Another month, another newsletter. I won't be putting to much in this as I am currently putting the next magazine together for publishing and mailing out by (hopefully) the first week in September.
Good to have some down-time after the madness that was July - The Brentford Dock Weekend, The London Film and Comic Con and then the Pirate Birthday Party - so what's up coming and worth mentioning?
This was an Isis Audio (Unabridged book) read by David Thorpe. I've not read (or listened to) any of Elton's Novels before & picked this one totally at random. I was initially rather disappointed by the concept, but soon grew to like the work itself. Thorpe is an excellent reader & his voices fitted perfectly.
SEPTEMBER 24-26TH 2010
What is it?
I've always been aware of Asimov's Foundation as a series that ought to be read and I must say I enjoyed the first book, though I wouldn't call it the greatest sci-fi ever written. Maybe you need to have read the whole series to get that impression. I don't know.
It starts with Harry Seldon's prophesy of the the destruction of the mighty Galactic Empire and the need for all human knowledge to be secured before then in the Foundation in order to rebuild.
I'm not sure what H.G Wells was intending with this book. As science fiction, it's rather poor. As a story, it's a bit of a 'Boy's Own' adventure. As a satire of the archetypal 'Brit abroad' and social comment, it's rather enjoyable, I'm just not entirely sure that was Well's intention.
Mr Cavor, a scientist, invents a substance that negates gravity and builds a sphere that will travel to the moon. Unfortunately, he takes Mr Bedford, a failed entrepreneur with him which causes no end of problems.
This was where Reggie started. For anyone who doesn't know, Reginald Iolanthe Perrin (RIP) is a middle class, middle management, middle of the road man - with issues. He's stuck in a depressingly pointless job working for Sunshine Desserts, with depressing work colleagues (well except maybe his secretary, Joan) and he is going slowly mad.
This book was the first incarnation of Reggie. It was soon made into a TV series staring Leonard Rossiter & much more recently a TV series staring Martin Clunes. I shall ignore the latter series & make comparative reference only to Rossiters Reggie.
I found this a very hard book to read & am immensely glad it was only 200 pages long, the story washed over me (& not in a good way). Things, places, people, situations are often not fully describes, as though I'm supposed to know what's going on already.
I've given this 5 stars because though its content at times is stomach churning, sick making and repulsive, it is nevertheless an exceptional book. It is the story of Frank who lives with his father on a small island in Scotland. Living according to his self created mythology of protection which includes the regular sacrifice of small animals in imaginatively cruel and vile ways. Several times I put the book down, resolving not to read any further. The attack on the rabbits with a flame thrower and the burning dogs were the worst parts for me.
A novel of three several parts: a self contained City, an open community & a voyage amongst the stars. I found the initial part set in the City of Dispar to be the most intriguing section, featuring many classic SF wonders for 1956. Some great concepts of virtual reality, computer simulation, human storage & regeneration, along with moving walkways, domes cities & robot assistants.
Despite it's far-far future setting, once Alvin (not a very SF name is it) leaves the City it becomes a simple tale of exploration & discovery.