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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Tentacles The SF Reviews newsletter, 24th September 2002

More reviews from the pile of heap of moldy paperbacks with bright covers and brown-edged pages.

I came across an interesting web page "Definitions of Science Fiction". It collects a number of definitions of SF by various notables. Pick a definition that suits the occasion. If, for example, you are speaking at the SF Reviews Annual Ball, you may wish to choose a more flowery one than that you would use to win the argument, bottle in hand, in the Kings Head. Or not.

Best Books This Month

The best books this month were, best first:

"The Demolished Man" and "Where Late The Sweet Birds Sang" are both classic works of SF and should be compulsory reading.

"Days Of Atonement" was a complete surprise. I had no idea that Williams could write so well, or so differently from his style in "Metropolitan" and "City On Fire". Jolly well done, Walter Jon.

"Beggars in Spain" and "The Dispossessed" are very worthy books. I enjoyed Beggars more than Dispossessed, but the latter leaves a more powerful trace in my memory, and probably affected me more.

Worst Books This Month

These two werenít awful, just not very good, and they were both disappointing:

The problem with "Anvil" problem is that it has an essentially uninteresting plot. "Limit Of Vision" flops because Linda Negata failed to take enough time and enough care to think it through and do it properly.

This Monthís Reviews

Next Monthís Reviews

Iíve just finished reading Neal Asherís "THE SKINNER" so I hope Iíll do my best to review that for the next update. Stunning stuff!

Having been roundly criticised in a recent email for failing to review any Asimov or Bradbury, I can only offer my standard excuse: I (still) donít have access to the major part of my book collection. This is distributed in hardened silos across two continents. Messrs Asimov and Bradbury, being some of the first authors I read, are (foolishly with hindsight) in that collection. However, I did give in and pick up a copy of Asimovís "Foundation" at the excellent "Good Day Books" last week, so an overdue review of that may appear real soon now.

Another Obituary

WWII veteran Dr Lloyd Biggle Jr died this month. His first SF novel, "All The Colors Of Darkness", was published in 1963. From what I can remember, this was pretty good. My personal favourite was the excellent "Monument" from 1974. Heíll be missed.

Upbeat Science Note

I was immensely pleased to hear this month that Christopher Reeve has, after seven years, recovered some sensation in and control of his limbs, presumably due to the radical treatment heís recently been undergoing. This is astounding - for his particular injury, no recovery was expected. Go for it, Mr Reeve.

And also this month, Peter Sana of Honolulu, woke from a seven-year coma. Mens sana in corpore sano.

Urge to travel?

Are you fed up with where youíre living now? Hate the commute? Loathe the people? Absolutely certain that neither globalisation nor environmentalism is ever going to make a damn bit of difference to the ravaged ruin you inhabit? Maybe itís time to move. Check out NASA's Mars Exploration Program Landing Sites.

That's all for now. As always, tell me what you think about the books, the reviews and the site. Do let me know if there are books you think I should review.

Take care




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