BooksOfTheMoon

Ship of Strangers

By Bob Shaw

Rating: 3 stars

The men of the Cartographical Service are always on the edge of known space, travelling to new worlds and mapping the ever-expanding surface of the Bubble of the Human Federation. Dave Surgenor is one of the few people who lasts beyond his original five-year contract, becoming one of the most experienced hands on the survey ship Sarafand.

This book is structured into a bunch of disparate adventures of the crew of the Sarafand with several recurring characters but it’s really Surgenor and the ship itself that are the protagonists. It feels like several related short stories have been linked together, since there’s little connecting each set-piece, but I don’t really have a problem with this and enjoyed seeing how the crew solves each of the problems it faces, from sending out six survey modules and getting seven back to facing a time-travelling species on a dead world.

The title refers to the idea that although there are only twelve crew on survey ships, they never become intimate with each other, remaining “wilful strangers”, jumping from planet to planet and never settling down.

An enjoyable book from a pretty solid author.

Book details

ISBN: 9780575043312
Year of publication: 1978

Medusa’s Children

By Bob Shaw

Rating: 3 stars

The Clan live in a zero-gravity undersea world, trying to survive in a harsh environment and stay safe from the deadly Horra. But a new current is bringing change…

This was an enjoyable post-(mild)apocalypse book with a nice SF Idea at its heart. The characters are just sketches, but drawn well enough that you care about them. Worth reading.

Book details

ISBN: 9780385135375
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Year of publication: 1977

The Palace Of Eternity

By Bob Shaw

Rating: 3 stars

It’s the Future and Humanity is at war with an inscrutable alien species. A war which they’re losing. The book focuses on one man, who had previously fought in the war and is now a mechanic on a remote planet far from the front.

Bob Shaw is an excellent writer with a great gift for words. I have to say that I saw the “twist” coming from the start of part two but it was nice seeing how it got there.

Book details

ISBN: 9780330029629
Publisher: Pan Books
Year of publication: 1969

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