Book Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: "The Wonderful Future that Never Was" by Gregory Benford et al. (2010)

Robert Bee's picture

Do you ever dream of an optimistic, good old-fashioned future of endless technological progress? The sort of techno-gee-whiz optimism that science fiction used to be known for? The Hugo Gernsback let’s-solve-all-our-problems with-a-gadget-philosophy? Then you should pick up The Wonderful Future That Never Was, a fascinating, well-illustrated, and beautiful book reprinting the future predictions made by Popular Mechanics from 1903 to 1969. The illustrations are high quality reproductions from the magazine, and are worth the price alone.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Compact Vance Integral Edition

Robert Bee's picture

Despite the fact that I've recently started to enjoy ebooks and ereaders, I’ve been a fanatical reader and collector of regular, “analog” books my entire life. I have a massive collection of science fiction and fantasy that fills most of two rooms, including two closets stuffed full of pulp magazines. Today I'd like to discuss the complete works collection of Jack Vance that was especially created for the devoted (crazed?) bibliophile.

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BOOK REVIEW: “The Toynbee Convector” by Ray Bradbury (1988)

Republibot 3.0's picture

I have a weird little chill; I feel weird little footsteps on my grave; I have weird little pain in my back suggesting a piece of my long-moldering youth isn't returning: the 1980s just officially ended for me. I finished that Bradbury book I started in 1989.

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BOOK REVIEW: "Sometimes a Stupid Notion" (Part 2 of 3)

Welcome to part 2 of Flabbergasted's epic review of "Sometimes a Stupid Notion," the redemptive Battlestar Galactica novel.

Now, in general we don't touch Fanfic, and hyper-ambitious fanfic *novels* are right out for any number of reasons. Why are we covering this one? Because the ending of the RDM version of Galactica was so amazingly punch-you-in-the-face awful that it destroyed the entire series in retrospect, not just for me, but for at least a third of the people I've talked to about it.

An ending *THAT* bad - arguably "the worst ending in the history of television" as several people have convincingly argued - cries out for something or someone to try and fix it, to try and turn it into something that isn't just a slap in the face of the people who loved the show.

Something more than a betrayal. Since those who made the show honestly believe they made a good ending, they clearly aren't the ones to do it. Therefore, that leaves the fans...so in this one case we make an exception and review a fanfic novel.

Because it's good!

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BOOK REVIEW: "Sometimes a Stupid Notion" (2010)

This week we're going to try something kinda' exciting and new, to us anyway: A review of a Battlestar Galactica novel that *MAKES SENSE OF* the random, nonsensical, abrupt, unfulfilling, and basically stupid series finale. The review is very lengthy and detailed so we'll be breaking it into three parts.

Given that Galactica always starts out with a genocidal and unprovoked sneak attack, it seemed fitting to start out on Pearl Harbor day.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick” by Lawrence Sutin (1989)

Republibot 3.0's picture

It’s been said that the more interesting a person is, the more problematic they are for their biographers. It’s also been said that a biography should never be confused for the subject’s soul, but rather merely the image the author had of them. It’s also been pointed out on more than one occasion that people tend to egregiously misrepresent themselves in their lives to their friends, business associates, family, even to themselves.

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BOOK REVIEW: “The Mystery Science Theater Amazing Colossal Episode Guide” (1996)

Republibot 3.0's picture

“In Japan, there is a class of children who are, well, special. They’re better than the average citizen. They dwell in a world of wealth, privilege, and influence few adults ever dream of attaining. These are the monster children. The merest, most remote chance encounter with a monster sweeps the child into the inner circle of Japanese military and government security and strategic planning. The child in this movie, kenny, is immediately listened to and his advice is heeded, his orders carried out to the letter.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions” by Edwin Abbot (1884)

Republibot 3.0's picture

It’s hard to overestimate the influence that “Flatland” has had over people in the last century-and-a-quarter, harder still when one considers its renown is entirely a sort of coincidental fluke. It’s remarkable that it was noticed at all, and nothing short of miraculous that it hit a point of ubiquity around 1900. Since then, it’s receded into the background like other trends of the day, much like hoop skirts and saddle sales.

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