D. G. Compton’s first science fiction novel, The Quality of Mercy (1965), is a forgotten work which deserves to be read along with the rest of his canon. I’ve found Compton’s lesser known works to be on the whole quite solid — with the dismal The Missionaries (1972) the lone exception so far. Both Synthajoy (1968) and The Steel Crocodile (1970) are among my top reads of this year. I’m keeping his acknowledged masterpiece Continue reading Book Review: The Quality of Mercy, D. G. Compton (1965)
James Blish’s The Star Dwellers (1961) is a quality sci-fi novel (for younger readers) easily comparable to some of Heinlein’s juveniles. The plot is straightforward/predictable yet still engaging. Of course, Jack, our seventeen year old hero, saves the day! Unlike the best “alien encounter” sci-fi novels which convey a certain sense of convincing “reality,” The Star Dwellers demands Continue reading Book Review: The Star Dwellers, James Blish (1961)
I promised not to buy any more books over the summer unless I ran out — alas, Memorial Day Sale at one of the best Half Price Books in the country (Austin) is a “bad” combination. I had to reduce my gigantic pile by half before I dared approach the buy counter….
I’m proud of this haul!
1. Hawksbill Station (1968), Robert Silverberg (MY REVIEW)
I’ve wanted to procure Hawksbill Station for quite a while — the premise is fantastic, five dangerous prisoners are held at Hawksbill Station located in the Cambrian era… One bizarre use of time travel! I hope Silverberg is at his best à la The World Inside and Downward to the Earth.
2. Master of Life and Death, Robert Continue reading Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. V
For me Robert Silverberg has finally lost his aura. I knew it would happen eventually if I delved into his lesser read 60s works — but I’d been impressed recently with a string of his best (Thorns, Downward to the Earth, The World Inside) which created the aforementioned aura. I believe in the demystification of an author (for nebulous reasons) however painful the reader’s experience might be — at least The Time Hoppers (1967) clocks in at a mere 182 pages.
The Time Hoppers takes place in an overpopulated world Continue reading Book Review: The Time Hoppers, Robert Silverberg (1967)
I’ve finally acquired enough science fiction books to hold me (hopefully) over the summer YET few enough that I’ll clear out 90% of previous unread novels languishing in dark forgotten corners of my bookshelves…. A valiant statement I know. Most likely more will arrive mysteriously in the mail — when I sleepwalk I buy books (books in the mail = evidence of sleepwalking)…
1. The Time Hoppers, Robert Silverberg (1967) (MY REVIEW)
Another overpopulation themed novel! From the few reviews I’ve read this pales in Continue reading Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. IV
I need reading suggestions.
After reading John Brunner’s Hugo winning masterpiece Stand on Zanzibar (1968) a few years back I became entranced by science fiction exploring social themes (intelligently) extrapolated from a future Earth condition of extreme overpopulation. In the recent months I’ve read and reviewed a glut of similarly themed works of uneven quality. Many of these works were inspired by Paul and Anne Ehrlich’s non-fiction The Population Bomb (1968) which warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of overpopulation. Continue reading Update: Sci-fi about the social ramifications of overpopulation, a call for suggestions
Brian Aldiss’ Earthworks (1965) takes place in a future Earth wrecked by the effects of overpopulation and the resulting environmental repercussions of intensive, expansive, and destructive over-farming. In this disturbed world of increasing automation and devaluation of human life, robots are worth more than people and the hungry diseased hordes of mankind have reverted to Continue reading Book Review: Earthworks, Brian W. Aldiss (1965)