1) Empire of the Atom - 3 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2903727027
2) The Wizard of Linn - 3.5 stars - https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2905159143
3) The Ezwal - 3 stars - This consists of two loosely connected stories (Co-Operate - Or Else! and The Second Solution), which I'm not sure actually comprise a true fix-up novel or not. An ...more
It has to be reviewed in 4 parts as it represents 4 quite different stages of Van Vogt's pulp writing career; not surprisingly the more recent material was the best.
"Empire of the Atom" - Derivative / retelling of the decline of the Roman empire. To be honest it is a bit stupid (space ships and bows and arrows????) and only starts to come the goods in the final story when Czinczar the barbarian and the external threat o ...more
Flunked the hundred page test. Generally, I enjoy the older SF stories better than the newer. Not in this case. Reads like a cheap knock off of the McMaster's Miles Vorkosigan stories, except it was written several decades earlier.
Too easy, too obvious, too simple-minded.
Don't waste your time. ...more
Three complete novels from a Golden Age master of science fiction in one volume: Empire of the Atom, The Wizard of Linn, and Mission to the Stars.
Empire of the Atom and The Wizard of Linn: Global war smashed civilization—or so the legends told—but not all of its machines. A caste of “scientists” arose who knew how to repair and operate the ancient machines, but not how they worked, and worshipped at the altars of the atomic gods who were said to make the machines run. Society was a strange
A.E. van Vogt's story cycle was first serialized in the ...more
The book is more a collection of related short stories than a novel so you get to see a civilization grow in a kind of literary stop motion. That is the best part of the book, getting to see the what next
But for old times sake, it's still a great read! ...more
van Vogt was born to Russian Mennonite family. Until he was four years old, van Vogt and his family spoke only a dialect of Low German in the home.
He began his writing career with 'true story' ro ...more