It is 2018, and a police officer (Sue), an insurance underwriter (Elaine) and a computer nerd (Jack) are called to Hayek Associates, an Edinburgh-based gaming company that has reported an impossible bank robbery from the central vaults of a MMORPG called Avalon Four. Yet senior management seem distinctly unhappy about all this attention, and when … Continue reading Why stick with a single reality when you can walk through a multiverse – Halting State review by Sigfrid
Undoubtedly an intellectual powerhouse, but it failed to marry this with the compelling narrative that makes a truly great work of fiction. Synopsis: 600 years after society self-destructed in nuclear war, a new dark age has descended. Three short stories depict an obscure monastery attempting to preserve the remnants of civilization by hoarding literature from … Continue reading You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body, temporarily. A Canticle for Leibowitz review by Sigfrid
Traditionally a novel spends its early sections introducing some form of crisis, and its later sections dealing with the consequences that follow. Philip K Dick has a curious habit of only developing the problem and then signing off, leaving the rest to the reader’s imagination. To date I have found no better examples of this … Continue reading God is dead; they found his carcass floating in space near Alpha – Our Friends from Frolix 8 review by Sigfrid
A weak follow-up, but a highly entertaining and enjoyable space opera. Robinette Broadhead, matured since his time on Sigfrid von Shrink’s couch but still greatly troubled by his final outing from Gateway, sponsors a mission to explore a Heechee food factory in the Oort Cloud. The mission has the potential to solve humanity’s ever-spiralling food … Continue reading They sought a volume of space and filled it with stars – Beyond the Blue Event Horizon review by Sigfrid
On top of being a highly entertaining and disturbing read, this novel also marks a significant turning point in Dick’s back-catalogue, and is vital reading for any ‘Dickhead’.
Pebble In The Sky is a charming yet mediocre example of golden age sci fi, with a swashbuckling story and an unusually everyday protagonist. The main group of characters are all unlikely heroes - a tailor, an archaeologist, a scientist and his daughter. Part of the charm was Asimov's recognition in the epilogue that he had misunderstood the nature of radiation when writing, rendering the book largely impossible with hindsight.