Features

02/07/2014 by Nikesh Shukla
Nikesh Shukla's new novel, Meatspace, is a look at our online identities and what happens when they become more interesting than our real lives. Here he tells us about his online search for more Nikesh Shuklas.
01/07/2014 by M.P. Wright
My top five classic crime heroes have with the exception of one British writer seen me hark back to my passion for American noir. My extensive crime fiction library of books, collected over some 25 years is testament to my love of crime writing from all over the world, so why did the guys across the pond take up the largest portion of my five choices?    As a teenager I immersed myself in the writing of such wonderful English scribes such as Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Frederick Forsyth, Daniel Carney and the wonderful Callan writer, James Mitchell. I was 19 when I first read Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, entering Philip Marlowe’s dark and mysterious LA landscape of the 1950’s. As I dipped into the first chapter it was if Marlowe was speaking directly to me straight off the page. The writers below have all offered up the same kind of magic to me over the years. I’m drawn back to their lyrical but gritty prose like a moth to a flame... over and over again. 
30/06/2014 by Helen Giltrow
Author Helen Giltrow delves deeper into what makes a satisyfing ending. 
25/06/2014 by Stephen Bates
Stephen Bates is the author of The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor, the story of one of the last people to be executed in England - Dr William Palmer who was convicted in 1855 of murdering his best friend and suspecting of poisoning more than a dozen others. He tells us about his favourite true crime books. I’ve always been drawn to true crime stories. Fiction thrillers generally leave me cold, but it is the tension of a real-life crime – what happened to the victim and how the murderer was caught and tried, especially if there was an execution at the end, which always has me gripped. I trace it back to those historic crime feature spreads in the old Sunday Express which I read surreptitiously as a child. As a historian, I also like what the cases say about the societies in which they took place. The old George Orwell dictum works for me: “The murderer should be a little man of the professional class (going) astray through cherishing a guilty passion…he should plan it all with the utmost cunning and only slip up over some tiny, unforeseeable detail…” 
25/06/2014 by Toni Marques
Toni Marques was born in Rio in 1964 and is the co-editor of The Book of Rio, a book of short stories about Rio from Comma Press. He is also the curator of FLUPP, the first and only international literary festival hosted by shantytown communities in Brazil. Here he gives his recommendations of where to start with books from Brazil.   
24/06/2014 by Lizzie Enfield
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote: “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” In that sense my new novel was written  - or rewritten – to get even with the thieves who broke into our home last year, stealing my laptop, computer and the memory sticks, which contained the completed first draft. I had no other back up, so you can imagine how I felt, initially. But I decided to rise above it; rewrite the book, make it better and turn the break-in to my advantage. I’ve thanked the thieves in my acknowledgments. That said, revenge in fiction serves the plot best when it’s a little less forgiving.  The following are my favorite examples of revenge served in print and at temperatures ranging from cold to room temperature.  
23/06/2014 by Anna James
The winners of this year's Carnegie and Kate Greenaway awards have just been announced. Kevin Brooks has won the Carnegie for The Bunker Diary and Jon Klassen has won the Greenaway for This is Not My Hat. We chatted to them about their books and winning such a prestigious award. 
18/06/2014 by Sharon Maas
Author Sharon Maas is the great-gread-grandaughter of a man whose signature on a stamp meant it sold for £5.6 million this week. She tells us about the story of the stamp and how its inspired her new novel, The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q.
17/06/2014 by Anna Thayer
The inevitable has come to pass - season four of Game of Thrones has come to an end. To add insult to injury, there’s still no sign of the next book. So... what next?Fantasy is an umbrella term for an enormous spectrum of work, reflecting the myriad tastes and ages of its readers. Any Top Five list is going to make what, to some, are glaring omissions – Anne McCaffrey, Stephen Lawhead, David Eddings, Karen Hancock, Lloyd Alexander, Robert Zelazny, Marion Zimmer-Bradley, Robin Hobb, Jonathan Stroud, Katherine Kurtz, Robert E. Howard, Neil Gaiman, Susan Cooper, Robert Jordan, Lord Dunsany... Even this cunning list tactic can’t cover them all.So, if the books included in this Top Five list don’t seem like something for you, don’t despair: for broad are the gates of faerie, and many are the realms to explore therein.
17/06/2014 by Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter, with Terry Pratchett, is the author of The Long Mars, the third book in the Long Earth series. Set in 2040, a huge Yellowstone eruption has caused the population to flee to the myriad Long Earth worlds. Stephen tells us about his favourite interplanetary novels.

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