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review 2018-12-17 13:47
Iberian Peninsula: "Land Without Evil" by Richard Gott
Land Without Evil: Utopian Journeys Across the South American Watershed - Richard Gott


(Original Review, 1993-05-31)


It gives me a lot of pleasure to mention Richard Gott's work "Land Without Evil - Utopian Journey Across the South American Watershed."

Whilst I did not intend to get mixed up with the Watershed on account of its complexity, his endeavor to go up the Amazon all the way to (probably) the Pacific, in the 1970s, was almost as much of an adventure then as it was for the 16th C Conquistadores.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-17 10:03
Sexual Mores: "Podkayne of Mars" by Robert A. Heinlein
Podkayne of Mars - Robert A. Heinlein



(Original Review, 1980-08-06)



I was not a Heinlein fan before. I've probably read most of his work, but there are only 3 of his books I've kept to enjoy reading again. I've kept more than 3 of a LOT of other authors, such as Leinster, McCaffrey, Dickson, James White, and even Philip E. High. Nor did I "cut my teeth" on RAH, so I've no sentimental associations or long-standing loyalties. To me, he's just another SF-writer, though more competent than most.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-09 13:27
SF Ghetto: "Canopus in Argos: Archives" by Doris Lessing
Canopus in Argos: Archives - Doris Lessing



(Original Review, 1980-09-29)


League for the purity of what?

An admittedly less-than-thorough examination of Lessing's work leads me to conclude that her primary faults are bad (i.e., clumsy, awkward, [difficult without the extra levels that make Joyce, etc. difficult]) writing, excessive moralizing, and trite plotting with no refreshing elements (SHIKASTA in particular strongly resembles what Bova called the "tomato surprise story"). On the other hand, I admit that I've never been very impressed with Stapledon, either; I'll acknowledge that this may be a matter of taste while observing that various mundane reviewers also seem unimpressed with the Canopus Archives. In fact, I expect that most "hardcore SF fans" (however few of them are left) will simply ignore Lessing.


This review was changed from 2 stars (1980) to 5 stars (1993).

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-10-26 20:10
Literacy Gradients: "Web of Angels" by John M. Ford
Web of Angels - John M. Ford

(Original Review, 1993)


"Web of Angels" by John M. Ford is an interesting new book, sort of a mixture of Samuel Delany's style and the subject of "Shockwave Rider". A future galactic civilization has FTL ships, anti-gravity, life-prolonging treatments etc., but the greatest of their tools is the Web, a universal communication and processing system that can reach any part of the Galaxy instantaneously. As a result, people are graded by their ability to use the system.
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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review 2018-09-29 15:34
Shakespeare vs Thermodynamics: "The Two Cultures" by C. P. Snow
The Two Cultures (Canto) - C. P. Snow,Stefan Collini


(original review, 1993)

As a maths and physics graduate, I observe that most compilers of the best books of all-time lists are, self-evidently, not from my side of the cultural divide. They should at the very least, it seems to me, be required to read C. P. Snow's "The Two Cultures" and "The Scientific Revolution", not to mention Arthur Koestler's "The Sleepwalkers" (a masterly history of how mankind has viewed, and developed ideas about, the universe) - and then put them on the lists, as they deserve to be there IMO. At least they do if you buy into the idea of a top 100 in the first place, which, in my view, would be like trying to rank great composers/mathematicians/physicists - inherently rather ridiculous. It might have been better though to have just two lists from either side of the cultural divide. It would not be difficult to come up with 100 tomes from the sciences after all.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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