Entries by Thomas

Fire Boy Extract: Roadside Picnic

Extract from Fire Boy by Sami Shah. These things happen. They happen all the time, in fact. And they care not a whit whether we believe in them. What happened to the two men on their drive back from a village in the interior of Sind, for example, really did take place. Tariq and Parvez […]

What We’re Reading: Starfish

TDW: I don’t even know what to tell you about Starfish except that it’s gorgeous. But I’ll try my best. Starfish is bad-shit crazy I mean, it’s really depressing and scary and gross and unhappy and has never-ending levels of crazy but it’s also gorgeous. Just not cute-little-baby gorgeous. Blindsight and Echopraxia, Peter Watts‘ most recent books, […]

Fire Boy Extract: The Fare

Extract from Fire Boy by Sami Shah, in both audio and written versions. These stories always happen to someone’s cousin’s brother’s nephew. Muzammil Bangash was, unfortunately for him, just that. His entire family – all the cousins and brothers and uncles included – lived in the same tiny village in Pakistan’s north, in the shadow […]

The Monsters We Keep

Essay by Sami Shah My monsters are different from yours. I’m talking about true monsters, the things that exist only in the thinnest moments before sleep, or just as you enter a dark room and can’t find the light switch, even though your hand is pressed against the place on the wall where it should […]

What We’re Reading: Children of Time

TDW: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of those books I saw on Amazon popping up, but I never saw any coverage on social media or other outlets. Instead I read a single review on Goodreads by someone I followed that sold me immediately. It’s really quite crazy how much more important word of mouth […]

What We’re Reading: The Traitor

TDW: I don’t often read fantasy, but this was certainly an exception. It isn’t swords and sorcery, just swords. And pikes. And chemical warfare. In a word, it’s grimdark, easily my favourite branch of fantasy. In case you don’t know, grimdark fantasy gets its name from Warhammer 40,000, where, ‘In the grim darkness of the far […]

Writing Lessons from … Narcos

TDW: Welcome to the first edition of Fantastica’s Writing Lessons, where we take examples of writing from popular media. Today we’re looking at Narcos, a Netflix original TV show. What can we learn from the story of Columbian narcos and the American agents sent to stop them?

Nexhuman Afterword

TDW: Exciting news, everyone. We have just re-released Livid by Francesco Verso as Nexhuman! This means a revised jacket and a new afterword written by Jana Vizmuller-Zocco, which you can read below. And don’t for get you can now get Nexhuman from your favourite retailer.

What We’re Reading: The Dark Forest

TDW: Let me start by saying that The Dark Forest, next instalment by Liu Cixin, represents everything I love about sci-fi, and why sci-fi is the greatest. Specifically, it has intrigue, great technology, serious ‘oh fuck’ moments and, most importantly, teaches us about love and humanity. It was a riveting read, and a perfect sequel to The Three […]

Worldbuilding, But Not As You Know It

TDW: Science fiction and videogames go hand-in-hand. Worldbuilding is thus vital. Fantastic future worlds are the perfect places to run and gun and kill bug-eyed aliens. In fact the immense worldbuilding in videogames has spawned writing in the forms of novels, such as the Halo series. It’s truly the worldbuilding of videogames that is so strong and […]