Adventuring with Asterix

‘The Adventures of Asterix’ is a series of French comics published from 1959 onwards. Created by Goscinny (the writer) and Uderzo (the artist), they relate the adventures of a warrior called Asterix and his friends, at a time when France was still Gaul and the Roman empire ruled. The setting, as well as historical character…

Review “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut.

(First published 1963.) Vonnegut is not for everyone, and I suspect many would find him far too cynical to truly enjoy. His world view has always seemed to me to be without illusion, though sometimes lacking in joy or hope. That being said, his books are always interesting and thought-provoking. “Cat’s Cradle” starts with the…

Mirror Magic

Recently I finished reading a children’s book called “The Night of the Solstice” by Lisa Smith, which contained the idea of mirrors being used as gateways to another world. So this got me thinking about magic mirrors and how they have featured in legends and fiction over the ages. In ancient times mirrors could be…

Enjoying Doctor Seuss

Theodore Geisel used the pen name Dr Seuss to write his books, mainly children’s books. However Geisel was known also for his illustrations, cartoon work and animation. He was not a doctor, his pen name being purely fictitious, and his books have become famous over the last century, even being adapted (with mixed success) to…

Review “Timescape” by Gregory Benford

First published in 1980, “Timescape” won the Nebula Award that year. It is a science fiction novel, dealing with ecological disaster in the year 1998. There seems to be no way to resolve what is happening, but technology that uses tachyons allow researchers to attempt communication with the past. In 1962, a scientist starts to…

Review “Boneland” by Alan Garner

Ostensibly a sequel to ‘The Moon of Gomrath’ and the ‘Weirdstone of Brisingamen’, though written fifty years later, “Boneland” is a problematic read. To anyone who has read the first two books, I would caution not to expect any kind of continuation or resolution here. I find I cannot really discuss this without straying into…

Review “The Moon of Gomrath” by Alan Garner

This is a children’s fantasy, published in 1963, which is a sequel to “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen”. It deals with the adventures of brother and sister Colin and Susan, who discover that beings regarded as fairy tales exist right along side human beings, and that magic really does exist. I first read this as a…

Review “The Door into Summer” by Robert Heinlein

This is a relatively early work for Heinlein, having first been published in 1957. More famous works such as “Stranger in a Strange Land” are still ahead of him. As such, this book, while quite good, is not great. The story concerns protagonist Dan Davis, an inventor who is cheated out of his life’s work,…

Review “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin “The Giver” is a book full of questions. It sets up a situation that demands questions, and thought. The author expertly builds the situation slowly, so little by little more is revealed about the…