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Showing posts from March, 2015

When The Cat's Away [Review: Gone]

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I previously reviewed The Speed Of Dark, Elizabeth Moon's near-future novel about adults with autism, here. As this week is World Autism Awareness Week I've chosen to review another novel featuring a character with autism: Gone by Michael Grant.

Suddenly and without warning or special effects of any kind, all the adults and over-15s living in Sam Temple's town Perdido Beach have disappeared. A mysterious barrier has also appeared around the town so no-one can leave or contact the outside world in any way. And there's more: Sam, and some of the other children have developed a range of superpowers, apparently before the disappearance.

Gone is the first book in Michael Grant's popular series of novels for young adults, set in a present-day world without adults. While the novel explores this scenario, introduces Sam and his companions and other less likeable children, and sets up a long list of mysteries to be revealed later in the series, it also explores some satisfyin…

"Steampunk Girl" Screening: London Independent Film Festival

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Some great news: "Steampunk Girl" is on the official selection for London Independent Film Festival 2015! This will be my second LIFF screening (the first was "2007" shown at LIFF 2012) and I'm really looking forward to being back. I'll post details of the screening and festival programme as soon as they become available.

Hi Honey, I'm Home [Review: The Bees]

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Flora 717 is born to a life of drudgery as a sanitation worker, the lowest caste in a walled, fascist Queendom where only a lucky few foragers and drones get to see the outside world. She's an outsider due to her abilities - she can literally talk, unlike the rest of her caste, she is intelligent and questioning, and she has ideas above her station - and if the guards or the Fertility Police don't stop her, she just might be the cause of a revolution one day. Yes, this is every YA dystopian novel scenario ever, rolled into one book - but Flora 717 is a bee, and just for once the scenario actually makes sense.
Laline Paull's novel follows in a great tradition of anthropomorphization - Animal Farm, Watership Down. There are one or two flights of fancy - the chambers of the beehive have doors and scent-coded floor panels, the police have visors and gauntlets, and the bees have a jet engine in their abdomen. This last might be a reference to the old idea of scientists being con…

St. Albans - Short Film Selection

St. Albans Film Festival website is live! The full programme is yet to be announced but they've published the short film selection here. Steampunk Girl will be screened in the Music Video event.