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Category: Science Ficion and Fantasy Book Review

THE DAMNED TRILOGY by Alan Dean Foster

Hiya bookies, more priceless stuff from your friendly neighborhood bookseller. Way back in 1993, not long after I established my still-going AOL email account, I read Alan Dean Foster’s SF/Fantasy trilogy The Damned and really enjoyed it. Here are my brief thoughts from those days:

“A Call to Arms” by Alan Dean Foster. Aliens galore! Intergalactic war! Fun, fun, give me more! Foster writes SF without the science, and for shameless entertainment this is exceedingly well-written. He occasionally lets his politics become tiresome, but not very often. Highly recommended. A+

“The False Mirror” by Alan Dean Foster. Second in The Damned trilogy, this book is loads more fun than the first, with nearly non-stop action and very little preaching. Highest recommendation for those looking for escapist reading. A

“The Spoils of War” by Alan Dean Foster. Book three of The Damned, it’s more complex, somewhat slower but more ambitious than its two predecessors. A truly preachy paragraph on the next to last page wrecks the ending, but the rest is good enough to keep the pages turning. Recommended. A

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Finishing up the Crichton review list for now is today’s review from 1993. I had read 4 Crichtons in a row that were terrific, so I was expecting a lot. 18 years later I still remember how disappointed I was with Sphere, and while borrowing the ideas of others was nothing new, one would expect a new (or at least well-written) spin on a worn-out plot. This book had neither.

“Sphere” by Michael Crichton. Not at all his best work. A UFO is discovered that is at least 300 years old. It turns out to be made in the USA. Time travel. There is a mysterious sphere inside the ship which allows peoples subconscious fears to be physically manifested. Good research, fair characters, ho-hum ending. I think he became bored with this one. Okay reading for when the tv is broken. C+

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

Continuing the recent theme of Michael Crichton book reviews, is there any book more identifiable with an author than Jurassic Park? Not the movie, the book. And yes, Virginia, there is a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but the book is different, and still holds up well all these years later. Much of what became “Jurassic Park 3”, the movie, was actually in the book. And not all of the characters who survived in the movie also survived in the book. If you haven’t read it, do yourself a favor and find a copy.

“Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. Wickedly convincing. Crichton’s abilities as a storyteller are good to very good. His chief strengths lie in impeccable research and characters who use that research in a believable fashion. When the velociraptors get loose and begin eating people, you wonder why this sort of thing hasn’t happened before. His best work by far; highest recommendation. A+.

Color me skeptical

Hiya bookies!

As all of you who have read my biography know, and I assume that’s all of you, I was, am and always will be a fan of Douglas Adams. Whether it’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Starship Titanic or Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Adams skewed view of the world was just plain funny. And in the one letter he wrote me (but not out of the blue. I wrote him first) he was also pithy. He couldn’t help it.

But there were 5 books in the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy, every word put down by Adams. Was there really need of a 6th not written by him?

I get that Starship Titanic was mostly written by Terry Jones, but Adams himself was there to oversee the project and give notes. To have an entirely new entry in the HG2G canon penned by someone else…well, color me skeptical. And yet today’s book review indicates the author, Eoin Colfer of Artemis Fowl fame, has pulled it off brilliantly.

Maybe. Hopefully.

I’ll let you read the review and decide if you want to read the book. I’m leaning towards it being irresistible.

And Another Thing

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