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Boy, was I a gullible teenager

The Third Industrial Revolution

By G. Harry Stine 

22 Mar, 2015

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


G. Harry Stine [1] was an engineer, an SF author (under the pen-name Lee Correy), and for about thirty-five years, off and on, author of a science fact column for Astounding/Analog. He was a big space booster. His 1975 book, The Third Industrial Revolution was a best-selling popularization that predicted a great age of space exploitation that would begin in the 1980s. 

Of course Stine was also a True Believer in the Dean Drive. Maybe fourteen-year-old James should have taken warning from that. In fourteen-year-old James’ defense, he was somewhat credulous when it came to SPACE! 

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Return to SF about women, by women

Women of Wonder: The Classic Years  (Women of Wonder, volume 4)

By Pamela Sargent 

21 Mar, 2015

Women of Wonder


The first three Women of Wonder anthologies came out over a span of three years in the 1970s. Seventeen years would pass before the next (and to date, final) pair: Women of Wonder: The Classic Years and Women of Wonder: The Contemporary Years. The two books were published in July and August of 1995. Two of my three sources say The Classic Years was published first.

The first issue that I have to deal with in this review concerns

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The Cover is Misleading

The Sioux Spaceman

By Andre Norton 

20 Mar, 2015

50 Nortons in 50 Weeks


1960’s The Sioux Spaceman is another one of Norton’s standalone novels, although fans will recognize elements common to other Norton series. As I contemplated the book before reading, the cover didn’t fill me with enthusiasm, particularly given how badly I was served by Voodoo Planet, but … it turned out that, while this isn’t one of Norton’s more memorable books, it has points of interest.

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Castaway on Mars

The Martian

By Andy Weir 

19 Mar, 2015

Special Requests


Andy Weir’s The Martian was self-published in 2011 and then published through more conventional routes in 2014 . I got sent an MS in late 2013 and … heck, I will just quote from the review I wrote for the Science Fiction Book Club:

I started reading this at about 8 PM last night, intending to knock off a few chapters and then stop. I ended up reading it cover to cover over the next few hours. More like this, please. 

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Good luck with that coming apocalypse!

The Traitor’s Daughter  (Veiled Isles, volume 1)

By Paula Volsky 

17 Mar, 2015



2011’s The Traitor’s Daughter is the first book of the Veiled Islands Trilogy. Readers may know author Paula Brandon better as Paula Volsky. It’s a nice example of a specific subgenre of secondary world fantasy, a variation on castle opera — or, depending how the coming apocalypse works out, The End of the World. Since I was reviewing for the Science Fiction Book Club at the time this was published, I am surprised that this sponsored review is the first time I have encountered this book.

Of course, this book may also be an example of yet another kind of book: poorly marketed books consigned to undeserving obscurity This may explain why I never saw it when it first came out and why, so far as I can tell, it didn’t sell particularly well.

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I still have never seen Sagan’s Cosmos

The Cosmic Connection: an Extraterrestrial Perspective

By Carl Sagan 

15 Mar, 2015

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


For persons of a certain time and place, to think of Carl Sagan is to remember his popular TV series Cosmos [link] (recently rebooted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. As it happens, I’ve never seen Sagan’s Cosmos. I know him as an author of science popularizations (and one mediocre SF novel), and as a sort of a lesser Asimov or Ley.

The book I’m reviewing today is the first Sagan book I ever read. 

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