Stark Holborn (@starkholborn)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“Don’t know what you did to get put away for that long. But if it was done during the war, you’re not special.We all did bad things. The difference is you lost.”
Here’s something refreshing and cool - a kind of ‘Firefly meets Dune’ packing an excellent female-led cast who get to face some pretty harsh odds if any of them are going to survive. Ten Low is our main protagonist - she’s an ex-army medic, an ex-convict, and an incredible shot - now eking out a living at the universe's edge.
Holborn writes with flair and punch, she brings her breathlessly fun western gunslinging action from her Triggernometry shorts (which if you haven’t read you really should - check my BFS review here: BRIT FANTASY) and amps it up with a brilliantly believable sci-fi universe. The galaxy of Ten Low is a war-torn dangerous place, so when Ten finds a child weapon from the army that beat her, she must decide whether to try and save her or exact revenge…
This is highly recommended reading for fans of The Mandalorian or anyone who likes Star Wars but is looking for something a bit nastier. It cracks along at a page-turning pace and plays fast and loose with your emotions, all in all, Ten Low is a great character worth spending some time with - let’s hope there is more to come!
Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4.5 - High-class sci-fi that will thrill ya!)
I got to ask Stark some q’s - so read on to find out more…
Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis?
Stark: The giant mecha sock that has managed to work itself off my enormous heel and is now wedged somewhere in the middle of my mechaboot
Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book / film of any genre?
Stark: Disturbing as in so bizarre that I couldn't put it down is probably Aliya Whiteley's The Beauty. Can't pick a particular scene because there are, err, several. Film-wise, I saw the scene from Akira – where Tetsuo mutates into a giant mass of flesh – out of context when I was probably too young... I had absolutely no idea what was happening but it left a powerful impression.
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Stark: Probably the parade from Paprika. It's so mesmerizingly creepy.
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?
Stark: Probably my own coprorealized doubts?
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Stark: Right now? Coffee.
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Stark: A taxidermy squirrel dressed in a nun's habit. Or a vintage Olivetti typewriter.
Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?
Stark: I'd like to think it could go off and get into scrapes and have Alexandre Dumas-esque adventures which I would then relay to the general public in increasingly sensational installments
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?
Click below to find out in my dark sci-fi novel...