(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1960 edition)
3/5 (collated rating: Average)
The concept behind Brian Aldiss’ short story collection Galaxies Like Grains of Sand (1960) is intriguing. Take previously published stories (in this case from magazines in the late 50s), graft them together by means of mini-introductions, and arrange them so they fit into a future history framework à la Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men (1930) or Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (1951-1953).
The quality of the stories makes the format less than successful. Only three stories are worth reading — ‘Secret of a Mighty City’ (1958), ‘Out of Reach’ (1957), and ‘All Continue reading Book Review: Galaxies Like Grains of Sand, Brian Aldiss (1960)
Christmas = gift cards = more science fiction books, and a few my dad had procured for himself appeared miraculously in my pile — I’ve decided to break down the clump into manageable four book posts.
And of course, I wish you all a good sci-fi book hunting/reading year!
1. The Santaroga Barrier, Frank Herbert (1968)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)
I’ve read a substantial number of Frank Herbert’s non-Dune Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XIX (Herbert + Aldiss + et al.)
Michael (2theD), one of my friends whose reviews on Amazon I’ve been compulsively reading, has just started a review blog (on blogspot) called the Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature.
(the titles above are a small sample of the works Continue reading Update: Another Wonderful Sci-fi Review Blog
I’ve held to my promise not to buy any more books this summer considering I have at least 40 unread sci-fi books looming over my shoulder. However, other people are welcome to procure books FOR me! And they have — all of the following were gifts! Thank you!
1. The Last Starship from Earth (1968), John Boyd (MY REVIEW)
I’ve read multiple reviews which claim that John Boyd’s The Last Starship from Earth is a lost classic. However, opinion are far from unanimous (for example, the sci-fi author Joanna Russ wrote a scathing review blaming the publishers for subjecting her and fellow readers to Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. VI
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)
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 Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. III
Ok, I admit, I bought this book because of the gorgeous red/helium-breathing alien/humans toting spears cover… Sadly, there’s very little behind the cover besides a standard uninventive pulp-ish romp. Aldiss expends little effort and as result the work lacks an interesting society or an involving plot and all the action takes place in the slip-shop last few pages. Continue reading Book Review: Bow Down To Nul (variant title: The Interpreter), Brian W. Aldiss (1960)