Bit­ter Six­teen

Biff ! Bang! Powys!

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Books -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW! 352 pages | Pa­per­back Au­thor: Ste­fan Mo­hamed Pub­lisher: Salt Pub­lish­ing

This sparky de­but puts the clas­sic comic book ori­gin story through the pop- cul­tural blen­der by gift­ing su­per­pow­ers to a kid who just hap­pens to be a mas­sive sci- fi geek.

For Smal­lville, sub­sti­tute Tref-y- Cel­wyn, the mid- Welsh town where vowel- de­fi­cient teenage loner Stanly sud­denly dis­cov­ers a tal­ent for flight and telekine­sis. Ac­com­pa­nied by a potty- mouthed bea­gle ( just go with it), Stanly up, ups and aways to Lon­don, where he throws his lot in with a bunch of Gen­er­a­tion X- Men in­ves­ti­gat­ing a se­ries of sin­is­ter child ab­duc­tions.

Zippy prose keeps the story bar­relling along, the genre ref­er­ences come thick and fast ( even the dog a Yoda im­pres­sion does) and, in Stanly, Mo­hamed has cre­ated a hero you’ll re­ally root for. A fly­ing start. Paul Kirkley

Bit­ter Six­teen has al­ready won Ste­fan Mo­hamed the Dy­lan Thomas Prize for New Writ­ers. There’s lovely.

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