Category Archives: books

Review of Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

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It’s been a while since I’ve been able to totally immerse myself in a novel. You know that feeling –sneaking minutes on the bus, in the toilet, in bed, in between work tasks– anything to get that next little hit of sweet narrative. As I’ve aged, fewer books can draw me in so completely. So it’s been a joy to ravenously consume the latest offering by Kim Stanley Robinson, an epic tale of interstellar travel.
Continue reading Review of Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

Why Does DC Hate Gorillas?

It’s no secret that I’m a comic book fan.  But I’m a bigger fan of real science fiction; that is, fiction whose narrative necessarily depends upon a fanciful or not-yet-possible scientific element. I struggle with whether traditional superhero comic books qualify as science fiction, since mostly the sci-fi elements are an excuse for having extraordinary characters.  Any other excuse can often suffice: magic, for instance. Continue reading Why Does DC Hate Gorillas?

Review of Robert J Sawyer’s “Rollback”

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For several years now, I’ve been a member of the Board of Directors of Harbourfront Centre, one of (if not the) largest public arts centres in Canada.  One of our more high profile endeavours is to yearly host the International Festival of Authors.  And one of my favourite privileges as a Board member is to attend the Festival’s opening cocktail party. Continue reading Review of Robert J Sawyer’s “Rollback”

Fate of Worlds: Return From the Ringworld

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The following is a spoiler rich review of both the Ringworld saga and the Fleet of Worlds books.

I am an unabashed fan of Larry Niven’s collection of stories and novels set in the so-called “Known Space” universe. They go back five decades and have even extruded onto the holy shrine of science fiction, Star Trek, via a disavowed animated episode back in the 70s. The jewel in the Known Space collection is, of course, Ringworld, which is perhaps the granddaddy of the that weird mega-engineering sub-genre of sci-fi. (Mind you, I have to show off my geek creds by giving a shout out to Orbitsville, a much lesser known entrant into that genre, that was written about the same time.) Continue reading Fate of Worlds: Return From the Ringworld

Return to the Ringworld

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This article is a mostly spoiler-free discussion of Larry Niven’s original Ringworld books. For a review of Fate of Worlds: Return From The Ringworld, follow the link.

For about four months now, I’ve been reading for pleasure…. again.  It’s been a long time.  So much of my reading time is consumed with technical documents and news (and Facebook), that finding a few free hours per week just for fun reading has been difficult.  So I got a tablet computer specifically to make reading more convenient.  And in the past 3 weeks, I’ve read five novels.  It’s a full on addiction, and other things on my to-do list have suffered. Continue reading Return to the Ringworld

Jewish Science Fiction

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by Peter Marmorek

Let’s face it, when it comes to science fiction, Jews wrote the bible. And they wrote a lot else besides. Ursula Le Guin says that the Frankenstein myth (and Mary Shelley) are the mothers of invention of science fiction, and she may be right (she usually is). But the Frankenstein myth is a variant on the Golem story, the story of a man created without a human soul, and it goes back over a thousand years in Jewish folklore before Shelley created her version, on that dark and stormy night in Switzerland. Continue reading Jewish Science Fiction