The Drought by J G Ballard

This is another one of Ballard’s four ‘disaster’ novels, of which I have now read three. The Drowned World imagined the melting of the polar icecaps and a flooded, tropically hot London. The Crystal World posited a world that was slowly crystallising. In The Drought we see a world in which industrial pollution causes water to become dramatically scarce. (The other book in this series is The Wind from Nowhere, in which the world is … you’ve guessed it … windy. It was Ballard’s debut and a novel that he later discounted as a “hackwork”. It’s on my list nonetheless). … Continue reading The Drought by J G Ballard

The Killing Thing by Kate Wilhelm

Kate Wilhelm is possibly best known for Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang which won both the Hugo and the Locus Awards in 1977. She was a prolific author of both science fiction and murder mysteries about whom there is only a little information that I can find. Both The Little Red Reviewer and Ollie of Infinite Speculation wrote awesome posts about Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, putting Wilhem on my radar, so when I found The Killing Thing (alt. title The Killer Thing) in one of the boxes of old SFF given to me by one of our … Continue reading The Killing Thing by Kate Wilhelm

Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey

My first pick for Vintage SciFi Month this year is Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey, published in 1978. I found it in the motherload of old sff books that I received from one of our patrons last year (more about this glorious hoard to come shortly, stay tuned), and I chose it primarily for it’s fabulous cover art by Tim White. That and the fact that Anne McCaffrey was once one of my favourite authors, so I thought I’d drop by. There is, unfortunately, a very good reason why you shouldn’t revisit authors, books, tv shows and movies that you … Continue reading Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey

Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 4)

After the revelations of last week everything has moved pretty fast in this final quarter of the SciFiMonth read-along and the Empire looks very different now. More importantly, Kiem and Jainan have finally worked each other out and have an exciting future ahead of them, both personally and politically. So without further ado, let’s tackle Lisa’s prompts for the concluding chapters of Winter’s Orbit.   SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!   Week 4: Chapter 23 through to end We learn the truth of who was behind the fake remnants, the Kingfisher thefts, and Taam’s murder… What did you make of Aren … Continue reading Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 4)

Buddy-reading Too Like the Lightning with imyril

Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer is perhaps the oddest, most frustrating novel I’ve read this year. Fortunately, there is something about buddy-reading that makes even the most difficult of books a lot more fun and this was definitely the case here. I was so grateful for imyril’s company as we explored Palmer’s 2454. (Thank you imyril! *big we-did-it high-five*). A more professional introduction and the first half of our conversation can be found over at imyril’s here and this is definitely where you should start. If you’re visiting me having read that first post, then hello and welcome! So, to … Continue reading Buddy-reading Too Like the Lightning with imyril

Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 3)

  There’s been survival drama and political drama this week, and more suspicious goings on than we can shake a stick at. Not to mention that final bombshell at the end of Chapter 22. Thank goodness for read-along prompts – brought to us this week by the awesome Ariana of the Book Nook, (one my favourite people!) – to help us order our thoughts and feelings. As mentioned in previous weeks, the schedule for this SciFiMonth read-along can be found here at Dear Geek Place, and the weekly prompts are posted on this Goodreads page here. SPOILERS from here on … Continue reading Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 3)

The Echo by James Smythe

  Twenty-three years after the events described in The Explorer, twin brothers Tomas and Mirakel Hyvönen head up an international mission to investigate the anomaly that can be seen in the region of space in which the Ishiguro disappeared. They have dedicated their lives to this anomaly and this mission is to be the fruition of all their dreams. They have meticulously planned every detail, have spared no expense to create the perfect research vessel and put together the best team. Mira will be aboard the Lära (named for the twins’ dead mother) along with five other scientists and engineers, … Continue reading The Echo by James Smythe

Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 2)

Last week we met newly-weds Kiem and Jainan and dipped our toes into the present situation on Iskat as the renewal of their treaty with the Resolution looms. This week we’re swimming in the political relationship between Iskat and Thea and the suspicious goings-on that all seem to come back to Jainan and his previous partner, Prince Taam. Interesting isn’t the word. The schedule for this SciFi Month read-along can be found here at Dear Geek Place, and the weekly prompts are posted on this Goodreads page here. This week imyril has provided the prompts to get us talking. Let’s … Continue reading Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 2)

Astra: Lost in Space by Kenta Shinohara

  Astra: Lost in Space is a complete-in-five-volumes manga series about a group of school kids who get lost in space under suspicious circumstances and must work together to return home. It is, by turns, a gripping mystery, a fun space adventure and a typical-to-manga comedy. If you’ve ever wondered where to start when faced with the mountains of manga out there, this is an ideal place. It doesn’t represent a massive commitment of time or funds like some of the incredibly long-running series do, it’s a familiar enough set-up that it doesn’t intimidate and it’s a kickass story with … Continue reading Astra: Lost in Space by Kenta Shinohara

Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 1)

  It feels like forever since we did a read-along (it’s been five months) and I’m so glad our illustrious SciFi Month captains chose Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell because it gave me the perfect excuse to get myself a copy (and, even better, read it in the same year of acquisition!). If you want more information about this most excellent read-along, you can find the schedule over at Dear Geek Place. Each week’s questions/prompts are being posted each Thursday on this Goodreads page here. And now, without further ado…   Week 1: Chapters 1 through 6 First up, introductions! … Continue reading Read-along: Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell (week 1)