*warning: contains Monsters! Aliens! and Robots!
Now October is here, a reading essential is the fabulous Red Claw by the talented Philip Palmer, out this month (UK I US). We’d already had a heap of interest in this title, not least from the Guardian, who said ‘Red Claw is that rare treat, an intelligent action adventure replete with intellectual rigour, human insight and superb storytelling’.
While such praise is always hugely welcome, we can’t say we’re entirely surprised as we expected great things after Debatable Space (UK I US)! Red Claw is another fast-paced package that somehow manages to contain within its straining covers a rollercoaster of a plot with some big explosions, a plethora of strange new aliens grown in the vat of the author’s imagination and some entertaining philosophizing. It’s also dark and gritty with flashes of strangeness to counterbalance Philip’s great sense of fun. All in all, a unique mix of elements woven together to make something pretty special.
And here’s what’s been said so far, but really, Philip’s only just started …
The Bookbag blogged that ‘Red Claw moves at a relentless pace … I was hooked’
A Dribble of Ink had this to say on the cover: ‘Totally awesome. It manages to capture that pulpy Science Fiction feel and also bring me back to the days when I was a kid, playing in my backyard. Couldn’t help but smile when I saw it’ And Graeme’s Fantasy Review agreed with this in spades with ‘I keep going back to the front cover and marvelling at how awesome it is.’
EmotionallyFourteen found Red Claw ‘a marvellous mix of the ridiculous and the sublime, mashing pulp sci-fi with a seedy Heinlein style utopian dystopia, and some pretty dark humour as well. It’s The Lord of the Flies meets Starship Troopers. A truly dark tale of betrayal, big guns, and monsters … This is one of the best novels released this year.’
Sci-Fi Now also quoted Philip on the inspriation behind his book: ‘I love scientists… They are by definition obsessive personalities, devoted to the advancement of knowledge, and able to devote vast amounts of time to the study of natural phenomena, and the thinking of hard thoughts. But scientists are not always nice. They can be vain, angry, petty, and competitive. Red Claw takes its inspiration from all this. It is an alien-monster-zapping action thriller based on a scientific feud that has lasted for centuries, and has developed into a battle to the death.’
Sci-Fi Now will also be giving away copies of Red Claw in their next issue, on sale from October 21st, so see your mag for more info! But whether you are the happy winner of their competition, or rush to grab a copy from your favourite online or high-street bookstore, the main thing is to somehow get hold of this excitingly shiny package.