Monday, August 14, 2017

Classic Book Stats

In several previous posts I've mentioned some of the 'classic' SF books that I've read over the past few years. I decided to quantify how many of the 'best' or 'classic' books I've read, with the aid of Goodreads. This is what I came up with:

ListNumber          Read           %
SF Masterworks1705331%
BSFA 481225%

The 'Best' list at the top is the Best Science Fiction top 100 on Goodreads, which is probably as valid as any other 'Best of' list. The others obviously refer to the major Science Fiction awards, and I've also included the SF Masterworks imprint.

These various lists give me some idea of books to add to my to-read list and I've decided to start with some that appear on more than one list.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Review: Our Memory Like Dust by Gavin Chait

In the middle of the twenty-first century, war and drought still ravage Africa and millions of people are displaced and heading towards an unwelcoming Europe. Giant energy corporations battle over profits and governments struggle to provide answers to any of mankind’s problems while Jihadis run rampage over much of Northern Africa. Despite all of these all-too-familiar problems forming the background of Our Memory Like Dust, Gavin Chait has not written a gritty tale of gloom and disaster but a surprisingly uplifting novel of determination and innovation.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Putting the Science in Fiction

My article on hazardous waste that appeared in Dan Koboldt's Science in SciFi blog will be making the move to print in a new book version to be published by Writers Digest. You can read the announcement here and Dan explains more about it at his blog.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

It’s airships and rifles in a kind of Napoleonic-era war in the steampunkish debut novel The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis. Other than the steam engines mounted on the airships and the mention of trains, there’s little of the traditional Victorian steampunk ethos in this book. But there’s plenty of adventure, grittiness and sarcastic comments.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Book Review: The Wandering Earth by Cixin Liu

After reading Cixin Liu’s Three-Body trilogy last year and subsequently meeting him in person for an interview, I have been looking forward to reading his first translated short fiction collection, The Wandering Earth. Three of his short stories were published in English in the Ken Liu edited volume Invisible Planets, but only one of those appears among the ten stories in this volume, half of which have won the prestigious Galaxy Award in China.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: Dark Run by Mike Brooks

Dark Run is the debut novel by Mike Brooks with a book full of dodgy space bars, roguishly heroic smuggler captains and assorted crewmembers with dubious pasts, mechanically augmented humans and seedy underground dwellings.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Family Flash Fiction Challenge

Alex, Haydn and I have all written stories for this month;s flash fiction challenge. You can read all the entries here, and even comment and vote if you like.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Review: The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

‘The Collapsing Empire’ is the first book in a new series by award-winning author John Scalzi and the first of his books that I’ve read. The setting is a far-flung interstellar empire know as the Interdependency, over a thousand years in the future, where planets are connected via poorly-understood faster-than-light conduits known as the Flow.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Further Classics

Following on from my previous posts on the subject, I've continued to look out for 'classic' SF books that have won awards, appeared on 'Best of' lists etc.

These are the ones I've read over the past year or so:

Dreamsnake by Vonda N. McIntyre - Enjoyably lyrical.

Hothouse by Brian W. Aldiss - Very good, though slightly old-fashioned now.

Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boule - OK, not actually hailed as a classic, and actually rather antiquated even for its time.

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin - Very good, but not really sure what the fuss is about.

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson - Rather dated.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick - I don't know why everyone says this is so good.

According to the GoodReads 'Best Science Fiction' list I've read 52 of the top 100 science fiction novels of all time, which isn't bad. There are, of course, lots of other 'Best of' lists.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Review Revival

Over 100 of my older book and magazine reviews no longer appear on line because the sites they appeared on have since disappeared. I've started to post the  reviews on GoodReads for the sake of posterity.