Reviews by Kiwigoldfish

The Green Odyssey

by Philip José Farmer

A well structured and imaginative book.

Alan Green is an astronaut trapped on a planet where superstition holds the masses. Two years after crashing on the unknown planet he hears a rumour of other astronauts and sees an opportunity to escape.

However, superstition has demonised science on the planet. The travellers from space are condemned as demons and Green has to keep his own history and his plans secret from those around him. The story chronicles his journey to the distant city where his hopes of escape lie. Within that is the constant clash of the people around him and an imaginitive menagerie of cultures.

Well worth reading.

Reviewed on 2006.03.17

The Wailing Asteroid

by Murray Leinster

A highly readable, if somewhat flawed, story.

A significant part of the art of the Science Fiction author is to somehow tell an incredible tale in a credible manner. For the most part Leinster achieves this awkward balance, but on occassions one has to suspend disbelief and allow blatant absurdities pass.

Joe Burke is a man haunted by a repeating dream of an alien world. When otherworldly signals are detected from space, he finds a connection with his dream. Convinced that getting to the bottom of these signals is his destiny, and that there are messages in the dream he begins to plan an unlikely attempt to reach the source, now recognised as an asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. With the help of technological insights from the dream he builds a space ship capable of traversing the distance with minimal need for fuel and along with his companions investigates the mysteries of the asteroid.

The first half feels somewhat like 2001:A Space Odyssey. Perhaps a few too many loose ends were tied up by the conclusion, but there still remained a significant amount of mystery regarding the civilisation that left the technological legacy in the asteroid belt.

The style is at times terribly chauvinistic. In fact, it could almost be self conscious parody of a patronising attitude towards women. However I find it more likely that it was simply a reflection of the prevelant attitude of the day. Nonetheless, it was a significant detraction from the story.

Reviewed on 2006.03.16


A fairly mediocre tale. Boys Own meets Asimov in a Sci Fi tale of a boy caught in a series of "exciting" adventures.

The story is about a team of astronauts and a keen young boy who are sent to space to destroy alien installations all over the solar system which are draining the sun and risking supernova. The prose is wretched and the storyline flimsy.

I probably would have enjoyed it when I was 10, and that's probably the kind of market it was written for.

Reviewed on 2006.03.07


First the warning, this book starts slow but builds up very nicely in the second half. Initially I struggled a bit, but as I got caught into the story I was soon making time to read on.

At times it's a grim read, but it's also a well thought out plot with engaging characters.

The ending is somewhat abrupt - it's really only the first installment in a series and as a standalone book would not be quite so satisfying.

Reviewed on 2006.02.21

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