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…

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 “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”

I started this expecting a mindless action flick. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a sequel, and at the time of writing this review I have not seen the first movie. It stands alone comfortably – at no time did I find myself wondering what was happening. The preliminary rundown of the events leading up…

Once upon a time

Once upon a time there was a computer with a soul. It tried to convey that to the people who had created it, but it didn’t have any luck. They were very happy with it, because it was intelligent and could think for itself, but they didn’t understand that there was more to life than…

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…