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Reviews in Project: Because My Tears Are Delicious To You (464)

Rise Again

The Muller-Fokker Effect

By John Sladek  

4 Jun, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


John Sladek’s 1970 The Muller-Fokker Effect is a stand-alone satirical novel.

Bob Shairp is a technical writer reduced to editing computer-generated text. Bob is married to Marge. Together, they have a son named Spot, who is obsessed with military school. The Shairps are spied upon by National Arsenamid owner MacCormick Hines, a deranged oligarch who believes the Shairps to be characters in a drama staged for his entertainment.

Much to his wife Marge’s displeasure, National Arsenamid eliminates Bob’s job. The family’s financial security is salvaged when Bob is assigned the task of human research subject. What he experiences blows his mind.

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Last Year’s Man

Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Its Future

 Edited by Reginald Bretnor 

28 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Reginald Bretnor’s 1953 Modern Science Fiction: Its Meaning and Its Future is a collection of essays by a variety of authors on the subject of science fiction, its meaning, and its future. Bretnor published three such collections. I have previously reviewed the other two:

Science Fiction, Today and Tomorrow: A Discursive Symposium is reviewed here.

The Craft of Science Fiction: A Symposium on Writing Science Fiction and Science Fantasy is reviewed here.

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So Sick of Myself

Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast  (Folktales, volume 1)

By Robin McKinley  

21 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Robin McKinley’s 1978 Beauty: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast is the first volume in her Folktales series. McKinley’s debut novel was a retelling of a classic fairy tale. See if you can guess which one.

As a little girl, Honour Huston, the youngest of three sisters, rejected her given name in favour of what she sees as a far better name, Beauty.” To her disappointment, when she looks in a mirror, Beauty sees a plain girl, not the remarkable beauty that her sisters Grace and Hope are. At least she is smart, hardworking, and born into a well-to-do family.

Wealth can be ephemeral.

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Doctor Doctor

Major Operation  (Sector General, book 3)

By James White  

14 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Major Operation (first published in 1971) is the third of James White’s Sector General books. Like the first volume and unlike the second, Major Operation is a collection of short pieces. In this case, all involve the enigmatic planet Meatball.

Sector 12 General Hospital is a vast hospital space station. Located in deep space, Sector General is equipped to treat all known life forms and to make a good try at treating unknown beings as well. The staff is as diverse as its patients.

Warning: James Does Not Like Sector General as Much as Other People Do.

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Can’t You See

A Gift From Earth

By Larry Niven  

7 May, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


1968’s A Gift from Earth by Larry Niven is a science fiction novel about a revolution. It is set in Niven’s Known Space timeline, just prior to the acquisition of faster-than-light travel.

The crew of the UN slowboat that settled Tau Ceti’s Earthlike world Plateau celebrated their arrival by establishing a brutal dictatorship, with the Crew at the top and the Colonists on the bottom. This elegant system has thrived for three centuries. Now it is imperiled by a cargo package from Earth and by miner Matt Keller’s desire to get laid.

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No Escape That I Can See


By George O. Smith  

23 Apr, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


George O. Smith’s 1953 Hellflower is a stand-alone tale of interplanetary intrigue.

Charles Farradyne was scapegoated for the wreck of the Semiramide on Venus. Although he was not found guilty, the public believes him guilty of negligence and Farradyne was stripped of his pilot license. Four years after the Semiramide sank into the Bog, Farradyne is a bitter, desperate man making a meagre living on Venusian fungus farm.

Howard Clevis of the Solar Anti-Narcotics Department [SAND] dangles reinstatement in front of Farradyne. There is, of course, a catch.

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Through The Dark Cloud Shining

Camp Concentration

By Thomas M. Disch  

9 Apr, 2023

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Thomas M. Disch’s 19681 Camp Concentration is a near-future (well, what was then the near future) science fiction novel.

Under President McNamara, America resolutely confronts its enemies across the globe. War! Patriots support the president. Others protest the war on ethical and moral grounds. Such conscientious objectors are given short shrift.

Being married and physically unfit for military service, poet Louis Sacchetti might very easily have avoided any personal involvement in the great conflict. Feeling principle was at stake, he made his objections clear. He was immediately quietly arrested, even more circumspectly tried, found guilty, and sent to prison.

Louis’ stand garnered the attention of nobody of consequence. Well, almost nobody of consequence. There is one notable exception. Louis is suddenly transferred from civilian prison to the very secret Camp Archimedes.

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