Hello my fellow sf fans! Just in case anyone was wondering, I’m still alive and kicking. You may have noticed I haven’t posted anything in a couple of months. Actually, I haven’t been online much, and haven’t even been reading much lately. There are several reasons for this, but I won’t bore you with the nitty gritty details of my life. All that matters is that I’m going to try and get back into the swing of things now. Never fear, I still have a couple of shelves of books awaiting my attentions, and I just came from the bookstore with more. I’ll get some full reviews going again soon. For now, let me just quickly dispose of a couple of items from a few months back:
Title: The Dark Light-Years
Author: Brian Aldiss
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
This book starts with a premise that I generally admire — that communication with alien species will likely be far more difficult than anyone imagines. The mindset and cultural foundations of the Utod are so utterly alien that humanity can’t bridge the gap; after all, the Utod wallow in their own excrement and consider it one of the good things in life. However, Aldiss does very little to explore or develop the premise in any interesting way, and the story and characters fall completely flat.
Title: Planet of the Apes
Author: Pierre Boulle
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
After seeing the movie so many times, I thought I’d check out the source and see how they compare. I have to say the book is better, though perhaps not by a wide margin. One of the central points — that humanity is not as distinct from the other animals as most would like to think — is made more clearly in the book (especially in the stock exchange scene). The movie focused more on the other main theme, that of another species taking over after humanity destroys itself. Both forms of this classic story have their strengths, and I’d recommend the book to anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure.