Aug. 3rd, 2017

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Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi

A remake of the original "Fuzzy" stories by H. Beam Piper, this is an eminently readable tale, mostly a courtroom drama, which suffers from the main villain being really petty and stupid. (The villain of the original story, by contrast, actually had redeeming features.) On a new planet, rich in resources, the only thing that can stop the exploitation is the question of whether the cute little cat creatures are sapient. Pity that their paladin is an amoral disbarred lawyer.

Key Out Of Time by Andre Norton

A story of space and time exploration, I got partway through and realized I was really bored, and irritated by the sexism and racism. Didn't finish.

The Warlock In Spite Of Himself by Christopher Stasheff

On a planet colonized by humans, psi powers have come to simulate magic, werewolves, and the Fair Folk. A Space Scout arrives and beings messing with the local politics. Innovative, but tedious, and the scout's attitude toward the local queen is half misogyny, half inappropriate lust for a teenager. Didn't finish.

Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp

A modern man is cast back in time to the tail end of the Roman Empire, and acts to preserve it lest darkness fall. Interesting premise, but absurdly Eurocentric, local racism is presumed to be identical to mid-20th century racism, and the book ends with the main character planning a preemptive assassination of Muhammad, before he's even born, to prevent alleged "barbarian conquests". In the end, kind of repellent.

A Private Cosmos by Philip José Farmer

Third in his "World Of Tiers" series, a mildly enjoyable romp through a space fantasy constructed world.

Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock

I read most of the Elric stories years ago, but since they started being grossly repetitive, I never got around to this one, the "climax". There's some interesting stuff in here about the arc of the universe and destiny, but it's basically more of the same: Elric gets pointed in direction of quest, Elric goes on quest, Elric does some awful things, Elric prevails.


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