First review for SiB

Posted: October 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: authors, review, short stories, writing | No Comments »

First review for The Sea in Birmingham. Read the whole thing on BookOxygen. You can also read the foreword, by Alan Mahar on The Writers’ Hub.

The writing is consistently strong and widely varied, reflecting the experiences and styles of an extensive network from all walks and stations of life. A watery theme links several, as though the sea were indeed both metaphorically as well as physically inching inland . . . Simone Weil said that it is not so much what every moment of a human life contains as the way in which each of its moments is connected. This book offers an insight into how Midland writers, in this instance over thirty years, create and develop a sense of solidarity within both an area and a discipline.

The dots join up and make a gorgeous whole – well worth reading and emulating. Siân Miles in BookOxygen


Sci-Fi Now – top five books of 2012

Posted: December 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: review, The Game is Altered, writing | Tags: , , | No Comments »

sfn75_coverWow – I’m delighted to report that The Game is Altered is runner-up in Sci-Fi Now 2012 Book of the Year.

I’m in illustrious company, too. Topping the  list of five best novels is Empire State by Adam Christopher. Next comes The Game is Altered, followed by Red Country – Joe Abercrombie (3), The Great North Road – Peter F. Hamilton (4), and Intrusion – Ken MacLeod (5).

This is what they said:

The Game Is Altered is a beautiful, energetically written collection of fiercely contemporary ideas, neatly packaged like an MTV indent into a post-cyberpunk soap opera of a boy looking for love and escape in a vast, immersive MMO.

Sums it up I guess. Anyway, a welcome fillip after a quiet year. Thank you Sc-Fi Now.


Second review

Posted: February 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: review, The Game is Altered | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

My publicist sent this through earlier today. I want to stress that TGiA isn’t a SciFi novel!


First review

Posted: February 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: review, The Game is Altered | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The first review turned up in the Daily Mirror last week. It’s only a snippet but not bad for the first (and perhaps only) bit of national crit.


Alert for ‘Among Thieves’

Posted: October 24th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: review, writing | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Google Alerts – what fun! Choose the keywords you want to monitor and Google will send you an email whenever something with those words gets posted on the web. It doesn’t catch everything – content from static web sites takes a while to come down the pipe. But anything from news sites or blogs – basically anything that uses RSS – arrives in the mailbox pretty quickly.

This is how I found a new review of Among Thieves last week. It’s from one of Salt Publishing‘s literary magazine titles – Horizon Review. Reviewer Becci Fearnley says:

Jez’s memories of the shattered city in which he grew up, hiding unexploded World War II shells in a secret den, tattooing himself as part of an initiation ceremony into his boyhood gang, Das Bombers, and the way he is misunderstood by his father and brother make Jez the most intense of all the three voices. Although Pads’ sophistication and Mehmet’s family loyalty do make them interesting and readable voices, it is Jez with whom I fell in love.

With three voices so utterly distinctive from one another, and so honest and compelling in their narration, it is easy to lose yourself in Mez Packer’s novel. Three hundred and five pages make this a story deep enough to get your teeth into, yet compact enough to maintain a swift pace.

In 2006 Becci Fearnley won the Branford Boase Award for Young Writers and has had her poetry published in a Young Writer’s anthology. She is currently studying English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick, and is working on an eighth novel – bloody hell! She’s only 20.


Sing When You’re Winning

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: review | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »
Photo by Paul Smith

Photo by Paul Smith

My colleague, Paul Smith (Senior Lecturer Photography, Coventry University) also got a mention on p24 of the same issue of The Word.

Paul shot a series of photographs for Robbie Williams and his artwork for the album cover Sing When You’re Winning (2000) is “as thought provoking as the music isn’t”, according to The Word. I’m inclined to agree 🙂


Word Up!

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: review | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Among Thieves had a good review in the July 2009 issue of The Word magazine. Although I’m not sure about writing about a ‘world she clearly knows’. I’ve never been to Albania.

The Word - July 2009

The Word – July 2009

It’s Ghost Town-era Coventry. The students fear the locals, who loathe them right back. Only in matters narcotic do their worlds overlap. Among Thieves follows two upper-crusties who get in over their dreadlocked heads, kicking off a desperate hunt for easy money that takes them from Spain to India and back. Told via three separate first person narratives, it rattles along wonderfully…. Packer writes crisply about a world she clearly knows. Like any good thriller it’s all about voyage, not destination. This one’s worth travelling on.

Steve Yates