James Nicoll Reviews

Home > Reviews > By Project

Reviews in Project: Because My Tears Are Delicious To You (292)

Couriers de Bois Are We

The Search for Zei / The Hand of Zei  (Krishna, book 3)

By L. Sprague de Camp  

5 Jan, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

9 comments

L. Sprague de Camp’s 1963 The Search for Zei / The Hand of Zei is the Ace Double edition of the second book in de Camp’s Krishna planetary adventure series.

Krishna! Exotic planet of adventure! A place that has little day-to-day relevance to ghostwriter Dirk Barnevelt, living as he does a life of quiet oppression under the iron rule of his mother on Earth, twelve light-years away. The closest Barnevelt gets to adventure is writing up the exploits of interplanetary explorer Igor Shtain.

Then Shtain vanishes.

(On the one hand, spoilers; on the other, this book is ancient.)


Read more ➤

Upon This Happy Day

Worlds of the Imperium  (Imperium, book 1)

By Keith Laumer  

29 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

3 comments

1962’s Worlds of the Imperium is the first of Keith Laumer’s Imperium novels.

American diplomat Brion Bayard is stalked through the streets of Stockholm. Brion’s efforts to elude his pursuers are energetic but unsuccessful. He is overpowered and carried off. Nobody on Earth will ever see him again.

Nobody on his Earth, that is….


Read more ➤

Mr. Peabody’s Coal Train

Stargate

By Stephen Robinett  

22 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

0 comments

Stephen Robinett’s 1976 Stargate is a standalone SF novel set in the same universe as his short piece Jenson’s Folly.” It was originally serialized in Analog under Robinett’s pen-name Tak Hallus. It is one of three SF novels Robinett wrote.

Downsized engineer Robert Collins needs a job. Co-worker Bernie Mitchel, also downsized, has found a senior engineering spot at Merriweather Enterprize [sic], but cannot accept it due to a heart condition. He cedes the opportunity to Robert. 

The job turns out to involve cutting edge technology, corporate espionage, murder, and quite possibly the destruction of the entire Solar System.

Read more ➤

Ancient Melodies

Black Man’s Burden & Border, Breed Nor Birth

By Mack Reynolds  

15 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

2 comments

Mack Reynolds’ Black Man’s Burden & Border, Breed Nor Birth, published together in a 1972 Ace Double, are the first two installments in Reynolds’ Homer Crawford series. Black Man’s Burden was first serialized in the December 1961, January 1962 issues of Analog Science Fiction Science Fact. Border, Breed Nor Birth was first serialized in the July 1962, August 1962 issues of Analog Science Fiction Science Fact.

The world is rapidly converging on a shared standard of living. The sole exception is backward Africa, victim of colonial exploitation and runaway population growth. The Reunited Nations has bold plans to drag the dark continent into the twentieth century, to turn it from a savage land into one equal to, if not America or Common Europe, at least Australia. 

One major stumbling block: native Africans have ties to specific ethnic groups. Personal loyalties trump continental and racial loyalties. On the other hand, it’s no use sending white Americans, commie Russians, or Common Europeans to fix the place up. The one point on which all black African agree is profound distrust of white outsiders who arrive claiming to want to improve Africa.

As it happens, there are many people descended from Africans born outside Africa. American-born Homer Crawford, for example. 


Read more ➤

Secrets Stolen From Deep Inside

Pebble in the Sky  (Trantorian Empire, book 1)

By Isaac Asimov  

1 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

1 comment

Asimov’s 1950 Pebble in the Sky is either the first (by publication date) or the third (by internal chronology) of three standalone novels (The Stars, Like Dust, The Currents of Space, and Pebble in the Sky) set some millennia prior to the beginning of the Foundation trilogy. The three novels form a loose trilogy that has been dubbed the Empire novels or sometimes the Galactic Empirenovels.

The Stars, Like Dustis set long before Trantor began its rise to power; The Currents of Space is set during its rise. Pebble in the Sky is set at the height of the Galactic Empire’s power. 

The book opens with an Eisenhower-era tailor, Joseph Schwartz, who finds himself transported onto a desolate alien world. He later learns that he is still on Earth, an Earth of the far future. The plant has been scoured by nuclear war. Even though this happened some time ago, Earth is still radioactive in places and is largely sterile. 


Read more ➤

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

The Door into Summer

By Robert A. Heinlein  

24 Nov, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

11 comments

Robert A. Heinlein’s 1957 The Door into Summeris a standalone SF novel. I am glad that it had no sequels and no prequels, as I am sure I would have grown to hate them as well. Why? Read on. 

It’s 1970 and Dan Davis has survived World War Three. He and his business partner have started a cutting-edge cybernetics company. The business is stolen from him by his conniving fiancée (Belle) and his equally traitorous partner (Miles). Who could have predicted that blindly signing business documents could turn out so badly?

The evil pair aren’t satisfied with bilking Dan out of his company. They want him gone; he might make trouble. Murder, they feel, is too risky. But drugging him and putting him into suspended animation … that’s different. 

Dan goes to sleep in the futuristic year 1970. He wakes in the even more futuristic year 2000.


Read more ➤