R Is for Rocket

By Ray Bradbury

Rating: 5 stars

This is possibly the best book I’ve read all year. Maybe not technically brilliant, but its heart and soul more than made up for that. It’s a collection of short stories written in the ’40s and ’50s and they are all wonderful. These are the sorts of stories that remind me why I love science fiction: not only do they evoke a sense of joy and wonder at the amazing universe we live in, but Bradbury’s writing is poetic, gets under your skin and is a joy to read.

The stories are true Golden Age stuff, all food pills, bubble cars and rocket ships. Most of them invoked the rocket as a symbol of freedom, the future and hope and even in the ones where it was absent, these themes recurred. It’s not perfect, it’s a product of its time, with almost a complete absence of women, but if you can look past its origins, it’s an incredibly rewarding book.

Book details

ISBN: 9780330231664
Publisher: Pan Books
Year of publication: 1962

Decalog 5: Wonders (Doctor Who Decalog Short Story Anthology Series)

By Paul Leonard

Rating: 2 stars

This is a collection of ten SF stories loosely linked with the theme of the wonders of the universe. To be honest, it wasn’t hugely memorable, with only one or two leaving any lasting impression.

Book details

ISBN: 9780426205159
Publisher: Virgin Publising
Year of publication: 1997

Hellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others

By Mike Mignola

Rating: 3 stars

This is a series of short stories featuring the big red guy with the equally big heart. Each story is quite short and mostly self-contained, although one or two do refer to other events in the series. The stories often refer to folklore or mythology and I liked the little introduction to each one. Mignola’s art is present and correct, and is still something that you need to get used to, but now feels very much a part of the Hellboy world. A good collection.

Book details

ISBN: 9781593070915
Publisher: Dark Horse
Year of publication: 1998

Unfamiliar Territory

By Robert Silverberg

Rating: 3 stars

This is an enjoyable collection of short stories. The earlier stories seem to have a distinct sexual theme about them, going from electronically-assisted group sex to the consequences of teenage frustration. Later, the other theme of the book seemed to take over, that of time travel. The stories themselves were fairly eclectic, ending with the melancholy but humorous The Wind and the Rain. I enjoyed this, but don’t think it’s vintage Silverberg.

Book details

ISBN: 9780684134321
Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
Year of publication: 1973

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