Tag Archives: SF

Too cryogenically cool to love outright

zero k

Zero K by Don DeLillo I’m not entirely new to reading Don DeLillo. I like the idea of reading DeLillo and I have read the first quarter of his 1971 debut, Americana, for my Annabel’s Shelves project. I was really enjoying it; it started well – we were introduced to top TV executive David Bell – who, if he’d been an ad-man, would have been Mad… Read more »

Science vs Magic in a Dystopian World

all the birds

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders The minute I read the tag-line on the press release for this book, I knew I had to read it: ‘A witch, a scientist and the end of the world’. This novel tries to do something that is not often seen in genre fiction – melding fantasy and urban SF in a dystopian… Read more »

To infinity …

AnnaBookBel   February 21, 2013   No Comments on To infinity …

The Explorerby James Smythe This brilliant novel’s beginning happens near the end of the story… Cormac Easton is the only remaining living astronaut on the spaceship Ishiguro. Cormac is not even a proper astronaut – he’s a journalist; his part in the team is to observe and document the voyage, to blog and film and send the footage back home. Their mission… Read more »

Stalin & UFOs – a philosophical SF thriller

Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts. This novel was short-listed for the Arthur C Clarke Award for Science Fiction novels last year, but it’s really more of a philosophical thriller and a commentary on the fall of Communism than out and out science fiction.  It’s dark, thoughtful, thrilling and hilarious by turns and I loved it. It’s 1946 and the… Read more »

But darling the virus won’t affect us, will it?

The Death of Grass by John Christopher The 1950s saw an explosion of science fiction and cultural dystopias. In 1951 there was John Wyndham’s ground-breaking novel Day of the Triffids, followed by Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in 1953. Then there was Quatermass on the television. William Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies was also published in 1954. Then in 1956… Read more »

Book Two of the Chaos Walking Trilogy

The Ask & the Answer by Patrick Ness Warning: If you haven’t read the first book in this trilogy The Knife of Never Letting Go, (reviewed here) – don’t read this, rush out and get a copy Book One, then read the second. Book two starts immediately where the first left off; teenagers Todd and Viola are pitched into a… Read more »

Another brilliant dystopia in this coming of age novel

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness This novel for early teens+ was short-listed for the 2009 Carnegie Medal, and won the vote of the boys shadowing the award at the school where I work. I have to say it was a fantastic read for adults too, being multi-layered and thought-provoking – putting a new spin on the… Read more »

Boldly Going …

There are lots of great programmes on the TV at the moment celebrating the 40th anniversary of landing on the moon. I was nine when it happened, and remember watching the landing on the telly and being entranced by the whole event. I will still watch anything about space and I have many books on the subject, so I am… Read more »

A difficult and challenging read – stay with it to be rewarded!

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban Let’s face it, my book group is probably thinking (to use Sir Alan’s phrase from this week’s Apprentice) there must be “a village looking for an idiot”, for I chose this book as our monthly read. No disrespect to them intended for, although we are a quite literary lot, this book was far, far away… Read more »

Tempus Fugit – Time flies when you’re having fun!

Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson There is much to like in Winterson’s novel for older children (upwards). I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope it might have a sequel some time. This fast-moving Fantasy/SF novel, (it’s a bit of both), about the power to control time, owes a lot to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. It has a sparky young heroine,… Read more »

Genrification … that’s the name of the game?

If a fiction book is labelled chicklit, or Science Fiction, does it put you off? – Possibly … Sci-Fi was one of the most spurned, if not the most derided genre of novels until chicklit came along. Personally, I can’t see anything wrong with either genre – in principle … Now I have to defend myself: Chicklit – I admit… Read more »

Big Brother is watching you…

1984 by George Orwell I read this first, as I’m sure many of us did, as a teenager. I’m also sure that the savage satire on totalitarian states went straight over my head – I was into Science Fiction, and sadly didn’t pay any attention to modern history. Instead I was probably thinking how clever(!) the construction of doublespeak was… Read more »