Author Archive for Derelict Space Sheep

A Morbid Taste for Bones

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Ellis Peters (Macmillan, 1977); audiobook read by Johanna Ward (Blackstone, 1996) More notable for its elegant prose and depiction of the Welsh people (High Middle Ages) than its rather slight mystery. Brother Cadfael is immensely likeable but doesn’t so much investigate matters as discern the ineffable truth and nudge events along. Audiobook recommended.  …

The Brisbane Line

The Brisbane Line by Hugh MacMaster (Rockhampton, 2000); audiobook read by Graham Webster (QNS Audio, 2002 A locally produced account of Australia’s controversial Second World War defence strategy and the historical circumstances from which it arose. MacMaster succeeds admirably in detailing Australia’s war efforts and providing the global context of military mismanagement, clandestine manoeuvring and self-interested political short-sightedness.    

Exiles of ColSec

Exiles of ColSec by Douglas Hill (Victor Gollancz, 1984) At bit clumsy at the outset and rushed in its conclusion, but otherwise an exciting piece of middle-grade SF. Hill moves from a plausible near-future dystopia into a story of castaway survival on a new planet. Distinctive characters, decent representation, accomplished world-building.    

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake (Little, Brown & Company, 2019) Not quite at the same level as Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World—the conflicts are a little more forced, the resolutions more predictable—but still a highly engaging middle-grade exploration of family, friendship, first love and identity. Serious yet gently uplifting.