A Reference Book Ian Likes: The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction (1978)

First things first, this isn’t an actual or proper encyclopaedia. It’s a collection of essays that each detail a particular aspect of the history and make-up of Science Fiction. But it’s lavishly illustrated and features a fairly comprehensive list of magazines and awards relevant to the field as well as a chronology of movies that … Continue reading A Reference Book Ian Likes: The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction (1978)

A Trilogy Ian Likes: Helliconia by Brian Aldiss

Helliconia is an unremarkable planet. Its primary orbit is around Batalix, with a year equal to about 480 Earth days. But Batalix is in an irregular orbit around Freyr, a larger star. This orbit causes some unusual fluctuations in Helliconia’s climate, with the result that it experiences a second year, which the inhabitants refer to … Continue reading A Trilogy Ian Likes: Helliconia by Brian Aldiss

A Novel Ian Likes: Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle

Ash is an orphan girl who has become the leader of a respected mercenary company in late 15th Century Europe. Her company enjoys its success because of the “voices” in her head. These voices advise her on battle tactics and strategy. While other women might be taken as being insane, Ash is seen as touched … Continue reading A Novel Ian Likes: Ash: A Secret History by Mary Gentle

A Novel Ian Likes: King Of Morning, Queen Of Day by Ian McDonald

Emily is the daughter of a scientist considered… eccentric… by his peers. She also believes that she can communicate with faeries. Jessica is a free spirit confined to a drab world of work and home; she gets caught up with a young man she thinks is a member of the IRA but is in fact … Continue reading A Novel Ian Likes: King Of Morning, Queen Of Day by Ian McDonald

A Novel Ian Likes: The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

Grace Melbury was promised to Giles Winterbourne by her father when they were both very young. Giles has held true to this promise, but Grace’s father has realised that in making Grace “worthy” of Giles, she has been educated far beyond the station of a tenant farmer. Giles accepts that Grace does not deserve the … Continue reading A Novel Ian Likes: The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

A Series Ian Likes: The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay

Caius Crispus, known as Crispin, is a mosaicist, mourning his family after their deaths in a recent outbreak of plague. His friend and mentor, Martinian, has been summoned to the city of Sarantium to work on a project for Emperor Valerius. He does not want to go and sends Crispin in his place. But Crispin … Continue reading A Series Ian Likes: The Sarantine Mosaic by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Novel Ian likes: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

Snake is a healer in a post-apocalyptic landscape. She travels with a small amount of vital equipment but most of her healing is done with the aid of three genetically-engineered snakes; two - a cobra and a rattlesnake – are of earthly origin but the third, Grass, is an alien creature about which little is … Continue reading A Novel Ian likes: Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre

A Novel Ian Likes: Legend by David Gemmell

The Nadir are on the rise. The fractious northern tribes have been united under one ruler – Ulric – and he is marching them south, conquering every country in his path. Only the fortress of Dros Delnoch stands between him and the Drenai nation. It’s undermanned, poorly maintained and run by a dying duke and … Continue reading A Novel Ian Likes: Legend by David Gemmell

A Novel Ian Likes: Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad

Jack Barron hosts a phone-in talk show. He’s one of the hottest stars on television. But his personal life is a mess; his marriage has collapsed, he doesn’t appear to have any kind of goal or aim that he wants to achieve, and all he worries about are his ratings. But one night someone rings … Continue reading A Novel Ian Likes: Bug Jack Barron by Norman Spinrad