Sunday 14 October 2018

Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

All Systems Red All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An intriguing story about a part organic, part android Securty Bot attached to an exploratory misson to an unnamed planet in a vague distant capitalist universe dominated by The Company. But this is no ordinary SecBot. It has hacked its own governor module and is addicted to watching soaps, especially one call Sanctuary Moon. Much as it dislikes interacting with humans, circumstances mean it has to if it is going to protect its clients, the survey team, from whoever is trying to kill them and to figure out why? As the thriller concludes ****SPOILER ALERT*** SecBot with the help of its thankful and sympathetic human team it becomes 'ex-inventory' and so begins its journey into freedom and self awareness.

ashramblings review 3* This is a short book, only 144 pages; its human characters could be more fully developed, and more details about what they were doing on the planet and where it was could be added. But I found myself surprisingly liking this SecBot, who called itself MurderBot after a malfunctioning cheaply bought component had caused it to committ mass murder on a previous Company job. Its resultant cynicism for the Company, and its addiction to sitcom entertainment gave it a blend of childlike niavety and adult distance which get it and its human compatriots through the nightmare. It was a compelling read. With more in the series, this reader feels interested enought to see how this Bot matures as it faces life in the human world.

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Friday 12 October 2018

Sweetshop by Sheila Ash

Photo (C) Sheila Ash The inside of Edward & Vintage Sweetshop, Tissington, Derbyshire, UK (Aug 2018) ( )
Smiles skip down the street
A tiny hand holdfasts a sixpence -
a shining silver dowry
for a piece of heaven’s sweetness
sought in the fizz of lemon sherbet.

On tiptoes, stretching
fingers find the edge,
silver slides across mahogany.
Withdrawing. Waiting.
Patience prickles audibly.

Giant overhanging hands
parachute a weekly hit -
a bag of exuberant bliss
sugaring life’s paucity.
Two hands catch and close.

Thanks dropped like a curtsy before the door
Head down
eyes down
mouth salivating
skips effervesced away like burst bubbles.

The walk home long savoured
with every slow step
with every syrupy suck.

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Thursday 11 October 2018

Song for the unforgotten by Sheila Ash

As the days became hours
we disentangle you from the tubing of trust
take you from the incubator of hope,
cradle you in the arms of family,
bathe you in the love that had made you.

For every moment of your life
we were graced by your presence.
Your tiny hands fankled our fingers,
feeding our hearts.

We blanketed you to us -
your struggle comforted,
your touch cherished to the end.

We will always be with you
as you will always be with us

© Sheila Ash, 2018

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Review: IQ by Joe Ide

IQ IQ by Joe Ide
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I sped through this riveting, fast paced, first in series thriller is a modern take on the Sherlock Holmes meme set in gangland LA. Recommended by a member of my in person book group, it is packed full of character and humour. The excellant narration is by by Sullivan Jones who I am pleased to see also narrates Book 2 in the series Righteous and released only this week Book 3 Wretched. This book is screaming for a TV adaptation or movie. If you want a thriller for the beach or the winter nights, this is the one.

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