Book Reviews

CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW: “Gods of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1918)

Republibot 3.0's picture

I’d been holding off of the “John Carter of Mars” series for pretty much my entire life since it always seemed kind of dumb and beneath me. It sounded like “Conan the Barbarian” set in space, and that’s just not my bag (Though to be fair, the “Gor” series is more like Conan the Barbarian in space). Just the same when I finally got around to reading the first book I have to say the purple prose and breathless excitement of it won me over.

Tags: 

SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW: “The Owl in Daylight” by Tessa Dick (2008)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Yesterday we talked about “What if Our World is Their Heaven?” a book which transcribed the final interview with Philip K. Dick, in which he gave a detailed outline for the next book he intended to write, “The Own in Daylight.” Alas, he never lived to do so. Today we’re going to talk about “The Own in Daylight,” a book written by Tessa Dick, Phil’s widow, and published last year, and based on her reminiscences of Phil’s own, unwritten story.

Tags: 

CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW: “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1917)

Republibot 3.0's picture

This is one of those books that people have endlessly referred to in more recent, better science fiction, but which I’ve always avoided. I’m not sure why. Maybe it was those Frazetta paintings (A Safe-For-Work example http://farm1.static.flickr.com/50/173750100_7b6b64414d.jpg?v=0 there are many not-safe-for-work ones) that put me off when I was younger and kind of a religious fanatic. Maybe it was just that all the pictures I’d ever seen made me think it was a fantasy story, and I never liked those. I dunno.

Tags: 

(Vaguely)SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW: “The Fourth Bear” by Jasper Fforde (2006)

Republibot 3.0's picture

It is a little-known fact about Cucumbers that as they grow they can filter Deuterium and Tritium from groundwater and store it in themselves in ever-greater concentrations. This isn’t a problem ordinarily as Deuterium is harmless to people and cucumbers are, on the whole, pretty small. However, if a cucumber were grown to a weight of exactly fifty pounds, it would have reached critical mass and would explode like an atomic bomb. A thermo-Cucular Bomb.

Tags: 

BOOK REVIEW: “Crash go the Chariots” by Clifford Wilson (1973)

Republibot 3.0's picture

I reviewed the sequel to this book, “The Chariots Still Crash” a bit ago, and quite enjoyed it. It was far from the greatest book ever written, but it had a very formative effect on my when I was young, and it was nice to re-read it now and see that it wasn’t total crap.

Alas, the prequel doesn’t hold up so well.

Tags: 

BOOK REVIEW: “The Enchanted Island of Yew” by L. Frank Baum (1903)

Republibot 3.0's picture

NOTE: “Oz” and everything pertaining to it is not Science Fiction, it’s Fantasy. However, the books had a profound influence on the early masters of the genre like Heinlein and Bradbury, and they have an immensely complex interior world they developed, so I’ve decided occasionally to mention them here, not because they’re SF, but because they’re part of the intellectual soil from which SF grew.

Tags: 

BOOK REVIEWS: “Space Patrol: The Official Guide to the Galactic Security Force” by “Stephen Caldwell” (1980)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Ok, a little backstory here: Back in 1977/78, in the crazy Science Fiction boom following Star Wars, everyone was in a mad dash to get SOME kind of SF-related product out there to liberate us tykes from our parent’s hard-earned money. Into this melee of unsupervised, unexpected niche-capitalism came Stewart Cowley, a junior editor at some English publishing house or another.

Tags: 

SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEWS: “Scatterbrain” by Larry Niven (2003)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Mister Niven is one of my favorite Science Fiction writers. He’s concocted my favorite fictional universe (“Known Space”) and he’s only written two books I’m aware of that are so bad they made me want to murder people (“World out of Time” and “The Griping Hand”). I forgive him for that.

Tags: 

CLASSIC SCIENCE FICTION BOOK REVIEW: “Erewhon Revisited” by Samuel Butler (1901)

Republibot 3.0's picture

I read Erewhon out of curiosity some years ago, as I have a soft spot for travelogues of nonexistent lands. They’re just fun, particularly the ones like Gulliver’s Travels and Utopia, that are social satire. I found mention of “Erewhon” (A lazy anagram for “Nowhere”) in the “Dictionary of Imaginary Places” and read it a few years back. I found it tedious and dull, for the most part, a particularly dry book written primarily to satirize the theory of evolution, which he disagreed with.

Tags: 

BOOK REVIEW: “The Chariots Still Crash” by Clifford Wilson (1975)

Republibot 3.0's picture

Ah, this book was like revisiting the neighborhood I lived in as a kid, I just rocked hard on the nostalgia. Back in the day, when I was a fanatic, I checked this book and it’s prequel (“Crash Go The Chariots”) out of the church library multiple times, frequently before long car trips so I’d have something interesting to read. Now that I’m not a fanatic anymore, I’m sort of surprised how well “The Chariots Still Crash” holds up, actually.

Tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to Book Reviews