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Paul Cornell

Paul Cornell(1967-)
Paul Cornell writes SF and fantasy in prose, comics and television, and is one of only two people to be Hugo Award-nominated for all three media. He wrote three episodes of Doctor Who for the BBC, Batman & Robin and Superman in Action Comics for DC, and his continuing mature readers series at Vertigo is Saucer Country. Cornell lives near London, and his other interests include cricket, all things Fortean, and his newborn son Thomas (whose interests include tummy rubs and poo).

Terry chats with Paul Cornell

I loved Paul Cornell's new book, London Falling which is a terrific mash-up of urban fantasy and police procedural (here's my review). I had a few questions for Paul and he was kind enough to spare some time for me. I'll send one commenter a shiny new copy of London Falling (US and Canadian addresses, only, please). 

Terry Weyna: Paul, London Falling is terrific fun to read! Please tell me we’re going to be reading more about Quill, Costain, Sefton and Ross — will there be a sequel? Will Lofthouse be more involved in the next investigation?

Paul Cornell: The sequel, The Severed Streets, is out in December in the UK, but I don't know a US release day yet. The ho... Read More

Shadow Police

Shadow Police — (2012-2016) Publisher: The dark is rising… Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack’s murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law – until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a ‘suspect’ who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again. As the group starts to see London’s sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game – and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsfantasy and science fiction book reviews

London Falling: A police procedural, now with extra added magic!

Readers’ average rating:

London Falling by Paul Cornell

Just when you thought there was nothing new to be done with urban fantasy, Paul Cornell comes along with London Falling and mashes up the police procedural (i.e., a mystery solved by the police, using the tools at their disposal and confined in their scope by the law) with demons and British history. Until you read it, it’s hard to imagine a police officer giving the “right to silence” speech (the British version of the American Miranda warnings) to a creature who is doing her best dispose of him through magical means. But once Cornell gets to that point in his narrative, he has set everything up so well that it seems as natural as can be.

The novel starts as a straightforward police procedural. Costain is an officer who is working undercover for Rob Toshack, the current king of the London criminal classes, the first ever to have united all t... Read More

Witches of Lychford

Witches of Lychford — (2015-2016) Traveler, Cleric, Witch. The villagers in the sleepy hamlet of Lychford are divided. A supermarket wants to build a major branch on their border. Some welcome the employment opportunities, while some object to the modernization of the local environment. Judith Mawson (local crank) knows the truth — that Lychford lies on the boundary between two worlds, and that the destruction of the border will open wide the gateways to malevolent beings beyond imagination. But if she is to have her voice heard, she’s going to need the assistance of some unlikely allies…

Witches of Lychford: Appealing setting

Readers’ average rating:

Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell

Witches of Lychford is a novella that was published by Tor.com last year. You can find a fairly long excerpt at the Tor.com website, but you’d need to purchase the Kindle version ($2.99) or paperback to read the entire story. I acquired the audio version at Audible during a special sale. It’s 3.25 hours long and beautifully read by Marisa Calin who has just the right voices and accents for a story set in a quaint English village.

Paul Cornell’s story is about three women who live in this village. Judith Mawson is a crotchety old woman who seems to consider herself the town’s guardian from evil supernatural forces. Lizzie Blackmore, the town’s vicar, is trying to overcome a tragic... Read More

Fort Freak: A WILD CARDS novel that can be read as a stand-alone

Readers’ average rating:

Fort Freak by George R.R. Martin

Fort Freak is the twenty-first entry in the WILD CARDS universe, a long running series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin. It is not necessary to have read the previous twenty volumes to read this one; Fort Freak works fine as a standalone. There are numerous references to earlier books and cameos by characters that starred in them, but nothing that makes it absolutely necessary to have read earlier volumes. That is probably a good thing. The WILD CARDS series is currently published by Tor, the fourth publisher to take on this series. Some of the older volumes are pretty hard to find these days. The original WILD CARDS novel (1987) has been reprinted by Tor recently, with a number o... Read More

More by Paul Cornell

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSomething More — (2001) Publisher: In the far future, Britain is a divided land, ruled by the great families. In the wilderness between the cities lies Heartsease, a grand country estate, now quite empty, but mysteriously well-tended. Reverend Jane Bruce of the Reformed Church of England is sent to bless the house for a family who wish to occupy it. But there’s something her soldier bodyguard isn’t telling her about the house’s past. Booth Hawtrey, cursed to live forever, is investigating the house for the alien masters who have turned him into something not quite human. But why is their concern at once so urgent and so trivial? David Hawtrey, decadent and hedonistic militiaman, has dangerous plans for the house. But are they truly his own? Rebecca Champhert is Booth’s biographer, David’s ex-lover and Jane’s unwilling victim. And it’s up to her to unravel the story of Heartsease, a story that takes in the history of Britain, the gap between life and death, and the future of the human race.fantasy and science fiction book reviews


British Summertime — (2002) Publisher: The lives of five people collide: a woman who can read anything, from body language to the shape of a city; a pilot from the future; a spy; a killer; and a head without a body. The end of the world is coming, and only they can stop it. Their journey reaches back to the days of the New Testament, and forward to the end of time.


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