Author Archive

[GUEST REVIEW] Kate Onyett on HOW TO BE DEAD by Dave Turner


Kate Onyett lives and works in Oxford, UK, doing her bit for the NHS and the sick of England. When not nursing a doctor’s ego, she can be found reading and reviewing speculative fiction, and is open to suggestions and submissions for such (gizmomogwai at hotmail dot co dot uk). Her interest in the speculative found full flowering at university, when she talked her tutors into letting her write first about vampires, and then about pirates. Yarr.

Dave is not an obvious hero. He’s a bit of an apathetic worker; just marking time perma-temping at a big business. He knows how to handle the pushy behaviour of his manager, but goes to pieces over Melanie- the girl of his dreams and office hottie. Oh, and he can see ghosts.
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[GUEST REVIEW] Kate Onyett on “Vince Cosmos” – Glam Rock Detective


Kate Onyett lives and works in Oxford, UK, doing her bit for the NHS and the sick of England. When not nursing a doctor’s ego, she can be found reading and reviewing speculative fiction, and is open to suggestions and submissions for such (gizmomogwai at hotmail dot co dot uk). Her interest in the speculative found full flowering at university, when she talked her tutors into letting her write first about vampires, and then about pirates. Yarr.

It is 1972, and Poppy Munday travels down from South Shields in North England to seek her fortune and make something of herself in the Big Smoke that is hip and happening London. Supported by an older, worldlier cousin and a motherly landlady, Poppy overcomes homesickness and near tragedy (her favourite glam rocker survives being shot at while on stage) to win a competition to meet that same idol, Vince Cosmos. Foiling a second assassination attempt plunges her into Vince’s world of intergalactic adventure and intrigue. She joins forces with him and the strange little man from the upstairs flat to stop Martians taking over the world, one sequinned boot-step at a time.

Vince Cosmos is a funky, lively mix that harks back directly to the comfy, cosy adventures of late 70s, early 80s sci-fi adventures at tea time (the era of my own youth), and there is more than a whiff of classic Doctor Who about the style and tone of the play. This is not surprising, given that it is the brainchild of Paul Magrs, a respected fantasy and sci-fi author who has written for Doctor Who, and whose books are quirky gems, written with a humorously light touch. This is not grand, epic space opera, nor a grinding, angst-filled dramatic ‘event’. But it is a lot of fun, with an appealingly innocent sensibility. These are adventures where nothing so awfully terrible happens that the heroes cannot save the day, and where more potentially dangerous events are exciting instead of intimidating, leaving the heroes undeterred and unscathed. A theatre may be blown up, and a hotel suite shot up, but no one is killed. Baddies escape to make trouble for another day and death and grief are quite ‘alien’ to this nostalgic tale.
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