Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Review: Purgatory Mount by Adam Roberts

In the far distant future, a group of long-lived humans take a 40 light year flight aboard the starship Forward to investigate an interesting feature detected on the planet V538 Aurigae. The craft is also a generation ship for what appears to be a sub-species of human and briefly reminded me of Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Book Review: The Future is Yours by Dan Frey


From: Geoff Willmetts, SF Crowsnest 
To: Gareth D Jones 

Hi Gareth, here’s a new book for you to review: ‘The Future Is Yours’ by Dan Frey. It’s written as a series of emails, texts, transcripts, reports etc. 


Hi Geoff, sounds great – I like that kind of thing. I’ve read (and written) quite a few short stories like that, but a whole novel is unusual. Send it my way!

Read the rest of my review, written in the style of the book, at SF Crowsnest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Book Review: The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Celebrated scientist Evelyn Caldwell has cracked the secret of creating human clones. This could be the start of a high-concept SF novel involving an imperial clone army but, in fact, takes a far more interesting and darkly humorous.

Read the rest of my review at SF Crowsnest.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

William Shakespeare's Returneth to the Future

 I enjoyed reading William Shakespeare's Star Wars Episode IV: Verily, a New Hope by Ian Doescher a few years back, and thought to myself, what else could be Shakespearised? The obvious answer seemed to be Back to the Future.

I wrote a Shakespearian version of the opening scene and, rather pleased with it, sent a query to the publishers of Ian Doescher's books, only to discover he was already working on the same idea. His book was later published as Get Thee back to the Future, and my opening scene remained languishing on my computer.

I rediscovered it again today and decided I may as well post it here instead.

William Shakespeare’s Returneth to the Future

By Gareth D Jones





DOC BROWN, a scientist

MARTY MCFLY, his friend, a high school student







In Doc Brown’s house.


CHORUS        A house quite startling in its clutter’d mess,

In fair Hill Valley where we lay our scene,

                        Is where Doc Brown doth genius confess

                        And tinker with both time and time machine.

A vast array of clocks all march in time,

In harmony they start their daily task

And trigger automation so sublime,

                        So that on time Doc Brown may break his fast.

                        But for this feast of food so skilful made,

                        Of coffee, egg and toast on which to dine,

                        There is nobody home, no table laid,

                        Not man, nor beast, the loyal dog Einstein.

                        And in amongst this wonder of cuisine,

                        The TV tuned in to a sombre scene:



NEWSCASTER  A theft of rare plutonium, we hear
Hath taken place and causes us much fear

                        Foul terrorists from Libya were blamed,

                        Yet now ‘tis but an error, it is claimed.





MARTY            Oh Doc! Doc Brown! Art thou at home, pray tell?
What is that stench, that overwhelming smell?
'Tis Einstein’s food upon the kitchen floor,
A mess the mutt will relish, that’s for sure.
I know not where the Doctor can be found,
But while I'm here I'll try out this new sound.
I'll turn the amps up, all the dials to ten
And my guitar I will plug in, and then
With plectrum twixt my fingers I will strum...

[Marty is flung across the room.

That sound! So loud! For hours my ears will hum!

[ A telephone rings.


DOC BROWN   [On the phone:] Young Marty, is that you my faithful friend?


MARTY            Hey Doc, hey Doc, where art thou this fine day?


DOC BROWN   Pray canst thou meet me at the Twin Pines Mall?

Tonight at one fifteen and there I shall

Reveal a major breakthrough I have made

For which I’ll need assistance of first grade.


MARTY            But wait a moment, one fifteen you say?

In early morn, before the light of day?

O Doc, what’s going on? Where hast thou been

All week? And what of Einstein? Hast thou seen?


DOC BROWN   Indeed he is right here along with me.


MARTY            Thou left thine apparatus on all week.


DOC BROWN   My apparatus, Marty, brings to mind

Thou best had not hook up the speaker grand,

Mayhap there could be caused an overload.


MARTY            Advice I’m sure that will be helpful, aye.


DOC BROWN   Until tonight then, prithee don’t forget,

At Twin Pines Mall at one fifteen be set.

 [Clocks chime.

                        Are all my clocks a-chiming in accord?


MARTY            Yea verily, ‘tis eight o’clock precise.


DOC BROWN   Ah, perfect! My experiment hath worked.

For five minutes and twenty they have shirked.


MARTY            O wait a minute, wait a minute, Doc!

Thou meanst it’s twenty-five past eight o’clock?


DOC BROWN   Precisely, Marty, that is what I mean.


MARTY            Ye gads! I’m late for school, I must away!

[Exit Marty, on a skateboard.


 CHORUS:        And so on wheelĂ©d board young Marty flies,

                        With aid of passing carriages he speeds,

                        A poster of Mayor Wilson he espies,

                        En route to tend to his scholastic needs.