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…

Encounters with Ursula Le Guin

This week the author Ursula Le Guin passed away at the age of 88. As one of my favourite authors from a very young age, I wanted to write a tribute to her work, and how it has impacted me over the years. Unlike many fans, my first encounter was not with the Earthsea trilogy,…