Abstract (Executive Summary)

Let us posit the following statement: ‘Our current systems of governance were designed for earlier centuries and are no longer fit for purpose.’ Sustainable replacement of a governing system relies on the acceptance of that system by the governed and, to earn that, the new system must be better for a minimum of the majority. The status quo is never immutable but, in popular psychology, most people continue to adhere to what has always been done because change requires thought and individuals are risk-adverse with anything as important as their whole society. Accredited philosophers, fiction writers and…


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A runcing light spoils my book, the bulb decaying to orange and split-crackling for attention. Discharge throes of the silent electrical world around me. We’re deep in the night, the bulb, the novel and I, with no shops open. We persist, nosing closer to the page. My glasses make no difference at this range, so off they come and of course there’s a thumb print to find in the morning. A coffee ring on the cover, which wasn’t me, fifty years old if it’s a second’s error. Why do so many things go wrong? This is too hard. Make a…


There are a few passages in this book that would be of interest an impartial audience (anyone not swept along by liberty campaigns). If it was just about comedy though, I think it would have appealed to a much broader readership. There is an overwhelming proportion of content to emphasise Graham Chapman defining himself by the attribute of gayness (with a pipe), at the expense of defining himself by his comedy writing and performance talents. Is it just me that thinks of him as a great comedian first and doesn’t care what he did when he went home?

The first…


Exodus is a militarised science fiction adventure in which Earth has an aggressive alien infestation and the only hope for the people is to get away on an ark-type spaceship that will voyage to a planet orbiting a distant star (who knows if the aliens might be in possession when they land?). This is the first book in the series, so covers the last stand, launch and first near-Earth challenge.

Exodus is the perfect word for what the humans are doing but I think what hasn’t been taken into consideration is the sheer number of sci-fi books that already use…


“Would you reach in the drawer there and give me my purse. A girl doesn’t read this sort of thing without her lipstick.”

When someone asks “have you ever read a book that made you cry?”, well yes, this is the one. It leaves you streaming like meadows, darling. If someone wonders if there is any iconic film and novel are so equally superb that you can’t say which is better, it’s right here. What a trip. I’ve read this twice.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is Truman Capote’s scintillating masterpiece, the perfect antidote to the green meanies and the greatest American…


This book was entertaining, informative and had a firm Neil Gaiman influence on it. The sagas I’m aware of from Norse mythology… (my saga: read something by Magnus Magnusson which began a brief journey of discovery but side-tracked into first Teutonic through Donald A. Mackenzie, then back to Icelandic Codex Regius which I didn’t finish and then back to Norse, but I got lost somewhere in the ice fields of Permia and called it a day)… aren’t normally as compact as these stories, which are more efficiently A to B, in self-fulfilling compartments and with very few kennings like the…


I thought I’d cheer myself up by discovering what I was told is a landmark troupe of comedy history. The mistake I made was watching a DVD of the Not The Nine O’Clock News TV series directly before reading the spin-off book. Although Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys-Jones and the editor and director John Lloyd all had stellar careers in humour, I could then see the book for what it was, a spin-off cash grab with no clever new material added — i.e. …


For anyone who thinks Virgil is a character off Thunderbirds, this august work is a touch more distinguished than that and takes about 9.5 hours to read, if you don’t bother with the foreword, so expect something equivalent to tackling the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are two caveats to this association because (a) although both are unconsolidated stories with lots of side-tracking, The Aeneid as a novel isn’t as well written a fantasy as LOTR — I’m not a Tolkien nerd but am resolute in that opinion — and (b) you will never receive the full effect of…


This book will genuinely repay you for the time you spend sourcing and reading it. It is a gothic quest story, which the author says is based on The Jabberwocky nonsense poem (Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll, 1871), but most reviewers have not been aware of the deep Mervyn Peake influence at work here.

In both this book and Peake’s gorgeous novel Titus Groan, a young lordling comes of age in an ancient castle that observes time-honoured nonsensical rituals, which are cycled through unquestioned like the positions on a clock face. The youth doesn’t accept his fate as a…


After finishing this book I feel like my objectivity as a reviewer is being tested. The thing is, a hundred thousand people like this book a lot, it has a 4 star plus average rating and then a film studio invested heavily in a cinema version. It is undeniable that there is peer pressure to go along with the crowd and award it five stars — but is that only because other people treasure it?

My subjective, personal impression (one person’s view) is that this is a 369 page info-dump. It a maths, physics, biology and chemistry guidebook on how…

Faith Jones

Reviewer, Editor, Mars colony volunteer

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