Sylvia Bishop

Interviews by Sylvia Bishop

The Best Philip K. Dick Books, recommended by David Hyde

Philip K. Dick was a prolific sci fi writer, publishing 44 novels and over a hundred short stories. Once hooked, you’ll devour them all, says David Hyde, the publisher and festival organiser better known as ‘Lord Running Clam’ within the lively fan community. Here, he introduces us to his top five books by Philip K. Dick: novels featuring alternate realities, ambiguous endings and philosophical questions that are puzzling new generations of fans.

The Best Grimdark Fantasy, recommended by Anna Smith Spark

Grimdark fantasy is cynical about the righteous and the good – but it brings fantasy into line with historical reality, says author Anna Smith Spark. She explores why we want to read about flawed people doing terrible things, and introduces her top five choices: stories that charge gleefully beyond the bounds of sanity, offer a shock treatment for anxiety, and above all provide an honest mirror to reality.

The Best Sci-Fi Romance Novels, recommended by Natasha Pulley

Sci fi opens up new possibilities for romance stories, unconstrained by social reality. It’s an exciting time for the genre, says Natasha Pulley, bestselling author of The Mars House. Through her five contemporary favourites, she explores how human emotion – including romantic love and friendship – elevates the best sci-fi novels, creating stories with realism and depth.

The Best Dragon Fantasy Books, recommended by Taran Matharu

Dragons can be found in the mythology of almost every culture, and today they are enjoying a surge in popularity – but these days they are portrayed as companions, not the enemy, says the bestselling author Taran Matharu. He talks us through his top five ‘dragon fantasy’ books, from classic heroes’ journeys to emerging fantasy trends, and tells us how to spot if your dragon is actually a wyvern.