitler, by Jason (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)

A hitman is hired to travel back to 1938 via time machine to kill Hitler. Deadpan SF black comedy in the author/illustrator’s signature style, which deftly explores the potential for complications in the premise. There’s depth in the approach; appreciating the deceptiveness of the apparent simplicity of Jason’s work is part of the pleasure.

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

 

Alien 3: The Unproduced Screenplay, by William Gibson, Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain (Dark Horse, 2019)

Hicks, Newt, Ripley and Bishop are rescued after the events of Aliens; however, a xenomorph has also survived. Gibson’s unused – and very respectful of the series -screenplay is given a sprightly rendering as a graphic novel. An interesting sidenote to the wider franchise, and a fun SF/horror adventure in its own right.

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