Reviews by Paulo Respighi

The City of the Living Dead

by Fletcher Pratt

A very old (1930s) and a bit creaky story of a thousand year old enclave of living, working people, cut off from the rest of the world which had been destroyed by overreliance on machines. The machines did people's work and eventually lived their lives.
The story within the story concerns how free, clean, power and inexpensive manufacturing first ended all wars, then enslaved the world. It does touch on virtual reality and mentions that the "dark races" had to have a different reality--which is racist, but not the wholesale bigotry the other reviewers led me to expect.
The characters are flat and the plot trudges along. The main flaw is that given unlimited free power, naturally there would be greedy and ambitious people trying to control it, not world peace.

Reviewed on 2014.09.07

Damned If You Don't

by Gordon Randall Garrett

A brilliant engineer invents a cold fusion power plant the size of a suitcase and two of his prototypes are immediately stolen. He goes after the power company monopoly, but the conspiracy is bigger than he expects.
A nice apologetic for letting corporations run wild, but way outdated. "Our economy is based on an interlocking web of production"? Not anymore.
It is a story that age has made silly. The world simply didn't grow in that direction.

Reviewed on 2014.09.04

Deirdre of the Sorrows

by J.M. Synge

An old Irish king has waited until his betrothed came of age and now wants to marry her. But his nephew steals and marries her and goes into exile with her and his brothers. After seven years, the king sends safe conduct and says he has forgiven them.
The writing and characterizations are good, with the speeches more formal than conversational. A good three-act play.

Reviewed on 2014.09.02

Kept

by Zoe Winters

Vampire/magician/shapechanger stories are not something I seek out. They bore me. This one had a plot that kept me guessing (what was Simon's plan? who was in on it? who could be trusted?), a couple of good characters, a little sex, and no werewolves (she was a werecat).
It's set in a strange American town where almost everyone is a vampire, a were-something, or a sorcerer, and has arbitrary rules everyone knows and obeys. It was good.

Reviewed on 2014.08.31

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