The Machine Gunners – 4/5 I picked up this book because it was on the Guardian’s top 1000 novels list and since I had never heard of it, it sounded interesting. It IS interesting, and it’s more interesting that the title might otherwise suggest to you. There’s some irony in the title because the would-be “machine gunners” are a group of raggedy London kids during the blitz. This group is mad as hell that the blitz has otherwise disrupted their childhood, and the novel does […]
The Hot Rock – 3/5 Stars A farcical kind of heist book. John Dortmunder is getting out of prision and his old pal immediately brings him a caper to work on. Together with three other specialists, the friends will be stealing an emerald from a museum that has cultural and sentimental value for two warring African nations. One of the nations currently possesses the emerald, while the other is hiring the thieves. Paid a salary, plus the promise of a large reward, Dortmunder begins to […]
This is a series of short stories starting off a novels series that comprises seven novels by Isaac Asimov and then three additional novels by David Brin. The stories take place in a “long empire” that has lasted some 10,000 plaus years but seems to be dying now. The first story, which was written last, discusses the ways in which the empire itself has sought to silence any analytic mention of the entropy of the empire itself and we watch as an academic who has […]
I really liked this book, in the way that I always enjoy thoughtful science fiction. Every once in a while, I enjoy a book designed solely to make you grapple with a question, and think, “what if?” The focus here isn’t on Asimov’s characters (though it DOES have actual characters in it, unlike the work of some 1950s sf authors). It’s actually impossible for this to be a character-centric book due the premise. Instead, the arc is on the Foundation itself, on tracing the decline […]
Isaac Asimov was a ludicrously prolific author from the Golden Age of science fiction. He, along with Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, has reached pantheonic levels of influence and esteem, and the Foundation series is perhaps his most cherished and well-read work. He ended up tying all his major works into a shared universe centered around this series, so it can be said that you can’t understand Asimov’s writing without first reading this book. And I thought it was okay. To be sure, there […]
Top notch Science Fiction!