Day: 28/07/2014

“The Boy with the Porcelain Blade” by Den Patrick – A Review


(Gollancz, 320pp, pb £8.99/hb £20.00/eb £7.49)

This review was originally published in issue #252 of science-fiction magazine Interzone. You can buy back issues and subscribe to future issues at their shop.

When challenged, I usually describe myself as a lapsed fantasy fan, in much the same way as others might consider themselves lapsed Catholics. My journey into the world of genre started with the likes of J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis and Anne McCaffrey.

A large part of what ended up putting me off fantasy was a perceived lack of imagination within the confines of the genre itself. So you can see why Den Patrick’s “The Boy with the Porcelain Blade” appealed to me.

A fantasy in a renaissance-ish Italian setting, rather than the medieval western European model which has become so prevalent; it claims to offer something different. Which is a good starting point for a novel of any genre.

The shame of it, from this reader’s perspective, is that it fails to capitalise on that.


06 “This Woman’s Work” (Defiance season 2) [SPOILERS]


This episode marks the midpoint of Defiance‘s second season, and it’s safe to say that it has found its stride. I enjoyed the first season a lot, and I think I’m set to enjoy the second even more.

The reasons for that, in my opinion, is that it has mixed up its storylines well, and hasn’t been afraid of its own zaniness. Which is good, because that has always been where it has shone.

At this stage, though, we need to start seeing some weighty movement on the story front. And please less of Tommy sulking, or at least do something with it.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)