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Guy Haley

A prolific freelance author and journalist, Guy Haley is the author of Reality 36, the Warhammer 40,000 novels Valedor and Baneblade, among others. He lives in Yorkshire with his wife and son.

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The Emperor’s Railroad: Doesn’t quite fulfill its potential

The Emperor’s Railroad by Guy Haley

Novellas, as their name attests, are a betwixt and between sort of narrative form. At their most effective, they find the perfect balance between not sacrificing too much in character development or (especially in fantasy/sci-fi) worldbuilding by stopping short of a novel’s typical length and not overly attenuating the impact of a short story by writing past their ending or diluting it with too much physical detail. It’s a fine line to walk, and unfortunately, I can’t say that Guy Haley toes it with any consistent success in The Emperor’s Railroad, leading to a work that has intriguing moments but as a whole falls frustratingly short.

The setting is a bleakly devastated future section of the United States (roughly the Ohio River valley), with most of humanity’s great works and technologies either already disappeared or badly rusting/rotting ... Read More