``Opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.''
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WARNING, WHOPPING SPOILERS AHEAD. I write these pages as notes, records and reminders to myself of books I have read. You are welcome to peruse these reviews, but be warned that they will spoil your reading pleasure if you have not already read them.

This is my personal BookBlog (http://rdmp.org/dale-mellor/bookblog). You may also be interested to know that I am the author of the software that powers this BookBlog. The software can now be downloaded from http://bookblog.sourceforge.net.
Number
stars
Times
awarded
02
1%
½1
0%
17
5%
5
3%
24
3%
9
7%
316
12%
21
16%
426
20%
15
11%
520
15%
The box on the left shows the distribution of re-read factors this author has given in the reviews below, out of a total of 126 reviews.

Underneath each of the re-read factors below is a bar indicating the reviewer's opinion about the accuracy of his factors; the bar indicates the range of re-read factors which might be applied to each book.

These book ratings contribute to the overall ratings at the following aggregation server(s): .

While the idea behind a BookBlog is that you read a book and then put a review into a web log for posterity, most of the books I review here were actually read a long time ago (before web logs were invented), and thus many of the reviews are not so detailed, and sometimes not so accurate, as I would have liked. This manifests itself in some wide red bars underneath the re-read factors below. It also means that many of the reading dates are noted as `1970-01-01', which is to be interpreted as `a long time ago'!

Enjoy!

  • Click on a column heading to sort according to that column;
  • click on a book title to get the full review (and comments) on that title.


Re-read factor   Title   Author(s)   Comments   Review date
yyyy-mm-dd
The Wars of the Roses Trevor Royle 0 2017-04-02

A history book. First time Iʼve ever read such a thing. Reads like a bland novel bereft of dialog: pure exposition. Royle makes the sequence of events entirely believable, and does his best to ...

 
The Hydrogen Sonata Iain M Banks 0 2016-12-20

An entire, massive, civilization is about to sublime to a higher state of living. In their wake are predators who will be taking their left-over possessions, and the Culture will be overseeing eve...

 
Embassytown China Mieville 0 2016-11-28

There are three races of people known variously as Ariekene, Terre, Hosts, Ambassadors, `monsters' which defy generic description, people who always go around as (more or less) tethered pairs; ther...

 
Gateway Frederick Pohl 0 2016-03-24
The essence of this book is how utterly terrifying deep-space exploration is going to be: like exploring underwater caves, leaving the oxygen tanks behind to explore narrow crevasses beyond the point ...
 
Standing in Another Man's Grave Ian Rankin 0 2016-02-27

Disappointing Rebus installment, mostly let down by the ending. It takes time before the atmosphere really establishes, and on the whole there are too many characters to be able to follow. ...

 
War Dogs Greg Bear 0 2016-02-12

The opening paragraph on the first page tells you he got off Mars, and since the whole story is told from the first-person viewpoint of a soldier in peril on said planet, suspense is dead at the ou...

 
Raising Steam Terry Pratchett 0 2015-09-03

It is well-established that Terry Pratchett has a universe in which he can be, and is, as diverse as he wants to be, especially with regards to ethnicity and race relations. Nevertheless, it is ha...

 
The Naming of the Dead Ian Rankin 0 2014-08-14

Once again revolves around DI Rebus. The G8 summit at Gleneagles is going on, an MP falls to his death over Edinburgh Castle ramparts, his colleague's parents take part in a peace rally and are bl...

 
House of Suns Alastair Reynolds 0 2014-06-16

Big ideas

The only realistic way for mankind to explore the galaxy is to clone oneself (shatter) into 1,000, not quite identical, parts, send them on differe...

 
Witch Hunt Ian Rankin, Jack Harvey 0 2013-12-10

A book without much mystery as all the characters, including a local police team, a national one, an institutional researcher, and the sole assassin, are introduced at the beginning and all of thei...

 
Hull Zero Three Greg Bear 0 2013-03-11

A book which tries hard and ultimately fails to live up to its potential. The opening tries to put a human being into the ultimate horrific situation (wakes up in a strange, freezing place, starvi...

 
The Ghost from the Grand Banks Arthur C. Clarke 0 2012-07-24

Okay, so two competing teams spend the whole book scheming to raise the Titanic--nothing as exciting as even a race--, and then in the last chapter an underwater avalanche covers it in mud and that...

 
Revelation Space Alastair Reynolds 0 2012-05-26

Easily one of the best books I've read.

Massive pretext: universe has fewer civilizations than it should because there has been a previous mega-war (we're talking millions of years ago), and ci...

 
Surface Detail Iain M Banks 0 2011-10-23

Straightforward plot: A woman born into sexual slavery is killed by her owner, gets re-vented by a Culture eccentric ship, and goes back to exact revenge with the culture and other interested parti...

 
Kraken China Mieville 0 2011-05-29

A giant squid goes missing from the Natural History Museum, and it turns out to be an actual dead god worshipped by a church who have taken it, through the expedient of seducing a Trekkie into usin...

 
Twisted Metal Tony Ballantyne 0 2010-12-19

A story set on a world populated by anthropomorphic robots, which procreate by the man providing special blue wire containing 'life force' to a woman who knits it into a child's mind, from which po...

 
Ilium Dan Simmons 0 2010-12-19

I can't believe this book is so big mostly due to the fact that the pages turn very easily, but also because the story seems simple enough to pass by in fewer pages. Despite that the pages turn ea...

 
Divergence Tony Ballantyne 0 2010-03-24

The dysfunctional crew -- everybody necessarily a world apart: robot, android, human, AI mind, simpleton, old lazy woman -- of a spaceship uses software it does not understand to enact trades of ca...

 
Altered Carbon Richard Morgan 0 2010-03-24

A story which could only be told in a universe where human souls can be freely replicated, stored and moved between bodies, both artificial ones and real ones (termed ``sleeving''). A very rich th...

 
Brasyl Ian McDonald 0 2009-11-25

Incredibly over-eclectic mix of hard science and psychedelic flowery writing, over-permeated with Portuguese phrases. To be fair the Portuguese does distract an awful lot from the story, and in pl...

 
Exit Music Ian Rankin 0 2009-11-25

As an entry in the long-running series of John Rebus novels this one charts an interesting time: that of the week of his retirement. Given that the series has been fairly true to time -- charting ...

 
Swiftly Adam Roberts 0 2009-11-25

Book set in an extension of Jonathon Swift's Lilliputian universe, but really any load of giants and dwarfs would have done. The more factual representation of the mid-nineteenth century is actual...

 
Hyperion Dan Simmons 2 2009-11-25

This wonderfully imaginative book is a play on the Canterbury Tales where the author uses the pilgrimage of seven people to unravel the details of an almost mythological creature (but actually quit...

 
The Steep Approach to Garbadale Iain Banks 0 2008-10-13

I've been avoiding Iain Banks since I read Dead Air, but just couldn't resist. It turned out to be a wonderful read, full of whacky characters which are eminently believable by virtue of their ful...

 
Pushing Ice Alastair Reynolds 0 2008-10-13

This is a book of three parts, and while they join together seamlessly they are on altogether different scales and for all practical purposes take place in different universes. The first part conc...

 
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold 0 2008-10-13

A most delicate handling of a most atrocious situation: the murder of a young femal family member.

The story is told from the vantage point of said female, in heaven. The book makes pains to ke...

 
Gradisil Adam Roberts 0 2008-01-23

Almost-epic, almost-saga space-opera needing outworldish science and political infrastructure for its success.

The book begins after the introduction of travel to Earth orbit by riding the ...

 
Air Geoff Ryman 0 2008-01-23

Internet-in-the-head is introduced to the world. But for one soul in the world's most undeveloped village, the initial test goes wrong leaving her both permanently connected to the new web, and wi...

 
The Stone Angels Stuart Archer Cohen 0 2008-01-06
A rubbish author goes to Buenos Aires, does some research into how the local police operate, and then writes a book about a rubbish author writing formulaic slush who gets killed by a combination of a...
 
Perdido Street Station China Mieville 0 2007-06-20
First off, I don't like horror and I don't really like fantasy; this is fantasy-horror-adventure. However, the problem I have with this book is that it can be described in one word: sad.

The book...

 
The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick 0 2007-06-18
I started this book with high hopes knowing that it was widely regarded as Dick's best. It turns out to be a quirky, dated near-Orwellian story about antique dealing in a world run by the Germans an...
 
Capacity Tony Ballantyne 0 2007-06-16
This book uses a lot of science ideas which are very contemporary to the 20th century: von Neumann machines, Schroedinger cubes; maybe this work will age quite quickly.

A word the author likes to ...

 
The Sunborn Gregory Benford 4 2007-06-16
Although this is a continuation of The Martian Race, the two books are in fact quite different.

In the former Gregory very carefully described the whole process of extra-terrestrial travel and the...

 
The City and the Stars Arthur C. Clarke 6 2007-06-16
Superb. Surely written by one of the very best SF writers at his very peak.

Mankind has encased himself in a sealed city, except that every million years a soul is let loose to test the water and...

 
From a Buick 8 Stephen King 0 2007-06-16
This book has precisely the feel of one which has been written and produced in the shortest time by a well-established author.

The story is shallow -- a strange car turns up which every now and th...

 
Newton's Wake Ken Macleod 0 2007-06-16
Sweet and sour, chalk and cheese. Ken has a simple writing style, like a Star Trek pulp, and dresses the story simply, but the plot in fact is deep and rich, and then somehow dumbed down (the book's...
 
Thud Terry Pratchett 5 2007-06-16
In ways this is the very best kind of science fiction you can get. Terry creates an alien civilization, imbues the various different lifeforms (dwarfs, trolls, werewolves, vampires, and humans) each ...
 
The Martian Race Gregory Benford 5 2006-02-25

This starts out as a book which alternates mechanically from one chapter to the next; from the year of the launch of a mission to Mars, to the last days of the astronauts' time on Mars. I've come ...

 
American Gods Neil Gaiman 0 2006-02-25

A book with a long beginning, no middle, and a very broken, disjointed ending. The beginning seems to take up two-thirds of the book, and continually draws you in, deeper and deeper. The plot is ...

 
Jocasta Brian Aldiss 0 2006-01-28

A very self-conscious re-telling of a Greek play, the outcome is already known, and there are really no surprises, which is in itself a surprise because the book describes a universe of mythical mo...

 
Nightfall (2) Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg 0 2006-01-28

It is a push, but the scientific plausibility can be obtained. For example, six suns surround a planet, and change positions randomly every day. This would imply that the biological clocks of the...

 
Algebraist, The Iain M. Banks 0 2006-01-28

It is a big book. Banks enjoys his writing. Starts out being in essence a quest for the holy grail. The final reveal is brilliant. Always hinted at through the book, but never anticipated. I c...

 
Use of Weapons (2) Iain M. Banks 0 2006-01-28

My second reading of this, and it's not the book I remember. It's a book basically about the life of a Culture whipping-boy, who gets sent into ridiculous war situations to sway the odds on one si...

 
Shattered Icon Bill Napier 5 2006-01-28

Unchallenging, easy-reading Dan Brown-a-like without much excitement. An antique dealer gets hold of a journal from someone who sailed on a British Navy ship, which describes a journey in which he...

 
Fleshmarket Close Ian Rankin 0 2006-01-28

Another installment in the John Rebus series. If it was the first one I had read, I would probably pronounce it brilliant and look forward to reading the other fifteen. As it is, the same old for...

 
Frankenstein Mary Shelley 0 2005-05-30
This is my all-time favorite book. Despite its age, the science fiction is still fresh and far-reaching. But the real strength that this book has is the way that it uses science fiction to explore t...
 
Angels and Demons Dan Brown 0 2005-05-29

This is Dan Brown's best. People opposed to the Vatican have taken antimatter from CERN and hidden it in Vatican city, where it will annihilate in a few hours, taking all of Vatican city with it. ...

 
The Time Traveller's Wife Audrey Niffenegger 0 2005-05-29

I have got nothing good to say about this book.

I found it really shallow and emotionally detached. Here's a woman who met a time traveller, had six miscarriages, saw him after being blown to p...

 
Deception Point Dan Brown 1 2005-04-02

I struggle to put a rating on this book. It is absolutely riveting and in parts had me on the edge of my seat, but on the other hand it contains ridiculous action and is a shallow political thrill...

 
Digital Fortress Dan Brown 0 2005-03-26

Quick comparison: Digital Fortress is even better than the Da Vinci Code. For a long time while I was reading this book I was making plans to modify the BookBlog software so I could award six star...

 
The Full Cupboard of Life Alexander McColl Smith 5 2005-03-26

Another episode in the rosy life of Mma Ramotswe. Like all the others it is naive, quaint, quirky, mildly funny, and immerses itself in the tiny nuances of life in Botswana. The series has grown ...

 
Set in Darkness Ian Rankin 6 2005-02-26

This is the most boring Rankin book I've ever read. It all takes place in Edinburgh, starts with the discovery of two bodies in the half-constructed parliament building, and then is basically a da...

 
Different seasons Stephen King 0 2005-02-13

Well, this is the first Stephen King novel I've read, and it might well be the last. He may be the best selling author in the world, but this stuff is not for me. This is a book of four short sto...

 
The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown 5 2005-01-30

This is incredible. It has all the opposites in all the right proportions. There is hard action and deliberation, historical truth and fictional nonsense, heroism and anti-heroism. The story inv...

 
Black and Blue Ian Rankin 0 2005-01-01
This book is too big for its own good. It seemingly involves a dozen police officers, a dozen criminals, and a dozen other sundry characters. At the beginning there are four plot lines, which eventual...
 
Darwin's Children Greg Bear 1 2004-12-12

There are types of literature I'm not so keen on: disaster stories, planet-bound sci-fi, microbiology/biology/chemistry sci-fi. This book has all this, but I was hoping Greg Bear would provide some...

 
The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov 5 2004-11-28

Agatha Christie whodunit job this one. I'm not even sure that the plot relies on the famous laws of robotics, or even on the futuristic `womb city' landscape for its realization (it could probably ...

 
Watchman Ian Rankin 0 2004-10-23

A reissue of an early Rankin spy novel. Surprisingly Ian tries and manages with some success to convey a sense of atmosphere in this book, as well as demonstrating his skill at developing character...

 
Monstrous Regiment Terry Pratchett 0 2004-10-17

This is not a Terry Pratchett book in the normal sense. Reading this after the others is like moving from the west coast to the eastern seaboard of America, and finding the pace of life taken more ...

 
The Naked Sun Isaac Asimov 6 2004-10-02
Robot novel with layer on layer of brilliance. There are moments while reading the book that you feel it is actually quite simple - someone has coerced a robot into committing murder, despite the laws...
 
The Wind from the Sun Arthur C. Clarke 5 2004-09-12

Collection of about twenty short stories, one being long enough to class as a novella. Trouble with short stories and me is that immediately after reading them I get a glowing impression, and short...

 
The Hanging Garden Ian Rankin 5 2004-09-12

This is as good as I can imagine crime writing ever getting. An established criminal is in jail, and an upstart has moved onto his old territory to take over. But the Japanese Yakuza (bit like Chin...

 
Greed Chris Ryan 1 2004-09-12

Quick comparison: Chris Ryan is not half as good as Andy McNab. This book reads like it has been dictated to an average typist by a fourteen year old. It is, almost literally, only half there; ther...

 
Eon Greg Bear 0 2004-08-27

First some shallow observations: the book is full of typographical errors, which must be a production problem as the author is clearly capable of impeccable work; the chapter breaks are erratic, so...

 
Tears of the Giraffe Alexander McColl Smith 5 2004-08-13

More of the same after The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, but the form is still refreshingly naive, and the characters continue to engross. The storyline is equally simple, and although it is ...

 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Mark Haddon 4 2004-07-24

Story about a spastic who's father murders the dog of a neighbour who has run away with his wife. When the spastic finds out who did it, he becomes scared and runs away to live with his mother. The...

 
Maul Tricia Sullivan 0 2004-07-24

Up to the halfway line I thought I was getting the gist of this book. A man (in a world where most men have died out due to a plague) is held in captivity where he is being used to farm some bugs, ...

 
The Martian Way Isaac Asimov 4 2004-07-04
This book is comprised of three excellent novellas, plus a fourth which fails to hold Asimov's credibility. It relies on the idea that in an advanced galactic civilisation everybody has forgotten what...
 
A Question of Blood Ian Rankin 0 2004-05-29
Straight after my first Rankin read, I couldn't help but buy another (I didn't particularly want to buy another, just couldn't help it). These things remind me of Frank Sinatra songs: start with a flo...
 
Resurrection Men Ian Rankin 0 2004-04-15
Whodunit set in the Scottish Police service. By far the best attribute of this book is the depiction of the characters: there are plenty of them and they are believeable down to the toes. Less good is...
 
Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke 0 2004-04-10
Can't remember it.
 
Garden of Rama Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee 0 2004-04-10
Continuing adventures of the intrepid explorers. As usual the attention to detail is remarkable, and the science fiction is crisp and sharp. There are times (like when big birds start talking) when yo...
 
Imperial Earth Arthur C. Clarke 0 2004-04-10
Book about a family who own a mine on Mars. It's a long time since I read it, but I seem to recall it being pretty plausible science fiction, with an interesting plot.
 
Rama II Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee 0 2004-04-10
Brilliant expansion of the first book. A UFO reappears in the sky and this time they're ready. A mission is launched to get people inside, and the rest is pure Arthur Clarke; the attention to detail i...
 
Rama Revealed Arthur C. Clarke, Gentry Lee 1 2004-04-10
Final and ultimate expansion of the Rama universe. Arthur still manages to keep the science fiction believeable, but this one really does teeter on the edge. It turns out that Rama is a big guinea-pig...
 
Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke 0 2004-04-10
UFO sighting leads to mission to investigate. The science fiction is impeccable.
 
Against a Dark Background Iain M. Banks 0 2004-04-04
Banks' darkest fantasy novel to date. The action takes place around a `Sea House' - actually a morbid monastery in which a sister has incarcerated herself and the other sister has to persuade her out ...
 
Feersum Endjinn Iain M. Banks 0 2004-04-04
Experimental in the extreme. In places the unorthodox style of writing makes this a difficult book to chew, but the rewards for perservering to the end are upmost satisfaction. The book introduces fou...
 
Look to Windward Iain M. Banks 0 2004-04-04
Iain Banks' biggest novel so far, describing many different cultures on several (very) different worlds. Some of them are so imaginative they have not even been seen on Star Trek!! There is also some ...
 
Use of Weapons Iain M. Banks 0 2004-04-04
Iain Banks' most shocking book to date. The action takes place around a land-locked battleship, whose weapons are still live. The plot is a tad meandering but there is some good human interplay and so...
 
Richter 10 Arthur C. Clarke, Mike McQuay 0 2004-03-28
Forget that Arthur Clarke has his name on the book (although I admit I wouldn't have read it otherwise); the book was written entirely by Mike McQuay. I was expecting a tedious train of volcanic erupt...
 
A Scanner Darkly Philip K. Dick 0 2004-03-28
A book of inhuman imagination. There is a banned substance called `D' (for Death) which isolates the two halves of the cortex, and eventually kills the addicted user. A police investigator finds himse...
 
Ubik Philip K. Dick 0 2004-03-28
Probably the most abstract book I've ever read. Ubik is a substance with very many uses. Unfortunately I find myself incapable of producing a review which does the book any justice - I just can't matc...
 
Contest Matthew Reilly 0 2004-03-28
At the outset, Matthew explains that this is the first book he wrote, and is the one that set off the others. Thus it is not as big or as good as the others. With these words I was ready to forgive an...
 
Excession Iain M. Banks 0 2004-03-25
By far and away Banks' best ever. This is my second most favorite book of all time (after Frankenstein), and contains all the elements top-notch sci-fi needs: rock hard science fiction, fast-paced act...
 
The Player of Games Iain M. Banks 4 2004-03-25
This is the simplest of Iain Banks' sci-fi novels, being not much more than a year in the life of a professional games player.

He finds himself making an epic journey to a planet in a distant reac...

 
Nemesis Isaac Asimov 0 2004-03-24
If I remember rightly: a planet is going to be destroyed by an asteroid, and the population fractures into two groups. The first climb on board another asteroid which is heading out to space, and the ...
 
Nightfall Isaac Asimov, Robert Silverberg 0 2004-03-24
Here's a novel plotline: a world is blessed with five suns, and the population have never experienced true nightfall. Then one happens...

This is a thoughtful study of how such a population might ...

 
The Gods Themselves Isaac Asimov 4 2004-03-24
This is a book about a rather unique population: there are three sexes who melt into one another for procreation (and melt into solid walls for masturbation), and they are overlooked by a superior rac...
 
Captive Universe Harry Harrison 0 2004-03-24
One of those stories where a race of people live in an enclosed environment, and find their way out (think Logan's Run). The `universe' is the inside surface of a spinning cylinder (think Rama). The l...
 
Acqua Alta Donna Leon 0 2004-03-22
This is a book with no mystery, no suspense, and very little atmosphere. Donna lacks the expressive power needed to make either the place (Venice in winter, during floods) or the people (an opera sing...
 
Alien 3 Alan Dean Foster 0 2004-03-21
It's a long, long time since I read this, and I cannot remember the plot or style of writing. I seem to remember it as the sort of pulpish work you expect to be a spin-off from a film (or did the book...
 
Technicolor Time Machine Harry Harrison 4 2004-03-21
Novel story this: someone invents a time machine, so a Hollywood director decides to go back and film the landings of the first white settlers on North America. The whole thing is told somewhat tongue...
 
Equal Rites Terry Pratchett 0 2004-03-21
It's lucky for all of us that Terry Pratchett didn't insist on following the same storyline, or keeping the same cast of characters he had in the first two books. This book introduces a new-born eigth...
 
The Colour of Magic Terry Pratchett 5 2004-03-21
The book that introduced us all to Discworld, and indeed the first of Terry Pratchett's books I read. I was totally mesmerized and couldn't put the book down until I'd finished it.
 
The Light Fantastic Terry Pratchett 0 2004-03-21
I read this one straight after being enthralled by the Colour of Magic. It continues the hilarity (and the storyline) the original novel kicked off, but halfway through this book I suddenly felt satur...
 
The Lost Continent Terry Pratchett 5 2004-03-21
This is probably the most hilarious of Pratchett's books I've read. In the prologue, he says `This is not a book about Australia; it is simply a place that sounds a lot like it'. There then unfolds a ...
 
Komarr Lois McMaster Bujold 0 2004-03-17
Highly forgettable. [Maybe I'm not doing it justice, but it's a long time since I read it, and I remember it being not very memorable. Really.]
 
Fisherman's Hope David Feintuch 0 2004-03-17
Another of the Seafort saga. Nothing on the original. I can stretch my imagination to believing that the earth is being attacked by aliens which look like fish, but when a book keeps going on about be...
 
Midshipman's Hope David Feintuch 0 2004-03-17
What a brilliant start to a new sequel of books! The science fiction is soft but the universe is very original and the action is razor sharp.

Fleet is run along lines of the British Navy, circa 19...

 
Patriarch's Hope David Feintuch 1 2004-03-17
Another of the Seafort sequence. By now Nicholas Seafort is an old man, always complaining about his aching knee.

None of the Seafort sequels I've read have anything like the sharpness of the orig...

 
Mort Terry Pratchett 0 2004-03-17
Another brilliantly unique storyline, and another relentless onslaught of hilarity. This time Death gets an apprentice, who basically tags along with Death for a while, having fun and adventure, and t...
 
Sourcery Terry Pratchett 0 2004-03-17
Another Terry Pratchett, and another unique storyline. This time an eighth son is born to the eighth son of an eighth son, and that means he's got an unimaginable power (it doesn't normally happen bec...
 
The Death and Life of Superman Roger Stern 5 2004-03-17
I'm not for one minute going to pretend this is anything serious, and I'm not going to give a serious analysis of it. It is an important installment in the chronicles of the life of Superman, but as a...
 
Revelation Bill Napier 0 2004-03-15
Intensively clever retro-historical science fiction in which the protagonists are such likes as Eisenhower, Heisenberg, Einstein, Bohr and Schroedinger. I've never before or since read anything like i...
 
Destiny's Road Larry Niven 0 2004-03-15
An interesting rather than exciting book. It's completely planet-bound, and it's one of those stories about two races with one holding rule over the other through the controlled supply of narcotics (I...
 
The Other Side of Time Frederik Pohl 0 2004-03-15
Given the legendary status of the author, and the profound ideas that the title conjures up, this book's subject matter turns out to be rather mundane. It's nothing more than an alien abduction story,...
 
Bios Robert Charles Wilson 0 2004-03-15
Well this is different! A science team visit a planet whose biosphere is so evolved that only indigenous microbes/viruses/flora/fauna can hope to survive. Exposed humans just get their immune systems ...
 
Star Trek: Stargazer: Oblivion Micheal Jan Friedman 0 2004-03-14
An adventure story starring Captain Picard and Guinan (though he is not acquainted with her yet). The Stargazer (the captain's ship before he got the Enterprise) has been sent to extract a defector wh...
 
Cosmonaut Keep Ken Macleod 0 2004-03-14
Strange, this. The book comes highly recommended by such likes as Iain Banks, the author has had several nominations for the Arthur C. Clarke award, and yet I failed to see anything special. To my min...
 
Rules of Engagement Elizabeth Moon 5 2004-03-14
It's got everything that soft sci-fi should have: action and adventure, on-planet, off-planet and interstellar backdrops, strong human emotions and complex interactions.

Unfortunately it also has ...

 
Speed of Dark Elizabeth Moon 1 2004-03-14
Having read this book, I'm glad I did. If I had known before I started what the subject matter was, I probably would not have read it. But I'm glad I did.

It's about a bunch of autistic people. Th...

 
Consider Phlebas Iain M. Banks 0 2004-03-13
Perverse as it may seem, even though this is the book that launched Banks' foray into science fiction, it is (at this time) the last of his books that I read after having read all the others. I can we...
 
The State of the Art Iain M. Banks 5 2004-03-13
A small collection of mostly short stories, with one `novella' from which the book gets its title.

The novella is significant because it recounts the time when the Culture comes into contact with ...

 
Tess of the d'Urbervilles Thomas Hardy 4 2004-03-13
There is a young lady called Tessa Derbyfield who lives a lowly (but happy) life working in the fields, in the shadow of the big house on the hill that belongs to the d'Urberville family. Guess what? ...
 
The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy 0 2004-03-13
Quite a funny idea this: a sailor gets somewhat inebriated and accidentally sells his wife. They go their separate ways. Some years later the ex-wife is visiting Casterbridge with her new husband, and...
 
Ivanhoe Sir Walter Scott 0 2004-03-13
I wish I had read this when I was fourteen years old! It is the only book of chivalrous knights I have ever read, and is a wonderful blast through the middle England of Robin Hood and the Black Knight...
 
True History of the Kelly Gang Peter Carey 5 2004-03-12
Before I read this book I held as questionable the wisdom of novelizing historical events.

Peter Carey presents a story as if the hero was the narrator, telling things from his own perspective. N...

 
Catch-22 Joseph Heller 0 2004-03-12
So this is where they got the drift behind M*A*S*H! It must be that all American general infantrymen's response to shell shock is abominable dead-pan sarcasm. Of course, it's easy to pull that off on ...
 
Midnight Dean Koontz 0 2004-03-12
This is one of very, very, very few books I didn't want to finish reading. Actually, I slammed it shut a third of the way through and threw it against the wall on the opposite side of my bedroom.
 
Last Light Andy McNab 0 2004-03-12
This is the first time I've read one of McNab's books, and what a blast it is! It is a really suspenseful page turner. It can be said that the action is described with military precision, but Andy als...
 
Lord Prestimion Robert Silverberg 0 2004-03-12
Fantasy's not my thing. I bought this book because I felt I should give the genre a fair chance, but it's just not for me. I can't say it's badly written or anything, I just don't like it.
 
Dead Air Iain Banks 0 2004-03-11
This is a nasty, nasty, horrible book. It is fully of totally obnoxious characters, a straightforward plot which contains banter that you hear on the radio every day, and an ending which is totally go...
 
Inversions Iain M. Banks 1 2004-03-11
To my mind this is by far Banks' worst sci-fi novel (which still deserves its three star rating!) The chapters alternate mechanically (and somewhat tediously) between two sets of people, and the plot ...
 
Liberation Day Andy McNab 1 2004-03-11
Another of McNab's fictional adventures. The hero is contracted (in underhanded ways) by the American government to abduct three money launderers from around Monaco in the south of France, so off he g...
 
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Alexander McColl Smith 2 2004-03-11
What a refreshment! This is one of only two books (currently) on my bookshelf which is written in deliberately simple english (at least I think it is deliberate!)

A woman living in Botswana throws...

 




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