Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book Review: Go Forth and Multiply Edited by Gordon Van Gelder

I’ve often found when reading Science Fiction from the 50s and 60s that what dates it more than the technology is the social attitudes. It was a much more sexist world in those days and the fiction reflects that: the astronauts and scientists are almost always male and any female characters are always secretaries, stewardesses or nurses and they frequently have hysterics and need to be slapped round the face.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.







Friday, September 08, 2017

Book Review: Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

After centuries of mankind’s increasing reliance on robots, they turn on their makers and wipe them out. That’s not what this book is about though. In Sea Of Rust we find out what happens next when robotkind and the huge AIs that helped them win their freedom are left to themselves.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.







Monday, September 04, 2017

Book Review: Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

The difficulty with time travel stories is that it’s very easy to tie yourself in knots whilst trying to make the plot interesting. Robert Charles Wilson makes it clear early in the plot how endless paradoxes and recursive loops are to be avoided. This by the fact that an alternative history is created when time-travellers arrive in the past, a history that from then on diverges from their own.










Read the rest of my Review at SF Crowsnest.







Friday, August 25, 2017

Book Review: The Real-Town Murders by Adam Roberts

It’s a nearish-future world in Adam Roberts’ latest novel The Real-Town Murders, wherein a large proportion of people spend a large proportion of their time in the Shine, an immersive Internet/virtual reality world where everything is better and more convenient than the Real-Town.










Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.







Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review: Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher

It was a quiet afternoon in my office when the parcel landed on my desk with a thud. Brown cardboard, clear sticky tape and address handwritten in black ink. I knew exactly what it was and where it came from. A review copy of Killing Is My Business by Adam Christopher.





Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.




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           %
Best1005555%
Hugo713042%
Locus471838%
Nebula542037%
SF Masterworks1705331%
BSFA 481225%
Campbell45818%
Clarke29310%






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.