Body in the Woods by Sarah Lotz
Horror , NewCon Press , Sarah Lotz / August 17, 2017

One foul night while her husband is away, an old friend turns up on Claire’s doorstep and begs for her help. She knows she should refuse, but she owes him. Despite her better judgement, Claire finds herself helping to bury something in the woods. The question is, will it stay buried, and can Claire live with the knowledge of what she has done? I’ll begin with an admission. I was late to the party when it came to The Three by Sarah Lotz. Once I read it though, I quickly realised I was going to be a fan of her work. I devoured Day Four, it was also superb. Since then, the prospect of a new title by this author has filled me with a near uncontrollable glee. Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Sarah Lotz’ latest novella from NewCon Press, and the good news is that it’s another masterclass in storytelling. There is something endlessly fascinating about watching a character unravel. Claire starts this story content with her life. After years of uncertainty she has settled down and is happy with her lot. When an old friend appears unexpectedly she quickly finds her life, and…

Across The Event Horizon by Mercurio D Rivera
NewCon Press , Sci-Fi / June 12, 2013

Mercurio D Rivera has been tipped as ‘the next big thing’ by critics and readers alike.  He first burst onto the scene in 2006 with “Longing for Langalana”. Featured in Interzone, “Langalana” won the magazine’s readers’ poll for best story of that year and became the first of many pieces to gain honourable mention in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best anthology.  Since then, Mercurio’s work has appeared regularly in Interzone, as well as such venues as Asimov’s, Nature, Black Static, and Solaris Rising 2.  In 2010, his story “Tu Sufrimiento Shall Protect Us” was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award and gained honourable mention in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Horror.  Across the Event Horizon contains the very best of Mercurio’s work to date; fourteen stories selected by the author himself, including “Langalana” and “Tu Sufrimiento”. I don’t read a massive amount of science fiction but when Newcon Press got in touch and offered me the opportunity to check out this collection of short stories by Mercurio D Rivera I had to admit I was intrigued. I thought I’d give it a go. Fourteen stories, there was bound to be something that piqued my interest… Turns out I may have under-estimated just a little, this is an utterly splendid collection from beginning to end….

Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith
Kim Lakin-Smith , NewCon Press , Sci-Fi / February 3, 2012

Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there’s only one choice. Run away with the circus…  Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk’s drab lives. None more so than escaped courtesan turned-dancer Desirous Nim. When Nim’s freedom and her very life are threatened, Hellequin is forced to fight again. But, even united, will the weird troupe and their strange skills be enough to save Nim and keep their home aloft? That’s assuming, of course, that Zan City’s Blood Worms, mute stowaways, or the swarms don’t manage to bring them down first… Welcome to the greatest show on Sore Earth! Last year I read Tourniquet and thoroughly enjoyed the author’s iconoclastic take on a neo-gothic future Nottingham. Based on that experience, I made a promise to myself that I would definitely read Kim Lakin-Smith’s next novel when it was published. I’m embarrassed to say that due to other commitments I…

Myth Understandings edited by Ian Whates
Fantasy , Ian Whates , NewCon Press / November 5, 2010

This weeks post is written by Sam (@SamaelTB). He has kindly provided his thoughts on Myth Understandings. I just want to take an opportunity to thank him. For me the measure of a short story is really whether it’s a story at all. So many feel like prologues to novels or just don’t make sense in isolation. Others seem to feel it’s okay for to skip out on character development or feel the need to hint at a massively complex world that leaves the reader with more questions than it does answers. I bought this collection because Ian Whates (the owner of publisher NewCon Press) told me to. He’s a lovely friendly chap and even asked us what we liked to read before pushing the hard sell! The stories are divided into two themed groups, the first being Myth and the second Understandings. In reality ‘myth’ translates to ‘literary fantasy, fairy tales and stories written in a loose mythical style’ and ‘Understandings’ translates to ‘everything else’. Myth Storm Constantine – Owl Speak I found this story both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. It opens with a myth that informs the shape of the story. The characters are therefore…