Grinny by Nicholas Fisk – 3 out of 5.
This one was another audio-book for the car. Nice & short at 2 disks (2 hours 25 mins), it's a kids SF book from 1973 read here by the legendary Andy Crane.
Helliconia Spring by Brian Aldiss - 3 out of 5.
555 pages (in my edition anyway) is to many for this story & it's only book one of a trilogy. That is my main problem with this book. The pages go by & not a great deal happens, a shame really because it's pretty well written & in the most part quite entertaining. There is some great intrigue in here, but it can get lost amongst all the waffle. It's just all too slow.
The first 125 pages are really just a prelude in the form of an (almost) self contained novella.
Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard - 2.5 out of 5.
This seems an odd choice, both for an SF Masterworks book (the edition that I read), as it's neither especially great, nor offensively bad, but just okay with some good bits & some mediocre bits.
There isn't all that much SF in this book. There is some near future war technology & a some psychic shenanigans going on, but it's one of those - “is it really a SF book” kind of things.
The book is broken into five definite sections, each of which has it's own separate location & plot.
Just like it says....
The second year of The Order of the Golden Sprout officially begins with issue five of the club magazine, for those of you with us since issue 1 now's a good time to check your membership is up to date to ensure your copy
This has now transformed in to a two day weekend event....
On the Friday (23rd) Robert will be taking part in the Brentford St.Georges day celebrations which will most likely involve him doing a spot on stage as well as having a stall for book signing etc. At the moment there is not a lot of information but there is much talk of food stalls, british ale stalls, bands, morris men and so on. All taking place in Brentford and centred around the magistrates court.
Come along if you can, I'm sure in the evening we will sample much ale and talk much toot....
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – 2 out of 5.
The bulk of this 90 page story is in the form of a lengthy monologue, where our time traveller related his adventure to his colleagues. This is bookended by some scene setting & an epilogue.
This may well be the original tale of time travel but, for me, it's certainly not the best. Our main character is not particularly likeable for a start, either in the way he tells his story, which often comes over as a rambling stream of thought, or in his actions within the story itself.
Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein – 2 out of 5.
A Hugo winner for best Novel, awarded in 1957 & a pretty short book at 143 pages. It's written in a fairly chatty style, later we find that Lawrence Smith, aka The Great Lorenzo, is relating the story in his own words from several years after the events therein.
The basic plot is that Lorenzo, an out of work actor, is employed to impersonate a political leader who has been kidnapped just as he's on the brink of a major political break through.
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card – 4 out of 5.
In the past I have traditionally read mainly modern-ish novels. Some years back I decided I should try to get through a few more classics, including those that have won the Hugo or Nebula or both. Enders Game was on my list for just this reason, although at 1985 it's not all that old. I knew absolutely nothing about the story before I picked this up & didn't even know what the title meant. As it turns out “Ender” is the nick-name of our hero & “Game”s is what they have Ender playing at Battle School.
Fat by Rob Grant - 4 out of 5.
Here we have the classic triple strand story. We have essentially three separate short stories with the chapters alternating between them all. This is my favourite type of story telling as, when written will, at the end of each chapter you just want to get back to that story thread again, causing you to rattle through the pages at a cracking pace.
Our three stars are Grenville Roberts, an overweight TV chef with anger management issues. Jeremy Slank, an advertising / PR chap who's thrown into the deep end at short notice.