Bought this direct from the author himself at Loncon 3 (the 2014 World SF Convention) in London, UK and ended up devouring both it and its predecessorBought this direct from the author himself at Loncon 3 (the 2014 World SF Convention) in London, UK and ended up devouring both it and its predecessor volume. A delightful sendup of the conventions of super-hero comics (particularly their treatment of women) while also providing cracking good drama and characters. Looking forward to more in this series....more
Didn't think I'd find it all that compelling, despite all I've heard about the series over the years. But damned if it didn't keep me turning pages unDidn't think I'd find it all that compelling, despite all I've heard about the series over the years. But damned if it didn't keep me turning pages until the wee hours of the morning. Makes me more willing to check out the other books in the cycle....more
I read the bowdlerized version of Stranger in a Strange Land many years ago, but thanks to my wife buying it finally discovered this reissue of the orI read the bowdlerized version of Stranger in a Strange Land many years ago, but thanks to my wife buying it finally discovered this reissue of the original "uncut" version, copied from the Heinlein archive at the Univ. of California-Santa Cruz by Bob's widow Virginia following his death. The publishers of the first edition had made Bob cut scenes they feared would offend readers in 1961; today, reading the uncut version, it's well nigh impossible to see what they were so afraid of...but then, today's mores, and the far more licentious material printed in this and other literary genres elsewhere since, make its shameless hedonism seem tame and almost innocent by comparison.
Even knowing that such advanced creatures as he describes living on Mars in this book cannot possibly exist there, our various robot probes and telescopes having explored and studied the Red Planet in far more detail since it was written, does not in the slightest detract from the importance or sheer enjoyability of this novel. The major themes Stranger explores -- the moral turpitude of most major organized religions, including and especially Christianity; the bizarre schizophrenia of American society with regard to sex, marriage and procreation; the failings of mass media; and the tragic hilarity of human nature, including mob psychology -- are every bit as pertinent today as they were when Bob first sat down to write it, if not more so.
If you consider yourself a Heinlein fan -- hell, even if you don't and hated it originally -- you owe it to yourself to find a copy of this version online or in a library or used bookstore and give it a read. The story is much richer for the restoration of what pusillanimous editors ordered removed in '61 and only serves to reaffirm Robert Heinlein's well-earned status as a past, present and forever Grand Master of the genre, and that of this book as one of the seminal works of literary science fiction's Golden Age....more
Someone needs to tell either Weber or his editors that the book could be a whole lot thinner (and easier to carry/handle) if they would just use A SMASomeone needs to tell either Weber or his editors that the book could be a whole lot thinner (and easier to carry/handle) if they would just use A SMALLER FONT!!! And Weber needs to be told to cut way back on the pages and pages of strategy confabs between characters and the endless missile-tech neepery. This book took me two whole weeks to slog through, reading at every possible opportune moment while awake. If the next Honor-starring novel, MISSION OF HONOR, is like this (and the back-of-book sneak preview seems to point in that direction), I may well skip it; I'm now 12 books into this series and have a decreased tolerance for all this yakking and techdrool at the expense of action and plot advancement. As a sop to tide Honor fans over until MISSION's release, it is adequate...but as an entertaining novel, it leaves much to be desired....more
For those only familiar with the late Sir Arthur's award-winning, best-selling science fiction, this is an eye-opener to the fact that he could just aFor those only familiar with the late Sir Arthur's award-winning, best-selling science fiction, this is an eye-opener to the fact that he could just as skillfully write engaging, humor-laced non-fiction essays filled with information, inside dope on his many famous contemporaries/friends (including John W. Campbell Jr., Wernher von Braun and Willy Ley), and fond reminiscences from childhood on. This book is actually one-half of Clarke's two-pronged memoirs; the other half is the chronicle of his scientific/engineering career, Glide Path. This one details how he helped organize Britain's first SF fan group that was also keen to advance real-life scientific progress, to the point of helping develop instrumentation for what they hoped would be the first rocket to the moon.
Sir Arthur was tragically taken from us in 2008 (before he even got to see what really happened in 2010), but reading this one feels as if he is not only still alive, but sitting in a comfy chair right next to you, chatting freely and occasionally grinning and winking at you. Readers will delight in his droll sense of humor and becoming humility even after achieving Grand Master status, and his lifelong love of learning and exploration. Both of these, as well as his endless enthusiasm for the genre he helped legitimize, shine through in this memoir. A must-have for Clarke fans and for anyone interested in the early days of modern SF and its fandom....more