Review “The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester

“The Demolished Man” was written in 1953, and has the distinction of being the first winner of the Hugo Award. Bester has written a very interesting idea, and while it has not always aged well, there is still much of interest. The story is an inverted detective story, in that we know the identity of…

Review “The Man in the High Castle” by Phillip K Dick.

I’m normally quite a fan of Phillip K Dick’s work. However I am a little ambivalent about “The Man in the High Castle”. It depicts an alternative version of the sixties in America where Germany and Japan won the Second World War. Various characters are shown going about their lives in this environment. A thread…

Review “The Shrinking Man” by Richard Matheson

First published in 1956, “The Shrinking Man” is a story that reflects its time. It’s a story about fear and powerlessness, undercurrents of Cold War era America. The title is the plot – a man begins to shrink. The cause is a mixture of chemicals and radiation, another nod to the fears of the time,…

Review “The Light Fantastic” by Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett looked at the world in a way that was true, relentless, cynical, and yet hilariously funny. “The Light Fantastic” is the second in his fantasy Discworld series, and it continues the story of the failed wizard Rincewind and his reluctant adventures. The Discworld is a flat world, which rests on the back of…

Review “Maze of Death” by Phillip K Dick.

A group of people in an isolated place start dying one by one, which immediately sounds like a cliché. The story is full of unpleasant people being unpleasant to each other. It doesn’t sound good, does it? And yet, somehow, it is. The extreme neuroticism of most of the characters becomes weirdly fascinating. It is…

Review “Stormfront” by Jim Butcher.

This is the first of a series of books called The Dresden Files, about Harry Dresden, a professional wizard in modern day Chicago who has a business helping people with magic-related issues, and who also consults for the police. I found this book to be great fun. The protagonist, Harry Dresden, is a world-weary, private…