Books I've read
This section was called books I've read recently, but some of these are not
so recent any more.
- Robots and Empire,
- The Tasmanian babes fiasco, John
- The Inheritors and Gateway
to Never, A. Betram Chandler
- When the dream dies, A. Betram
- Postern of fate, Agatha
- Shakedown, Terrance Dicks
- African Upheavals Since
Independence, Grace Stuart Ibingira
- Three Men in a Boat,
Jerome K. Jerome
- The return of the prodigal son, Henri Nouwen
- Statistics without tears, Derek Rowntree
- The Zeal of Thy House, Dorothy L.
Reviews of some of the books
Robots and Empire
The fourth story featuring Robot Daneel. I liked
this book, though it is a
bit of a depressing one for someone who values human choice like I do.
Perhaps Asimov was trying to say something about the futility of attempting
to make robots that we (humans) could control forever by using his three
This 1970 thriller provided some nostalgic charm. The book is a spy
story chase around Iceland.
The Tasmanian babes fiasco
The second documentary/fiction book on share housing produced by John
Birmingham, following on from He died with a felafel in his hand.
This is not the book to read if you are offended by frequent references to
drug use. It is, however, very funny. Unlike felafel, which was
simply a collected series of share house stories, tassie babes links
these collected stories into a narrative. The book even includes an
acknowledgment to alt.flame.roommate,
which provided some of the stories.
The Inheritors and Gateway to Never
(Ace Science fiction)
When the dream dies
A. Betram Chandler
(Sphere Science fiction)
I have enjoyed Chandler's books in the past. His work is interesting,
especially his more detailed than usual exposition of possible
faster-than-light drives (the earlier Ehrenhaft magnetic drives, which
produced the ships known as guassjammers and the
time-distorting Manschem drive).
These two spoils from the lifeline book fest
however, were disappointing. I think what was most annoying was his
emphasis on nude women. Their presence or undress usually seemed
added to the plot as an afterthought.
The first book features two John Grimes stories. The
about a lost earth colony explores some interesting ideas about the
social development of one such colony.
The edge of Never is about drug smuggling, with not much
particularly imaginative about it. It was this story that got me
thinking about how markedly a book about the future can date. It wasn't
the theories about the various sorts of societies that Grimes comes
across on the galactic rim, but more the social attitudes of the 1970s
were assumed to continue ad infinitem. This is especially
noticeable in the attitudes to smoking and women.
When the dream dies, is a shorter story about a group of men who
buy the last of the gaussjammers. They suffer the fate of some of these
ships and are "blown off course" by a magnetic storm. The world they
arrive at again explores some interesting ideas, but again not without
including more nekkid women.
Postern of Fate
A disappointing book. This a Tommy and Tuppence book, set when
they have retired to the country. It's a murder mystery with a touch of
The dialogue is either an attempt to reproduce dithering speech of people
who are having trouble with their memory (quite accurate, and therefore
irritating), or is Christie's ignorance of espionage showing through in not
knowing what her characters should talk about.
The first New Adventure I've read, and quite good fun.
(one of the Doctor Who New Adventures)
African Upheavals Since Independence
A fascinating book, though rather too involved for a casual reader such as
myself. Details reasons for political upheavals in post-colonial Africa,
with special emphasis on Uganda, when Ibingira was a member of Obote's
government and then imprisoned by him.
Grace Stuart Ibingira
Three Men in a Boat
It was a delight to revisit this book. I read my Parents' copy before I left
home, and picked up a second hand copy in Vancouver.
The delightful late 19th century combination of first-person humour and
travelogue was great to return to.
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