By A.E. van Vogt

Rating: 3 stars

I’m not sure what to make of this. It consisted of three almost independant short stories each building on the last about a threat to Earth and how it was dealt with by the “Great Galactics”, beings of enormous power, watching over the galaxy, and what happens when humans are accelerated along the evolutionary path.

As I say, I don’t really understand what happened, certainly not at the end, but it was enjoyable enough for most of it.

Book details

ISBN: 9780879972752
Publisher: DAW
Year of publication: 1977

The Design of Everyday Things

By Donald A. Norman

Rating: 4 stars

This was a great book that deals with exactly what it says on the tin. From telephones and taps to doors and computers, it goes through what makes good design, the principles of good design and examples of both good and bad design in our everyday lives.

Written in an accessible style, with lots of commentary and examples, this is an excellent book. After reading one section, I spent a good couple of minutes opening and closing a door from both sides, trying to figure out the clues that told me how and in what direction it should be opened. Definitely recommended.

Book details

ISBN: 9780465067107
Publisher: Basic Books
Year of publication: 1988

The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell (Stainless Steel Rat, #9)

By Harry Harrison

Rating: 3 stars

Another adventure for Slippery Jim DiGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat. This time there’s a conman on the loose, promising rich people a glimse (and more) of heaven. Jim’s wife is missing and he has to track down the physicist at the heart of it before it’s too late.

A major problem that I had with this book is the the tame scientist on hand, ready to invent exactly what’s needed to move on to the next bit of plot. What keeps it going, however, is Harrison’s sense of pace. He keeps the book going fairly quickly, and you get drawn in. Enjoyable fun, but over-reliant on the gadgets and not the Rat’s own abilities.

Book details

ISBN: 9780752817194
Publisher: Gollancz
Year of publication: 1996

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