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Reviews in Project: Because My Tears Are Delicious To You (315)

In an Awful Mess

Mr. Adam

By Pat Frank  

5 Jul, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Pat Frank’s 1946 Mr. Adam is a standalone science fiction comedy.

On September 21, 194_, Bohrville, Mississippi’s nuclear fission complex went boom, taking Mississippi with it. Yeah, it was a tragedy … but then, it was just Mississippi. The world shrugged its collective shoulders and went on with business as usual.

Months later, reporter Stephen Decatur Smith stumbles over a heretofore unnoticed consequence of the nuclear catastrophe. Nine months after the atomic calamity, babies stop being born. It seems that the Bohrville explosion sterilized the entire human race. More specifically, while women appear to immune to the radiation, all men were rendered sterile [1].

Almost.


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Below the Shadow of a Dream

The World is Round

By Tony Rothman  

28 Jun, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Tony Rothmans The World is Round was published in 1978

Wealthy businessman Pike mounts an expedition to Barythron, a solar system just ten light-years from his home world, Two-Bit. Expedition crew: Pike, Hendig (who has visited Barythron and returned with tales of treasure), Valyavar, and Stringer. 

Six years later (or ten, depending on your frame of reference), the starship Crimsonarrives at Barythron and the crew wakes from cold sleep to discover that Hendig’s tale is quite true. A planet fifty times the size of Two-Bit orbits the sun of Barythron. Now one might expect that such a large world would be a gas giant — but it isn’t. It appears to be quite solid, with habitable conditions on its surface. Not only that, it’s inhabited. A scientist would question this implausibility and advise extreme caution. But Pike finds scientists annoying and deliberately didn’t bring any.

The crew divides into two parties — Pike with Hendig, Stringer with Valyavar — and then heads to the surface. It does not take long for things to go very very wrong.


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Let Your Patriotism Explode

The Eleventh Commandment

By Lester del Rey  

21 Jun, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Lester del Rey’s The Eleventh Commandment: A Novel of a Church and its world is a standalone population-bomb novel. My edition is the revised 1970 edition.

A tragic mishap during a program of world nuclear disarmament led to the very nuclear war that the program was intended to prevent. As lethal fallout covered the Earth, sparing only a few lucky refugia, American and Russian spacemen1 created a new society on Mars. Mars became a high-tech utopia, populated by a eugenic elite, whereas Earth was left to stew in its own juices. 

Boyd Jenson believes he has been sent to Earth to study there, a kind attempt to salvage his academic career after his long illness. In fact, the government of Mars has quietly decided Boyd does not meet Mars’ exacting genetic standards. He is not a transfer student. He is an exile. Boyd only discovers this after he is stranded on Earth, far too late to escape his terrible fate.

North America is a particularly dire part of a battered world, thanks in large part to the American Catholic Eclectic Church.

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Rose with the Sun

The Whenabouts of Burr

By Michael Kurland  

14 Jun, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Michael Kurland’s 1975 The Whenabouts of Burr is a standalone science fiction mystery novel.

Constitutional scholar Professor William Kranzler makes a momentous discovery. Someone has stolen the original American Constitution, replacing it with a very nearly identical copy. The copy has one flaw: where Alexander Hamilton’s signature should be, Aaron Burr’s signature appears.

President Gosport is determined to recover the document before his Republican foes (or worse, Democratic supposed allies) discover the theft. He can’t call on the FBI, because Gosport is utterly convinced that the FBI is out to get him. He also rules out every conventional law enforcement or intelligence group, believing there is no way to use them in this matter that would not end with a leak. 

The President has an ace in the hole: he has quietly transformed the Bureau of Weights and Measures into his own private investigation agency. Thus, innocuously titled Field Observer Nathan Hale (Nate) Swift is handed the task of recovering the Constitution. 


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Don’t You Know Her When You See Her?

Rocannon’s World

By Ursula K. Le Guin  

7 Jun, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1966’s Rocannon’s World was Ursula K. Le Guin’s debut science fiction novel. 

Semley’s world has been impoverished by taxes imposed by recent visitors from a far-off land. She is not reconciled to the loss of a family treasure, a necklace worth a kingdom. Her quest to reclaim the necklace takes her first to the dwarfish Clayfolk in their underground halls and then to the overlords who received it from the Clayfolk. The overlords kindly return her necklace. 

Had this been a fantasy novel, all might have been well. But she is a native of Fomalhaut II and she is a character in a science fiction novel. Her quest has tragic consequences.


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Tomorrow is a Different Day

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

By Henry Kuttner & C L Moore  

31 May, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore’s 1947 Tomorrow and Tomorrow was originally published under their Lewis Padgett byline. It came out in Astounding in two parts. It was later packaged with another short novel and re-published by Gnome Press in 1951. It was re-published again by Consul, in 1961. That latest version is the one I read. Had it been revised in the meantime? I don’t know. 

A third world war almost broke out in the mid-20th century; it was stopped by the Global Peace Commission, which seized control of a planet seemingly on the verge of self-destruction. In the century since then, the GPC has kept the peace … but at a cost. It enforces strict social conformity and stifles scientific progress.

Joseph Breden is one of the elite few trusted with atomic power. Everyone knows atomic power plants are catastrophes waiting to happen. Only the most stable, most intelligent individuals are permitted to work at Uranium Pile One.

Lately Breden has had reason to doubt his stability, what with the murder dreams and all…


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Set Free the Angel

Soldier, Ask Not  (Childe Cycle, book 3)

By Gordon R. Dickson  

17 May, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Gordon R. Dickson’s 1967 Soldier, Ask Not is an expansion of his 1964 Hugo-winning novella of the same title. It is part of his Childe Cycle, a series also known as the Dorsai books. 

Tam Olyn and his sister Eileen were orphaned as children, which left them in the dubious care of their abusive uncle Mathias. Tam grows up ambitious and lacking in empathy. His emotional damage is a flaw that will have some nasty consequences.

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All I Can Do is Dream You

A Shadow of All Night Falling  (A Cruel Wind, book 1)

By Glen Cook  

10 May, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1979’s A Shadow of All Night Falling is the first book in Glen Cook’s A Cruel Wind fantasy trilogy, set in his Dread Empire secondary-universe.

The great city of Ilkazar actually heeded the grim prophecy that the city and its grand empire would fall because of a witch. Every witch, real or supposed, who fell into Ilkazar’s hands was prudently burned alive. Problem solved … or so the city’s rulers thought. 

Varthlokkur’s mother was one such witch. The authorities took mercy on the boy, handing him over to doting foster parents. The bright young boy grew into a taciturn, grim, focused adult.


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