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All reviews - Books (13)

Character driven science fiction

Posted : 15 years, 1 month ago on 8 December 2006 03:24 (A review of Santaroga Barrier)

Much more accessible than his most famous work, Dune, The Santaroga Barrier is still excellent science fiction.

TSB is the story of a small farming town whose residents refuse to purchase anything, except perhaps cars, from "the outside". After the death of two investigators sent to explore this barrier, Dr. Gilbert Dasein, a psychologist, is chosen by a retail conglomerate to complete a market study of the area.

Weary of the apparent danger to outsiders, Dasein agrees to go, partly motivated by the fact that his old college girlfriend is a resident of Santaroga. After narrowly escaping an alarming number of seemingly-plausible accidents and noticing the pattern of the omnipresent "Jaspers" additive in the local food, our good doctor begins to suspect there is more to the Santaroga Barrier than a mild cultural difference.

The (relivately) familiar setting of this book makes it much more attractive to those not familiar with the genre. Highly recommended.

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Only fans need apply

Posted : 15 years, 2 months ago on 11 November 2006 03:23 (A review of Slow Learner: Early Stories)

For fans of his later, more dense works, this is a very light, moderately less strange read. This book is excellent if only for the introduction Pynchon has written for it. I particularly enjoyed reading his criticisms and seeing his writing mature before my eyes. Also, it was a bit encouraging to see that he is human after all.

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A turning point

Posted : 15 years, 3 months ago on 17 October 2006 01:48 (A review of Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)

This book quite literally changed my life. I found it lying around the house when I was sixteen, left by my college-bound older sister.

The fact that I, at the time generally bored by nonfiction, consumed this book is a testament to its compelling and captivating nature. Sagan holds our universe in awe and conveys a sense of wonder to the reader that gripped me and changed my views forever.

A book primarily about our future as a species, it covers astronomy, evolution, and engineering in an effort to explain why we must progress beyond our home world. The world would be a better place if this was required reading for everyone.

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An arrestingly fascinating autobiography

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 30 May 2006 08:45 (A review of Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)

If you or someone you know suffers from depression then you need to read this. Styron writes more clearly and beautifully about (his own) depression than I would have imagined possible.

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Excellent science fiction

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 05:17 (A review of Stranger in a Strange Land)

If you are interesting in this book, be sure to get the unabridged version. The original publisher cut some sixty thousand words from the first printing. I've only read the full version and never noticed any sections I thought should be omitted. Definately not a bad book to begin with if you're unfamiliar with Heinlein.

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Really a great book for children

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 01:26 (A review of A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet))

Having read this when I was much younger, I enjoyed revisiting it more recently. I could see this becoming a child's favorite.

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An excellent compilation

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 01:20 (A review of The Hugo Winners, Volume 5: Nine Prizewinning Science Fiction Stories (1980 - 1982))

This is a wonderful collection of Hugo Award winning short stories. Here you'll find several authors who later created some wonderful larger works, like Martin, Simak, and Zelazny.
My personal favorites are Sandkings, The Way of Cross and Dragon, and Grotto of the Dancing Deer.

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Clarke's hard science fiction

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 12:41 (A review of Across the Sea of Stars: An Omnibus Containing the Complete Novles of Childhood's End and Earthlight and Eighteen Short Stories)

Clarke's hard science fiction seems to be hit or miss but this collection is quite good. Anyone who calls himself a fan of science fiction should at least read Childhood's End.

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Young readers' science fiction

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 12:20 (A review of The Heavenly Host (Puffin Books))

Bought with lot of other used books. Perhaps I'll have a child who will enjoy it one day.

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Foundation Series

Posted : 15 years, 8 months ago on 29 May 2006 12:15 (A review of Foundations Edge (Signed & Numbered ed))

The fourth book of the Foundation Series, it remains unread because I've yet to purchase the first three. I got it with a large bundle of books from a used book seller somewhere in New England.

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