The Hope and Imagined Slights are now in the shops, looking all handsome and available. Also just published is a new anthology edited by Peter Crowther, Mars Probes, to which I have contributed a story called ‘Out Of The Blue, Into The Red’. This one’s a US paperback but you can get it off Amazon UK no problem. The theme is, of course, the Red Planet, and my fellow contributors include such illustrious souls as Stephen Baxter, Paul Di Filippo, Michael Moorcock, Eric Brown, and some bloke called Bradbury.

My book recommendation of the moment (other than any of the above) is The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, the tale of an Indian boy who survives a shipwreck, only to find himself stuck on a lifeboat with an untamed Bengal tiger. The blurb promises that this is a story that will make you believe in God. It didn’t quite manage to nudge this particular agnostic off the fence, but it is a wonderful, visionary, exquisitely detailed and formulated novel. As a change from page-turners, which exist solely, it seems, to be finished and dispensed with, here is a book which you won’t want to end.

My music recommendation of the moment is Bowie’s newie, Heathen. It’s the first album from him in a while that makes you want to listen to it again and again and get to know it intimately. More than just a return to form, it’s a truly great piece of work.

Last but not least, I have been promoted at The Alien Online from jobbing comics reviewer to full-blown critic/columnist, with my own contributor’s cache and everything! Look up “Panel Beating” on the site. There you will find me and my not always temperate opinions.

Hooray for summer!

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• Filed under News • 28/06/2002 •