Review: Non-Stop

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Terence Park - Blog

Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Written in 1958, this 1976 reissue of Brian Aldiss’ first novel shows him at his best. The action pulls the reader through what we would now consider technical implausibilities, with the inventive zest of a fresh writer making his mark on the genre.
The protagonist, Roy, leaves a brutish, inward-looking existence of his tribe. In doing so he is thrown into a series of events that paint a strange picture of the world about him; not one would would readily recognise. He encounters different human tribes, some are more advanced. There are puzzles, however; why do some grow to a great size? Others are suspected of being aliens, can that be true? Who are all these tribes? The answers connect to a central mystery that Roy begins to unravel.
What he discovers changes his view of everything he believed…

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Review: Hell’s Cartographers

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Terence Park - Blog

Hell's Cartographers
Hell’s Cartographers by Brian W. Aldiss (editor) and Harry Harrison (editor)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The 1970s. Too little is written about the mechanics of the genre at that time. This collection is short bios and essays by well-regarded writers of the past. Regardless of whether I liked the outputs of the writers, I found this good, informative stuff. There were six contributors. For the benefit of readers of today, with the hindsight of many years, I have included (in parentheses) a representative work. Go check out SF writing as it was.

• Alfred Bester (Tiger! Tiger!
• Damon Knight (best known as a critic and editor, e.g. Orbit 1)
• Frederik Pohl (Gateway)
• Robert Silverberg (Dying Inside)
• Harry Harrison (The Stainless Steel Rat)
• Brian W Aldiss (Non-Stop is worth checking, also well-known as a critic)


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Review: Spectrum I: A Science Fiction Anthology

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Terence Park - Blog

Spectrum I: A Science Fiction Anthology
Spectrum I: A Science Fiction Anthology
edited by Kingsley Amis & Robert Conquest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Since pulp days, the primary publishing organ for SF ahd been the monthly magazines: The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astounding / Analog, Galaxy, New Worlds, Worlds of If. By the 1950s, the SF genre was in the throes of change, authors were starting to land publishing deals that took them outside the orbit of the SF magazines. Not everyone could land deals, such as Robert A. Heinlein, but publishers like Ace Books (once the biggest US paperback publisher for SF) offered outlets for new novels to the likes of Philip Dick and Andre Norton. Clearly the market was growing. What of the authors who neither wrote novels nor had a publishing deal?
Robert Conquest, a respected historian, and Kingsley Amis, an English novelist & critic…

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