Saturday 5 April 2014

Six Degrees of Separation

Really intrigued by the idea of this new meme being set up by Emma Chapman and Annabel Smith, so thought I'd give it a go. Rules here, if you want to join in.

The starting point today is Burial Rites, which I haven't actually read, but why let that stop me?

Burial Rites was one of the first books to be swapped at my first ever book swap, which I went to last week in Foyles - a fabulous event which I'd definitely recommend!

Sadly I wasn't able to swap anything myself at the event- I took a copy of Phil Rickman's masterful horror story December. I somehow failed to do a good enough job of selling the audience on this one, which is a shame, as I'd loved to have passed it onto someone else for them to experience this hugely chilling read. Following the members of a band who split up after a terrible occurrence when they're recording at a ruined abbey on the same night that John Lennon is murdered across the Atlantic, it's a terrifying tale.

December isn't one I'd normally have tried myself, to be honest, but I couldn't pass it up as I'm a massive fan of Rickman's current Dr Dee series, about Elizabethans Dr John Dee and Robert Dudely. This fabulous pairing are one of my favourite fictional duos of recent years. I'd definitely recommend The Bones of Avalon to all fans of historical fiction!

Doctor Dee gets a very different, but just as intriguing, portrayal in Gwenda Bond's marvellous Blackwood, a stunning adventure story which takes in the mystery of what happened to colonists in Roanoke centuries ago.

Blackwood is published by the superb Strange Chemistry, who publish so many fabulous books, including Rosie Best's Skulk. This tale of shape shifters in modern day London is one of the best books I've read at matching up fantasy aspects to the characters' real world problems.

And another of the best I've read at that is The City's Son by Tom Pollock - which, coincidentally, was the book I was desperate to obtain at the book swap mentioned in the first paragraph!

Have you done Six Degrees of Separation? Where did your links take you?


  1. This is a great post! Thanks for the Recs for Phil Rickman, I love historical fiction and horror so they look like great reads! Also I'm quite intrigued by Skulk, Fantasy is just my favourite genre and Urban Fantasy is quickly becoming a favourite of mine! So many books to read, so little time!

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

    1. Skulk is superb, I'm NOT that big of a UF fan myself but it's brilliantly done. Looking forward to the next in the series. And if you're a historical fiction and horror fan you need to read Rickman ASAP!

  2. Hi Jim, thanks so much for joining in. What is a book swap? I'm intrigued. I'm not familiar with any of the books in your chain. I'm too much of a sissy to read horror but I do like a bit of speculative fiction and will have to check out Strange Chemistry.

    1. Thanks for coming up with such a brilliant meme, Annabel! At a book swap people take along a book and try to swap it with others by telling them why they should read it and making offers for their book. Really good fun!

      And yes, if you're a spec fan, SC are must-read. Skulk, Blackwood, Pantomime/Shadowplay by Laura Lam and Shift/Control by Kim Curran probably the best books they have out, but I think everything they publish is at least worth a look.