Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

Three weeks into Vintage Science Fiction Month and I’ve only just realised I haven’t once linked to or credited its fabulous creator and host the Little Red Reviewer! (I am ashamed! Please forgive!) I lovelovelove this event because it always pushes me out of my comfort zone in some way.   Valentine Michael Smith was born on Mars and raised by Martians. He is brought to Earth as a young adult and he and humanity change each other in interesting ways. There is nothing unattractive to me about this blurb for Stranger in a Strange Land and this was all … Continue reading Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

The Crystal World by J G Ballard

After reading The Drowned World for Vintage SciFi Month last year I knew that I wanted to read something more of Ballard’s work. Maybe not a lot more, but some. I’m still not sure I like his work, but I appreciate his writing style a lot. Anyway, I had The Crystal World on the shelf, so here we are. Ballard wrote three “disaster” novels: The Drowned World, The Drought (alternatively titled The Burning World), and The Crystal World, in which he tackled the British cosy catastrophe form in his own way. In The Crystal World parts of the jungle in … Continue reading The Crystal World by J G Ballard

Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few Favourites

  Vintage SF cover art is in a league of its own. Looking back at some of the paperback covers from the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies is to see the visual language of science fiction being worked out image by image. There’s an experimental feel to a lot of the artwork produced during this period that totally floats my boat and so today, for your viewing pleasure (possibly) and for my own delectation (definitely) I’m sharing a select few of my favourite artists.   Richard Powers 1921-1996 I first came across Richard Powers’ work only last year when I was … Continue reading Vintage SciFi Artists – A Few Favourites

The Time Machine by H G Wells

  Late this afternoon I realised what day it was. On the back of that realisation was another, that I’d not yet written this post, and, more worrying, that I’d forgotten how to do this bloggy thing: I’ve been staring at the screen, then at my notes, then at the screen again for about two hours now.   This is going to be messy …   My motivation for rereading The Time Machine for Vintage SciFi Month was two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to read something from way back when the term ‘science fiction’ had yet to be coined, and secondly, … Continue reading The Time Machine by H G Wells

My Library Book Stack; or Accountability’s a B*tch

I have a lot of library books out on loan. Last year I worked hard to keep my library loans down to a reasonable number, for a reasonable amount of time. I tried to create a new, less compulsive habit. And then … well, and then COVID-19 became a thing, we went into Lockdown #1 and I panic-borrowed all the books because books might make for lumpy security blankets, but they’re great for building tall walls around yourself to defend against reality. And so my bad borrowing habit has returned with a vengeance. About half of the books in this … Continue reading My Library Book Stack; or Accountability’s a B*tch

Hidden in Sight by Julie E Czerneda

  During Sci-Fi Month 2018 I first made the acquaintance of the most charming of shapeshifters, Esen-alit-Quar, in Beholder’s Eye by Julie E Czerneda. Then in Sci-Fi Month 2019 I renewed our friendship when I read Changing Vision. So it seems only fitting that I should round off this year’s Sci-Fi Month participation with the final part of Czerneda’s original Web Shifters trilogy, Hidden in Sight. If you have any intention of reading this trilogy please be aware that from here on in SPOILERS lurk. I’ll keep them to an absolute minimum, but something might slip, so please, tread carefully! … Continue reading Hidden in Sight by Julie E Czerneda

Tales from the Loop by Simon Stålenhag

  “The stories I tell here are mostly based on the memories of myself and others: especially my childhood friend, Ola, who possesses a near-eidetic memory and has been able to recall all our schoolyard stories down to the smallest detail. I am eternally grateful to him for his help with the content of this book.”   The Loop. The world’s largest particle accelerator, built in Sweden in 1969. Active between 1970 when the first experiment was conducted and 1994 when it was decommissioned.   Last year I was introduced to Simon Stålenhag’s work for the first time when I … Continue reading Tales from the Loop by Simon Stålenhag

Read-along: Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle (Week 4)

After travelling the length and breadth of the land, playing the Orthean game of intrigue to the best of her ability, and surviving imprisonment, sickness and assassination attempts, Dominion envoy Christie is finally coming to the end of her stay on Orthe. Will her memories be fond? Has she made a good impression? Will she make it out alive? It’s the final week of the Golden Witchbreed read-along for SciFi Month, and we’re discussing part eight. And as we’re talking about the end here, I hope it’s obvious that this is as spoilery as it’s going to get! SPOILERS! SPOILERS! … Continue reading Read-along: Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle (Week 4)

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

  This was a good solid reading experience. It had some great characters, an incredible world for them to play in and a political shenanigans plot that bounced along at a steady pace without ever being so indecorous as to break into an all-out run. I should be squeee-ing all over the place. But I’m not. And I don’t know why. I enjoyed reading this. I was invested in the characters and events, I laughed out loud at some of the snarkier dialogue, and I had Thoughts as a result of Martine’s exploration of language, colonization and what makes a … Continue reading A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

Fun for Monday: 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation

Another year, another SciFi Month, another Monday … it must be time for another round of six degrees! I was sitting on the fence about doing this tag again this year, but imyril tipped me over the edge by getting SF giant Peter F(rigging) Hamilton to play – I mean, how am I supposed to resist that?! This tag was inspired by Kate over at Books are My Favourite and Best, but had its dial tweaked round to sci-fi by imyril for SciFi Month 2019. It is an addictive, frustrating, ultimately satisfying tag/game that can be played again and again, … Continue reading Fun for Monday: 6 Degrees of SFnal Separation