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Second Chance Summer by Phillipa Ashley #Review

  I an delighted to be part of the celebrations for Phillipa Ashley's Summer novel, Second Chance Summer which was published by Penguin on June 6th. From the moment Lily Harper arrives at a remote retreat on the breath-taking Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation - and her thriving business. Slowing Down simply isn't in her vocabulary, and so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous but dour Sam who runs the retreat. Just as Lily is about to give up and leave, disaster strikes, and she is involved in an incident that changes her perspective on everything. Lily is no longer sure she wants to return to the life she thought she loved. But will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance? Praise for the Author ‘Full of genuine warmth and quirky characters’   Woman’s Own ‘Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!’ Jill Mansell ‘Utterly glorious … one of the freshest voices to emerge in women's fiction today’   Cl

The City Among the Stars by Francis Carsac translated by Judith Sullivan & Margaret Schiff #Review


Welcome to the first English translation of the celebrated Golden Age Science Fiction Classic, The City among the Stars by Francis Carsac.




A soldier of the Empire of Earth floats through space, his spaceship destroyed by sabotage. He is saved by a ‘city-in-space’ whose people despise those born and raised on a planet. Out of spite, he refuses to deliver the one piece of knowledge that can protect the people who saved but now spurn him - leading to catastrophic consequences.

 "This stunning classic stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Arthur C. Clark, Asimov, and Heinlein. No devotee of great sf should miss The City of the Stars." – New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors W. New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear.

My Thoughts

The chance to read the first English translation of a French Sci Fi classic from 1962 was tempting.  Written in a world where space travel was just beginning and just after President Kennedy had committed  the USA to land a man on the moon, it feels like a traditional take on the genre, with lots of detailed descriptions of the technology and descriptions of space which come mainly from the writer's imagination. One of the most interesting aspects for me, is the characterisation, especially of the female characters who all seem pretty subservient to the needs of the plot. This would not be unusual for its time.

    Life on board the Spaceship with the People of the Stars is described in great detail with a new hierarchy which looks down on those who they label 'planetary' as opposed to their kin who they feel have evolved beyond them. At the heart of the book is an adventure story, surrounded by aliens, space, far flung planets and a reimagined Earth. Running through all this you may glimpse a little romance.

In short: Escape to outer space


About the Author


Francis Carsac, a pseudonym for the world-renowned French scientist, geologist, and archaeologist Francois Bordes, wrote and published six novels during the golden age of science fiction. 


Never before published in English, these novels resonate with timely issues ranging from climate control to racism and greed and tell the stories of characters whose challenges and triumphs clearly relate to many of the problems we encounter today. He has been translated and published into Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Hungarian, Estonian amongst others.

Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Flame Tree Press and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.


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