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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review - The Canterbury Tales Vol I by Luke Bellmason

Have you ever read a book that was so well-written you kind of hate the author? That's pretty much my feeling for Canterbury Tales. It's brilliant.

Amazon Synopsis

Every ten years each spacer pilot must make the pilgrimage to Vale, where the mighty and all powerful Federal Galactic Spaceflight Licensing Authority resides. From all corners of the nine galaxies they come, on ships such as the GSS Canterbury.

To pass the time over their three nights journeying through the void each traveller tells their story. Volume One features the tale of the Smuggler, the Merchant, the Assassin and the Knight. Join them to hear their tales of rivalry, revenge, piracy, insurrection, daring escapes and adventure in this all new re-imagining of the original Canterbury Tales.

This is what Geoffrey Chaucer might have written if he'd owned a ZX Spectrum when he was 12 and wasted his formative years playing video games through the 1980's.

If you're not familiar with the original, here's an overview:

What I Liked

The first thing I noticed was the very literary and witty writing style. I was hooked by the first few paragraphs. I also like that each story has an element of social commentary just below the surface. That's what science fiction is supposed to do: use fantastical situations to make us look at ourselves.

Each character is unique and interesting. You also get the sense of a  much more complex world in the background without the author wasting page after page in useless worldbuilding exposition. There are moments of horror, adventure, romance and intrigue. It hit all the right buttons.

What I Didn't Like

I have to wait til next year to read the second part. Seriously. That's my only negative reaction.


If you haven't read Canterbury Tales Volume 1 by Luke Bellmason do yourself a favor and pick it up. I'm sure you're going to hate Luke as much as I do.


Luke Bellmason's Website
Luke Bellmason on Goodreads
Luke Bellmason on Twitter
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