Nil by Mouth : LynC

In this short SF novel, we view an Australian city occupied by aliens from the point of view of Jack, a hotel-owner whose premises have been taken over. The relationship between the human owner and Drander, a possibly-female alien now…

The Sparrow : Mary Doria Russell

A disturbing and thought-provoking account of first contact with an alien species, though the core of the story is one man’s relationship with God, and a head-on confrontation with the “Problem of Evil”. The novel starts in Rome in the…

The Swerve : Stephen Greenblatt

This book is subtitled “How the Renaissance Began”, which is a heck of a stretch. Setting that aside, this is an absolutely fascinating history of the re-discovery in the early 1400s of a long-lost work from antiquity, and about the…

A God in Ruins : Kate Atkinson

Like its predecessor or companion volume Life After Life, this is mostly about the Second World War and its impact on society and people’s lives. This volume concentrates on the experiences of the protagonist Edward (Teddy) Todd as a pilot…

The Vital Question : Nick Lane

A terrific book, highly recommended. Right at the edge of my ability to understand the technical details, but nevertheless well written and intriguing. Lane looks at the evolution of life from the standpoint of energy requirements, and presents a very…