By Nicholas Fisk

Rating: 4 stars

Everybody is surprised when Great Aunt Emma, who nobody’s ever heard of, comes to stay, but Tim and Beth start becoming more and more alarmed at her behaviour and must find the truth behind her.

This book was written as a series of diary entries by Tim after Great Aunt Emma comes to stay and there’s a slow mounting sense of unease as things start to become first unusual tending towards creepy and then downright scary, leading to an actually quite horrific final scene. An excellent book, with Fisk on great form.

Book details

ISBN: 9780140307450
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year of publication: 1973

Habitation One


Rating: 1 star

Habitation One is a giant tower, sheltering the last remnants of humanity after a nuclear apocalypse, for so long that they’ve forgotten who they are and where they’ve come from. But now a chain of events has been set in motion that will change their future forever.

I didn’t enjoy this book much at all. It’s a first novel and it shows in the awkwardness of the writing, not to mention the completely unsympathetic characters, the clumsiness with which the (quite graphic) violence is handled, including two attempted rapes, and the poor characterisation of the female characters. And then there was a pointless religiously-themed epilogue tagged on the end which bore no real relevance to the rest of the book at all. I’d suggest avoiding this.

Book details

ISBN: 9780006166849

Calculating God

By Robert J. Sawyer

Rating: 3 stars

Aliens land outside a museum and say “Take me to your palaeontologist”. It turns out Earth and the home planets of the two alien races that have just turned up all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time in their history, and they think that this proves the existence of God.

I’m not entirely sure what I thought of this book. It’s fairly well written with very detailed research and the main human (atheist) protagonist provides the counterfoil to the God-believing aliens. However, because it’s so well researched, my cosmology and earth science weren’t necessarily up to telling what was real science and what was science fiction. And the ending felt a bit forced. It was interesting and worth reading but I probably won’t be reading it again.

Book details

ISBN: 9780812580358
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Year of publication: 2000


By Isaac Asimov

Rating: 2 stars

I got this book from Sacha and have to agree with her assessment that it’s rather formulaic. Each story has the author talking to his (rather obnoxious) friend George about something that happened with Azazel, a 2cm high demon he can conjure. Although Azazel tries to help people, things tend to go horribly wrong. The fun comes from trying to figure out how they go wrong.

Despite its repetition, it’s a fun book with an interesting flavour to it. Probably not worth reading again though.

Book details

ISBN: 9788401322990
Publisher: Plaza & Jan├ęs, S.A.
Year of publication: 1988

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