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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Sinister Barrier

Copyright 1939 by Eric Frank Russell

In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 29th July 2003.

Too many scientists have been dying, mainly by their own hand. Bill Graham, government investigator, suspects that there is something very strange, even out of this world, in these deaths. With his trusty foil, police lieutenant Art Wohl, he begins his investigation.

It seems that even to think of the existence of aliens risks death.

As Graham begins to unearth the alien conspiracy, the aliens trigger a new world war. In the last few hours of freedom, as the bombs drop around them, hope of finding any weapon to use against the aliens looks faint indeed.

This is a rip-roaring adventure with a non-stop, gung-ho hero who, when he is not saving mankind, is sexually harassing the beautiful and intelligent Dr Harmony Curtis,

I have to admit I read this through in one sitting. Partly that is because it is neither nor a large book, but mainly because it really is great fun, a gripping yarn.

What's it got? Well, lots of old-fashioned dynamic problem-solving by the bright and determined hero. Oddly inscrutable aliens and an archaic spelling of the word clue throughout the book - I spent the first couple of hours thinking that clew referred to a ball of yarn, and I was well confused. It simply did not occur to me at the beginning that it was a variant spelling of clue.

Loaded on the 1st August 2003.
Cover of Sinister Barrier
Cover art by Ralph McQuarrie