Simon Morden: Down Station Faced with a disastrous and life-threatening fire in the tunnels of the London Underground, a motley group of underground workers finds themselves thrust through a portal into the alternate universe of Down, which has its own rules and the magic is loose. This could almost be juvenile fantasy except that one of the refreshingly diverse cast of characters says ‘fuck’ a lot. Enjoyable, though I didn’t enjoy it sufficiently to seek out the sequel, The White City.
Taylor Jenkins Reid: Daisy Jones and The Six This is the recollection of a fictional 1970s soft-rock group, not modelled on anyone in particular, though comparisons with Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac are inescapable. The writing is mostly in the form of snippets from interviews with the main characters. I first came across this through the televisual adaptation on Amazon Prime, which took a few liberties with the text, but which I enjoyed more.
Alastair Reynolds: House of Suns Reynolds is in the top rank of SF writers working today, and here he is at the top of his game. The plot is as audacious as they get. Six million years before the main story opens, Abigail Gentian has herself cloned 1000 times, sending her clones out into the Galaxy as explorers. Six million years later, two of the shatterlings, Campion and Purslane, are late for one of the Gentian Line’s periodic reunions. And fortunately so, for they just miss the extirpation of most of their siblings. Someone, somewhere, wants the Gentians uprooted. But who? And why? Lashings of pure bravura sensawunda don’t get in the way of a gripping plot. One of his best.