Robert Bee's blog

BOOK REVIEW: "Selected Stories by Fritz Lieber" (2010)

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It’s an exaggeration to describe Fritz Leiber as a forgotten writer, but he certainly is not as well known among younger fans or as prominent today as he deserves. Leiber won 6 Hugos, 4 Nebulas and 20 or so other awards such as the Lovecraft and August Derleth. Leiber is a major figure in the field of fantasy, SF, and horror, yet most of his work remains out of print.

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BOOK REVIEW: "The collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume Two: To The Dark Star" by Robert Silverberg (2007)

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I've written about this series in the New York Review of Science Fiction, but this is the first chance I’ve had to read volume 2, which contains much of Silverberg’s award winning and influential SF from the 60s. To the Dark Star went out of print rapidly and is now selling for prices such as $75 or $100 dollars online. Silverberg recently rereleased the first four volumes of the series for $5 apiece in Kindle, iPad, and Nook format, which is a tremendous deal. To the Dark Star has over a dozen stories, is over 500 pages long, and contains a lengthy introduction for each selection.

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BOOK REVIEW: "Stress Pattern" by Neal Barrett Jr. (1974)

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Neal Barrett Jr. is one of those writers that I’ve been meaning to get around to reading for some time; several of his novels have been stacked in the teetering piles of paperbacks that constitute the décor of my home office. Recently, I picked Stress Pattern largely at random out of a bag of paperbacks I recently bought and read through it. The book is a short, 70s SF novel published by DAW books with the old uniform yellowish covers.

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BEE-LINE TO THE FUTURE: Papergadgets

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I’m fascinated by the intersection of ancient superstitions and modern technology. MIC gadget, which is a website about Chinese gadgets and life in contemporary China, posted an interesting article, “Chinese Families Burn Paper Gadgets to Honor the Dead” (http://micgadget.com/11949/chinese-families-burn-paper-gadgets-to-honor-...).

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BOOK REVIEW: "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (1972)

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In Roadside Picnic, a classic novel of Russian science fiction, aliens have landed on several locations on Earth, remained briefly, and then just as mysteriously disappeared. They’ve left behind artifacts in landing areas known as Zones, dangerous places where people encounter bizarre obstacles that can kill without warning, sometimes swiftly and sometimes slowly, such as burning fluff, death lamps, and spitting devil’s cabbage. Many people who enter the Zone, even those with special suits who work for the army and scientific organizations, die gruesome deaths.

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