Tag Archives: Novels

Angus MacVicar & W.E. Johns: Scottish Spaceflight In The 1950s

Apprehension flickered in his eyes. “The oxygen is escaping faster than it is coming in. I am sorry to put it so bluntly, but unless we can repair the damage there will soon be no oxygen left in the ship.” “How soon?” I said. “Three minutes.” Janet’s face paled, and I didn’t feel too good … Continue reading Angus MacVicar & W.E. Johns: Scottish Spaceflight In The 1950s

Poul Anderson: A Midsummer Tempest

Valeria whirled. Her finger stabbed at Rupert. “You talked about Hamlet and Macbeth—as if they were both real,” she cried. “Contemporaries, even. You said you’d met Oberon and … Titania … yourself. Well, did Romeo and Juliet ever live? King Lear? Falstaff? Othello? You mentioned cannon in Hamlet’s time. How about, by God, how about a University … Continue reading Poul Anderson: A Midsummer Tempest

Edgar Pangborn: The Darkening World Cycle

And still I persist in wondering whether folly must always be our nemesis. Edgar Pangborn, “My Brother Leopold” (1973) Edgar Pangborn had a great name—not enough people mention that, I feel. He’s the latest author to feature in my intermittent project of rereading classic-but-not-now-famous science-fiction stories from my formative years—the sort of stories that some … Continue reading Edgar Pangborn: The Darkening World Cycle

Three Locked Room Mysteries

‘I will now lecture,’ said Dr Fell, inexorably, ‘on the general mechanics and development of the situation which is known in detective fiction as the “hermetically sealed chamber.” Harrumph. All those opposing can skip this chapter. […]’ John Dickson Carr The Hollow Man (1935) “Locked Room” mysteries are stories in which the central puzzle involves … Continue reading Three Locked Room Mysteries

Kim Stanley Robinson: New York 2140

We’ve got good tech, we’ve got a nice planet, but we’re fucking it up by way of stupid laws. I’ve written about Kim Stanley Robinson before, when I reviewed his Green Earth. I mentioned his environmentalist and anti-capitalist concerns, his lyrical descriptions of landscape, his long passages where nothing much happens except characters talking to … Continue reading Kim Stanley Robinson: New York 2140

Greg Egan: Dichronauts

Geometry might well kill them in the end, but only a rigorous understanding of its principles could make their situation intelligible, let alone survivable. That quote comes from Part 4 of this novel, but it encapsulates what’s intriguing and (at least potentially) frustrating about the story—it’s about spacetime geometry. I’ve written about Greg Egan before, … Continue reading Greg Egan: Dichronauts