Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

The Time Machine

Friday, May 20th, 2016 | Books

The Time Machine is a science fiction novel written by H. G. Wells. It was published in 1895 and tells the story of a man who travels into the distance future to find that humanity has split into two separate species.

It feels more modern than it should. The ideas are rich and relevant. I had to keep reminding myself that it was not merely a piece that attempted to invoke Victorian society as a backdrop: it was genuinely written in these times.

It was quite a short read; about half the length of a typical novel. Very much enjoyable.


Summer on the Horizon published

Sunday, April 17th, 2016 | Books, News

I am pleased to announce that my first novel, Summer on the Horizon, is now available for buy.

I will be honest with you, it is not the finest literary work ever produced. It was written for NaNoWriMo and while the first half has been proof read by someone other than me, the second half has not. There are no mistakes in it though. It is set 400 years in the future. Anything that appears to be a spelling or grammar mistake, it actually just the evolution of the English language.

Here is the description:

Four hundred years in the future, humanity is struggling with the impact of climate change. The population has been forced to retreat into enclosed cities. As one newspaper aptly puts it, ‘humanity is domed’.

I have had the proofs sitting around since January. Then began the long process of editing. It is a lot easier to do when you have a physical copy you can scribble in.

The book is available from the following locations:


The End of Eternity

Friday, December 25th, 2015 | Books

The End of Eternity is a science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. It is one of a handful of full-length novels that does not form part of one series or another (Robot, Foundation, Empire).

It’s a wonderful read. It explores the idea of time travel and the causal loops and problems that follow from that. It had some suspense, but once you have read some Asimov some of it is a little predictable. Other bits are brilliant because I should have been so closing to getting it but did not quite make it.

This is one of my favourite Asimov novels.


Pebble in the Sky

Saturday, December 12th, 2015 | Books

Pebble in the Sky is the third novel in Isaac Asimov’s galactic empire series. The empire of Trantor is now firmly established and spreading to every corner of the galaxy.

Earth on the other hand is not doing so well. The people of the galaxy have forgotten that it was the original home world of man, and Earth has fallen out with the rest of the galaxy. However, they gave a secret plan to destroy the empire.

Having read the Foundation series, it adds a different perspective. Spoilers start here by the way. This novel ends with a note of hope that Earth will rebuild. However, as those of us who have read Foundation and Earth will know, it doesn’t.

Foundation also benefits from originally having been short stories merged into novels. This means a lot happens and you see the story unfold over hundreds of years. The galactic empire series typically take place on one or two planets, and not much happens. They are still good, but it does not have quite the same effect of the first Asimov novels I read.

It does do an excellent job of constructing the amazing world that makes Asimov’s storytelling so enjoyable though. The far future, and the familiar, blended into one.


The Currents of Space

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 | Books

The Currents of Space is the second novel in Isaac Asimov’s galactic empire series. The first in the series, The Stars, Like Dust was not one of my favourite Asimov novels but this one is an improvement.

It still lacks that grander scale of lots of things happening, that the Foundation series has. However, it does open it up to the wider galaxy. It might all take place on two planets, but the empire of Trantor is there and on the rise.

The story follows the two planets of Sark and Florina. The former exploits the latter for it’s valuable kyrt plantations. But what length will they to go to protect it?


The Stars, Like Dust

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 | Books

The Stars, Like Dust is the first in Isaac Asimov’s Galactic Empire series of novels. I had grand visions when I started reading it. It would be the missing link between Robot series and the Foundation series, looking at the growing empire as it expanded and conquered the galaxy.

It was not like that. The empire never even comes into it. It talks about the fighting of a few kingdoms that control some planets. It is apparently set before the empire really arises and while it is okay as a standalone novel, it lacks the grip and brilliance of the better Asimov novels.

It is also a little predictable. Once you have read the Foundation series, you can pretty much guess where the rebellion world turns out to be. They came out at about the same time, so you could argue it the other way around of course.


Robot Dreams

Sunday, November 29th, 2015 | Books

Robot Dreams is a compilation of short stories by Isaac Asimov. It contains a mixture of his work, including the robot series, but also the multivac series, and unrelated science fiction stories. A few I had already read in The Complete Robot but most were new to me.

I think I enjoyed the book slightly more than The Complete Robot as a lot of the stories felt more polished. Overall, I remain more a fan of his full-length novels than his short stories, though both are good.

The story the book is named after, Robot Dreams is actually one of the worst stories in the book, in my opinion. There does not seem to be a satisfactory motive or conclusion to it.


Robots and Empire

Friday, November 6th, 2015 | Books

Robots and Empire is the forth full-length novel in Isaac Asimov’s Robot series. It is set hundreds of years after The Robots of Dawn and so I assumed it would be more about the creation of the Galactic Empire.

It was in some respects but was mostly another adventure of Daneel, Giskard and Gladia, who has a spacer was still alive even after all this time.

I was originally going to get it as an audiobook, but just before I did, it mysteriously disappeared from the Downpour store. Almost as if someone was removing references to Earth from the Galactic Library…

Robots and  Empire

The City and the Stars

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 | Books

The City and the Stars is the first Arthur C. Clarke novel I have read so I was keen to find out what his writing was like.

It is very similar with Asimov, which is not surprising given they were both knocking around under the stewardship of John Campbell and the biggest names in science fiction writing for a long time.

The book tells the tale of Diaspar and Lys. Diaspar believes it is the last human city that has stood for a billion years. The entire city is run by the Central Computer and everything outside the city is ignored and suppressed.

I did not enjoy it as much as Foundation, but it was still a very interesting read and worth checking out if you like your science fiction.

The City and the Stars

The Robots of Dawn

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 | Books

The Robots of Dawn is the third novel in Isaac Asimov’s Robot series, following on from The Naked Sun.

It is not my favourite novel. It is approximately twice as long as the previous one, which gives it the noticeable advantage that protagonist Elijah Baley occasionally goes long stretches without yelling “Jehosaphat!” but otherwise makes for a rather long tale.

It is set on the spacer world of Aurora and while it does advance Asimov’s universe in some important ways, a lot of it feels like more of a detective novel than a science fiction story. The conclusion of which is not overly satisfying either.

The Robots of Dawn