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Gary Dalkin

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…is a freelance editor, writing consultant and story structure expert. To find out more, including hiring me to work on your writing project, read my profile or visit my website, To The Last Word.

 

Interview (Part 2): Nina Allan On Her Debut Novel, The Race

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Welcome to the second part of an extensive interview with, Nina Allan who over the last decade has established herself as one of the UK’s most imaginative and compelling writers. This time we discuss some of the more the specifically science fictional aspects of her debut novel, The Race, as well as maps, Hastings, the best vampire film in years, fracking, politics, the planet, language, communication and much more.

Interview (Part 1): Nina Allan On Her Debut Novel, The Race

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Over the last decade Nina Allan has established herself as one of the UK’s most imaginative and compelling writers. In this extensive two part interview she talks to Gary Dalkin for Amazing Stories about a wide range of subjects, including her debut novel, The Race.

Hello Summer, Goodbye – After The Blockbusters, After The Hugos Have...

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Gary Dalkin looks back on the state of science fiction as another summer of massive budget SF and fantasy spectacles draws to a close. It seems this summer may have been a little better than those of late. The latest Michael Bay atrocity aside, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Godzilla received enthusiastic receptions and almost everyone loved Guardians of the Galaxy, which achieved the near impossible feat of pleasing fans, delighting general audiences and entering the popular culture as a new phenomenon in its own right.

The Goldfinch As Science Fiction

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No, this is not a review of The Goldfinch, but a look at the way Tartt’s novel might be read as an accidental sort of science fiction. ... Clearly Donna Tartt had no intention of writing a science fiction novel. There is nothing in the plot of The Goldfinch which is science-fictional. In fact it is the absence of anything science-fictional which is so striking, given that almost half the book is set in the near future.

Review: Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer

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Robert J. Sawyer is a multi-award winning Canadian author who needs little introduction. Rollback, his 17th novel, originally published in 2007, is set mainly in Toronto in 2047. There are also substantial sections set in 2009, when the first extra-terrestrial message is received on earth, and during the years leading-up to the arrival of that message. Key to both periods is Dr Sarah Halifax, radio astronomer and tenured professor...

Retrospective – Spielberg & Kubrick’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence

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In 2001 I wrote that A.I. was more successful as a fable that as pure SF, a film to be seen and argued over, which in the current climate of mindless special effects dominated action fodder made it easy to over-rate.

Review: Horror Films by Colin Odell & Michelle Le Blanc

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Horror Films makes a democratic survey of the entire global output of horror cinema, and unlike most books gives due weight to the pre-talkie era.

Time Out’s ‘100 Best Sci-Fi Films’

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This week the UK London listings and entertainment guide Time Out published part of an on-going series of genre by genre features on the 100 Best Films. The current one is ‘The 100 best sci-fi movies’. Gary Dalkin takes a look...

Retrospective: A Minority Verdict Against Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report

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Upon release in 2002 the film Minority Report, nominally based on a story by Philip K. Dick, received almost universally ecstatic reviews. I was among the minority of dissenting voices, and what follows, my minority retort

‘The Birds Is Coming’ (Again) and Rebecca Too

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Considering the forthcoming new film adaptations of Daphne du Maurier's The Birds and Rebecca, and the shadow of Alfred Hitchcock...

Review: Echoes From The Macabre: Selected Stories, by Daphne du Maurier

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Gary Dalkin reviews Daphne du Maurier's 1976 collection Echoes From The Macabre: Selected Stories. Which as the title suggests, is a reprint collection focusing on some of du Maurier’s more horrific tales.

Don’t Look Now at The Birds: A Visit to du Maurier...

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Don't Look Now, The Birds, Rebecca, Jamaica Inn - adventures from the dark heart of du Maurier country...

Review: Rollerball Blu-ray (Twilight Time edition)

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Post fall of communism, with governments subservient to corporate paymasters, Rollerball seems like a much greater, more prescient, film now than the one I originally saw back in 1976. Today Rollerball surely stands as one of the most underrated films of the 1970s and one of the most thought-provoking and rewarding SF films ever made.

Award Winners: Nova Swing by M. John Harrison

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Nova Swing (2006) won both the Arthur C. Clarke and the Philip K. Dick Awards and was nominated for the Campbell and British Fantasy Awards. Gary Dalkin looks back at this true space oddity.

Award Winners: Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

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Rainbows End (2006) won the Hugo and Locus Awards for best novel and was nominated for the Prometheus Award. Sad to say there’s no pot of gold awaiting the reader at the end.

Award Winners: Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

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One night a few years from now the stars go out ...almost from when it was first published Robert Charles Wilson's Hugo Award-winning Spin remains one of the finest hard SF novels of the new millennium.

Star Wars and the EU

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All was well until Lucas sold to Disney

Review: Hairy London by Stephen Palmer

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A great quest with a deadline opens this homage to Victorian/Edwardian adventures.

Review: It’s ONLY Rocket Science by Lucy Rogers

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A review of a primer on spaceflight - suggested reading for would-be chroniclers of the space age

Review – La Femme, edited by Ian Whates

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A review of La Femme, Noir's companion anthology

Review – Noir, edited by Ian Whates

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This all started out as a single simple project, but, as so often happens, the concept evolved. The initial idea was to publish a collection of stories, each featuring a femme fatale, but on reflection that seemed too restrictive...

Review – The Moon King by Neil Williamson

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The Moon King Review: Ultimately The Moon King is a fairytale for adults, which requires you to accept it for what it is. It is also that rare thing, a modern fantasy novel with a beginning, a middle, an end and a purpose.

Retrospective – Stephen King’s Carrie Turns 40

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April 5 marked the 40th anniversary of the original US publication of Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie. Writing that makes me feel old. Not...

Review – Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi

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Gary Dalkin reviews the novel that gave the author of Old Man's War - John Scalzi - his start.

Review – The Shelter & The Other Room by James Everington

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Two reviews in one as Gary Dalkin takes us in to the worlds of horror and the weird and reviews a novella and a short story collection by James Everington.

Interview – James Everington

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Gary Dalkin interviews a new master of Horror, author of The Other Room, Falling Over and The Shelter.

Review – The Fictional Man by Al Ewing

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Niles Golan is an ex-pat Brit in Hollywood. Never grown-up, he narrates his life with an internal monologue transforming his everyday inadequacies into triumphs....

Review – The Kings of Eternity by Eric Brown

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The Kings of Eternity is a novel with one foot happily in the mainstream and one in genre. As such it is a book which may baffle those who don’t 'get it'; a novel written unapologetically for those of us who have grown-up with genre fiction but have also read and appreciate ‘literary’ fiction.

Interview – Jonathan Oliver

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Gary Dalkin interviews one of the hardest working editors in the UK - Jonathan Oliver

Review – The Fictional Man by Al Ewing (Solaris, 2013)

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The Fictional Man, published by UK imprint Solaris, is based on an impossible conceit, one of those high concept movie-friendly ideas where one aspect of reality is altered from our world but things continue just the same. Absurd, but depending on how well it’s done we buy into it for the duration. Here it is generally very well done. Al Ewing is a breathtakingly clever writer and his conceit is that human cloning was perfected decades ago but then outlawed because everyone is entitled to their own unique identity.