The first review will be…

The Emperor of All Things by Paul Witcover

… of The Emperor of All Things by Paul Witcover, published by Bantam Press… give me a week or so as I’ve just started reading it…  fanking yew much, kind peeps…



So, as if I wasn’t busy enough, in my infinite wisdom I have decided to start up a book review blog of my very own. Who are you? you may very well ask. My name is Simon Marshall-Jones, and I am known in certain quarters as the man behind both an overabundance of tattoos and Spectral Press, the British Fantasy Award-nominated imprint, publisher of limited edition chapbooks and novellas. I am also a staff reviewer for the long-running Interzone magazine, and write regular columns for This Is Horror  and Morpheus Tales Review Supplement. As such, I am surrounded by books and have been enamoured of the written word ever since I wore shorts, inheriting a love of them from my late father (who, we found out after his death, had a book collection much larger than we’d imagined).

This blog serves one purpose: I get sent books from sources other than the editors at Interzone and I thought it would be an idea to give space to my thoughts about them, since there’s only so much space a print magazine has for reviews. So, Speculative Assessments was born. Plus, I’d been at the rum and thought it a swell proposal so went with it. Yes, there’ll be a lot of humour being injected into this site, but let it be said that I take books extremely seriously and, as such, will treat the reviewing of them with the utmost respect.

Occasionally, I hope to have guest reviewers and maybe the odd article or opinion piece. Let’s just say that my initial ambition is for bibliophiles and genre-lovers of all persuasions to make this an essential port of call on their quest for good literature.

So, once again, I bid you welcome!