The Dispossessed

By Ursula K. Le Guin

Rating: 4 stars

This was an excellent novel about two very different societies and what happens when they they encounter each other. Shevek is a brilliant physicist from the world of Anarres with a theory that could make interstellar communication possible. However, he’s rejected by his anarchist society so travels to his planet’s sister world, Urras, which is dominated by more traditional forms of government, in an attempt to gain acceptance for his work and to bring the two societies together.

I really enjoyed this novel. Le Guin’s descriptions of both societies viewed through the eyes of the protagonist (and later by Terrans) provide a wonderful contrast and the exploration of what a truly anarchist society would look like make for very interesting reading, although it never becomes preachy or dull.

Book details

ISBN: 9780061054884
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Year of publication: 1974

The Canterbury Tales: A Selection

By Geoffrey Chaucer

Rating: 4 stars

This selection contained about half of the tales along with some prologues. Although the tales themselves were fairly straightforward and often amusing and bawdy (lots of sex and bums and the like) the language was hard going. I think that although there was some translation in my version it wasn’t a full translation to modern English, so still required a lot of effort to read.

I’m sure that there was a lot of subtlety and so on that I missed, but even with that, I enjoyed the flow of the text. The rhyme worked very well and never intruded. It was a story told to rhyme rather than trying to pack as many images into as few words as poetry often feels like.

The Wikipedia summaries were rather handy too.

Book details

ISBN: 9780140622072
Publisher: Penguin
Year of publication: 1390

Universe 1

By Terry Carr

Rating: 2 stars

This is an anthology of science fiction short stories. It’s supposed to be the first in the Universe series, although I don’t know how long it lasted. To be honest, the stories were mostly utterly forgettable, apart from the excellent Mount Charity by Edgar Pangborn about three animals who became sentient and extremely long-lived about three thousand years ago.

Book details

ISBN: 9780441846009
Publisher: Ace
Year of publication: 1971

Doctor Whom: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Parodication

By Adam Roberts

Rating: 1 star

Subtitled E. T. Shoots and Leaves, can you guess what this is cashing in on? I’m not a huge fan of parody and this combined DW/Lynn Truss parody didn’t do much for me. At least it was short.

Book details

ISBN: 9780575079687
Publisher: Gollancz
Year of publication: 2006

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