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Summer reading recommendations from Jamie Mollart

We asked a few of our authors for book a sentence or two on their top summer reading recommendations - you can find recommendations from several of our other 2022 authors here. Jamie Mollart went above and beyond! Here are the Kings of a Dead World author's thoughts on the books you should be picking up over the next few weeks.

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Coming out of the pandemic there was a massive influx of awesome novels which had presumably been backed up for publication during lockdown. I’ve also just had a daughter so I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in the dark reading on a Kindle while she sleeps or listening to audiobooks while pushing her in a pram to get her to sleep, so all this means I’ve read a lot of good books recently and so have really struggled to choose just a few of them.

My first choice is Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley.

This was my favourite book of the last year, and I’m going to push it out there and say maybe even the last five years. It’s been shortlisted for the Clarke Award and deserves the win. It’s ostensibly a sci-fi reimagining of Jamaica Inn, but is way more than that. Set in a far off future, where we have discovered a gate in space to the planet Qita. Through the gate we find the Qitan’s ready for a peaceful surrender, and the two races begin to live together peacefully, but was it really a surrender and how peaceful is the co-existence really?

At first glance this is a quiet meditation on colonisation, family and belonging, but it soon unravels into something infinitely more clever with hints of ‘The Thing’, Cronenberg style body horror and a deep, disturbing and considered look at xenophobia, cross-cultural appropriation and the concept of the self. It’s a stunning piece of speculative fiction and Aliya is also a lovely lady, so go and buy her book.

The second of my recommendations is Glitterati by Oliver K Langmead.

I reviewed Oliver’s previous book for the British Science Fiction Association and felt that he was a writer with massive potential, both in terms of ideas and craft, but that Birds of Paradise fell just short in terms of being a novel. Glitterati delivers on that potential and then some.

In a future world where the rich are so rich they don’t need to do anything other than worry about fashion, Simone, one of the Glitterati accidentally starts a trend by getting a nosebleed at a party, and with it an escalating chain of events that threatens to destroy the beautiful Utopia.

This is a crazy, extravagant book with bonkers costumes, palaces in the air, detailed etiquette on how to eat icecream, massive set pieces, but at its heart is a biting satire on the reality TV and billionaire worshipping culture we have allowed ourselves to slip into.

My final choice is Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey.

I don’t read memoirs and I especially don’t read actor’s memoirs, but the audiobook was on offer so I thought I’d give it a whirl on my baby walks. I liked Matthew McConaughey as an actor, but didn’t really know much about him outside of his body of work.

This book made me love him. He’s bat shit crazy in a good way, has the most refreshingly weird view of the world that is so far from the Hollywood norm that I can’t even begin to imagine how he copes with it and vice versa. He reads the audiobook too so the whole thing is delivered in that amazing Southern drawl. Honestly, I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s funny, moving, challenging and barking mad.

-Jamie Mollart

Jamie Mollart

Jamie Mollart