Update: Sci-fi about the social ramifications of overpopulation, a call for suggestions


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: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. III

1. The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard, J. G. Ballard (2009)

My girlfriend gave me this MASSIVE (1196 pages) newly released volume of all of Ballard’s short stories  (arranged in chronological order) for my birthday.  I’m extremely excited because I enjoyed my first Ballard work, High-Rise (1975).  Does anyone have a particular story which I should start with? Continue reading

Book Review: Downward to the Earth, Robert Silverberg (1970)

4.75/5 (Very Good)

1971 Nebula Nominated Novel (Silverberg declined the nomination)

The first two-thirds of Robert Silverberg’s masterpiece Downward to the Earth (1970) is easily in the pantheon of the best sections of a science fiction book I’ve ever read.  I found it emotionally engaging and often downright nerve-racking, moody and disturbed, and engages in an intelligent and poignant manner with the issue of de-colonization which was coming to the fore in the 1960s. Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Sidney Lumet (June 25, 1924-April 9, 2011) and mini-reviews of the films of his I’ve seen

The great American director Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) passed away today and in honor of his long and productive  career (albeit with brief lulls of average work) here are a few mini-reviews of the films of his I’ve seen in order of preference. I’ve not seen many of his acknowledged masterpieces including Serpico, The Hill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Pawnbroker, etc.

1. Network (1976)

9.5/10 (Masterpiece)

Network (1976) is by far my favorite Sidney Lumet film Continue reading

Book Review: Half Past Human, T. J. Bass (1971)

3.25/5 (Average)

1971 Nebula Nominated Novel

T.J. Bass’ Half Past Human is a flawed yet occasionally intriguing fix-up novel which was nominated for the 1971 Nebula Award.  I found that the atrocious prose overshadowed all the work’s positives and made it a chore to read.  Bass is a practicing doctor and thus apparently finds it fun to inundate his narrative with medical Continue reading