Book Review: Brain Wave, Poul Anderson (magazine publication 1953)

July 26, 2013 § 28 Comments

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1954 edition)

3.25/5 (Vaguely Good)

I have long been a fan of Poul Anderson’s functionalist yet engaging SF adventures.  He is one of the masters at integrating social commentary (often on the impact of future technology) into the framework of the early Cold War influenced SF story without unduly weighing it down.  Brain Wave (1954) is  a good example of both his virtues and faults.

Brain Wave in a nutshell: a fascinating premise,  a somewhat frustrating ending, dubious social commentary, while the incredibly brief length (even for the 50s)  and uneven pacing suggest heavy cuts by editor…  That said, I suspect other famous works — such as the Daniel Keyes’ Flowers of Algernon (novelette: 1959, novel: 1966) and perhaps even « Read the rest of this entry »

Update: Another Wonderful Sci-fi Review Blog

October 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

   

Michael (2theD), one of my friends whose reviews on Amazon I’ve been compulsively reading, has just started a review blog (on blogspot) called the Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature.

(the titles above are a small sample of the works « Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: The Quality of Mercy, D. G. Compton (1965)

June 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

4/5 (Good)

D. G. Compton’s first science fiction novel, The Quality of Mercy (1965), is a forgotten work which deserves to be read along with the rest of his canon.  I’ve found Compton’s lesser known works to be on the whole quite solid — with the dismal The Missionaries (1972) the lone exception so far.  Both Synthajoy (1968) and The Steel Crocodile (1970) are among my top reads of this year.  I’m keeping his acknowledged masterpiece « Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review: The Steel Crocodile, D. G. Compton (1970)

May 12, 2011 § 2 Comments

http://people.uncw.edu/smithms/Ace%20singles/s5N-series/78575.jpg

1971 Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel

3.75/5 (Good)

D. G. Compton’s novel The Steel Crocodile (1971) is a thoughtful yet ultimately unspectacular exploration of the intersection of religion and science.  Although the work is nowhere near the level of Compton’s masterpieces (Synthajoy, The Unsleeping Eye), it infinitely surpasses the later The Missionaries (1972) which attempted to explore similar themes.  I find his strong female characters « Read the rest of this entry »

A Film (documentary) Rumination: The Atomic Cafe, Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty (1982)

February 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

8/10 (Very Good)

Atomic Cafe (1982) is a scathing documentary on the atomic age created from archival film from the 40s-early 60s.  The scope of the material is extensive: military training films (often the most morbidly hilarious and poorly acted of the bunch), television news, various other government-produced propaganda films « Read the rest of this entry »

A Film Rumination: La Guerre est Finie, Alain Resnais (1966)

August 15, 2010 § 6 Comments

7/10 (Good)

Alain Resnais – most famous for his early French New Wave film Hiroshima Mon Amour (1966) and the impenetrable masterpiece Last Year at Marienbad (1961) — also has the ability to craft an astute political drama: La Guerre est Finie (1966).  Sadly, in part because of the dated political situation, La Guerre est Finie « Read the rest of this entry »

A Film Rumination: Underground, Emir Kusturica (1995)

June 27, 2010 § 1 Comment

9.5/10 (Masterpiece)

Winner Palm d’Or Cannes 1995

Seldom, if ever, have I been so enamored with a movie. Emir Kusturica weaves a poignant, comic, vicious, madcap, sprawling, and physics defying cinematic experience deftly intertwined « Read the rest of this entry »

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