Showing category "Reviews" (Show all posts)

A Menagerie of Stories

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, November 12, 2017, In : Reviews 
The clever editors at Third Flatiron Anthologies have hunted down a batch of stories and released them in Strange Beasties. Each tale features some wild creatures that will roam through your imagination. Some will make you shiver with dread, but not all of them are monsters–in fact, you could end up taking another look at society and wondering who's more dangerous–them or us?
    From the story that opens the anthology, the excellent 'In the Days of Mister Cuddles' by Bruce Arthurs, which ...
Continue reading ...
 

Other Worlds and Earworms

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, In : Reviews 
At long last I've caught up with reviewing some of the books I've read lately. Indie authors can find it hard to get their work noticed, and it can be equally hard for readers to know whether a novel by an indie author will be their kind of book. Reviews act like word-of-mouth personal recommendations, and help readers decide whether they fancy reading the sample, so I would always welcome honest, constructive reviews, and I hope the ones I write will be useful to both authors and readers.
   ...
Continue reading ...
 

Heading West

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Friday, March 31, 2017, In : Reviews 
With the print publication of Discord's Child and Discord's Apprentice with CreateSpace due on April Fool's Day, I've been getting really fidgetty. Reading always helps me to relax, so I treated myself to Third Flatiron Anthology's Principia Ponderosa.
    I love Westerns. I was raised on them. In fact, I can't read the word Ponderosa without hearing the Bonanza theme tune. Regular readers of this blog might have noticed that I also love SF and Fantasy. Purists might think that the genres shou...
Continue reading ...
 

Taking Advantage

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Friday, March 17, 2017, In : Reviews 
I'd like to say thank you to everyone who downloaded Discord's Child last week–I hope you enjoy it. Read an Ebook Week is now over, but The Exiles of Ondd novels are still available from Smashwords and Amazon. I'd also like to say thank you to all the other authors who took part in the event. I had great fun browsing through the fantasy titles that were discounted or free. My problem was how to choose from the hundreds that were available.
    Even ruling out the titles that are always free,...
Continue reading ...
 

Keystone Chronicles Review

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Friday, October 7, 2016, In : Reviews 
Some while ago, I seem to remember promising a review of the Third Flatiron Keystone Chronicles anthology, so here, at last, it is.
    The anthology contains 19 stories, so I expected at least two to come up with the same interpretation of the keystone theme, but the variety was impressive, covering everything from prophesies of doom to tongue-in-cheek wordplay. For me, stand-out stories were Judith Field's nature fantasy, 'Telling the Bees', 'Every Planet Has One' by John Marr, a tale of the...
Continue reading ...
 

Many Happy Returns

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, February 7, 2016, In : Reviews 
I'm not celebrating anyone's birthday (best wishes if it's yours), but those books, films and television programmes you can read or watch time and time again.
    There are now TV channels that repeat series on a rolling basis. As soon as they come to the end, they begin again. I suppose people find them comforting in a way, much as the shipping forecast is. They offer a kind of stability. It's comforting to know that somewhere on the television there'll always be an episode of Midsomer Murder...
Continue reading ...
 

Good Company

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, In : Reviews 
I can think of 10 good reasons to read issue eight of Fantasy Scroll Magazine–make that 11.
    The magazine contains 10 speculative short stories, including my own offering 'Haze' about how first contact with mankind could be the beginning of the end for a planet's inhabitants. The other stories vary from futuristic tech-based SF to dark fantasy. The one thing they have in common is being irresistible. Once you start reading, you can't stop. You'll find believable characters struggling with...
Continue reading ...
 

A Little of What You Fancy

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Monday, August 25, 2014, In : Reviews 
One of the drawbacks of the school holidays is that the choice of films in the cinemas is restricted to blockbuster action movies targeted at teenagers, or animations aimed at children. There's little depth or humour, and when these are used, there's a tendency to batter the audience over the head with them.
    On the face of it, Guardians of the Galaxy is no different, and my expectations of it were low. I looked forward to 90 minutes of fairly mindless action and noise with caricatures inst...
Continue reading ...
 

No Pruning Required

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Monday, August 4, 2014, In : Reviews 
Having recently been to Florence, I took the opportunity on a sunny afternoon to sit in the garden and read E. M. Forster's A Room with a View. I watched the film again the night before I went away, and I'm glad to say that it's very faithful to the book. That's quite remarkable, especially for a novel of that period (early 1900s).
    Usually, novels have to be pared down for the screen, but Merchant-Ivory's adaptation has kept every character and scene. Practically every line of dialogue in ...
Continue reading ...
 

Something Completely Different

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, March 30, 2014, In : Reviews 
I put my hand into the bag, and I pull out... a film: The Grand Budapest Hotel. I've seen it, and it's completely bonkers, but in a good way. It's a kind of fairytale grotesque alternative history/adventure/rom-com/thriller that rattles along like a steam train. There are top notch, often surprising, perfromances from a starry cast, including a host of cameo roles. Ralph Fiennes proves himself a fine comedy actor, and special mention has to go to Tony Revolori as Zero Moustafa the lobby boy. ...
Continue reading ...
 

Hobbitses

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, In : Reviews 
I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug last week. I'd love to give it five stars, but the truth is that the jury is still out, much as it was after the first film. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not read the book. Some things seem to have been changed/excluded for no good reason. Other things seem to have been added for the sake of it, and some of these were illogical. However, this is not the end of the story, and the final film might show that Peter Jackson's right an...
Continue reading ...
 

More Expectations Confounded

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, December 22, 2013, In : Reviews 
If I wanted to watch a film that was the absolute opposite of Gravity, I found it in Philomena. There was not a 3D effect or explosion in the whole thing. What it did have were some fine performances and annoying reactions from the audience.
The problem was that many people clearly thought anything Steve Coogan says has to be funny. He not only appeared in the film but also wrote the script, which did have some witty lines and light moments. However, some people were clearly expecting Philom...
Continue reading ...
 

Not So Great Expectations

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Monday, December 9, 2013, In : Reviews 
I'm not generally hugely impressed by 3D films. Either the 3D is used as a gimmick (Duck! There's a hammer flying out of the screen towards you!), which usually means that the script is weak, or you're so engrossed in the story that you don't notice them, so what's the point? However, I have discovered an exception: Gravity. Okay, the two stars (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) are capable of far more, and there wasn't much story, but the 3D effects really conveyed the strangeness of space,...
Continue reading ...
 

Keep It Simple

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Monday, August 26, 2013, In : Reviews 
I've been reading some classic stories, courtesy of Paul Hatcher. The Pedestrian is by Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451. A man takes a walk on a November evening. The writing is evocative, yet spare. There isn't one wasted word. The tale itself is science fiction, and as with all good SF (even the stories that are full of aliens) it concerns the human condition and where we might be heading. The story was written in 1951, which makes it uncannily prophetic.
The second tale, August H...
Continue reading ...
 

Generations

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, May 12, 2013, In : Reviews 
Today, I have good news and... good news! The latest Iyessi song is now on my Discord's Child page, and my flash story, 'A Matching Pair', which came third in the Bowers Gifford & North Benfleet Residents' Association competition, can be read on the association's website. It's great when your work appears somewhere new and you can feel that it's being read by people who otherwise would never come across it. Will it last generations? The odds are against it.
Even authors who write the bestsel...
Continue reading ...
 

Ooo, Madam!

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, April 21, 2013, In : Reviews 
Yesterday, I went to see a local amateur dramatic company's production of Up Pompeii by Miles Tredinnick, which was directed by a friend. The cast rose to the challenge incredibly well. Not only did they have to contend with the notoriously difficult timing of exits and entrances on which such farce-type comedies rely, but there were risqué costumes and saucy clinches that might be embarrassing when they meet their co-stars at the next parents' evening. Added to this was the challenge of per...
Continue reading ...
 

Off Subject?

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, March 3, 2013, In : Reviews 
Yesterday, I received the latest issue of Salopeot, which was a great treat and not only because it has one of my poems in it.  The magazine is packed with more than 60 poems, so I'll be able to spend today reading some thought-provoking and beautiful work.  Isn't that what Sundays are for–taking time to think about what really matters?
I'm not going to review any particular poems, and some people might query why, as I review films in this blog which they might consider have less to do with...
Continue reading ...
 

Crash Landing

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, February 24, 2013, In : Reviews 
Flight is one of those films that I felt I ought to see rather than one I felt particularly attracted to.  I knew little about it other than that it featured the somewhat miraculous landing of a damaged aeroplane by the pilot, who is later accused of being under the influence of drink and drugs.  Denzel Washington plays the pilot and has been nominated for an academy award.  That doesn't surprise me, as it's the stature of his performance that makes the film worth watching.
It's a strange fil...
Continue reading ...
 

Heavy Air, Light Reading

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, February 10, 2013, In : Reviews 
Otherwhere and Elsewhen, featuring my science fiction story, 'Heavy Air', is now available from Bridge House Publishing.  You can either find it on their website or at Amazon, priced £3.80 plus VAT.  Edited by Gill James, the anthology is a collection of 12 stories with a loose theme of another 'time and another space, light years from here'.  As well as 'Heavy Air', you'll find stories by Philip T. Brewster, Julie-Ann Corrigan, Phil Hodgkiss, Dawn Knox, Jeff Laurents, Shirley Percy, A. J. S...
Continue reading ...
 

Bowled Over at Tate Britain

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, December 16, 2012, In : Reviews 
I've always been a fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. They aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I've always loved the stories/poems that inspired them and the inspiration the paintings provide, their stained glass colours and the way they capture the moment. For me, the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde at Tate Britain was unmissable.
Even though I had seen many of the paintings before at exhibitions, on television or in books, I found the exhibition dazzling. Reproductions certainly do...
Continue reading ...
 

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, October 28, 2012, In : Reviews 
Last week, I reviewed Anna Karenina.  This week it's Looper.  Let's face it, you don't expect a Bruce Willis film to be sensitive or intellectual.  What you go to see is wham-bam action, witty one-liners and (if you're lucky) clever plot twists.  Looper had the first, but was rather short on the rest.
The plot puts a new spin on the Sci Fi time-travel cliché about someone returning to the past and being killed by their younger self, and the way Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as the young Bruce Willis...
Continue reading ...
 

A Classic Adaptation

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, October 21, 2012, In : Reviews 
I wasn't sure that I wanted to see the latest adaptation of Anna Karenina. (SPOILER ALERT!)  I've never read Leo Tolstoy's novel, but previous adaptations that I've seen on TV and film have shown it's all too easy for them to descend into depression and hysteria along with the eponymous heroine.  However, this version, starring Keira Knightley as Anna, was creative, subtle and beautiful.
The film is 'staged' in a theatre.  A bedroom set becomes a real bedroom, the flies become a train platfor...
Continue reading ...
 

Happy Reading

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, October 14, 2012, In : Reviews 
I've just joined Good Reads.  I've seen it recommended in several places, so I thought I'd give it a try.  So far, I haven't done much with it, I haven't even included a proper profile.  The trouble was, I got caught up in rating all the books I've read in my chosen genres.  It was amazing (not to say scary) how many I can't remember properly, not because I didn't like them, but because it's been so long since I read them. I will take a thorough look at the site and no doubt enjoy all that it...
Continue reading ...
 

More Food for Thought

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Monday, June 25, 2012, In : Reviews 
My trip to Royal & Derngate theatre last week was interesting, if not unalloyed joy.  I saw Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding, which was the second production in the theatre's Festival of Chaos. The production used the same cast as The Bacchae and played up the drama's similarities to Greek tragedy with a chorus, violence in the wilderness, female control etc. 
I'm glad I went, but it was patchy–in the word's of the friend who went with me "over-produced".  The attempts to give the pla...
Continue reading ...
 

Telescoping Time

Posted by K. S. Dearsley on Sunday, May 20, 2012, In : Reviews 
At last, I've had a chance to read my copy of Telescoping Time, the anthology of chosen entries in the Earlyworks Press Science Fiction Challenge. The stories had to 'make a realistic contribution to the debate about how humans and extra-terrestrial species might prepare for contact and learn to co-operate rather than destroy each other through fear or prejudice, by accident or design.' I'm proud to say that my story, 'Haze', is among the chosen. 
Many stories and books have been written, and...
Continue reading ...
 
 

About Me


My writing career began as a freelance feature writer for the local press, businesses and organisations. Now a prize-winning playwright and short story writer, my work has appeared in numerous publications on both sides of the Atlantic. I write as K. S. Dearsley because it saves having to keep repeating my forename, and specialise in fantasy and other speculative genres.

Make a free website with Yola