Goldfish Stew

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Goldfish Stew

Goldfish Stew’s book reviews

I was interested to read this, as I had heard a lot about Campbell (being very influential in Asimov's formative years - including helping set the scene for the Robot series.)

These stories (there are 3 linked stories) were all written in 1930 - one must bear that in mind when reading them as they are very dated.

Overall I would say entertaining light SciFi without being anything to rave about.
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.
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.
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