Royals by Emma Forrest

Aaah the 80s. The decade we loved to hate and hated to love, with its fluoro, spandex, and shoulder pads, until it was brought back to coolness by the likes of Stranger Things, The Goldbergs or The Americans. Different times. Times of carefree materialism, decent airlines, groundbreaking bands and seasonal weather, a complete disregard for

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Bakersfield by Vanessa Bernice De La Cruz

The sunflowers were blooming somewhere far away and Belen sat in Tacos Mexico fantasizing about quitting her job. Again. Angel was in the bathroom. They were waiting for their food. Outside it sprinkled and someone was talking about dust storms. They were far from LA. Ok. Not too far. Maybe two hours. But the mountains

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Communion by Steve Stred

Communion by Steve Stred is the second book of an ongoing trilogy – book one was Ritual (which we reviewed here) and the second book starts pretty much where book one finished. This proposed trilogy of books by Stred is dark, brooding and graphic as hell, with Stred giving us a slice after slice of

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FILM REVIEW: Vivarium

vivarium /vʌɪˈvɛːrɪəm,vɪˈvɛːrɪəm/noun noun: vivarium; plural noun: vivaria an enclosure, container, or structure adapted or prepared for keeping animals under semi-natural conditions for observation or study or as pets; an aquarium or terrarium. I had to look up the meaning of Vivarium before watching Lorcan Finnegan’s second feature film, as due to Marvel’s dominance over the

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What If A Leopard Could Change Its Spots? by Hannah Storm

She’s flicking through one of those animal encyclopaedias, the kind you get heavily discounted in the run up to Christmas, and then even cheaper before New Year, the kind nobody is ever going to pay full price for. ‘Do you think I should keep this one, Mum?’ she asks. ‘I mean, it was a present.

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I Came To Disappear by Barry Marshall

In the darkness, your hands outstretched before you, you are falling through eternity. Focus. Deep breath and hold. Release. Focus. You are perfectly alone and alone is perfect. The comforting veil of darkness becomes scratched with pinpricks of light. Soon the images will come. Focus. A shrill cry of surprise. He drowsily unfurled his hands

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Moonlight, Gunshot, Mallet, Flame by Alicia Hilton

I’ve not read Alicia Hilton’s work before but after this short outing in Demain Publishing’s ‘Short Sharp Shocks!’ series this is something I am going to have to remedy – and double time. Hilton delivers two stunning short stories that are each beautifully woven together, the first, and the title story has us at the

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Encouragement by Harrison Kim

Jackson flows around the streets in a long black cloak that edges right down to his feet. His halo of black and grey hair holds up a dark cowl. At every corner he crawls on his knees and sweeps up the dirt and litter with his bare hands and drops it in a bag he

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The Almost Mothers by Laura Besley

It’s hard to be a mother. You don’t really study for it. You can’t tell people: I have BA in mothering with honours. That might be why some mothers feel so inadequate. Or why some others feel the need to get validation from others. Or why some fall apart. No book or NCT course will

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Nothing on Earth by Conor O’Callaghan

It is early evening when a dishevelled and terrified twelve year old girl bangs on the door of a middle aged Irish priest. Her father has disappeared and we immediately find ourselves sharing the narrator’s intense anxiety. Conor O’ Callaghan’s first novel, Nothing on Earth, is a Gothic tale set in a barren half built

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